What's your favourite accounting software?

I’m about to start a small (2-3p) architectural services business and was excited to see a 6 month trial Xero included with a Monzo Business account. But it also got me looking at the alternatives, Freeagent, Freshbooks, etc. which both look easier to use and may be a better fit for a small business with a handful of clients.

Ease of use is top of the list, but we don’t want inflexibility. Tracking profitability and simple entry of expenses and receipts are other important things I can think of. Price. Easy integration with Monzo is of course a must.

The aforementioned providers all have well-regarded iOS apps, which is often a good sign.

So what’s your favourite and why?

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Not a Monzo Business customer (using Starling) but I absolutely love QuickFile and would recommend giving it a try to see if it meets your needs.

I moved over from Pandle, and the difference is night & day. As a relative novice at running my own part-time business - everything makes sense, the knowledgebase is excellent, it works well and is fast. Doing any finance or accounting used to be quite a chore, but now it’s not!

Transaction tagging, invoicing, recurring invoices - all good. You can email receipts, or there’s a Dropbox integration if that’s your thing.

I do most stuff on desktop, but the Android app is fine for checking in on things and doing the basics.

(I’ve added my 10% discount referral link to the wiki)

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Do you have an accountant? Sometimes worth checking what they use before you decide.

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Yeah, good point, we do but not confirmed yet.

I notice that Monzo help files only mention integration of Xero, FreeAgent and Quickbooks. What does that actually mean though?

Because in a Freshbooks trial I can see that I could connect to Monzo from within Freshbooks. So I presume it just means that you can initiate the integration from the Monzo app for Xero, FreeAgent and Quickbooks. Whereas others would need to be done from the accounting software? Or does it mean something more than that?

There’s some conflicting info in the help files regarding Quickbooks:
This link says “transactions will sync every 24 hrs”:


Whereas this one says “transactions sync every time you tap ‘Update’ on the Banking tab of your QuickBooks account.”

We are on Freeagent but considering moving to Xero although when I contacted sales about a migration they had not heard of freeagent…

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Why are you considering moving?

Basically just looking at the competition out there, I like Xero’s integration’s with things like Stripe but I do have concerns about if its truly UK aware. The 6 month trial would be useful as well.

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Trying to find one myself!

From what I have gathered so far:

  • Xero doesn’t seem to have any Self Assessment category tracking or functionality, which renders it an expensive transaction tracker as you will have to work everything out come the Self Assessment filing time.
  • QuickBooks Self Employed: will not let you use actual figures for home office expenses, only the flat rates as per HMRC’s guidelines, which defeats its point since, for a lot of Self-Employed, home office expenses would be a big thing

(Obviously this would be under the assumption that you’ll be trading as self employed/sole trader), but hey here’s my two cents

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I know it’s not accounting software, I used this yesterday to complete my self assessment, £46 :wink:

I use freeagent for my consulting company, which it works really well for but doesn’t have enough features for a bigger business. I used to have a small amazon store which I used Xero for but I found Xero quite confusing as it seems more geared towards professional accountants not small business owners.

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Yes, I’ve used Xero before to help somebody get started with a business and when I was having a look at Freeagent, Freshbooks etc this past week I noticed they’re a lot more user-friendly.

And this is the dilemma in a nutshell. Ease of use is our highest priority but as a small 3-person LTD company (and little experience on my part running a company) I can’t tell whether we’d be missing out of some feature we might want in Xero if we go for one of the others.

I quite like Xero. Occasionally at the start I had “ahh xero why are you doing this in such a weird way” moments but there’s a lot of online guides if you’re trying to figure out something

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Yes, I think I’d rather be in this position than be wishing my accounting software had a feature that it doesn’t.

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Having struggled with Sage 50 and Co-op Business Banking for 12 years, I moved my business banking to Mettle. You get FreeAgent for free and, having used it for a few weeks, I’m sold.

It does the things you’re looking for and is a great little set up that will save me many days a year struggling with VAT and accounts.

I just like my wee Google spreadsheet. :slight_smile:

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@dsm How’d you mean it doesn’t use actual figures for home office expenses - that seems crazy!?

So if I bought an ink cartridge for £24.99 for my printer, I can’t add that to Quickbooks?

Mad if so!

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As far as I have read, researched, and been told by their support staff, you can, but there is a “very big but”

Quickbooks will only let you use the Simplified Expenses as a self-employed working for home, so any expenditure that you add and categorise as “Home Office” will either:

For the majority of self-employed whose offices are their homes, the Simplified Expense tracking would not work, as you would be better off claiming actual expenses (there is a handy calculator in HMRC’s website here

For this reason, if you use actual expenditure as opposed to Simplified Expenses, QuickBooks will not let you keep track of your Home Office expenses (they will appear as disallowable and you will have to calculate them manually when the date of filing your Self Assessment comes, which IMHO defeats the whole point of paying for a software that is supposed to do it for you)

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