The business world, from small and medium enterprises to big conglomerates, relies on accounting software to automate and speed up computing processes and procedures while producing accurate results.  Listed below are the four (4) popular accounting/bookkeeping programs that are consistently ranked among the top accounting software in the market today. 

Xero

Xero is a completely online-based accounting solutions package suitable for small to medium-sized companies who require the convenience of cloud-based technology to allow the timely collaboration between internal staff and their trusted yet off-site accountants.  All of the company’s financial data and documents are kept in the cloud and can be accessed and modified anytime, anywhere (through an Internet or mobile connection) by authorized clients.

The Xero website is user-friendly keeping in mind that its clients need to get straight to the data and their computation.  It is capable of approving bills, attaching supporting documents to transaction, creating basic reports and the typical accounting computations needed by small and medium-sized companies.  To assist clients in managing their accounts, there is an ecosystem of 300+ Add-on applications that can be seamlessly integrated with Xero and it’s only a matter of choosing what you require for your business.   For instance, shopping carts, online payments, CRM applications and custom reports may be acquired through the Add-on Applications.

Xero also provides a link with banking and other financial institutions and allows the automatic updating and checking of transactions which is one of the reasons why it’s a popular choice as an accounting software.  Its multi-currency option also gives an added bonus, with exchange rates linked with XE.com.

MYOB

An important feature of an accounting software is its simplicity such that even business owners with no background in the accounting will find it easy to use and understand.  The MYOB accounting software package, created by the MYOB company from Australia, integrates a multitude of accounting solutions that are suitable for beginners (initially) and can be upgraded and expanded to expert level for more complex businesses.

To begin with, the MYOB package can help monitor, track, update and create reports for Sales, Purchasing, Stock Control and link all these with Accounts and Banking Functions.  All the processing happens in real-time so that each data entry made is automatically recorded and other relevant information is also updated.  All these information is also available for export to accountants and whatever correction or changes they make can easily be imported back into the system.

The flexibility of the software gives its users the choice of converting the usual invoices, cheques, and bills into “journal-entry” forms that are preferred by accountants and auditors.  Processing of sales quotations and sales orders also becomes a breeze.  The user can establish “Job Codes” and “Category” to easily track business transactions, income and expenses and sort them accordingly to generate Profit and Loss reports.  For bigger companies, it may be necessary to assign passwords to be able to control who gets to modify the data.  The more advanced software program has this function built-in and even allows the tracking of changes for better check and balance.

Saasu

Another new entrant into the cloud-based accounting software market is Saasu, which basically means, that it allows for secure, multi-user remote access through browser integration and an Internet connection.  This online availability results in faster completion of updating business transactions because internal staff can easily collaborate with external accountants and auditors through a single platform.  Online functionality also translates into bank feeds that reduce the chances of human error while increasing the speed of bank reconciliation tasks.

A feature that stands out for the Saasu software package is its Payroll function.  The program automatically calculates employees’ salaries and wages including additional privileges like bonuses and leave entitlements.  With these records, it becomes easier to disperse payroll payments to the bank for distribution to each employee and automatically updating the records into the Saasu accounting system.  There is even an option to print out pay slips and payment summaries to be distributed to the respective employees.

One rather weakness to Saasu is its ability to churn out customized reports which can come in handy when tarrying to generate an overview of the health of the business.  Though it’s possible to export such data to Excel or some other database program for further tweaking, it necessitates that the user needs to be proficient in manipulating the data through that particular software.  Thus, this weakness may lead to error and complication.

Quickbooks

Quickbooks is a reputable accounting software package developed by Intuit and it comes in both desktop and online versions.  Its desktop version, which means Quickbooks needs to be installed into a computer, is the Quickbooks Pro 2014, while the online version is predictably called Quickbooks Online, which means business owners can collaborate with their accountants and internal staff 24/7, as long as there’s an Internet connection.

Quickbooks Pro 2014 can easily be manipulated by business owners even without any knowledge or training in accounting practices.  The software is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and is extremely intuitive.  It can work with small business requirements even up to the level of medium-scale companies.  It can track inventory, create invoices and email them to clients, pay vendors, manage payroll and reconcile accounts.  The best part about Quickbooks Pro 2014 is its 150 preconfigured reports which can also be customized according to the needs of the client.

Quikbooks Online is not so much a rehash of the desktop version but is more a streamlined version of the same.  The setup starts with the creation of a profile of the company to include the tasks and processes that will be likely used in relation to the business and the industry.  With just a click of the button, tasks like checking on current and recent transactions, invoices and reporting, are easily within reach.  The simple user interface also contributes to the ease and convenience of manipulating the data and automating other business transactions.  Linking to bank accounts and communicating with clients and accountants becomes convenient because of its online nature.