Running your own business, particularly as a startup, can be time consuming, expensive and exhausting. Most startups don’t have a budget for outsourcing those every day things such as accounting, so they choose to do it in house. We approached startups who have previously featured on Startup Empire to find out what do their choice of the best account software.

While a couple of the usual suspects came up, such as Pastel, Quickbooks and Sage. Says Stuart Hearn of One Touch: “We use Quickbooks in our sister company as it is cloud based and has advanced functionality – more suited in my opinion to a larger business with more employees. We have also used Sage in the past which had a lot of flexibility and functionality, but it wasn’t cloud based.” Nikki Cochrane of Digital Mums uses Kashflow by Iris, which she believes is great for startups as it’s really easy and inexpensive to use.

One name that came up time and again, however, was Xero. Being cloud based and allowing unlimited users seems to be a big draw card. Says Stuart Hearn of One Touch: “We like it because it’s cloud-based so both directors can access it easily from any computer, as well as our accountants. It’s also very easy to use and automatically imports transactions from our bank account which makes bank reconciliation easier.” Andrew Weaver of LawyerFair started using Xero by default as a sister company was already using it, however he is also happy with the choice: “We find it a simple and intuitive tool to use as a bridge between business and accountants.” Daniel Botcherby of TubeNav also couldn’t stop singing its praises. He says it has everything that a small business could need, at a fee far more affordable than a full time accountant.

We did a little investigating ourselves to see why Xero is so popular in the startup game. It would appear that most small businesses are choosing their mid range package at £20/month. With this they get unlimited users and are able to pay bills, invoice and reconcile bank transactions. It also offers a great user interface, allowing users to intuitively find their way around the package. The fact that it is cloud based also seemed like a pulling factor, allowing anyone to access it anywhere. They also offer a ‘no credit card required’ free 30 day trial.

So there you have it. While there are a lot of options on the market, it is clear that startups are looking for simplicity, accessibility and affordability. Perhaps those bigger, well known packages can take a leaf out of Xero’s book and come up with something designed purely for the startup market. Please feel free to comment below to let us know what you think.

Disclaimer: Startup Empire is in no way affiliated with Xero.