How to Choose a Cloud Accounting Provider for Your Business

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Congratulations!  You’ve decided to move from a desktop accounting service to a cloud-based one.  No matter what your reasons for doing so, it’s guaranteed to be much more efficient and flexible than the desktop-based service you are currently using.  If you haven’t yet made the decision as to which cloud accounting provider to work with, don’t fret.  We’ve provided some tips that should help you to narrow down the selection.

1. How Easy Is it to Set Up?

The first thing you’ll want to look into is how easy it is to get set up with the new accounting provider.  You’ll need to move all of your existing data to the online platform, and you may need to import large databases too.  Some accounting providers make this easy, while others will require you to do everything manually.  Others will even provide this service for you if you decide to move to them.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to the provider’s support team for advice in this area.

2. How Much Does it Cost?

The next thing you’ll want to look at is cost.  If we take a look at the two leading cloud accounting providers, Xero and Quickbooks, we can see that they vary quite a lot in price.  According to an article on the PieSync blog, Xero plans cost between $9 and $60 a month, while Quickbooks plans cost between $20 and $80 a month.  Rather than taking a look at these figures at face value, it’s important to research into what you’ll be getting for your money.  While Xero appears cheaper, it may not be the best option if you need to take out a higher priced plan to gain access to everything you need.

3. What Does Your Accountant Suggest?

Before making a firm decision, it’s a good idea to speak to your accountant.  Not only will your accountant be able to advise you on the best platform for your business, but he should also be aware of how the most popular systems work – usually because he has other clients using them.  Your accountant may also be able to let you know if there are any downsides to the provider you are considering; this can be valuable information and difficult to find online.

4. Is the Software Scalable?

Finally, you also want to take a look into how easy it is to upgrade the software should your business grow.  While a startup business may not need access to reports and payment integration, for example, these can be very useful tools once the business increases in size.  Many of the leading cloud accounting providers make it easy to upgrade to a more feature-rich account when the time comes, but not all of them will, and not all of them will offer the features you’ll need.  It’s a good idea to look into this, even in the early days of your business.

A cloud accounting provider can definitely make life a lot easier for you, but it’s important to choose your provider carefully.  It’s not a decision that should be rushed.

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