Long-gone are the days of shutting down the computer equaling shutting down your business for the day. So, why should accounting teams be restricted by their software?
Cloud-based accounting software is here and it’s growing. Two solutions — Quickbooks and Xero — understand the importance of the cloud and its ability to keep a business agile and mobile.
Quickbooks is considered legacy software in accounting circles. It started out as software that only existed on the computer at the office. It has since evolved into a cloud-based solution with a very usable app.
Xero was designed with mobility and cloud-computing in mind. The idea is that your company shouldn’t be tied to a one-size fits all solution. Xero and Quickbook’s cloud solution scales to the size and operation of your business, allowing the business owner to not pay for features that aren’t needed.
Both companies offer tablet and smartphone solutions to view customer information and send invoices on the spot, but Xero takes it a step further, by also offering an outlook of a business’ financials in easy-to-read charts and graphics.
Quickbooks retains most of its desktop appearances in its mobile version, which can make it difficult to read at times. Still, it’s manageable.
Another big benefit of cloud-based solutions are updates. Just as that Instagram app on your smartphone automatically updates to include new features, so does Xero and Quickbooks, to a certain degree.
All updates on Xero are free and automatic, but you’re not forced to migrate to a new version if you’re content with how business is working for you.
Quickbooks has basic upgrades, but larger version rollouts require the small business owner to open his or her wallet.
Again, however, the fact that the software is cloud-based doesn’t limit the business owner to constantly buying new software and migrating mountains of data.
Cloud-based accounting software is nimble and open. Xero has one of the most flexible APIs on the market, integrating with more than 300 apps. While that is about five times more apps than what Quickbooks currently offers, both companies continue to rollout the red carpet for more third-party app integrations.
Both sync seamlessly with ecommerce apps like PayPal and Square. Quickbooks breaks down its store by offering apps that handle payroll, advanced inventory and financing. These apps make the day-to-day tasks of your business easier.
Xero uses a similar idea. It just offers more options. It operates with Evernote to help you create notes that sync with invoices and Squarespace to ramp up your ecommerce reporting.
Both Xero and Quickbooks offer very capable applications for running a small business. Both also offer a free trial to help you decide which one is right for your business.