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What size business can SaaS online software handle?

What size business can SaaS online software...

Hi, we currently use Sage and I have grown tired of its over complex nature for the non accounting type! I like the idea of the Saas providers such as Xero and Kashflow but how capable are they?

We turn over £2.5 million and have lots of low value transaction typically between £50-£200 pounds per invoice, so lots of invoices. Can these systems cope with that level of through put?

The real question for me here is, we have a back of house database (Filemaker) that generates our invocing that we then data load into Sage on a weekly basis via an Adept plug in. Thats all purchase invoices and credits, as well as Sales invoice and credits. Can this import be done into a Saas platform, if so which one?

The information we import is:

<Type> ie Sales Credit, Sales Invoice, Purchase Invoice, Purchase Credit

<Account Ref> ie 999 ABC Limited

<Nominal Ref> ie 4000 - Widgets, 4001 - Gromits

<Invoice Date>

<Invoice Number>


<NET Amount>

<Tax Code> ie T1 20%, T2 0%, T3 Mixed

<Vat Amount>

<Extra Ref> ie Customers order number

We have a Barclays bank account - do you know if we can use the online feeds with Xero?

Can you make accruals on these systems?

Sorry if I sound like a novice, thats because I am!




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16th May 2012 09:03

No issue on throughput

I'll leave it up to the guys at Kashflow and Xero to corroborate (and answer the other questions), but decent cloud accounting solutions like Kashflow, Xero or Twinfield will have no problem with your kind of data volumes and throughput, so your choice should come down to the functionality you need.  For example one of our customers is the country's largest online reseller of flowers.  Another Twinfield customer uses the product from 26 different sales offices around the World.  

Can I suggest that you take a look at this 2009 free guide on the Business Case for SaaS, which Xero, Kashflow and Twinfield all contributed to.  On pages 16 and 17 it has a useful checklist of the kind of questions you ought to be asking your shortlist of SaaS providers:

Intellect Business Case for SaaS

UPDATE: Just reread your question and wanted to add that the kind of data import you describe would be easy with Twinfield, either as a csv type file reformated to our import layout, or by programming a web service integration.  That's what the online flower reseller did to integrate their e-commerce system with Twinfield.   

David Terrar

D2C & Twinfield


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16th May 2012 07:37


We use Xero, so I can't answer for other platforms

I can't see any issues with volumes, as Davud sats, but a direct question to Xero will confirm the position before you commit. 

Uploading sales invoices is not a problem.  Xero provides a template csv file which caters for all of the fields that you have listed, and more.  Just upload when ready. 

Accruals can be made via journal entries.  Again there is a template available so it's easy to set that up with one month's accruals and a moment's work to reverse them when ready

Yes, there are feeds for Barclays accounts

If you do change from Sage or any other system, work out which features in the sofltware you actually use.  Xero is a fully functional system but it doesn't have absolutely everything that exists in all of the other systems - all too often people change over and then find that some obscure feature of their original software isn't replicated and jump up and down.  Other people would never use it. If it's important, don't assume it's there - check

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By paul.k2
16th May 2012 09:09

Run a trial

One of the attractions of SaaS is the relatively low cost of entry.


It will invlove time on your part, but if you can, I suggest you open an account and try uploading some of your data from Filemaker and or Sage.

You can then run some of the key processes and see for yourself.

As Sage is the product everyone has to compete with, I would be surprised if the packages you have listed do not have specific import routines for some of the standard Sage export files. e.g. a direct import for Sage customer lists.


Just an idea..




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16th May 2012 09:33

KashFlow has offline entry product

Where there is bulk of data entry to be done this can sometimes be tedious with SaaS systems due to the nature of browsers and web latency. KashFlow has an offline data entry product, I believe, that allows you to batch up invoices etc on your PC and then upload them en masse.

Whether or not it handles your specific requirements I couldn't say.

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16th May 2012 14:26

Have you taken a look at Aqilla?

Hi Christopher 

Aqilla is a modern cloud based, multi currency accounting solution that is easy to use and can be up and running quickly. A straight forward to use document centric approach to accounting provides Sales Ledger, Purchase Ledger, General Ledger, Cash Matching, Sales Invoicing, Purchase Invoicing, Time Sheet, Expense and Project Management functionality across an almost unlimited range of analysis. Aqilla is highly sophisticated and is capable of doing everything mentioned above including accruals. If you would like further info I would be more than happy to arrange a call/demo. Kind regards Krystal [email protected]020 7098 9881

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18th May 2012 10:15



If the SaaS product has been well designed and architected for the SaaS model (rather than an adapted client-server model) then volume should not be a problem. In fact they are specifically designed  to allow for massive transaction volumes and high peak traffic.

Import of transactions again should be 'bread and butter' for these providers and will typically ask you to provide and .csv type format.

Worth looking at FinancialForce which is build on the SalesForce (proven) SaaS platform and comes from the CODA/UNIT4 stable with a long history of transaction import and integration capabilities.

If you go for a US based business make sure they cover UK accounting requirements like VAT etc.


good luck

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19th May 2012 01:40

Better late than never

Sorry - late to the party here.

I can answer confidently for KashFlow (I own it!). But I'm pretty sure the same will apply to Xero too.

We have customers turning over £20m and tens of thousands of transactions a month. This isn't a problem.

Accruals - not a problem

Same with importing from CSV files - not a problem. Although using an API for it would be much more efficient and save more of your time

I hope that's of some help

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27th May 2012 18:24

Thanks for all the inout folks, been really useful. I have played around with a few SaaS systems now and its down to the last two; Kashflow and Xero.

Ill let you know my final deliberations !

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22nd May 2015 16:51


Having similar questions to your original and wondered if you could give us an update on your progress since 2012.

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