Which bookkeeping and accounting software should you use?

Which software should I use to keep my books? This is a question that we are often asked and we can advise on a range of software packages for all types of businesses. The first question to ask is this: What do I want it to do? Do you want to keep a complete stock and inventory management system as well as a track of the finances, bank accounts, outstanding invoices etc of your business? Or do you simply need to satisfy the legal requirement of keeping records? Once you have identified your own needs then the task of finding appropriate software comes next. If you run a very reliable internet connection and wish to access your accounting information from anywhere, or use a bookkeeper who works remotely, then a cloud based solution may be the best. For a larger office it could be that a desktop installation of a package would suit you better. Depending on your requirements there are virtually limitless options from a simple spreadsheet through to Pegasus Opera or SAP systems which cost many thousands of pounds to purchase and set up. However for many, a Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet program can suffice. We can provide a spreadsheet template cashbook for use if your bookkeeping requirements are minimal with a low number of transactions. For sole traders who provide a service rather than a product this can be enough to keep good records. If you have the requirement to submit a self assessment tax return form then there are numerous packages that will do this for you from the books that you keep. A...