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Cloud computing accounting software is accounting software that is hosted on remote servers. It provides accounting capabilities to businesses in a fashion similar to the SaaS (Software as a Service) business model. Data is sent into "the cloud," where it is processed and returned to the user. All application functions are performed off-site, not on the user's desktop.
In cloud computing, users access software applications remotely through the Internet or other network via a cloud application service provider. Using cloud computing accounting software frees the business from having to install and maintain software on individual desktop computers. It also allows employees in remote or branch offices to access the same data and the same version of the software.
Most application providers typically charge based on usage – compared to site license fees associated with traditional accounting software deployments. Accounting data backup and disaster recovery is often a part of your cloud computing accounting software account.
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If you run a business, you absolutely must track your income and expenses. Your business accounting is required for taxes, and putting in a little extra effort up front can save a ton of time and hassles when tax season rolls around. Even more, accurately tracking expenses can help you lower your tax bill. But most accounting software isn’t cheap, and it can take a lot of work to learn how it all works. Here are the best top accounting software options to choose from for your business.
Intuit’s Quickbooks is the 800-pound gorilla of the small business accounting world. While it isn’t perfect and isn’t cheap, it is one of the most fully featured accounting software packages in existence. Windows and Mac versions exist for the desktop, but Quickbooks is slowly working to push users into the cloud (subscription instead of one-time cost). The Mac version does not have nearly the full feature set of the Windows or online version, so keep that in mind when choosing software for your business.
Because Quickbooks is so widely used, it is easy to find tutorials, guides, videos and other information on how it all works. But the downside is that you need tutorials, guides and videos to understand how it works. Intuit’s own help forum is often riddled with incorrect answers, so getting through a frustrating issue may take longer than you would hope. But, at the end of the day, it is the best known and most popular accounting software for a reason: it works well for a wide range of businesses and business needs. Quickbooks Online offers several versions ranging in cost from $5 for the self-employed version up to $25 per month for the Plus version. Payroll and payments services cost extra.
QuickBooks is offered by Intuit, a giant in the personal finance industry. It’s widened its scope to address small business needs as well, and it’s an extremely popular choice.
QuickBooks offers literally hundreds of templates for almost any report you could conceivably need. Invoicing? You got it. Accounts payable? Not a problem. Inventory? Check. Time tracking? Yes. QuickBooks will manage your contacts and handle tax issues, forms and returns. It will create a budget for you and do your payroll — although the payroll feature is an add-on that costs a little extra. QuickBooks does pretty much everything except drive you to work.
Small business owners do more than one job any given day. They wear lots of hats. Hence: 17Hats. This accounting software is a lot more than accounting software. It is a fully featured productivity suite for small businesses that includes bookkeeping features.
Quickbooks started with desktop, but Xero was always cloud first. Mac users who can’t find what they need from Quickbooks for Windows were some of the earlier adopters of Xero, which includes 24/7 live chat support at no extra cost. Xero is also huge on integrations, with more than 600 integrations to help business owners manage invoicing, inventory, payroll and much more.
One standout feature is the ability to track time and money spent on specific projects, so you don’t let any dollars slip through the cracks. Xero is designed for an array of businesses and offers a starter version for $9 per month. Higher end premium versions include payroll and multi-currency support, with the Premium 100 plan (includes payroll for up to 100 staff) running $180 per month.