Online accounting software is definitely the direction most business owners are going in…and for lots of good reasons! Let’s take a look at why going online with your accounts makes more sense.
Why Online Accounting Software Is Better
Accounting software has lots of advantages over traditional desktop versions, including:
- Affordability: Some packages are free but even paid packages cost an average of just €10-€20 per month for a small business. They can save you time on accounts functions in your business, which saves you money. Also, you can use them to share information with your accountants more efficiently, saving them time and reducing your accounting fees.
- Better access on the go: You will be able to access your financial records from any internet-enabled device. Also, the type of information you can access should be more user-friendly than traditional software, if you pick the software that suits you best. You no longer have to worry about misplacing or losing your files.
- Ease of use: Depending on the particular needs of your business, you can choose the software that suits your requirements. Using an accounting software can mean that there are others who are going through the same process as you, and therefore there is a large community of resources available.
- Back-up: You will NEVER have to worry about backing up data again because all information will be stored automatically online. This provides great piece of mind for you and your business.
- Flexibility: You pay a monthly subscription and can stop paying at any time, upgrade to meet changing needs, or downgrade similarly if you wish to. You can also choose add-ons to meet specific business requirements e.g. hairdressers may want an appointments module; retailers and manufacturers may need stock or inventory add-ons. This is a great feature as you only need to pay for what you need.
Which Online Accounting Software To Choose?
There is a huge variety if you are researching the market at the moment, and it can be quite daunting. At Accountant Online, we work with our clients individually to find what is best for them, rather than recommending any one single product – because the package needs to fit your business.
All the packages will do the basics, such as posting your transactions the right way and covering VAT. We recommend that you do a trial first before selecting the best package for you. But points to consider in selecting your package include:
- Usability: Do you find it user-friendly? How does it function on your iPad or other mobile devices?
- Currencies: Does your business operate in more than one currency? Will the package accommodate this?
- Export: If your business exports goods or services, your package will need to cover this.
- Reporting functions: These need to work the way you want them to, so check them out first.
Our Top 3 Recommendations For Online Accounting Software
Most software providers have originated in other countries and adapt their software for the Irish market. Some have adapted better than others. In no particular order, here are our top picks for online accounting software for small Irish business owners.
Xero has been described as beautiful software, and in many ways it is. The interface is intuitive and the dashboard provides an excellent snapshot of the business. In terms of price – there are three different levels, depending on your business size starting from $20 per month.
Xero originated in New Zealand and has grown rapidly over the last few years. It has an excellent online presence and is supported by a huge amount of add-ons.
It has a fantastic product for the UK market, which even includes payroll, which makes us green with envy, but to be fair it is making strides in the Irish market. There has been a massive improvement in the availability of bank feeds in the Irish market, which was an issue for us early adopters of the software.
However, there is no dedicated Irish version. Which means we have to operate from their Global version here – hence the dollar price above. This means you have to do a little bit of adjustment on the following issues:
- VAT reporting
- Cash receipts: the Irish method differs from the UK method.
- There are issues with reporting EU purchases and it does not operate the VAT under RCT rules.
- It does not produce a Return of Trading Details report, which Revenue has started to insist on in recent years. This report is very time-consuming to produce.
Xero is excellent software – but you need to make some adjustments to make it fit the Irish business and Revenue environment.
Kashflow is a UK product that, like Xero above, 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.
In relation to price, again there are three different levels, which depend on the size of the business. It starts from £5 a month, which makes it very appealing to small businesses. Kashflow’s user friendliness and adaptation to the Irish market have made it a very popular piece of software.
- It handles bank feeds for most of the Irish banks very well,
- It can also handle the Irish cash accounting for VAT
- Crucially, it can also manage the Irish Return of Trading details.
The only negative is that there appears to be little movement in the area of innovation. The interface also lacks the sharp sleek look of some of its competitors.
AccountsIQ is an Irish system and so has all the functionality that Irish legislation requires. We use and would recommend this system for larger businesses or high potential start-ups. The system is sophisticated and the price is higher as a result.
The system serves a different market to the two providers profiled above. It specifically targets companies with more complex accounting requirements. From a functionality perspective, it works very well. The dashboard is intuitive and the syste, in general, is user-friendly, considering that the businesses who use it are more complex.
AccountsIQ has an excellent support that answers emails very quickly and provides helpful ‘How To’ videos etc. A new feature, allows automatic entry of purchase invoices, along with the same lines as bank feeds. This means a potential for huge cost savings on data entry.
We love the reporting options in AccountsIQ. Reports are sophisticated and include non-financial reports, which are so 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.
The only negative is the limit on concurrent users – the number of people logged in and using it at the same time. The limit depends on your subscription level. If you exceed the number of users allowed on your subscription, the system will not allow you to log on.
Accountant Online offer for new businesses
We are offering a free subscription to Xero for new businesses who purchase the Small Business Package Plus for a limited period. Xero is constantly innovating and it supports all the add-ons on the market e.g. taking appointments, customer relationship management, handling inventory.
As well as accounting software, we offer accounting services for new startups that aim to meet your compliance obligations, while also keeping costs low.
Accountant Online is a firm of award winning Chartered Accountants serving Ireland and the UK. We understand how important it is for you to meet your compliance obligations, while minimizing your tax liability. We aim to save our clients money without compromising on the quality of our service. Get in touch for a free consultation on 01 905 9364 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org