Every business owner knows that accounting is a necessary evil in the industry. Keeping your books updated is a must in order to keep track of your cashflow. In addition to that, ensure that your business is meeting its target projections, and of course, a requirement in filing for taxes. Whether you do your accounting yourself or have someone doing it for you; investing in accounting software will make bookkeeping an easier task.
We’ve compiled a list of seven of the best accounting software that you can use for your business’s bookkeeping. But first, let’s run through the features you want to look for in accounting software.
What to look for in accounting software?
Financial bookkeeping is challenging at best, and overall, it can be complicated and time-consuming. It is essential in keeping your business on track, ensuring you are making profits and meeting the required tax payments. Also hitting your target numbers, and managing your cash flow properly.
Good accounting software must show you these numbers in an organized manner. It should be easy to read and interpret, and accessible to all appropriate team members. Must also be able to provide you with accurate insights into your business’s financial status. And also allow you to see overviews, and track down the specific details. Creating reports is one of the most crucial accounting; tasks and most accounting software includes features that make reporting less complicated.
Most accounting software also provides you templates for sales and purchase forms, offer features such as purchase orders and inventory trackers in case you need them. Good accounting software reduces repetitive data entry and simplifies, creating invoices, sending statements, and recording billable expenses. Payroll setup, paying bills, and accepting payments are also standard features of these software.
You can link your financial accounts to your accounting software to make tracking your financial activities more convenient. The correct categorization of these transactions results in more accurate income tax returns.
Of course, you also have to consider ease-of-use, customization, and the price of these software.
So, let’s take a look at the seven accounting software that we think fits the bill.
Best [paid and free] accounting software for 2021
FreshBooks is a popular cloud-based accounting software and service designed with small business owners in mind. Its user-friendly interface, its many customizable features, and, most importantly, how it integrates with many popular services.
The features include invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, plenty of business report templates, and an option to take credit card payments. The tool has a straightforward interface allows non-accountants to use the software with ease.
You can bill in any currency, set up recurring invoices, allow customers to pay via card, and even set up automatic card billing. You can integrate it with PayPal, MailChimp, WordPress, Zendesk, and more.
It is accessible on desktop or via the free app available for iOS and Android. Since it is cloud-based, you can rest easy when it comes to backup. It has a 30-day free trial period and comes in Lite, Plus, and Premium plans.
QuickBooks is good for small to large businesses and is a popular accounting software. You can choose from QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Self-Employed, QuickBooks Online Advanced, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Enterprise. They also offer custom packages with all the features that fit your business needs.
It can be a bit on the pricy end but is justified by its depth, customizability and powerful features. It is also easy to use, well-designed and is built to serve a variety of users.
Check their website for the price of their offered packages.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting Software
Sage provides modules to manage quotes, invoices, handle and submit VAT online, and smart tracking and reconciliation of your linked bank accounts. It also provides cashflow forecasting, detailed reporting, supports multiple currencies, project tracking and more. It’s known for its clear and gimmick-free pricing, with a good value proposition, and comes with a 30-day free trial.
Its design is neat and well presented, easy-to-use interface, and provides impressive customer support to business owners with their detailed web help and video tutorials and free unlimited 24/7 telephone and email support.
They have two packages: Sage Accounting and a more basic Accounting Start. Their basic plan doesn’t include support for quotes, estimates or vendor bills, and cashflow forecasts, but it has a reasonable price for start-ups and small businesses.
Zoho Books offers a clean and straightforward cloud-based interfaced that is perfect for freelancers, sole traders, and small business owners. Users can access it via desktop and through their mobile app.
Their starter pack, Zoho Books Basic, is at $9/£6 per organization per month, which allows you to create transactions for a maximum of 50 contacts, gives access to two users, and provides five automated workflows.
They also offer the Standard package (500 contacts, 3 users, 10 automated workflows) for $19/£12 per month and the Professional package (500 contacts, 10 users, 10 automated workflows) for $29/£18. If you sign up for a yearly package, you get two months off, and it offers a 14-day free trial. You can check out the other add-ons they offer on their website.
Xero offers smart expense tracking and management that you can access from the convenience of your smartphones. They also provide configurable reports and simple budgeting and don’t limit the number of users or accountants who can access your data. However, their basic plan is restricted to sending a maximum of five invoices, entering five bills, and reconciling 20 bank transactions. They do offer the Xero Growing plan that removes those restrictions.
Kashflow provides simple, cloud-based solutions for your accounts and tax needs, which you can access anywhere at any time. They provide tools for your accounting tasks and can be used for payroll and some HR duties as well.
Their Starter package costs £8 a month plus VAT and is perfect for sole traders, contractors, and small businesses. You can send unlimited quotes and 10 invoices, reconcile 25 bank transactions, works with bank feeds, provides a customizable dashboard, and has a mobile app. It is, however, a single-user account.
The Business package is £16.50 per month plus VAT and is aimed at growing businesses and limited companies. You can send unlimited quotes and invoices, reconcile unlimited bank transactions, and manage and submit VAT returns online. It is a multi-user account.
Their Business and Payroll package costs £22.50 per month plus VAT, and provides payroll functionality alongside the features of the Business package
Wave is one of the most successful online accounting software, and it is free to use. You can use it for your accounting, invoicing, and receipts. However, their technical support and payroll services come with a fee. You will also still need to pay per transaction, currently between 1.4%-2.9%, plus a fee of around $0.25.
Of course, like every other free online service, you have to deal with the occasional adverts.
It is well-designed and perfect for sole traders, freelancers, and small businesses. It might be a bit too basic for medium-sized businesses.
With the recent coronavirus outbreak, there’s an uptrend on digitalization, from business meetings to transactions. The UK government rolled out its Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative aimed to make the current tax system more effective and taxpayer-friendly. This makes correspondence with HMRC simpler and minimizes errors like overpayments. Having accounting software makes digital tax transactions more convenient.
Choose the right financial tool and accounting software for your business
Every business is unique, and the same is true for its accounting needs. Take your time to study the accounting software features you are looking to use, avail of their free trial period to test its usability, and choose the perfect fit that suits your business’s bookkeeping needs.
Here’s a video also of some Remote Team Tools