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How this review works
This Kashoo review is independently made by myself, Greg Lam. I run this website, Small Business Doer, with the goal of helping out micro and small business people. The review is my own personal opinion and I was not paid to do a review.
My background is that I’ve been a small business owner since 1998. I have a degree in business from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC Canada (Vancouver). I’ve been doing bookkeeping for myself, and others, since 1998, primarily with QuickBooks. I’m also a certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor. So, that’s the perspective you’re getting and keep that in mind when I evaluate the software.
I’m compiling multiple online accounting software reviews and will do a comparison of all the software available when I’m done individually reviewing each piece of software.
I’ve chosen 32 topics to write about for my online accounting software evaluation. It is by no means complete, and if I’ve missed some important topics, feel free to let me know in the comments section at the end of this review.
Software also changes at a rapid pace, so at the time I wrote this, which is April 17, 2012, this was what was true as far as I could see. I updated this article on November 25th, 2012 to reflect new pricing.
I spent about 16 hours with the software. I imported a trial balance ending December 31, 2011 from my QuickBooks Accountant Edition 2012 Desktop software. From there I entered and reconciled 3 month’s worth of data up until March 31st, 2012.
That’s a lot of time to spend with the software, but, I definitely didn’t look into every aspect of the software. I feel I’ve gotten a fairly good idea of what the software is capable of. If there is anything that I’ve said that is inaccurate or not true, please let me know so that I can update the article.
Don’t worry, giving us your email won’t result in a spam fest! You will get occasional emails when we have new articles on our site and you can unsubscribe at any time. We protect your privacy and do not sell or give your email to anyone else.
- user interface
- double-entry accounting
- syncing with bank
- importing data from bank
- data import
- data export
- auto entry of data
- document attachment
- chart of accounts
- payment processing
- paid premium features
- mobile app
- search / finding data
- small annoyances
- other features
- what’s missing
- tracking changes / undo button
- customer support
- help / documentation
- country it’s made in
First of all, you can check out Kashoo for yourself at http://www.kashoo.com. It has a free sign-up, with no credit card required. It is actually free for their basic package, which does a lot.
It’s a company based out of Vancouver, BC Canada. I didn’t even realize this until I started reviewing the software (I happen to live in Vancouver as well).
For micro and small businesses, this software should fit the bill. The best thing about the software is it’s user interface and how easy and intuitive to use. As a bookkeeper, I like how it’s easy to see behind-the-scenes and dig into the accounts, something that is not as easy to do (or find) in some other online accounting software services.
2. user interface
I’m not going to lie. When I saw the dashboard I actually said YES and was smiling and excited. I think this window alone will allow you to enter the majority of your transactions from one window. This is mega-cool (I don’t think I’ve ever used that term before).
I think the reason I vibe with Kashoo so well, is that it keeps a lot of the information viewable within one screen, making it intuitive.
For example, the dashboard, on the income side, has “Enter Income”, “Enter Invoice”, “Enter Payment”, and “Detailed” as tabs. My assumption is that “Enter Income” is for income you’re getting right away, “Enter Invoice” is for billing your customers and receiving payments later, “Enter Payment” is for receiving payments for your invoices, and “Detailed” is for a more complicated transaction.
It’s perhaps subtle, and you may need to use it to experience it, but when you click on the tab, your interface doesn’t change on you, it doesn’t feel like you’re going to a new window. There’s no refresh or lag time. This is something that can’t be listed on a features list.
It really makes me feel like comparing it to Apple products. In spec to spec comparisons, Apple usually isn’t the winner. However, it’s the user interface that wins people over. You simply have to use it to understand (although I have other issues with Apple and am still mainly a PC / Android guy, some things that Apple does, like my lovely MacBook Air, they do so well).
I like how you have Income, Expenses, Transfers, Adjustments (general ledger), and Banking (reconciliation) at the top of your left hand nav column. Much easier to understand for the beginner than QuickBooks Desktop. In QuickBooks Desktop, you use one window called “write checks” for bank account expenses that are paid immediately, “enter bills” and “pay bills” for expenses that you pay at a later date, and “enter credit card charges” for items paid with a credit card. Once you understand this, it’s not too bad to deal with in QuickBooks, it’s just not as intuitive as Kashoo.
When you’re digging deeper into something, say a cleared bill, if you go in and delete it, it conveniently gives you a “go back” button so that you can get back to what you were doing. (In QuickBooks Desktop, there is no back button, you have to navigate back to whatever window you were using. However, in QuickBooks Desktop, you sometimes have a save and close button that would achieve roughly the same thing).
When using accounts, it has notes about how to use it. It even has notes to say “don’t use this account for…”. Nice touch.
I initially thought that Kashoo couldn’t split transactions while reconciling. You can in fact split transactions and it’s fairly easy. Categorize the transaction in a category and then click on the transaction link to go directly to the transaction and add more detail from there, such as splitting an account.
You can’t attach tax codes to vendors or accounts, so when you’re entering a transaction from vendor, you have to manually chose a tax code. This slows down data entry in comparison to software that either lets you associate a tax code with a vendor when you set up that vendor or that remembers what you did last time for a similar transaction.
The interface of Kashoo is defaulted to simple, but with a click of a button, you can usually drill down further and do what you’d expect it to do (at least from a bookkeeping standpoint). Example, creating a new bank account you only have three options (1. Name, 2. Description, 3. Type – Bank or Cash). You then click on add account.
To modify you click on the account and you can adjust more settings, like the account # and description.
It auto-assigns account numbers, which I think is nice. You can change the number if you want, but it numbers them in a way accountants would like automatically. I also found that there’s a feature to sort all your accounts by their account numbers, for the accountants, bookkeepers, and people like to sort and number in that way.
Recording batch deposits is definitely better in QuickBooks. To record a batch deposit in Kashoo, you go to “Transfers” and then transfer funds from your “undeposited funds” account into one of your bank accounts. In QuickBooks, it gives you a list of all the items in your undeposited funds, and let’s you select which ones you want to deposit. Furthermore, once you do that, you still have the option of adding line items to adjust the deposit for things like bank fees or gain/loss on foreign exchange. In Kashoo you’d have to use the “Adjustments” window, to do the same thing. QuickBooks simply has a better work flow for this one.
3. double-entry accounting
The general ledger / general journal entry function is called adjustments in Kashoo. If you’re not a bookkeeper or accountant, you may never want to touch this. However, it is very nice to have, and have easily accessible, since with this one window, you can do any bookkeeping / accounting transaction. This is the “old school” way of bookkeeping.
I think the problem some software gets into is that it tries to have one or several “easy” ways to handle every bookkeeping scenario. This means lots of different windows to use and to remember.
Having a general journal entry window lets someone who understands bookkeeping / accounting quickly add transactions and modifications to the books. In other words, this is an essential window for your bookkeeper / accountant to have and they’ll be glad to have it so easily accessible.
4. syncing with bank
Kashoo can sync with your bank.
The sync imports up to 90 days and it is still in beta. This feature is located under SETUP > accounts (I think it would also make sense to link to this from banking as well, that’s the first place I looked and I assume others clicking on banking would think to find the “bank feed” feature there as well – or at least a link to this feature).
In Kashoo’s tutorial video, it says if your bank is not in the list, email them (so that presumably they can add it). Perhaps they have to match the bank’s data to Kashoo’s, which requires a person to manually do this? If so, what’s the turnaround time?
When connecting, it asked for a security authentication question. I entered, and pressed connect, but the question remained. So I entered the question again and hit enter. It then had an error communicating with bank. So, I logged into my bank and then it was able to ask me a different security authentication question, but that still didn’t work.
Now my accounts is a constant circle of dots ever refreshing for over 30 minutes at this point. Hmmm… after an hour I logged out and back in and can see my accounts now. The good old reset button works in online software as well (although I didn’t lose any data doing this with my online software).
I tried my personal bank account, Royal Bank of Canada, since it is a large bank in Canada. Curiously, Kashoo is not set up with it yet (although I have the option for Royal Bank of Canada (France) – Investments – so go figure). So, no auto-bank connect for the moment, going to go the manual way.
** UPDATE: I tried again with my CIBC mastercard account and it did connect and import, but only 30 days. I had to upload a bank statement to get the rest of the data in. We’ll see how the auto-connect works now that it has been set up. Kashoo is looking into my other bank accounts. **
** UPDATE2: I’ve been told by Kashoo that they do indeed have the Royal Bank of Canada. It’s listed under RBC. Something I would have completely missed quickly typing in Royal. I’ll assume it works (I won’t be testing since it’s my personal account). They have confirmed that Vancity business has been giving trouble and that they are working on it. It should be said that I haven’t been able to sync my Vancity business account with other online accounting software providers, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is an issue with Vancity. In any case, through my testing of various software, I’ve noticed the auto-sync to not be 100%, so I think it’s a crucial option to be able to upload banking statements (which Kashoo does quite nicely). **
5. importing data from bank
You can import OFX, QFX, or QBO file statements easily.
You can also import CSV, QIF, XLS (Excel), or VCF (vCard). The process, the first time around is a little more work, since you need to tell Kashoo, which field contains which data. Once you set it up once, it will remember. This is actually a powerful feature in that it lets you work with any data set in the way that you want.
PayPal import notes
Kashoo does split PayPal into USD and CAN PayPal accounts, when you import a PayPal statement. However, if you send and receive money using the same PayPal account, the transactions get confusing fast (read my “why you should use two PayPal accounts for your business” article – I’ll put a link to it when I post it).
6. data import
You can import a trial balance, customers, and vendors. That’s all that’s importable at this moment.
Trial balance import notes
You can’t import successfully unless account names match. You have to go into your csv import file and manually change account names.
The account names also have to exist in Kashoo before the import, so I had to go and create all the missing accounts in Kashoo first. Update: The account names don’t need to exist in Kashoo before importing. I don’t know whether this changed or whether I was initially mistaken.
Here’s the instructions for what needs to be done http://kashoo.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/237247. Clearly can’t import a QuickBooks trial balance export (or probably any other software) without modification.
Everything has to be perfect, meaning your account# has to match and your EXACT spelling of Account Name as well. Otherwise the import won’t work.
The descriptions and previous balances get written over, so if you have existing amounts or descriptions that you want to keep, make sure to put that information into the import file.Update: Ok, this seems to have changed to. In my latest test, if your description is left blank, Kashoo will keep it’s description. I don’t know what happens to accounts that have 0 balance though.
Any accounts that are not in your upload will be DELETED, so be careful.
You can go back into the change log and restore items that got messed up in an import, but, you have to do it on a per account basis, you can’t undo the whole operation (as far as I can tell).
7. data export
Data export is a big thing for me, since I want to be able to take my data with me in case something happens (like the software company merges, goes out of business, or I decide to use another service). It’s also good for people who like to play around with their numbers in a spreadsheet. Lastly, sometimes you want to export certain pieces of data (like say your customers) into another software application like CRM software (Customer Relationship Management).
The fact that Kashoo has decent data exports makes me less nervous about entering all my data into a system that I may not use forever.
You can go to SETUP > Business Profile to find the “Export” box (right hand side of screen).
Tried it out and it has all the categories you would like, such as trial balance, profit and loss, customer contacts, expenses, etc… No general ledger though.
Ok, here’s the general ledger. You need to go “Transactions” to do this. It has the ability, so that’s cool, but don’t know why it isn’t on the big everything export. In any case, I’m happy it’s there and the formatting seems organized well.
8. auto entry of data
There’s a couple ways to talk about auto entry of data.
I believe most people relate this to the ability to connect to your bank (or upload a bank statement) and have your online accounting software automatically enter all the transactions for you.
Kashoo doesn’t have it.
If you are going with software that does it, you have to remember it’s not going to be 100%, so you’re going to have to verify each auto-entered transaction. You’re also going to want to match your documentation (your proof) to that auto-entered data as well. Auto entry data is cool when it works.
The second way you can think about auto-entered data, is how much your software remembers of transactions that you manually enter, such as what expense account and taxes are associated with a particular vendor.
In Kashoo, you can set up Vendors to be associated with one expense account (and I’m assuming you can do the same thing for customers), but that’s about it as far as I could see.
The thing I enjoy about QuickBooks is that once I type in a vendor name, it remembers the account and tax code (either based on previous entries or me manually enter the info into the vendor profile). Most of the time it’s correct, and this speeds up the process.
9. document attachment
Sorry, Kashoo has no document attachment at the moment.
This is unfortunate, since you still need to back up your bookkeeping records with documents, such as the receipt for some equipment you bought. You can of course keep a digital or paper based record system outside of Kashoo, but I’ve found it incredibly useful to have my proof attached to my bookkeeping software’s record, since it’s very easy to double-check the document for something like a data-entry error.
The one thing that Kashoo does that I like is number all their transactions with a unique ID (technically 2, but I’m only going to talk about the one that’s easy for you to see).
For example, when you enter a receipt, it gives it a name like Bill #00023. With that ID, I can then put that on my digital or paper record, so that I can easily find the documentation relating to a particular Kashoo record. I still want the document attachment function though!
10. chart of accounts
Kashoo has an easy to access chart of accounts. If you don’t know what chart of accounts is, it’s a listing of all your accounts (Income, Expense, Assets, Liability, and Equity). Believe it or not, but some software I’ve seen doesn’t easily have this ability to see all your accounts in one page in a way that bookkeepers and accountants would like.
In Kashoo, the chart of accounts is found under SETUP > Accounts in the left hand nav bar. It lists all your accounts and lets you click to modify. It groups them by type (bank accounts, credit cards, income, etc…) and sorts them alphabetically.
If you want to sort by account number, click on “My Profile” on the top right nav bar and in your user profile, click the “I am an accounting professional”. You have to log out and then log back in. Once you do this, you’ll see your accounts sorted by number.
Reconciliation, the process of matching transactions in your bank statement to transactions in your accounting software, is a crucial step in the bookkeeping process. This is because it verifies the data you’ve entered into your books.
A reconciliation process that is easy to use is a crucial feature for me. Kashoo’s reconciliation process works for me, with the slight caveat that I couldn’t find my account balance as of a certain date when I was reconciling a bank statement that I imported into an account that was being auto synced with my bank (I had to do the upload since the auto sync only brought in 30 days worth of data).
In Kashoo, you can match via an electronic statement or a paper statement. It’s nice that you have the flexibility to go with either.
I like how Kashoo gives you the option of choosing between different matching amounts when you’re reconciling your account. When downloading QBO files into the QuickBooks Online Banking Centre in QuickBooks, it would auto-match for me, and sometimes it would get the wrong transactions. It’s more clear in Kashoo which transactions is being matched to your bank statement.
If you have duplicate entries on the bank import, you can click “Remove from bank statement”. (In QuickBooks Desktop, this is simply not possible when you import an electronic bank statement using the Online Banking Centre).
If you have multiple duplicate entries, because you imported a duplicate statement for example, you can “Remove Unmatched Rows” to get rid of the statement entries. (In QuickBooks, this is not easily possible when importing an electronic bank statement using the Online Banking Centre).
Reporting is the end result of your bookkeeping efforts that most people are eager to see. It’s how much you made, how much people owe you, how much you owe people, etc…
Kashoo has all the basic reports, like A/R (how much people owe you), A/P (how much you owe people), Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss, Trial Balance.
You are able to click down on any item and drill down (get more detail) on any aspect. You are also able to adjust the dates, and sub-sections of data (account, customer / vendor, item, referral). I haven’t had much time to play around with the reporting, so can’t say too much about it. It does look to have all the basics you’d need.
Although I haven’t gone through it in depth, I’m feeling that my QuickBooks has more reporting functions, or at least more in the area of one-click reports.
I also don’t see any of those fancy data visualizations (although I did glimpse it on the iPad app). I think visualization would be cool, but I’m much more of a numbers guy. I don’t see any options for %’s, and that’s actually something that I would like to see. Also, being able to sort by highest to lowest would be nice as well.
The saving grace is that this data is easily exportable to a spreadsheet, so if you’re really into messing with numbers, you can go nuts there (I actually do this, even with QuickBooks).
Multi-Currency is a premium add-on (you need to upgrade from the free account to the $9.99 a month account).
I haven’t robustly tested this feature out, but it seems like the feature would work well, in that it lets you enter the exchange rate and it also gives you the option to “Exchange Payment” or not, meaning keeping the transaction in the foreign currency value or switching it to the equivalent home currency value.
Taxes are something I can best comment on from a Canadian perspective. For us, we have federal and provincial taxes that we have to track and file. Having proper tax tracking capabilities is an essential function for Canadian businesses.
The UK has VAT (value added tax) which is similar to our Canadian Federal Tax (GST – Goods and Services Tax). I believe the way we handle taxes is fairly similar, but I’d need someone from the UK to let me know (or perhaps an accountant who practiced in both Canada and the UK).
For the US, I don’t think you guys claim back any sales tax for items that you buy, so it’s not as crucial as a feature? If anyone out there in the US knows, please let me know.
In Kashoo, the “Taxes” window is cool because you can put the % eligible amount, like for meals and entertainment.
I still have to file taxes though, so I don’t know fully how good / robust the tax filing is.
For Canadian taxes, you can use a short code, such as -2.40H to subtract $2.40 for taxes from the total and attribute the value to the HST account (that’s a tax code). This is great, because during data entry it saves you time, since not all items are taxed (like tips in a restaurant), so you can’t always reverse calculate taxes paid when you’re giving a total.
Kashoo can do invoicing. It’s not as advanced as other software, since it doesn’t do inventory and such. You can add items though, if you don’t care to track the stock levels of your inventory.
You can customize your templates if you are able to code XHTML or get someone to do it for you. Otherwise, you’re stuck with their template.
It also integrates with FreshBooks (whose primary feature is invoicing), so if your invoicing needs are more robust, the combination may be the thing you need.
16. payment processing
Payment processing is the ability to send an invoice out to a customer and have them pay via credit card, debit card, PayPal, or some type of online method.
Kashoo has no payment processing. However, it integrates with FreshBooks, which can do this.
Being able to do your payroll through your accounting / bookkeeping software is nice if you have employees. Calculating payroll manually is doable, there are online calculators that can help you. However, the reason you want to use software for your bookkeeping is so that you don’t have to do things manually.
Kashoo has no native payroll, but it does integrate with Payment Evolution (more about this in the integrations section of this article)
Being able to track inventory is an essential function for any business that sells products that they need to keep track of.
Kashoo has no inventory feature, but it integrates with FreshBooks which has some basic inventory funcitionality (like tracking inventory levels), so the combination FreshBooks and Kashoo will solve that need.
The power of software is that it can integrate with other software so that applications can share data automatically. If you are using software for CRM, payroll, invoicing, e-commerce, etc… whether or not your online accounting software can import that data can be a crucial deciding factor for you.
In other cases, sometimes your online accounting software won’t do everything, so the only way to get a feature is to integrate with other software that can do it.
Kashoo integrates with FreshBooks, which integrates with PayPal, so I’m assuming that if you invoice via FreshBooks, this is a way to import all the money you receive via PayPal easily into Kashoo (although I’m only assuming, I haven’t tested).
It also integrates with a Canadian payroll company, Payment Evolution. So, if you need to do payroll, you can do it as well, even though it’s not a native feature. A quick look at Payment Evolution gives me the impression that’s it’s full featured (and actually free for up to 5 employees, which is pretty amazing). For those in the US or UK I don’t know what your options are.
20. paid premium features
A lot of online accounting software has extra features that you can only get if you pay for money. If you don’t need the extra features, this can work out in your favour.
$9.99 a month ($99.99 a year) for single users – $29.99 a month ($299.99 a year) for a team
- Automated Bank Import
- FreshBooks Import
- Share Kashoo
- * Unlimited Users (only for Kashoo Premium for Teams at $29.99 a month)
- Priority Email and Telephone Support
21. mobile app
It should be noted that any online accounting software can be accessed via your web browser, regardless of your device. However, when an online accounting software provider has a device specific app or a mobile version of the site, it’s designed to work well with in that aspect, so it can be an advantage if you’re planning on accessing your books through mobile devices.
Kashoo has an iPad app. Haven’t tested, so I can’t comment. I hear that an iPhone app is on the way. No plans for Android.
22. search / finding data
Being able to find your data easily is nice! This is actually quite an important feature since I find bookkeeping can be an investigative type of job. The more powerful your search capabilities, the faster you can work.
The search in “change log” seems to be very powerful, in that the change log contains every single transaction, whether it was modified or deleted. This means that you can search by different criteria to find what you’re looking for.
The search in “transactions” lets you see all the transactions, which means it will filtered out modified or deleted items. Contains slightly different data than the “change log”.
23. small annoyances
I put this small annoyances section in there to talk about some small things that aren’t really a big problem, but it would be nice if the software acted differently.
In Kashoo, it would be nice if when you type in a new vendor name (or account name) it asks you to add it if it’s a new name. Right now Kashoo ignores whatever you inputted. Adding a new field is as easy as clicking on the “Add Vendor” link at the bottom of the drop down box, which then gives you a pop up to add a new vendor.
It’s a bit confusing that bills have the “invoice#” in it. I understand that a bill and an invoice are the same thing (the business who sends an invoice to a customer calls it an invoice, a customer receiving the invoice calls it a bill).
24. other features
Other features is a section to add in features or functionality that didn’t get their own section.
Kashoo has a way to print checks. Haven’t tested this, so don’t know how it formats. Not a big feature for me, since you can manually write checks if you need to, but if you are printing out tons of checks, this could be a very useful time saver.
25. what’s missing
Here’s some items that I found missing in Kashoo. I’m sure that other users will come up with items as well. The important thing to consider when evaluating online accounting software is to see whether it has the features / functionality you need, and whether the items missing are something you can work around or live with.
Kashoo can’t import a General Ledger. I don’t know if any software can, but if there was some template you could use to reformat your data, then I could see this being a cool feature.
Budget. No way of tracking your budget vs. actual. Possible of course to do an export of a report and then do it in excel, but it’d be nice to have a basic budget feature for profit and loss.
QuickBooks Desktop has a nice feature where you can make calculator calculations in number fields (such as if you type in 2000-1000 into an “amount” window, it would calculate 1000 for you)
26. tracking changes / undo button
Being able to track what you are someone else has done is important for auditing / investigating how data was entered and manipulated. I use it more for the “how did this happen” so I can fix it rather than the “who did this” ability.
Another function that is good to have with software is the ability to undo a mistake or to redo something that you accidentally deleted.
The change log is a VERY neat feature of Kashoo. You can see every single thing you’ve done (and if multiple users, I’m assuming you can see who did it).
If you did something by accident, like delete a transaction, you can restore it
27. customer support
Customer support is a crucial feature for some users, especially those who are not as comfortable with software as others. I kind of default to looking at what kind of existing documentation is out there, since I don’t like waiting on support to potentially help me out.
For Kashoo, I can’t give much feedback on this, since I’ve never directly contacted support. However, I left some comments on twitter and a feature request on their forum, and did have members from Kashoo’s team contact me.
28. help / documentation
As mentioned above in the support section, I’d rather see great help / documentation than great support (although I’m sure others would have their priorities reversed). Having information that is easy to access and easy to understand is something that’s nice to have.
Kashoo help files seem easy to read and actually helpful. I like how it approaches items as if people don’t know bookkeeping and recommends the right steps for the right user (here’s how you can do it, but if unsure, contact professional – shows the pros and cons of actions)
This is an area I’ll use for questions that I have for Kashoo.
- When under SETUP > accounts, and you’re connecting to a bank feed, are you able to navigate away, or do I have to wait while the software is connecting? Also, why does the credentials window still show up after you enter your username and password. Once you enter, it would be more intuitive if it said something like “Thanks, now connecting to your bank. Don’t navigate away or your bank connection will be terminated”. Lastly, when I was able to successfully connect to my bank, it only pulled in 30 days of data and gave me no option to pull in more.
- When I was using the search feature in various areas, such as in “transactions” or the “change log”, it didn’t seem to be able to search by dollar amount. Is there any way to search by dollar amount, short of exporting the data into a spreadsheet?
30. country it’s made in
In some ways, the country where the software is made shouldn’t matter. However, I think for accounting / bookkeeping software, it matters more than other types of applications. This is because the people in their own country should (and emphasis on should) naturally design the software to fit the needs of their local tax and accounting requirements better than software made in another country. I’ve noticed this especially when it comes to taxes and payroll.
Kashoo is made in Canada.
Price is always an important factor for businesses. One thing I think you should consider is how much does it cost you to not pay for what you need. Or in other words, how much time (whether it’s your “free” time or someone’s paid time can you save by using the software).
Kashoo is free for up to 20 transactions a month. After that it is $20 monthly or $16 a month if you choose to pay annually. See Kashoo’s pricing plan here.
Right off the bat, I can’t recommend any one software that’s best for you, since every person and business has different needs. What I can recommend, is who and what kind of business this software would be good for, in my humble opinion.
At this point in time Kashoo is the only online accounting software that I’ve done in-depth review of. I’ve spent from 30 minutes to a few hours with the other software seen in my online accounting software review and comparison page. Why Kashoo first? Because out of all the software, it’s the one that I can see myself moving to from my existing QuickBooks Desktop solution.
In comparison to my initial impression of other software out there, Kashoo was simply very intuitive to move around. I didn’t read any manuals or help documentation when I was exploring the software. I simply clicked around to see if I could find out how to do what I needed to do.
Kashoo was fast to respond to my clicks, there’s nothing I hate more than sitting at my desk, waiting for something to happen (that’s why I have SSD hard drives). I mentioned this above in the interface section, but Kashoo seemed to be designed with the goal of having you click the least amount of times to get to what you needed to do.
So that’s great, Kashoo has the user interface down, it’s better than anything else I’ve seen. What about the behind-the-scenes stuff, stuff that bookkeepers and accountants would like?
I think it has everything that a bookkeeper / accountant would want. Really, a cool thing is the data export, that lets you get everything. So for bookkeepers or accountants who don’t like dealing with software can read the standardized spreadsheet that has tabs for everything like trial balance and profit & loss (although for some weird reason, you need to export the general ledger / general journal separately).
On the other hand, the data within the software itself should be easy for bookkeepers and accountants to find and work with, so hopefully it may not even be necessary for them to export data.
One thing that I can’t get is the perspective of someone who doesn’t know bookkeeping and whether they feel the interface and functionality are as user friendly and the work flow is as solid as I do.
Kashoo doesn’t have the level of automation that some software out there does. Although, I have noticed that the most automated software tends to be geared towards the one-person businesses where the owner is doing everything (and doesn’t know anything about and hates bookkeeping). If you are in fact someone in that situation, you may want software that’s more advanced in its automation features.
I think that’s ok that Kashoo doesn’t have some automation, since I feel to do your books properly, you need to verify each transaction, which means you can only automate so much. Until there is a universal standard for transmitting purchases and sales data among banks, sellers, buyers, and accounting software, I don’t think it’s going to be possible to get 100% accuracy with the current automation technology. Although, I really do wish there was some universal standard, because that would save so much data entry time and eliminate a lot of errors.
Something that QuickBooks Online (google search it, since there’s a different online version for you, depending on where you live) does better than Kashoo is remember what you’ve done before. It’s similar to the auto-fill function on phones (that occasionally gets people into trouble). The more you use it, the smarter it becomes.
If you’re doing a straight feature-to-feature comparison of Kashoo versus other online accounting software, and Kashoo (including what it can do with its integration with FreshBooks and Payment Evolution) has the features that you need, I’d go Kashoo. The user interface and workflow are simply the best I’ve seen and make me wonder why other companies are not doing it like Kashoo does. If Kashoo doesn’t have the features you need (or think you need) are there work-arounds that you can live with? I don’t think I’ve encountered any software that does everything you want or does it in the exact way you’d like it to.
I think Kashoo would be a good choice for any small business (I now use it for my books), providing it’s not missing some core functionality that you need.
Other accounting software
If you’re wondering about alternatives, I’m currently doing an online accounting software review and comparison. Currently I’ve done reviews of the following accounting software:
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