Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Online software comparison by the ICAEW

AccountingWeb today published an article and a link to say that the ICAEW's IT faculty had written a report about online accounting software.

The report, hearteningly, was written in plain English, and made a lot of valid points about how online accounting software helps accountants play a much more hands-on role in their clients' businesses. In these straitened times when small businesses are likely to need all the help they can get, a proactive accountant is always good news.

It talked in more detail about 5 different online packages: accountsIQ, Liberty Accounts, Liquid Accounts, Sage 50's online system, and WinWeb.

What surprised me, however, was that the report only mentioned these 5 packages. I realise there's a limited amount of space in these reports, but I was surprised not to see KashFlow, a recent winner at the Software Satisfaction Awards, and perhaps even more surprised not to see Xero, which is accredited by the ICAEW (as are accountsIQ and WinWeb).

And, as well, I would have liked more detail on the nuts and bolts of using these systems. How easy is it to set up a new client? To extract important information like debtors, creditors and bank balance? To prevent and correct mistakes? To post year end journals and close off a year end? None of that was included in the report.

What would any other accountants like to know about online systems before they invest?



  1. Twinfield decided they wouldn't pay the amount requested to be included. I assume the same may be true for the other ommuissions.

  2. Maybe you'll have to write your own review for everyone's benefit.

  3. I know I'm biased - but missing our KashFlow after the awards we've been accumulating and the market share we have is a pretty big oversight.

    It's easily explained though. Like Twinfield, we (KashFlow) wouldn't pay the money requested to be included nor would Xero. Hence we're not in there.

    I do feel sorry for ICAEW members and the people who pay for this report. You'd think that you'd be getting an impartial guide.


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