Best Cloud Accounting Software for Small Businesses

Cloud accounting software offers small businesses a fast, easy-to-use way of managing a complete range of financial functions. There is now a wide choice of programmes, all designed to relieve you from time-consuming financial tasks, and free you up to make a success of your business.

However, with so many options to choose from, it’s not necessarily easy to make the right choice. If you haven’t the time to investigate by yourself, advice from professional accountants who know the ins and outs of accounting software is invaluable. 

What are the advantages of cloud-based accounting software?

Here are the main advantages of using cloud-based business software, whether you are a sole trader, in a partnership, or in charge of a limited company:

  • Software is accessed through the cloud, so there is no need to load programmes on your local computer drive. 
  • Each time you sign in to the software, you have the latest version at your disposal, so you don’t need to worry about upgrades to new versions. 
  • You can also access the software from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. 
  • Information can be fed directly into and from other systems, including HMRC’s Making Tax Digital, PayPal and bank sites.
  • Payment is almost always through a monthly or annual subscription, so costs are entirely predictable. 
  • Information is easy to share with your accountant.

If you’ve yet to explore the options for your business, experienced chartered accountants such as Perrys can help. We are independent of any suppliers, so will always recommend software that’s best for your business. 

What accounting software is best for small businesses?

The good news for small businesses is that many software providers have developed their programmes with smaller scale organisations in mind. That approach covers making the software easy to use, keeping training requirements to a minimum, and keeping costs low. 

Large multinational providers include the likes of Xero, Quickbooks and Sage, as well as smaller developers like Clear Books. Other software businesses are growing from small enterprises to larger ones, such as FreeAgent which was recently acquired by NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland. In general, the bigger the developer, the more resources they put into continually improving the usability of the software. You can also find a selection of free accounting software. 

The best way to identify the software you need is to run through a checklist of how you want to use it.

Accounting Software for Small Businesses: Checklist

 

Which of the following financial functions does your business undertake?

  • Full financial record keeping
  • Bookkeeping
  • VAT payments
  • CIS (Construction Industry Scheme) returns
  • Corporation tax payments
  • Payroll
  • Workplace pensions
  • Expenses
  • Sharing information with your accountant
  • Feeding information to your bank
  • Invoices and payments
  • Quotes and estimates
  • Bills and purchases
  • Cash flow management
  • Multicurrency trading
  • Stock and inventory management
  • Analysis, reporting and dashboards
  • Completion of VAT returns
  • Making Tax Digital (MTD)

Do you require:

  • Options on extra features as your business grows
  • User support
  • Access by multiple users

The list isn't comprehensive, so don't forget to add any functions which are missing.

Choosing accounting software – next steps

By all means delve into different providers’ websites and see whether they offer all the functionality you need, but do set aside enough time to do so thoroughly – you’ll find reams of information to sift through. 

Alternatively, seek independent advice from an expert in small business accounting software. The right guidance can help you choose a solution that does everything you want it to do, not just for the immediate future, but also as your business plans develop. If that’s the route you’d like to take, get in touch today.

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