Online accounting software means that your financial records will be accessible from any computer and eliminates the need for constant backups and fiddly upgrades. Make the right choice with our roundup of online services for managing finances for Australian small businesses.
While we're all in favour of free software here at Lifehacker, finance software remains a category where, for the most part, you'll have to pay. Given the frequency with which accounting and tax rules change, this makes sense; using out-of-date information can be costly for your business.
An important issue to consider when choosing software is how easily you can share it with your accountant. Easy data export makes the process much easier. Having the ability to export information is also vital if you want to switch services, so take time checking that you have suitable options before signing up.
Many businesses resist online computing solutions because they're concerned about control. While you need to be comfortable with the business choices you make, knowing that your data is backed up online is in itself one less major issue to worry about on your premises.
MYOB is one of the two dominant providers of desktop business finance software, but LiveAccounts is an entirely separate, online-only product. A free trial is available for 30 days; paid versions start from $25 a month, including unlimited transactions and users.
Reckon Online hosts the online version of QuickBooks, the other major small business desktop accounting package. Pricing starts from $295 per user per year, which covers the features of the QuickBooks Enterprise package.
Australian-based and entirely hosted online, Saasu's feature set includes automatic bank reconciliation, automated invoicing and a customised reporting module. Saasu offers a basic free version which is limited to 20 transactions a month. Paid versions start from $25 a month.
Also Australian-based and only available as an online offering, Xero includes automatic invoicing and banking facilities, and offers a wide range of add-ons to integrate with other systems. Paid versions start from $29 a month, and you can set up a trial account with any version.
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