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  • Writer's picturePeter Geh

The Best Cloud Accounting Software and Finance Apps for your Growing Sciences or Tech Startup

Updated: Apr 23

If you're a growing startup in sciences or technology, you need a nimble, efficient, cloud-based accounting workflow that is cost efficient. In this blog, I go over my favorite core cloud accounting solution along with my favorite accounting and finance apps tailored to sciences and technology startups. It's my list of the best cloud accounting software and finance apps for your growing sciences or tech startup. As always, if you have a question or think you might want to work together, please get in touch through my Home Page. Also, never miss a blog by following me on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Best Cloud Accounting Software and Finance Apps for your Growing Sciences or Tech Startup

Summary Recommendations:

1) Xero - Core Cloud Accounting

2) Plooto - Electronic Payments & Receivables

3) Stripe - Credit Card Processing

4) Wagepoint - Payroll

5) Chargebee - Recurring Revenue

6) Hubdoc - Cloud Document Storage

7) Xero - Team Expenses

Xero - Core Cloud Accounting

Xero for cloud accounting.

Xero is growing its user base very quickly and for good reason. Xero's feature list continues to grow and it's already a very popular choice for sciences and technology startups. Xero has plenty of features built in for reconciling your bank and credit card, keeping track of payables and receivables, and reporting. Xero works by not being everything to everyone, but instead relies on direct integrations to apps by external developers. One of the best features is that if you don't like an app, you can always switch out to another one. Xero's user interface is also super slick and easy to use and navigate. Xero as noted already is cloud based, but don't let that fool you, the interface is lightning fast and secure so you never have to worry. Finally, Xero support is also fantastic to help you out if you or your bookkeeper / accountant ever get stuck.

A common question I get is, what about Quickbooks Online? What makes Xero better? It's true, Quickbooks Online is a great product as well, and honestly, I'd be hard pressed to name 10 core differences. It terms of functionality, look and feel, the biggest difference is probably that Xero is blue and Quickbooks is green. So why recommend one over the other? Well it comes down to community. Xero is building an awesome community of enthusiasts, partners, bookkeepers and accountants. It really is trying to work with everyone to make an excellent product. Quickbooks Online on the other hand doesn't quite stack up in this regard.

Plooto - Electronic Payments & Receivables

Plooto for electronic payments.

First of all, if you are still writing manual cheques, please stop! EFTs, email money transfers, and other electronic payment methods have made it so easy to send money that cheques aren't necessary, and that was 10 years ago! Plooto goes one step further, its super slick integration with Xero not only makes payments and collecting on receivables a breeze, it also allows for payment authorizations electronically. For example, set up your bookkeeper to load all your payments but maintain control so that you have final approval on actually sending the money out the door. Plooto is by far one of the easiest implementations to seriously save you time for a pretty affordable rate. As noted, you can also use it to start collecting receivables automatically from your customers as well. Plooto is definitely worth a look.

Stripe - Credit Card Processing

Stripe for credit card processing.

If your business accepts credit cards for anything and you don't use Stripe, you should reconsider your choice. Stripe is super easy to use for any application. For example, it can link to Xero to seamlessly accept credit cards on your invoices, it can integrate into your website, or you can use it directly with their powerful Stripe Dashboard. Anyway you use Stripe, you are going to be happy because its a powerful tool that is also super developer friendly. This means your developer team won't have any issues integrating it into your sales funnel or website. In terms of pricing, there's no major difference to the other guys like PayPal, however, if you are doing over $100,000 a month in sales, Stripe can start negotiating a better rate for you.

Wagepoint - Payroll

Wagepoint for payroll.

If you have employees, you need to pay them somehow and personally there's no easier way than Wagepoint. Wagepoint has all the functionality you would ever need (electronic employee portals, records of employment, automatic payroll calculations, reporting, etc) but their pricing is really low. In addition, the interface is slick and modern, not like many other payroll providers that are failing to update their interfaces and software. The biggest perk is the seamless integration with Xero. If you are struggling with payroll, definitely give Wagepoint a serious look. As a back up, also consider Payment Evolution's payroll offering. While not as slick as Wagepoint, its price point is cheaper.

Chargebee - Recurring Revenue and Subscriptions

Chargebee for recurring revenue and subscriptions.

If your business relies on monthly recurring revenue, usage based billing or any other type of revenue model, I guarantee that Chargebee can likely simplify your accounting workflow tremendously. In addition, you're going to love other functions like trial management, sales tax management, automatic deferred revenue calculations, and its analytics. Best of all, Chargebee integrates to Xero to make sure your revenue system always matches your accounting system. As a close second, also consider Recurly, it also has a slick interface with tons of features.

Hubdoc - Document Storage and Processing

Hubdoc for document storage and processing.

Hubdoc was recently acquired by Xero which is great news. Hubdoc is an excellent storage solution that your whole team can use. Best of all, finance related documents can be attached directly to Xero transactions. This can be a life saver for your finance team because everyone else in your company can just drop invoices and receipts in Hubdoc directly. Best of all, Hubdoc can be used for any sort of documents so it can become a whole company solution. I personally have seen how messy google drive can get, and Hubdoc could be a great alternative with an excellent direct integration with Xero.

Xero - Team Expenses

Xero expense for team expense claims.

Xero expenses is relatively new with limited features, however, for most sciences and technology startups it's all they need. The limited features also allow for a pretty minimal price point compared to more full suite competitors. Xero team expenses has a free expense app for your team and those expenses sync right over to Xero for easy reimbursement, recording and approval. If you need a little more of a full featured team expense app, consider Expensify. It has a really nice integration with Xero, multi-level approval tiers and great functionality but the price point is more than double than that of Xero expenses.


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