Monday, 6 July 2009

Different strokes for different folks, accounting-software style

It's something of a hobby horse of mine that when it comes to accounting software, one size most certainly does not fit all.

For example, I'd never steer someone who wasn't either a highly skilled bookkeeper or a qualified accountant towards Sage 50. It's far too complicated.

I have two businesses - a limited company and a sole trade - and I keep their books on two different pieces of online accounting software. The company's on Pearl, the sole trade's on FreeAgent.

Both of these products are suitable for different kinds of businesses.

Pearl has a free version called Express for start-ups and micro-businesses. But, given the layout, look and feel of Pearl, I would say that this is aimed more at businesses that are starting small but are aiming to grow. The scope of Pearl is broad. There are lots of different menus and options within the software.

FreeAgent, on the other hand, is aimed fair and square at freelancers, consultants, and other micro-businesses that have started small and mean to stay that way. It's much simpler to navigate, because it has much fewer menus.

So before you choose your software, or choose what you're going to recommend to clients, think about whether the business plan is to stay small or to grow.

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