Software for accounting: 8 software options to consider
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 9 June 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Successfully tracking financial income and expenses is essential for any business, whether that business specialises in accounting or not. Accounting software is one of the most versatile and rewarding investments a company can make when it comes to ensuring that accounts are being tracked and maintained. Whether you're working as an accountant or choosing a new software platform for an organisation, it's important that you find the software that best fits your requirements. In this article, we explore some of the best software for accounting tasks.
What is software for accounting?
If you're working as an accountant or managing accounting tasks for an organisation, you may be interested in exploring software for accounting tasks. Accounting software is a broad term to describe any piece of software that allows users to perform accounting functions. This includes tracking expenses, streamlining payment processes, checking streams of income and more. The exact purpose of accounting software varies depending on why a company developed an individual piece of software. Some accounting software offers a specialised service tailored to a certain type of business, whilst others remain generalised and suitable for universal, everyday use.
What are the best accounting software programs?
There are many different types of accounting software that offer a wide selection of services. The best accounting software is determined on an individual basis. For instance, many companies require a general piece of software to track their financial movement. Other companies, like accounting firms, rely on software to manage their clients' activity in a professional capacity. Below are 10 of the popular accounting software options you may consider:
QuickBooks is one of the most widely used pieces of accounting software. There are several plans available for users to pay for, including affordable self-employed options for those that work freelance. Some of the most popular plan options from QuickBooks include the Simple Start plan, the Essentials plan and the Plus plan. This software may offer a variety of features, including:
variety of plans available to suit all levels of financial tracking requirement
self-employed option for the individuals that don't work as part of a company
full-functionality and a range of accounting services hosted through the software
intuitive mobile app for on-the-go accounting solutions
support from an award-winning team of QuickBook experts
FreshBooks is another popular choice of accounting software that businesses can rely on. There are three available plans for FreshBooks users to choose from, which are the Lite plan, the Plus plan and the Premium plan. FreshBooks is a reliable option for sole traders, with the option to add additional contributors available regardless of the plan you choose. Some helpful features may include:
smooth user interface that allows for simple and easy use
unlimited invoicing with every plan, including the Lite plan
sole trader option for those that are self-employed
a variety of plans available to suit all business levels
affordability ideal for newly emerging businesses or SMEs
Related: 13 Essential accountant skills
Xero is among the most widely recognised pieces of accounting software. One of the main appeals of Xero is that it offers reflexive business reporting in the form of several tools, such as bill tracking and payroll updating. Xero has three plans, which are the Starter plan, the Standard plan and the Professional plan. Some features this software offers include:
fully customisable dashboard to match your requirements
clean and simple interface featuring a distinct colour scheme
digestible overview of accounting statistics to track at a glance
24/7 customer support for advice and assistance regarding software use
easy integration available with more than 800 other apps
Sage is among the best accounting software for those individuals or businesses that prioritise customer support. There are three plans available, which include Accounting Start, Accounting Standard and Accounting Plus. Sage remains one of the most reputable choices for SMEs since it was first founded in 1981. Here are some features it includes:
a variety of tracking options available for multiple currencies
multiple plan choices for businesses of all sizes
affordable starter plan for emerging businesses or freelancers
a variety of advanced features available for business growth
simple and easily navigable user interface
Ember is a piece of accounting software that excels in the expert assistance that it provides to users. It distinguishes itself apart as accounting software because it also offers 24/7 access to an experienced accountant. This accountant can provide assistance regarding accounting activity and financial strategies. This software typically offers:
a flat fee plan plus an additional fee for extra users added
powerful accounting tools to help track and manage accounts
a 30-day free trial for new users to test out the tools
access to 24/7 support regarding financial queries
advice from a dedicated accountant regarding your accounts
FreeAgent is an ideal choice of accounting software for limited companies. Unlike many of the other accounting software on this list, FreeAgent has just a single plan that companies can use for a single, fixed monthly fee. FreeAgent is also ideal for sole traders and partnerships thanks to its profit-share calculator and self-assessment tools. Some beneficial features it offers include:
access to award-winning support
a single fixed fee plan for easy payments
easy-to-use tools ideal for all levels of understanding
free use for RBS banking and Natwest customers
ClearBooks is a piece of accounting software that many businesses may choose. It offers a variety of the most essential accounting services, including invoicing, payroll tracking, compiling reports and more. A benefit of ClearBooks is that it provides users with a digestible cross-section of their registered accounts. Some important features it offers may include:
an easy-to-use supplier filtering system
an opportunity to share data among users to collaborate
a vast choice of key accounting tools
an option to download on multiple mobile interfaces
a variety of plans for both small and large businesses
Pandle is an efficient and easy-to-use accounting software that offers a variety of tools a business may use to manage its finances effectively. This includes invoicing, reporting, stock control and uploading receipts. The base version of Pandle is free, but Pandle Pro is also available for a fixed fee and offers additional accounting features. Some important features include:
live chat support for accounting tool assistance
simple accounting tools ideal for all customers
downloadable mobile app on multiple interfaces that work with a variety of phones
collaboration features for efficient, fast-paced teamwork
comprehensive accounting tools ideal for SMEs
How to choose the right accounting software
With all of the different accounting software available out there, it may be challenging to choose the best platform. There are some simple steps you can take to determine what software accounting tools you require and, therefore, which piece of software is best for you. Here's how to choose the right accounting software:
1. Consider what you want and need from the software
If you're choosing a software platform for a company, the first step is to determine exactly what the business's needs are and what features you want. If you're choosing one for your own accounting software, consider what you require in a program. Also, consider how many clients you work with and how you want to manage these accounts. Many of the essential accounting tools, such as invoicing and payroll, are likely to appear in the basic plans. The advanced plans of accounting software are likely to each offer differing additional features, which is why it's important to consider your needs.
2. Review your budget
After considering your needs and the features you want in a software platform, it's important to consider your software budget. Especially for smaller businesses, budget is a big deciding factor in which accounting software is most suitable. If you only have a small or limited budget, one of the free accounting software is likely to be the best choice. If budget isn't an issue, then consider software that has an advanced plan with more features.
3. Check compatibility
Not all pieces of accounting software are available on every system or device type. If the business operates on only one type of system, it's important to ensure that your chosen software is compatible. In doing so, you ensure that your new investment can run on your systems.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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