Accounting Software iPhone Application - Xero vs Saasu vs Nominal

It's been a while since my last post and we have been very busy making changes and adding cool new features. Today I thought I can try to do two things with one post, first is share some research on some of the available iPhone application for accounting software in Australia and the 2nd is to use this to introduce our own upcoming iPhone app.

I've received quite a few questions from customers and potential customer about how they can use Nominal on the road and especially create invoices for customers when they're not at their desk. I used to say that this scenario is really more suitable for an online accounting solution where you can access your company data over a browser. (even a tiny one like the iPhone).

But there is a better solution, a dedicated mobile application makes much better use of the small screen and the unique features of the mobile device - especially an iPhone.

Let have a look at some two of the most popular online accounting providers in Australia: Saasu and Xero first. Both have been around a few years and are well liked by web savvy technology related businesses. (that's my personal feeling for it, not market research, lol)

I decided to try to give both the same simple task, use the mobile application to generate and email an invoice to a customer. The use case is clear you want be able to send this invoice out to be paid as soon as possible, might even want do it while your'e still at the job site.

The Xero start with a cool little feature that allows 

that prompts you for pin number instead of a user/password

pair - after you've added them for the firt time.

Sassu starts up at the contacts area and there is not 

company file selection, I assume that each user 

has only one company file?

You then select your company file, which was created

online before hand

Next we go to the Sales area, which is a little hard 

to distinguish from the purchases :-)

A little dashboard is displayed showing the Bank balances

as well as the number of invoices overdue/unpaid:

We see an option to select the kind of invoice we 

want to create and we go with the service invoice:

Clicking on Invoices, takes us to a similar screen:

We have to select the customer from the list so we 

click the plus to add a new customer record.

Let's click the plus button to show the new invoice screen:

The new contact form includes all the required fields 

but the text is little hard to read.

Entering the custom name on the To: field searches for existing 

customer and I am guessing that since one was not found, it will

be created, but I wasn't sure how to add details like email and 

phone yet.

Editing each field takes us to a new screen.

We want to add a new line item, with a description, quantity 

and price, a little surprised at the number formatting.

Now we need to a line item to the invoice. I've struggled 

with this a little, as there seem to be no way of adding 

new items from the App or using an item on the fly.

Next task is to select the right tax code and account related to 

our new line item, which is done by selecting from another list.

I've ended up using a pre-exisintg item and I can change 

price and quantity on this form:

Going back to the invoice record, we can see the total 

has been calculated.

The invoice is complete and we can save it now.

Trying to save invoice and email it, we hit a bit of a snag.

The error code is not really helping and trying again doesn't 

help. I did manage to do this successfully before so I guess

this is a temporary problem.

We can now view the invoice on the invoice list, but 

I there doesnt seem to be any way to print or email

this invoice from the App.  Not sure why...

As you can see both App have quite a similar functionality with Xero showing a little bit more functionlity and looks a little better although I have to say that I found it a little confusing at first, espcially with selecting and creating new cards. I'm am willing to forgive the error message - the programmer who doesn't generate any bugs in his own code can throw the first stone. (or something like that)

Let's now provide a snkea peak at the new Nominal iPhone App - it will be released in a few weeks depending how quick the Guys at Apple store will approve it.

This is the login screen, in order to obtain you login and password, you have to generate them from the Nominal desktop application.

A list of all you company data files is available for selection

The sales area is show with a list of all invoices and quotes, each has it own icon and the amounts are color coded:

Red is overdue, Orange is unpaid, and Green is paid. 

Clicking the plus button gets us to the new invoice screen:

We select the term from the list.

And continue with creating a new customer, only the name is required but we add the email as well.

The list of lines items is empty, so let's click the plus to add one:

Enter a description, select account, enter the amount and select the Tax code.

Back to the invoice which now shows the totals at the bottom.

Simply click the Email button to save the email, our server will generate the docx document and attach it to the email

You can set the receipent, subjects line or the body of the email.

Hopefully you will agree that Nominal gives up a good fight with functiuonlity and ease of use and we just got started.

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