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I realize  I need to move upwards from dealing with just Excel.... The two options I currently have in mind are 1) FreeAgent and 2) QuickBooks.

I like both but currently prefer the latter as there seems to be more functioonality around importing from Excel.

Thoughts and experiences  are much appreciated :)

 

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30th Jan 2017 18:21

Xero

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to Kent accountant
31st Jan 2017 12:09

You persuaded me to look at Xero again. One of the reasons you gave was marketing but my reason for choosing Xero is that they seem to think what the owners of businesses and accountants want. They have different videos and explanation for each. I was using Clear Books but sometimes their support guidance didn't make sense for either accountants and/or owners of businesses.

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By sash100
30th Jan 2017 19:13

I think when you are looking for a package apart form one that integrates with various Apps which xero does well. Its the functionality, presentation and ease of use that is important to users and quickbooks tick all the boxes I find my clients get used to quickbooks quite quickly as it is user friendly. Saying that I don't like the recent changes to quickbooks interface.

I also like the fact the customer service is easily contactable in the UK and always provide a brilliant service. Account management is first class as well. You also get good deals on quickbooks and less expensive than the other software. Quickbooks and Xero seem to have been increasing their market share in recent years (at the expense of Sage) mainly due to every advertising and partnerships not necessarily due to the fact they are superior products. Free Agent is great and also Kashflow. It is important to make the right choice initially as its better to stick to one software

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30th Jan 2017 19:25

I'd vote Quickbooks. If you're an accountant, have a look at their free ProAdviser scheme - you get a free version of QB online and significant discounts on client subscriptions from the first subscription. There is also free online training and certification.

Freeagent is good for contractors, but I had one client on it who issued numerous invoices in a month and it was painful - it was sooooo slow to use because of the way invoices had to be matched. The reports were not very good either. I moved them across to QB.

I have dabbled in Xero too, but much prefer QB. I think QB is more intuitive for clients to use and it is very easy to match the bank and correct mistakes (but the audit log records everything if you want to see what your client has messed with!) The reports are much better and pretty customisable.

Not keen on QB payroll though.

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By Rutar
30th Jan 2017 19:55

Thanks for the responses, and the HMRC RTI payroll functionality within QB is both easy to use and reliable?

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By sash100
to Rutar
30th Jan 2017 23:02

Quote:

Thanks for the responses, and the HMRC RTI payroll functionality within QB is both easy to use and reliable?

Yes it is good and relatively easy to use (not as easy as money soft) but I understand they are developing the payroll module as it could be better. The payroll reports are poor

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By Livepay
to Rutar
31st Jan 2017 09:16

Have you considered a dedicated payroll bureau for all of your payroll requirements? Look at our website, www.ccmlpay.com and give me a call 01623 622210 ask for Mark.

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to Rutar
02nd Feb 2017 10:15

I would agree with Sash100 - payroll is easy to use, but is lacking in functionality such as classes, and pay templates. The reports are rubbish.

The other thing I don't like is the lack of rollback - once you have advanced to the next period, that is it, you can't amend previous periods.

If you are not subscribed through an accountant, it also costs £1+VAT per month per employee which can add up to be a bit steep if you have a number of staff. 2-3 staff is probably reasonable value but say 10 staff = £120 pa - there is lots of 'proper' payroll software out there, with better functionality for less than that.

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31st Jan 2017 11:58

Most of the established cloud packages offer great functionality and service so it's unlikely you can go 'wrong'. However, in seeking a cloud software supplier you need to be looking at more than that- this is the service that will drive efficiencies in your financial management.

What is different about your business or process that needs to be addressed by this move? Draw up a list of your must haves and nice to haves and find 3 packages that meet your requirements. Pretty much everyone offers free trials so take a look at your top 3 and process the same transactions through each. If there is something you cannot do or are unsure of, contact their support team and see how helpful they are.

As an accountant with 20 years experience and 10 years in software development, I've seen this from both sides. Contact me on 07974 717713 or [email protected] to discuss how we can work together on finding the right solution for you.

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06th Feb 2017 10:26

Glad you're making the move away from spreadsheets - they serve their purpose though.
I sell a cloud accounting software package called Aqilla which is really aimed at bigger companies and has superb Excel integration. For my self employed earnings (for my little sideline) I use Xero and I think it's pretty good. I haven't used Quickbooks so can't really comment though. Both have free trials so I'd take a little time to explore both.

Good luck

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By HerbieM
01st Mar 2017 09:03

Currently a quickbooks desktop user and having tried QuickBooks Online making the switch is unlikely.

Issues with reports reported 3 years ago in the desktop (still not fixed) version have been ported to the online version.

Invoice and estimate templates cannot be customised to a great extent so impossible to match our general stationary.

Purchase Order template is completely un-editable and has two lines for a name and signature to be added so you need to print, sign, scan and email or send them out unsigned and hope your supplier doesn't mind that they are not 'authorised'.

User control is poor generally and the one user type that initially looked as though it would be very useful was the Report Only user. This would be a real benefit to let our project managers view their project expenditure and purchases. The problem with this is that the 'report user' can view every report so has access to all the data including salaries.

The support team at QuickBooks online seem to vary greatly in ability - most of the time the answer is that what you want to do can't be done - by spending many hours you find that it can but it's very difficult to work out how.

My opinion is that QuickBooks Online has been rushed through to market and all the users are simply beta testers for a fairly poor product.

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01st Mar 2017 10:39

Quickbooks doesn't have dividend voucher functionality, won't provide the client with guidance as to their estimated profits available for distribution (FreeAgent has a handy dashboard graph), nor their estimated corporate tax bill.

It does however have the option to track different projects/store locations/businesses within a single legal entity. You would require separate FreeAgent accounts to do the same thing with FreeAgent.

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