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Small Business

2013 Review of Kashoo


Kashoo is a Canadian based SaaS accounting software company which pitches itself as a “real, simple cloud accounting solution for small business, with anytime, anywhere access via your iPad or Web Browser.” The product has a strong following in Canada, and is currently used by users in over 130 countries. Key features include a true double-entry general ledger, a permanent audit trail, simple reports, and the Kashoo “MVP” program for accounting professionals.

The name “Kashoo” is a play on words which arose from the business phrase, “are you making your nut?” (e.g. are you making money, does income exceed expenses?) This product is an easy to use tool which has traditional a double entry ledger, along with good iPad functionality.

Basic System Function: 4.5 Stars

Kashoo is a web-based tool designed to help small business owners and self employed people track their income, expenses, and cash flows. The product’s dashboard (shown in Figure 1) provides users with a snapshot of the company’s cash position, credit card balances, and net income. Users can enter most transactions without leaving this screen. All screens have a toolbar of shortcuts on the left side of the screen which offer quick access to other tasks, including reports, adjustments (journal entries), check printing, banking, add-ons, and settings.

Kashoo offers a free iPad application (no Android app as of yet), and the company’s website supports most major web browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. The product includes a single simple chart of accounts, although users can import their own chart of accounts if needed. Complex account structures to facilitate profit center reporting are not natively supported.

Core Accounting Capabilities: 4 Stars

The product has a limited, but functional, set of basic reports, including accounts receivable aging, accounts payable aging, profit and loss, balance sheet, trial balance, transactions (general ledger), and a good audit trail report. Report customization is not supported, and third party report writers (e.g. Crystal Reports) cannot access company data.

Sales tax and value added tax (GST/HST/PST) calculations are supported from within the product, and users can withhold more than one sales tax rate on a single transaction (e.g. state, county, and local rates) and prepare reports for use when preparing sales tax returns. Integrated payroll is available as an add-on service for Canadian customers, but is not yet available for U.S. companies. The product is available only in English, and there are foreign localizations only for the U.S. and Canada.

Kashoo has extensive support for multiple currencies, and allows users to select from a list of supported currencies at setup. Transactions can be recorded in any of the selected currencies, and will be automatically translated into the reporting currency based on exchange rate tables maintained on the company’s servers.

Invoices can be sent via e-mail from the product, or can be downloaded as PDF files and printed. Mail merge of customer reminder letters is not supported, although there are third party integrations which make it possible for users to market to customers and prospects using the MailChimp e-mail marketing service.

Vendors and bills can be managed with the system, and check printing is supported using a special three-part check format. Users cannot initiate payments to customers from within the product, but instead must initiate these transactions using external bank or payment service websites.

Companies are limited to 20 users for simplicity, but this restriction can be removed upon request to permit an unlimited number of simultaneous users.

Day to Day Operations: 4 Stars

The company offers very few integrations to third party applications for business management tasks like customer relationship management, point of sale, shopping carts, online bill payment, or transfer of funds from within the application. Kashoo has an integration to FreshBooks which allows users to download their Freshbooks transactions into a company file. The product is designed primarily for small service businesses, and project profitability/management and inventory accounting are not supported.

Although Kashoo offers direct download as well as manual import of transactions from financial institutions, the product does not offer rule sets to automate the classification of transactions based on rule sets. Each transaction imported must be manually classified in a bank reconciliation screen before it can be imported into the application.

The company’s servers are based in the U.S. with a major hosting company, and users can easily download backups of all of their data in a range of formats (CSV, Excel, XML) for free. Although the hosting facility has multiple redundant power supplies and internet connections, Kashoo has a secondary data center in a different region of the U.S. configured as a “hot site” so that they can be back up in a few hours if a catastrophic event took the primary data center offline.

Management Features: 4 Stars

Inventory is not supported by Kashoo, and there are no direct integrations for supported point of sale (POS) systems, although users could manually import POS transactions using the bank import feature if desired.

Users can switch between multiple companies by clicking on a drop-down box in the upper left hand corner of the screen, but there are no tools for recording transactions in multiple companies or for reporting combined or consolidated financial statements.

Integration and Import/Export: 4.5 Stars

Most standing data (customers, vendors, trial balance) can be imported from excel or comma delimited files. Bank and credit card transactions can be imported automatically into Kashoo from most financial institutions using the Yodlee secure financial data transfer service (no additional charge). Users can also elect to import transactions using export files provided by financial institutions, including CSV, QIF, OFX, QFX, QBO, and Microsoft Excel files. The application has strong integration with FreshBooks, and is accessible using custom-written programs through an open application program interface (API).

Kashoo’s iPad application (shown in Figure 2) permits users to sync their data from Kashoo, make changes off-line through the app, and then synchronize the offline changes with Kashoo’s servers when a connection is available.

Help and Support: 4 Stars

Users are presented with video training clips and links to articles which teach users how to effectively use the system. Different clips and articles are presented based on the features accessed by that user in previous sessions. Support all based in North America, and is available from 6AM to 5PM Pacific Time via e-mail, telephone (1-888-520-5274), or by posting questions to the company’s Facebook page or on Twitter (@KashooOnline).

Most of the company’s support representatives have a financial background, including a CPA based on the East Coast of the U.S. Members of Kashoo’s MVP program for accounting professionals receive expedited support and have a special support line which allows them to directly access functional area experts (e.g. sales tax, banking) without first working with a general tech support representative.

Summary & Pricing

Kashoo is $20/month to the public ($16/month if paid annually in advance) and $12.99/month to Kashoo MVP Accountants Program Members. Kashoo offers a MVP program for accounting professionals who serve multiple clients. Members receive training, discounts, and preferred access to support in a wide range of functional areas.

2013 Overall Rating: 4.25 Stars

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