How We Review Accounting Software

Our criteria for assessing and reviewing bookkeeping software for businesses

It’s important that we’re consistent when we test and review accounting software. Each review is written on the basis of assessment criteria to help us make a fair evaluation of what each bookkeeping software provider offers.

We also compare software solutions, which helps us to demonstrate the similarities and differences between separate providers. Each component of our review criteria receives its own star rating, and the overall score is calculated as an average of these.

Ease of Use

Bookkeeping software isn’t just for finance professionals; it’s for the businesses that they work with. We think that it’s important these businesses can access software which is easy to use.

To help us assess this, we look at how user friendly the software is, and consider how easy (or otherwise) it is to navigate and understand. We look for straightforward layouts, with well-designed menus which are intuitive to work through. We also consider how the software helps users spot and avoid potential errors.


Time is money, so business users will usually want bookkeeping software which is quick to use. When we consider how fast bookkeeping software is, we look at the loading times as well as how efficient and fast it is to actually use. For instance, what shortcuts there are, and how quickly data can be entered or imported, such as with bank feeds.

This combined approach helps us evaluate the ‘true’ speed of bookkeeping software. So, if page loading times are extremely fast, but this is because there aren’t many features, future development work might see the software become slower. Likewise, fast loading might be hampered by long-winded processes for users to follow.


We review features using two basic principles:

  • How well the features work. Do they do the job that they’re supposed to? Do they integrate with each other, to minimise repetitive work?

  • Whether the software meets industry standards. Is it missing features which you would normally expect to see at that price point? Do the features work as well as they do with other providers?


Most people in businesses using bookkeeping software won’t have the training or knowledge that an accountant or bookkeeper will, so it’s essential that you have the level of support appropriate for your needs.

We assess what type of help you can expect from each software provider, and how accessible this is. From written guides and articles, product tours, and videos, all the way up to real-person assistance through Live Chat, on the phone, or via e-mail.


Comparing accounting software on price alone can actually be counterproductive. Software which seems expensive might actually offer excellent value for money because of the features available at that price point, for example.

To make a fair assessment, we consider how the cost compares to what is included, and what else is available on the market in a similar price bracket.

What level of bookkeeping knowledge will I need?
What level of bookkeeping knowledge will I need?
A key part to any developer’s approach to making bookkeeping software, is (or should be) dependant on who they expect the user to be. Accounts software built for accountants is likely to be far more technical than anything a small business or sole trader needs to manage the books.

We consider how much knowledge users are likely to need in order to use the software without making serious mistakes.