The best accounting software for small companies and start-ups

Having good accounting software is vital for any business. The types of accounting software available on the market vary a lot, with some programs providing simple bookkeeping tools whilst others are designed to manage all financial activity in large organisations. For small companies and start-ups, something in between the two is usually most appropriate.
With so much choice of accounting software, it can be difficult to decide which is right your business. Below are what we believe to be three of the best accounting software packages for small and start-up companies currently on the market, with an overview of their features and pricing options.


KashFlow is a very popular web-based accounting application and comes with several key features that make it ideal for smaller companies. Its focus is on making things easy for small business owners, even if they have no accounting knowledge.

Some of the key features include:

  • Create, customise and edit invoices and statements
  • Issue invoices automatically and receive email notifications when they become overdue
  • Create quotes and estimates
  • Automate recurring purchases and let suppliers know by email when you’ve paid them
  • Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet and Trial Balance reports, plus a wide range of other graphical reports

In addition, Kashflow’s HMRC recognised payroll software is available as an add-on. It processes your company’s pay and automatically files your Real Time Information (RTI) submissions online.


KashFlow comes with a 14-day free trial, after which you have 3 monthly payment options to choose from –

  • Starter – This is the cheapest option at £5 per month and gives you the ability to create 10 sales invoices a month as well as 25 bank transactions; however, it is limited to just one user and is single currency.
  • Business – This package allows to you create unlimited invoices and bank transactions and can be used by multiple users. It also has multi currency capabilities and costs £10 per month.
  • Business + Payroll – As the name implies – this option comes with the same features as Business but with added payroll. It costs £15 per month.


Xero is a simple but powerful accounting solution that’s used in many different industries. In addition to providing all the features you’d expect from a good accounting package, it also gives users the ability to add functionality such as project and time management through a vast number of add-ons and third party apps.

Some of the key features include:

  • Create professional invoices and receive updates when an invoice is opened
  • Schedule bill payments and batch pay suppliers
  • Automated bank feeds import all your bank account, credit card and PayPal transactions
  • Manage expenses and reimburse employees
  • View and share interactive financial reports and budgets in real-time
  • Unlimited users

Xero has limited payroll functionality built in, and at an additional monthly cost offers HMRC RTI compliant tools for up to 9 employees. Alternatively, it can be connected to another RTI compliant system.


Xero offers a 30-day free trial, after which they have 3 paid membership options, which include :-

  • Starter – This package costs £9 per month and gives unlimited users the ability to create 5 invoices and bills per month. It comes with 1GB of file storage but is not multi currency.
  • Standard – The Standard package is £20 per month and comes with 5GB of storage. It enables you to create unlimited invoices and bills, but again, it is not multi currency.
  • Premium – Finally the Premium service comes with 20GB of storage, unlimited invoices and bills, as well as the added bonus of multi-currency. It costs £30 per month.


FreeAgent comes with a comprehensive suite of features but what makes it such an appealing choice of accounting software is its extremely intuitive dashboard that allows you to manage everything in one place.
It’s very easy to customise the user experience with the drag and drop interface, and features such as cashflow at a glance, live profit & loss and invoice timeline set it apart from other accounting software in its price range.

Some of the key features include:

  • Create and send professional estimates and invoices
  • Automated recurring invoices and payment reminders
  • Multi-currency, multi-language support
  • Time and expense tracking
  • Simple, HMRC-compliant payroll
  • A comprehensive set of reports
  • Unlimited users


You can use FreeAgent for 30 days before committing to a plan. The available payment options are listed below.

  • Sole Trader – Sole Trader costs £19 per month and comes with access to all FreeAgent’s features plus free support and self assessment filing.
  • Partnership/LLP – Partnership/LLP comes with all the features but with the addition of free support and profit share calculation. It costs £24 per month.
  • Limited Company – The Limited Company option is the most expensive at £29 per month and comes with all the FreeAgent features in addition to free support, corporation tax and dividend vouchers.

The accounting software we offer comes as part of NetSuite ERP; however, this is more suitable for growing or high volume companies and larger enterprises who wish to use one single solution to run their entire business. For example you could manage your CRM, HR & payroll, inventory management, eCommerce, etc all in one place rather than using a set of disparate solutions.
That being said, if you are a smaller company with no real need to integrate your business processes, then one of the above solutions would be ideal.
If you would like to discuss how NetSuite ERP could help your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Please leave your comments below and share with your colleagues.


More Information

Stephen Adamson


[email protected]

(+44) 115 758 8888
Stay Connected

We make a selection of our blog’s most relevant news, a section dedicated to what we know best: Cloud Business Management Solutions. Sign up to our newsletter.