business software best accounting software uk

The best accounting software in the UK helps you automate accounting tasks, save valuable time, minimise human error, account for every penny for tax time, and manage your business’s cash flow with greater accuracy and confidence.

However, finding one best suited to your business isn’t easy. So, read on for our in-depth reviews on the best UK accounting software to learn how providers like Zoho Books, Oracle NetSuite, and QuickBooks can help you manage your day-to-day financial transactions and streamline your business operations.

Best UK Accounting Software for 2023 | Top 7 Shortlist

There are a lot of accounting software providers to choose from, and not every app will offer all the functionalities your business needs. Our research revealed that Zoho Books is the best UK accounting software overall, but here’s a breakdown of the top 7 accounting software solutions to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Zoho Books — The Best UK Accounting Software Overall | Start Your 14-Day Free Trial Today to Test it Risk-Free
  2. Oracle NetSuite — The Best Accounting Software in the UK for Automating Repetitive Tasks
  3. QuickBooks — Powerful Accounting Software for Small Businesses With Custom Rules for Expense Tracking | Test it in Practice With the 30-Day Free Trial
  4. Sage Accounting — Simple, Intuitive Cloud-Based Accounting Software With Native Stripe Integration | Start Your 30-Day Free Trial Today
  5. FreshBooks — Feature-Rich Online Accounting Software With Built-In Time Tracking Tools | Offers a Solid Month-Long Free Trial
  6. Xero — Best Accounting Software for Small Business in the UK | Trial it Free for 30 Days
  7. Hello Bonsai — Easy-to-Use Accounting Software With Pre-Vetted Contract, Proposal, and Invoice Templates

The Top 7 UK Accounting Programs | Reviewed

Here are in-depth comparisons of the best accounting software solutions in the UK, so you can see exactly what different providers offer and choose the one that best aligns with your business needs.

1. Zoho Books — The Best UK Accounting Software Overall

Zoho Books is a phenomenal online accounting software that helps you manage all your business finances, automate your workflows, see all business expenses in one place, and monitor your cash flow.

ZohoBooks Accounting Software UK

The app is cloud-based, so it’s compatible with all devices and operating systems, which makes it an excellent option for in-office, hybrid, or remote teams.

With Zoho Books, you’ll have access to all the essential documents you need to keep the cash flowing, including receivables, payables, contracts, time sheets, and detailed financial reports.

You can use Zoho Books to send estimates to your clients, convert them into invoices with one simple click, and ensure you get paid on time thanks to payment reminders and a variety of online payment options.

The app gives you the option to connect your bank account and import all your transactions, so you can easily review and categorise all transactions, oversee your expenses, and quickly calculate your annual taxes.

Zoho Books also lets you:

    • Create, send, and complete purchase orders
    • Keep track of your inventory
    • Upload expense receipts
    • Keep track of all payments

Plus, it also facilitates communication and financial transactions with vendors, suppliers, and customers and enables you to securely store your client’s payment information to automatically charge them for recurring services.

The best part about Zoho Books is that it offers templates for over 50 different business reports that might prove essential to the smooth running of your business. You can schedule the reports and have them emailed straight to your inbox, review them in the app, and share them with your executives and managers with one click.

To sweeten the deal even further, Zoho Books offers a completely free plan for 1 user and an accountant, so you can test it out for yourself, completely risk-free. Try it now.

Pros

  • Cloud-based software compatible with all operating systems
  • Intuitive, easy-to-use dashboard
  • Allows you to create invoices with one click
  • Gives a clear overview of all business expenses
  • Over 50+ business reports

Cons

  • Limited integration with non-Zoho apps
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From £10/month (annual plan) Invoicing

Estimates

Expenses

Banking

Inventory

Purchase Orders

Reporting

Client Portal

Free plan + 14-day trial

30 days for monthly subscriptions

45 days for annual subscriptions

 

2. Oracle NetSuite — The Best Accounting Software in the UK for Automating Repetitive Tasks

Oracle NetSuite is cloud accounting software that simplifies finance and automates repetitive tasks, so you can focus on growing your business.

Oracle NetSuite Accounting Software UK

The app records all your transactions automatically, plus it enables you to manage payables and receivables from an intuitive dashboard and you can create accurate financial reports — giving you a complete overview and full control over your financial assets.

This allows you to quickly identify and resolve any discrepancies and generate accurate statements, ensuring your business adheres to all regulatory financial compliance requirements.

What makes Oracle NetSuite one of the best online accounting solutions is the fact that it provides real-time insights into all relevant financial metrics, including:

    • Profitability ratios
    • Liabilities
    • Taxes
    • Fixed assets

This lets you see how well your business is performing at a glance and gives you actionable insights required to improve your cash flow.

Automate dull tasks like journal entries and reconciling account statements

Another reason to opt for Oracle NetSuite is that it improves your workflow by automating mundane tasks — allowing your accountants to focus on transaction details, trends, and anomalies rather than spending the bulk of their time on manual data entry.

Given that Oracle NetSuite is cloud-based, it’s quick to deploy, easily customisable to your company’s needs, and scalable. This makes it ideal for businesses of all sizes, regardless of the industry.

Another huge advantage of Oracle NetSuite over its competitors is the fact that you can easily integrate it with other tools you’re using, as well as set up data mapping between the app and your eCommerce storefronts, point-of-sale systems, and online marketplaces.

By doing so, you ensure you have all your business-critical data in one place, so you can easily monitor your cash flow, eliminate manual data entry, prevent costly human errors, and easily export key data via spreadsheets and email.

Pros

  • Automates repetitive tasks
  • Records all financial transactions
  • Facilitates financial trend analysis
  • Fully customisable and easy to scale
  • Supports data mapping through storefront integrations
  • Provides real-time insights into valuable financial metrics

Cons

  • Limited customer support availability
  • Dated user interface (UI)
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
Custom quotes General Ledger

Cash Management

Accounts Receivables

Accounts Payables

Tax Management

Fixed Asset Management

Payments Management

N/A N/A

 

3. QuickBooks — Powerful Accounting Software for Small Businesses With Custom Rules for Expense Tracking

QuickBooks is an online accounting software specifically designed to help small businesses organise and manage their finances in one place.

QuickBooks Accounting Software

The software is cloud-based, so you can access your dashboard and manage your books from your PC, laptop, or smartphone, whether you’re in the office or on the go.

Besides this, QuickBooks Online lets you leverage pre-built templates to quickly create custom invoices, set up automated payment reminders, and track payments in real-time.

Schedule recurring invoices and have the taxes, shipping, and discounts calculated for you

Besides this, the app also facilitates expense tracking by allowing you to connect your bank accounts, credit cards, and even your PayPal account with the software, so you know exactly where your money goes at all times.

With all the expenses neatly collected in one place, QuickBooks ensures you never miss a tax deduction and spares you the headache of consolidating data from dozens of Excel spreadsheets.

Another key feature of QuickBooks is smart inventory management — it enables you to track your orders, see your stock value in real time, and view your quantities on hand.

On top of this, the software also features low-stock alerts that’ll notify you when you need to restock your inventory, so you can avoid back-orders and ensure you pay your vendors/suppliers on time.

Pros

  • Multi-currency support
  • Custom rules for expense tracking
  • Automated tax deduction calculation
  • Detailed reports with valuable insights
  • Smart inventory management with low stock alerts
  • Invoicing automation and real-time payment tracking

Cons

  • File size limitations could cause issues with some transactions
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From £4.20/month (annual plan) Invoicing

Expenses

Bank Feeds

Expense Tracking

Inventory Management

Receipt Scanning and Organisation

Financial Reporting

30 days 60 days

 

4. Sage Accounting — Simple, Intuitive Cloud-Based Accounting Software With Native Stripe Integration

Sage Accounting is an intuitive, easy-to-use online accounting software that helps you automate your workflows, save valuable time, and eliminate human error from accounting.

Sage Accounting Software UK Dashboard

Since the app is cloud-based, you can access it from your PC, laptop, or smartphone at any time, whether you’re in the office or on the go.

Integrates with Stripe, so you can set up a variety of trusted payment options for your customers

With Sage, you can create invoices in minutes, send them to customers/clients automatically, and track every single invoice to ensure you get paid on time.

Another reason to opt for Sage Accounting is that it tracks all your expenses automatically. Once you connect your bank account, you’ll be able to see every transaction on your Sage dashboard, as well as take snapshots and forward your invoices and receipts.

You can also use Sage to get a quick overview of all your business accounts and manage your cash flow with confidence since you’ll know exactly how much money is coming in and out on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Simple, intuitive UI
  • Automatic invoice tracking
  • Native Stripe integrations
  • Customisable reports

Cons

  • Lacks advanced, industry-specific features
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From £8.25/month Workflow Automation

Invoice Tracking

Expense Tracking

Stripe Integration

Cash Flow Management

Essential and Advanced Reporting

30 days 60 days

 

5. FreshBooks — Feature-Rich Online Accounting Software With Built-In Time Tracking Tools

FreshBooks is an excellent option for business owners who are looking for a software solution that helps them facilitate bookkeeping, streamline project management, and enhance team collaboration.

FreshBooks Accounting Software UK

With fully customisable invoicing, you’ll be able to send professional invoices that clearly display what the project consists of and what your clients are paying for.

You’ll also be able to offer your clients multiple payment options and send them automated late payment reminders to ensure you get paid for your hard work.

Besides this, FreshBooks also tracks all your business expenses and lets you snap receipts and email them to your accountants, so you can track every pound for tax time.

Don’t lose out on billable hours, have them logged and added to invoices automatically

The best part about FreshBooks is that it doubles as a time-tracking and project-management software. You’ll be able to see what projects your team members are working on and how much time they spend on every task.

When it comes to project management, you’ll be able to track every project through each stage, ensure everyone is on the same page, and see the profit margin of all completed projects.

Plus, FreshBooks tracks every payment and expense and allows you to generate detailed reports, so you’ll be able to monitor your cash flow and see your business’s profitability at a glance.

Additionally, the advanced double-entry accounting tools FreshBooks offers will let you see all relevant metrics and enable you to make smart business decisions with confidence.

Pros

  • Variety of payment options for clients
  • Automated late payment reminders
  • Auto-categorization of expenses
  • Pre-made financial report templates
  • Built-in time tracking and project management tools

Cons

  • No inventory tracking or vendor management
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From £4.96/month Accounting and Bookkeeping

Expenses and Receipts

Invoicing

Mileage Tracking

Project Management

Time Tracking

Online Payroll

30 days 30 days

 

6. Xero — Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses in the UK

Xero is the best small business accounting software in the UK, designed to help small and growing businesses pay bills, claim expenses, and manage their inventory with greater efficiency.

Xero Accounting Software for Small Businesses UK

The app provides an excellent overview of your company’s financial position, lets you schedule payments, manage expenses and monitor employee spending — plus accept payments from clients all over the world.

As with most online accounting software solutions, you can connect your bank account to Xero and set up bank feeds to see all of your business transactions in one place.

However, what makes Xero stand out from other UK online accounting software is bank reconciliation, which lets you easily match all bank transactions with your books and group them all for tax time.

Besides accounting features, Xero also lets you track projects, send estimates to clients, convert those estimates into invoices with billable hours, and view the profitability of each project.

You can even integrate Xero with your existing payroll software solution to automate payroll runs and ensure all your employees, contractors, and vendors are paid the right amount, on time.

Other features worth mentioning include:

    • Purchase orders
    • Data capturing and reporting
    • Secure online file storage
    • Inventory management

On the whole, the best part about Xero is that it supports over 160 different currencies, instantly converts every transaction into your preferred currency, and lets you see the impact of currency markets on your cash flow.

Pros

  • Allows you to schedule recurring payments
  • Lets you monitor employee spending
  • Supports over 160 currencies
  • Allows for seamless bank reconciliation

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No money-back guarantee
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From £20/month Accounts Payables and Receivables

Expense Management

Project Tracking

Bank Reconciliation

Online Payroll Runs

Inventory Management

Reporting

30 days Has a strict no-refunds policy

 

7. Hello Bonsai — Easy-to-Use Accounting Software With Pre-Vetted Contract, Proposal, and Invoice Templates

Hello Bonsai is a superb choice for businesses that want to transition from Excel spreadsheets and manual input to streamlined, automated online accounting.

Hello Bonsai Accounting Software UK

With Hello Bonsai, you can craft structured proposals for clients, generate professional contracts for clients, partners, and employees, track your employees’ time, and manage your finances — all from the same dashboard.

What makes Hello Bonsai stand out from other accounting software solutions are pre-vetted templates for contracts, proposals, invoices, quotes, and project briefs.

This makes it an ideal choice for small businesses that don’t have an Accounting department since you can handle every financial aspect of your business with a few clicks.

In addition to accounting, tax filing, and time tracking, Hello Bonsai also facilitates project management and lets you track each individual task, see the time required to complete it, and automatically calculate project profitability.

Plus, on top of all of this, Hello Bonsai comes with built-in client CRM, which lets you easily organise all work documents and project files, monitor the progress of the project, and easily invoice your clients upon project completion.

You can also utilise Hello Bonsai to create professional-looking forms for your websites and questionnaires for your clients, so you can capture leads more efficiently and streamline project kick-offs.

Pros

  • Built-in time tracking functionality
  • Lead capture forms and questionnaires
  • Customisable invoices and automatic payment reminders
  • Pre-vetted templates for contracts, proposals, invoices, etc.

Cons

  • Only available in English
  • Time tracking doesn’t include screenshots as proof of work
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From £20/month Customisable Templates

Client CRM

Time Tracking

Invoices

Expense Tracking

Task Tracking

14 days 14 days

 

The 7 Best Online Accounting Tools UK | Compared

Sometimes, neck-and-neck comparisons like these can help when deciding on one best suited to your needs:

Accounting Software Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
Zoho Books From £10/month (annual plan) Invoicing

Estimates

Expenses

Inventory

Purchase Orders

Reporting

Client Portal

Free plan + 14-day trial

30 days for monthly subscriptions

45 days for annual subscriptions

Oracle NetSuite Custom quote General Ledger

Cash Management

Accounts Receivables

Accounts Payables

Tax Management

Fixed Asset Management

Payments Management

N/A N/A
QuickBooks From £4.20/month (annual plan) Invoicing

Expenses

Bank Feeds

Expense Tracking

Inventory Management

Receipt Scanning and Organisation

Financial Reporting

30 days 60 days
Sage Accounting From £8.25/month Workflow Automation

Invoice Tracking

Expense Tracking

Stripe Integration

Cash Flow Management

Essential and Advanced Reporting

30 days 60 days
FreshBooks From £4.96/month Accounting and Bookkeeping

Expenses and Receipts

Invoicing

Mileage Tracking

Project Management

Time Tracking

Online Payroll

30 days 30 days
Xero From £20/month Accounts Payables and Receivables

Expense Management

Project Tracking

Bank Reconciliation

Online Payroll Runs

Inventory Management

Reporting

30 days Has a strict no-refunds policy
Hello Bonsai From £20/month Customisable Templates

Client CRM

Time Tracking

Invoices

Expense Tracking

Task Tracking

14 days 14 days

Do I Need Accounting Software for My Business?

While you can certainly conduct your business without an accounting software solution, it’s much easier to monitor your cash flow, control your finances, and accurately predict financial trends with one.

If you’re still on the fence regarding accounting software, here are the major benefits your business will reap if you transition from manually running your books to cloud-based accounting solutions.

Cost-Effectiveness

While online accounting software may seem like a large initial investment, it more than pays off in the long run.

In addition to automating time-consuming, tedious tasks, it leaves your Finance department with more time for other business-critical activities — plus it removes human error from the occasion, so you don’t risk losing money from an accounting mistake.

Simple Invoicing

All the leading accounting software providers offer pre-built, easy-to-customise templates for invoicing. Plus, you can even use them to send estimates to your clients/customers and convert those estimates into invoices with a single click.

Some accounting software solutions even include time-tracking, which ensures you’re not overpaying or underpaying your employees and further streamlines your workflows.

Accurate Cash Flow Projections

Once you have all the critical data at your fingertips and can clearly see all the payments, expenses, and tax deductions, you can make cash flow projections with better accuracy.

Cash flow projections are crucial, especially if you plan on scaling your company, expanding your business, or ending collaboration with an existing client.

Improved Security

All the financial data that passes through an accounting software application is securely stored on the cloud. This means there’s no risk of losing critical information, misplacing financial documents, or leaking your financial reports.

Real-Time Reporting

The best accounting software in the UK offers real-time reports, which allow you to gauge your business’ performance and make data-driven strategic decisions based on dozens of key variables.

Keeping a finger on the pulse of your business is the key to success, and the in-depth reports your accounting software generates will ensure you have all the information you need to keep your business running smoothly.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best UK Accounting Software

When selecting the right accounting software for your business, there are quite a few variables you need to take into consideration. Here are the key aspects you should pay attention to before you make the final decision:

    • What features does the accounting software offer?
    • How many currencies does it support?
    • Can you use it for project management and time tracking?
    • Does it integrate with your existing software solutions?
    • Do the pricing plans align with your company’s budget?

It’s best to consult your accountants and/or Finance department before purchasing a subscription to ensure the software provides all the functionality they’ll need in their day-to-day business.

Most solutions we covered in this guide offer free trials or free plans, so we recommend testing out different accounting apps in practice before committing to a paid subscription.

UK Accounting Software FAQs

Which Accounting Software is Used in the UK Most?

What’s the Easiest Accounting Software to Use in the UK?

What Software Do Most Accountants Use?

Is Xero Popular in the UK?

Do I Need an Accountant if I Use QuickBooks UK?

What’s the Best Free UK Accounting Software?

Conclusion | What’s the Best Accounting Software UK in 2023?

Whether you’re running a small or medium-sized business or are the head of Finance for a large enterprise, accounting software can save you a ton of valuable time and make invoicing and tax returns much easier through automation.

Here’s a quick reminder of the top 7 cloud-based and desktop accounting software in the UK, so you can choose the best one for your business:

  1. Zoho Books — The Best UK Accounting Software Overall | Start Your 14-Day Free Trial Today to Test it Risk-Free
  2. Oracle NetSuite — The Best Accounting Software in the UK for Automating Repetitive Tasks
  3. QuickBooks — Powerful Accounting Software for Small Businesses With Custom Rules for Expense Tracking | Test it in Practice With the 30-Day Free Trial
  4. Sage Accounting — Simple, Intuitive Cloud-Based Accounting Software With Native Stripe Integration | Start Your 30-Day Free Trial Today
  5. FreshBooks — Feature-Rich Online Accounting Software With Built-In Time Tracking Tools | Offers a Solid Month-Long Free Trial
  6. Xero — Best Accounting Software for Small Business in the UK | Trial it Free for 30 Days
  7. Hello Bonsai — Easy-to-Use Accounting Software With Pre-Vetted Contract, Proposal, and Invoice Templates

After reviewing and comparing the leading accounting software in the UK, we’ve concluded that Zoho Books is the best UK accounting software overall. It’s simple and easy to use, compatible with all devices and operating systems, and provides a clear overview of all your business expenses.

With Zoho Books, you’ll be able to manage every aspect of your business finances, including inventory, account receivables and payables, and purchase orders, as well as securely store client payment information and automatically charge them for recurring services.

Take advantage of the Zoho Books free plan, and see firsthand why it’s the number one accounting software solution for UK companies.

 

Aleksandar Stevanovic

Aleksandar is a senior content writer with a passion for consistently writing quality software-related pieces that provide value to his readers. He covers everything from antivirus software and VPNs to social media and marketing agencies. He has nearly a decade of experience in the industry.