Be it online, mobile or cloud financial applications, many small business owners, large enterprises and accountants are taking notice of accounting software due to enormous benefits. Software applications are fast becoming the norm for accounting outsourcing and payroll outsourcing. There are several factors that play a crucial role when choosing accounting software. To name a few benefits- access to crucial F&A information, anytime, anywhere, integration with popular third-party software, multi-currency transactions, and immediate access to upgrades.

Recent changes in the UK made it almost mandatory to select accounting software which is fully compliant with Making Tax Digital (MTD). With an accounting software solution, accountants as well as accounting outsourcing companies are not required to worry about updating their software to comply with new accounting rules. These software solutions automatically update and accommodate these changes. It goes without saying right software is the key to serve clients better for accounting outsourcing companies.

Factors to Keep in Mind when Selecting Accounting Software

Accounting software allows an organization to record different aspects such as the flow of money, as well as analyze the financial details and meet legal compliance through core financial tools as general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, purchase order, stock or inventory and billing. Advance application expands to payroll modules, timesheet and expenses and more.

While small businesses can opt for software with basic features, its level of sophistication depends on the module and vendor selected.


Most software levy monthly or annual fees. The cost of accounting software depends directly on the number of features or access provided to users.

User-friendly Interface

Accounting software offers a dashboard that provides actionable insights such as charts and other relevant data in a manner that is easy to decipher. Whether the software has an intuitive user interface providing information is an important factor while narrowing down on software.

Multi-Currency Transactions

If you have clients with an international presence, it is ideal to select accountancy software that converts foreign currency into your home currency to maintain the accuracy of records.

Cloud-Based Service and Mobile Access

There are two options a cloud-based system or software where the data can reside in your computer and network. If you’d want to access business’ financial data on-the-go and email invoices to the clients from anywhere a cloud-based option is the one for you.


Accounting firms make the mistake of buying applications entirely based on their needs at the time of purchase. Don’t overlook the possibility of the rapid scalability of your business. If your software is unable to meet the demands of scalability, you may have to shift to new software and go through the excruciating process of migrating sensitive information to new software. Opt for accounting solution with advance or enterprise versions based on business type or team size. You might need a feature-rich version in the future.

List of Best Accounting Software for UK firms & Accountants


With over 1.8 million subscribers, Xero is online accounting software specifically designed to meet the burgeoning needs of growing businesses and accounting practices. It provides easy access and a real-time view of cash flow. It creates professional recurring invoices and receives updates when they’re opened.

Here are features of Xero Accounting Software

  • The cloud-based solution allows easy accessibility from all types of devices with an active internet connection.
  • Effortlessly manage multi-currency accounting for the business. Auto tracking gains and losses for 160+ currencies.
  • Xero mobile app is optimized for both iPhone and iPad & Android phones and tablets.
  • Integration with 700+ third-party apps relating to inventory, invoicing, time tracking, and expenses.
  • Enable small businesses to view cash flow, transactions and account details from any location.
  • Bank transactions are imported and coded automatically.
  • Make customers payment process seamless.
  • Accept payments directly from online invoices and keep cash flow positive.



One of the most popular accounting software for businesses, QuickBooks offers a host of features. It is ideal for small businesses, self-employed, and accountants. It lets calculate and track VAT automatically, as well as prepare and submit accurate returns. With more than 400 integrations, QuickBooks comes with customizable invoices, inventory and payroll support. QuickBooks for Accountants and Bookkeepers helps grow practice and make clients ready for HMRC’s most ambitious initiative Making Tax Digital (MTD).

Here are features of QuickBooks

  • Automatically categorise income and expenses.
  • Calculate, track and prepare VAT automatically.
  • Submit returns directly to HMRC and be Making Tax Digital ready.
  • Soon to be introduced feature: VAT SmartScan which will automate the most crucial VAT checks, helping identify and address common errors before submission. VAT SmartScan will give accountants the peace of mind knowing that VAT return is accurate.
  • Save time and money creating employee payslips, send RTI data to HMRC and manage auto-enrolment.
  • Tracking PAYE, NI and other deductions made easy.


SAGE 50cloud Accounting Software

Sage 50 is a comprehensive set of accountancy and payroll products developed by Sage Group aimed at small and medium enterprises. Founded in the UK for Accountants and Bookkeepers, Sage supports over 14,000 practices and more than one million users across the UK. Right from bookkeeping, payroll to practice management and compliance, Sage’s offers a wide range of products.

Sage comes with different products under the Sage 50 name specifically for different geographies. It effectively combines the convenience of the cloud with the robustness of desktop accounting software.

Sage50 comes with a variety of products such as Desktop accounting software connected to the Cloud; compliant Payroll products. Sage 200 cloud offers MTD complaint and GDPR ready solutions.

Here are features of Sage

  • MTD compliant and GDPR ready.
  • Calculate and submit VAT returns directly.
  • Direct bank feeds with split transaction capability.
  • Link up Final Accounts, Corporation Tax, and Personal Tax applications to prepare and file accounts and tax returns with ease.
  • Manage business while on the move through the cloud, connected to Microsoft Office 365.



With usability and a great deal of flexibility, Zoho Books is an online accounting software to seamlessly manage finances, automates workflows and much more. Right from negotiating deals to raising sales orders, to invoicing, Zoho Books handles day-to-day accounting tasks so that accountants can focus on helping clients.

Here are Features of Zoho Books

  • Make your clients’ transition into MTD smooth.
  • File VAT Returns directly to HMRC.
  • Bookkeeping related areas, such as sales and purchases, time and project tracking, and inventory management.
  • 40+ apps to manage and run each and every aspect of the business, anytime, anywhere.
  • Efficient tracking of payments, create and send purchase orders, as well as upload expense receipts.
  • Keep track of inventory levels at all times, as well as organize vital information about inventory.
  • Set rules to categorize banking transactions and reconcile transactions.
  • Create and manage your customer and supplier contacts.
  • Adjust the finance management to their project structure and manage projects from any device



TaxCalc is an Award-winning tax and accountancy software with the aim to make filing your taxes as simple as possible. It comes with high-quality software specifically designed for accountancy practices, tax advisors and finance professionals. Taxcalc is officially recognised by HMRC.

Here are Features of TaxCalc

  • Bridges the gap between clients’ digital bookkeeping records and your VAT return for submissions to HMRC’s MTD service.
  • Efficiently prepare VAT returns and be fully prepared for MTD.
  • Built to handle all iXBRL tagging automatically, prepare financial statements fr limited companies, LLPs, sole traders, and partnerships.
  • Create and update forms in case there are changes made to client data.
  • GDPR compliance solution for accountants in practice. Help document firm’s personal data policies and procedures to demonstrate compliance and respond effectively in case of a Data Breach or a Data Subject Access Request.



IRIS is the UK’s market leading provider of business-critical accountancy software solutions for accountants in business and practice and solutions. With a UK-only focus, IRIS software and solutions serve a wide range of clientele right from accountancy practice, small businesses, and payroll bureaus across different industries.

Here are features of IRIS

  • IRIS provides a comprehensive range of solutions aimed at transforming how you engage and connect with prospects and clients, as well as compliance solutions.
    Increases efficiencies in the Audit process.
  • Cloud bookkeeping solutions, as well as payroll solutions to suit all business sizes.
  • Assist chartered accountants and firms meet regulatory demands due to changes such as Brexit, MTD, FRS, AML, and GDPR.
  • Advise clients on better management of wealth and assist in key business decisions to increase the appeal of an Accountant’s services.



With the proliferation of accounting software in the Finance and Accounting industry, the choice gets difficult. In order to make the right choice, think about ease-of-use, scalability, and fees. Still not sure? In such cases, opt for a trial period to understand features and functionality.

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