Organised and efficient operations are essential to accounting firms as clients trust you with their financial data. Accounting software makes it easier to remain compliant and productive with your tasks.
You can optimise your firm and meet important deadlines to increase client satisfaction with these tools. Furthermore, software accelerates your accounting, allowing you to take on more clients.
This article will discuss different accounting software programs that can improve your internal and external operations. We’ll also list which features to look for and how they can help you optimise your firm’s potential.
Accounting software streamlines tedious tasks, saving you time on your internal and external operations. The right software helps you account for your firm, including maintaining your books, sending invoices, tracking earnings, and managing payroll.
Organising these essential duties simplifies your practice’s tax process, which is crucial when you need to focus on helping your clients file taxes. Software can also ensure you remain HMRC compliant, enhancing your firm’s credibility.
You can also use accounting software to improve and streamline your client services. These tools take over manual admin tasks and help you organise and analyse financial data, promoting accuracy. To benefit from software with your client work, accountants may need to seek software compatible with the needs of an accounting firm.
When choosing from the different accounting software programs, it’s essential to know the most valuable features to look for. Prioritising these features will ensure the software you choose provides the most value for an accounting firm.
Here are a few features to look for:
- Compliance verification – software should implement regulatory measures to ensure compliance, including HMRC regulations and the rules of accounting regulatory bodies like the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).
- Financial reporting – seek software that provides insights into your finances to track your and your clients’ cash flow, revenue, and expenses to create financial statements and offer advice.
- Scalability – to use this software for your client services, it’ll need to be able to hold information for several businesses.
- Time tracking – if you charge your clients based on chargeable hours, you’ll need them to invoice accordingly.
- Invoicing – look for software that lets you create, send, receive, and store invoices to track your firm's earnings and accounts receivable.
- Automated bank information – if you can connect your accounting software to your bank accounts, you won’t need to input this information manually.
Onsite vs cloud-based data storage – onsite storage means you hold your firm and client financial data on your firm’s server. In contrast, cloud-based data is stored on the software’s servers, increasing your data limits with reliable security.
There are a few top-performing accounting software programs to consider using for your accounting firm. Each option we’ll discuss provides great bookkeeping and financial tracking tools, but they each have unique benefits which may better suit your practice.
Quickbooks is one of the most popular software picks for accounting firms. It’s also efficient to use as you can easily navigate features from the main dashboard to track your and your client's finances.
This software offers a range of features to simplify your operations. For example, it automatically sends VAT to the HMRC and provides tax estimates. If you go beyond the Simple Start plan, you’ll benefit from time tracking and smart budgeting.
Here are some main benefits of Quickbooks:
- Scalable, so you can use it for external operations
- Cloud-based data storage which lets you keep more client data
- App integration options to streamline operations
- It offers a mobile app, which is easy to check on the go
Simple start plan – £12/month
Essentials plan – £22/month
Plus plan – £32/month
Payroll features incur additional costs.
Freshbooks is another great accounting software and invoicing option for accounting firms. This software mainly focuses on invoicing, offering extensive features to create, send, and receive them. It’s both HMRC approved and MTD compliant.
On top of that, Freshbooks offers automatic expense tracking, receipt capture, and billing, depending on your subscription.
The main benefits of Freshbooks include:
- The software offers advanced and comprehensive invoicing features
- It’s affordable and easy to navigate
- It uses cloud-based data storage
- You can integrate it with third-party applications
Lite – £11/month (5 billable clients)
Plus – £19/month (20 billable clients)
Premium – £30/month (unlimited billable clients)
Select – custom pricing based on needs
Sage Accounting is a powerful software option for accounting firms. This software is known for its ease of use, which makes it an efficient and uncomplicated option for your business.
It can simplify and speed up essential tasks and offers auto-entry and tax reporting tools. On top of this, Sage connects to your bank account so you don’t have to transfer information yourself.
Here are some benefits of Sage Accounting:
- Connects directly to your bank account
- Flexible with both onsite and cloud-based storage options
- Meets MTD requirements and helps you calculate VAT for you and your clients
- Offers reliable customers service to help you work smoothly
Start – £12/month
Standard – £26/month
Plus – £33/month
Payroll capabilities are additional.
Xero is another time-saving software to consider for your accounting firm. It offers safe and secure accounting solutions with unlimited users. Xero covers essential accounting features alongside automated tools that save you time.
Some key benefits Xero offers include:
- The software has a great mobile app for better accessibility
- It uses cloud-based storage
- It has a marketplace for all available third-party app integrations
Starter – £12/month
Standard – £26/month
Premium – £33/month
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