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Cloud software choice for your own practice

Which cloud software do you use to for your own practice bookkeeping ?

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Myself and a colleague are in the process of taking over the practice we work for.

The current owner is old school and has never used any bookkeeping software so we are obviously looking to change this. 

What do others use for your own practice (for your own books not client books) - Xero, QBO, VTT, Quickfile, Pandle, Freeagent etc ??

We're interested on hearing other accountant's user opinions and if they are happy with their choice before we decide.

Thanks.

Replies (26)

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By sarahg
02nd Mar 2021 15:49

We use Xero, but that's also what we work on with most clients

What software do you use most? What CRM will you be using, do you want it to integrate?

Thanks (1)
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
02nd Mar 2021 16:09

VT Transaction+ because it's flexible, editable, and (importantly) offline!

Thanks (3)
Egg
By EGG
02nd Mar 2021 16:56

I chose QuickBooks. I am familiar with Sage, but more and more clients were using/wanting to use QB so thought is a good way to teach myself of any quirks of the system.

I am happy with it at present.

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By michaelbeaver
02nd Mar 2021 17:21

I use Clear Books. I like it. It doesn't have the app ecosystem that Xero has, but I don't need all those bells and whistles, and the development team is here in the UK and approachable.

For our clients we use a mix of Clear Books, Xero, Quickbooks, etc - depending on what the client wants and needs.

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bike
By FirstTab
02nd Mar 2021 18:19

I use Xero. It is okay, nothing to write home about.

I would be okay with QuickBooks as well. Both have their downsides.

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By frankfx
02nd Mar 2021 18:55

An attraction of VTT is the ability to create multiple ledgers.
P1 clients
P2 clients
P1 costs
P2 costs

And multiple businesses.

If you are not familiar with VTT try the 60 free trial.

Not cloud based.

Thanks (2)
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By OldParkAcct
02nd Mar 2021 20:43

Vt transaction+....simple, quick to enter data and offline.

Thanks (2)
Sparkly Orange
By Sparkly
03rd Mar 2021 01:31

I use QBO, Taxfiler and Senta. QBO and Taxfiler work very well together

Thanks (1)
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By leicsred
03rd Mar 2021 06:17

We use QBO, it works well for us, much better than Sage L50 we used to use.

Thanks (1)
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By Wanderer
03rd Mar 2021 07:07

VTT+

Thanks (2)
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By Calculatorboy
03rd Mar 2021 07:34

Xero failed abysmally on basic reporting when i looked at it a while ago , lack of simple supplier ledger transaction activity etc etc

Thanks (1)
By williams lester accountants
03rd Mar 2021 08:35

QBO for the moment, it certainly helps run clients accounts if we know how it all works on a day to day real time system, so we have used QB for 5 years.

We will be moving to Xero in July for our new financial year just to gain more experience of Xero in real time operation.

Thanks (1)
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By Crouchy
03rd Mar 2021 08:52

Another vote for Clear Books, simple and effective, it doesn't have the integrations and features of some, but how often are they really used anyway

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By BlackBriar
03rd Mar 2021 08:57

Thanks for all the responses and opinions - a fair spread then.

How does each handle client deposits/payments on account ? We'll have a substantial amount of fees paid in advance so the easier this is to handle the better.

Thanks again.

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Replying to BlackBriar:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
11th Mar 2021 10:20

I use Xero as I find it more aligned with traditional accounting principles / software than QBO. QBO is a bit too "My First Accounting Software" for me.

Xero handles payments in advance quite well (you can assign prepayments to the individual debtor control account in advance of raising the invoice and then allocate them later), but you have to choose the right option (which weirdly is Overpayments rather than Prepayments).

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Replying to Beach Accountancy:
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By tom123
11th Mar 2021 10:24

To me, payments in advance of invoices on a ledger should correctly be called 'over payments' or 'payments on account'.

Prepayment would be the general ledger code for invoices covering a future time period.

Semantics, but even so.

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Replying to tom123:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
11th Mar 2021 11:02

Yes, I agree with you, but the difference is Xero is critical as one processes the VAT straight away, and the other is a true payment on account (and the Xero help is a bit woolly)

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Replying to BlackBriar:
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By North East Accountant
11th Mar 2021 11:07

Like calculatorboy says above for suppliers it's the same for customers in Xero.

If you receive a deposit/payment in advance and you haven't raised a sale invoice you can treat this as a prepayment (deals with the VAT) or overpayment (doesn't deal with the VAT).

Xero creates a sale invoice for every prepayment so if you run a customer statement it says they owe £Nil even though they might be in credit.

If you want a customer statement showing all invoices raised and all payments received, then if you receive payments in advance forget Xero, it doesn't work.

Loads of people will tell you bill to monthly in advance and it's no problem but then there's not a decent cloud software product that will enable you to deal with revenue recognition properly.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting (SBCA) gives you a customer statement just fine, as does Sage 50.

But SBCA has it's faults too such as you can't amend narrative on the bank feed.

We reluctantly use Sage 50 still because despite all the cloud hype there's not one cloud product at the lower end that can do everything 50 does..... and the fact that's the case in 2021 the software companies should pull their fingers out and get the full functionality needed into the cloud products.

Thanks (1)
Replying to North East Accountant:
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By PERMON
11th Mar 2021 12:09

Interesting points. I'm in Ireland and very similar points arise. Of QBO, Xero and Sage Business Cloud Accounting only SBCA deals correctly with the Irish VAT system , QBO Irish version comes close but Xero does not have an Irish version. Agree SBCA is a bit clunky ( not sure about using its inbuilt invoicing for accountancy services as the templates are a bit functional) . Xero and QBO are a bit more feature rich but I think Sage perhaps gets a lot of undeserved criticism.

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By BlackBriar
05th Mar 2021 13:11

Is there any way of contacting Xero other than having to "sign-up" ?

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Replying to BlackBriar:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
11th Mar 2021 10:15

Have you tried [email protected]?

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By paulclewlow
11th Mar 2021 10:23

Free Agent beats xero and QB every time.
Xero has no telephone support
Both Xero and QB were developed for the US market and neither work properly with UK systems (especially vat codes and journals)
Sage online I tried when it first came out last year and was riddled with bugs, and Sage admit that the roll out had not been tested properly.
For CT returns BTC is so simple and accurate (but not the cheapest)

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By birdie
11th Mar 2021 10:41

The simplicity of VT+ is hard to beat and easy to explain to clients...it does what it says on the tin. There is not a cloud version but, hey ho, not a bad thing in many eyes. It integrates well with most tax software and is very reasonably priced - I've used it for over 20 years and it gets my vote

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By Barry Adams
11th Mar 2021 12:13

We use FreeAgent for bookkeeping, VAT, PAYE etc and it is excellent. Our practice primarily deals with Freelancers, Contractors and Consultants. If you are planning on working with larger clients then you may want to use Xero.

For company secretarial we use Inform Direct which is excellent and for the final accounts and tax returns we use Taxcalc which is great for us.

FreeAgent, Inform Direct and Taxcalc have one things in common - outstanding customer support including telephone support.

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By Georgina Rollings
12th Mar 2021 10:49

For us the must have options are Xero for bookkeeping, Dext (was Receipt Bank) to manage bills and expenses, Inform Direct for all things company secretarial, and Taxcalc for personal and company tax.

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Red Leader
By Red Leader
12th Mar 2021 10:53

QBO.

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