In London, SMEs make up the lion’s share of businesses. According to the business statistics released by the UK Parliament, over 99 per cent of all businesses in the UK are classified as a SME. Similarly, micro-businesses containing less than 10 total employees account for 96 per cent of businesses. In London, as the region in the UK with the highest number of businesses, these numbers are no less important.
Those of us who have worked in these small companies know how crucial every pound is. Many businesses classified on the smaller end of SMEs may operate so close to the bone that getting the proper tools to manage money is a lifesaver, not only in stress, but potentially in the life of the business as well.
Luckily, the UK is home to no shortage of different accounting software companies who offer small business accounting software services. Like finding a unique office space that fits the needs of your team, having the best SME accounting software services on your side can be the difference between smooth operations and nail-biting stress whenever payroll needs to be processed.
To leave the stress at the door, here are some of the best SME accounting software solutions on the market today.
Let’s kick this list off with an obvious choice: market leader Sage, the second largest tech company in the UK. Headquartered in Newcastle, Sage provides enterprise software to over 6 million customers worldwide and is the largest supplier of enterprise resource planning software for small businesses. Sage provides a wide range of easy-to-use accounting, payroll, and financial management solutions for SMEs, helping business owners free up valuable time to focus on other aspects of their business.
We all enjoy uniqueness, so we’ll kick off our list this time with one of the more unusual accounting software platforms. Sakura is a London-based accountancy that specialises in working with SMEs to help them grow financially. Their services involve the standard tax, accounting, and bookkeeping services, but with additional benefits of assessments on your SME’s past and present performance with what they call The Sakura Approach. Sakura ensures that your SME is complying with regulatory requirements, monitors the growth and development of the business, and offers services to help aid you if you are looking to grow as a company. Much more than just a small business accounting service, Sakura brings together what you need to make sure your company’s financial side is working well, with a plethora of additional services on top of that. It’s a win-win situation, which is great in our books.
UK-based Clear Books is a piece of cloud accounting software built to handle everything a small business needs financially in order to operate. Services with Clear Books include invoicing, purchases and expenses, financial reports, and tax returns all on their comprehensive accounting software. Due to its cloud-based nature, accountants can access their books wherever they are and look at financial data in real time. In addition, other features of Clear Books include MTD submissions, CIS features, the ability to set up recurring bills, and access to customised and scheduled invoices. With its reliable, comprehensive features, Clear Books is undoubtedly one of the best SME accounting software services out there. And as icing on the cake, Clear Books also comes with a month free trial, so you can get rid of it if you don’t like it for some reason (but you probably won’t!)
Perhaps one of the simplest accounting tools on our list, SlickPie might become the instantaneous accounting software of choice for micro businesses due to its ease of use and comprehensive toolset. Specifically created to be the best friend of a micro business, SlickPie includes a set of basic tools to deal with all the financial needs of your company. This is no joke. Its services include online invoicing, Paypal/Stripe/credit card processing, quotes and estimates, financial performance reports, the ability to reconcile bank transactions, late payment reminders, and even more. Currently, they have an automated receipt data entry feature in beta looking to be added to their already impressive roster of features. For SMEs that are on the micro side of things, SlickPie is the best accounting software choice for you. Oh, and did we mention that it’s completely free? Completely free.
For startups and small businesses who just want to make their lives easier on the accounting side, Nexa has your back. This London-based accounting firm utilises today’s best cloud accounting software to simplify a SME’s day-to-day accounts. Along with bookkeeping and accounting, taxation, and payroll management services, Nexa also provides unique services to help get a company off the ground, if necessary, by helping you register for HMRC formalities. With affordable and fixed monthly rates, secure client portals, Nexa is an excellent, comprehensive choice for SMEs not looking to hire a full-time accountant, but still in need of having their finances handled.
You’ve likely heard of Xero before, and it’s no surprise that it found its way onto our list. Xero is an online accounting software that aims to help businesses save time working on paperwork and to get paid faster. Built on a double-entry accounting framework, Xero is more than capable of dealing with payroll, purchases, inventory, and tracking and managing sales. Users of Xero are able to easily create records for items, suppliers, employers, and customers alike using customisable transactions. With its excellent online support, Xero is the accounting software of choice for a SME. Choice is good, so as an added bonus, newcomers to Xero get a free 30 day trial, giving you a grace period to make sure that this SME accounting software service is the choice for you and your team.
QuickBooks is the standard choice as the best online accounting software across the UK, and for good reason. QuickBooks comes with three comprehensive plans so that whatever your teams needs, there is likely a plan for you. Services in this completely online accounting software include payroll, invoicing, cashflow insights, self assessments, and far more. Like other accounting software options on this list, QuickBooks also comes with a 30-day free trial so that you can be certain of your choice, but chances are, you will be. There’s 3.2 million businesses powered by the comprehensive service list of QuickBook’s accounting software, which speaks to the quality of this service. When there are that many people speaking for QuickBook, chances are, we think it’s at least worth taking a look at, right?
For tech startups and SMEs, The Accountancy Cloud is the accounting software firm of choice. By utilising their accounting solutions and specialist tax knowledge, The Accountancy Cloud position themselves as a true part of your team. The unique relationship helps tech companies who utilise The Accountancy Cloud’s service to scale up and develop, all while receiving access to scalable accounting software tech that claims to eliminate 80% of admin time. The firm is pretty specific, but those of us working in the tech industry should strongly consider The Accountancy Cloud. Since it’s built for you, we think you may as well take advantage of that!
Like the previous listing, Square Mile Accounting is an accounting services firm that specialises in working with companies in a few set industries, including brewery businesses, and those working in the hospitality, construction, and tech industries. Using Square Mile Accounting, you can outsource your bookkeeping and taxes to them for quick and efficient service. Square Mile Accounting takes advantage of the accounting software from Xero – a previous entry on our list – allowing you access to your accounts located on the cloud accounting software so that you can look at your books any time you need to.
The smallest companies in London run with tight budgets. While the most ideal choice is to always have a full-time accountant as part of the team, the reality is that many small companies can utilise that money in other ways and rely on accounting software services to handle their finances.
After putting together your team members and the accounting software tools that your SME needs to operate, we at Hubble can help you find a flexible space to call home. Once everything is in place, you can get to work doing the thing that are important to you, your company, and works to make London a better, more innovative place for the future.