Cloud Accounting Services are growing in popularity as small business owners are discovering the merits of online/cloud based bookkeeping and accounting solutions.
Cloud Accounting Services are gaining popularity due to added mobility, easy data backup features, time-saving tools and automatic software updates. Since these solutions are web-based, multiple members of your organization (bookkeeping clerk, accounts receivable clerk, etc.) as well as your accountant can access your company’s books simultaneously.
Due to my experience with a number of these softwares, several clients have asked me to recommend the best online accounting software on the market. This is of course a tall order. Having said that, the answer is not cookie cutter and it all depends on your businesses’ needs. You should consider, amongst other items, if you need to manage employees or inventory, if you need full-blown double entry accounting or not, what will be your sensitivity to price, etc.
Check out Top Ten Reviews’ article with a thorough discussion/review of a number of popular softwares on the market. The review evaluates the functionality of each software in a number of categories. The article gives its nomination to Freshbooks, which is a proudly Canadian start-up. FreshBooks started as an online invoicing service and has grown in its overall functionality to include an expense function, interactive reporting and a slew of cool add-ons. People generally like Freshbooks because it is affordably priced and simple to use for business owners with no prior bookkeeping or accounting experience.
However, as an accounting professional (CPA, CA) with a greater sense for the end goal, whether it be financial statements and/or the yearend corporate tax return I see some important functionalities missing in this software. Freshbooks is great for the functionality that it offers and may be a great solution for very small businesses, but is lacking for more sophisticated bookkeeping needs. Freshbooks does not have an interactive balance sheet function and doesn’t offer a full blown double-entry accounting system.
As a CPA, for a more comprehensive offering for a small or medium size business owner, I would recommend either QuickBooks Online or Xero .
Xero is an exceptionally good, easy to use and fully functional accounting site. It offers some special functionality that QuickBooks online does not offer.
QuickBooks Online is very comprehensive and robust. QuickBooks has long been seen as the industry standard but is facing stiff competition from new sites like Xero.
Xero and Quickbooks Online are very competitive in all areas from price to functionality. Stay tuned for a future blog post where I will attempt to review the differences between Xero and Quickbooks Online in greater depth.
Future Balance CPAs specializes in Cloud Accounting Services. Call us for assistance.