Accounting Software Tools for Small Business

Accounting Software Tools

Are you looking for accounting software tools? Accounting is complicated stuff. It involves so many concepts that the average person cannot keep up with it on their own. But thanks to technology, experts are coming up with ever-more-helpful accounting software to help people keep track of all the financial data they need.

With so many tools available in the market, how do you choose what is best for you? This article offers some tips for choosing automation, accounting software and Excel templates that will allow you to keep a tab on your bookkeeping records fast and easily.

Which Accounting Software Tools should I use?

With so many options available, it is best to start by looking at the business’s requirements. Also, think about if the company expands in the future, will the software still fit the needs.

Things to look for are:

  • Sales invoices – can you change templates
  • Credit control – automatically send statements and reminders
  • Purchase invoices
  • Stock control – For some, this is an additional feature
  • Reporting – Are there enough reports for the businesses needs
  • Integration with Paypal or other payments
  • Bank imports or direct bank feeds
  • Payroll
  • Direct payment of invoices by clients
  • Time management
  • CIS for construction business
  • VAT
  • Multi-currency

Most accounting packages offer a free trial, and XERO includes a demo company, which allows you to view the software for a business.

One of the big things to look for within your accounting software is making Tax Digital. In the next few years, HMRC will require all self-assessments and VAT returns submitted through accounting software. It is to reduce the risk of fraud and to get accurate figures for taxation.

DEXT Automation

Dext was previously known as Receipt Bank and widely used by bookkeepers and accountants, and business owners. Dext extracts information from receipts, invoices and bank statements. Using rules, DEXT will take the data from a photo or scan, extract the data, and put it into the accounting software.

DEXT stores everything in the cloud, which means that you can reduce the amount of paper stored. Storage is for a maximum of 10 years. As with most cloud-based software, different pricing structures are depending on the size of the business. Dext works with most accounting software packages, including Xero, Quickbooks and Sage.

Plans available:

BusinessBusiness PlusPremium
1 user
50 Monthly Scans
5 Users
300 Monthly Scans
20 Users
3000 Monthly Scans
£10 per month£20 per month£40 per month

AutoEntry

AutoEntry is another data entry product. It allows you to either photograph, scan or upload documents like invoices, receipts and bank statements. It will verify the data and allow you to place the document in the correct category. Once this process is complete, the document is published to the accounting software.

AutoEntry reduces the amount of paperwork in storage and keeps a copy for you. Integration is with the most popular accounting packages. Pricing is based monthly on a credit system, starting from 11 Euros per month.

Plans Available:

BronzeSilverGoldPlatinum
50 Credits100 Credits200 Credits500 Credits
€11€22€40€95
  • 1 credit = A single invoice or receipt
  • 2 credits = An invoice or receipt with line items
  • 3 credits = A single page of bank statement

Move My Books

If you are looking to move from one accounting software platform to another, it is worth checking if Move My Books will complete the process for you.

If you are moving to XERO, Quickbooks or Sage, it might be free and import up to two years of transactions and the chart of accounts. It can save a headache when changing accounting software.

Might be FREE if moving to Xero, Sage or QuickBooks

Xero Accounting Software

XERO accounting software

Xero is popular with business owners, bookkeepers and accountants. There are over 2 million users worldwide.

Pricing starts from £10 per month but has restrictions on the number of transactions posted each month.  The most popular package is £24 per month. There are different optional add-ons, including payroll, expenses, CIS returns and project tracking.

The main thing I like about XERO is the ease of use. Everything is available easily from the dashboard, including tracking of expenses and sales. There are lots of reports available, and information can easily export to Excel.

StarterStandardPremium
Quotes and 20 invoices
5 Bills
VAT
CIS
Quotes and invoices
Bills
VAT
CIS
Quotes and invoices
Bills
Vat
CIS
Multicurrencies
£10 per month£24 per month£30 per month

Quickbooks Accounting software

Quickbooks review dashboard

One of the best accounting software available today is QuickBooks. It offers comprehensive accounting solutions and tools that will save time and money for small business owners and self-employed individuals.

If you have come to the realisation already that you need a better accounting solution to aid you in managing your finances, then, by all means, choose popular accounting software that will let you efficiently manage your books. But before you sign up for QuickBooks, you might want to check out the various plans available.

The plans include Simple Start, Essentials and Plus. When you sign up, there is usually an introductory offer. It is even worth asking if your accountant can offer it as part of their package.

Using the QuickBooks cloud version will always mean that the software is up to date, all your data is safely stored in the cloud and accessible from any internet connection.

Self-EmployedSimple StartEssentialsPlus
Income & Expenses
Mileage
Connect Bank
CIS
1 User




Income & Expenses
Mileage
Connect Bank
CIS
1 User




Income & Expenses
Mileage
Connect Bank Accounts
CIS
3 Users
Bills and Payments
Multi-currency


Income & Expenses
Mileage
Connect Bank Accounts
CIS
3 Users
Bills and Payments
Multi-currency
Budgets
Purchase orders
Stock
£8 per month£12 per month£20 per month£30 per month

Sage

Sage is considered one of the most popular accounting software tools today. With its comprehensive range of features and tools, it can meet your varied accounting needs. As with Xero and QuickBooks, it has a good dashboard, and transactions are easy to post.

The pricing starts from £12 per month but has limited features. The most popular package is £24 per month. An add on for sage is Auto-Entry, which allows you to add purchase invoices easily; it is free for the first three months.

Accountants have used Sage for years, and it may be their chosen software package. The software allows multi-users, including bookkeepers and accountants.

StartStandardPlus
Invoices
Bank Reconciliation
VAT
1 user



Invoices
Bank Reconciliation
VAT
Unlimited users
CIS
Forecasting

Invoices
Bank Reconciliation
VAT
Unlimited users
CIS
Forecasting
Multi-currency
Stock
£12 per month£24 per month£30 per month

Freeagent

Although it is called Freeagent, it is only free for NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland or Ulster Bank NI business current account holders. The pricing depends on the business structure — Sole-trader £19 per month, Limited Companies £29 per month and partnerships £24 per month.

One of the pricing advantages of Freeagent is that payroll, time tracking and uploading expenses are included in the price structure.

As with most online software, they have an easy to use dashboard and accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.

I know of bookkeepers who use it to run their practice and invite all their clients to use it.

The pricing depends on the business structure — Sole-trader £19 per month, Limited Companies £29 per month and partnerships £24 per month.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is another excellent cloud-based accounting solution. Prices start from £11, which allows you to invoice up to 5 clients. The next plan is £19 for 50 billable clients.

The software includes Mobile mileage tracking, recurring billing, tracking expenses, time tracking and estimates.

KashFlow

KashFlow is another online accounting package offering a solution for companies. It provides a good dashboard, invoicing, quotations, mileage, purchases and VAT returns. They also provide an additional payroll service.

Prices start from £8 per month. Most medium-sized businesses would require the next plan at £16.50 per month, which also includes multi-currency.

Pandle

Pandle Review Dashboard

Pandle has an entirely free version of the software. It is not as advanced as XERO, QuickBooks or Sage, but also has paid options so you can expand your accounts as the business grows. When starting, keeping the costs to a minimum might be an important factor in the choice.

Pandle is easy to use but does have limited reports and features. They are investing time and money to improving Pandle. The dashboard has undoubtedly improved over the last few months, showing the bank, expenses, and income details.

They have a free version, and the paid version is just £5 per month, making it one of the cheapest solutions on the market.

Crunch

Crunch is a UK based accounting software provider. It is ideal for start-ups, as it has a free version. Paid versions start from £24.50 for sole traders. Compared to others, you may think this is expensive, but it includes expert advice and will prepare the self-assessment tax return.

If you

Dex want to prepare your accounts but have backup support, this might be a good option.

Bokio

Bokio is another accounting software tools free option. I hadn’t looked at it for a while but thought it was worth updating the bank feed to get a feel for it again. Unfortunately, my bank feed failed due to an internal error.

It is still worth looking at if you are after free accounting software. Bokio earns their money by selling additional services and have accountants on hand. The software has a simple to use dashboard and menu. The main disadvantage is the lack of reports available.

Manager Free

Manager Accounting Software Home

Manager has a few options for their software. The main difference is that the free version is downloaded onto your computer, but desktop only. It is excellent if you have limited internet access or prefer to keep your accounts offline.

The desktop edition still has some great features for free accounting software and good reporting.

WaveApps

WaveApps is another free accounting software tools package. A few years ago, I recommended it to a few clients but have now moved them to alternatives. Wave is currently not taking on new UK clients. If you are in the US or Canada, Wave is a good choice.

Our number 1 Accounting Software Tools Recommendation

XERO. It is also one of the best accounting software solutions available in the market. It can manage your books, your expenses and can keep a tab on your revenues as well. With its easy-to-use modules, you can keep a practical and handy track of your transactions and make your accounting work much easier and faster.

If you are looking for accounting programs that will help you manage your finances, marketing tools, invoice processing, and a lot more, you should consider using Xero.

Free Excel Bookkeeping Templates

Cash Book Template

Business Accounting Basics have developed their own free Excel templates to help businesses with their accounting needs. Our templates include cash book, petty cash, forecasting, debtors, creditors and form templates.

All our templates are easy to use, include instructions and free to download.

Conclusion for Accounting Software Tools

Accounting software tools are designed to give every business owner the convenience of handling their business matters even from their desk’s confines. By eliminating the need for costly onsite staff, entrepreneurs can save on expenses and time and effort. Since they are cloud-based, you don’t have to worry about having a local staff’s expense and maintenance costs. Accounting software tools to help small business owners be successful.

To read more on accounting software tools take a look at our section on accounting software reviews.

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