“I don’t need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster… carrying around these non-connected computers is byzantine by comparison.”
Steve Jobs uttered those words 16 years ago. A true visionary, he understood back then a concept that a lot of small business owners have yet to embrace: if you can store data in a centralized location and then access it from any device with an internet connection, relying on your bulky office computer is like taking a team of horses across the country when you can fly first-class on a 747.
Make no mistake: Cloud-based accounting solutions are always going to be more convenient, more secure, and more efficient to use than “non-connected” accounting software packages.
And that’s why the top 3 small business accounting software solutions are all cloud-based (well, sort of).
#3: Intuit QuickBooks Online Simple Start
Overall, QuickBooks Online is a pretty powerful Cloud accounting solution. It allows you to import existing contact lists from Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, Gmail, or an Excel file. There are a few limitations, however, especially with the $15-per-month Simple Start subscription. Namely, key accounting features such as payroll and time recording and billing are omitted. Two problem specifically with the Simple Start subscription is that you can only enter bills as you pay them and you can’t do accruals. Those problems are resolved by upgrading to Essentials or Plus subscriptions, $25 and $35 per month, respectively.
Xero is a totally, completely, amazingly powerful piece of cloud accounting software that was clearly designed with the cloud in mind. One of the best features: you can email your invoices as an attachment or a link and either way your customer is only a click away from paying via PayPal. If your customers use the Xero Network, you can send invoices directly into their Xero account, which can speed things up and eliminate redundant data entry tasks.
Another cool feature that Xero offers which is pretty cutting-edge is that when you enter a customer’s address, the software uses the White Pages TotalCheck service to verify that it is a real street address.
Xero didn’t make number one on the list for the very minor usability issues it has. Specifically, in order to receive a payment on Xero, you have to open the invoice it corresponds to and enter the payment details. That could be an issue if your customers like to settle multiple invoices with one payment.
#1: MYOB EXO Business (With the MYOB Enterprise Cloud Partner Program)
As great of an accounting solution as Xero happens to be, MYOB EXO Business was still an easy choice as the very best small business accounting software solution on this list. Why did MYOB EXO Business top the list? Because it’s the best of both worlds.
MYOB EXO Business isn’t a cloud-based accounting software solution – at least not in the strictest sense. It is, however, the most powerful accounting software solution on this list and it just so happens that, in conjunction with the MYOB Enterprise Cloud Partner, you can get the benefits of cloud-based computing and traditional software at the same time.
A fully integrated financial and business management system, MYOB EXO Business has modules that support everything from point-of-sale to reporting and inventory management, all in a very user-friendly format. Another big, big benefit to using MYOB EXO Business: it also acts as a business intelligence software solution. That means you can get a clear view of the ‘big picture’ as well as a deeper view of the individual processes so that you can make more informed business decisions.
Just because the time has come to jump on the Cloud bandwagon doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to the functionality of a truly spectacular accounting software solution. With MYOB Enterprise Cloud Partner Program, you can get the functionality of powerful accounting software with the on-the-go availability of a cloud-based solution.
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