Have an established Small or Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) or a business that's just starting to gain some traction? If that's the case, you need an accounting solution that's full suite, affordable, cloud based, and can scale with your operations. My favourite cloud accounting software is Xero and I'll tell you why in this blog. Since Xero work's like an accounting hub, I'll also recommend all my favourite apps that you can use with it. It's my list of the best cloud accounting software and finance apps for your business.
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 and Processing
7) Xero - Team Expenses
Xero - Core Cloud Accounting
Xero is growing its user base in Canada very quickly and for good reason. Xero's feature list continues to grow and it's already a very popular choice for SME's. 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 other apps by other developers. One of the things that makes Xero special is that if you don't like an app you've picked, you can just get rid of it and integrate a different one. Furthermore, Xero scales and grows with you since there's 100's of apps to choose from. If you're curious, check them out here. Xero's user interface is also super slick and easy to use and navigate. Also, Xero as noted above 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 fantastic and they really strive to help you or your bookkeeper / accountant if you ever get stuck.
Xero Vs Quickbooks Online?
A common question I get is, what about Quickbooks Online? What makes Xero better? It's true, Quickbooks Online is a good product and is popular, and honestly, I'd be hard pressed to name 10 core actual differences. However, in terms of functionality, look and feel, and layout, I think Xero is better due to it's more intuitive layout, especially for non-accountants. In addition, it comes down to community as well. 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
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. Plooto is definitely worth a look.
Stripe - Credit Card Processing
If your business accepts credit cards online 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. Regardless of how you use Stripe, you are going to be happy because it's a powerful tool that is also super developer friendly. For example, 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
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
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 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 or bookkeeper because everyone else in your company can just drop invoices and receipts into Hubdoc directly. Best of all, Hubdoc can be used for any sort of documents so it can become a whole company solution. Google drive is great but it can become a total mess, Hubdoc could be a great alternative with an excellent direct integration with Xero.
Xero - Team Expenses
Xero expenses is relatively new with limited features, however, for most SME's it's all they need. The limited features allow for a pretty minimal price point as well 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 more 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.