When setting up a business it’s important to find software, that not only is a good fit for your business, but also has the ability to grow as you do.
So what are the key factors to consider when choosing accounting software?
- Is it cloud based
- Can it be accessed on a phone
- Does it have automatic feeds
- Are there suitable add ons
- Is it user friendly
- What is the reporting capability
- Is it affordable
- Does it offer good support
There are dozens of bookkeeping software saturating the market and it can feel overwhelming to choose one. Here is a look at 3 of the top ones.
Xero has lots of features and is affordable. It offers unlimited users and is cloud based, this means you can log in on any pc, laptop, tablet or phone to keep track of what is going on, you can also add your bookkeeper and or accountant, so they will be able to see the same info as you.
It has an easy integration with over 800 third party apps, that covers everything from cash flow forecasting to credit control software.
It is very user friendly and has excellent support. One feature we really like is it offers Hubdoc for free. With Hubdoc you simply take a photo of a receipt which then goes into a ‘portal’. From there you can publish directly into Xero. This can really help to save time. It can also pull bills and statements into a secure hub.
In our opinion, it isn’t as good as receiptbank – now Dext, but for free it really is worth using.
Xero also offers really good reporting features, so you can see how well your business is performing. They release quarterly updates and really take on board suggestions from the community in order to make improvements that really matter. The standard plan is £24 plus VAT a month
Quickbooks is another of the ‘big guns’ and like Xero is also really popular. You do need to be careful with what version you subscribe to. The basic self employed version is very limited and we wouldn’t recommend this one at all.
Quickbooks is great for small to medium sized businesses and can help you save time. It is customisable and they are constantly expanding to cater to different industries. It is a reliable software that can be accessed through the cloud. Quickbooks always has an offer on so you can save 50% for 4 months, the essentials package is £20 plus VAT a month.
Not one that you will often see on a list, Pandle is actually great. They have a free version and a paid version.
Pandle is cloud based and though you are limited to one users with the free version you can collaborate with a bookkeeper or accountant with the paid version. They are constantly improving the software and for free we think it is very good. The paid version is currently just £5 plus VAT so it makes it one of the cheapest ones on the market. Once you pay you have access to bank feeds and receipt upload. It may not be as pretty as the others, but it is one we like to use.
We will mention Sage at the end, Sage desktop is very good software, though it can seem a little clunky when compared to Xero, Quickbooks and Pandle. The cloud based version of Sage, just doesn’t seem quite there as yet, it’s worth keeping an eye on Sage as they have a lot to gain by offering a good cloud based version.
Overall here at Tidal Bookkeeping, we have made Xero are preferred software due to it being very user friendly and the great support form Xero itself. We have made it our job to know it very well. As a Cornwall bookkeeper it is important to use software that we feel our clients would feel comfortable with and for that reason we do not hesitate to recommend it.
Unfortunately some of the ads for accounting software have made it seem that you do not need any previous knowledge and anyone can use it. Whilst lots of the accounting software out there is very user friendly, you do also need a good degree of bookkeeping knowledge to use it effectively. More and more we are having to do costly clear ups as the software has got into a mess, from the bank not being reconciled for months to it being out by thousands, VAT claimed when it shouldn’t have been through to lots of unpaid sales invoices being missed. If you are looking for a cloud based solution and would like some bookkeeping support, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a friendly chat on how we can help by visiting our contact page here.