Cloud Accounting - an overview

An overview of the options for Cloud Accounting

To make your business work, you know that you have to record the in’s and out’s, but how do you know what software is best for that?

It can take lots of your time drudging through the many cloud accounting packages, so we’ve done some of the work for you with our handy overview of some of the best in the market.

You shouldn’t really be using an old-fashioned manual cashbook (or even an Excel Spreadsheet) now that technology in this area takes the hard work out of keeping track of your costs.

The taxman (who has been officially around since 1849!) is even becoming digital!

So, if you’re still even a little bit old school, you’re spending too long on your record keeping. It’s time to make the change!

Here are just a few of the top packages available on the market;

Cloud Accounting Software Options: Xero

Xero, which is pronounced ‘zero’, is a top-rated cloud-based accounting package. All your invoices and receipts are stored in the cloud (not the big grey things in the sky but on the internet!)

If your computer is stolen, at least your documents are backed up and stored remotely.

Xero first began in 2006 in New Zealand, and quickly became the ‘go-to’ cloud software provider due to how easy it is to use.

Whether you’re a business that has stock to sell, or a service-based business, Xero has a vast array of extra apps and add-ons to help manage your business.

Sitting down in the evenings and weekends keeping on top of your books is a chore as it is, by using a package like this will help you claw back this time.

Any device with a broadband connection can run Xero, as you access it via the internet, and has a great app for smart phones and tablets allowing access when you’re out and about – even by the pool on holiday (if this floats your boat!)

Xero subscriptions start at £10 (plus VAT) per month.

Cloud Accounting Software Options: QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is another leading cloud software provider, but for those who are used to regular QuickBooks on a computer, it’s a completely different kettle of fish.

Like Xero, it stores the accounting information online.

You’ll find that QuickBooks Online is easy-to-use and offers plenty for beginners and experienced users.

The words and terms used are aimed at accountants rather than small business owners, which probably will stump a few new users. Some business owners may find some of the wording used confusing, but with a quick google check, it’ll all get clearer.

Some experience in accounting terms would be required to understand everything it can do, but you don’t have to be a genius!

QuickBooks Online subscriptions start at £15 (plus VAT) per month.

Cloud Accounting Software Options: FreeAgent

FreeAgent has cloud software that is clean and sharp, but doesn’t offer such a wide range of offerings, unlike Xero and QuickBooks.

Business owners may come a little lost with some of the words that FreeAgent uses within its software.

Even though FreeAgent is aimed at UK businesses, it does still have some American terms and the date fields are not in a UK friendly format.

If you have even a small amount of book-keeping experience, you should be able to use FreeAgent.

Three pricing levels are offered by FreeAgent, dependant on which structure of the business is chosen. Prices start at £9.50 (plus VAT) per month for sole traders.

Cloud Accounting Software Options: Sage One

Sage One is fairly straightforward to use, if not a little bit basic.

The cloud-based software currently is a no-frills solution and is stripped down to the least a small business will need it for.

That’s not to say that Sage isn’t investing in its cloud solution. The book-keeping giant is always developing new functions within its cloud software.

If all you need it for is to keep track of your income and expenses, then SageOne is a simple enough system to allow you to do this. However, if you need to see specific reports, it does have a limit on the reports it can generate.

The words used are very user-friendly. Non-professionals and users without bookkeeping experience can understand it with ease.

SageOne currently only offers two pricing plans, starting from £6 (plus VAT) per month.

So, here’s a roundup of a few key players in the ‘best cloud accounting software’ category. There are many other packages offered in the market, so the key is to find one that works for you.

Selecting the right accounting package is important as the wrong choice can frustrate you later – talk to an accountant who’s an expert in cloud accounting to help you get the right system for your business.

Straight talking advice on Cloud Accounting software from Yorkshire Powerhouse

Have you any questions?

Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:

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