Cloud Accounting – Which Accounting Platform


You’ve done your market research, organized potential suppliers and built your minimum viable product; but what about your accounting software?

We’ve done the hard yards in trialing out the cloud accounting solutions so you don’t have to, presuming you agree with us that cloud accounting is indeed the future.

There is a multiverse of options currently available so we’ve only included the best and most compatible options for startups.

Wave Financial (Apps)

  • Freemium pricing structure – basic version is free, add-ons like payroll and payment processing is not.
  • Live bank feeds, invoice and expense tracking, receipt scanning.
  • Very straightforward, simplified dashboard. Specifically geared towards simple small businesses, which is both its strength and weakness.
  • Once the business begins to accelerate, notable complaints include slow interface and buffering, inability to accept CC payments via Paypal and poor compatibility with other management systems such as inventory and CRM’s.

Our verdict: Perfect for simplified business accounting, poor for businesses with high growth potential.


  • Tiered pricing structure – *$25/mo starter package, $50/mo standard package, $65 premium package.
  • *The starter package comes with limited bank reconciliations and ability to enter in invoices and bills. For this reason, it would be more favourable to opt for free software such as Wave which has no such limitations on usage.
  • Xero can do all of what Wave can and more. For instance, in the case of reports for management Xero has over 52 different kinds compared to 12 from Wave.
  • The software also has extensive integrations with management systems for inventory, payments (Stripe and Paypal), bookkeeping services (Hubdoc) and CRM’s.
  • In addition to this, Xero has increased security measures including an active audit log to track user activity.
  • Negative feedback regarding Xero usually centre around the expensive price relative to its competitors and poor usability of the program on Apple/Android mobiles.

Our verdict: Perfect for small to medium-sized entities with high growth mindsets, poor for businesses looking for simplicity.


  • Tiered pricing structure – $15/mo Lite, $25/mo Plus, $50/mo Premium, $X Custom package(over 500 billable clients)
  • As above, the Lite and Plus packages have restrictions on usage, so we would recommend Wave for this level of capability.
  • Freshbooks has similar capabilities to Xero regarding software capabilities and is noted for having one of the most intuitive platforms to navigate through.
  • A negative is that Freshbooks views itself as being exclusively for self-employed (sole trader) businesses, so there may be issues regarding scalability and acceleration in the future.

Our verdict: Perfect for sole traders looking for more features than Wave, poor for companies and businesses with more requirements.

Quickbooks (Intuit)

  • Tiered pricing structure – $10/mo Simple Start, $21/mo Essentials, $25/mo Plus
  • As above, the Simple Start package has restrictions on usage, so we would recommend Wave for this level of capability.
  • Quickbooks is the leading accounting software for small businesses.
  • Similar capabilities to Freshbooks and Xero, and is noted for being very easy to setup and implement as a reliable method for tracking outstanding creditors and receivables.
  • It has been criticised in the past for needing to purchase a new copy every 3 years, and also having compatibility problems with Mac. Freshbooks and Xero have not been criticised on this basis nearly to this extent.

Our verdict: Perfect for non-Mac users wanting the same capabilities as Xero for a marginally cheaper cost, poor for Mac users who want consistent monthly pricing.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to cloud accounting software, so we implore you to do your own research before you choose. Most of the options listed have a free monthly demo that will allow you to try before you buy.

For any further questions, please speak to your contact at on the Fullstack Advisory team.

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Stuart Reynolds is the founder of Fullstack Advisory, an award-winning accounting firm for businesses leading the future. He is a 3rd generation accountant who specialises in tech & online companies.

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