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Which software? Ahhhg!

  • Student
  • 45 posts
  • # 116236

Hi guys, I'm still some way off from being able to run a practice, but I fully intend to get there soon enough.

I am really struggling to choose a suitable software package. I really want to be working in the cloud as this is the way forward. Not having to go to business premises etc and then one can work from further afield. I have looked at all the packages but only one seems to offer simple integration between customer and book-keeper and that is Sage one, but appears to have its limiations with regard to cis.

Is there one package that means the business owner can access the sytem and send invoices and basic running of business and I could do all the things required for my end like books, payroll, cis, tax returns etc once fully qualified.

I'm so confused. 

 

Digit

Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

  • Fellow
  • Practice Licence
  • 20 posts
  • # 116237

Hi Digit, 

I use QuickBooks. Try it out. 

  • Student
  • 45 posts
  • # 116238

Ade Omosanya said:

Hi Digit, 

I use QuickBooks. Try it out. 


 Hi Ade, yeah I looked into that. Just a bit confused about things like the business user can sign up to cis and things like that themselves so then how can we charge to provide this service?

Is it simply if the client want's to they will or if they don't find time will be willing to let us do it for them at a charge?

 

I'm just confused mainly about the overlap between business owner and book-keeper usage of the softwares.

 

Digit

  • Fellow Companion
  • Practice Licence
  • 1111 posts
  • # 116239

Hi

The problem with Quickbooks and many of the cloud software is that they heavily advertise. Everything can be done at the click of button and QuickBooks are the worst offenders for this and the worst type of client in my experience.  I feel this is down to their tv advertising.  We very rarely get a decent enquiry from the Website and we are silver partners.   It is usually clients you do not want and they are not willing to pay fair fees and what your knowledge for free. 

Cloud software is also very annoying when clients think they know how to use but do not.   Quite a lot of clients have been forced on to certain cloud providers by the accountants and it it is not the right one for them.    I say this about all cloud software companies.

You will find most clients do not even understand how the reporting works but claim they do and you have to work with the client on this issue about using the right reports.   The secret is to take a client that respects your knowledge and do not take on the ones that say they can do it themselves.  They interfere with the process and eat in too your profits.   If QuickBooks clients can do it with a click of a button like so many tell me they can. Then out of the experience, they are not the type of client I want or need.   After 20 years in practice, I have been there and worn the Tshirt. 

However never get into a situation when they do the return and then sometimes you do.   Make it clear in your Letter of Engagement exactly what you are responsible for and charging.  No halfway house. 

Only take on decent Quickbook clients that have respect for you. 

 

 



Edited at 04 Feb 2018 03:26 PM GMT

  • Student
  • 45 posts
  • # 116240

sarah said:

Hi

The problem with Quickbooks and many of the cloud software is that they heavily advertise. Everything can be done at the click of button and QuickBooks are the worst offenders for this and the worst type of client in my experience.  I feel this is down to their tv advertising.  We very rarely get a decent enquiry from the Website and we are silver partners.   It is usually clients you do not want and they are not willing to pay fair fees and what your knowledge for free. 

Cloud software is also very annoying when clients think they know how to use but do not.   Quite a lot of clients have been forced on to certain cloud providers by the accountants and it it is not the right one for them.    I say this about all cloud software companies.

You will find most clients do not even understand how the reporting works but claim they do and you have to work with the client on this issue about using the right reports.   The secret is to take a client that respects your knowledge and do not take on the ones that say they can do it themselves.  They interfere with the process and eat in too your profits.   If QuickBooks clients can do it with a click of a button like so many tell me they can. Then out of the experience, they are not the type of client I want or need.   After 20 years in practice, I have been there and worn the Tshirt. 

However never get into a situation when they do the return and then sometimes you do.   Make it clear in your Letter of Engagement exactly what you are responsible for and charging.  No halfway house. 

Only take on decent Quickbook clients that have respect for you. 

 

 



Edited at 04 Feb 2018 03:26 PM GMT

 That all sounds like good advice. Thank you. Just out of interest which software do you mainly use apart from quick books?

I was thinking maybe I will just go with the sage one as I like the fact only the admin can do the financials. Then like you say make them aware of terms of service to only do basic admin like sending quotes and invoices. I'm sure I can get around issues with cis and anything else people generally moan about the software.

Am I correct in saying that with sage 50c despite being in the cloud there is no duality between the business and the practice?

 

Thanks

Digit

  • Fellow PM.Dip
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  • 33 posts
  • # 116243

Hi Digit

 

I went through a similar time when I wanted to try and go with 1 particular cloud based offering, but I got so confused because there were somethings I liked about different packages and others that I did not.

I used to work for a Chartered Accountants and they choose to go with Kashflow as it links in with their database Iris and so I was most familiar with that (although they are all very similar!)

When I first set up my practice, as I took on clients, I inherited the software they were already using so i had one on Xero, 1 on Kashflow and 1 on Sageone.

After that if I get a new client I sort of discuss it with the new client and if they have a preferrence I go with that if not I choose the one I feel is most approriate for the client (e.g Kashflow handles the bookkeeping for CIS quite well so where there is CIS I would recommend Kashflow).

Hope that helps!

 

Gail Smile

  • Student
  • 45 posts
  • # 116262

gwizz said:

Hi Digit

 

I went through a similar time when I wanted to try and go with 1 particular cloud based offering, but I got so confused because there were somethings I liked about different packages and others that I did not.

I used to work for a Chartered Accountants and they choose to go with Kashflow as it links in with their database Iris and so I was most familiar with that (although they are all very similar!)

When I first set up my practice, as I took on clients, I inherited the software they were already using so i had one on Xero, 1 on Kashflow and 1 on Sageone.

After that if I get a new client I sort of discuss it with the new client and if they have a preferrence I go with that if not I choose the one I feel is most approriate for the client (e.g Kashflow handles the bookkeeping for CIS quite well so where there is CIS I would recommend Kashflow).

Hope that helps!

 

Gail Smile


 Thanks Gail, I'm currently learning on sage 50 essentials. Having to learn all the systems is a bit of a pain but I suppose it makes one a bit more open to new clients.

 

Thanks again

 

Digit

  • Associate
  • Practice Licence
  • 3 posts
  • # 116285

hi Digit 

personally i prefer sage as i feel it is more sophisticated for the majority of my clients. also i use the desk top version as my internet isnt always the best.

i go to clients that are on xero, as recommended by the accountants, but i agree with the person below, in that the client thinks they know more than they do.

my main problem is price and i do have one client who has a number of companies and i do the books for them all. some are on Wave, which is free and ideal for very small companies. some are on xero and one was on sage which i encouraed to move them all to. the price was the killer as sage proved to be so much more expensive than xero when it came to multiple companies.

although i am getting to grips with xero it is quite time consuming as there is no batch invoicing for example and it is all cloud based which can be a real pain.

not sure ive been of any help, but good luck with whatever you decide

  • Student
  • 45 posts
  • # 116288

DJM said:

hi Digit 

personally i prefer sage as i feel it is more sophisticated for the majority of my clients. also i use the desk top version as my internet isnt always the best.

i go to clients that are on xero, as recommended by the accountants, but i agree with the person below, in that the client thinks they know more than they do.

my main problem is price and i do have one client who has a number of companies and i do the books for them all. some are on Wave, which is free and ideal for very small companies. some are on xero and one was on sage which i encouraed to move them all to. the price was the killer as sage proved to be so much more expensive than xero when it came to multiple companies.

although i am getting to grips with xero it is quite time consuming as there is no batch invoicing for example and it is all cloud based which can be a real pain.

not sure ive been of any help, but good luck with whatever you decide


 It's all helpfull. But to be honest it is a real pain isn't it. The sage 50 is as you say professional and has a certain polished feel to it, but the only way to access clients files is to use drive which in itself is confusing. The training establishments claim that sage desktop is still the preferred software in the uk, but this would mean either driving to each customer to do their books or suffer sage drive.

I could be being dogmatic here, but I intend to provide a service to companies that is a complete service, as in we are in control so you don't have to be kind of thing. Now when you want a mobile phone provider you have to put up with what services they are offering or go elsewhere, so as a service provider I intend to try at least to offer a service which I am facilitating and in control of. Being that small business entities are predominantly where a bookkeeper finds their market, the software best suited surely must be one designed for their type of mindset, which is simple and uncomplicated, but boasting great functionality and duality between business and accounting staff.

So whilst it annoys me to come to the conclusion that 50c is not really intended for our use unless working in house, I think I have to conclude sage one is probably the best software for my needs and isn't too expensive I don't think.

Things may change but thats where I think I will start. As I will be especially trying to win over new start businesses.

 

Digit

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  • # 116304

I've always used Sage desktop whether my client manager version or the clients own but I'm starting to move away from it where I can to Xero as I can set it up so the client pays the monthly subscription themselves (so hopefully eventually I can get rid of my extortionate Sage annual subscription that I pay). They can do their own sales invoicing, send statements automatically etc and I'm also trying to encourage clients to use Receipt Bank for processing purchase invoices as it integrates with cloud based software really well and is massively time saving. I use Kashflow for one client as it came with them and they're loathe to change - and I hate it with a passion. It's much better since we've been using RB but entering the supplier payments is sooooo slow. I've used Quickbooks because again it came with a client but I don't find it all intuitive and can't get on with it at all.

Having said all of this different softwares will suit different clients. Sage is great for high volume clients with lots of processing to do as unless you use something like Receipt Bank with cloud based when entering loads of invoices when you have to point and click for every transaction it's slow. Sage you can batch process, F6 through the line above and process 300 invoices in an hour. It takes me more like 8 hours to enter 300 invoices on cloud based software entering from scratch. FreeAgent is good for professional firms such as architects, designers, and companies who do quotes, Brightpearl is good for on line retail shops etc. Fir the software to the client, do your research, get tech savvy and save hours of time using the tools that are out there

  • Member PM.Dip
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  • 8 posts
  • # 116309

im in the same position as you.... passed all the exams and in a position to offer a service to new clients ... how do you feel is the best way to market your practice ... is it to use flyers produced by the ICB?  I am also not sure what software to use, all i was thinking was that cloud based software seems to be the way forward and like you im struggling to decide which one to specialise in.Any thoughts or help on either how to market or which software to use would be most appreciated.

  • Student
  • 45 posts
  • # 116313

kelham123 said:

“im in the same position as you.... passed all the exams and in a position to offer a service to new clients ... how do you feel is the best way to market your practice ... is it to use flyers produced by the ICB?  I am also not sure what software to use, all i was thinking was that cloud based software seems to be the way forward and like you im struggling to decide which one to specialise in.Any thoughts or help on either how to market or which software to use would be most appreciated.”

 Firstly get as many free listings as you can on the net for your website. Then consider google adwords pay per click to get noticed. Consider what market you would like to start in - be specific and target those customers. Get a facebook page specific to your area like bookkeeping Bradford or wherever you live. Offer incentives on facebook shoutouts. Be loud, be in peoples faces and get noticed. The rest will take care of itself.

  • Member PM.Dip
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  • 8 posts
  • # 116316

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