"Software is a great combination between artistry and engineering." -Bill Gates
Older ones are always amazed by the advances in technology. Never in their wildest dreams did they imagine a smartphone with video calling, electric cars or applications that aid individuals in completing their daily tasks.
The technological world has come a long way and has created things that leave us awe-inspired. While some people claim that there are certain disadvantages, it is important to note that the overall benefits outweigh them.
All professional sectors have been affected in some way or another by technology. Lawyers, teachers, construction workers and even accountants use technology to facilitate their labour tasks and make life easier.
Superprof is here to demonstrate to those learning all about accounting, business and finance, the different types of accounting systems available online and the most common advantages and disadvantages discovered by those who frequently use accounting software.
So sit back and relax with your favourite cup of tea while we take you an adventure in accounting software!
Highly Recommended Accounting Software
Keeping your business or personal finances in order is indispensable. Billing needs to be done properly to have invoices sent on time, financial statements need to be prepared for potential auditing, tax forms need to be filled out, and cash flows need to be kept organised to forecast the future of the enterprise correctly.
Thanks to modern technology all of the previously mentioned tasks can now be completed easier than before. Accounting software has been designed to help business owners achieve accounting or bookkeeping chores more efficiently.
Without further ado, we will now consider some of the most recommended online accounting software.
Considered by many experts in the accounting industry as the best software for small business owners, firms, agencies, and consultancies.
The extremely easy to use interface, that was designed for non-accountants, has plenty of features and many popular services. Individuals can send their clients professional looking invoices in a matter of minutes. The expenses feature offered on the website makes tracking expenses and spending incredibly accessible to all and makes you say goodbye to the unorganised piles of receipts you have under your bed!
Additional features include time tracking, projects, payments and reporting that are all included on the website to make life easier.
The FreshBooks mobile application makes it possible to work on your accounting from anywhere in the world. It can be downloaded off the App Store or Google Play Store.
If all of the above sounds interesting to you, FreshBooks can be tried for 30 days without even submitting a credit card number.
After the 30-day trial run of using this accounting system, business owners can choose between the lite, plus or premium option.
The lite option is priced at £11.40 per month and features invoices, estimates, time tracking, expenses and the ability to accept online credit cards payments. However, it is important to note that the lite option only covers five clients. If you run a moderately sized business, this option is not for you. Consider the plus option.
The plus option allows you to support up to 50 clients, provides the opportunity to send payment reminders and recurring invoices automatically. It is an excellent value priced at £19 per month.
If you are slowly becoming a business tycoon due to the large number of clients you have, it is highly recommended to spend the extra money and upgrade to a premium account which allows you to attend up to 500 clients.
Signing up to FreshBooks is a great idea to keep your finances in line and take advantage of the best accounting software available.
Around since the days of DOS, Quickbooks online is a small business accounting software has been a leader in the finance industry for decades.
It can be used on any computer or as an application on any smartphone. A free-30 day trial is offered to any interested individual to test things out before buying.
An interesting fact is that Intuit Quickbooks is even recognised by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
There are three plans offered to better organize small business accounting. The Self-Employed plan that starts at £4 monthly for the first six months and is recommended for freelancers and independent contractors, the Essentials plan that begins at £9 regularly for the first six months and the Plus plan that is priced at £14 monthly for the first six months. The last two plans are recommended for small businesses, and VAT registered companies.
Some noteworthy features of the previously mentioned plans include free 24/7 technical support, easy setup and the option to cancel at any time.
The Essentials plan has many useful features such as invoicing, expense tracking, payment handling, the calculation of VAT, management of payroll and pensions. An excellent feature for those on the run is the automatic mileage tracking service which allows business owners to drive up tax deductions. It's like having a bookkeeper in your pocket!
Intuit Quickbooks is genuinely a lifesaver that rescues people from wasting time on other business accounting methods.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting
An industry leader that keeps clients coming back for more. Some impressive highlights of this accounting software include an interface that is neatly presented and easy to use, outstanding customer service and a 30-day free trial that is offered to all without any commitment.
Sage caters to the needs of small business owners, accountants and bookkeepers offering a competitive rate of £22 per month for their top accounting plan.
Features of their top accounting plan include modules to manage quotes, invoices, handling and submitting VAT online, smart bank fees, cash flow forecasting, detailed reports, currency support and project tracking.
If Sage's top accounting plan is too fancy for your small business, there is a basic plan called Accounting Start that includes all the necessary features for those who are just starting in the business world.
The Sage Business Cloud Accounting software can be used at home on your computer or on-the-go using your mobile.
KashFlow is fantastic accounting software that is currently being used by over 54,000 businesses in the United Kingdom. Check out the website to see all of the glowing testimonials.
Interested ones have the choice between three different pricing plans:
- Starter: this plan offers intriguing elements such as sending unlimited quotes, ten invoices and the ability to reconcile up to 25 bank transactions. It is the most affordable of the three priced at only £8 per month plus VAT. It is recommended for sole traders, contractors and small businesses. Nevertheless, it is much better to pay the extra money and subscribe to the business plan,
- Business: the most highly recommended of the three. Tailormade for growing companies and limited companies to send unlimited quotes and invoices, reconcile unlimited bank transactions and can be used by multiple users. Priced at only £15 per month plus VAT, this is a steal of a deal!
- Business + Payroll: this third option has the same features of the business package plus the added payroll of up to 5 employees. Priced at £21 plus VAT this an excellent opportunity for small businesses who also want an accounting software that offers payroll.
KashFlow is extremely easy to use and set up, accounting can be done on the go, and it is a complete software offering options to get paid and fill your taxes.
Bitrix 24 is a free accounting software that is currently being used by over 4,000,000 companies worldwide.
It is available in 12 different languages, has attractive and unlimited features such as leads, deals, contacts, companies, quotes, invoices, and appointment scheduling.
There are documentation and webinars to train curious individuals about the CRM software.
A highly recommended method of free accounting that is perfect for new small business owners who do not have much capital and extra money to throw around on other software.
Many of the previously mentioned accounting software offer tutorials, technical support and valuable tips to keep track of bills, online invoicing, budgeting and to use the technology most effectively. Superprof also offers many tutors who are tech-savvy and possess previous knowledge about modern accounting techniques.
Are you looking for accounting lessons so you can learn to use this software to its fullest extent?
Advantages and Disadvantages of Accounting Software
Just like everything in life, there are pros and cons to using accounting software.
No method or software is perfect. Therefore, accountants, finance professionals and small business owners need to have an open mind and try as many different accounting methods and software before deciding on the one that best suits them.
To help business owners and those working in the finance industry make an educated decision on whether to stick to real books or switch to digital, we will consider the advantages and disadvantages of using accounting software.
It is important to note that the following observations are from professionals who have taken the time to try new accounting software and provide interested ones with unbiased declarations.
Here are a few advantages of using accounting software:
- Increased Efficiency and Speed: by using accounting software simple tasks such as creating an invoice, managing inventory or keeping track of a general ledger are done more efficiently. Even the most labour-intensive and challenging accounting processes can be done in an automated manner by utilising accounting software. All accounting-based planning becomes faster. Statements and reports can be completed on a couple of clicks which pleases clients and employers,
- Easily accessible information: using a web-based accounting software turns out to be simple for others to access accounting information outside the workplace. Small business owners can also create invoices and register daily expenses on the spot with an accounting software on the mobile phone,
- Backup all of your information: automated accounting allows you to manually enter all of your essential accounting information and back it up for further reference. Keeping a printed copy of all your account transactions and parallel backup is exceptionally possible with accounting software and not with manually accounting.
There are many more advantages of accounting software that can be discussed. However, the previously mentioned benefits are the most frequently appreciated characteristics of online accounting tools.
As for the disadvantages of business accounting software, the following examples are the most recurrent annoyances of accounting professionals and small business owners:
- The Expense: whichever accounting software you decide to choose it will always be more costly than a paper-based system. Online accounting systems need to be renewed monthly or yearly to keep accessing your financial information with any interruptions. It is important to note that a monthly subscription to one of the best online accounting software can be pricey,
- Implementation: manual records are a lot easier to set up and can be a lot more adaptable than computerised accounting. It is also important to note that to correctly set up an accounting software system you will need help from an accountant or software provider, and this can sometimes end up being quite costly and difficult to understand.
- Security and performance issues: while cloud-based accounting technology can be your best friend as a small business owner, many hackers are eager to steal your precious financial information. Cybersecurity issues are not the only problems, computer viruses and PC crashes can cause you to lose all the information you entered into the accounting software you are using.
Choosing to use accounting software is a choice that many individuals or corporations will have to make to bring their businesses to the 21st century.
If this blog article interested you, why not check out our other accounting-based blogs about key accounting concepts, basic accounting terminology, how to read a profit and loss sheet, and double-entry bookkeeping and accounting principles.