ClearBooks Accounting is simple cloud accounting software, from Clear Books plc located in the UK, that is tailored to the needs of small businesses and start ups in the UK, or bookkeepers and accountants. It contains core accounting features like automated invoicing, document / image importing f...
Best Accounting Software
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Accounting Software Overview
What is Business Accounting Software?Accounting Software records and processes accounting transactions and serves as an accounting information system from which decision makers or company accountants can monitor business processes and generate financial reports.
Their essential feature is an interactive financial dashboard with a general ledger for handling double-entry bookkeeping. Common features to this class of software are as follows:
- Means of tracking company inventory and purchase orders
- Sales tracking
- Automated invoicing
- Receipt capture via document or image processing
- Analytics for budgeting and revenue tracking
- Financial reporting
- Accounts payable/accounts receivable functions.
An automated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system contains all of these functions (or supports integration with the requisite modules), thus these products appear in this category as well. However ERPs are often industry specific or scaled to the needs of larger companies and may represent overkill for seekers of pure and simplified accounting solutions for their business.
Some vendors offer specialized accounting software dedicated to handling the regulatory and reporting needs specific to some industries, like construction or manufacturing. Either an all-in-one solution or a package bundled with smaller, dedicated integratable modules could be the best approach, depending on business needs.
Small Business Accounting SoftwareAccounting & Budgeting Software offerings vary a great deal in complexity. Simple, inexpensive or free platforms are available for entrepreneurs and smaller companies, while medium-sized or larger companies may find use for more complex software possessing a greater breadth of features or deeper processing capacity and higher usage limit caps (like unlimited invoicing or the ability of a larger number of users to access the system).
QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Wave Accounting are some of the leading products suited to small business. QuickBooks requires training for new users, but it is convenient to use with an accountant and other financial services, because most providers in the space are already familiar with it. FreshBooks is a bit simpler and requires less training; Wave Accounting is free and aimed at businesses with fewer than 10 employees. When evaluating accounting tools, small businesses may want to pay particular attention to these areas:
- Usability and training requirements
- Scalability and limitations, including number of customers/invoices/users/transactions per month
- Customer support
- Mobile functionality
- CPA access (unless you manage your own finances)
- Credit card processing, tax preparation, and payroll services
- Integrations to third-party tools
Cloud Accounting SoftwareTraditionally, accounting software products were installed locally on servers located in the firm's location (on-premises or desktop software), and this kind of accounting software is still widely used today. Following the dominant trend in the broader software market though, many newer products are offered as cloud products, delivered over the Internet and accessed with a web browser.
Older, on-premise-based installed products are sometimes offered in “hosted” deployments, but this is not the same thing. “Cloud” usually means Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) where the vendor manages the software application and the entire hosting infrastructure on behalf of all customers. The product is designed to be deployed in this one-to-many model and customers access the product through a simple web browser.
Xero, Wave, Intacct (acquired by Sage), and NetSuite are examples of cloud accounting vendors. On-premise vendors such as QuickBooks and Sage now offer cloud products as well. Read more about cloud vs. on-premise trend in Accounting software.
Accounting & Budgeting Features & CapabilitiesGeneral ledger features make up the core of most accounting & budgeting platforms. Inventory, order, and payroll management features may be included as modules within the platform, or may be handled by third-party plug-ins; some of these features are industry specific.
Accounting & Budgeting tools also include reporting and customization/integration features (like dashboards and an API for custom integrations) that are common across many software categories. Additional capabilities are relevant for accounting firms who manage finances for multiple businesses.
General Ledger FeaturesThe general ledger is a record of transactions and balances. These features comprise the basic bookkeeping functionality of the software:
- Accounts payable and receivable
- Cash management
- Bank reconciliation
- Expense management
- Time tracking
- Fixed asset management
- Multi-currency and multi-division support
- Regulations compliance
- Electronic tax filing
- Self-service portal
Inventory Management FeaturesThese features give businesses the ability to track and manage the flow of goods or materials into and out of an inventory. They are relevant to industries with physical inventories, like retailers and suppliers. Inventory management functionality addresses:
- Inventory tracking
- Automatic reordering
- Location management
- Manufacturing module
Order Management FeaturesThis feature set gives businesses the ability to process orders and track them from quote to cash. Order management is relevant to businesses that deal in services or goods and materials. For example, eCommerce retail vendors need to manage product orders and pool maintenance companies need to manage work orders. Basic order management features are:
- Order entry
- Credit card processing
- Calculating cost of goods sold
Payroll Management FeaturesPayroll management features are relevant for handling the costs and money flow associated with a company's workforce. These may be more or less sophisticated depending on the scale of the business and the type of employees (e.g. full time, part time, contractors, etc). Payroll management features include:
- Pay calculation
- Benefit plan administration
- Direct deposit files
- Salary revision and increment management
- Reimbursement management
Accounting Firm BPO FeaturesBPO stands for Business Process Outsourcing. These features are relevant to accounting firms using the product on behalf of clients:
- Branded dashboards, with a unique view for each client with the accounting form name and logo displayed
- Client roll-up capabilities that allow users to aggregate data for multiple entities within one client (e.g. data for all convenience stores within a certain zip code)
- Data consolidation across clients within a vertical market to provide a benchmark for performance measurement/comparison
- Configurable alerts for overdue forms and materials
- Billing bypass options (software vendor bills firm; firm bills clients)
- Client template cloning for setup, report format, and dashboards
- Single sign-on for access to all customer accounts
- Configurable client onboarding questions
- Cross-client workflow management
- Industry-specific versioning
- Legacy system data migration
Accounting Software Comparison
To compare different accounting platforms, consider what unique tools pertaining to accounting you will need to utilize. Most accounting solutions will include standard accounting capabilities like General Ledger (GL), Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable (AP/AR), bank reconciliation, fixed asset management, expense tracking, invoicing capabilities, and financial reporting capabilities. Some businesses will need additional features like inventory management, payroll capabilities, dedicated budgeting features, and cash flow analysis.
Some companies may require a comprehensive ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, rather than a solution that focuses exclusively on accounting. ERP systems are broader resource management systems,and have a wider range of capabilities including things like procurement, order management, CRM, supply chain management, inventory management, logistics and human resource management functionality. Even though many businesses have a unique set of functionality requirements, there are a few accounting ‘must-have’ criteria that a majority of buyers agree on.
Other important features also include these attributes such as:
Intuitive, easy-to-use UI:
Robust reporting capabilities
Listings (51-75 of 122)
Kashflow is cloud-based accounting automation software from the company of the same name based in London. It is targeted to suit the needs of small businesses in the UK. Billed as being easy for non-accountants to use, with no "accounting jargon," it's core features are an intuitive dashboard wit...
move2clouds is a cloud based online accounting application. Hosted in the cloud and available as SaaS (software as a service), move2clouds is a complete end to end accounting system for small and medium businesses. Some key features include: Management Dashboards, Detailed Reports and Transaction...
OpenGov headquartered in Redwood City offers their accounting and multi-fund reporting platform, for governments.
Infor's SunSystems is an accounting and budgeting package and includes financials, budgeting and forecasting, and application portal modules.
Harpoon is a web-hosted accounting and finance app that helps freelancers and consultants set and meet their financial goals. In addition, Harpoon provides useful tools to help users collect revenue and manage finances. Features include time tracking, invoicing, expense tracking, project scheduli...
Foundation Software headquartered in Strongsville, Ohio offers their construction accounting and payroll software. The vendor states that their job costing construction accounting software is designed to be easy to use and provides the accounting and management tools needed to run a successful co...
OSAS Accounting and Business Software (Enterprise Resource Planning - ERP) is a business accounting software suite for small- to medium-sized businesses from Open Systems, Inc, which is similar to their Traverse product, but can be deployed across platforms (Linux, Mac OS X, and WIndows as well)....
Xactly, headquartered in San Jose, offers Xactly Commission Expense Accounting (CEA), an accounting tool designed to create detailed, accurate commission amortization schedules and monitor roll-forward summaries.
Customer Focus is solution that includes order management, inventory management, warehousing, CMS, E-mail marketing, CRM, and general accounting functions. E-Commerce web stores are also included in the solution.
Float is a cash flow forecasting solution that is designed to integrate with a company’s existing accounting software to create cash flow analytics.
LivePlan is business plan software for entrepreneurs. Features include the pitch creation, sample plans, financial assessments, and performance dashboards.
SlickPie is free online accounting software designed for small businesses, offering online invoicing and billing, multicurrency, financial reporting, bank reconciliation, automatic payment reminders, and source document upload. SlickPie provides an exclusive automated data entry tool, the...
Oracle Accounting Hub Cloud provides accounting services for disparate systems and consolidates it into General Ledger for a centralized view that consistently enforced accounting policies.
CenterPoint Accounting Software from Red Wing Software in Minnesota is a cloud-based or local-hosted option for small to medium-sized businesses. It contains features typical of accounting software, such as a general ledger with standard reports and budgeting features, AP / AR functionality, an i...
AccountMate offers accounting software for small, midsize, or growing businesses. AccountMate SQL Software is specifically for businesses with high transaction volumes and heavy user loads. It can accommodate hundreds of simultaneous users, providing businesses with a comprehensive, real-time ...
CYMA Accounting Software provides an automated accounting solution for growing mid-sized businesses through flexible user environments, a full suite ofaccounting software modules, robust reporting, security, and advanced customization options. Along with the basic general ledger, CYMA's acco...
e-conomic is a complete online accounting system which is specially developed for small and medium-sized companies, from the company of the same name in Copenhagen, Denmark. With more than 60,000 companies as customers worldwide, e-conomic is the largest online accounting system in Europe. e-cono...
Saasu is an online, internationally known accounting platform from the Australian company of the same name. Besides a GL, Saasu also handles invoicing with quotes and billing reminders and alerts, and multiple currencies. It includes a customer database which connects to a user's CRM (Salesforce....
Denali is a comprehensive business and nonprofit accounting software system that is provided by Cougar Mountain Software. It is integrated and customizable and can be used by small companies and business that require sophisticated solutions. Denali has internal controls that protect a business ag...
Accounting Seed is accounting software that is native to Salesforce.
BeansBooks is a simple cloud-based or local accounting from System76 in Denver. It is open code; the software can be downloaded, installed, and modified for free. It contains the basic features of accounting software.
AccountsIQ provides a cloud-based accounting solution that is designed to provide users with access to the applications from anywhere in the world. The solution can be used on any internet connected device (with appropriate security and permissions). With this solution, users can facilitate sim...