Saturday, August 9, 2014

The great cloud accounting software search of 2014 (part 3)

This is a continuation from this previous post.

In my search for new accounting software, I've not narrowed down the options to four that I feel are viable alternatives, namely FreeAgent, Kashflow, Xero, and Zoho.

However, I need a complete solution that also incorporates time tracking. Xero and Kashflow do not offer this functionality except through add-ons. In both cases numerous add-on options are available, so before the next round of evaluation, I decided to check out the various add-ons and narrow these down to a few usable options so that I can ultimately compare apples with apples.

My next step was therefore to evaluate the various time tracking options available for Xero and Kashflow. In the project / time management categories Xero has 28 add-ons listed on their website and Kashflow 6, with only one common entry. 33 options is a bit too much, so I decided to quickly eliminate options based on a few basic criteria:
  1. Eliminate anything that seems overly complex.
  2. Eliminate anything that is likely going to push the total solution (with Kashflow/Xero) price over $250 per month.
  3. Eliminate anything that does not have a free trial or requires me to enter credit card info to qualify for the free trial.
  4. Eliminate anything that clearly won't work (e.g. if it's an Outlook add-on rather than a cloud-based time-tracking app, etc.)
This resulted in quite a quick elimination process with the majority of options falling out on price and eventually left me with 4 options, 2 with Kashflow (Freshbooks and Paymo), and 2 with Xero (TriggerApp and Timely).

Thus, we're now left with 6 options in total:
  • FreeAgent
  • Kashflow + Freshbooks
  • Kashflow + Paymo
  • Xero + TriggerApp
  • Xero + Timely
  • Zoho
Time capturing efficiency is quite an important part of our requirement, so from here I decided to compile a standard time capture test that I will complete with each time capture option and to then proceed with only the best three. I'll cover this in my next post.

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