Businesses are driven by one motive and that is to make money. Accounting monitors and documents the flow of money into and out of the business. The calculations that are made through accounting are crucial because they inform the business whether it is profitable or not. Accounting application automate these calculations and simplify them to a matter of a few mouse clicks.
Generally, accounting applications end up being quite expensive and require a load of infrastructure and technical detail to run. On site accounting applications are even more difficult as cash flows from other departments, data transfer and communication all roll up into one convoluted ball.
More recently, cloud based accounting solutions have provided new and more cost-effective methods of accounting. Being sourced out of the cloud, these solutions do not require any special infrastructure or technicality. By being on the cloud, they can be accessed by all departments and are connected to the rest of the internet.
The top 5 cloud based accounting software packages are listed below:
FreeAgent has been especially made for freelancers who handle many clients and projects. The difference between FreeAgent and other cloud based accounting applications is that FreeAgent has been designed for single users and not large firms. This is good for small businesses and sole proprietorships as it lets you manage different parts of the business such as clients, projects, time and expenses
Xero’s simple and lucid design has won it many accolades from critics and users both. It is an application which uses the user’s intuition to run the program and does not include accounting mumbo-jumbo which may confuse the user. There is no debit or credit column, instead it says, ‘money coming in’ and ‘money going out’.
However, Xero still has the ability to produce detailed reports and statistics in order to help the user keep their books in order and also helps in making key decisions.
Quickbooks has been around a while and now, the cloud based accounting application has been backed by Intuit. Intuit are developers of tax software and their applications have dramatically altered tax payments. Quickbooks helps manage sales, expenses, applies sales tax, tracks payments through multiple options including automated online banking. It also creates estimates and manages bills. With Quickbooks being available across a vast variety of platforms, on the web and on mobile devices, it has been a long standing choice for those who seek cloud based accounting solutions
A simple and uncomplicated accounting system, Outright is designed for small ecommerce businesses and keeps track of sales and documents finance in the same place. Simple viewing allows for a flow chart of money travelling and profit or loss statements and information regarding customers is also easily obtainable.
It also allows you link accounts in banks, credit card accounts, Paypal, eBay, self owned web stores or even FreshBooks and there is a tool which makes it possible to import transaction data. Outright, following the import, downloads new updates everyday. It then classifies all the updates into IRS approved tax categories and thus lowers the workload involved with figuring out taxes.
Outright has also launched the iPhone app which will help those on the go manage their accounts in real time. Travel expenses, fuel expenses and other such things can be added on the fly.
A real time accounting program, Zoho Books is designed to record and maintain transaction which are varied in nature from all customers. It tracks expenses too and it is scalable. Being scalable, it has the ability to perform all functions, whether it be reconciling bank accounts and transactions or collaborating with accountants.