If you want to bolster your Return on Investment (ROI), it is essential that the finances are taken care of appropriately. It is important that invoices are sent out and paid on time and the right predictions are made about the cash flow. Comprehensive financial records are crucial when it comes to submitting your tax returns.
Luckily, the modern technology has made things simpler for the modern businessman. The accounting software and invoice packages that are available on the market have been engineered for the business owner and not the accountants. This means that business owners do not have to get themselves embroiled in uncanny and complex business related terminologies and then get going with the software in just a few moments. With the assistance of cloud based services, businessmen can keep track of their business from just about anywhere in the world on a wide array of devices and worrying about keeping a backup of their confidential data has become a thing of the past since the service provider is responsible for doing that for the business owner as well.
Having said that, when choosing the right software for your business, there are certain aspects that need to be taken into consideration. In addition to invoicing, you probably also need quotes, time tracking, purchases, payroll, credit control and plenty of other stuff. Each bundle comes with its own blend of features and one cannot compare them with the other bundles always. We have compiled this list to help you find the best software for your business and save your time that would have otherwise been wasted scouring through the trial versions of these applications.
Here is an interesting post on the basic stuff about SMB accounting software and the best free accounting packages.
1 – FreshBooks
This is a product that has been designed specifically for small and medium businesses. It comes with an uncluttered intuitive user interface, multitudes of exquisite features and the unique ability to integrate with tons of popular services.
It is a popular cloud based accounting service that has been manufactured for the owners of small businesses.
The bundle comes with tons of exciting features such as invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, plenty of business reports and even a versatile option to take credit card payments for a 2.9% plus 30 cents transaction fee. The intuitive user interface has been designed especially for the folks who are not familiar with the complicated concepts of accounting and so it ensures that the user does not have to spend time learning the software.
In spite of the inherent simplicity, no compromise is made on the features front. The billing can be accomplished in any currency, recurring invoices can be configured to save precious time, customers can be given the option to pay via credit card by checking a box, and even automatically bill the credit card to make things simple for the users.
For the more tech-savvy personnel, the software integrates with other services such as PayPal, MailChimp, Basecamp, Gusto, Zendesk and many others.
Managing the program is not an issue. It can be accessed and used from the desktop as well as your iOS and Android powered mobile devices. Moreover, being a cloud based service, the user does not have to be perturbed about keeping backups.
If this seems cool, you can try out the trial version of the application for 30 days without using a credit card. The pricing is quite simple from then onwards as the number of clients is the only primary difference between the accounts.
You can opt for the basic package of $13.5 per month that lets you have five clients for a year, the $22.5 bundle lets you have 50 clients while the $45 package lets the users cater to 500 clients simultaneously. You can also add additional users for $10 per month.
Here is the link to sign up for FreshBooks.
2 – Intuit QuickBooks
The Intuit QuickBooks is a professional cloud based suite that encompasses all your business needs. Even the basic bundled with rich with tons of features while the additional ones can be purchased on payment. Moreover, the users can also opt for a trial version.
The software has been around since the good old days of DOS but the latest version is nothing but a state of the art tool that is essentially a cloud based suite for a wide array of business requirements.
The Basic Plan costs $15 per month and is loaded with lots of exciting features such as invoicing, expense tracking, payment handling with a 2.7% transaction fee, ability to monitor and determine VAT and handle payroll and pensions for additional £1 per employee per month.
The Intuit QuickBooks is compatible with loads of other applications and services that provides access to more features such as inventory management, Shopify integration, job scheduling, CRM and plenty more. Most of these services are quite expensive. As a matter of fact, many of these services cost more than QuickBooks itself but there are a few exceptions. For instance, by adding GoCardless, you can configure and take conventional Direct Debit Card payments from clients for just 1% transaction fee that is capped at £2. What’s more, there are no hidden charges. iOS and Android powered applications for QuickBooks are also available.
On the whole, FreshBooks is probably top of the line but there are lots of things to like about QuickBooks and the free trial version lets you check the cool application out with ease.
3 – Xero
Even a low cost basic plan offers plenty of attractive features in addition to attractive mobile apps. However, the starter plan has a lot of restrictions in place.
The Starter account for Xero costs just $10 per month but there are inherent restrictions in the basic plan. You can only send a maximum of five invoices, enter five bills or verify only 20 banking transactions. Moreover, you also do not get the payroll function along with the multi-currency compatibility in the basic plan.
If you have a hear big enough to bear all these limitations, then there are quite a few positives here as well. With Xero’s top quality application for Android and iOS, the users get to access smart expense tracking and management. In addition, there are tons of customizable reports, simple budgeting and no restrictions on additional users or the number of accountants who may be interested in sharing your data.
The Xero Standard Package is the way to go if you are not satisfied with invoice, bank or billing issues. It costs about $30 per month but it lets a user issue as many invoices as desired. Moreover, there is also a functional payroll system for some locations along with time and attendance tracking for up to 5 employees. This feature is free for the first three months and then the user has to pay £5 per month.
The multiple currency compatibility can only be accessed if you purchase the Xero Premium bundle that is available for $70 per month.
The super cool “Convert your QuickBooks files” feature assists the users to get started immediately and makes life immensely easier for them. But if you are still not looking forward to using all this great power, the value for money is still enormous.
4 – Sage Business Cloud Accounting
This is yet another professional accounting software that comes up with luring subscription plans. It boasts a neatly stacked user interface and the customer support is simply next to none.
Previously renowned by the name of Sage One, the Sage Business Cloud Accounting software offers straightforward pricings without any kinks and twists. The Core Safe Accounting plan can be had for £10 per month for the first three months which is then doubled after that.
This bundle gives the users the option to handle quotes, invoices, manage and submit VAT online, smart bank feeds and verification, prediction about cash flow, comprehensive reporting, multiple currency compatibility, project monitoring and tons of other lucrative features. Moreover, these functionalities can be accessed from both the desktop as well as via mobile handheld devices.
The information is portrayed in an uncluttered manner while comprehensive web help and video tutorials can be accessed if a user runs into trouble. The free unlimited 24/7 telephone and email support is quite an attractive offer.
The Accounting Start is the basic bundle offered by Sage. The essential package does not include any quotes or purchase invoicing. It only comes with basic stuff such as cost and income management, customer and supplier records and bank feeds. It costs £3 for the beginning three months which doubles up after that. On the whole, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a nice option for sole traders.
5 – KashFlow
Boasting a user friendly interface, the KashFlow is an intuitive accounts package that comes with remarkable import functionality despite its limitations when it comes to the basic bundle.
It is always quite daunting to try an accounts bundle for the first time or even to make a transition from one to another. However, with KashFlow, things are quite simple.
This amazing accounts software offers great support for importing data from QuickBooks, Sage or Excel while the uncluttered user interface does not come with any complicated terminologies that may make life difficult for newbies. As a matter of fact, the different invoice and other templates offer great deal of help to the business owners.
The software is loaded with tons of exciting features that are always fun to explore and discover. It assists the users handle customer and supplier details, keep track of purchases, create quotas and approximations, transformation into invoices, importing bank transactions, alerts for late payers and reminder letters for the defaulters.
Being a UK based company, the developer has ensured that its users in UK get all the requisite advantages. In addition to calculating VAT figures, the software also furnishes VAT returns and EC sales lists which can be filed directly to HMRC from within the tool.
The Starter Account costs £7 which has its inherent limitations some of which include the option to deal with a maximum of 10 invoices and 25 banking transactions per month in a single currency.
However, we believe that most of you will want to get their hands on the £14 per month bundle which lets you deal with unlimited invoices and integrated more than 85 other systems and services such as WorldPay, PayPal, Stripe, GearShift, Dropbox and others. By spending £19 per month, you can also get a highly functional Payroll system for up to five employees.
6 – Kashoo
Despite being expensive, Kashoo packs a power punch with its multi-currency support and an attractively designed dashboard. However, it does not come with an Android powered app which is a bit of a downside.
Kashoo’s basic package starts at $16.65 per month but when it comes to features, you will certainly be delighted with what you get.
For instance, the spectacular multi-currency support makes it a beloved app among consumers. It offers support for credit card transactions for all the major carriers such as Amex, Visa and Mastercard at an impressive 2.9% plus 0.3 cents transaction fee.
The user also gets to deal with unlimited invoices and connections to over 5000 financial institutions for verification of transactions. The interface is quite easy to use while the dashboard furnishes detailed summary of the current financial situation.
In addition, the users also get customer support via phone, mail, live chat and social media. Even if you write a letter, the developers have the courtesy of writing one back to you. The only drawback associated with Kashoo is that it has no app for Android but there is an app available for iOS. You can check the software out via its two weeks long trial.