Compare Accounting Software
- Accounting software tools can make life easier for businesses of all shapes and sizes
- We compare products from a range of leading accounting software providers to help you find the ideal package
- Choose from the product options below to tailor your search to suit your needs
Choose your accountancy software options
- Unlimited accountancy support and dedicated client manager
- Annual accounts, end of year PAYE, VAT and Corporation Tax filing
- Real-time cloud accounting software including mileage app and receipt scanning app
- Payroll for directors up to National Insurance threshold
- Cloud Accounting solution with essential online accounting and payroll for entrepreneurs
- Calculate cross border VAT
- Unlimited users
- Free mobile app
- Accounting solution combining a desktop software with secure online access and Microsoft Office 365 integration
- Up to 20 users
- Manage VAT, Sales and expenses
- Tracker App included
- Unlimited accountancy support from client managers and accountants
- Dedicated client manager
- Online cloud accounting software allowing you to manage invoices and expenses in real-time
- HMRC registration and free simple Self-Assessment each year
- Online tool that helps you keep track of the money in and out of your business
- Cloud-based online software
- Single user
- Accountant collaboration
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How to choose accounting software
If you are one of the millions of British people now running a small business or working for yourself, you may find that managing your accounts can be a headache. In response to rising demand, a number of companies offering accounting software as a service, have popped up.
Each is slightly different in terms of its services and pricing, making it worthwhile doing some research to ensure you choose the right accounting software for your business needs.
Use the NerdWallet accounting software comparison table to help you make up your mind about which service is right for you. Our guide below will also help you to understand this type of software and how it can help you manage your accounts.
What is Making Tax Digital?
Making Tax Digital is a new requirement for businesses over a certain size. They must now submit their VAT digitally via software that is Making Tax Digital-compliant, which means this type of accounting software is no longer an option for some businesses, but an essential requirement of doing business. As a result, choosing the right software to do the job is even more important.
Common accounting software services
The latest accounting software is much easier to use than the traditional accounting software used by larger businesses in the past. Today, with easy-to-use step-by-step record keeping functionality and attractive interfaces, accounting software has become very accessible.
Small businesses and self-employed individuals working as sole traders are using accounting software to help them keep accounting records and even do their annual accounts and tax returns by themselves.
Here is a list of the services commonly offered by online accounting software providers. This list is by no means exhaustive and not all online accounting software packages will offer every one of these services.
- Sales orders
- Online payment
- VAT (through Making Tax Digital)
- Support from accountants
- Help with Self-Assessment Tax Return (SATR)
Accounting software pricing models
The way accounting software is paid for differs between providers. However, a common pricing model is either an annual or monthly subscription. Providers also then have several levels of service to choose from, from a more basic service to a more expensive option that offers a more comprehensive package.
When deciding which level of service you need, consider the kinds of features you will most often need to use. If you are just starting out as a sole trader with a few clients and no VAT registration to worry about, a basic package could be fine for your needs. If you are VAT registered or have employees, for example, you may need a more comprehensive service, which could cost more per month.
Some providers will offer a free trial-style initial offer to enable you to try out the service before committing to a subscription.
Choosing accounting software FAQs
Are all accounting software products appropriate for all sizes of business?
No, some software packages are aimed at sole trader who have simple accounting requirements. Make sure the level of service you opt for is appropriate for your needs by making yourself familiar with the services included in the package.
Factors that can affect whether you need a basic or advanced package include the size of your business in terms of turnover, complexity of accounts (large number of clients, different sources of income etc.), whether you are an employer and whether you are VAT registered.
Is it cheaper to sign up for a year?
Some accounting software providers will offer you a month or two free of charge, or another similar discount, if you sign up for a full year, rather than opt for a month-by-month rolling contract. However, if you are unsure whether the accounting service is going to work for you, signing up for a full year could be risky.
Does having accounting software mean I’m no longer responsible for my accounts?
No. Even if you opt for the most comprehensive and supportive accounting package, you are still ultimately responsible for keeping the records up to date and for providing the right, timely, information. You must also keep records of your expenses and make sure you submit tax returns on time.
Does accounting software replace the need for accountants?
It can do, depending on the complexity of your business finances. If you run a small limited company or are a sole trader, for example, without employees or a VAT registration, then accounting software might fill or at least reduce the role an accountant would have traditionally filled. However, if you need more support and guidance, as well as more help with things like payroll and expenses, you may find that you prefer the on-call, person-to-person nature of a physical accountant, either instead of, or as well as, your accounting software.
Can accounting software help reduce my costs?
Perhaps. If you are currently spending a lot on an accountant and feel that accounting software will be a suitable replacement, it can be cheaper. However, it is not guaranteed to save you money and some business owners may find that working with an accountant is a better choice for them and their bottom line.
Can you get accounting software for free?
There are online accounting software options that are free of charge, but they are likely to be extremely basic. For anything more that what is necessary to run a basic freelancer business, you may find that you need to sign up to a subscription-based service or pay for access to online accounting software that will provide a more thorough service.