How to choose the best accounting software for your small business
With so many accounting software options on the market, it’s important to choose one that suits the size and nature of your business, as well as complementing your own personal approach to accounts. Here’s our pick of six of the best.
What to consider in choosing your accounting software
Most accounting software programs offer a range of plans based on the level of access and features offered. As a guide, this may include:
- The amount of clients you have
- The number of bills and invoices you will be processing
- How many staff you have on your payroll
- The number of staff who will be using the app
- The level of features you want to access.
Choose a plan that’s best suited to your current needs and budget and as your business grows you can move to a more premium plan as required.
Before you chose an accounting software program, do some research. Talk to other small business owners and see what they use and how they find it. Take advantage of free trials and identify the features that matter most to you, for example, software that is supported by a mobile app or that has banking reconciliation.
6 accounting software options for small business
One of the cheapest accounting software options on the market, Reckon is tailored for small businesses owners who are new to managing their own finances. The basic plan offered by Reckon provides small businesses owners with access to the essentials, such as real time cashflow, budgeting, BAS and GST reports. Their business model allows add-ons, like bank connections and employee expense claims to be purchased on top, enabling small business owners to tailor their package to suit their businesses needs at any given time.
Xero is a popular accounting software option for small businesses. Its features include tools for managing payroll, invoicing, cash flow, payments, quotes, expenses, inventory, and bank reconciliation. It’s protected by multi-layer security and supported by mobile apps, reporting and 24-hour customer service.
Highly visual and easy to use, Xero caters for different types of business. There are three types of plan – Starter, Standard and Premium 5, with the level of features increasing with each plan. They also offer a free 30-day trial for first time customers.
Used by over 1.2 million businesses, MYOB is one of the longstanding players in the accounting software market. Catering for businesses small through to large, their small business plans are slightly more expensive than competitors with the Essentials plan starting at $35 (for one person on payroll) and $45 (for unlimited payroll), and their AccountRight Plus plan starting at $85 a month.
Standard to all plans are tools for managing inventory, expenses, sales, bank feeds, payroll and the ability to calculate and track GST. MYOB is supported by a mobile app and includes in-depth reporting and customer support. They also offer a 30-day free trial.
Another favourite with small businesses is QuickBooks. Lower in price than Xero and MYOB, they offer three plans – Simple Start, Essentials and Plus. All of these plans allow users to track income, expenses and profit, send unlimited quotes and invoices, download bank transactions, record transactions, manage BAS and GST obligations and cover payroll for up to 10 staff.
Additional features offered beyond the basic plan include the ability to pay and manage bills, add more than one user, use multiple currencies and track your sales and profitability against industry trends. Accessible via your desktop, tablet or smartphone, and supported by apps, QuickBooks offers free data imports from Xero and MYOB and a 30-day trial.
A great free option for small business owners, sole traders and freelancers is Wave. Offering cloud-based, integrated software and tools that cover accounting, invoicing, payments, payroll and receipts, Wave has been developed for businesses with nine or less employees. It’s accountant-approved and offers a range of free features, all of which are unlimited.
Rounded was designed by freelancers and sole traders fed up with complicated and costly accounting software specifically to suit themselves. Its’ features include invoicing, expense tracking with the ability to import your bank transactions, time tracking, reporting for tax and BAS, and income reports.
They also offer a free 30-day trial and two levels of plans – Starter plans at $11.95/month (for those with less than three clients) and the Unlimited plan at $19.95/month (no limitation on clients).
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