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Business Software

Linus Torvalds

"Software is like sex - its better when it's free."

What software do I need for my business?

If you are self employed you may want to consider using accounting software to record your business transactions.

We recognise that this type of software is not suitable for everyone but if your business needs sophisticated business modelling or forecasting, or if you have a complex VAT situation then online accounting software is probably the right way to go.

Sometimes, running the day-to-day bookkeeping software can be difficult or time consuming so engaging the services of a bookkeeper will be a good investment.

Nevertheless, most of the software packages mentioned on this page are designed with the end user in mind. Even so, they can easily be delegated to a bookkeeper or accountant to handle the day-to-day processing.

Remember, there is no requirement to use accounting software.

Often, a simple spreadsheet will be sufficient for many small businesses. This is particularly true if there are not a high volume of transactions within the business. And it is certainly possible to change systems as the business grows. We've seen many businesses start out with spreadsheet based records and eventually switch to a cloud based accounting package when it was beneficial to do so.

Need Help?

Do you need help with any of the issues discussed on this page?

If you need assistance with UK tax filing we can complete and file a return for you with all tax calculations taken care of.

We can agree a fixed fee in advance.

Contact us for details

Self Assessment Records

Details relating to tax returns and record keeping are on our Self Assessment page.

VAT Records

There are specific rules for all VAT registered businesses which describe the records to be kept. HM Revenue & Customs have a full guide on record keeping at the link below :


What are the legal requirements?

How about a spreadsheet?

If you are intending to use a spreadsheet, write your own from scratch. This will mean it does exactly what you need.

For a simple consulting business you will need to track -

     ➣  Invoices issued to customers : including the amount charged, date of issue, date of                 payment  

     ➣  Costs of the business : including the amount paid, the date of payment

If you are VAT registered it gets a little more complicated as you will need to track the output tax charged on your invoices to customers as well as the input tax incurred on your costs.

As an alternative to a DIY solution, there are commercial bookkeeping spreadsheets available. Have a look at the search link below -


A spreadsheet solution is not recommended if you are running your business through a limited company.

Cloud Accounting Solutions

Cloud bookkeeping can be a brilliant addition to your business tech stack - or it can be a complete nightmare. Accounting forums are full of tales of accountants having to complete the bookkeeping from scratch because the client had made such a mess of the entries in their cloud software.

So choose a cloud based bookkeeping package by all means. But be realistic about your abilities - and don't believe all the sales pitch.

Here are some bookkeeping software products you might consider -

For those who want to tie in to a particular firm of accountants there are many firms who offer bookkeeping services as part of their overall service package. There are also bookkeeping packages such as Crunch or Ember who have add-on accountancy services available.