Now that the UK is in full swing for Making Tax Digital (MTD), it’s time to choose the best accountancy software for you. So, we’ve reviewed 7 of them.

As ACCA-qualified accountants with countless years of experience, we’re well-versed in what can work and for who. For example, if you’re a sole trader with only a  few receipts in the year, you’ll only need a fairly simple software package with a super-friendly user interface. But a VAT-registered limited company will need all the bells and whistles to be compliant with the tax man. 

As we’ve reviewed these 7 accountancy software packages best for MTD, we’ve compared cost, ease of use and functionality so you don’t have to.



Monthly Cost: £28 +VAT

Ease of Use Rating: 5/5

Function Rating: 4/5

Free Trial: Yes! They’re currently offering everyone a 30-day free trial.

With Xero, you can send an unlimited number of invoices and quotes, enter your bills, connect to your bank, reconcile transactions, submit VAT returns, capture hardcopy receipts with HubDoc, create business snapshots and more. Plus, they provide a 24/7 helpdesk!

Which, if you’re a small business or sole trader, will work perfectly. In fact, Xero has recently upped their game when it comes to their online services. They’ve given their software a facelift and integrated a number of external services such as Stripe and PayPal to ensure you can do everything in one place as the MTD deadline approaches.



Monthly Cost: £78 +VAT

Ease of Use Rating: 4/5

Function Rating: 4/5

Free Trial: Yes! Sage are offering users 3 months free use.

Sage users can expect good and traditional functions provided with a modern approach. Meaning it’s great for multi-user and multi-generational businesses operating through Sage.

Their mid-range package allows you to track and send invoices, complete bank reconciliations, submit VAT returns, be MTD ready, manage CIS payments, run advanced reports, send quotes, forecast cashflow, use AutoEntry and more. One of the best parts of Sage is that you can mix-and-match to find a package that suits your business.


IRIS Kashflow

Monthly Cost: £19 +VAT

Ease of Use Rating: 2/5

Function Rating: 5/5

Free Trial: Yes! IRIS are currently hosting a 14-day free trial of Kashflow.

In this package, you can send unlimited quotes and invoices, reconcile all bank transactions, manage your VAT payments, customise your dashboard, track your mileage, operate through multi-currency means and so on. They even have a mobile app where you can use IRIS Pay. 

IRIS has a way of letting you do everything all in one place. Meaning it’s great, regardless of the size of your business and it works for your accountant, too (who may want some of the more complex features). That said, their user interface hasn’t been updated for over 6 years and it’s no longer that intuitive for the average Joe. So, these days, it’s really only useful for keeping the overheads down.



Monthly Cost: £22 +VAT

Ease of Use Rating: 5/5

Function Rating: 5/5

Free Trial: No, but they are offering a 50% discount for the first 4 months.

QuickBooks is quickly being recognised as the iOS of accounting software today. It’s used internationally for a wide range of businesses because of just how simple and intuitive it is to use on desktop and mobile devices. Plus, it’s not on the expensive side, either.

Their mid-range software package offers its users pretty much all they need. For example, the ability to be MTD ready, submits VAT returns directly to HMRC, prepare for self-assessments, manage income and expenditure, send unlimited invoices, forecast cashflow, manage bills, track employee time and have 3 users among other benefits. They’ve also got free phone and chat support on hand when you need it.



Monthly Cost: £19 +VAT for sole traders £29 +VAT for LTD companies

Ease of Use Rating: 3/5

Function Rating: 3/5

Free Trial: No, but Natwest and RBS users have free access anyway!

FreeAgent is an award-winning piece of software that is designed and owned by the Natwest group (hence the freebee for Natwest users). But it’s not necessarily got all the bells and whistles. It’s high quality but it’s not got the most innovative design; it’s quite like Sage in looks but not as user intuitive. 

The mid-range package of FreeAgent brings estimates, invoicing, expenses, projects, time tracking, payroll, banking, VAT filing, business insights (using Radar) and end-of-year filing. But, despite the high monthly cost, there really isn’t much else to it! That said, payroll is added at no extra cost when it’s usually a payable add-on for the others in our 7 accountancy software packages best for MTD.



Monthly Cost: £19 incl. VAT

Ease of Use Rating: 4/5

Function Rating: 4/5

Free Trial: Yes! Right now, there’s a 30-day free trial on.

FreshBooks is user-intuitive software that meets great functionality without the high price point. It’s almost got a mixture between IRIS Kashflow costs and Xero functionality (that’s Xero, not zero). Plus, it’s another piece of software fully HMRC-compliant. Its aim is to be a one-stop shop, so offers its users a lot of solutions

With FreshBooks’s popular pricing option, you can send invoices to up to 50 clients, track expenses, capture receipt data, send unlimited quotes, set up recurring billing and payments, create double-entry reports, invite your accountant to make changes, add your mileage, complete VAT returns and more.



Monthly Cost: £24.50 + VAT for sole traders and £41.50 +VAT for LTD comapnies

Ease of Use Rating: 4/5

Function Rating: 3/5

Free Trial: No, but they have an entirely free version!

Crunch is a new up-and-coming piece of MTD software on the accounting scene. They price themselves slightly differently from the others; they split by business type rather than features. So, each package is tailor-made to the business, making it easier for you to pick up and go. As well as this, they have an entirely free version great for tracking invoices and expenses as well as bank reconciling.

It offers professional-style accounting software with invoice abilities, expense tracking, connections to your bank account, bank reconciliation, client management tools, HMRC VAT filing, director payroll and dividend management as well as Snap App, TripCatcher and Brixx integration. Plus, they offer support from accounting experts as well as technology experts.

And that sums up all 7 accountancy software packages best for MTD. Here at Phillips & Co Accountants, we’ve used them all and Xero is securely at the top of our list. It’s great for cost, functionality, ease of use and freebies. 

If you want to learn more about integrating with Xero, we’ve actually gone a step further and become Xero Certified Advisors, meaning we can provide you with the best tips and care as you learn your new software. So, call our team today.

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