by Karen McCandless
Published on 6 August 2015
Compared to other industries, retail can be pretty fast paced as it tries to keep up with consumer demand and the ever-changing world of technology. If you've spotted a gap in the market and are just starting up, it's easy to get in a mess with your accounts as you concentrate on getting your business off the ground. While that may be OK for the short term, you'll soon find that it just won't cut it in the long haul.
This was the case for Hope Gray - founder of sorority jewelry design company A-List - who ignored her finances for the first year after getting her business off the ground. Luckily Gray saw the light and got herself an accounting app, something which is a must these days. We've put together a list of the top 10 accounting apps for retail to help make this decision a little easier.
You can't escape the words multichannel and omnichannel when talking about the retail world at the moment, and this is exactly the market Brightpearl serves. A cloud-based solution specifically tailored for the retail industry, Brightpearl offers accounting functionality integrated with sales, inventory, shipping, procurement, and payments features. It also provides detailed reports that can be tailored not only according to channel, but also business unit or customer.
While Stitch Labs is more of an eCommerce and operations suite, its integration with accounting solutions such as Xero means that information flows straight from your sales solution into your accounting app. Stitch Labs updates your inventory in real time as soon as you've made a sale on your eCommerce storefront, reducing the risk of overselling.
Xero is a popular cloud-based accounting app with retailers, and it's not hard to see why. While it's got useful accounting features in buckets, one area we'd like to highlight is its integrations. Xero makes this very easy through its Marketplace, which includes more than 350 add-ons for everything from CRM to marketing to sales tools. If you're still not sold, Xero took the number two spot in GetRank - GetApp's quarterly cloud app rankings for accounting for small businesses in Q2 2015.
Another omnichannel-focused offering here from NetSuite for Retail, which - much like Brightpearl - integrates accounting and financial features with a whole host of other useful functionality, such as CRM, eCommerce, POS, merchandising, warehouse management, and business intelligence. NetSuite also took top honors in GetRank - GetApp's quarterly cloud app rankings - as the number one accounting solution for small businesses in Q2 2015.
In 2014, Zoho Books showed its commitment to providing a stellar accounting app for retailers by adding inventory management features to its cloud-based solution. The idea is to help retailers optimize their inventory across all channels by anticipating demand for products, and buying these goods accordingly to avoid overstock. Other useful features here include notifications when goods drop below a certain level; the ability to create custom price lists or markdown prices to shift stock that isn't selling, and reports that pull in all the key metrics to provide an overall picture of inventory.
Kashflow is a one-stop shop for pretty much all your accounting needs. It would take way too long to explain everything this cloud-based app offers, so here are a few highlights: it offers bank reconciliation, automatically turns your quotes into invoices, processes your payments and adds a "pay now" button onto your invoices, automates credit control meaning it will chase those invoices for you, and includes stock management and expense reporting features. What more do you need?
You might be running a small retail company now but who's to say that in a few years, it won't have taken off and become a much larger organization. If this happens, the last thing you want is to have to go through the process of looking for a new accounting solution. Again. Erply is a scalable accounting app for retailers, which looks after the needs of one-store businesses right up to enterprises. Its accounting features are integrated into its overall multichannel offering, meaning you have peace of mind that, as you grow, it will grow with you.
Quickbooks Online is so fully featured that you'll finally be able to get on top of your expenses and will no longer dread that trip to the accounts. You can sync it with your bank, manage your expenses, send invoices, see your profit and loss, and easily access your balance sheet. If that isn't enough, you can also access it on any device, and collaborate in a secure manner, not only with your team, but also with an external accountant, if you have one. Quickbooks was another superstar in our GetRank ranking, performing well in the accounting, accounts payable, and billing and invoicing categories.
Blackline deals with the automation of financial closing and reconciliation, with key features including account reconciliations, task management, transaction matching, and journal entry. It may not sound that exciting, but it's a key part of accounting for any retailer! Blackline matches one million customer transactions per minute, so it can quickly and easily account for credit cards, bank reconciliations, and more. The solution can automatically import data from bank files, ERP solutions, sub-ledgers, and POS systems.
It's important to find accounting software that takes into account a retailer's specific needs, which is exactly what Coda Financial does. Designed specifically for the retail industry and available as a SaaS app, this accounting software provides easy access to the relevant financial information your business needs to make key decisions, as well as make key decisions around your products and markets and expand both of these areas faster. It also takes into account factors such as regulations, and mergers and acquisitions.