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An Antidote for Accounting Blues

Put down that old, shrink-wrapped software.
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New cloud-based services are hoping to change bookkeeping habits by luring businesses with interfaces that are elegant and intuitive.

Xero, an online program with apps for iPhones, iPads, and Android phones, features a dashboard that lets you see bank balances, recent sales, and upcoming bills. You can pay bills, track expenses, reconcile bank transactions, and send invoices customized with your logo. Another bonus? You can import invoices and expenses from Web-based billing service FreshBooks. Xero, which supports double-entry accounting and 160 currencies, lets you view and share interactive reports. You can also track inventory using a third-party add-on and connect to your payroll system. Plans start at $19 a month for five invoices and 20 bank statements.

A lower-priced option, Kashoo offers many of the same features as Xero, including FreshBooks integration. The double-entry system has an iPad app and supports more than 100 currencies. It lets you pay bills, track expenses, reconcile bank transactions, and send custom invoices. You can also view financial reports and statements on your dashboard. Unlike Xero, Kashoo does not track inventory, but a payroll feature is due out this year. Free plans include 20 transactions a month. For unlimited transactions, you'll pay $16 a month, billed yearly, or $20 billed monthly.

 




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