In the digital age, accounting packages are now almost universally cloud based.
Which accounting system should I choose?
Packages such as Quickbooks Online, Xero, Freeagent, SAGE One, and Kashflow, have all moved accounting away from the desktop and into the web browser, meaning your business’ finances are available anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Choosing the right package, is a decision which is vitally important for you and your business – we explore below some of the key points to look out for when selecting which accounting software provider to go for.
Size isn’t necessarily everything
But when selecting an accounting system, the size of your business is an important consideration. Larger businesses will need more complex tools such as multi-currency accounting and complex VAT reporting, which not all packages provide – make your selection carefully, or call Roffe Swayne for advice.
What is your budget?
As expected, prices rise with complexity and functionality. If your affairs are simple, a basic Freeagent subscription might be all you need (free with a Natwest business bank account), but if you can afford to pay for more functionality, you will get a lot more with a £20 per month subscription to Xero or Quickbooks.
What level of reporting do you need?
Many packages have inbuilt reporting tools, allowing you to analyse your financial data in real-time, at the click of a button. For instance, live tax liability balances, real-time P&L accounts, and project finance tracking are all available in Xero packages.
Don’t just look at what your accounting package can do on its own, but check what other integrations are on offer. Popular add-ons include:
- expense management tools to simplify employee expanse claims;
- payment integration tools;
- budgeting and forecasting tools;
- KPI tracking; and much more.
Simplifying HMRC reporting
Most packages are fully digitally integrated to HMRC now. This allows seamless management of VAT, PAYE, and Corporation Tax liabilities and payments. Especially with tax digitalisation marching forward, make sure you select a package which is well integrated with HMRC’s systems – this is extremely important.
Back-up and customer support
There will no doubt be times where you need a little help. Making sure that your chosen provider has a ready and willing team to support their customers is important.
Set-up and tailoring
Make sure you know how to move from your existing system onto your new one. The process of shifting data between systems can be daunting – if in doubt make sure you have someone on hand to assist. Quite often we are called in at this stage to help, it is the most important data held within your business so you want to make sure nothing is lost in the migration.