Accounting software is crucial for all businesses – to ensure their finances are managed properly and their books balanced efficiently. However, each has its own qualities, characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks.
This guide will discuss the key features, pros, and cons of the leading accounting software.
1. Sage 50
Sage 50 is positioned as an easy-to-use desktop accounting software for growing small businesses but is scalable to perform big business accounting. It includes standard accounting such as accounts payables and accounts receivable; bill payments and cash flow management.
- Sage 50 is designed for non-accountant who does not have extensive knowledge or experience in accounting or business, and as such is easy to use and navigate.
- The program is also superb for SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) with its enterprise-grade features and affordability.
- Limitations for smaller businesses – when a business experiences a certain level of growth, then it is time to upgrade to a higher level of accounting software – Sage 200 perhaps, which can be expensive.
Quickbooks, like Sage, is specifically targeted at small businesses and freelancers as it simplifies the most complex accounting processes.
- Clear layout – the website’s clear design and structure with various graphs, charts, and images help you completely understand your business’s position.
- Additional help – throughout the online page are tutorial videos and live chats to help you fully understand all parts of the program.
- Upgrade eventually required – because Quickbooks is designed for smaller businesses, once your business has outgrown its design, an upgrade will be needed, which could be costly.
Freshbooks, another software built for SMBs, has been growing in popularity due to its ease of use, professional appearance, and powerful performance. Winning various awards in 2018 for its progression and features, it’s no wonder that Freshbooks is now one of the leading bookkeeping programs not just in the UK, but in the world.
- Integration with third-party apps – including Shopify, PayPal amongst many others, the software can integrate with many other operations.
- Availability on all devices – with its own app, downloadable on both iOS and Android, you can view your accounts at home or on the go, with no need to change the device.
- Free trial – a free month with zero obligation to sign up once the trial has concluded gives you 100% certainty that you are getting the right deal for your business.
- Minor glitches – an issue raised a few times online by past customers has been the occasional occurrence of what can only be described as bugs and glitches. Small crashes perhaps once every few months that interrupt usage, a little more so than rivals, however, this is an issue that Freshbooks has indeed noticed and has indicated will be worked on and resolved in due course.
From freelancers and small businesses to major corporations, Xero can fit just about any sized business! It is also compatible with all types of electronic devices and computer programs such as Microsoft Excel and Apple Mac Pages, so you can be sure to make it work with Xero.
- Conversion from other platforms – Xero offers a free QuickBooks conversion service, which allows you to transfer your data from there, picking up where you left off without having to switch between platforms.
- Cloud-based software – is accessible anytime, anywhere, on nearly any device. Their smartphone app is also very well designed and available in both major stores.
- Internet requirement – without internet, Xero does not run, needing the cloud and its data to continue to work, so your book-balancing and updating will need to be planned in advance.
OnPay is an easy-to-use and comprehensive payroll software that provides scalable solutions for SMBs. This cloud-based service streamlines payroll processes so that entering payroll information such as hours, tips, reimbursements, and bonuses is done seamlessly.
- Efficient employee management – the unique nature of this software saves you time so you can focus on more high-priority tasks.
- Integrates with Quickbooks, Xero – because this software is not quite for the same purpose as all the others listed on this page, usage of others could for sure be necessary, so straightforward integration with such bookkeeping programs is ideal.
- No mobile app – an otherwise very highly accessible and useful software, one potentially key feature missing is that of a mobile phone application. A technological feature utilized by most if not all other competitors, the uniqueness of OnPay perhaps lends some forgiveness for this particular miss
KashFlow is a cloud-based and easy-to-use accounting software specially designed to help small business owners make sense of their accounts. Jargon-free and loved even by non-accountants, the tool’s aim is to remove the stress of bookkeeping for small businesses, leaving them more time to focus on their essential operations.
- Customer support – a great feature of Kashflow perhaps superior to its competitors is its support offered, with round-the-clock live chat, email, and even site training to ensure you have all the help you need to stay on top.
- Superb reporting – in addition to the data recorded by yourself when balancing the books, the quality of the reports (in the form of graphs, charts, and various other imagery) provided by Kashflow is widely regarded as amongst (if not THE) best amongst its alternatives, so a great choice if you are keen on your visual elements.
- Certain missing features – whilst some features of Kashflow are considered by many as the best around, it has been indicated that a small number of extra features, such as ‘forecasting’ by the program are absent. However, this issue has been noted by the company and should be fixed in due course.
7. Zoho Books
Zoho Books, a smart accounting solution designed to manage small businesses’ cash flow and finances with a free trial, is best known for its ease of use, helping unseasoned users make intelligent accounting decisions.
- Few device/browser restrictions – you will be able to manage your finances wherever you are, on your Windows, Android, or iOS device, and in more than 10 languages.
- Wide-serving – serving the activities of almost 13 million users around the world, owning/managing small, medium, and large enterprises, Zoho is experienced and involved with a broad range of customers, ensuring that its site and services cater to all.
- Customer support – although the software’s popularity is a huge bonus, it has meant that staffing has at times been somewhat short, unfortunately for the company. However, it is a clearly identified issue that is reportedly being worked tirelessly on to ensure continued support for all users.
A much simpler and ‘less busy’ application than most of its competitors specializing in accounting, receipt scanning, and invoicing capabilities, Wave is ideal for small businesses who employ less than 10 workers. This smaller size does not affect the quality of performance or features, however, with fast invoicing and ease of using just two of the many superior qualities the bookkeeping service offers, as listed below.
- Simple dashboard – still managing to contain and provide all that you will need to manage your business, the uncluttered nature of the dashboard makes simple work of all invoicing and accounting processes.
- Completely FREE – although, the service offers pay-as-you-go payment plans for credit card processing and payroll services in selected countries.
- Certain feature-lacking – as mentioned previously, Wave is unique in its offering of receipt scanning and invoicing capabilities, making it of a slightly different use too many of its competitors. This is not to downgrade any of the software’s quality, however – other bookkeeping programs can potentially be utilized alongside Wave if necessary.
9. FinancialForce Accounting
Recommended for both small and large businesses, FinancialForce provides and even specializes in a wide range of functionalities, invoice creation, cash management, ordering and billing, and more!
- Streamlined Accounts Receivable with seamless communications – you can produce an invoice and place credit terms per customer or globally. Additionally, you can automatically calculate invoices from Salesforce opportunities and place credit terms per customer or even globally. FinancialForce supports task reminders also, with email statements and reminders to vendors, clients, and teams within the software.
- Not all devices supported – only iOS and cloud-supported and not Android or desktop, unfortunately.
FreeAgent is feature-packed, cloud-based accounting software designed for small businesses and freelancers. More than 60,000 businesses rely on it with its ability to bring together and manage all aspects of financial operations. The software comes with a broad range of tools to let you efficiently manage all important financial tasks and processes such as payrolls, taxes, expenses, and your project’s financial performance.
- Streamlined connectivity – you can easily connect with all your devices and bank accounts, making your job of managing not only your business’ finances but also your everyday life that much easier.
- Low cost – not only does FreeAgent come with one of the cheapest deals around, at just £20 per month after a first six months of £60, but you can also get a FREE 30-day trial, to ensure that you know just what you are signing up for.
- Multitasking – whilst most if not all the features of FreeAgent have been a hit with users, one issue has been the inability to perform more than one task, such as invoices, at once. However, this is an issue that has been acknowledged by the company.
Overall, there is a lot of terrific accounting software out there each with its own unique qualities that make them stand out. However, each also has its own individual advantages and disadvantages of use, so you must watch out when choosing a program to ensure it is just right for you and your business!