Accountants are fickle, trust me, I know. For the past 10 years I have used QuickBooks to manage my accounting, client’s accounting, everyone’s accounting! I liked the ease of use from an accountants view point and I like how people pay me to spend time updating their QuickBooks. It was a good arrangement. My QuickBooks was always kept up to date and it was a pretty reliable tool. Then this last tax season hit and I was swamped. As I worked to service clients the QuickBooks got pushed to the back burner and updates became scarce. When I finally resurfaced my QuickBooks was 4 months out of date and I had no clue how my business was doing. As an accountant that’s embarrassing to admit, but I buckled down and managed to reconcile my accounts and get back up to date. Then I started thinking: there has to be a better way. Luckily, there was a better way.
I had a couple clients on a variety of platforms other than QuickBooks so I started to play around with them. The number one things for me was automatic update. If it didn’t link to my bank account I didn’t touch it. I checked out QuickBooks Online (sucks), Xero (no link to Chase), and InDinero (meh). Then I came around to LessAccounting. Smooth simple and available via iPhone app. How could I go wrong? The best part about it is the integration into Chase and the automatic updates. Granted I still have to link transactions but that’s minor compared to creating entirely new transactions. While QuickBooks remembers prior transactions, you still need to ensure the numbers you enter are correct. And entering the numbers correctly is mildly important when you’re doing your accounting. LessAccounting on the other hand brings in the numbers automatically from your account and all you have to do is tag and explain and you’re set. Not bad. Also, their quick charts allow me to see a trend analysis of my cash flow so I can take a cash at where I stand on a daily basis.
On the downside I’d like to see a balance sheet. Without a balance sheet as anything but a service company you really can’t use LessAccounting. It also presents a problem for owners of LLC’s as they have to ensure they properly record the payments to themselves and not this to the accountant so it can be addressed properly on their tax return at the end of the year. I ran into that issue with a client and we created a separate account titled “Owners Distributions” that is backed out of the income statement prior to tax preparation. Also, you’re not going to be able to track inventory or fixed assets in this system as everything is immediately expensed. Last, I’d like to see better invoicing. I still haven’t embraced the invoicing in LessAccounting (I use Harvest App). The main reason is I can’t get comfortable with LessTimeSpent, the time-tracking app you have to use.
While I have my gripes, one month in I’m still a huge fan of LessAccounting. Manufacturing companies with fixed assets and companies with inventory should avoid the program but service based businesses should learn to love this web app, it really will lead to less accounting!