Are you considering switching to online accounting from crunching your numbers on a spreadsheet? Here is some advice from our team of chartered accountants helping businesses and contractors to keep their books in order and submit their tax returns online.
Let’s start by determining what online accounting really is. The goal is helping to track expenses and income online in an organized format so that preparing and submitting the year-end paperwork becomes simpler. Even if you do DIY accounting, these tolls can make your life significantly easier.
There are several advantages to moving bookkeeping online as opposed to using the good old way of spreadsheets.
- Storing data in the cloud means you never lose it. Should your hard drive fail, your spreadsheets may get lost and you may have to redo everything – if you even still have all the data you need.
- As your business activities expand so is the complexity of keeping all the paperwork organized. Online accounting software is highly sophisticated and constantly upgraded to make your life easier. By getting into the habit of registering everything in the same place online you can rest assured that you will not misplace an invoice or another important document and your numbers can be calculated with just a few clicks – no matter how complex the math gets.
- By having all your data in online accounting software, you can save money on your accounting service. Accountants are often charge by the hour and checking your numbers and submitting your paperwork is a lot faster if everything is easily available in an online accountant software rather than having to go through piles of physical papers.
What is the best online accounting software for small business?
When you are starting a new small business and you don’t wanna splash out for a full-service accountant right away you probably start to wonder which online accounting software could make your life easier. Here is a list of the simplest and most popular options if you want to go down the DIY accounting route for a while:
- QuickBooks Online: the most popular accounting software on the market today and for a good reason. You can easily track expenses and income, save clients and send invoices with a few clicks, generate reports and estimates to keep on top of your numbers. Read more about QuickBooks Accountant here.
- FreshBooks: also well suited for all the necessary bookkeeping tasks, it really shines for a business model with recurring invoices or a subscription model. Being able to track who and when looked at your invoice and a time tracking option are nice extra features.
- Xero: developed with busy business owners in mind who are constantly on the go. Xero gives you the ability to easily keep up with your bills and invoices from your desktop, tablet or phone.
- Zoho Books: a simpler online accounting software with a less steep learning curve and excellent support. It can be the perfect choice when you are just starting out and feel that you might need extra help with keeping your books in order.
No matter which online accounting service you choose, you might feel the need for a professional accountant to check and make sure that all your paperwork is in order before it’s getting submitted to HMRC.