Costs Xero (cloud) vs other accounting solution

Almost all my clients use their own computer (desktop) for accounting. A few do use cloud, including Xero.

A while ago, we received ten vouchers for people to try Xero free for two months to see if they liked it. We gave them out to our clients, NO-ONE who we gave a voucher too eventually took on Xero. The main reason when I asked them why the lack of interest in Xero was cost, most had been using desktop accountancy solutions and all found desktops solutions cheaper.

As background information now, I would say in order of use by my clients MYOB would as a quick guess have about 50% of them, Quickbooks would have 35%, the rest are a range of products like Money Plus, GNUCash and Xero.

As Australian accountancy standards do not change much, in fact, they have not changed much since GST came in any of these accounting software package versions released since GST are able to handle most of my clients needs with one exception payroll. Some may do it better than others; they look prettier; they have extra features; they may work better the way you feel, etc., but they can all can do the job. Which system would be best for you is one that you will need to investigate? For example, my main gribe with MYOB is that it behaves like it was coded by accountants who are amateur programmers who think they know better because they have a "background in the field."

In any case what you use is not an issue to our point of sale, which is very flexible.

One point to watch as I stated is payroll you will need to determine exactly what you need here before you look and remember much of the cost in accounting programs is in the payroll section. My advice to save money, consider running a separate payroll system. They are generally much better at payroll too.

If you ask me my advice, I tell you to try Money Plus, which is free and see how it goes for you. If it does not work, then you will have at least a better idea of what you do need. You will also not lose much work either as most systems can import Money Plus files as it uses Quickbook formats.

Now I do not recommend anymore going to your accountant. This is because accountants partly tend to pick the one, they know and also as they get special deals and in my experience, their advice is often is based on this. Your accountant requirements are simple a Profit and Loss statement and the Balance sheet, which are standard documents and any of these systems. here can supply that. If the accountant wants more, which is generally purely if they find something that looks wrong, all the systems can provide full audit trials, which again are all very standard.

What you need to consider is if you need help, MYOB and Quickbooks have the best help both internally and with external consultants everywhere. The others from what I hear, help ranges from poor to almost zero

Now you should be able to get a costing.

One point to check while costing is that a cloud solution has no value once you stop paying; a desktop version will have value years after you purchased it.

What are the additional costs?

Now you have tentatively decided on an accountancy solution. You need to do an estimate on what after buying this software what are additional fees. This is particularly important if you want integration.

If you intend to manually enter in the information, then there are no additional charges. Integration will cause more problems, but it will save time. There are two types, the first is from the bank to you, this depending on your selected system and if available is free.

The other from your point of sale to you generally costs although with us, this link is free for MYOB and Quickbook. However, some point-of-sale companies charge about $1,000, so you need to check if it is not us.

The next point, is do you have a current maintenance contract with your point of sale provider Well with our accountancy link, you do not need one but some point-of-sale companies demand you do have one and will lock you out of integration if you do not have one. If you intend to take maintenance contracts every year, this is not a problem, but if you did want to option not to take it, well it will be a problem.

The next point is the monthly fee. With us its free, but some point-of-sale companies will charge about $35/month. Again if you stop paying, you are locked out of the integration.

Final note!

Whatever way you do go, I would recommend that before you start you buy a book on basic bookkeeping using the software you intend to use. Work though it and then start.