FreeAgent

A Comprehensive Review of the Best Small Business Accounting Software

As a small business, you may not have looked into the available accounting and bookkeeping software as you’ve been comfortable with the trusty spreadsheet.

You may also have been scared of having to learn yet another new piece of software when you could just stick to what you know.

However, there are now a number of software packages and apps that can help you complete various accounting tasks that may just save you time and hassle. Many of these packages are very affordable and run from cloud-based services so you don’t have to worry about losing your data in the event of a hardware malfunction. Most also come with phone apps to add even more convenience to the service. These apps and online platforms will let you utilise the latest technologies to help streamline your financial tasks and ultimately save you time and money.

There are now a number of packages available, but we have outlined some providers to give you an understanding of what’s available to help you with your everyday accounting needs.

Xero

Summary from Xero:

Xero is an ‘all-in-one’ accounting software that is fast, simple and powerful. Xero is well-known and will allow you to manage your invoicing, expense claims and receipts all in one place, along with a number of functional tools such as project billable hour tracking and expenditure. It also connects to a variety of business bank accounts allowing automated flow between the two.

Summary of Features:

  • Send invoices and quotes
  • Enter bills
  • Reconcile bank transactions
  • Submit VAT returns to HMRC
  • Capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc
  • Automatic CIS calculations and reports
  • Bulk reconcile transactions*
  • Use multiple currencies*
  • Short-term cash flow and business snapshot*

*Some features are only available for the standard and premium packages

Pricing (as of December 2021):

Starter – £12/month

Standard – £26/month

Premium – £33/month

Free Trial:

30 Days

Optional Extras:

Payroll
Claim expenses
Track projects
Submit CIS returns
Xero Pay with Wise
Analytics Plus

FreeAgent

Summary from FreeAgent:

FreeAgent was voted number 1 in the 2017 Software Excellence Awards in SME accounts/bookkeeping. FreeAgent allows you to carry out the standard invoicing and expense tasks through an easy to use dashboard and also produces tax forecasts and reminders. FreeAgent also allows your accountant to access your books, making it easier to assess your financials. FreeAgent auto-populates up to 90% of the Self Employment form for you and allows you to file directly to HMRC.

Summary of Features:

  • Invoices
  • Expenses
  • Mobile App
  • Estimates
  • Time Tracking
  • Payroll
  • Projects
  • Master Your Cashflow
  • Personal Insights from Radar
  • Quick Access to Financial Reports
  • VAT
  • Self-Assessment*
  • End of year Filling*
  • Sync With Your Bank Account
  • Connect Directly to HMRC
  • and more

*some features are only available on certain packages

Pricing (as of December 2021):

Free – If you have a business current account with NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland or Ulster Bank NI  or have a business account with Mettle.

Limited Company – £14.40/month (or £145 for the first year)*

Partnerships & LLP – £12/month (or £120 for the first year)*

Sole Trader – £9.50 (or £95 for the first year)*

*Prices are set to increase after the first year of use

Free Trial:

30 Days

Here at Gorilla Accounting, as part of our all-inclusive package for just £85 + vat per month, we include FreeAgent which is trusted by over 60,000 small businesses. Get in touch with our New Business team or click here to trial a free demo of FreeAgent.

Quickbooks

Summary from Quickbooks:

Quickbooks save the user around 8 hours per month of accounts management time. They offer an ‘all-in-one’ online accounting software.

Summary of features:

  • Manage VAT
  • Run Payroll
  • Accept Payments
  • Connect an Accountant
  • Free Support
  • Easy Time Tracking
  • 90 Day Cash Flow Forecaster
  • Upload Receipts from Mobile or Desktop
  • Tax Deadline Reminders
  • Connect Your Bank
  • Switching Assistance
  • Data is Secured with 256-but SSL Encryption
  • Cloud-Based Technology Ensures Data Synchronises Across Devices
  • Automatic Data Back Ups

Pricing (as of December 2021)*:

Self-Employed – For Sole Traders: £4/month

Simple Start – Directors Only or Small Businesses: £6/month

Essentials – Small Businesses Working with Suppliers – £11/month

Plus – Businesses Managing Stock, Projects, VAT and Income Tax – £16/month

*Prices are for first four months, they double following this period

Free Trial:

30 Days

Optional Extras:

Payroll

Intuit Quickbooks has a good global presence meaning compatibility with phones and other software is notable. You can begin a 30-day trial and then you will be given the option to begin a paid plan.

Sage

Summary from Sage:

Sage is well known and understood by professionals in the industry and therefore has a strong understanding of UK compliance when it comes to accounting. Sage has traditionally provided services for large enterprises, but they have now designed a product for small businesses, titled Sage One.

Summary of features:

  • Create and send invoices
  • Accounting and Payroll
  • Accounts payable
  • AutoEntry
  • Billing
  • Connect my bank
  • Intelligence reporting
  • Invoicing
  • Mobile app
  • Multi-currency
  • Self-assessment
  • Stock management
  • Tax
  • VAT
  • Track what you’re owed
  • Automatic bank reconciliation
  • Calculate and submit VAT
  • Be Making Tax Digital Ready for VAT
  • Supports unlimited users*
  • Manage and submit CIS*
  • Run advanced reports*
  • Send quotes and estimates*
  • Forecast cash flow*
  • Manage purchase invoices*
  • Snap receipts with AutoEntry, 2 months free(2)*
  • Multi-currency banking and invoicing*
  • Manage inventory*

*some features are only available on certain packages

Pricing (as of December 2021)*:

Starter – £12/month*

Standard – £24/month*

Plus – £30/month*

*currently the first three months are free

Free Trial:

30 Days

How to compare

The companies listed are not ordered and this is not a comprehensive list, so it is worth speaking to a specialist and carrying out some due diligence to ensure any subscriptions you purchase are suitable for your needs.

Some services offer more than others, so it is worth comparing them rather than choosing on price alone. If you use an accountant, you may want to see if a particular package is preferred as some may help your accountant create your financial statements more easily than others. Some accountancy companies also provide accountancy software subscriptions.

At Gorilla Accountancy, we include FreeAgent with our monthly package meaning you can save yourself time and money throughout the financial process. Get in touch with our New Business team by calling 0330 024 0406 or email info@gorillaaccounting.com.

 

 

 

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