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Online accounts packages such as Xero or Kashflow - any advice / experience

(17 Posts)

About to start off our new business and looking to get a suitable accounts package that would include VAT tracking etc.

Anyone have any good recommendations on the packages they've found - costs seem to be around £15-£20 a month - is that about right??

Kewcumber Thu 14-Mar-13 23:35:31

personally I put small clients on quickfile. its cloud based and free and I think quite reasonable for a non accountant to use if you're reasonably numerate. it doesn't have a fixed asset register or a payroll capability and the reports aren't great. But you can export a trial balance to excel which is all your accountant will need.

Kewcumber Thu 14-Mar-13 23:36:15

it can cope with cash accounting and flat rate vat and produce returns.

Kewcumber Thu 14-Mar-13 23:37:11

but yes, if you insist on paying, £15-20 is about the norm.

Don't need payroll - as only have one director to pay out! If it's free and doers the job should be OK, all flatrate VAT returns needed.

I'll check it out and give it a go - a few of the other sites provide a free trail period too.

Kew - free is better if it's up to the job!! grin

Kewcumber Fri 15-Mar-13 10:50:53

well I'm a chartered accountant in practice and I use it for my clients so if it isn't up to the job I'm in trouble. The talk on the accountancy forum (my how those long winter nights just fly by...) is how the hell they manage it for free not that it isn't adequate. I suspect they may charge at some point but no sign of it yet - also I think they may start charging at a lower rate.

Even with one director you will need payroll due to the RTI coming in in April assuming you are taking advantage of paying yourself an amount to use up your personal allowance? Try Payroo - its also free. I haven't used it but hear that it too is fine. Alternatively the HMRC basic PAYE tools is adequate but doesn't print payslips if you need them.

BoredEasily Sat 16-Mar-13 20:32:52

I can highly recommend xero - £20 per month but well worth it in my opinion - has removed comepletely the need for any kind of bookkeeping as it takes automatic feeds from my business bank account, sales system and paypal. I just have to go in and reconcile, plus the VAT return screen is exactly the same as the vat return form on HMRC so it's a doddle to just go in and find the figures every quarter.

IShallWearMidnight Sat 16-Mar-13 20:54:48

Kew - I've just signed up to Quickfile and will be having a play with it - how does the receipt upload work in practice? And up to what size of business/turnover does it work well? We trialled Sage One (which is another one OP) but it couldn't cope with a £200k turnover business, was just too inflexible.

OP - I use Xero for a client, and it's OK, wouldn't go further than that. The payroll section needs you to have worked out your payroll figures separately, and the budget manager only accepts monthly figures.

I've had a trial of Kashflow, and liked it more, but didn't use it "as live" for the client. I'd get trials of all of them, and see what works best for you.

Kewcumber Sat 16-Mar-13 21:43:31

Ive only just started using receipt upload on my own accounts and it works just fine. I'm not convinced at present that there much point to it unless you want your receipts digitised in the same place as your accounts.

There's no payroll so that has to be journalled in and no fixed asset rwgister but that's not a big trade off in my opinion for very decent free software.

I'm not sure the turnover would make a difference but I haven't used it for any high turnover clients. once clients get above a few hundred k I prefer them to have their own accounts package properly backed up. not sure why, I don't have any reason to think quickfile isn't up to the job.

I export the tb into excell in every case regardless of system so as long as its ok its good enough for me.

it will take live feed from one of the banks and paypal and can upload csv bank statements and automatically tag if you set it up. which would probably work well if you have high volumes.

Kewcumber Sat 16-Mar-13 21:53:48

sorry didn't answer your receipt question. I either email a copy of a pdf invoice if I already have a digital copy or I use my phone to scan and crop a picture. pretty easy and appears very quickly in my receipts hub.

IShallWearMidnight Sat 16-Mar-13 22:43:52

Thanks, I have a high volume/low value transaction client I need something for, so as this takes a PayPal feed, it might be the package we need. Receipt scanning would be useful because of the nature of the business, people in different places, currently lots of paperwork backing up and/or being posted around the country, which I'd like to simplify, on a budget of not very much ;)

IShallWearMidnight Sat 16-Mar-13 22:45:18

Sorry for hijacking OP, but would be interested in how you find the different packages, as a non-accountancy person

Kewcumber Sun 17-Mar-13 18:56:24

I find the receipt huib pretty effective but haven't strecthed it (IYSWIM!) there is a daily upload limit but I'm sure you could work with it. I assume as it takes automatic paypal feeds that I would be ideal for them (or at least as ideal as any of the free/cheap solutions get)

IShallWearMidnight Sun 17-Mar-13 19:50:15

Have investigated further, and it looks like the customer data fields and reporting wont do what I need it to do without a load of faffing around sad
Might try it for a different client though, as a way of easing them into the cloud wink

Kewcumber Sun 17-Mar-13 22:22:27

yes the reporting generally isn't great. I export to excel.

Alad Sat 06-Apr-13 07:14:52

Another vote for quickfile.

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