Quickbooks, Xero, SAGE, Tide, Kashflow, Pandle, ClearBooks, Free Agent. Which is right for your small business? Atkinson Accounts say there may be another alternative!

You only have to do a quick google search for “accounting software” before you are bombarded with hundreds of choices.  All enticing you with promises that theirs is the leading, most innovative software on the market.  Google “accounting software comparisons” and it becomes even more bewildering.  This produces a staggering number of articles and lists, each recommending a different package as their number one.  So, which one would we, as chartered accountants with over 30 years of experience recommend to a small business like yours?  The answer is simple… possibly none of them.

Why wouldn’t we recommend any we hear you ask?

  • It can be time consuming even deciding which product to choose – we understand that time is money when you are running your own business
  • A lot of these packages, charge astronomical prices for a product which includes a majority of features your business will never use – For instance, how often will your business use features such as currency conversion, or complicated forecasting tools
  • There is also a serious lack of efficiency with most accounting software. We understand that a number of our clients have spent hours slaving away at whichever accountancy software they have chosen. Inputting invoices and payments, spending a considerable amount of time attempting to reconcile at the end of the year… only to have a list of queries from your accountant when they finally send them over.
  • The subscription fees due for these packages are not the only price tag attached. Often a bookkeeper is required to keep complicated programs accurate.  A bookkeeper’s wage is often an unnecessary expense for a small business.  Add to this your accountant’s fee when they are working through the nominal ledger trying to decipher which transactions may have been posted in error.
  • A number of these packages claim to assist you in your financial planning. Allowing you to always view your company position and predict your financial position in the future.  In reality this is often an inaccurate promise.  In order for this to be successful, all information must be inputted completely accurately.  Clerical errors are made often, and with the running of your business taking priority, these systems are often left outdated.  Therefore, if the budgeting or forecasting reports are run they are inaccurate.
  • Software system restrictions mean a lot of the packages you are looking at are not user friendly or customisable. As a result, you are often unable to reap the full benefits as systems appear cluttered and difficult to understand.
  • Many of our clients had expressed their frustration because their software is not compatible with either their or their accountant’s other programs. Meaning you are unable to import or retrieve information from other programs – a necessity when doing your accounts.

We could go on but we think we have made our point…

 What other option is there?

  • Here at Atkinson Accounts, we have become increasingly aware that businesses are being pressured into adopting cloud-based accounting systems.  We believe that this is often not necessary and that businesses that bank online can choose a much simpler alternative.
  • We believe your bank statements can tell us the majority of your business’ story!  They record all of your bank payments in and out and have done for years – they are very good at it!  We may simply ask you for your levels of stocks, any money owed out or in at the year end.
  • If your business requires you to keep the likes of a debtors list, we would recommend Microsoft Excel.  It is extremely easy to navigate and best of all it is free to use.
  • A lot of our clients come to us overwhelmed with whichever complicated system they have been using.  Only to leave surprised by how simple and time efficient the same process can be!
  • No more time-consuming inputting or excessive mounting costs. It is simple, stress-free, secure and will take no more than 10 minutes of your time.  All for a fixed monthly fee.

Please note that all of your information is passed between us through a secure online portal and is compliant with all of Companies House and HMRC regulations.

That being said, we are more than happy (and regularly do) work with a number of accounting software.  We just recognise that this is not the best fit for clients.  If you would like more information regarding this or for your free initial consultation, please call 01244 316449.