At AK Tax, we’re a firm of specialist Xero accountants so it’s no surprise we’re big advocates of Xero’s cloud-based software. However, if you’d prefer to use a different system then we’d still be delighted to work with you.
Using dedicated online accountancy software as opposed to Excel or a paper ledger can take a lot of the drudgery out of preparing your accounts. Even the smallest businesses can benefit from having their accounts organised by a software package into an easily understandable layout. This can help you to understand how you could improve your approach to business, as well as helping to get your tax returns in on time.
Here are some of the best cloud accounting packages on the market today:
1) Xero: This cloud-based service first made an impact in Australia and New Zealand before coming to the UK. It offers a comprehensive range of features including online VAT returns and stock control. This makes it a perfect tool for almost all businesses. The software also allows us to take remote control and help you with any aspect of your accounts.
2) Kashflow: Like Xero, this service can also file VAT returns online. This is a great feature given the complexity of many businesses VAT returns. It means that you can put your return together within the programme and then submit it to HMRC in an acceptable format without any further work. Any business with a large enough turnover to qualify for VAT should seriously consider using an accounting package with this feature. A downside of the Kashflow service is that different users can’t be allocated different permission levels and passwords.
3) FreeAgent: This package is aimed squarely at freelancers and very small businesses. It is easy to use and understandable for people who are not used to preparing accounts. It also has powerful multi-user options that allow remote workers to log in and submit timesheets. This makes it great for companies who employ freelancers who work from home, for example. A drawback of the service is that it has no stock control facility. This will make it unsuitable for certain types of business.
4) Sage One Accounts: Based on the popular desktop accounting package of the same name, Sage One offers a more limited service via the cloud. While the package is too limited to be practical for larger companies, it does come with free telephone and email support. This makes it a good choice for those who are unsure about whether they’ll be able to get to grips with the software. On the downside, it doesn’t offer options for foreign currency transactions or stock control and the interface is complex for a relatively simple package.
5) Kashoo: This is a service that offers a range of options for companies that are conducting business in multiple countries. It allows you to input transactions in a wide range of different currencies. It updates exchange rates on a regular basis and allows you to use different tax rates and filing periods. A missing feature is the ability to track projects, something that might make it awkward to use for some businesses.