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Best accounting software for small businesses UK

In this article, we will discuss the best accounting software for small businesses in the United Kingdom. There are many different accounting software options for small businesses in the United Kingdom, but these can be overwhelming.

Keen to find out more? Keep reading!

In this article, we will discuss some of our favourites – why they’re great and what you should know before making your choice.

We looked at four different programs spanning a range of prices and features. Some have more features than others, but all can get you started with your business in an affordable way. We look at four of the best-known software options that every business should have on their shortlist. Some may be more expensive, but you’ll find they offer features like never and are easy to navigate through.

best accounting software for small business Uk

Accounting software should be aimed squarely at new start-ups and small businesses. The reason you won’t find Access, Oracle, and SAP in this article is because they’re not compatible with each other.

Sage is the best known of our quartet and for many years was recommended as a desktop solution. However, due to their cloud-based SaaS offerings (Software as a Service), they’ve lost some popularity in this area. That having been said they remain one strong competitor with QuickBooks who has also had excellent reviews during its time on desktops

The four-accounting software we listed offers something unique – whether it’s cohesive collaboration features among teams or ease of use via tablets; there’s bound to be an option out there perfect just what you need!

In the last decade, cloud-based accounting software solutions have been on a rapid growth trajectory. This is likely due in large part to Xero who started out as a fully hosted and subscription service before rapidly gaining popularity among accountants across Europe with its easy interface that can be used by non-experts – even though they were only available within Great Britain for less than ten years ago (XERO).

FreeAgent launched as a SaaS service in Edinburgh. It’s based out of the UK and was acquired by Royal Bank Scotland last year 2018

Features – Winner Xero/QuickBooks (TIE)

Softwares Sage Logo Sage Logo Sage Logo Sage Logo
Features 3 stars 4 stars 4 stars 2 stars

The two options of best accounting software for small businesses in the UK that we have reviewed are QuickBooks and Xero. Both programs offer valuable features

One of the most common mistakes that people make when they’re looking at software is assuming that all features are built-in. You need to understand exactly what you’ll get with each package because there might be even more premium versions available for purchase within an app store or online portal.

Quickbooks/Xero:

Quickbooks offers an excellent range of features and even the cheapest version allows their receipt scanner, PayPal enabled invoicing & mileage tracking. Upgrade to £30 pm for full suite including stock management with multi-currency support as well as budgeting capabilities.

Xero fails in some respects, but its marketplace offers an extensive selection of third-party apps that cover most needs. Xero lacks unlimited category tracking like Sage or QuickBooks have and it limits users to just two categories for free features – expenses (£ 3 pm) & Projects (£ 5 pm). However, what the program does offer are many options when it comes time purchase addons with prices ranging anywhere between £2-£10 per month.

SAGE:

SAGE is a great tool for small businesses, especially those who deal with cash flow and reporting on their own. The basic version of the program allows you to keep track of stock as well as manage departments within your business – perfect if that’s all this company needs! If want access to more features, then pay-per-use licenses are available.

FreeAgent: 

FreeAgent is arguably the least featureful of all, but this might be because it was designed with freelancers in mind.

Freelance accountants will not need advanced features like multi-currency support or departmental tracking, which means that lack thereof isn’t necessarily a disadvantage to them at first glance. When you’re looking through your future software options make sure what’s included only buy things if necessary and never pay overpriced amounts for something just due to volume limits (which happen when one person purchases an unlimited license).

Usability – Winner FreeAgent

Softwares Sage Logo Sage Logo Sage Logo Sage Logo
Usability 1 stars 4 stars 2 stars 4 stars

Usability is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to selecting a product for your customers.

FreeAgent:

The FreeAgent is user-friendly accounting software that does what you need in an easy way. Its straightforward interface makes it simple for beginners, but not so much when dealing with more complicated tasks or businesses. However, FreeAgent accountants will mitigate such complications whatsoever.

With its clear and uncluttered interface, FreeAgent tops our list of best business apps. Designed initially to suit Sole Traders and Contractor Accounting needs – simplicity also proves itself as one downfall because there aren’t many features available to handle anything outside these types of professions.

Xero:

Xero is a good option for small businesses due to its user-friendly design and excellent usability. It’s not as easy on the eyes compared with FreeAgent, but you get more function out of it in return by way of third-party apps available through XERO’s marketplace. Let us help you maintain your accounts with professional Xero accountants at highly affordable rates.

QuickBooks:

With a great suite of features, QuickBooks has been one of the best accounting software for small businesses to date. However, it does lack when compared with other SaaS providers because there’s not enough time and effort put into user experience which makes them less enjoyable to work with over desktop version; this is something they’re trying hard at fixing recently though so keep an eye out for improvements.

SAGE:

Finally, Sage leads the pack as it seems to have been designed with accountants in mind. The system was specifically created for those who are experienced and trained on how to use a computerized accounting program like Sage Line 50 (the desktop version).

Pricing – (No real winner here)

Softwares Sage Logo Sage Logo Sage Logo Sage Logo
Pricing 3 stars 3 stars 3 stars 3 stars
Standard (pm) £24 £26 £22 £24
Premium (pm) £30 £33 £32 £29
Payroll £7 (Included) as an Add-on £5 (Included) as an Add-on N/A N/A

Note: All prices above exclude VAT except for FreeAgents and are based on monthly subscriptions.

There are other factors that you should consider when choosing a small business accounting software. You’ll need to take into consideration the features of each program, their cost, and what they offer for your specific needs as well as how easy it will be to use them with all the necessary adjustments in terms of pricing based on users’ varying company sizes.

The QuickBooks package is by far the most popular due to its simplicity; this program only costs £12 per month if operated by limited companies instead of tax preparation services costing up between 20-30 pounds which can sometimes go over 50 Pounds dependent upon certain features demand (e).  For example VAT registration & compliance or Payroll Management.

This £30 fee includes the cost of managing your inventory, time tracking, and bill payments.

FreeAgent’s pricing is based on the type of company that uses its service. For self-employed people, it costs £19 per month; partnerships pay £24 for unlimited access and Ltd companies £29 monthly fees with no limits to what can be processed or how much you produce in transactions.

Xero Accounting offers an affordable starter plan at only £10 but does come with its restrictions such as being able to make 5 invoices total (not shown above), plus 20 bank reconciliation reports every single day. We believe this would best suit small businesses who have low transaction numbers each week/monthly because they likely won’t need more than just basic accounting functions like generating bills/records related directly back into your accounts receivable file.

However, the price is important, but don’t be dissuaded by special offers. Spend time investigating what you get for your money and how much it will cost before purchasing a plan that fits both needs – as well as taking into consideration whether those prices are still available once the promotional period ends.

Reporting – (No real winner here)

Softwares Sage Logo Sage Logo Sage Logo Sage Logo
Reporting 3 stars 3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

QuickBooks has a great dashboard but the reports it provides can sometimes be lacking. For example, you might want to know how many hours were spent on different projects over time or view expenses by department and project type–but with QuickBooks, those types of information aren’t always easy for people outside your company (i.e.: clients) to access without paying an additional fee

It’s all very well having your information in ____new system__ However, there are some problems when trying to export certain data out which is where we step up our game – especially because one such as this doesn’t come standard within most business accounting software packages today

Xero can create customised reports and dashboards. It provides basic information like cash flow, P&L & Balance sheet but does not have as much detail or analysis codes for more complex needs. FreeAgent offers an adequate front-end dashboard that will work well with most users’ needs; however, it lacks some advanced features found in other programs such including QuickBooks report templates etcetera

Sage’s accounting features are impressive with its complex capabilities, but the reporting needs some improvement. It does have standard reports you can customise using the report designer and they’re easy to use for most users- although it still has a learning curve which makes them difficult or overwhelming if you’re not familiar with these tools yet.

Connectivity – Winner Xero

Softwares Sage Logo Sage Logo Sage Logo Sage Logo
Connectivity 1 stars 4 stars 3 stars 2 stars

A SaaS system offers a lot of advantages, but one thing that makes it even more appealing is connectivity with other services. We can’t stress enough how important having seamless integrations between all your systems and software might be for you.

Xero Software:

Xero has an assortment of different apps to connect it with your computer, tablet, or phone. You can get them from either Apple Store or Google Play for iOS devices and Intuit App collections on Android Platforms.

Quickbooks Software:

Quickbooks offers many apps and connectivity options. These range from time trackers to inventory, catering especially for small business needs with their marketplace of third-party developer solutions.

FreeAgent Software:

FreeAgent has a few options here, but they still provide some strong integrations. This includes things like Zapier and Stripe along with Basecamp for those who need it.

SAGE Software:

Sage feels like it lives in an age where customer service is king. The company’s connectivity offering has been criticized for being limited, with only one payment solution available to be integrated into your CRM system- Sage Pay or Payroll if you are running a business that integrates seamlessly together otherwise this integration will not happen without some effort on behalf of both parties involved. Some people think sage Corp should stick more closely by its traditional values rather than focusing solely on new developments these days; however, others praise founder/CEO Jim iterator because he does offer free consultations which can give customers first-hand experience using products before making any purchasing decisions, so they know exactly what they are getting themselves into.

Conclusion – What Software Should You Buy?

Softwares Sage Logo XERO Logo QUICKBOOK Logo Freeagent Logo
Pricing 3 stars 3 stars 3 stars 3 stars
Features 3 stars 4 stars 4 stars 2 stars
Usability 1 stars 3 stars 2 stars 4 stars
Reporting 3 stars 3 stars 3 stars 3 stars
Connectivity 1 stars 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars

There is no single answer for this question, but we hope that by picking apart the issues involved, you will have some food for thought.

If you are a small business owner, a freelancer looking for help on the side of your full-time job or even just someone starting out in this industry then FreeAgent is perfect. The user interface does not have many features but what it lacks in bells and whistles makes up with its simplicity that anyone can learn quickly!

If you are in a slightly bigger business and need to handle lots of different tasks, then Xero is probably the best option. On top of being able do everything from invoicing software through inventory management this company offers multiple integrations so that it can be used as part if other systems like customer relationship manager (CRM) programs

If managing finances well isn’t just about keeping track of accurate numbers but also quickly responding no matter what happens at any given moment, then QuickBooks would likely suit those needs much better than something else out there – assuming the price wasn’t an issue either way!

Both pricing plans are reasonable, have excellent flexibility, and can connect with a wide array of other services. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive platform that is flexible enough to suit any need then this could be the perfect fit.

Free Accounting Software

SAGE has been a little disappointing overall and given its late entry into cloud accounting, we feel it will have some catching up to do.

One area where SAGE falls short is reporting features, which are less robust than what one would expect from other suites like Xero or quick books.

It’s important to take time before making a purchase, no matter how small. What do you want your software to do? How will it benefit the people who are using it or the work environment that surrounds them in some way shape or form after the installation has taken place – for instance, increased efficiency with certain tasks at hand because they don’t need as much training on new systems/processes which can save valuable resources all round?”

One of our favourite pieces of advice given by experts coming from different fields–including tech-, finance- and business perspectives alike! –is this: “Don’t make snap decisions solely based upon price point alone.” This sounds like good advice if ever there were any.

If you would like to chat about the options or if need some help with implementing a new system for your business, then give us a call. We’d love to talk over all our services and find out which one is best suited in the meeting.

Book a free consultation now with an expert

Related Article: Xero Vs Sage

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