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How to Choose the RIGHT Cloud Accounting System

beginner series Jan 09, 2021

 


Video


There is no one size fits all and I can't tell you Cloud Accounting System X is the right one for you. Some may be perfect for service based business but not suitable for product based business and vice versa.

Today's blog post is to help you to choose the RIGHT Cloud Accounting System for your business.

 

Why choosing the RIGHT Cloud Accounting System matters

Signing up for a new Cloud Accounting System is very easy nowadays. You can always change to a new Cloud Accounting System whenever you feel that your current one does not suits you or your business anymore.

But this comes with a great cost.

Every time you change to a new Cloud Accounting System, it will cost you and your business time and effort:

  • to migrate your past accounting data into the new Cloud Accounting System
  • to set up all your accounting settings, invoice branding and invoice layout
  • as it interrupts your business operations during the migration period (which is very costly to your business!)
  • to train users of the Cloud Accounting System (either you or your employees) all over again

 

7 questions that help you choose the RIGHT Cloud Accounting System

Let me help you to choose the RIGHT Cloud Accounting System for you and your business. 

I have written 7 questions to help you find the RIGHT Cloud Accounting System based on my experience in choosing the RIGHT Cloud Accounting System for my clients for the past 12 years.

Go through the following questions and answer them as you explore your Cloud Accounting System finalists.

 

Availability

1) Is the Cloud Accounting System available in the country of your business?

If you're living in US but you are running a business based in Canada, the country of your business is Canada. Look for a Cloud Accounting System that's available in Canada and not US.

Answer:
Yes - Proceed to the next question
No - Look for another Cloud Accounting System that's available in the country of your business

 

Interface and user experience

2) Do you like the interface? Do you like to use the Cloud Accounting System? Do you find it easy to use?

You'll be using the Cloud Accounting System to do bookkeeping which is something you're not so familiar with. If the Cloud Accounting System is easy and simple to use, it will greatly reduce your learning curve. Is the menu using simple words that you can easily understand or its too heavy with accounting jargons? Is it easy to navigate around the pages?

Most Cloud Accounting System offers free trial period. Try the Cloud Accounting System and play around with it before making the decision to subscribe for long term. If you would like to sign up with a partner or reseller, do check with them before signing up for your free trial as they may have special packages for new customers (who has not created a free trial account yet).

If you would like to subscribe Xero Accounting with us, check out our attractive subscription packages here.

Answer:
Yes - Proceed to the next question
No - Look for another Cloud Accounting System that's easy and simple to use

 

Customer service and support

3) Is it easy to reach their customer service? Are they helpful?

Good customer service that is easy to reach and helpful is a crucial element in choosing your Cloud Accounting System. Try to contact them to ask some questions to test their level of service. It's important that they act fast in assisting you in the event that something major happens to your accounting records, such as bugs or glitches which can only be resolved by back-end programming.

Alternatively, you may look for support services offered by partners or resellers of the Cloud Accounting System. They are well trained in the Cloud Accounting System and will be able to guide you on the usage of the Cloud Accounting System. But do take note that they do not have access to the back-end programming.

Nuts Accounting offer support services for Xero Accounting and Wave Accounting. Click here to learn more. (Coming soon!)

Answer:
Yes - Proceed to the next question
No - Look for alternative support services or look for another Cloud Accounting System with good customer service and support

 

Price

4) Is the price within your business's budget? Is it worth it to pay a little more for more automations and functions?

Subscribing to a Cloud Accounting System is a long term commitment for your business. You want to make sure that your business can afford the subscription fees in the long run.

If you are comparing 2 or more Cloud Accounting System with different price tag, do not make your decision based on the cheapest price. For example, if Cloud Accounting System A is $19 per month while Cloud Accounting System B is $29 per month but comes with more advance functions and automations which could eventually save you 3 hours a week, then the excess of $10 has justified itself.

Another question related to pricing is:

Do you want to sign up directly with the Cloud Accounting System company or through partners or resellers? Are the packages offered by partners or resellers comes with migration services, training and support services that you need?

Partners or resellers usually provide attractive packages that include migration services, training and support services. You may want to survey around before deciding to sign up directly with the Cloud Accounting System company.

If you would like to check out our migration services, training, support services and subscription packages, click here to learn more.

Answer:
Yes - Proceed to the next question
No - Look for another Cloud Accounting System that's within budget

 

Training

5) Is there training courses on the Cloud Accounting System?

Once you sign up for the Cloud Accounting System, the first thing that you need is training. You need a user training course to teach you how to use the Cloud Accounting System and enjoy all the functions that you have signed up for. If the Cloud Accounting System does not provide user training, there's plenty of training courses available online or in-person classes so look for one that is most convenient for you.

Nuts Accounting offers training courses specially designed for non-accountants on Xero Accounting and Wave Accounting. Click here to learn more. (Coming soon!)

Answer:
Yes - Proceed to the next question
No - Look for another Cloud Accounting System

 

Functions & features

Main functions:

Let's check out what the Cloud Accounting System can do for you. The basic functions which all Cloud Accounting System have are:

  • Customer invoices, credit notes and customer statements
  • Supplier invoices, credit notes
  • Manual journal entries
  • Basic financial reports (Balance Sheet report and Profit and Loss report)

But on top of that, don't forget to check the main functions below:

 

Inventory (Products that you sell)

6) Does it keeps track of my inventory level? If yes, how robust is the inventory function?

Not all Cloud Accounting System keeps track of your inventory. Here are some examples as at the time of writing:

  • Wave Accounting provides no inventory function. You can create a list of item codes and description of your products but it does not keeps track of the quantity for you. There is no inventory report.
  • Sage Business Cloud Accounting provides basic level of inventory function. You can create a list of item codes and description of your products and it will keeps track of the quantity for you. However, it will not update your inventory value to your Balance Sheet report and Profit and Loss report and produces inventory reports for you.
  • Xero Accounting provides intermediate level of inventory function. You can create a list of item codes and description of your products and it will keeps track of the quantity for you. It will automatically update your inventory value to your Balance Sheet report and Profit and Loss report and produces inventory reports for you.
  • If you need advance level of inventory function, I would suggests to use a third party app which specializes in inventory management and integrates it with Xero Accounting. The data from your third party app will automatically flows to your Xero Accounting.

Answer:
I don't have inventory - Proceed to the next question
Yes - Proceed to the next question
No - Look for another Cloud Accounting System


Reports

7) Does it produces the reports that you need?

Good reports from your Cloud Accounting System are the key to growing your business faster. It is the tool that you will use to track your business performance and helps you make good business decisions. Check through each report in the Cloud Accounting System and ensure that everything you need is available. Some Cloud Accounting System allows you to customize reports according to your needs.

Here are some example of commonly used reports:

  • Balance Sheet report
  • Profit and Loss report
  • Sales report by customer with the total sales of each customers (Which customers purchase the most?)
  • Sales report by item with the total sales of each item (Which inventory item has the best sales?)
  • Sales report by salesperson with the total sales of each salesperson (Which salesperson has the best sales?)

Answer:
Yes, and I only have 1 Cloud Accounting System finalist - Congratulations, you have found the RIGHT Cloud Accounting System!
Yes, but I have 2 or more Cloud Accounting System finalists - Go through the additional functions to decide which one is the best fit for you
No - Look for another Cloud Accounting System


Here are some additional functions of Cloud Accounting System on top of the basic functions. Check out if you need these functions which may save you time and effort in bookkeeping:

 

Collect online payments from your customers

Make it easy for your customers to pay you online which will greatly improve your collections. If you are paying for monthly fixed charges for credit card terminals, you may want to consider this option which you will only pay as you use.

 

Send invoices to customers from your Cloud Accounting System (or customer portal)

Save your time by easily send invoices to your customers with just a click of a button within the Cloud Accounting System. Some Cloud Accounting System such as Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers customer portal where they could view their current and past invoices and pay you online. While other Cloud Accounting System such as Xero Accounting has the invoice status which will change to "viewed" whenever your customer has viewed your invoice.

 

Automations and Integrations

Cloud Accounting System uses technology to automate bookkeeping tasks to save you time. If you need to issue an invoice to your rental tenant on a monthly basis, use the repeating invoice or recurring invoice function. Just set it once and it will automatically creates the invoice for you every month. This is just one of the example of automation that Cloud Accounting System can do for you.

Cloud Accounting System can also integrates with bank or third party app. Your data from your third party app can automatically flow into your Cloud Accounting System. If you set up the bank feed, your bank transactions will automatically be created in Xero for you. That's a huge time saver! You may want to check out the Cloud Accounting System's automations and integrations to evaluate how it can help you to save more time.

 

Employee claims management

Certain Cloud Accounting System such as Xero offers employee claims management function. Your employees can submit their claims through Xero expenses mobile app while you could approve (or reject) the claims and prepare for payment in Xero itself. This is convenient and simplify things for you as you only need 1 system to do both accounting and claims management for you.

 

Expand the Cloud Accounting System with third party app

Certain Cloud Accounting System such as Xero let you expand the system beyond accounting function. Xero has integration with numerous of third party apps and it's all available at Xero Marketplace (kinda like Apple store or Google Play store). Do you need payroll function? Just choose any of the payroll app from the marketplace and the payroll data will automatically flow into your Xero Accounting (and save you time!).

 

Scan and store documents

Certain Cloud Accounting System such as Xero let you scan and store your bookkeeping documents in your bookkeeping transactions. This is convenient when you need to view the bookkeeping document (such as supplier's invoice) directly from Xero itself without the need to search through your files for it.

 

Scan with OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

Certain Cloud Accounting System such as Xero let you create a new bookkeeping transaction by scanning the document by using Xero's HubDoc or ReceiptBank. The software has OCR (Optical Character Recognition) ability which could extract information from your supplier's invoice and automatically fill up the fields for you, such as date, amount, tax amount and etc. Just scan the document into HubDoc, check and ensure the information populated in the fields are correct then save it and your bookkeeping transaction will be recorded.


I believe by now, you should have a better understanding of what a good Cloud Accounting System can do for you and your business. And the most important of all is, now you know how to choose your RIGHT Cloud Accounting System. So which Cloud Accounting System did you choose?

Nuts Accounting is here to help you if you need help in:

  • choosing your RIGHT Cloud Accounting System
  • subscribing to Xero Accounting with our attractive subscription packages
  • setting-up and migrating to your new Cloud Accounting System
  • learning how to use Xero Accounting or Wave Accounting with our online courses specially designed for non-accountants
  • providing support services to you by helping you with your questions whenever you need help in Xero Accounting or Wave Accounting

Click here to check out our online courses and services!

 

If you like this blog post, share it with your friends.

If you want to learn more on Xero Accounting & Wave Accounting tutorials, bookkeeping or tips on business, click on the categories at the side bar.

I’ll see you in the next blog post! 


Sponsor

This video is sponsored by our online course, Master User Academy. Master User Academy helps non-accountants to do bookkeeping by using Cloud Accounting System like a Pro in simple English. Get real-time financial data of your business to grow your business faster. Join Master User Academy Level 1 now for FREE! ➡️ https://www.nutsaccounting.com/store


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Disclaimer: This blog post is not sponsored by any of the products mentioned in anyways at all. I created this blog post based on my personal experience and I hope that by sharing my knowledge with you, you can use yours better.

No part of the content of this video or any video published by Nuts Accounting, shall be stored, copied, recreated, republished, or transported.

If you click on the affiliate links and took action (sign up or purchase) I will earn a small commission to support this blog.

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