What is the best cloud accounting software for a small business? 

Adam Pritchard

By Adam Pritchard
September 26, 2022

This is a frequently asked question about cloud accounting software. There are a few different providers offering cloud accounting solutions for your small business. The most popular providers in the United Kingdom seem to be Xero, Sage, QuickBooks and FreshBooks.

If you ask us at Linford Grey what the best cloud accounting software is, our answer will always be Xero.

Cloud-based accounting has really taken off in the last few years. Small business owners want to be more engaged and understand their financial data, cash flow and payroll. The dinosaur accountants using spreadsheets and only want to see you once a year are definitely on their way out.


Why use cloud accounting?

Some business owners might wonder what the point is of using cloud accounting software. They don’t feel they have the time or energy to learn a new bit of kit and they most certainly don’t want to invest money in it.

What they might not realise is that investing in cloud accounting will give you a better overview of your finances, and speed up your business. It also doesn’t cost the earth, for example, Xero’s starter plan is £14 per month.

Using cloud accounting shouldn’t be seen as a chore.

Installing and running applications over a desktop computer can be tedious. This type of accounting takes a lot more time and effort to do, as it relies on manual data entry.

This doesn’t add any value to your small business and it also isn’t much fun either.

I bet you don’t look forward to that part of your working day.

Why use Cloud Accounting?


Also, are you aware that there are a number of problems with using traditional accounting software?

Here are a few of the problems, that you might already be facing, by not moving over to cloud accounting.

  • Traditional accounting software only works on one computer. The data gets moved around. This isn’t particularly secure or reliable.
  • Only one person has user access which means that other key people within the business can’t access financial details.
  • Do you keep any backups? This is costly and also quite complicated if backups are done at all…
  • Traditional accounting software is expensive. Not only that, it’s time-consuming and needs upgrading.

Using cloud accounting software can save your small business a lot of time and money.


Still not sure what cloud accounting really is?

In simple terms, you keep your business books online.

This includes everything from records of income and expenses, to assets and liabilities. Because all your information is encrypted only people with login details have access to the data.

Most cloud accounting systems come with tools for quoting, invoicing, managing bills and so much more. The great thing about cloud accounting is that you have access to your account from any device and from any location. You can use an app on your phone or your web browser and you can do this at home, in the office or out and about (even on holiday if you really wanted to).

Most small business owners will find it particularly useful to connect their cloud accounting software to their business bank accounts. By doing this all your banking transactions will flow automatically from your bank account straight into your books. This will save you loads of time as it takes away the whole need for manual data entry. (If you’re looking for business bank account recommendations, we’d highly recommend Starling Bank.)

Cloud accounting can really make a difference to small businesses.


So what are the benefits of cloud accounting?

We have covered quite a few benefits of using cloud accounting already.

But there are many, many benefits to running your business accounts online in the cloud, such as:

  • Your sales, income and purchases data flows straight from your business bank accounts to your books. No need to spend hours transcribing them.
  • You can access and see your current financial data, position and cash flow at any time.
  • It’s super easy to collaborate online with your team and accountant due to multi-user access.
  • There’s nothing to install or update as it’s online software, you don’t have to install or update a different version of the software ever. The best part is that your data is automatically backed up as well.
  • You can create personal dashboards that feature the most important financial information you want to see. This might be around who owes you money, what bills are due, and how your cash flow is looking.
  • There are hundreds of third-party business apps that can integrate with your online accounting software.
  • You can access your cloud software from any device that has an internet connection.
  • It’s a monthly subscription.

To summarize the benefits of cloud accounting, it’s scalable, cost-effective and easy to use.

So on to the next important step in the process of getting rid of your desktop accounting software and moving your small business accounting over to the cloud.

What is the best cloud-based software to use for your business accounting?


Why is Xero the best cloud accounting software?

In our view, the Xero platform is the best bit of cloud accounting software available for all medium and small businesses. It can help you with invoicing, inventory, payroll, expense claims and much more.

All of the benefits we’ve listed above about cloud accounting software apply to Xero when you take out a subscription.

Why have we specifically chosen to use Xero at our accountancy practice over all the other cloud accounting providers out there?

In our view:

  • The Xero platform is more user-friendly and easier to navigate.
  • The platform has a really comprehensive functionality, Xero is constantly bringing out new features and evolving which benefits us and our clients.
  • Xero has a better app marketplace. There are more integrations to add to make your Xero account unique and most beneficial to your business.


Making Tax Digital

If you’re a vat registered business you can not opt-out of Making Tax Digital.

And with Sage retiring older versions of its Sage 50 Accounts and Sage 50cloud Accounts desktop solutions on 30 September. There’s no better time to change accountant and move to Xero.

We get it. Switching providers can feel daunting and difficult. But at Linford Grey, we can make the switch much easier.

We can use Movemybooks, a free third-party tool that Xero has partnered with to offer transactional conversions from products including Sage 50, Sage Instant and Sage Accounting. It’s really useful, user-friendly and makes for a very smooth transition.

Xero helps you follow and meet HMRC’s rules and requirements for Making Tax Digital for VAT.

At Linford Grey we only work with Xero, anyone wanting to come on board with us automatically gets put onto Xero and we will teach you how to use it.

If you’re looking to come on board but want to use QuickBooks for example, then you’re not the one for us.

Making Tax Digital


Why have we chosen to work this way and only use Xero?

There are many accountants that use multiple cloud accounting software providers within their practices. It enables them to be able to work with more clients and the software they already use or have chosen to use, rather than having to move clients over to their preferred software.

But how well versed can you be in multiple pieces of software?

We work differently at Linford Grey, we feel that being professionals and being the best we can be at using one bit of software is better than being mediocre at using multiple bits of software.


Total Xero Winners 2021

On the evening of Wednesday, 3 March 2021, we found out we won the Total Xero award at the UK & EMEA 2021 Xero Awards, one of the most prestigious awards in the accounting and finance industry.

The Xero Awards celebrate the excellence and achievements of service providers operating in the sector. Accountancy practices and app partners across the UK, Ireland and South Africa were honoured at the annual awards ceremony.

The judges were particularly impressed with how we have embraced new technology in ways that ensure clients reap the benefits. Saying that Linford Grey has shown a real commitment to the advancements of digital. That we’re always looking for ways to add extra value to the client experience and that we’re really leading and influencing our community.

You can read the full story about our big win in our blog post about it here.

Xero Award Winners 2021


Work smarter, save time & money in the cloud

The beauty of online accounting software is the flexibility it gives you to run your business from anywhere. Work, home, holiday or just on the go, and your data is always going to be up-to-date.

By having 24/7 access to real-time financial information about your business and its performance you can make informed decisions for your business.

Do any of the issues with desktop accounting software ring a bell?

Is there something stopping you from subscribing to cloud accounting software?

Are you being held hostage by your accountant and their old-fashioned way of working?

Don’t be!

It’s your business and you should understand and have full access to your company accounts and data.

How else can you run a successful business?

Our whole company ethos is about communicating and giving our clients total transparency of their financial data and cloud accounting software plays a big part in that.

If you want to know more about Xero or want some guidance on how cloud accounting software can benefit your business just reach out to our team.

We’re always happy to help business owners looking for some guidance on accounting.

We even have a Xero 1-0-1 tutorial series on our YouTube channel which shows you how to use Xero. 


Book a discovery call

If you’re looking for a new accountant and you liked what you’ve read in this blog post.

You can book a discovery call with our team.

It’s 30 minutes, via Google Hangouts, with our MD Adam, you can see us and we can see you.

You can tell us all about your business, what you would like to achieve and what you’re currently lacking from your accountant.

Then we can give you our initial thoughts and run you through how we think we can help and make a difference.

There’s no commitment, no charge, just an honest and open discussion.

You can book a discovery call straight into our calendar via the link below.

We’re ready to do a fantastic job for you, can you say the same about your accountant?

Book a discovery call