5 Best Accounting Software Options For Small Businesses In 2017
By Brendon Ratos
Xero has 700,000 users in over 180 countries, and has been named Forbes most innovative growth company twice. Their software is very innovative compared to the other accounting software, boasting impressive time-saving features and advanced user permissions. The starter package is $9 a month, while the standard package is $30 a month, giving users unlimited access. It can also be tried free for 30 days at no cost. Xero has all of the features you would need to maximize your business' accounting efficiency. According to reviews, the customer service team is spot on with any questions you have. They also have an in-software, question search function to provide instant help. As well, they have a lot of partners and integrations, helping optimize a lot of processes.
Xero's mobile app is lacking much of the functionality of the desktop version, just like other accounting software. Another concern seems to be the intuitiveness of the software, as it takes some time to learn how to access and use all of it's features. In all fairness their in-software help does counteract this to an extent. The reporting and payroll sections are also weak points that need to be improved in the future. Overall however, this is a great alternative to QuickBooks and has some great features that set it apart.
2) Zoho Books
Zoho is a perfect solution for business owners who do their own accounting. Out of all the accounting software options, it is the most simple to use, and provides unlimited users and features for $24 a month. Just like the more recognized names on this list, Zoho boasts great automation features to help make your accounting as simple as possible. You can try Zoho for a free 14 days to test it's features before deciding to make a purchase. One thing that sets Zoho apart from the rest is their mobile app, that offers the same full functionality of the computer software. If you are always on the go and will rely on your accounting software's mobile app, Zoho is definitely the way to go. Another huge benefit for Zoho is its customer support, with 24 hour phone support available 5 days a week, better than any other software.
Since Zoho books is relatively smaller then the big players, they do have a limited amount of third party integrations. They integrate with Google Apps and Square, and offer a new integration with Zapier which can help the lack of native integrations. Another disadvantage is that there is no payroll feature in Zoho, which would be a problem in the future when your business decides to hire a handful of employees. With these small disadvantages, Zoho is still a very strong contender in the cloud accounting software space.
QuickBooks arguably gives you the best bang for your buck. For single users, like small business owners and consultants, QuickBooks' cheapest plan is 9.99 a month for one user. This software offers most of the necessary accounting features that businesses need, including reporting, tracking income and expenses, bank account integration, and tax preparation and filing. There is also a free trial option along with tons of demos and videos to really get the feel of the software. QuickBooks has a really simple and effective dashboard, along with tons of time saving features that maximize the efficiency of a your business.
One setback is QuickBooks' mobile software. Unlike Zoho, QuickBooks' mobile version offers very minimal features compared to what the full version can do. Another setback is the setup of their online software, with complaints ranging from very complicated to set up, to the non seamless conversion from desktop to online.
4) Sage One
Sage One is meant for startups, starting at $25 monthly it is very affordable and has the basic features to get you by. This includes bank account integration, a mobile app, invoicing, time tracking and financial reporting. This software gives you all the tools you need to run your finances efficiently by organizing information in a clear way.
Through looking at a large number of reviews, the largest complaint seems to be the inefficiency of the Sage customer service. This might be very important when first implementing the software, where you would need to rely on their support to learn all of the features and answer any questions. There are also many negative reviews relating to mobile app crashes, which more than anything will test your patience.
ClearBooks is a cloud based accounting software, making it accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. In regards to pricing, the software is around 16 pounds (around 20 US dollars) monthly, depending on if you choose the one year or two year plan. ClearBooks also gives the option to try the product free for 30 days, allowing you to see if it is the right fit for you. The software itself is very simple and intuitive to use, easy for both accountants and non accountants alike. The dashboard is very customizable, allowing you to choose between 163 different menu options to display. There are countless reviews praising the customer service team at ClearBooks, saying they are dedicated and passionate. This is a nice bonus to know that the company is right there to support you, without having to go through a long automated phone menu.
First and foremost, ClearBooks is a largely based in the UK, with 97% of its clients and all of its servers residing there. This means that anyone in the America has to deal with small differences like UK time and date formatting as well as VAT tax rates. Also, since ClearBooks has so many features, the organization of them can be somewhat confusing for a first time user. Countless reviews say they do not do a good job of consolidating features that are similar. Lastly many reviews say that the mobile app is very slow and definitely needs some work. All in all, ClearBooks looks like a comprehensive accounting software for a great price.