When you first start selling online it might be easy to manage your accounts using a spreadsheet, but as your business grows and you expand to more sales platforms it can be harder to keep track of your finances. We’ve taken a look at some of the best cloud-based accounting software for small ecommerce businesses, their key features and their drawbacks.
KashFlow is designed for small businesses and offers a fairly straightforward interface and very affordable subscription plans.
Features: KashFlow has a simple dashboard where you can get a quick overview of your cashflow and accounts. It offers bank reconciliation through live bank feeds, invoicing, reporting, basic stock management and VAT returns. You can also integrate KashFlow with a range of other software including PayPal, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, Amazon, eBay,
Accounting method: Accrual accounting
Downsides: You can’t customise user-specific permissions, and there’s no mobile app, though the website is mobile friendly.
14 day free trial. Prices exclude VAT.
Starter, £7 per month: 10 invoices per month, 25 bank transactions per month, single currency, no payroll functionality.
Business, £13 per month: Unlimited invoices, unlimited bank transactions, multi-currency, no payroll functionality.
Business + Payroll, £18 per month: No limitations on any of the features, and payroll functionality.
Xero is an easy to use accounting software, which is specifically aimed at small to mid-sized businesses.
Features: Using Xero you can keep track of your business’s cash flow, connect with your bank account for automated reconciliation, as well as manage bills, create invoices, expense reporting and payroll. It allows an unlimited number of users for each account, and you can easily customise each user’s level of access. You can also use it to calculate and submit your VAT returns.
Xero integrates with over 400 other applications including ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, eBay, Amazon, Magento and WooCommerce, as well as inventory management software.
Accounting method: Accrual and cash basis accounting
Downsides: A lot of the software’s features are unavailable through the mobile app.
30 day free trial. Prices exclude VAT.
Starter plan, £10 per month: Send 5 invoices per month, enter 5 bills, reconcile 20 bank transactions. Payroll for £5 per month for 5 people, £1 per person on top of that.
Standard, £22 per month: No restrictions on the number of invoices, bills, and reconciled bank transactions. Payroll £5 per month for 5 people.
Premium, £27.50 per month: No restrictions, same cost for payroll. and available for multiple currencies.
ClearBooks is a UK based and focused accounting software, with a wide range of features that enables simple accounting for small businesses.
Features: ClearBooks offers bank statement imports, automated bank feeds (Together+ plan), invoicing, billing, unlimited transactions on all plans, and it supports multi-currencies. It also has a reports dashboard and stock control. You can also use ClearBooks to track VAT and submit your VAT return to HMRC however, this feature is only available on the higher, Together+, plan. It integrates with a range of other software including PayPal. ClearBooks offers support on the phone, via email and live chat.
Accounting method: Accrual and cash basis accounting.
Downsides: Limited features on the mobile app.
30 day free trial. Prices excludes VAT.
Together, £7.40 per month: Unlimited transactions, unlimited users, no payroll or VAT features.
Together+, £16.50 per month: Payroll for one employee, automated bank feeds, VAT features.
QuickBooks software is designed for small to medium business, and its online accounting software is good for ecommerce businesses with a bit of accounting experience.
Features: Quickbooks online has an easy to understand layout. It allows you to link with your bank and automatically import transactions, send invoices, manage supplier bills, and calculate your VAT. It’s also compatible with more than 400 third party integrations, including Stripe, Magento, Shopify and PayPal. Some accounting knowledge or experience is necessary, however you can get help and support on the phone and via online chat, and it also has a mobile app.
Accounting method: Accrual and cash-basis accounting
Downsides: A limited number of reports are available through the mobile app.
30 day free trial. Prices exclude VAT.
Essentials, £15.00 per month: Download bank transactions, view real-time dashboards, foreign currencies, manage supplier bills. Up to three users.
Plus, £25.00 per month: Also create purchase orders, track and bill employee time, manage stock levels and categorise sales. Up to five users.
Sage One Accounting
Aimed at sole traders and small business, Sage One is a simple accounting package that can be quickly picked up by small online sellers with little or no accounting experience.
Features: Using Sage One you can connect a live bank feed, enter income and expenses, create invoices, view reports and calculate and submit VAT returns. The software is designed to be simple and easy to use, and offers free telephone and email support making it very accessible for those without any accounting knowledge.
Accounting method: Accrual and cash-basis accounting.
Downsides: It doesn’t include stock control, and some of the functionality may be a bit basic for experienced users.
30 day free trial. Price excludes VAT.
Accounting, £20 per month: Sales invoicing, live bank feed, reporting, VAT, multi-user, cash flow forecasts, cash flow statements, purchase invoices, multi-currency invoicing.
All of these cloud-based accounting software packages have the main features and functionality needed for a small ecommerce business to keep on top of their accounts. Sage One Accounting is probably the most accessible for completely inexperienced users, while KashFlow and ClearBooks are both UK-based and therefore more focused on UK businesses. All of these accounting softwares offer a free trial, so you can test them out before you commit to paying for them.