Which Accounting Software Should You Use?
Author: Russell SmithJune 4, 2015
Join our accountants in Leeds as we discuss the best accounting software for your business.
When starting a business, it is absolutely imperative that you manage and maintain your finances. Control is the key to keeping everything operating smoothly; if you don’t have control of your finances, how can you expect to make the right decisions with your money?
The best way to manage and control your finances is through dedicated accounting software; software designed to allow simple record keeping, accessible reporting and analysis, and easy data input.
Our accountants in Leeds are very familiar with accounting software and encourage all our clients, and every small business for that matter, to take advantage of this valuable technology.
What Accounting Software is Best for My Business?
Choosing your accounting software isn’t always easy. What is available? Which is the best for your business? In this blog, we hope to break down everything you need to know.
Accounting Software for Micro-Businesses
For businesses just starting out, micro-businesses, or those who have an income of £100,000 or less, we recommend a simple Excel spreadsheet. Accounting software is often easy enough to use, but it can complicate matters on such a small scale.
A well-organised spreadsheet is all you need in the early days. Russell is happy to provide you with a free template for Excel; just email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cloud-Based Accounting Software
Cloud-based software is the part of the new-wave of tech taking businesses by storm. With data stored on secure, online servers, it allows for a number of benefits over traditional software. The main advantage of accounting software through cloud technology is that it accessible to anyone with the login details. Essentially, you can do your accounts anywhere and share data with people around the country or even the world.
Here are some examples of cloud-based accounting software:
Xero — Geared towards international small businesses, Xero is the perfect software for globe-trotting companies. Lots of functionality for foreign banking and currency, although quite complex.
FreeAgent — Basic software for bookkeeping, FreeAgent lacks complex systems like payroll. However, it’s the perfect option for small businesses who don’t deal with large volumes of customers, clients or employees. FreeAgent is also good value for money and has excellent reporting functionality.
Kashoo — Simple and new-user-friendly, Kashoo boasts easy data sharing, invoicing, data reconciliation and connectivity to banks. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some other cloud-based accounting software, its great functionality makes it perfect for the technologically challenged. It also has a well-designed mobile and tablet interface.
Quickbooks Online — Great for all types of small businesses, Quickbooks Online comes equipped with everything you need to manage your accounts. The added bonus is that you can important Excel spreadsheets; the downside is the basic packages don’t provide everything you need.
Desktop-based Accounting Software
Cloud-based accounting software isn’t for everyone; even our accountants in Leeds can’t argue with the benefits of local, desktop platforms. Often cheaper than cloud-based systems, they are also more secure and often offer increased functionality.
Here are some examples of desktop accounting software:
Sage — Sage is an advanced form of accounting software available in a variety of packages. It provides anything and everything you could ever need for accounting, from reporting to payroll and follow-up notices.
VT — A cheap option guaranteed to appeal to small business owners, VT offers all the basic functionality a small business could ever need. However, it does lack some of the more complex processes required of larger businesses.
Here’s What Our Accountants in Leeds Recommend
While desktop software will always have its place, our accountants in Leeds have to recommend small businesses opt for cloud-based accounting software.
In our ever-shrinking world, where interconnectivity is more prevalent than ever, the ability to access your accounts from anywhere in the world and do dealings with international customers is just too important to overlook.
We recommend Xero as the software of choice for SMEs. It has all the functionality you need, plus it is suited to worldwide business opportunities. If Xero seems a bit too complex for you, or your intention is to keep trade local, FreeAgent would be our next recommendation. Its simple interface is perfect for those not clued up on best accounting practices.
If you aren’t comfortable using cloud-based software or aren’t interested in monthly subscriptions, then we have to put VT forward. While Sage has the advantage in terms of functionality and interface, it is simply far too overwhelming in complexity for anything other than an organisation on the larger side of the SME spectrum.