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It's Quickbooks upgrade season again what are the best alternatives?

It's Quickbooks upgrade season again what are...

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Price rise from QB took me by surprise last year, but as a long term user I, with a certain amount of regret and eye watering, went along with it. Price rise has come through again just now so I've cancelled the subscription. The question is what next for relatively simple bookkeeping, invoicing and 1 person payroll?

VT seems good for all things iXBRL.

Will the HMRC RTI system do the business for payroll?

What about the various cloud packages?

or, gulp,

Sage instant or whatever it's now called and payroll?

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Replies (25)

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By Ken Howard
05th Oct 2012 11:24

VT and Moneysoft

This is a regular topic and the usual response from most accountants is VT for book-keeping/accounts with Moneysoft for payroll.  Both are very easy to set up and quick/easy to use.

 

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Nichola Ross Martin
By Nichola Ross Martin
05th Oct 2012 11:58

Is there something other than Sage int and Quickbooks

that can handle sales invoicing, ledger accounting and is easy to understand? I think Sage int has become the most extraordinary thing, really difficult to get any sense of many screens. It has been a great time waster for us this year.

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Replying to RobertD:
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By MariasLove
11th Oct 2012 12:40

I can certainly recommend Simply Accounts http://www.simplyaccounts.net

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Universe
By SteveOH
05th Oct 2012 12:07

I'm with Ken above

For bookkeeping and simple accounts, VT is great. Their VT CashBook software is free and VT Transaction+ is not too pricey.

For something in the cloud, I use IRIS OpenBooks (FreeAgent in disguise). You pay a monthly subscription.

For payroll, nothing in my opinion (and the opinion of the majorityof AWeb members) beats Moneysoft. For what you you get, it's incredibly cheap and it means that you're not reliant on HMRC software. Moneysoft are rolling out their Realtime updates over the coming months.

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By brianheg
05th Oct 2012 12:27

Xero

I personally think Xero's great - much more user friendly than Sage or Quickbooks. For a one-person payroll you can use one the payroll add-ons which are linked through on the Xero website.

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By Nigel Hughes
05th Oct 2012 17:41

Thanks to all

Moneysoft looks very promising and seems to work in the VMFusion environment on my Mac.

I'm probably going to try the same trick with VT which I already have on a windows machine, but I'll need to get a windows version of excel.

Xero looks like an interesting alternative

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Replying to Ruddles:
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By jaybee661
05th Oct 2012 18:39

@Nigel Hughes

Nigel Hughes wrote:

Xero looks like an interesting alternative

I introduced Xero into my practice earlier this year and have never looked back... I love it, clients love it, it's just... superb!

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Replying to Ruddles:
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By jaybee661
05th Oct 2012 18:40

@Nigel Hughes

Nigel Hughes wrote:

Moneysoft looks very promising and seems to work in the VMFusion environment on my Mac.

Sorry and yes, Moneysoft is EXCELLENT... it's just SO cheap for what it is... FAR, FAR superior to IRIS & Sage...

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Replying to dwood:
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By Nigel Hughes
05th Oct 2012 20:14

No apology required - just think we need to keep these things un

Sorry - got to include some content - see subject

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Replying to Ruddles:
By elansea
11th Oct 2012 11:49

VT vs Xero

Vt works on my MB Air via Parallels. No problem.

 

Xero has continuing problems with its banking link, requires a wfi connection and isn't cheap. It feels like it was written for  another jurisdiction. Beware!

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By Greenheys
05th Oct 2012 19:24

Payroll & Accounts

12 Pay is just as cheap as Moneysoft.

 

Front Accounting is a *free* ERP system for small to mid sized companies - but you'll need to find a server to host it and get your head round MySql etc to get it up and running.

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By Nigel Hughes
05th Oct 2012 20:16

Ah - That's why!

Should read "No apology required - just think we need to keep these things under review"

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By sarah douglas
06th Oct 2012 22:24

Sage Instant

Hi 

This just some thoughts.  Before anyone picks on me for liking Sage.  I also like other softwares.

I have said it on this forum before.  It is not worth buying sage Instant unless it is a one man band and even then it is not great. Nor can you compare it to Quickbooks 13.  You need to compare Quickbooks 13  against Sage 2013 the full version or any other software that has a lot of capabilities. 

Comparing Quickbooks to Sage Instant   and Sage Instant to Sage 2013 is like comparing Strawberries and Peanuts. 

I despair the amount of times I have gone to a client that has been set up with Sage Instant when it was clear their needs required the full version or the next one up. I really feel the accountants setting them up should have know better.   I think sometimes the client was given no consideration for coding or their needs for Invoicing Service or Products, project costing, SOP, POP. Stock Control ,  using it as a database and letter merging extra.  

Sage coding is so easy to change and can be  adapted easily for every type of business for excellent management accounts. Sage User group covers this topic well.  

If it is the client  has purchase  it themselves. Then it is fair they pay for the costs to put things right  as they did not do their research.   But it does feel unfair to them when you find they had it recommended to them from their accountant.

Sage 2013 is massive jump from 2012 especially with drillable reports and excel.  The difference is huge.  This has been covered in the Sage User Group.  

This year I am trying to revisit all the softwares and things are always changing. 

 

Kind Regards Sarah Douglas . Douglas Accountancy & Bookkeeping Services Glasgow

 

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By elansea
11th Oct 2012 11:46

Book keeping & Software

It's a no-btainer.

 

VT and Moneysoft. Unbeatable software, support and price  'Nough said?

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By bocsta
11th Oct 2012 12:29

^^

 

Xero has no problems with HSBC UK links (also works with multi currency accounts). As its in the cloud, yes it requires an internet connection (not necessarily WiFi).

Its true beauty are its bank feeds and bank reconciliation process. Logging in in the morning to find yesterdays bank transactions loaded and wanting to match with AP and AR items with one click of the mouse suits many businesses

 

Batching up creditor payments into a BACS file is cake

 

Weakpoints may be its lack of payroll for some (try payroo), no purchase orders, and its limited user access levels (set to be reviewed by the Xero team)

 

 

 

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By numbercloud
11th Oct 2012 12:30

Xero and thepayrollsite.co.uk

I have been using Xero for over a year now and it is excellent, the best software I have used. Not sure what the guy above is talking about regarding bank links and being written for another jurisdiction. Scaremongering. 

Xero is quite expensive, but you get what you pay for. I would recommend it for bigger SMEs than sole traders and it has an excellent stock function. I ditched the Sage stock function as it was a nightmare. 

thepayrollsite.co.uk is ok and cheap, but it looks cheap. It does the job though and very happy with it. 

The thought of installing programmes and keeping data on to my local drive scares me now. Never again, keep it all in the cloud. Use Dropbox to save all your reports too and you should be sorted. 

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By bocsta
11th Oct 2012 12:41

Dropbox for file storage & sharing but for true data security, anywhere access, try office365. You pay, but you get what you pay for

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By MariasLove
11th Oct 2012 12:41

I use Simply Accounts http://www.simplyaccounts.net and it is very simple to use.

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By cswan
11th Oct 2012 15:37

Great thread, thank you but ....

....but can anyone advise if Quickbooks/Xero/VT have any limitations where there is a small group of companies (the whole thing is still an SME) and therefore need multi-business license or more than 1 copy of the software? I know of a client who was on Sage Instant and had (and paid for) 4 licenses on 1 computer. An upgrade a few years ago meant that only one copy could be run on the machine and a upgrade to a Sage multi-company software is prohibitively expensive. They've therefore been runnning out of date, unsupported software for a few years now, but are very keen to change (particularly away from Sage).

Thanks

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By Nigel Hughes
11th Oct 2012 16:57

My understanding is for QB it's about users not companies

I haven't tried this in the last couple of years or so, but you used to be able to set up as many companies as you liked (I did it for a time for training purposes).

Depending on the demands of the group, you may be able to operate it as one company, although this requires a bit of flexible thinking when producing the stat accounts.

I've been a satisfied QB user for about 15 years, but some of its flexibility is no longer there, and my main quibble is with the cost which is now out of proportion to my needs

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By golders42
11th Oct 2012 17:17

Payroll

I have been using Payroo for payroll for some months now and I find it great and and it is completely free

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Nichola Ross Martin
By Nichola Ross Martin
12th Oct 2012 13:11

That multi company problem

So what do we all think is the best bookkeeping software for groups/multi companies?

We seem to have a choice:

Sage instant - run lots of copies with separate licences - not the most pleasant thing to use.

Sage 50 - multi company licence - v. expensive but easier to use than instant.

Quickbooks - multi company - I have not tried this. How is it for invoicing and sales ledger?

Quickbooks online - did a trial and found that was no good for us as it didn't have very good sale ledger reports.

Zero - this sounds very basic - can it handle invoicing and a sales ledger?

 

In passing we vote for VT - for client bookkeeping, final accounts and ixbrl Moneysoft for payroll.

Also we use Dropbox but we have had some issues with it updating at different times which has led to data loss so be careful about all working on the same files at once!

 

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By bocsta
12th Oct 2012 14:32

Xero will handle multi company (no consolidations), switching companies is done once logged in and a doodle. Export and import creditors/customers easily between 2 companies

Xero 15% discount for each new company that you add

what you wont see is a summary of all companies anywhere e.g. all bank accounts from all companies you have. You would have to switch to each company individually

 

Drop box is for file sharing.Read the comments about data security

 

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By Nigel Hughes
12th Oct 2012 15:37

QB Invoicing

QB allows multiple templates for invoices.

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By carnmores
12th Oct 2012 18:31

quickbooks is still out on its own

if you need the full gamut of extras and you can have as many companies as you like as you can with money manager which also copes with th flat rate sheme

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