Choosing the right accounting software can be quite tricky especially if you haven’t used one before.
Most Aussie businesses usually start with Excel then choose between Xero, MYOB, and Quickbooks. If you’re serious about your e-comm business you should just really skip Excel and, invest in a dedicated accounting solution.
We’ll compare these programs in this article and help you pick the best solution.
Excel is not really a long term solution, however it deserves to be on the list as this is usually where most small businesses start.
As a way to track expenses before you start trading, it is somewhat adequate. Excel does not offer much for bookkeeping – there is obviously no double entry system, so mistakes can be easily made, and are usually difficult to detect.
The platform doesn’t offer historical or real-time data, which can make bookkeeping a tedious job. Expect to do most of your work manually as Excel does not automatically generate reports.
Templates can make the job easier
You can get a free version (limited features)
Available both as an online and offline software
More prone to errors due to manual nature
Difficult to manage cash flow
Not possible to automatically import data from bank accounts
Xero is undoubtedly one of the most popular accounting softwares out there. It's used by over 2 million customers and is the go-to option for many small businesses and professional accounting firms.
Xero hits the bull's eye when it comes to integrations, with add-ons available for nearly every ecommerce platform out there. So, you can be assured that wherever your ecommerce business evolves, your accounting system will be able to integrate this means less hassle and less manual labour.
Excellent customer support
Apps for iphone and android
Allows unlimited users
Offers more than 800 integrations making it perfect for e-commerce businesses
There's a steep learning curve - some time is needed to familiarise yourself with the program
Users can get their hands on it for free as the software comes with a 30-day trial. Since it’s an online tool, you will not have to worry about hardware, it will work on any computer, and there is no need for backup, as it lives in the cloud.
The cheapest package starts at $25 per month, however most e-commerce sellers will need the $65 per month plan, as it supports multiple currencies.
MYOB was introduced in the early 1980s, and it ruled the Aussie accounting landscape before the introduction of cloud-based solutions. To keep up with competitors, MYOB has released its own cloud-based packages – MYOB AccountRight and MYOB Essentials.
For Australian businesses selling in the USA, a multi-currency option is a must have feature. Unfortunately, the only MYOB solution with a multi-currency option is MYOB AccountRight Premier, which is their most expensive solution at $140 per month.
Offers phone support, seven days a week
Can connect two company accounts
Offers unlimited payroll
MYOB AccountRight is only suitable for Windows users
Expensive at $140 per month
At the time of writing, MYOB is offering 50% off for 3 months, and a free 30-day trial, however, it is still significantly more expensive than Xero.
Popular in USA, Quickbooks has recently expanded to Australia. Like Xero, they offer a cloud-based software for a monthly subscription.
Excellent customer support
All plans include free Android and iPhone apps
Can be a little tricky to use
Does not as many integrations available as Xero
The cheapest Quickbooks plan which supports multi-currency is The Essential Plan, $35 per month. This supports up to 3 users and also allows users to manage suppliers and bills.
The most expensive plan costs $50 per month and comes with the platform's newest feature called- tracking project profitability. It can manage more than 1000 contractors and track inventory.
Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses: Conclusion
Xero is undoubtedly the best accounting software for small businesses. Their support is unparalleled, and because it’s so widely used, the forums are a great source of information. Notably, it’s the integrations that really set it apart from the rest. With Xero you don’t have to worry about the marketplace you’ll be selling into in 3 years, as you can be fairly sure there’s a Xero integration for it. Without a Xero integration you’d have to manually import all of the transactions, line by line into your system. Painful!
Additionally, if you’re selling overseas, you need to be sure that your system can handle multiple currencies. Xero easily handles multiple currencies.
In our opinion, implementing Xero is a must for any small business.