Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Web based accounting package

These are some initial comments about the Saasu web based accounting package. The idea is that I just need a web browser and Internet access to run my business, with no special software on my computer.

After replacing my Windows XP laptop with a Linux Netbook I realised that I would need to consider what accounting software to use. Previously I had used Cashflow Manager but this runs on Microsoft Windows. There is some discussion online of it working on under Wine on Linux. But I thought I might avoid the problem by using a web based accounting package.

My consulting business has very few transactions and I only used the accounting program once a quarter when preparing a Business Activity Statement to send the Australian Tax Office my GST payments.

My accountant doesn't provide web access to their system. But they did mention there was another client using Saasu. I was sceptical, thinking this would be a US based product which would not be able to handle Australian accounting and taxation requirements. But on their front page I noticed a photo of Stephen Collins from Acidlabs recommending the product: "Saasu rocks. Have recently moved from MYOB. Would not go back. ". Normally I think these product endorsements are fictional, from non-existant people. But this is someone from here in Canberra who I know.

I signed up online for the free limited Saasu account. This allows for 15 transactions a month. I am not sure what a "transaction" is, but even if I have to pay the Saasu monthly rate, the cost of the service appears comparable to Cashflow Manager.

Signing up was not entirely straightforward. The conformation message from Saasu was trapped by my Spam filter. Then when I attempted to log in, the user id screen of Saasu kept giving "not a email address" when I attempted to enter my email address. When past that problem I was presented with two options: one for a sample set of accounts and the other to start work on my business.

Starting up the "dashboard" for my business defaulted to this financial year, correctly selected the Australian financial period. The web page has a simple menu across the top with: Dashboard, Sales, Purchases, Contacts and Reports. I selected "Purchases" then "Add". AT this point the different with Cashflow Manager becomes apparent, as this package allows for much more advanced accounting options, which Cashflow Manager was shielding me from.

A few minutes with the package has given me the confidence to try entering some data. The package seems to know about Australian requirements, such as ABNs and company numbers, as well as GST codes. I will try entering a months worth of purchases and invoices and see how much of the free 15 transactions this uses up.

1 comment:

Marc said...

Hi Tom, thanks for checking us out. A transaction is a Sale, Purchase, Pay, Journal or Transfer. We don't count payments, contacts, activities etc. There's some great insights in your post I'll mention to our Labs team. Any yes we love trib here at Saasu!
Marc(from Saasu)