Guide to Accountancy Software

Accounting software might not be the most exciting topic but it’s extremely useful to quickly collate the numbers in your business. That said, working out what Accountancy Software will work best for you can be quite complicated!  Of course, in very early stages, we see everything from Excel to boxes of receipts for record keeping but, sooner or later, you will probably want to switch up to something more dedicated. We’ve put together a few tips to help you to decide what you’re looking for and what will be able to help you out the most.


First you will need to decide how you wish to access and store the data that you will be inputting into your chosen software.  With MTD the only option now is to use digital record keeping.  Whether you use a cloud-based system or a software download will depend on your individual and business needs.

Cloud-based software is accessible anywhere, upgrades automatically and provides great data security, however it is usually wise to keep a back up of your data on your own device just in case there is an issue where you cannot access your data.  Cloud-based systems are usually paid for monthly. Cloud-based accountancy software is quickly taking over traditional downloadable software with the only possible downside is that it relies on your internet connection!

Downloadable software is usually made up of an application that runs stand alone on a desktop or laptop computer. You may feel that this suits your needs better. This option is known for being better for a more specialised business because it will have lots of available add-ons for special needs like stock control for example.

The most traditional accountancy software and most common for us to see our clients using is Sage. Sage is the current market leader and the most popular software among a huge variety of businesses. It’s both easy to use, affordable and has lots of different options and products available. Sage is known for being flexible, generating well-developed reports and offering lots of information. Here is a breakdown of some of the more popular products.

The cheapest and most basic recommendation if you are just starting up in your business would be Sage Instant. This is just £10 per month and will fulfil all of your first needs as a fledgling business.

Sage Drive. This is a combination of both desktop and cloud and can cater for more advanced needs than some cloud-based software. If you’re always on the go, there may be times when you’re not in the office but still need to view your business accounts. With Sage Drive, you can easily upload your Sage 50 Accounts data to the cloud and then access it from another location.

Sage Line 50 is ideal for businesses with 5 – 99 employees who need straightforward and simple to use software. It allows you to take control of your cash flow, customers, suppliers and VAT. This comes in at £25 per month, slightly more expensive than Sage Instant.

If you’re looking for a cloud based subscription then Sage One Cash Book would be a good place to start. The software starts from £4 per month. This tool is perfect for sole traders and freelancers especially and also comes with 24 hour assistance.

For more information contact Allan Smith. Allan is the Accounts Manager here at TTR Barnes and is our accountancy software guru. He will be able to help and advise with identifying your software needs and selecting the right package.

Allan Smith, Accounts manager,, Link to bio

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Chartered Accountants in Sunderland, offering expertise on everything from Tax and Business Planning,
to Accounts and VAT.