Managing a SaaS company (Software as a Service) is like going for a wild rollercoaster ride: you have to adapt to the changes in your clientele and the services you provide all the while taking care of the pesky accounting tasks. And if you are still using out-of-date accounting solutions or, worse still, Excel sheets, then accounting can become a true nightmare for you and your co-workers.
However, if you make the big move to online accounting solutions, not only is it easier to deal with the most tedious parts of running your business but you’ll be able to automate most tasks. These accounting solutions boast plenty of features from multi-currency, recurring invoicing, inventory management and automatically constructed, detailed reporting to full mobile support and an automatic bank feed. Furthermore, you can integrate countless third party apps to further improve the performance of your business and create the ultimate cloud-based assistant.
Since automation is the key aspect for every SaaS company, your online accounting solution should reflect that in its features as well:
Although it is more likely that you will be using software that can handle subscription-based billing, if you have a smaller business you can enjoy all the benefits coming from the accounting solution’s own recurring, multi-currency invoicing feature that even allows you to turn on a fast (convenient) payment option for your clients.
Best Online Accounting Software of 2021
|Editor's Choice 2021|
The accounting software’s inventory feature can keep track of the services you provide in real-time to discover which are the most popular and which should be discontinued or made more appealing to customers. Additionally, inventory management works seamlessly with invoicing since you can simply drag and drop the necessary data from your inventory into the invoice or, in case of recurring billing, let the software create it for you.
It is possible to establish a constant connection with your bank via a feed, so every time a payment arrives to your account there is a notification thanks to the push notifications and the visual bank feed on your dashboard.
Even though it is probably the most complex accounting process, reporting is fully automated with accounting software and therefore you won’t need to worry about wrong numbers anymore. In fact, the software can handle the rapid changes in your incomes and expenses, generates detailed reports based on various settings, while your accountant can take a look at the numbers remotely to verify them.
One of the biggest strengths of these solutions is that they are not restricted only to desktop computers: you can access your accounting from any device that has a browser or, in the case of smartphones and tablets, through an app that has most or all of the features of the desktop version.
Integrating Other Software and Services
As already mentioned, subscription-based/recurring billing is something that typically isn’t the forte of online accounting solutions. Because almost every cloud-based accounting company supports and offers APIs, it is possible to integrate any tool you want or even program one for yourself. This way you can further automate your business management, allowing you to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
If you need software that can handle recurring billing, then consider using Recurly, Chargify, Braintree or Zoho Subscriptions; in fact, that last option even has an in-house accounting solution, Zoho Books, to ensure an even smoother integration. To further ease subscriptions and their payments, accounting solutions also support payment processors such as good old PayPal or any of its competitors like Stripe and Square. And of course you can always integrate the market’s best CRMs like Insightly, Capsule CRM, G Suite or even Salesforce, e-commerce platforms like Shopify or eBay and expense management tools from Receipt Bank to Expensify. And if you cannot directly integrate these third-party tools into your software, there are bridging solutions like Zapier or OneSaas that will help.
Online Accounting Solutions Recommended for You
There is no such thing as bad online accounting software (only average at worst), so whichever solution you pick it is certain to make your business life much easier. However, some solutions are obviously better than others, because they are either packed with everything you need or have plenty of integration options that automate those tedious tasks. Thankfully, there are two programs that satisfy both of the above: Xero and QuickBooks Online.
Over a million subscribers use Xero because it is one of the best equipped and most versatile accounting solutions on the market. It can handle virtually everything from multi-currency, recurring invoicing, easy expense management and fast payments to establishing a continuous bank feed, having a built-in inventory, auto-creating various reports and handling most of your taxes. More than that even, Xero is also available for mobile devices running iOS or Android and provides 500+ different third party apps to enhance your software. To top it all off, there are three pricing plans to choose from, starting from as low as $9 per month and each coming with 24/7 customer support and a 30-day trial.
The biggest and oldest competitor of Xero, QuickBooks Online is a true and trustworthy powerhouse with countless features for SaaS companies. By choosing any of the three subscriptions you’ll receive access to automated backups, the option to import your old data from Excel as well as free use of an iOS and Android app. As for other features, there is an advanced expense management, multi-currency, recurring invoicing with instant payment, one-click reporting, visual cash flow, inventory management and the preparation of 1099s. QuickBooks, which also provides a demo account, is available from $15 per month if you want a 30-day trial, but offers up to 30% off for the first six months of use if you forgo the trial.