Hi everyone! Victoria and Julie here, we have come together to help you find the answer to our most asked question… Which accounting software should I choose!!??
I (Victoria) can’t tell you how much time I have spent googling for reviews each time I spend money on a new product, it really is ridiculous, I recently spent hours browsing my computer for the highest rated pillow for a good nights sleep (it’s Simba by the way, not that I’ve tried it because they were so expensive!!).
The problem is we never know who to trust, I read all these articles on the top rated *insert product here* and wonder… ‘have they been paid to say that??’ The best recommendation is probably from a friend, but even then… have they tried all the different products?!
So here we are, we have made a scoring system for each software and we are going to score three different accounts packages and try to establish the best package for you. We have chosen to review the software packages that most of our clients use so that we can be sure we know the software well enough to score them fairly. The software packages we have chose are Xero, Quickbooks and FreeAgent.
We are going to score each software for ease of use, reporting, connectivity and price and write a little about our reasoning behind the scoring.
The scoring will be out of five stars, the more stars the better the score. Lets get started…
EASE OF USE
This software is known for its usability to anyone, even if you have no accounts experience, and we have to say we agree… sort of. We find the wording they use very confusing which causes people to enter their information incorrectly. We also feel that it is difficult to navigate around the software sometimes and tough to find what you are looking for. However, once you have spent a little time using the software it all makes sense in a roundabout way and its quite logical. The help function in Quickbooks is also very helpful. We give them 3 stars out of 5.
We love Xero for ease of use! We think it’s so well streamlined and clear. There are lots of free training videos on Xero so you can search how to use the software, but we think for the most part its pretty self-explanatory. Another plus for Xero is they evolve so regularly around the customer. They frequently carry out sessions with the average user to simplify things even further. Their response time on queries is also pretty good, so if you really get stuck you can just ask them (or us!). We give them 5 stars.
If we’re honest, we really are not fans of the usability of FreeAgent. It is very limited in what it can do and it is also very difficult to find the information you need on there. It just isn’t very logical. We give them 1 star.
Quickbooks has a lot of reports to choose from and they have tried to set them out clearly for the user. We find it difficult to find some of the more commonly used reports, it’s as if they’ve tried so hard to make the reports user friendly to everyone that they’ve overdone it and made it even more confusing! We are going to give them 4 stars because there are a lot of reports to choose from.
Lots of reports to choose from! You can also personalise your reports which can be useful if you wanted to use them for a presentation for instance. We love all the reports, but it could be argued that there are so many that it could be confusing. You can also track your income and expenses on Xero using the tracking function, but the tracking reports aren’t particularly great which is disappointing to a lot of people. We give Xero 4 stars for reporting.
There are very few reports available for FreeAgent. It does cover the basics and I suppose for someone starting out it could be a good software to use because the less the software offers the less there is to learn but this software is definitely very limited in what you can get out of it! we give 2 stars.
So many different software providers connect with Xero! If you simply google apps that connect with Xero then you can find a really useful page of everything that connects with Xero categorised under the different types of software you are looking for. We definitely think Xero deserves 5 stars here!
Again Quickbooks has a large number of apps available. They have set up an app store where you can search for the apps you think would be useful to you. 5 Stars!
I believe FreeAgent does link with a few other softwares but it’s not very clear which ones exactly. We spent a little time researching this and couldn’t see much. FreeAgent is limited in what it can do which means it may not have a need to connect to many apps. We give FreeAgent 2 stars.
All price comparisons are based on their monthly standard membership types. Pricing is correct at the time of writing this blog (November 2020)
The Xero Standard membership is £24 per month, the priciest of the three. They occasionally run discounts for new subscribers, but compared to other accounting software some may find it a little pricey. 3 Stars from us.
Quickbooks Standard membership is £20 per month however they do often have discounts running for new subscribers. Currently they are running a 75% off promotion for the first 4 months! 4 Stars for Quickbooks.
You can’t really fault free can you?! However, it is “free”, not free. You can use Freeagent for free if you bank with Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland or Ulster Bank. Otherwise they have 3 different types of subscription:
Limited Company £14.50, Partnership £12 and Sole Trader £9. 5 stars for the “free” option.
So which accounting software have we rated as the best all round? We’ve made a handy table for you!
Thank you for reading our blog on which accounting software we think is best. As you can see we voted Xero as the best all round software!
If you have any questions or want to learn more about the accounting software packages available let us know! Drop us an email at either of the below email addresses:
Goodbye for now!