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Best Accounting Software for Business in UK

Finding the best Accounting Software for your business is now faster and easier! Compare prices, reviews, features, and get free consultation to find the perfect software.

Table of Contents

What Is Accounting Software?

Accounting software is a small business financial management software that records and processes the accounting transactions within the functional modules such as trial balance, payroll, general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable. The best accounting software is mainly used by accounting professionals or small business accountants to perform accounting operations. Business accounting system performs a systematic practice of recording or communicating financial information. It' s a systematic practice of recording or communicating financial information. Professional Accounting also includes interpretation, summation, verification, classification, diverse and systematic measurement of financial data.

Online Accounting software is mainly created for the purpose of internal and external audits, financial software analysis and required reports to meet internal and legal managerial requirements. It is completely apt for small business accounts as well as large businesses.

Types of Accounting System:

Accounting tools can range from sophisticated, double-entry systems which process inventory, payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable to simple, single-entry programs used for individual record-keeping.

  1. It can be used on both desktop as well as online and can be accessed anywhere via any device at any time which has an internet connection.
  2. It greatly varies in its cost and complexity.
  3. Different tasks can be operated by different kinds of best accounting tools. Most of the cloud-based accounting software automatically enter, store and analyze the data. This function helps in saving time on tasks like bank reconciliation.

Importance of Accounting Practise While Starting a Business:

The accounting system is one of the essential business/ Personal finance software, which is required while starting a small business. Entrepreneurs are often required to understand and complete a variety of business functions while starting a business. The Accounting system in small business provides a clear and true picture of the business success with all the financial software documents. Every business needs account management software to calculate the profit or loss that it makes over time. The information is not only valuable for the business owner but is also required by the appropriate tax authority. Accounting practices consist of mainly three types of record keeping like journals, subsidiary ledgers and the general ledger which is used in small businesses. Good financial accounting system can make the implementation of accounting practices much easier.

Need for accounting practices are:

  1. Budget Expense: Budget Creation is an important online accounting software function necessary for starting a business. A budget helps in outlining the expenditures which are needed for various aspects of the business. Budgets also help in creating a historical record of how the business is spending its capital for producing consumer goods and services.
  2. Determining ProfitabilityDetermination of profitability is easily possible with the help of accounting. Entrepreneurs also need to understand the fair usage of assets to generate services and the costs of inventory in comparison to the company profit margin. Also, small businesses need to release the financial information to ensure the banks and lenders that they will be repaid within the time limit.
  3. Expert Insight: Businesses may seek advice from an individual public accountant or from public accounting. Entrepreneurs also need professional help while filing business tax returns and also to ensure that all the business issues are being accounted for at year end. Small business accounting software powered with analytics or specific accounting systems for certain industries such as retail accounting software can help businesses gain expert actionable insight into their operations.
  4. Forecast Financial Estimates: Accounting information is necessary for obtaining outside financing for the new business venture. Also, the entrepreneurs need to provide a financial forecast about the software venture to the lenders, bankers, and investors. For small/new businesses especially, online accounting for small business can make important financial forecasts for this purpose.  Usually, entrepreneurs write a business plan, which includes pro forma financial statement, monthly expenditures, expected startup, and economic forecast.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Accounting Software:

It provides businesses several efficient ways to manage their daily financial tasks with the help of financial software. It also enables them to own and manage valuable reports that further helps in analyzing business performance. It can definitely be counted as the best small business accounting software that provides full results and growth.

  1. The scope of Business: The owners should document the scope of the business before choosing any financial software and should also see what accounting tasks the software should ideally perform. Also, the owners should make a list of the items like cost accounting, inventory management and payroll outsourcing that will be handled by the best accounting software. One should also keep in mind the expansion and growth of the business while selecting software. The best accounting software for small business will be quite different from purely retail accounting system.
  2. Access and Portability: A network server is suitable for a business which has a single location, and the owner does not expect to change the location. But if the owner requires multiple locations, then he needs to make sure that the employees are also able to access it. There is some free online accounting software also available that can be considered for the same. Online accounting system for small business provides impressive access and portability. Similarly, a small business cloud accounting software also provides ready access from anywhere at any time with any device.
  3. Knowledge Required: All accounting tools are useless if the employees do not learn to use them. The difficulty of the software selections and the education level of the employees must be considered while choosing the software. It doesn't require accounting experience or education while some require high-level accounting knowledge for its use and setup.
  4. Cost: After considering the above factors, the final one is a software package. One should take into account the fees for support, annual licensing and upgrades. One should also compare the factor additional fee support packages and technical support packages into the overall cost of the inventory accounting.

Tips for Selecting Best Accounting Software for Small Business:

It helps in easy tracking of your business financial health and also in monitoring the money. Selection of best small business accounting software is a challenging task. Each financial software includes different numbers of users, sets of features, and many other factors. You will also get some really good free accounting tools for small business accounting available in the market. Given below are the factors to be considered while selecting financial software for small business.

  1. Usability: How many users will access the software? Whether a cloud-based system is preferred by you that can be accessed anywhere or desktop software? Do you prefer to keep a mobile app? Whether you need a personal best accounting software for businessHow many people are going to be using it? Is a small business accounting software going to be enough or is a full-scale enterprise accounting system more suitable?
  2. Costs: Would you prefer to have an expensive application or software which includes some extra features or an inexpensive application or software? Which is the best small business inventory account softwareWould a small business cloud bookkeeping software be too expensive for your firm?
  3. Features: What tasks will be performed by the accounting tools? Do you need both the accounts payable and accounts receivable tools? Do you also need inventory small business account software? Do you need the software to include some ancillary services like payroll, project management, and time tracking? Whether you require church, construction, restaurant or real estate accounting tools or account management software depending on the nature of small business?

How does Accounting Software Tool help to Improve Business?

Most of the business owners quickly master the basics while using top accounting software. Some business owners forget to take advantage that helps in improving customer care and increase sales. Here are some strategies that can be used to improve your business.

  1. Improve customer care and boost profits It offers statement and data are up-to-date and accurate. Also, it helps in saving time by providing online accounting solutions like payroll and invoicing which will help you to seek out new prospects and save more time to follow up the clients. While talking about sales, we all know that personal touch is very important. By providing personalized services, and with enhanced customer data at your fingertips, by virtue of online accounting software for small business,  the business will earn a good reputation.
  2. Gain Insights that increase sales Most of the top accounting software for accountants helps in highlighting the spenders and buying trends. You will be able to know which products and services are bought by the sellers and this will help in making a more profitable purchasing decision. Some of the best online accounting system and even small business accounting offer inventory tracking feature which helps in deciding which products are to be sold at a discount, which items to phase out and what items need to be kept on the shelves.

Benefits of Accounting Software for Business:

It helps the business in many ways. The main benefits are: -

  1. Saving time: The best accounting software helps in saving a lot of time as compared to manual bookkeeping. The software records all the transactions within no time. Small business bookkeeping software is available.
  2. Continuous Financial Monitoring: Computerized bookkeeping helps in creating and maintaining financial records continuously, and it enables the company to monitor the records as and when required and resolve the issues before they get converted into big problems. The best accounting software will nip such issues in the bud.
  3. Management of cash flow: It helps you to record and track the receivable and payables. Web-based software also helps in knowing the current as well as future cash flow status.
  4. Computerized invoicing: It offers up-to-date offers on customer payments. The reports by financial accounting system clearly state each and every detail relating to the amount to be paid and the amount customers owe you.
  5. Neat and tidy organization: It stores all the necessary information and data at a single location and can be reviewed, resend and reprinted anytime. The system neatly organizes all the entered data.  Even if it’s a small business, a small business cloud accounting software will easily organize all the data without some other staff member having to do it. The cloud-based accounting system neatly organizes all the entered data.
  6. Tracks Inventory: The best accounting software for small business also helps in tracking the inventory and also offers up-to-date information on the stock in hand. This feature of enterprise software helps in saving time and offers accurate data.

Several organizations claim to provide the best accounting software for small business. Thus, it is always better to do some research and then decide as to which one you should purchase. Several service providers also offer a free trial. You are recommended to try them and then decide on the best accounting software for small-sized business based on your experience. This not only reduces the manual effort but also helps in meeting the long run business needs.

Accounting Software Market Trends [Updated]:

It is used by organizations to perform daily accounting tasks efficiently. For our readers to utilize the latest features, we listed down the 5 latest market trends of the accounting software. These trends are influencing the accounting ecosystem in a positive way.

  1. Moving to the cloud: Cloud technology is being rapidly incorporated as a part of the best cloud-based account software by software manufacturers and is quickly adopted by organizations. A study by venture capitalist firm North Bridge found that more than 75% C-level executives and IT managers reported that their company uses minimum one cloud-based accounting application.

    Shifting to cloud software is an ideal choice for companies outsourcing their hardware and software support to minimize costs and improve their core competencies. By moving to the cloud, the software features can be accessed by remote users and various branch offices. An added benefit of the cloud is the ability to access business data and account software from anywhere irrespective of the time and location.

    The subscription model adopted by this software is preferred by businesses because the software costs are flexible and based on scalability. This eliminates the need to pay an upfront cost.

  2. A wide range of functionalities:

    The present-day best small business accounting system comprises a wide range of functionalities and applications. These functions include supporting the supply chain, HR, marketing, sales forecasting and overlooking manufacture. Traditionally these functionalities do not fall in the account software domain.

    The aim of introducing such all-inclusive account software packages is to chuck out the inter-module integrations. This helps reduce costs that would otherwise have been utilized in supporting such complicated integrations. A single system monitors multiple data-sets so that changes in any area show the real-time influence on other aspects. There is no duplication of work, greater transparency and interdepartmental errors are reduced. This trend is nowhere close to slowing, with more companies adopting the account software package.

  3. Third Party application integration: Business people always looking best account software for their business and third Party application integration Businesses are opting for ERP account software with added features besides the core functions. Thus a whole new community of developers is evolving who integrate these features into the existing system. The third-party integrated software works in sync with the primary account management software.

    At the other end, the best accounting software developers are extending help to third-party software developers by expanding the core functions. The data can thus be exchanged between the 3rd party application programming interface (API) and the accounting solutions. This trend of extended API availability is nowhere close to fading.

  4. Virtual implementation assistance:

    Software systems are complex to manage, from installation to configuration, assistance is needed at every stage. With the introduction of remote implementation support, the buyers get specialist support for the software irrespective of the geographic location. The account software company assists with the software support virtually thereby extending the number of options for the buyer.

    Speedy internet and Virtual Network Computing (VNC) such as GoToMyPC and Remote Desktop Connection from Microsoft have drastically elevated the level of remote assistance companies can offer in terms of software support. Geographic hindrance and local dominance are no more a hindrance, buyers can choose the accounting tools based on the available functions.

  5. Analytics: The latest advancement in the accounting tool is the introduction of business intelligence tools. Analytics lead to making better strategic decisions based on real-time data.

    Businesses are going beyond measuring assets, liabilities, expenses and revenues as financial performance indicators. Dashboards now offer better management modules and a wide range of graphical presentation options for displaying data. The new age software allows the creation of simplified reports and conversion of data into actionable business insights.

Key Features of Accounting Softwares:

Accounting Software Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why Should I Use Accounting Software?

Regardless of the size, accounting software is a time-saving solution for any business. It helps manage accounting and bookkeeping, including storing your organization's financial data.

The tool has a deep understanding of financial information. It shows where to reduce cost and increase productivity.

Depending on the system you choose, it automates the bookkeeping tasks and draft in-time tax-friendly reports. The system also helps forecast expense and help prevent future financial loss. Thus, you can develop a smarter investment strategy for your business.

A few of the other benefits of using accounting system software:

  • Administers Cash Overflow: With the help of the software, keep track of incoming cash, invoices, and overdue payments. It ensures that you don't miss a significant financial transaction.
  • Gives Full Financial Transparency: Another advantage of using accounting software is that they automate the tasks. Thus, it prevents costly and recurring human errors.
  • Increases Efficiency: Any good accounting software helps with the most time-consuming, day-to-task of data entry. It collects, organize, and analyze all the information. And thus, increases work efficiency.
  • Enhances Security: Online accounting solution prevents accounting information from being misused in any way. It keeps an extra copy in case you need to retrieve them.

2. Can I Access My Accountings Using a Mobile Device?

Yes. Mobile accounting apps gives you the freedom to access your accounting system from anywhere. Many users consider accounting software outdated if it doesn't offer mobile functionality. Some of the standard features of a mobile accounting app are:

  • Database access
  • Receipt and expense management
  • Payroll management
  • Billing and invoicing

Usually, mobile accounting is a part of a more extensive business accounting software suite. Some may already include it in their package deal whereas in a few cases, you might have to pay extra.

3. Do I Need to Be an Accountant, Bookkeeper to Use the Software?

No, you don’t have to be. However, it also depends on the size of the business and a person’s financial knowledge. Most accounting software vendors offer 24/7 support in case of any query or trouble using the system. 

Good accounting software offers an intuitive interface to work in. It means that the information will be neatly arranged. Also, you can access all functions from a single dashboard. It allows you to complete tasks within minutes following the same navigation pattern each time.

4. Are These Online Accounting Solutions for U.S. Businesses Only?

Not at all. Except for few whose support is restricted to certain countries only, this accounting software can be used worldwide. And if the system supports the language English, it's more likely that you can use it in the U.S. for your business.

Always check whether the particular software is compatible with your business type. Also, if they offer the customer support in your country or not before buying one. 

5. How Much Time Does It Take to Get the Online Accounting Set Up?

Gone are the days when multiple accounting machinery companies took months to install. The trend is moving towards cloud hosting. It is not only safer and faster but quicker than the desktop installations.

First, you need to register with the vendor which shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Next, depending on business size and administration process, the set-up time may vary. Usually, it takes a few hours to a whole day depending on the complexity of the system.

6. Is Online Accounting Safe and Secure? 

In simple words, it's completely safe and secure. Contrary to what people think, running your accounting in the cloud is more reliable than the desktop programs. The system continually backs up the data at the end of each day.

You might not believe, but it's even safer than storing data on the hard disk. There is a high risk of hard disk getting crashed or damaged.

Financial data is the company's most valuable information. Therefore, it must be prevented from getting into the wrong hands or getting lost by mistake. Most of these vendors have strict security measures. They protect your data from theft and cyber hacking. In fact, the data is stored in encrypted form to protect it from hackers and online scammers.

In most cases, you also get to build your internal security structure. That means as an admin, and you can decide who will have access to sensitive data.

7. What if Certain Functionalities Are Missing From the Accounting Software?

Sometimes when the business expands, the previously purchased software package may not suffice anymore. You might need extra modules. In such cases, either subscribe to their better package that contains the added features. Or you can also go for entirely new accounting software, which could be cumbersome.

Generally, the online software supports API which enables third-party apps integration. In most cases, you can easily integrate the missing modules to the system. Some of the tools that can combine with the accounting solution are:

8. Does Accounting Software Help Me With Taxes As Well?

Yes, accounting software can assist you in preparing and filing a variety of tax forms to save your headaches during tax season.

Using a sound accounting system only requires you to record the amount of money received and spent. These properly compiled records make it easier to take care of the taxes. Some software complies with tax office rules and automatically format invoices.

An average program can handle 1099s, but some software goes an extra mile to assist you with — 2s and Schedule C.S. as well.

Furthermore, it enables audit-proof books, which makes the auditing process much quicker. The IRS auditors may only check and do a regular review to see if the bank statements align with the software's records.

9. Can I Manage My Payroll Using The Software?

Absolutely! Depending on the type of operations, accounting systems fall under different categories. If you want to take control over your account payables and receivables, you might have to pay extra for a payroll management tool. 

Payroll management system performs an array of different tasks, such as calculating employees’ salaries, depositing the salary directly into staff members’ bank accounts, cutting deductions, producing tax forms and payslips, and more. The employees log in their work time and the amount due at the end of the month is automatically calculated. 

It also helps secure your financial transactions, cut expenses, and help prepare detailed reports.

There are comprehensive accounting suites designed for enterprises, which might already include the payroll system.

10. Why Should I Pay For Online Accounting Software When There Are Free Solutions?

A free version of the accounting software usually has either basic features or limit the number of clients, users, or transactions. You will have to pay extra for add-on services that are essential for your accounting. 

A free version is useful only if your business is small and you have no plans for expanding anytime soon. You can also try the free version in case you want to test run the software longer than the trial period allows.

However, the paid version already includes many advanced features depending on its cost. Some of the features are recurring invoices, expense and sales tracking, automatic past-due reminders, project tracking, and billing, reporting capabilities, inventory tracking, and purchase orders.

That's why we suggest that it's always better to opt for a monthly subscription fee solution instead of free. Otherwise, you might end up paying more for add-ons. Also, you can always change the software if you find other solutions with better pricing and feature.

11. How Much Does an Online Accounting Solution Cost?

Online accounting solution cost varies depending on the features included, the number of users supported, and other such factors. Nowadays, most accounting companies offer cloud-based software rather than a software license. They charge a monthly subscription for their service. 

There are multiple plans to choose from. The paid packages typically range from $10 to $70 per month, though high-end programs can cost much more.

12. Are There Discounts for Software?

Yes. The software vendors offer their product at a discounted rate if you are willing to pay for the software annually rather than monthly. However, it would mean that you will have to pay a lump sum amount at one go. 

Sometimes to lure new customers, the companies offer discounted monthly subscription fee for the first three to six months of use.

13. Can I Try Out Software for Free? 

Most accounting software vendors offer a 15-day to a 30-day trial period during which you can test run the system. It helps you decide whether the software is compatible with your business types and forms. If you like it, you either purchase the license or pay a monthly subscription fee. But if you aren’t convinced, you can always terminate the subscription. 

One important note — even if you decide to subscribe in the middle of your trial days, your subscription period will begin once the trial period is over. 

14. Do I Get Customer Support?

Absolutely! Since online accounting software is a paid service, that’s why they offer all the support to their customers. 

Whether you are a new customer or an old one, tech-savvy or non-tech user, you get all the help you want. They usually provide support through email, live chat, guide charts, and phone calls. Some vendors cover-up step-by-step guide in a manual or create tutorial videos to guide you through. 

You will also find community forums where users of the software raise their concern and help each other. Webinars and events are also organized by the company from time to time to keep their customers informed about the latest update of the software. 

Usually, all companies provide support during their working hours. But some companies make sure that their customers can reach out to them 24/7 for any software-related trouble.

15. What if the Company Is Located Outside the U.S.? Do I Get Support Anyway?

If the software company provides accounting solution to your country, they will provide the support too. However, if the company is not originally from the U.S., you will have to take care of the time difference and their opening hours.

But with companies that offer 24/7 support, you won't even have to worry about the time difference either.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    • Recording expenses
    • Checking cash flow
    • Estimating profit/loss
    • Completing tax returns
    • Creating a budget, forecast, quotes
    • Creating and sharing invoices
  • The job of any accounting software is to make accounting easy and accessible for you. It reduces the hassles of paperwork and helps you to gain financial insights into your business.
    • Automating most of the manual processes like generating bank statements, sending late reminders, etc.
    • Helps you make a better financial decision
    • Give detailed info on profit/loss, revenue, customs, etc.
    • Manages your company account efficiently
    • Fewer management overheads
    • Remote accessibility
    • Data is secure
  • You can start using accounting software at any point in time. The early you start, the quicker you will automate accounting and get actionable insights to make an informed decision about your company.

Payal PatilBy Payal Patil | Last Updated: October 19, 2020

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