If you’re a small business owner, it’s imperative you maintain tight control over your finances. Unfortunately, keeping track of every penny that goes in and out is easier said than done. One easy fix most small business owners have found is to use cloud-based accounting software that makes it easy for you to get a clearer picture of your company’s finances.
However, the accounting software market is a saturated one, which means it may be challenging to find the best accounting tool for your business. You might not know where to start, which features you need or be able to discern whether or not the software is ideal for small businesses or enterprises. In this article, we’ve narrowed down your choices to what we believe to be three of the best accounting software for small businesses: QuickBooks, Xero, and MYOB Essentials.
A good accounting tool should have a user interface that’s easy to navigate and adapt to. While QuickBooks, Xero, and MYOB all have their own unique aesthetic layout, they all function quite similarly. The MYOB dashboard is clean and easy to understand, while still being able to offer the user a comprehensive view of important metrics such as Money In, Money Out, Banking, Sales Target, and Invoices.
The Xero dashboard, on the other hand, is a little more cluttered with graphs that may intimidate the untrained eye. In its defense, however, tasks and functions are easy to locate on Xero and are often where you’d expect them to be.
In contrast to both MYOB and Xero, QuickBooks uses a markedly more modern dashboard layout with colourful graphs that won’t overwhelm the user. The left-hand navigation pane shows you all the categories you need, from All Sales to Invoice to Products and Services List.
All three accounting tools already have comprehensive bookkeeping functions, but they also offer integrations or add-ons if you need added functionality for things like eCommerce and email marketing.
QuickBooks takes the cake for having the most integrations, offering users a whopping 650 add-ons to choose from. QuickBooks has partnered with the likes of SOS Inventory (for inventory tracking), TSheets (for payroll and invoicing), Shopify, and PayPal. Xero comes in second with over 400 partners that allow it to seamlessly operate with various applications depending on your needs. You can use Xero with Stripe, PayPal, Shopify, MailChimp, and more third-party apps. MYOB pales in comparison, only being able to integrate with about 140 third-party apps.
If you need financial reports, all three have more or less the same degree of reporting ability. Xero, in particular, has plenty of reporting features that allow you to customize, generate, and track virtually any report you may need. QuickBooks is also a true double-entry accounting tool with several reporting features and a strong chart of accounts. MYOB allows you to create detailed reports about any area of your business. You can use these reports to gain valuable insight into customers, stock items, and payroll.
All three accounting tools have a mobile equivalent, but QuickBooks and Xero both have significantly more robust mobile versions that give business owners the data they need to monitor their business and accomplish basic accounting tasks remotely. MYOB, on the other hand, has the MYOB Invoices app which allows you to send invoices straight from their mobile device which immediately updates across your MYOB software. Aside from that, the app only has contacts and payment functions.
Excellent customer support is crucial for small business owners who may have difficulty adjusting to cloud-based bookkeeping or have little to no accounting experience. QuickBooks offers 24/7 chat support and unlimited phone and email support from 9 AM to 9 PM, Monday – Friday. They also offer an easily searchable FAQ section and helpful forum categories. MYOB offers an efficient customer support system as well as a community forum with numerous help topics available. Phone support agents are also available to support you from Monday – Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM.
In contrast, Xero does not offer phone support but they do interact with their followers on their social media. They also have huge community forums and online training videos to help new users adjust to their software.
It goes without saying that pricing is one of the most important considerations for the small business owner. All three accounting tools offer various plans to suit different business sizes and budgets. Of the three, Xero offers the most affordable basic plan, Xero Starter, which starts at $20/month. Xero Starter allows you to send up to 5 invoices and quotes, pay 1 person, and reconcile 20 bank transactions.
The next most affordable basic plan is QuickBooks’ Simple Start for small businesses which starts at $25/month. It offers the same functionality as Xero Starter but allows you to send unlimited invoices. MYOB offers the most expensive basic plan which starts at $27/month allows you to send up to 5 invoices, up to 25 bank transaction feeds, and payroll for 1 person.
Xero, QuickBooks, and MYOB frequently put their plans on sale so it’s important to take advantage of those discounts when you can.
Which should you choose?
While all three accounting tools have their merits, we believe QuickBooks has a considerable edge and offers more value for your money. What we love about QuickBooks is that it is well-suited for both small businesses and enterprises alike, it’s scalable and grows along with your business, and it offers an incredibly healthy selection of integrations that help business owners from different industries save time on various tasks. Its impressive mobile version is also a huge plus, allowing business owners to still keep an eye on their company’s finances even when they’re away from their desk. Despite its budget-friendly price point, QuickBooks doesn’t cut back on features, functionality, and support, making it an obvious winner for small businesses.
Struggling to keep track of your finances? DKM Accounting can help you with your QuickBooks Online needs. If you’re interested, you can fill out the form on our Contact section or give us a call at (02) 9788 1850.