There are many different cloud accounting software to choose from in the Irish market. Many of them offer free trials or starter pricing to entice you to choose them. But where do you start looking for the right one for your business? We’re here to help.
Keeping your finances in order is vital for any business. Managing invoices, receipts, expenses and mileage can be a cumbersome task if your records are unorganised and kept in a box.
Online accounting software will help you stay on top of your accounting and bookkeeping responsibilities and make managing your business finances easier. Our accountants have years of experience working with many different online software products and know that there are big advantages for small businesses in terms of accessibility, usability, integrations, and cost.
Our detailed guide will help you to decide which software best fits your business.
Benefits of using cloud accounting software
Allows you to work from anywhere
With bookkeeping software, you can access your business finances anytime, from any internet-connected device. You and your team can work remotely and access financial information on the go.
You could receive a 20% discount on your annual accounting bill and save on bookkeeping costs if you use online accounting software to manage your books and records. This is because it is easier and more streamlined to do business on the cloud.
Provides real-time information
When you use online accounting software to record your sales, invoices, and expense information, you always have access to accurate and up-to-date information on your business's financial position.
Automated accounts processes
Tine-intensive processes such as bank reconciliation, invoicing, and paying bills can be automated in online accounting software. This reduces the time and effort required for manual data entry and processing.
Collaboration and gated access
Depending on the software, you can enable multiple users to access and collaborate with your account. This can improve communication and collaboration between important parties, such as your accountant.
In general, software providers follow strict security and data guidelines to protect sensitive financial information, reducing the risk of data breaches.
Xero online accounting software is our top recommendation. Xero is easy to use for all levels, has a very user-friendly interface, and is suitable for both startups and small to medium sized businesses so you can continue to use the same software as you grow.
It also has an excellent online presence and they publish regular guides, videos, and help articles to help users. The software integrates with over 800 third-party apps, making it easy to streamline and consolidate all your business software into one platform.
- Pricing: Xero’s prices are in US Dollars but you can purchase from their Irish site. Alternatively, check with your accountant if you subscribe to Xero through them. As a Xero Accounting Firm, we offer our clients a discounted subscription to Xero and can also help with Xero conversion if you are thinking of switching from different software.
- VAT: Xero requires Irish VAT rates to be entered manually so when our clients are setting up Xero for the first time, we make sure that their accounts are set up for Irish VAT correctly. This is an extra step but it is easy to do and there is plenty of support and guidance on how it’s done.
- Live bank feeds: You can connect your bank accounts to Xero and have your transactions automatically imported into your accounting software. This reduces errors and streamlines the bank reconciliation process. Business bank accounts such as Bank of Ireland, AIB, and Revolut work well with Xero.
Surf Accounts is an Irish system whose cloud-based accounting software and customer relationship management system suit small and medium-sized businesses. A Surf subscription includes:
- Free unlimited telephone and email support for their clients, so you can always get help when you need it.
- Stylish invoicing, bank reconciliation, inventory management, and payroll are just some of the features that Surf offers. The software is fully adapted to Irish tax standards and is very user-friendly.
- All systems can be updated in real-time, in collaboration with your accountant, and accessed anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
- Business owners and accountants can work in the system at the same time, making account management quick and easy. There is no need to look for backups or restores, decreasing downtime and other issues.
Sage is UK-based and has an Irish-adapted system that is good for both small and medium-sized companies. They offer different packages based on your needs so you can choose the best fit for your company.
A Sage subscription includes:
- Invoicing, payments, reporting, and connection to your bank account.
- Always up-to-date with the latest legislation on VAT requirements.
- You can add an additional user to your account (an enhanced subscription plan is required.)
- Sage offers training for their software at an additional cost.
Kashflow is a UK product that, like Xero, has had to adapt to the Irish market. The interface on Kashflow is very user-friendly and easy to navigate, but probably not at the same level as Xero. The company is well-established in the UK market and has won numerous awards.
Kashflow’s adaptation to the Irish market has made it a very popular choice of software.
- It handles bank feeds for the majority of Irish banks very well.
- It can handle the Irish cash accounting for VAT. Crucially, it can also manage the Irish Return of Trading Details.
- KashFlow offers payroll features so your bookkeeping and payroll systems can be integrated.
AccountsIQ is an Irish system and so has all the functionality that Irish legislation requires, and also UK, U.S., and Australian functionality if you need it. We would recommend AccountsIQ for larger businesses or high-potential startups. As the system is sophisticated, the price is higher than the other software mentioned.
- The system serves a different market to the two providers profiled above. It is designed for companies whose accounting requirements are more complex.
- From a functionality perspective, it works very well. The dashboard is intuitive and the system, in general, is quite user-friendly, considering that it’s aimed at more complex businesses.
- Accounts IQ is designed for multi-entity and multi-currency accounting.
- Reports are sophisticated and include non-financial reports, which are important for smooth business operation.
- The VAT reporting is robust, although we have experienced some issues with bounced lodgements not being reflected correctly on VAT returns.
Record financial transactions
Review financial reports
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best online accounting software for small business?
Xero is the best online accounting software, as voted by our Accounting and Bookkeeping Teams.
There are many popular and well-regarded options on the market but overall, we think Xero is the best.
What is the cheapest online accounting software?
The cheapest online accounting software is Sage, starting at €12 per month for starter accounting.
The cost of online accounting software varies depending on the provider and the features included. While there is also free software, we find that it is best to discuss your business with a professional who can recommend the most suitable software for you.
What is the simplest accounting software?
Xero is the most straightforward, user-friendly, and simple accounting software for small businesses. Xero’s comprehensive online resources, access to expert advice from Xero-certified advisors, and their integrations with other apps make it one of the most reliable software on the market.
What is the best bookkeeping software for sole traders?
The best bookkeeping software for sole traders depends on the specific needs and requirements of the user. While there are plenty of software options that offer features for sole traders, such as invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting, we recommend that you speak to an expert about the best bookkeeping software for sole traders.
Tom is a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA) and Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) and is Accounting Team Manager at Accountant Online. Areas of expertise include Accounting, Compliance, Taxation relating to small business and company directors.