We have chosen seven criteria that we think are the most important to small businesses when it comes to accounting software. We will be rating each software package out of 5 stars for each of the following:

  1. Ease of use: We think that it is important for accounting software to be easy to reviews for accounting softwareuse and user friendly. After all bookkeeping can be complex so adding difficult software to the mix could result in confusion and even unnecessary errors. We have looked in particular at how user friendly the software is, how easy it is to navigate around and to understand what is going on.
  2. Speed: If you have lots of transactions to enter then you will probably want software that is quick to use, after all time is money. We have taken a look at how fast transactions can be entered and things like available shortcuts and efficient features such as bank imports.
  3. Features: We feel this is an important subject to cover because each business is unique and will require certain features so it’s important to know which accounting software provides the features you need.
  4. Support: Most people reading this review will not be a trained bookkeeper or accountant so support will probably be needed when using your accounting software. We have reviewed the support that each provider offers so that you can see if you’re going to get the right amount of help.
  5. Reporting: Although not the most important aspect of accounting software, reporting will be used by almost all users, so we felt that you should know the level of reporting offered by each accounting software package. We have looked at how informative the reports are along with how easy they are to read and interpret.
  6. Price: We have taken a close look at the cost of each accounting software provider and letting you know if we think each is good value for money. So, how the cost compares to what is included and what else is available on the market.
  7. VAT handling: Most businesses are VAT registered and will want accounting software that can handle VAT correctly. In particular we looked to see if the software supports cash accounting, the flat rate scheme and how it handles switching between the schemes.
  8. Invoicing: Creating and managing invoices is an integral part of any business. We have taken a look at the design, functionality, flexibility and overall usability of each accounting software to determine which has the most user friendly and complete invoicing package.
  9. Design: Whilst this may not be the most important aspect of any accounting software it has been included as an indication of the overall user interface. If you are working with an accounting software every day then easy on the eye aesthetics is sure to help with your daily bookkeeping tasks.
  10. Dashboard:  We understand that some days you just need a quick overview of your business finances and for that you need a comprehensive dashboard. We have drilled down into each accounting software package to find out exactly what reports are available on your dashboard, and how much flexibility you have in choosing which reports you see.

We will also give an overview of particular features we really like and features we disliked from each package along with the amount of bookkeeping skill and experience we think is needed to use the accounting software properly.

Check out the results table on each review, each cloud based software package is marked according to the criteria. Hopefully it will help you decide which is the best package for you!