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5 top picks for small business cloud-based accounting

Vangie Beal | Feb. 28, 2013
A small business doesn't need expensive software to manage a general ledger and basic business accounting tasks. Here's a look at five reasonably priced cloud services.

If you need a little more functionality than QuickBooks Online provides, there are a few add-ons. These include the "Payroll Bundle" to pay your employees and a merchant service app to accept debit, credit cards and checks in QuickBooks Online.

Kashoo: Professional Invoices, Simple Dashboards

Kashoo is another cloud accounting service worth a look. It's a simple accounting app for small businesses offering anytime access from an iPad or Web browser.

Features for the small business include connecting to online bank accounts and credit cards, professional invoices, simple dashboards and options to categorize income and expenses specifically for tax reporting. In addition, you can easily share your business data with your accountant online. Finally, Kashoo boasts secure, double-entry accounting for bank reconciliation and financial statements.

Kashoo is priced at $16 per month. A free version is available; however, users are limited to 20 transactions each month.

Outright: Online Accounting for Ecommerce Businesses

Outright is an easy-to-use cloud accounting system that lets small business ecommerce owners organize and keep track of sales and finances in one place. At a glance, you can see where money is going, view profit/loss statements and see who your customers are.

You can link existing accounts such as banks, credit cards, Paypal, eBay, your own Web store or FreshBooks to Outright, and you can import your existing transaction history. From then on, Outright downloads your new data each day. Another useful feature: Outright organizes all of your data into IRS-approved tax categories, potentially lowering the workload and headache level at tax time.

Small business owners on the go will appreciate the Outright iPhone app; with the mobile app, you can stay on top of your business and enter travel expenses and mileage from the road.

Outright offers a free account, but small businesses are more likely to use the Plus version ($9.95 per month), which offers more features than the free version.

Xero: Share Your Business Numbers Online

With Xero, you can customize reports and templates to fit your small business needs.

With Xero online accounting, you can share access to the latest numbers and check cash flow in real-time. Once loaded, Xero offers a dashboard to quickly view your bank balances, invoices, bills and expense claims. There's also an interactive graph to show money going in and out; you can also monitor specific data accounts from the dashboard.

One standout feature in Xero is the capability to collaborate online so small business employees can work as a team on financials. You can share your data and collaborate with your accountant and bookkeeper to get the advice you need. Xero lets you invite an unlimited number of people for free; you control what each person can see.

 

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