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Where can I find the accounts software for contractors?

Where can I find the accounts software for...

I Strated working a year before. Most of my clients are Contractors who work through limited companies. Initially I was using excel to do the book keeping and I have IRIS accounts production and IRIS tax. Recently I got some agencies on board and my clients are more than 150 and the number is growing rapidly. It is now not possible for me to do the book keeping and report generation through excel.

Its expensive to develop in-house software and it would require time and expertise. Can anyone suggest an Accounts software specific to accountants who do only contractors. I assume many of those accountants have their in-house software.




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28th Aug 2011 14:57

Maybe a change of approach?

It appears that you actually do all the bookkeeping for these clients, ie they do little if any themselves?  If so then it might be worth your while moving those who are capable of doing their own books over to say online bookkeeping where they can do some or all of it with you supervising, topping & tailing.  Alternatively look to do this for any new ones.

FreeAgent (Iris OpenBooks) was designed and built by IT professionals for themselves and is worth signing up for a demo. 

Many of our clients were put off computerised books because there are too many buttons & options these days but online systems like FreeAgent are a breath of fresh air and most of my clients enjoy entering it up.

A typical case might be that they generate their own invoices and enter up their own expenses and incoming bills leaving you to do the bank.

Obviously there is a cost to this in that you have to pay Iris for each client you sign up but we've found that in many cases it makes everything far more efficient, especially at the year end, and so the cost can be absorbed or shared, in fact on two clients we pay it all as the overall work pa in cut down allowing us to absorb it.

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to angehodgson
28th Aug 2011 15:25

Hello Paul,

Thanks for your reponse. As we are charging clients on monthly basis, they sometimes ask for justification as to monthly cost rather than yearly. They also expect to receive monthly or quarterly reports. The freeagent looks very attractive to me, Its just the cost that would be my major concern as I am anticipating clients more than 300 in near future. They charge £25 per month, The maximum I may reduce it for bulk clients can be £20/month which is again not ideal.

I have signed up for trial version though.


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to carnmores
28th Aug 2011 18:03

Iris OpenBooks

Hi - yes the one at a time FreeAgent cost is expensive for a Ltd Company however getting it through Iris OpenBooks is much more affordable.

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to chatman
21st Dec 2011 10:34

Accounting software

Hello Paul,


I hope you are doing great. After going through different options, we decided to build our own online accounting software which will be available to everyone free of charge. We have been working on it for three weeks now and hopefully will be ready by the end of January. I will post it here once it is ready for any suggestions.

Keep in touch.



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30th Aug 2011 23:42

Kash Flow

I have just spent quite a bit of time trying the different packages from a contractors perspective. Although FreeAgent clearly targets contractors/freelancers I found Kash Flow to be far easier to use, whilst having a lot more complicated functionality hidden away in report menus. 

It's of little use unless you can persuade your clients to enter the transactions though.

I've just set up a practice and would be interested to hear where you found your contractor clients?

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to Anonymous
21st Dec 2011 10:29


Hello Tim,

My apologies for late reply. I was building our website and we have finally decided to develop our own accounting software instead of using freeagent or others.

As far as the contractors are concerned, luckily my Parnter has been setting up recruiting businesses for the past 30 years and using his links we managed to get considerable number of clients mostly coming through recruitment agencies. 

We have invested in our website and now we will be considering other options like social media, newsletter and others.


Kind regards



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By thacca
31st Aug 2011 08:41


If you're doing a lot of bookkeeping yourself then I think VT would be ideal. VT comes with a bookkeeping package (VT Transaction) which can replace your spreadsheets. There is a huge time saving in that when its time to do the year end VT final account brings the bookkeeping figures straight in. Also any adjustment at final accounts stage are reflected in your bookkeeping figures.

I said many times on this site that the time saving from bookkeeping/accounts prep to final accounts and back again for OTB adjustments far out ways the time saving from an integrated suite such as Iris.

VT transaction deals with VAT & Bank reconciliations excellently.

VT Transaction can produce its own profit and loss, TB & balance sheet statement. Not as nice a layout as statutory accounts. But it does mean for monthly or quarterly accounts you can just push a button at any stage and get and up to date P&L balance sheet.

Kashflow or xero (I haven't used free agent other than a trial) would be good where the client is going to do data entry or use the software to run their business (for example use the sale ledger to  issue invoices and manage debts).

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