Online Accounting Reviews

This summer I will be running a series of posts evaluating several online accounting applications.  Many accountants almost reflexively recommend Quickbooks because it is the software that they have the most experience with and feel comfortable with (it also has a huge share of the small business market already). However, there are currently so many quality alternatives, each with their strengths and weaknesses, that a reflexive recommendation of Quickbooks is nearly a disservice, especially for clients looking to take their book keeping into the clouds.

In my evaluations I have not noted a system that will feature for feature outperform Quickbooks if you are using it to its fullest capacity.  However, if you only use a fraction of the features Quickbooks has accumulated over the years, then you might find an alternative system refreshing in its simplicity. Couple that with real-time online access from any machine and the ability to import transactions automatically and you might start to see accounting as almost convenient.

Considering the availability of several free or free versions of products, I don’t see any reason to take a shoe box to your accountant ever again. You may have been a thorn in your accountant’s paw last tax season with piles of receipts and a few bank statements, but this year you can be a great client and learn more about your business too.

I will not be evaluating solutions head to head, declaring one better than another, but will be presenting their goals, pros, cons, and the type of business that would be a good fit for the software. I think each solution has its strong points that may make it a perfect system for one client, and a terrible system for another. This perspective also reinforces why I don’t think Quickbooks is the best fit for everyone. For some clients it is the best solution, for others it has more features than they will every use, and other clients wish Quickbooks had even more features to help them track their business.

If you have any suggestions of systems that you would like to see reviewed, leave a comment or contact me and I will consider adding them to my list if they are not there already.


  1. A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks

  2. Mariette says:

    Please take a look at Outright – not very full- featured yet, but for some clients who are confused by QB, I can get a more coherent Schedule C info from them

  3. You’re in luck! Outright has been on my radar, and I plan to make it my first review. I agree that if a client does not need a system as complex as QB, they should probably utilize a simpler system to reduce confusion and improve the actual quality of their book keeping. Additionally, putting the book keeper access feature into this free accounting program is awfully nice of them as well.

  4. Although I am based in UK would find your articles very interesting – Xero (which I don’t think has been in the USA that long) is definitely one to look at. The joy of a lot of these systems is that they can be used in various countries!

  5. Excited for your reviews Shane. +1 for me on Xero as I really like what they’ve got so far. WorkingPoint is a close competitor but you already know that. Will love to hear more details about the two. Thanks in advance. 🙂

  6. Michelle says:

    What a great idea! I’m looking forward to your upcoming blog posts!

  7. I am using, Online Accounting Software which provides an easy way to keep users accounts information online with reliable and secured data transfer. It allows accounting with multiple users.

  8. Fantastic Website I am learning a lot. Maybe you could assist me since you seem to be an expert my accountant keeps telling me to buy aQuick Books Pro I’m just not certain any input would be appreciated Thanks!