Did you know that the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has 44 software owners and their products listed on their register? IRAS has this list to help you make sure that the software you use is able to meet their technical requirements—after all, better safe than sorry, right?
But with QuickBooks, MYOB, Xero, and Sage in Singapore on top of so many others, how do you know which one to choose for your business? Offhand, the best way to make an informed decision is to try them all out to see which one you find the easiest to use, or performs the functions that your business needs the most with the least hassle.
To save you from going through all 44 providers on the IRAS list, here’s a quick look at four of the most popular accounting software brands in Singapore to help you decide.
Get Started Quickly with QuickBooks
Famous for its financial tools such as Mint and TurboTax, Intuit scored another huge hit with its QuickBooks accounting software. Ideal for first-time entrepreneurs as well as small and medium companies, it has an easy-to-learn, easy-to-use interface which allows you to customise quotations and other documents.
QuickBooks can also be used quite readily by bigger businesses for inventory, payroll and tax management purposes. Depending on the kind of business they have, business owners can choose from three different packages which include invoicing and other accounting basics, with the higher end versions containing business-model specific features.
You’ll find it easy to get started using QuickBooks, as all you’ll have to do is key in your business and personal contact details. Scheduling invoices on a regular basis, issuing receipts, tracking expenses and processing payments are a breeze, as is keeping tabs on all your bank transactions as necessary.
Not so quick: The inventory management functionality might be a little challenging to use if you have yet to get the hang of using QuickBooks. If you do run into any difficulties, you may count on its very responsive customer support service to help you sort things out in no time.
Formerly known as MYOB, Meet ABSS
Starting out as an Australian company, MYOB back in 1991, ABSS now offers easy accounting software solutions for small and medium businesses. As MYOB, it made a name for itself as a digital accounting provider whose large size enabled it to offer competitive pricing for unlimited transactions and users.
Business owners with aggressive plans for company growth valued the software’s scalability as well as its multiple platforms and reliable, round-the-clock customer service. Designed for small and medium businesses, the more recent incarnation of ABSS provides customer relationship management, multiple currency transactions, and charts of accounts.
With ABSS, you’ll find it easy to keep track of your customers and suppliers, and create reports for profit and loss, GST and balance sheets as well as multi-level reports. The software also facilitates ledger listing, invoicing and cash position updates on top of its basic sales, purchase and inventory functionalities.
A-minuses: Managing an inventory and double-entry accounting might be particularly challenging for ABSS users, especially if your business processes are very complex and your company has a lot of different departments. And though the software allows up to 15 users at a time, having multiple users tends to slow down the internet connection.
Perfecting Payroll Processing with Sage
From its earliest beginnings in Newcastle, UK in 1981, Sage has since grown to offer its accounting, HR and payroll, business management and business intelligence solutions across Europe, North America, South Africa, Brazil, and right here in Asia.
Ideal for small businesses that need help with their payroll processing, Sage offers pricing options based on how many employees you have, and how frequently you process your payroll.
Once your staff grows to more than 10, you might consider its Full-Service package which offers add-ons such as a range of reports and functionalities for exporting your ledger.
You’ll find it easy to keep track of overtime, tardiness, and leaves, as well as view payslips and tax forms. With Sage 50, which used to be known as Peachtree, you’ll also find it convenient to be able to work even without an internet connection. On top of payroll, Sage 50 also manages invoicing, taxes, invoicing, expenses and other accounting tasks.
Less than perfect: However, getting online support should you run into any difficulties may not be so easy. Another downside to using Sage is how the Full-Service package is paid for per payroll, so the more often you process your payroll per month, the more expensive the service can be.
From Xero to One Million and Counting
Since starting up a little over 10 years ago in New Zealand, Xero now has some 1.38 million subscribers around the world. It’s easy to see why here in Singapore, for example, where Xero has made accounting easier for business owners by automatically managing UOB transactions—showing them, at a glance, information such as outstanding bills and paid-up customers.
Entrepreneurs can also use the Xero app’s dashboard on their mobile phones to send invoices, check their bank balance, take pictures of receipts and other accounting activities wherever an internet connection is available. Everything you do with Xero online is secure with its server being safeguarded by leading cloud security provider, Amazon Web Services.
Small business owners tend to gravitate toward Xero for its ease of use and robust cloud accounting capabilities, and are especially appreciative of the free 30-day trial that is offered. Larger businesses also lean toward Xero for its scalability; multiple integrations and double-entry accounting capabilities, and reliable customer support system.
Zeroing in on details: Xero does have areas for improvement such as its invoice template and rudimentary stock control feature, which users can beef up, however, with additional paid features. It may also take a while for new users to familiarise themselves with Xero, although those who use QuickBooks may be pleased to find that it offers free QuickBooks conversion.