Cloud Accounting

AccountingSuite First Look Review

Written by Greg Lam

Here’s my first look at AccountingSuite. If I had to place it on the spectrum of cloud accounting software, I’d say it falls somewhere between QuickBooks Online and Xero on the one hand and and NetSuite and Intacct on the other. It is small business software, but it’s not for the small, small business. And it’s not really for professionals and freelancers. AccountingSuite is more for businesses that have set processes and dedicated staff who handle the bookkeeping functions.

The biggest differentiator I see in software like QuickBooks Online and Xero is that more comprehensive inventory is built right into the system. There are sales and purchase orders, quotes, assemblies, warehouses, price matrixes, and so on.

Greg Lam will be presenting the sessions, Cloud Accounting Face Off and Setting Up a Paperless Accounting Flow, at Accountex 2016.

In my other cloud accounting software reviews, I’ve generally taken a structured approach and discussed every aspect in categories. This review will be a little more organic, taking you along with me as I go through the steps of setting up and using the software through a few simple reconciliation cycles.

In this review I’ll focus on the accounting aspects of AccountingSuite, not inventory or other features.

Without further ado, let’s get into my experience setting up AccountingSuite.

Setup

The first thing I noticed about AccountingSuite is that the setup seems a bit more old school, or corporate, than what I’m used to. Perhaps the software is geared more toward larger small businesses and is not even attempting to jump on the “easy to set up and use even if you’re not an accountant” bandwagon.

The Setting page looks a bit like desktop software around the turn of the century.

The Setting page looks a bit like desktop software around the turn of the century.

The screenshot above is the first page you’re shown when you get into the system. It really does remind me of setting up QuickBooks Desktop for the first time in 1998—lots of settings to get through before you even touch the system. This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise to me, as I’ve noticed that any software that has “Schedule a Demo” on its front page isn’t for the average small business owner to set up on their own.

AccountingSuite

Something more consequential I noticed is a bit of an input lag when filling in the forms. When I used the drop-down boxes there was a slight hesitation between when I clicked and when the box dropped down. Even when typing into boxes I noticed delays. (Note: as I went past the setup phase, the lag did improve and I believe the auto-save feature was what was causing the lag while setting up).

I’m glad to see multi-currency as a setup option, but I think the setup process is a bit overly complicated. There are a few too many steps and for some reason I needed to associate both a Customer Prepayments and a Vendor Prepayments account with the currency in order to add a new one. I understand having to set up certain fields, but I wonder why I had to manually do this since the A/R and A/P accounts were already pre-selected and AccountingSuite already has customer prepayment and vendor prepayment accounts that already exist that they could have associated by default.

Adding a currency is trickier than what I'm used to.

Adding a currency is trickier than what I’m used to.

You can tell the software is not aimed at the smaller end of the small business market as its General Settings contains options to specify the maximum number of decimals used for the quantity field and the option to display order indicators. These are not bad things, but simply a sign that the software is geared toward a certain level of small business.

General Settings page

General Settings page

After adjusting some more settings, I’ve confirmed that the interface does tend to require more clicks than necessary. This feels a lot like KashFlow (UK software) did before they had a major overhaul.

You’re able to import a decent number of lists and transactions, but in some circumstances you may need to contact AccountingSuite to make use of them, as mentioned in this ImportTool documentation.

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Hold, on, I just found the File menu. This is like desktop software at the turn of the century.

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Something rather unique about AccountingSuite is its use of tabs, which are found on the bottom of the page. I initially thought this was a good thing, but as you read on you’ll see my opinion changed.

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Creating customers is a bit more complicated than I’m used to, as you have to first create a main company contact, then add on addresses and contacts. This is geared toward dealing with bigger companies that have multiple contacts.

About the author

Greg Lam

Greg Lam is a passionate small business guy who loves technology and automation. He holds a BBA from Simon Fraser University, Canada. He's a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Xero Partner, and Kashoo MVP. His business interests are focused on online accounting and how it can be used to streamline and automate a company’s accounting processes. He currently lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Greg operates the Small Biz Doer website, an "Entrepreneur's Guide to Small Biz Bookkeeping." He is the author of Online Accounting Software: Finding the Right Match, published by The Sleeter Group.

Connect with Greg on Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

1 Comment

  • So AccountingSuite is not cloud accounting software. All small business owners always try to use freelancing services for their business bookkeeping. They can’t afford the In house Bookkeeping or Accountant. So its more costly. So AccountingSuite is not for all businesses.

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