Online accounting software has revolutionised the way accountants provide accountancy services. Businesses should get a better and cheaper service from their accountant by using online accounting software. It makes it easier to do your accounts, both the bookkeeping and then converting the online bookkeeping records into accounts. Read about 10 of the many benefits of getting your accounts online below.
In fact, HMRC will soon make it mandatory to use online accounting software, by requiring quarterly submissions of data. Making Tax Digital is already here for VAT registered businesses. It will soon be required for Income Tax, then Corporation Tax. Don’t worry if you’re not yet using online accounting software. We can help you move onto any one of them that you choose. Such as the free Pandle or the easy to use Xero.
Still need convincing?…
10 benefits of using online accounting software. 1-3:
- Do your accounts on the beach…
Because online accounting software is in the cloud, it means you can log-in to do or view your accounts from anywhere, at anytime. At your customer’s site, in a pub, or even on the beach!
- Let the software do all the hard work…
Import your bank statement, or easily set up an authorised feed from your bank account or Paypal to the secure online accounting software. All you need to do is tell it what each transaction is for. So you don’t need to manually enter anything, but if you choose to do it this way, the software can automatically check and compare your records with the bank statements. There are also free apps that will read images of receipts and invoices and enter the data onto the software for you!
- Advice when you need it, not a year later…
You can give us secure access to your online accounting software. So we can both look at your accounts and deal with any issues. In fact we’ll ask to look at your accounts regularly to see how you’re doing, and offer relevant timely advice.
More benefits of using online accounting software. 4-6:
- We don’t want your records!….
At your period end, we don’t need you to bring in your records. We’ll just log into your online accounting software and view what we need to produce your accounts etc. We’ll let you know if we do need anything e.g. a scanned bank statement. Of course if we do your bookkeeping, we will need some form of records.
- FREE or low monthly charges…
Wave Accounting Software is free, and we all love a bargain, but what’s the catch? Well you might notice some small discreet adverts, but they are tailored to your business, so they may even be useful. Others we also recommend charge a low monthly fee from between £5 and £19, so spreading the affordable cost over the year. Also, there are free trials and no tie in periods, so if you change your mind, no penalties.
- Easy to use software…
You don’t need to be wizz on computers, or an accountant, or even a bookkeeper to use online accounting software. The providers we recommend have designed their software to be so easy you shouldn’t need help with it. But just in case you do, they all offer free support, and being local we are never far away. We’ll also help you get going with it, for free.
Even more benefits of using online accounting software. 7-10:
- Safer & securer than other records…
Your accounts data is stored by the software providers on secured, monitored, and constantly backed up servers. Data security is a top priority, and some providers claim to be as secure as your online banking. Still not convinced? Ask yourself this: How secure are your paper records? – are they kept in a fireproof safe? Do you password protect and backup your spreadsheets? – are they encrypted when you email them? Do you backup your current software data daily? – is the backup stored securely offsite?
- Instant reports for your business…
Each of the online accounting software comes with a bundle of reports so you’re likely to find what you need. So at the click of a button you can view all sorts of things about your business such as what you owe, who owes you, how much profit you made.
- Get off to the best start, not a false start…
By logging into your accounts from anywhere, we can fix any errors there and then. Which means your reports are always accurate, and start off from the correct position. So there’s no need to wait for the year end adjustments from your accountant several months later, we will have already adjusted your online accounting software.
- Not low, NO maintenance bookkeeping…
There’s no need to start a new page, or a new cashbook. No rolling forward of spreadsheets from one year to the next. There are no software updates to buy and load, this is done automatically. And no messing about sending records to and from your accountant, or trying to get software backups to restore onto the accountants’ version. So you just login and go – easy!
How we can help you
We are online accounting software specialists. We’re committed to giving you a better service for less, by utilising all of the benefits of online accounting. Plus we’re not tied to any particular software provider such as Xero, SageOne, or Kashflow, so you’ll get honest independent advice on which is best for your business. If the free one, Wave Accounting, is all you need then why pay for something else?
All of our accounts clients get free help moving to online accounting software, and free help throughout the year. See our fees, or contact us by clicking the buttons below.
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In this post we’ll explain how to do a VAT return in Wave Accounting.
What is this free Wave Accounting?
Wave provide good free online accounting software. It’s paid for by small adverts at the side of the screen that you’ll hardly notice. Wave Accounting is a Canadian company who have built free accounting software mainly for Canada and the USA. But it can also be used in the UK and you can certainly work out what should go onto a VAT return in Wave. AS explained below, on anything other than the normal VAT scheme, you will need to adjust what is shown on the VAT return in Wave.
Accounting for VAT in Wave
VAT is a sales tax and that’s what it’s called in Wave Accounting. You’ll first need to set up your VAT rates by going to Settings (cog button), Sales Taxes, then Add a Sales Tax. See the image below for the settings you’ll need for the standard UK VAT rate at the time of publishing this post.
You may also need to set up other rates for your VAT return in Wave such as zero rate (0%) and the EC Reverse Charge rate which is explained below. Once you’ve set up the rates of VAT in Wave, you can then start adding or claiming VAT in Wave as follows:
Sales invoice and Bill: once you add a line to a sales invoice or bill in Wave, simply select the appropriate VAT rate. Wave will work out the VAT for you based on the percentage entered.
Transactions: add or select the income or expense in Transactions, then click on show details. The Taxes box will appear so you can select the appropriate VAT rate as shown below.
Running a Report for your VAT Return in Wave
The report you’ll need to do your VAT Return in Wave is the Sales Tax report. Just select the start and end dates for the period that your VAT return needs to cover then click on Update. Any transactions on which a VAT rate has been selected will appear in the report. The report is separated into a section for each VAT rate.
The summary report shows the totals and the audit report shows every transaction. The Payable columns are for income and sales (excluding VAT) and VAT on income and sales. The Receivable columns are for expenses and bills (excluding VAT) and VAT on expenses and bills. Then the difference between the two VAT amounts is the net VAT payable or receivable.
Normal Accruals VAT Return in Wave
The normal accrual basis VAT scheme is where you calculate and pay/claim VAT at 20% based on the date your customers are invoiced or the date you are billed. If you are on the normal accrual basis VAT scheme, you can use the VAT Return in Wave as it is.
Normal Cash VAT Return in Wave
The normal cash basis VAT scheme is where you calculate and pay/claim VAT at 20% based on the date your customers pay you or the date you pay suppliers. If you are on the normal cash basis VAT scheme, you need to adjust your VAT Return in Wave. The adjustments are shown below. You’ll need the Aged Receivables and Aged Payables reports both at the start and the end date of the VAT period.
Flat Rate Accruals VAT Return in Wave
Currently, calculating flat rate VAT in Wave isn’t possible. But you can easily find the VAT inclusive income amount you need by running a Sales Tax Report and adding the Payable amounts for before tax (net) and tax (VAT). Don’t forget that all income needs to be included in the flat rate scheme calculation, so you may want to use a ‘Zero’ rate or a ‘No VAT’ rate on income where VAT isn’t charged so that it appears in the report. Once you have your total VAT-inclusive income, just apply your flat rate percentage to calculate the VAT payable.
Flat Rate Cash VAT Return in Wave
Use the same workings for sales as shown above in Normal Cash VAT Return in Wave. Then add the net and VAT amounts, then apply your flat rate percentage to calculate the VAT payable.
Submitting your VAT Return
Currently, you can’t submit your VAT Return in Wave. So just like some other leading software, you have to log into your HMRC account and enter the amounts manually.
We can do your VAT Return in Wave for you
Our Quarterly package from just £40 plus VAT per month includes VAT returns as well as Accounts, Tax Returns, Management Accounts and general support and advice. Contact us for more details.
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CloudBook Accountants are BeanBalance accountants. BeanBalance is free online accounting software that you can use to do your bookkeeping and more. Do you use BeanBalance and need an accountant to do your accounts and tax returns? CloudBook Accountants can use BeanBalance to do those for you.
Why do I need an accountant for BeanBalance?
Free online accounting software like BeanBalance and Wave are great at helping you do your bookkeeping. If you know what you’re doing you may even be able to use BeanBalance to do your VAT and Payroll. Otherwise, you will need an accountant to check your VAT and Payroll before submitting to HMRC. You will definitely, despite what BeanBalance suggest, need an accountant to produce the reports required that comply with the latest laws and regulations (e.g. accounts, tax returns). Then submit the necessary reports to HMRC and if applicable Companies House. CloudBook Accountants can use BeanBalance to do your bookkeeping, accounts, tax returns, payroll and VAT returns.
What does BeanBalance do for me if I still need an accountant?
At CloudBook we do everything for you at low monthly fixed fees. Other accountants can be expensive, so the more you do, the less an accountant does, so the less you pay. BeanBalance helps you do better bookkeeping and more, which saves your accountant time and you money. Here are some of the things BeanBalance will save you from using an accountant:
- Bank statement imports – saves you from entering bank transactions
- Categorising expenses – made easy and the software learns to auto-suggest
- Invoicing – including customising, sending, repeating and chasing
- Expense claims – keeping track of what you’re owed from the business
- VAT – calculating what needs to be submitted on the HMRC website
- Payroll – calculating deductions, producing payslips, submitting RTI to HMRC
- Reporting – essential reports to see how the business is doing
- Tax – estimating what you will need to pay
How do BeanBalance Accountants work with you?
At the time of writing, BeanBalance were still developing their software to enable you to give other users access to your BeanBalance account. In the meantime, you can either export just a few reports that we’ll need to convert your BeanBalance data into accounts etc. Or you can share your login details with us which will be kept securely and doesn’t give any access to bank details.
So if you use or like the look of BeanBalance Accounting Software, you don’t have to use the services linked to it. You can use CloudBook Accountants who use BeanBalance. As BeanBalance Accountants we’ll help you get the most from the software and keep your accountant’s fees at low fixed monthly amounts.
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Xero Review: Beautiful Accounting Software?
Our Xero review is based on us using it for ourselves and many of our clients for several years almost every day. We work with any online accounting software that our clients choose, so we’re not affiliated or biased towards any, so our Xero review is completely objective.
We think Xero Accounting lives up to its tagline – beautiful accounting software. Everything is clearly laid out, it runs smoothly, and it’s easy to use. Xero have made it as pleasurable as it can get to log in every day to update your accounts. The easier this is, the more likely you are to do it and not get behind with things which would make it more of a chore. Read through our Xero review to find out why what exactly makes it so good, and also a few things that aren’t so good.
Xero Review: Signing up
Xero offer free trials and introductory offers. Our clients can also get a 15% discount off of the Xero fees.
Xero offer a Starter package at a very competitive £9pcm which gives you full use of everything except multi-currency and payroll, but restricts you to 5 invoices, 5 bills and 20 bank transactions. Ideal for contractors.
Next up is their Standard package at a slightly pricey £20pcm (£17pcm after our discount), but you’d need to compare the added cost to the extra time you’d save using Xero. The Standard package removes the restrictions on the Starter package.
Finally, the Premium package is £25pcm, but only seems to offer multi-currency as an extra. This is disappointing considering other software like the free Wave accounting (which we also work with a lot) has multi-currency as standard.
Payroll can be added on at £5pcm for up to a certain number of employees then £1 per extra employee.
Xero Review: Setting up
Where other software launches you straight in, Xero reviews your signup details then takes you step by step through the settings tailored for you, so that you don’t miss anything. This is a great feature and a lot of our clients have done this perfectly well without any of our help.
Unfortunately, at the time of this Xero review, it doesn’t offer a choice of tailored sets or charts of accounts. These differ quite a lot depending on whether you are a company, partnership or sole trader. So a few self-starters may end up with a few accounts missing and a few that are not relevant. However, a chart of accounts can be imported, and that’s what we do when setting up our clients on Xero for free. This makes sure the relevant accounts are available such as dividends instead of drawings for companies.
Xero Review: Bank accounts
Recording bank transactions on Xero is easy and almost a pleasure! You can link Xero to almost any bank account to create a bank feed. This is done either via a third party service called Yodlee, or directly with your bank. Once linked, your bank transactions can be imported with just a click of the refresh button. Then you just need to click on Reconcile in Xero review and ‘reconcile’ each transaction by either matching it to an invoice or creating a new income, expense or transfer.
We love the way each transaction is boxed rather than in a line. On the left is what was imported from the bank, and on the right is another box for how you want to record that transaction. Xero reviews the details of the transaction and suggests what to do with it. If you’re happy with how the transaction will be recorded, click OK in the middle and the two boxes sweep away and the next two move up. As smooth and as beautiful as it can get!
As well as importing your bank transactions, you can also save time reconciling your transactions. As mentioned, Xero reviews the details and remembers what you did with the same or similar transaction last time, and suggests the same treatment. Also, you can set up rules which identify characteristics of a transaction then treats it however you set up the rule. Ultimately, with enough rules you end up just clicking OK against every transaction because Xero knows exactly what to do with each one. So you’ve updated the accounts potentially without typing a single letter or number – a pleasure!
If you have a lot of transactions to reconcile, Xero does have a ‘cash coding’ method. This gives you a more traditional list of transactions which can be reordered by description to make it easier to bulk-reconcile similar transactions.
In theory, the traditional bank reconciliation is a thing of the past with Xero. Only the bank transactions are entered against into bank account via the free bank feed, so there should be no difference. You get a nice big green tick to confirm that you’ve reconciled all transactions and the balance on Xero agrees to the bank balance. A minor problem with this is if you use a sales collection service linked to your sales invoices. If your customer follows the link to pay your sales invoice via GoCardless for example, this shows as a bank receipt at that point even though it may take a week to reach your bank account. So you have a bank difference for that week.
In summary, the bank section in Xero makes it easier to update your accounts little and often. So if you’re like us, you end up doing it every day for a few minutes rather than every month for a couple of hours.
Xero Review: Sales invoicing
There’s very little to fault with the whole sales side of things on Xero. It’s very flexible, easy to use, and can be automated in various ways to save time.
Starting with Quotes, you can set up template quotes as draft then copy the draft quote each time you need to use that template. You can also set up template emails to use to send out the quote to potential customers. So it takes just a couple of minutes to enter details of a new contact, then click a few buttons to email them a quote. That quote can then be converted into a sales invoice to save you entering the details again.
Sales invoices can be emailed or printed in batches. They can be set to repeat and emailed automatically. Reminders can be set up to automatically chase unpaid invoices. There is also a Xero to Xero facility, so that a sales invoice raised in one Xero automatically appears as a bill in the other Xero. You can also send out statements to all of your customers in one go. This can’t be automated but there are free add-ons such as Satago that can automatically send statements every month.
Xero Review: Purchases or Bills
Purchase billing is quite similar to sales invoicing and works just as well.
Xero Review: Inventory
You can set up as many stock or service lines as you need, then allocate a cost price, sales price and quantity. Xero reviews all sales and purchases for the stock item then updates the quantity for you.
Xero Review: Expense claims
Xero has a good expense claim feature which allows you or your employees to update a claim each time an expense is incurred, then submit it for approval, and then have it paid.
Xero Review: Fixed assets and depreciation
Once you’ve set up your fixed asset categories, everytime a bill or expense is reconciled to a fixed asset account, Xero reviews the account and reminds you to set it up in fixed assets. Then you just have to click ‘Run Depreciation’ then Xero calculates the depreciation for you and puts it in the correct place.
Xero Review: Payroll
Again, there is a fair amount of setting up to do here, but once you’ve done that the routine payroll admin is quick and easy. If nothing has changed, it takes two clicks to run and post a payrun. Then another two clicks to email a payslip to each employee.
Xero Review: Reports
The Xero Reviews and Reports on your accounts are the best we’ve seen. They can be tailored to your specific requirements for the layout, period and detail. Then they can be published and stored on Xero for future reference.
Xero Review: VAT
Calculating and submitting your VAT returns on Xero also couldn’t be easier. Xero reviews your settings for whether you are cash or accrual based, standard or flat rate, monthly quarterly or annually, then adjusts the VAT report accordingly. Also, Xero reviews the previously submitted period for any changes and brings those amendments into the current period. Then you just have to enter your HMRC ID and password to submit the VAT return to HMRC without leaving Xero, unlike most other software packages.
Xero Review: Conclusion
Xero is so easy to use, and packs in so many features and options, that we simply have to recommend it to all of our clients. Otherwise we wouldn’t be doing our job. It comes at a cost, but unless you have lots of spare time and don’t need to save any, it will be worth it. Take a look for yourself by signing up for a free trial from the Xero Accounting website.
Xero Review: How we can help you with Xero Accounting
We are Xero Accounting specialists, using all of its features every day. So we help our clients use it throughout the year by securely logging into your account from where we are. Also, if we subscribe to Xero for you as your accountant, we can get you 15% off of the Xero fees. By using Xero Accounting (or any online accounting), you will also benefit from our low monthly fixed fees. We have a range of online accounting services which can be tailored to your specific needs.
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Wave Accounting Review – Free Online Accounting Software
CloudBook Online Accountants are Wave Accounting specialists. If you want to get the most out of free online accounting software, you need experts like us to assist you throughout the year. As well as this, we set you up on Wave Accounting and show you how to use it, all included in our low fixed accountancy fees.
This is our Wave Accounting Review. Wave provides free online accounting software, funded by some small adverts. If you’d like to see how Wave Accounting works, please also visit our page of Wave Accounting Videos. Also, because it is completely free online accounting software, you can just sign up and have a play with it here: Wave Accounting.
Our Wave Accounting Review
If you’re looking for the best free online accounting software, we recommend Wave Accounting. It’s ideal for small businesses with straightforward accounts who don’t want to pay a lot (or anything!) to make their bookkeeping easier, and potentially their accountants fees cheaper (like ours!). Wave Accounting or Wave Apps as they are now called are able to supply free online accounting software by showing small discreet advertising to the side of the screen. You probably won’t even notice it and if you do, it might even be useful!
Just because you don’t have to pay for Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software, it doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing quality. If anything, you may not have the quantity of features that other expensive, cheap or free online accounting software provides, but if you don’t need those additional features, why pay for them?!
What you get with Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software
That’s not to say Wave Accounting hasn’t got great features and we’re going to tell you about what you can get from the free online accounting software including the following:
- Bank transaction feeds
- Bank statement uploads
- Automatic categorisation
- Receipt & invoice reader
- Document storage
- Recurring invoices
- Get paid by credit card
- Handles VAT
- Paypal integration
Banking & Paypal
Paypal and most bank accounts can be set up to feed transactions automatically and securely into Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software. It saves you time entering anything or downloading and uploading statements. If your bank (or you) doesn’t support that, you should be able to download your bank statements from online banking in a common format (e.g. CSV), which can easily be uploaded into Wave Accounting in seconds. Saving you hours a year entering each transaction manually.
Wave Accounting doesn’t have a bank reconciliation facility as such. **See Update below** That’s because it’s designed to be led by your bank statement transactions, not by your cheque book or your income slips. Although it does allow you to verify each line, acting like a tick which could help you if you do still want to reconcile (i.e. tick off) the bank statements.
If you don’t have any of these facilities, you can always manually enter income and expenditure. It’s very easy, and still quicker than writing it in a cashbook, or on a spreadsheet.
**UPDATE** There is now a Wave Accounting bank reconciliation, and it works seamlessly in the transactions section. We think it’s a great addition to the software. See this video on the new Wave Accounting Bank Reconciliation:
Receipt & Invoice Scanner and Storage
Another way Wave Accounting makes your life easier is with their free Receipts App. This is a really useful tool that you can download onto your mobile or tablet, so that you can take a photo of a receipt or invoice. It then reads the data on the document and uploads the data and the image into Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software. A great time saver!
However, following from above (regarding the lack of a bank reconciliation), this is probably best left for the transactions that don’t go through your main bank account. Instead we think this is great for recording cash income slips or expenses receipts, or costs and income that have gone through another bank account (e.g. personal).
We have found it to be inconsistent at times, for example picking up the change amount rather than the total amount. But it is getting better with regular updates. Also you get to review each one and if necessary correct any of the data before it hits your account. Overall we’re a big fan of the Receipts App provided by Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software!…
Invoicing & Bills
Ditch the wordprocesser and spreadsheet! Wave Accounting has a great invoicing module, producing professional looking invoices that can easily be downloaded as a PDF or emailed directly to your customer through the software. Using the second option you can register with Stripe to add a credit card payment option to you invoices (a small percentage fee is charged but only if your customer pays by credit card).
It’s so easy to use, you just enter everything or select options directly on the invoice, save, and then it’s in your accounts and ready to send. You can set an invoice to recur say every month. You can also copy a previously raised invoice and edit the details – another great time saver.
Each invoice has an option to raise a payment against it. Or this can be done from the bank transactions (recommended to avoid duplicating bank receipts). On the invoice summary page, at a glance you can see what is paid, due, overdue. Then you can resend the invoice if necessary to chase payment.
We have nothing negative to say about the invoicing provided by Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software. Although we recommend you check you’re happy with the look of the email that is sent to customers directly from the software before using it.
Bills (i.e. purchase invoices) are entered much the same way as sales invoices.
Wave Accounting handles VAT via its sales tax function. Set it up with the VAT rate and then remember to select VAT whenever you enter anything that affects your VAT return. It handles VAT on an invoice basis well, and you can use it for a cash basis, but it’s perhaps not as intuitive as other online accounting software. For the cash basis you will have to adjust for debtors and creditors on each VAT return. That’s where your accountant should be able to help, and we would include that in our quarterly reviews provided with our accounts packages.
Essential reports are provided with the free online accounting software, which are usually enough for most small businesses including:
- Profit & loss account
- Aged debtors (i.e. receivables)
- Aged creditors (i.e. payables)
- Balance sheet
- Transactions by customer/supplier/category
- VAT summary and detailed
- Balance sheet
Other Useful Bits
There is an Accounting module which lets you enter journals (other adjustments not via bank, sales or purchases), and add or edit categories for your transactions.
You can add as many collaborators as you wish (e.g. your accountant, your bookkeeper) who will be able to log in and either view or also edit your accounts.
Each Wave Accounting account comes with Personal free online accounting software, which is a separate set of records for your personal finances. This is really useful if you often mix business with personal transactions because you can easily transfer to one or the other. It also comes with a budgeting tool.
They say you don’t get anything for nothing, well they were wrong in this case! Wave Accounting’s free online accounting software has all of the essentials in a really easy to use format. It is worth considering for all small businesses and even the not so small with straightforward accounts. We’re happy to support any business that uses Wave Accounting. You could potentially save hundreds on accounting software and even more with accountants fees. CloudBook Accountants are Wave Accounting specialists. Use our Fixed Fees Calculator on this page to see for yourself how much you could save. Or contact us with any questions you have.
Video – How to Use Wave Accounting
This was our Wave Accounting Review of its Free Online Accounting Software. If you’d like to see how Wave Accounting works, please also visit our page of Wave Accounting Videos. Also, because it is completely free online accounting software, you can just sign up and have a play with it here: Wave Accounting.
CloudBook Online Accountants are Wave Accounting specialists. We help our clients set up on Wave Accounting and show them how to use it. This, as well as ongoing help with Wave Accounting is included in our low fixed accountancy fees.
How to Choose the Right Accounting Software
Keeping your accounts can be a tricky business. It is necessary to do so not only to comply with legal obligations but to help you manage your business. Using accounting software can help, but how do you choose the right accounting software? This guide will help you find the best solution.
Businesses keep accounts in different ways…
- Some businesses will get their accountant to do it.
- Some keep accounts manually using pen and paper and special accounts books.
- Some will use a computerised version of this such as excel spreadsheets to help with all the adding up and so speed up the process. There is of course the danger of incorrect formulas in the spreadsheet and they are not specifically designed to be accounting systems.
- Some use accounting software which can be the most efficient method of keeping accounts if used correctly. This could also be online accounting software.
Advantages of using Accounting Software
- Only having to enter information once, The software does the double entry.
- Management of your debtors and creditors.
- Automatic sales invoice generation.
- Provision of financial management reports of all types to help you manage the business.
- Automatic calculation of VAT Returns
- Easier conversion to final accounts.
- Some have forecasting and budget facilities built in to help you manage.
- They can integrate with other software such as stock control and payroll.
Disadvantages of using Accounting Software
- The learning cost and time of using and setting up the software. Although this has been made easier with online accounting software.
- The cost of purchase, support and maintenance although there are several low priced packages on the market suitable for small businesses, including Wave’s free online accounting software.
- Whilst a general package will work with most businesses, the package may need adapting or not be suitable to some particular types of businesses.
How to Choose the Right Accounting Software
You need to compare the needs of your business against what different packages offer.
Of course the accounting software must enable you to meet your legal tax and accounts obligations but it is usually your own commercial needs that help decide which is the right package for you.
Whilst you may start out with some general needs, you need to also ensure that specific detailed needs are met. A cash business will have different needs to a non-cash one. Choosing the right accounting software can be a complex business and getting it wrong can cause you major headaches.
Talking to your accountant is a good place to start. It certainly helps if your accountant is familiar with the package you are using so they can provide any help you need and they will be able to help advise on what is suitable for you. A consideration of what other support is available for the accounting software is also a critical consideration. Sometimes it is necessary to adapt how you work to meet the software but ideally the software already matches how you work.
You need to consider factors such as…
- Do you want real time access from your accountant or access from anywhere? If so, online accounting software may be the solution.
- Do you have employees and so need a payroll package to go with the software and if so is it accredited by HMRC?
- Do you have enough transactions to warrant using accounting software?
- Do you need a number of people to be able to access the accounting software at the same time over a network?
- What is the set-up of your computer system and is the software designed to run on it? A Windows based PC will give you the most options.
- Do you need to monitor debtors and creditors?
- Do you need it do invoicing and tailor the appearance of the invoices and be able to print in the format you want, perhaps on multi-part forms on a dot-matrix printer?
- Do you need it to keep track of VAT and do your VAT Returns?
- Do you need it to produce management accounts?
- Does your accountant also have the software to allow easy production of your end of year accounts and sharing of data?
- Do you need stock control?
- Is there a particular leading software for your industry?
- Do you need it to deal with a particular type of vat scheme such as cash accounting, the flat rate scheme or a particular retail scheme?
- Does it need to handle foreign currency – these packages tend to be more expensive.
- Does it need to integrate with your retail point of sale if you have a shop?
- Does it integrate with making online payments?
How We Can Help You
We can assist you with advice on choosing the appropriate accounting software for you, in helping you implement the system and training.