Which Cloud Software is Right For You?

Confused about cloud accounting software?

Cloud-based accounting is one of the most effective innovations for small and medium businesses. It helps you work smarter and faster, gives you a real time view of your figures, and improves team collaboration… from anywhere in the world.

We’ve come a long way…

…in a short space of time.  It seems just a few moments ago that traditional accountancy was causing us all a few headaches.   The data in the system wasn’t always up to date,  you could only access it from one computer and key people couldn’t access critical customer details.  And…the available traditional solutions were usually costly and complicated to backup or upgrade, while the customer support was slow.

We saw opportunity…

ATB made the move to Cloud Based Accounting Software over ten years ago… we saw the opportunity for our business to evolve, and these innovative cloud-based software solutions would give us the opportunity to better serve our clients.  

Now, small- and medium-sized businesses are able to work with fully-integrated, tailored, cloud-based systems that are  secure and cost effective. It allows you to spend more time on the value add work, rather than running backwards-looking reports.

Access your data from anywhere in the world

Cloud-based accounting software has revolutionised accounting, and the way we do business.  You can access your  financial data from any device, anywhere in the world.   And better still…there is no need to install and run updates. Phew, what a relief.

Your data is safe and secure

Some people worry about cloud services providers storing their data, but the cloud is one of the most secure ways to store your information. You have the ability to control how much access each and every user has.  

If you lose your laptop or device (or they are stolen) unless the person who has them has your login details, your financial data is safe.  

There is no down time while you wait for the help desk to lodge a ticket and get back to you within 48 hours.  Your data is securely stored and accessible anytime from other available devices.

Even better, it’s cost effective

And the costs for cloud accounting services are significantly lower compared to traditional solutions and version upgrades. Maintenance, system administration costs and server failures are no longer an issue – the cloud service provider manages them all.

Not sure what to look for?

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  There are a few aspects to take into consideration when choosing the most suitable cloud based accounting solution for your business.  

Does your software have the ability to:

  • Simplify processes and supply essential features, such as general ledger, the capability to create detailed invoices, business inventory and purchase history?
  • Allow you to create invoices easily, track sales and expenses, download banking transactions and access your business data from any mobile device?
  • Share your business data with your accountant effectively and efficiently?  This is a crucial element which saves precious time and resources.
  • Collaborate on your financials as a team?  If everyone can input their data, receipts and expenses, management can quickly and efficiently see what is happening in real time, and make decisions quickly if anything goes wrong.
  • Manage projects, track time and generate timesheets?
  • Run monthly payroll and file RTI (real time information)? Your software should also be able to submit your Business Activity Statement electronically.
  • Fully tailor to your business’s individual needs?

But which one is right for me?

It really comes down to what your business needs are.  No two systems are exactly the same or perform the exact same functions.

There are too many to list, but here we’ll just look at the big guns. Xero, MYOB, Reckon, Quickbooks, SAGE One, and Sassau.   Here’s a comparison chart to help you in the right direction…but it can be best summarised like this:

‘Xero is the best choice. Xero has more functionality, more extensions and more support than its competitors.’

6 cloud accounting systems at a glance

MYOB Essentials QuickBooks Plus Online Reckon One Saasu Sage One Xero
Quoting Y Y Y Y Y Y
Invoicing Y Y Y Y Y Y
Online quotes/ invoices N Y N N N Y
Purchases Y Y Y Y Y Y
Purchase orders N Y N Y Y Y
Inventory N Y N Y Y Y
Payment gateways Y Y Y Y Y Y
Bank feeds Y Y Y Y Y Y
Payroll Y Y Y Y Y Y
Time tracking N Y Y (mobile app) N Y N
Document storage (attached to transactions Y Y (mobile app) N Y Y Y
Third-party add-ons 50+ 180+ 10 50+ 5 500+
Mobile app available Y Y Y Y Y Y
More info Review Review Review Review Review Review
Website Website Website Website Website Website
Pricing/ plans $25 (1 employee, 25 bank transactions, 5 invoices) $15 (Simple Start) Core system $5, plus: $15 (1000 transactions a year, 3 bank feeds) $20 $25 (5 invoices and quotes, 5 bills, 20 bank transactions, payroll for 1 employee)
$40 (unlimited transactions, 1 employee) $25 (Essentials: adds data import and multiple currencies) $3 for invoicing ($5 with approvals) $40 (20,000 transactions, 5 bank feeds; adds payroll for 20 employees, inventory, multicurrency) Additional users $3 $50 (unlimited invoices, quotes, bank transactions)
$50 (unlimited transaction and employees) $35 (Plus, adds inventory) $3 for bank feed (up to 100 transactions) or $5 (up to 250) or $7 (for up to 500) $70 (40,000 transactions, 10 bank feeds, 40 employees; adds inventory attributes and P&L consolidation) Bank feeds $7 $60 (up to 5 employees; adds auto- superannuation and multicurrency)
$3 for payroll ($5 with SuperStream output) $180 (100,00 transactions, 20 bank feeds, 100 employees)
$3 for projects ($5 with enhanced features)
$3 for time and expenses ($5 with enhanced features)