What is the Best Online Accounting Software?

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“Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going.” Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur

Online (cloud-based) accounting systems are designed to be used via the Internet instead of on servers at specific business locations.  The primary advantage of Internet-based systems is that there is no need for downloading software to your computers, backup, security or IT support for these applications.  Access is available from anywhere with an Internet connection.

How are Online Accounting Services Provided?

Services are provided by the online accounting software host for an annual subscription fee.  Typically, the vendor only charges for the services used by the customer.  This process is known as the Saas (Software-as-a-Service) business model.

What Services are Available?

There are literally hundreds of accounting packages available online. Most of them provide mobile apps, bank integration and many time and project management features.  Their offerings tend to grow and change quickly.  For example, the demand for clear and accurate multi-currency translation applications is increasing due to the ever-expanding global business environment in which we live.

What you need now will be very different than what you may need in only a few years.  However, the online accounting landscape will have changed dramatically by then. The best you can do is keep up with current technology with a keen eye to the future.

Which provider is best for your business?  The answer depends on what features you really need, your budget and long-term financial goals.

We think the three most effective online accounting systems today are “Intuit Quickbooks Online,” “Xero Accounting” and “Zoho Books.”  A quick review of some of their features may help you decide which one is best for your business given your current requirements.


Intuit has dominated the online accounting field for over twenty years primarily because it supports multiple locations, bundles many features and syncs with over four-hundred product integrations such as online banking.

It is simple to learn, easy to use, provides a mobile app and full customer support.  Quickbooks can be accessed seamlessly from desktops, laptops and mobile devices.  It has its own Merchant Services processing system which can save you time in reconciliations and troubleshooting.



Xero Accounting supports an unlimited number of users, payroll features are included in its standard and premium pricing tiers and it links with over five-hundred product integrations.

It is a detailed program designed especially for companies that do business internationally.  Xero supports more than one-hundred currencies in its “Large Plan.” It provides current foreign exchange rates so you can determine the best time to convert payments to optimize translations.


Zoho Books offers a great client portal; you can bill by project or tasks and it provides comprehensive, ongoing education resources.

Their program allows you to utilize many different customer payment options so you can get paid quickly.  It can also track inventory levels in real-time.  This can be a huge time and cost saver for companies that must maintain expensive inventory levels for their “Cost-of-Goods-Sold (COGS).”

How We Can Help You

Pacific Crest Group (PCG) provides professional services that keep your business focused on your critical objectives.  We provide strategic Accounting and Human Resource (HR) services created specifically to help you meet your goals. Through exemplary customer service, clearly defined policies and procedures as well as a forward-looking perspective, we provide the outsourced solutions your business needs to grow. A PCG professional is happy to meet with you to discuss solutions for your unique requirements designed to maximize all of your business opportunities.