What Cloud Accounting Software Should I Use in 2021?

Cloud Accounting Software 2021

Confused on which cloud accounting software to use for your business? We review and compare the 4 most popular platforms for you.

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 universe of options currently available so we’ve only included four of most compatible options for startups — here’s a roundup of the best accounting software in Australia for 2021.


This cloud based software markets itself as accounting made ‘beautiful’ – and it’s hard to disagree. Xero is intuitive, reliable and the easiest to use effectively. A good metaphor is to see Xero as the ‘Apple’ of the accounting platform world.

Xero uses a Tiered Pricing Structure – *$13.50/mo starter package, $26/mo standard package, $33.50 premium package (FY2021 pricing – subject to change).

*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 a 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 CRMs.

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 just the cheapest solution. Disclaimer – also Fullstack’s favourite for better bookkeeping & reporting outcomes.

Quickbooks Online (Intuit)

One of the few cloud accounting solutions that also has a compatible desktop version albeit at a higher upfront cost. A leading platform yet still prone to frequent bugs and customer support could be improved.

Quickbooks uses a Tiered Pricing Structure – $11/mo Simple Start, $18/mo Essentials, $26/mo Plus.

As seen with Quickbooks, the Simple Start package has restrictions on usage, so we would recommend Wave for this level of capability.

Quickbooks has been around for a long time and has developed a really good feature set for the online platform. Inventory & payroll are well developed but not integrated to the same extent as say Xero.

Our verdict: Perfect for non-Mac users wanting the same capabilities as Xero for marginally cheaper cost, less so if you need advanced reporting capabilities or a flawless experience with operation or customer support.


Rounded is a simple accounting platform designed specifically for sole traders and freelancers. Rather than focus on complex and advanced accounting tools that sole traders may not need, Rounded aims to simplify, automate, and streamline the accounting process.

Within the best accounting software 2021 list, Rounded takes the position of the simplest and easiest to use accounting tool with one of the most competitive pricing structures. Rounded offers two plans — $19.95/month Starter, or $24.95 Pro.

Rounded provides easy to use invoicing and quote functionality alongside expense tracking and time tracking. The invoicing functionality of Rounded includes the ability to generate customized invoices in seconds, as well as automated overdue payment reminders.

The multi-currency support offered by Rounded makes it ideal for freelancers and sole traders dealing with international platforms, while an automated tax calculation system minimizes administrative friction.

Our verdict: Rounded is ideal for sole traders and freelancers seeking a simplified, efficient accounting tool with minimal complexity. If you’re in need of a straightforward accounting tool that will take the heavy lifting out of your basic accounting needs, Rounded is one of the best options available.


NetSuite is an extremely powerful business management platform that provides extreme complexity and a slew of advanced features ideal for large corporations and businesses with complicated accounting requirements.

As the world’s number one cloud ERP solution, there’s not much NetSuite can’t do. The applications included in the NetSuite cloud tool set includes financials and enterprise resource planning, human sources, omnichannel commerce, and professional service automation.

NetSuite pricing is customized based on the specific requirements of a business, and is generally ideal for medium sized businesses, large manufacturers, and large corporations that require advanced accounting features. Generalized pricing for NetSuite products starts at a $999 per month licensing fee, with a per-user fee that starts at $99 per month.

Our verdict: The high price point of NetSuite means that it’s not ideal for small to medium enterprises that only require simple accounting functionality. International businesses or businesses that anticipate rapid scaling, however, should seriously consider NetSuite as a robust accounting platform that can establish a firm baseline for financial consistency as their enterprise grows.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to cloud accounting software, but there is no harm in trying any of the above which all offer free trial periods.
If you want a recommendation for an accounting platform that would be the best for your business please speak to your contact 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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