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6 Best Tools for Accounting Professionals

Accounting has a reputation for being tedious, traditional and slow to adopt modern processes, says Forbes. However, they also believe this is far from the truth and that technology, specifically online tools, are rapidly transforming the industry now and into the future. 

With what now seems like an abundance of accounting tools and software available, it can be hard to whittle down which ones are the best on the market. To give you a hand, we did the hard work for you and scoured the web for answers.

Let’s jump in.

What are accounting tools?

An accounting tool is a software that helps a business to manage, track and record their financial activities. With a packed workload, endless responsibilities and the need to be extremely careful when executing their day-to-day tasks, accounting tools support both accountants and bookkeepers with a variety of tasks including:

  • Expense management
  • Payroll and online payments
  • Inventory tracking
  • Data and reporting
  • Financial planning, and
  • Time management

Why are accounting tools worthwhile?

There’s a host of benefits that come with the use of accounting tools, and the advancements in technology are making these tools both easier to implement. Some of the best-known advantages include:

Day-to-day task automation: with only so many hours in the day, automating admin tasks allows for accountants to spend their time on more human responsibilities, such as client relationship building.

Data is safe and secured in a cloud: accounting professionals no longer have to worry about losing or misplacing important financial documents, with all files stored online in safe, encrypted environments.

Enhanced collaboration: technology can bring people together. Accounting tools allow for multiple employees and stakeholders to have access to the same data and information, which means working together can be done seamlessly.

Reduction of human error: when it comes to analysing data or inputting figures, human error can (and will) occur. Accounting tools can help to reduce this.

Now, let’s explore some well-known and widely used accounting tools available across the globe.

1) QuickBooks

For those who either have their own accounting firms or are freelance accountants, QuickBooks has over 6.5 million users worldwide and has been in operation for over 30 years.

QuickBooks are known for their innovation, creativity and accuracy, as well as their seamless customer service and straightforward application. Recognised by HMRC, they are trusted and reputable.

Key highlights include:

  1. Easily transferrable from Xero and Sage
  2. Review and file annual accounts and corporation tax directly to Companies House and HMRC
  3. Integrations with additional company tools (e.g., Mailchimp) and departments
  4. Highly personable customer service e.g. free gift following a product demo
  5. A free directory of QuickBooks-certified ProAdvisor accountants available

Best for: Limited Company or Sole Traders

2) Clockify

A time management tracker for teams, Clocktify provides a timesheet app suitable for tracking hours across several projects. Used by brands such as Disney, Ikea and Netflix, Clockify is free of charge, secure and has a satisfaction score of over 95%.

Key highlights include:

  1. A stop and start system, offering flexibility
  2. A kiosk app feature allowing you to log in from a shared device
  3. Timekeeping, reporting and management features within one tool
  4. Integrates with project management tools such as Asana, Trello and Jira
  5. Shareable and exportable reports, making client relationships easier

Best for: Medium-sized companies and freelancers

3) Xero

A reputable accounting tool for both accountants and bookkeepers, Xero offers features such as:

  • Paying bills
  • VAT returns
  • Claiming expenses
  • Banking connections
  • Tracking projects

With over 3.95 million subscribers and the leader in cloud accounting across New Zealand, Australia and the UK, Xero are known for innovation and performance, passionate about simplifying everyday business admin, increasing efficiency and managing everything in one place.

Key highlights include:

  1. The ability to connect a range of apps, creating streamlined processes
  2. Capturing and reporting on data, collaborating with financial advisors and analytics
  3. Xero’s inventory control system, built to automatically populate invoices and orders
  4. Multi-currency accounting, allowing your business to operate worldwide
  5. A business app, allowing you to manage books everywhere and anywhere

Best for: Small, medium size or large organisations

4) ZipBooks

Priding themselves on making accounting smarter and simpler, ZipBooks state that their users spend 15% less time on mundane bookkeeping tasks. With the goal of creating actionable insights, disregarding historical reports, ZipBooks focusses on automating, predicting and advising.

Built on creating impact, you can connect you bank accounts and cards, pulling transactions and information into one place, making bookkeeping and accounting a one-stop shop.

Key highlights include:

  1. Smart tagging: the ability to tag any transaction with a customer, project, location or custom
  2. Mobile accounting: being able to manage your accounts wherever you are
  3. A knowledge base: full of articles, tips and tricks
  4. Free trials available
  5. Compatible with multiple currencies

Best for: LTD’s, large businesses

5) FreshBooks

FreshBooks is an accounting tool that has been built specifically for business owners and accountants. With the option to try each feature individually for 30 days, FreshBooks provides a personal touch and the option to build a plan that works best for you.

Created based on efficiency, FreshBooks can save you 550+ hours a year, supporting you through implementation and general use.

Key highlights include:

  1. Helpful tools including business loan calculator, mark-up calculator and VAT calculator
  2. A small business resources hub
  3. Compare guides
  4. Free templates including invoice generators, invoice templates and accounting templates
  5. Business app available

Best for: Medium sized businesses, self-employed, freelancers

6) Wave Accounting

Specifically built for small businesses, Wave accounting believe that owners of small businesses should feel just as empowered to be able to run their finances safely and efficiently. Built in 2010, they already currently have 4.7 out of 5 stars on Google and an abundance of positive reviews.

Modern, smart and slick, Wave pride themselves on working smarter not harder, with plenty of business-friendly perks.

Key highlights include:

  1. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tech scans receipts and imports data in seconds
  2. Automated and accurate payroll
  3. 24/7 automated support centre
  4. Recurring billing feature for repeat customers
  5. Bank-grade security

Best for: Small businesses, freelancers

We hope we have opened your eyes to the world of accounting tools and how they can help improve processes, increase collaboration and improve efficiency in your business.


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