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What is the Best Finance software in UK of 2023?

4th Oct 2023
Brought to you by
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The Access Group provides integrated business management software.

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How do you know which finance software is best for your business? What are the key things you need to consider when choosing the best finance system? 

Let's find out!

Choosing the best finance software for your business is key for future proofing your financial processes. If you invest in a finance system that’s not right for your business, you may end up needing to change it later down the line, which will cost you time and money.  

But how do you know which finance software is best for your business? This article aims to give you confidence in choosing the best finance software, to set you up for success. 

If you’re still unsure which finance software to choose after reading this article, get in touch with our finance specialists for a chat. Whether or not you decide to purchase our finance software, we’re happy to answer any questions you have.  

What is finance software?

Finance software is used in organisations to store financial data and manage financials processes. Finance software can include many features such as accounting, asset management, reporting, expense management, cash flow forecasting, and so much more.  

How can finance software help your business?

Finance software can improve the efficiency and productivity across your entire business. How? Finance software will: 

  • Replace your manual tasks with automated processes, saving your finance team time and effort. 
  • Support your organisational growth by bringing together all your data such as HR, sales and projects into a single view, allowing you to see trends in data and make better informed decisions.  
  • Empower your people to work smarter by giving them all the financial data they need in real-time, no matter where they are.  
  • Ensure all your financial data is safe against threats, data loss and leaks.
  • Give you full visibility of your business’s income, expenses, stock, and more, to ensure you have full control.
  • Allow you to predict future cash flow of the business so you can prepare more effectively.

What is the best finance software in UK and which is the best fit for your business?

So, let’s get to it. Which is the best finance software for your business?  

There are many suppliers out there offering finance software, but the features, cost and audience aren’t all the same. Below, we compare finance software from The Access Group (us), Sage, Xero and QuickBooks to give you an idea of who may be the best supplier for you.  

The Access Group 

Who is it for? 

Our finance software is designed for medium-sized businesses who are looking for a finance system to support their growth. The software is very flexible so can be used in any sector, but we have specific solutions for Not for Profit and Charities, Health and Social Care, Professional Services, Recruitment, Hospitality, Hospices, Construction, and Education. 

Features 

We have 9 features for you to choose from, allowing you to build your own bespoke finance system tailored to your organisational needs. These features are: 

  • Accounting 
  • Fixed assets 
  • Stock control 
  • Sales processing 
  • Purchasing 
  • Project accounting 
  • Integrations 
  • Reporting 
  • Cash flow forecasting 

Benefits 

With Access finance software you have ability to customise it to your needs so that you only pay for what you need. As your business grows, you can add features to your finance software so that it grows with you. You’ll get excellent support throughout your finance software journey to ensure the implementation is seamless and the software continues to support your business needs. 

Unlike other suppliers, Access Finance software is 100% cloud-based which means that all your financial data is hosted in the cloud and accessible anytime, anywhere and on any device.  

Cost 

Access finance software starts from £97 per user per month. There are three popular packages for different types of businesses but if these don’t work for you then we can provide a tailored package to suit your organisation. 

  • Scaling businesses (for businesses that have outgrown their accounting packages) – from £97 per user per month 
  • Advanced accounting business (for more complex businesses requiring additional functionality – from £142 per user per month 
  • Project-based accounting businesses (for businesses seeking to manage projects easily and profitably) – quote provided based on business need 

*Minimum number of users and minimum contract term applies.

If you think Access finance software is right for you, get in touch with us. Our finance specialists will show you our software and provide a quote based on your requirements.  

Sage 

Who is it for? 

Sage 50 is one of the accounting products developed by Sage. It is for small-sized businesses such as sole traders, small business owners and businesses just starting out. Like The Access Group, it is suitable for various industries including Not for Profit and Professional Services.  

Features 

Sage 50 is an off-the-shelf solution, which means it’s a ready-made product with standard features. Features of Sage 50 include: 

  • General ledger 
  • Accounts payable and receivable 
  • Inventory management 
  • Payroll processing 

Benefits 

Sage 50 is known for its ease of use and affordability. You can purchase the software and pretty much start using it straight away, which is great for small businesses looking for their first finance system. If you’re a larger organisation with more complex processes, you’ll likely need a more bespoke finance solution. 

Something you may want to consider is that Sage 50 is a desktop/on-premise finance system, which means you’ll have to view your financial data offline. If you’d like to be able to view our financial data online (on any browser, on any device, no matter where you are and at any time), then you’ll need to purchase a cloud-based finance system like Access Financials. Read more in our article: Cloud vs on-premise accounting software.

Cost 

Sage 50 offers three different accounting software options with varying levels of functionality. These have set pricing depending on the number of users and subscription length. Additional users can be added at an extra cost. 

  • Sage Business Cloud Accounting - from £12 per month* 
  • Sage 50 Accounts Standard - from £77 per month* 
  • Sage 50 Accountings Professional - from £155 per month* 

Sage 50’s packages are overall more affordable than Access finance software packages but they do differ in the breadth of features available so each has a place in the market and will be suitable for a different type of business. 

*Pricing information accurate at the time of writing. 

Read our article Access Finance software vs Sage 50 for a full comparison. 

Xero 

Who is it for? 

Like Sage 50, Xero is aimed at small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers. 

Features 

  • Main features of Xero include: 
  • Paying bills 
  • VAT returns 
  • Claiming expenses 
  • Bank connections 
  • Accepting payments 
  • Tracking projects 
  • Payroll  
  • and more. 

If you’re a larger organisation, you might be limited by some of the functionality, particularly around multiple currencies, Outlook integration and inventory management. Or it might simply start slowing down: Xero has recommended limits on sales invoices (1,000 per month), purchase bills (1,000) and tracked inventory items (4,000). Exceed these, and your system won’t be able to perform in the way it’s designed to. 

Benefits 

Xero finance software is easy to use with user-friendly, real-time dashboards. It has all the basic features small businesses need to manage their finances.  

Cost 

There are 4 pricing levels that Xero offer, all with different features included.  

  • Starter - £14 per month* 
  • Standard - £28 per month* 
  • Premium - £36 per month* 
  • Ultimate - £49 per month* 

Xero’s pricing is similar to Sage 50’s and are both more affordable than Access finance software which is due to the features available and the ability to customise based on your organisations needs. 

*Pricing information accurate at the time of writing. 

Take a look at a full comparison of features between Access finance software, Sage 50 and Xero.

QuickBooks 

Who is it for? 

QuickBooks is an entry-level solution for freelancers and small businesses who don’t need advanced reporting or accounting. 

Features 

Main features include: 

  • Invoice management 
  • Real-time transactions/cash flow 
  • Cash flow forecast 
  • Expense management 

Benefits 

Like Sage 50 and Xero, QuickBooks is an off-the-shelf solution ready for you to use instantly. It’s affordable and has easy-to-use features. 

Cost 

QuickBooks offer 5 pricing packages, all with different features included.  

  • Self-Employed - £10 per month* 
  • Simple Start - £14 per month* 
  • Essentials - £24 per month* 
  • Plus - £34 per month* 
  • Advanced - £70 per month* 

*Pricing information accurate at the time of writing. 

Things you need to consider when choosing the best finance software for you

It can be quite overwhelming choosing a new finance system as you want to get it right when you’re investing time and money into it. To help you choose, make sure you understand your current and future business needs. What do you need now? What might you need in the future? How quickly is the business growing? Can you future-proof your growth by choosing the right finance system now?  

Here’s some other considerations you should make when choosing the best finance software for you: 

Business size 

As explained above, there’s many suppliers out there but there’s some key differences between finance software for small businesses and finance software for medium-large businesses. The best finance software for you depends on the size of your business and the complexity of your financial processes.  

If you’re a small business currently using spreadsheets to manage your finances, then it’s likely that an off-the shelf solution like Sage 50, Xero or QuickBooks will be a good choice for you. 

However, if you’re a medium-sized business who’s already got a simple finance system but is looking for more advanced features, then our finance software Access Financials may be the best choice for you. 

Cloud or on-premise 

Cloud-based finance software allows you to view your financial data at anytime and anywhere. Whether you’re at home, on the train, in the office or out for a walk, you’ll be able to view your numbers in real-time. If this is something that you need, so that your staff can work efficiently, then Access Financials could be an excellent finance system for you. 

If this isn’t a priority of yours, then a mix of desktop and cloud-based finance software is an option. This means your staff may not be able to see the financial data at any time, but for some companies, this is okay. Finance software from Sage 50, Xero and QuickBooks are all desktop and cloud-based.  

Read more in this article about cloud vs on-premise accounting software.

Budget 

The finance software you choose, will be heavily influenced by the budget you have. As you will have seen above, there’s affordable finance systems with standard functionality and more expensive finance systems with bespoke functionality. If you have a larger budget then we highly recommend you think about investing in a more expensive option as you’ll get more advanced features with wider capability. You’ll also be future-proofing – as your business grows, you need your finance software to grow with you otherwise you’ll end up having to implement a new one. 

Time to implement 

Very often, organisations need a new finance system quickly due to current software frustrations, to keep control of their finances as the business grows, or to implement before the new financial year starts. If this is the case, you can purchase off-the-shelf finance software like Sage 50, Xero and QuickBooks and start using it pretty much instantly. However, don’t take this easy option if you’re a medium business needing a more advanced finance system as you’ll grow out of it very quickly and be back to square one. We recommend you manage stakeholder expectations so they know that bespoke finance software takes on average 3-4 months to implement. Then, follow our guidance on finance software implementation to ensure your implementation journey is smooth. 

Is Access Financials the best finance software for you? 

We hope this article has given you confidence in choosing the best finance software for your organisation. Even if you don’t choose us, our financial experts can answer any questions you have if you’re still not sure so please get in touch.

If you think Access Financials may be the best option for you, then book a demo with us to see the software in action. We’d love for you to join the Access family!  

If you’ve not decided yet, download our brochure to keep in your back pocket or share with your colleagues.

Book a demo