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Cloud Based accounts

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I am currently a director of a Scottish Football club as a retirement "hobby"  When I got involved the club's accounting processes were in need of upgrading.  I went for Kashflow as cloud based system as we have people who work at the ground, others at a separate location in the town and myself working from home.  We have a charitable arm which is a separate company limited by guarantee and the football club which is a conventional limited company.   I like Kashflow as a decent and intuitive bookkeeping package but a severe omission from the system is proper user controls allowing me to limit who can access what part of the system and also to be able to track who posted which transaction.   I am therefore considering change and have briefly looked at:

Xero:  appears to have the necessary user controls but appears much less intuitive than Kashflow and more of an exercise to get up and running.  Also appears limited in its ability to import transactions from a previous system  

Quickbooks: appears to have everything I need but an upper limit of 5 users.  That might be OK for now but might is a bit limiting in the future.

I have briefly glanced at Freshbooks and couple of other packages but they appear aimed at very small and simple businesses 

I need the usual - comprehensive nominal ledger, bank/credit card/Paypal imports, Sales and purchase ledgers, importable journals via excel, etc  It is also important to have decent usability from mobile devices so that sales people can raise and email an invoice on the road.  I also need either a comprehensive report generator or an easy ability to export to an excel reporting package.

In addition, I need the ability to quickly and easily migrate.

Anyone got any views on whats best?


Replies (10)

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By Paul Scholes
09th Sep 2016 10:35

Hi Nick, even though I'm consultant accountant to Clear Books I use it and the other systems you quote in my practice and, if user permissions are important then have a look at CB, it provides up to 70 permissions for each user you allow in and if you have several people to whom you wish to grant the same permissions, then you can establish 'roles" of permissions. I find this feature particularly useful when introducing clients and their staff, as it means they only see the few screens they need to.

Happy to answer any specific queries you may have via PM.

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By lionofludesch
09th Sep 2016 10:46
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Replying to lionofludesch:
By Manchester_man
17th Sep 2016 19:37

Forget Xero, if you want to grant an employee 'expenses only' role, it is only possible if you are happy for the employee to have full access to the company's customer contact list and supplier directory.

Barmy, but they have no intention of changing it either.

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By cheekychappy
09th Sep 2016 10:58

If you want to live every day regretting you engaged in a relationship with a prat, then choose Xero.

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Replying to cheekychappy:
By pacta
09th Sep 2016 13:53

cheekychappy wrote:

If you want to live every day regretting you engaged in a relationship with a prat, then choose Xero.

My marriage to a tee.

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By kiwilondon99
09th Sep 2016 13:18

not a cloud[ entry SME user] - but with a business of the trading scope and revenue streams of the average club [ including membership/subscriptions accounting and deferred revenues ] would have though something a bit more mid range would be applicable. Also aCIC / charity and varous tax efficent strucures if a smallish club may require SORP accounting as well

for example Exact or iaccounts [ again not a user - but have seen both at accountex.. ] may have the criterion outlined

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Elliott Chandler Picture
By elliottchandler
09th Sep 2016 19:30

Another route is to find an application that meets the functional requirements and then have the application hosted as a WebApp. Happy to help in this area.

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By garyturner
11th Sep 2016 19:39

Hi Nick, unless you've completely discounted Xero, I'd encourage you to have another look.

We find that once people have worked out how Xero was designed, there's usually an 'Aha' moment and everything falls into place. It's not so much that it's complex - we have many tens of thousands of non-accountants happily using it, it's just laid out a particular way.

Gary Turner
Managing Director, Xero

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By J T
29th Sep 2016 10:21

Edit: not going to delete my origina post in case it is of relevance and your scale will mean that the prices are not an issue. I have contacts who still use it without issue (although they haven't got the payroll) and it's integration is good

Looking through other comments posted since mine and rereading your post the pricing mechanism/partnership changes has significantly changed my opinion of the brand and relevance for smaller organisations or if I was practice that used it (I work in industry).

Accountsportal may not have the functionality/scale you need.

Several years ago I worked in Rugby and was tasked with sourcing a package for amateur/semi pro clubs who did not have accounting systems.

We went with Xero as:
- usable by non-accountants/finance staff
- had functionality that others didn't have (automatic cash posting was most useful).
- cloud computing is really useful for sports clubs as you may not have a network, you can guarantee someone won't back it up and people can do some of the work from home or the club.
- automatic updates (don't get stuck with a 20 year old package)
- multiple users/PCs so you don't have five users taking turns with a PC (or keeping manual records
- easy invoicing (really got fed up with clubs that had manual invoicing processes - can't imagine how much they forgot to collect).

Athough you may need to be aware:
- Xero was not the most user friendly (that was accountsportal - not sure what they are like now). You don't need to be an accountant but you do need to be willing to not be scared by accounts.
- Others have upped their game so the differential is smaller.
- We needed something that could handle both automatic receipts (credit cards, ticketing sites) and process manual cash recs (bars, turnstiles)

The main reason we went for it is we would have been happy recommending it to a top flight club (even though they didn't need it). Lets face it half the moneymen in sport desires/expects to be promoted three flights or to the top division.

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By jallen1987
29th Sep 2016 18:38

Hi Nick,
There are many different options on the market and this has become quite a competitive area. Xero, Kashflow an QB are very much the big fish in the small business cloud accounting area but there are other options for the slightly larger SME such as SAGE One/SAGE Live, Twinfield and Exact online. I am MD of a firm called 4pointzero who help SME's and accountancy firms in the UK an Europe as an independent advisor on cloud finance solutions. If you wanted to discuss this I would be happy to help expalin the strengths and weaknesses of each option. You can see our details on All the best, Jamie

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