2016 Accounting Software for Small Business
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Canstar Blue research finalised in August 2016, published in August 2016.
Xero retains No.1 spot in accounting software ratings
Time is money in the world of small business, which is why having computer software that can efficiently manage both is hugely important. But are you getting the best tools, service and value possible?
It goes without saying that financial literacy and accuracy are vital if your business is going to reach its full potential. The only thing more important than keeping the books in order is having someone you can trust to do it. That’s why so many small enterprises rely on accounting software so ensure accuracy, efficiency and reliability. So which is best?
At Canstar Blue, we annually review the accounting software offerings in Australia by surveying hundreds of small business owners and key decision-makers, asking them to rate the software they use across all the important variables, such as ease of use, functionality, customer service and value for money.
The research has produced a consistent result in the last two years, with Xero topping the table for overall small business customer satisfaction. In fact, it’s the second year in a row that Xero scored perfect five-star ratings across the board.
Why buy accounting software?
While some people simply enjoy doing the paperwork that comes with their business, it can be a drain on time and resources for others. More than three-quarters of business owners and decision-makers surveyed (78%) told us accounting software is critical to their operation, while 39% admitted to making financial mistakes before going online. In addition, 42% of users believe accounting software has contributed to the growth of their business.
The capabilities and features of accounting software will vary between providers, but it will generally help with a broad range of business tasks such as payroll, bills, invoices and tax compliance. What makes modern accounting software particularly helpful is that it can be accessed via multiple devices, so you can log-in through your tablet or smartphone and check vital information at any time.
What to look for from accounting software
Accounting software will appeal to different businesses for different reasons, but to offer an overview of what’s most important to users, our research identified the following factors:
- Value for money: 35%
- Ease of integration (i.e. platform range): 22%
- Functionality (e.g. inventory, POS, tracking): 14%
- Customer service (i.e. enquiries & problem resolution): 13%
- Ease of use: 11%
- Reporting tools: 5%
Despite the important role that accounting software plays in managing a company’s finances, it’s interesting to see that small business owners and decision-makers are still determined to get the maximum bang for their buck. This year, just like last, Xero has been deemed to offer the best value and overall package.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 800 small business owners or decision makers (i.e. the main decision maker for a small business) across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who own and have used accounting software for work purposes in the last year – in this case, 465 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.