Less Accounting Review
Less Accounting Introduction
Less Accounting, developed by Less Everything, was designed to simplify small business accounting. With their automatic bank downloads, quick bookkeeping schedules and tools, they want to do everything they can to ensure their customers do as little real accounting as possible. While they make a point of showing how much better they are than QuickBooks, Less Accounting doesn’t necessarily live up to their hype and their excessive prices may make them unappealing to freelancers and entrepreneurs.
A cloud accounting program that strives to simplify keeping the books.
- Third party apps
- PayPal ready
- Free 14-day trial
- 60-day money back guarantee
- Multiple currencies
- High price
- No tax assistance
- Few customization tools
- Clunky navigation and limited information online
- Payroll not included
- Very few feature differences between different accounts
- Poor mobile app
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Scoring and Rating
Accounting and Business Tasks: (Rating: 8/10)
Less Accounting does offer basic accounting, but it is important to note that they are based on cash accounting and don’t offer accrual-based accounting, which may be an issue for some businesses. While you can switch to accrual, it doesn’t have the features to accommodate that, such as entering a bill one date and paying it later.
Overall, the program lets you sync bank accounts, track expenses and income, create charts of accounts, reconcile transactions, track profits and loss, deposits, unpaid invoices, create estimates, etc. You cannot make payments to vendors from Less Accounting and they have limited tax assistance.
Invoicing: (Rating: 8/10)
You can create estimates and invoices with Less Accounting. You can customize your invoices, but there aren’t as many templates to choose from. Recurring billing isn’t possible either, but you can convert estimates into invoices. You don’t have the ability to choose the income account you want paid invoices to go to and adding more than one item to an invoice sometimes creates an error – but one you can quickly overcome. There are some great options for payments on invoices though and you can integrate your Less Accounting with PayPal to accept payments from your customers without the need for separate credit card processing or payment gateways.
The only issue is that PayPal doesn’t automatically sync nice with Less Accounting. It doesn’t match up with the paid invoice itself nor account for the fees – therefore, you will have to input them manually. This is a common issue with most accounting programs that sync with PayPal and not necessarily linked solely to Less Accounting.
Management: (Rating: 5/10)
Less Accounting lacks the management features you would expect from a software for their price and the fact that they compare themselves to other software programs (stating they are better).
For example, Less Accounting doesn’t offer inventory – a basic feature that many businesses would expect to find (especially at $54 per month). You can add items to invoices and create accounts with items, but you can’t track the physical inventory or volume on hand – QuickBooks has a cheaper monthly price and offers inventory. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Less Accounting did state they were better than QuickBooks, yet they don’t have this much needed feature and therefore we had to point that out.
The software itself is designed for companies with less than 20 employees – their competitors can handle much higher volume. Also, there is no payroll or management options what-so-ever. You can add their third party app, but this is a different software, company and you will pay them.
Other competitors have payroll options built in, including the ability to manage subcontractors and enter employee timesheets and if you need to pay employees, you pay for the add-on – not an app from someone else. You cannot create time sheets or track time from employees – so while it can manage up to 20 employees, you’re not necessarily managing them.
Ease of Use: (Rating: 7/10)
Less Accounting’s user interface and dashboards don’t have the polish and sophistication that QuickBooks and other accounting products have. Because they purposely compare themselves to QuickBooks at every turn, we must truly compare them ourselves and we find that they don’t measure up to the ease of use that QuickBooks does. The navigation system is understandable and the tool bars at the top make it easy to figure out what you are supposed to do, but when you get into a specific area (such as viewing expenses), the navigation tools disappear and leave you to your own resources – making it hard to back track out of where you just landed.
Their dashboard displays the information that other accounting programs do, but theirs is almost thinner. Their help guides are equally confusing, but they do have small question marks in each section that you can press to find more information. They will offer you a list of possible solutions and you can pick which works for you or contact support to report an issue.
While they do automate a lot of processes, Less Accounting isn’t easier to use than other programs and in some ways they are more difficult.
Access: (Rating: 7/10)
Access is a little iffy with Less Accounting. It is cloud-based, so you can access from anywhere and on any device with an internet connection, but their mobile app doesn’t necessarily work and needs updates.
You get data storage with your account and the costlier accounts come with higher amounts of storage – so that’s a bonus. They offer bank-level security too.
Less Accounting is unclear as to how many users can actually access each account and I couldn’t figure it out after hours of playing around with the software myself. Accountants can access your Less Accounting file and if they have multiple clients with Less Accounting profiles, they can manage them all from a single login. This is a nice feature since some accountants don’t need multiple accounts and logins to just manage a single program.
Taxes: (Rating: 5/10)
Taxes aren’t necessarily addressed in Less Accounting and they don’t even offer the ability to categorize tax deductions – something their competitors do. You cannot prepare taxes or file taxes with Less Accounting either.
Because they don’t offer payroll, you cannot prepare or submit 1099s or W2s and there’s no payroll tax option.
You can give an accountant access to your Less Accounting file though.
Pricing: (Rating: 7/10)
Less Accounting offers a free 14-day trial, but out of all of the accounting software products I’ve tested, they are the only one that makes you sign up for the trial with a credit card. Perhaps in the future they will offer truly free trials and not force people to input credit cards before they’re ready to commit.
They do offer a 60-day money back guarantee as well, which other programs don’t.
One thing I didn’t like with Less Accounting is their unclear pricing. They don’t readily advertise and the only way to find pricing is to sign up. Then, they don’t specify what you get for the price. So after some research, I was finally able to devise what their pricing entailed and honestly I cannot justify the expense for such little features and few upgrades. Again, because Less Accounting makes a point to compare themselves to QuickBooks, I would like to point out that their pricing is much higher and they offer fewer features for the price – something they need to look into.
Prices for Less Accounting are $20 per month for Freelancers, $30 per month for Small Business Edition and $54 per month for Super Powered Editions.
The only difference for these is how they are setup and the number of users included. Other features are the same across the board and the amount of data storage goes up for higher accounts.
Customer Service: (Rating: 8/10)
Customer support is okay with Less Accounting. They’re fairly active and quick to respond and if you really want to get their attention, you can post something on social media and they’ll get back to you. At first, Less Accounting appears to have great support documentation, but once you actually dive in, you’ll find that the documentation is more confusing than helpful.
They are available over the phone and email and the email responses are fairly quick – often less than 24 hours. There’s no live chat and the community forums aren’t as helpful as other programs.
They are not currently rated or registered with the BBB.
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Less Accounting Specifications
Regular Pricing(after intro): $20 Freelancer, $30 Small Business, $54 Super Powered
Free Trial: 14 Days
Score Based out of Total of 10
# of Users Per Account
# of Clients/Customers
# of Invoices
Basic Accounting Features
Can Import Bank Transactions
Estimates or Quotes
Converts Estimates to Invoices
Credit Card/Paypal Processing: Added Fee
eCommerce or POS Compatable
# of Built in Reports: not specified
All (Cloud Based)
Mobile Expense Tracking
Help and Support
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What Type of Business Could Use This Software?
Less Accounting is limited by way of features; therefore, they are better suited for small businesses that don’t need payroll or inventory – which may exclude quite a few potential businesses. While they do have freelancer options, these are often limited compared to other accounting software for freelancers and independent contractors.
All in all, we recommend Less Accounting to small businesses that don’t have employees and rely on professional services rather than items that must be inventoried.
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Less Accounting Pricing
14-Day Free Trial and 60-Day Money Back Guarantee
Very few feature differences between the accounts other than setup and the number of users and data storage (which Less Accounting will not specify)
Freelancer Edition starts at $20 per month.
Small Business Edition starts at $30 per month.
Super Powered Edition starts at $54 per month.
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What We Like About Less Accounting
Free Trial and 60-Day Money Back Guarantee: Less Accounting does offer a 14-day free trial, but they are the only software that I have reviewed that requires you to give them a credit card to start your free trial. They also offer a 60-day money back guarantee, which may be necessary since 14 days isn’t always enough to truly test a software program.
Can Add a Live Bookkeeper: Less Accounting does offer a live bookkeeper service that you can add on to your current subscription. It’s $30 per month or you can pay it annually. This person will help give advice, ensure your books are in order, etc. It’s a nice feature worth mentioning, but most people typically sign up for cloud accounting to avoid hiring a professional.
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What We Don't Like About Less Accounting
High Price, Too Few Features: Less Accounting comes at a high price tag ranging from $20 to $54, but they don’t include things like inventory, payroll, bills and vendor tracking, etc. These are features that their competitors (including QuickBooks) offer for a cheaper monthly price too.
Freelancer Edition Without Freelancer Tools: Less Accounting has a freelancer edition of their software, which is great, but it lacks the tools and features you would expect from a freelancer edition. For example, there is no time tracking what-so-ever and plenty of freelancers rely on hourly billing. Also, they don’t offer estimated quarterly tax calculations or anything to do with a Schedule C – something a freelancer would need.
Payroll Not Included: Being able to do payroll is rather important for large businesses and while calculating it manually is an option, when you’re paying so much per month for accounting software you would assume that it would be done for you. Less Accounting can’t handle payroll and while they integrate with a third party app, you have to pay for that app. At least their competitors offer payroll as an add-on (some include it even) and you aren’t worrying about payments to two different companies.
Spending Too Much Time Comparing to Other Programs – and Not Living Up: Normally we aren’t so harsh on companies, but when they purposely compare themselves to other programs, we do a comparison ourselves. Less Accounting goes out of their way in their marketing to put down their biggest competitor (QuickBooks) and make themselves out to be the better option. But, once you actually assess what QuickBooks has to offer in price and features to that of Less Accounting, Less Accounting doesn’t deliver and this is disappointing.
Vendors and Contacts Not Separate: This could be a pro for some or a con for others. To me, I personally prefer to see my contacts and vendors separated – so I know who is a client and who I owe money to. Less Accounting groups everyone together and doesn’t classify. Again, this is purely preference and some may find this to be a positive feature.
Poor Mobile App: Mobile access is all the rage these days and most companies offer some type of mobile access to their accounting programs. While it is true that Less Accounting has a mobile app, it should be noted that it is extremely outdated and has very poor ratings from other users. When you attempt to use it, it’s functionality is limited and cannot perform the tasks it says.
Poor Imports: When you create a Less Accounting account, they do say that you can import from QuickBooks and they are more efficient at importing data. When I attempted to do this, I encountered several technical issues and finally found that it was better to just keep the two books separate or manually input.
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Less Accounting sticks true to its name by reducing just how many tasks are associated with keeping your company's books up to date. While they lack the more advanced features, they may be ideal for small businesses and freelancers that need intuitive accounting online.
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