OneUp Review 2017
A full accounting package at a reasonable price, though due to its advanced functions and interface it isn't for everyone.
Last Updated: 13 Oct'16
Here at Cloudwards we’re all about making people’s lives easier through cloud-based computing. Since small businesses are people, too, we’re doing a series on browser-based accounting apps that will allow you all the benefits of being able to work from anywhere yet still have all the power traditional accounting programs offer. If you need a general primer on accounting software, read our in-depth guide: best accounting software 2017
Today, we’re talking about OneUp.
alternatives to OneUp:
This U.S. company (slogan: ‘Accounting for Small Business made Automatic’) has made it it’s mission to offer a strong, web-based program that will serve both small and large companies well. On top of that mission they also want these companies to be able to access the program easily via their phone or tablet.
Neither of these goals is particularly easy to achieve yet they have managed them well. Though sole proprietors will most likely feel a bit overwhelmed by all the options available, OneUp is perfect for medium-to large businesses as well as smaller ones where the financial side is run by someone with a good working knowledge of accounting.
As with any other accounting software, OneUp has some strengths and weaknesses that we’ll cover in this 2017 review. Hopefully, it’ll make your decision easier.
- Great interface makes the program easy to use;
- Many advanced functions make it possible to run your finances entirely by yourself;
- Great price if you only have a few users.
- Steep learning curve: you won’t be using OneUp easily without some studying;
- The many functions come with a lot of information which will be very confusing for average users.
Like most accounting programs, you get to take OneUp out for a spin during a 30-day trial period, no credit card or other information necessary. After that ends, you can choose one of five plans ranging from $9 to $169 per month.
$ 9.00 Monthly
- Full features;
$ 19 Monthly
- Full features;
$ 29 Monthly
- Full features;
$ 69 Monthly
- Full features;
$ 169 Monthly
- Full features;
All plans share the same features, the extra money is more about how many users can fit on your plan and the ability to access one-on-one chat support. If you’re new to accounting or have a feeling you’ll have questions about the program this may be something to consider signing up for.
OneUp – value for money
When compared to the rest of the playing field the ‘self’ plan is an absolute steal, even if you don’t factor in that OneUp offers more functionality than most accounting apps. If you’re on your own and you need a large range of features, nine bucks is as cheap as you’re going to get it.
If you run a medium-sized company you need to consider if you’ll need all the bells and whistles OneUp has; an alternative may be a better fit financially, especially if you’re going to have seven users or more.
Since this series of reviews focuses mainly on small businesses our main criteria are how well each program does basic tasks like invoicing, billing, etc. OneUp scores high marks in these categories and also has an excellent inventory system that will work well with small-to-medium companies that either need to regularly order parts or who physically sell their products.
Not only do users get to see exactly how much is in house, but there’s an option to set up picking lists and a receipt system to ensure that goods are on their way either to you or from you. This system is integrated with the rest of the program, saving you a lot of headache when it comes to keeping all the company’s figures straight.
Again, this won’t apply to all business owners, so let’s take a look at the things that will:
|Price||Starts from $ 9.00 per month|
Incoming revenue can be found under the ‘sales’ tab. One of the first things you notice in OneUp is that each tab has its own little mini-dashboard summarizing the most important details. It’s a nice feature but it sometimes feels like a bit of an information overload.
You can do a lot more than just invoice clients from here, there are plenty of other options ranging from sales receipts to credit memos. Invoices can also be sorted from here by either services or products, which is a great feature if you sell both. You can notice right away that you do need to have a pretty good idea of what you’re doing when using OneUp.
Invoicing made easy
Setting up an invoice is pretty self-explanatory, coming from another program it will feel a bit weird as OneUp has its own way of doing things, mainly through pop-up windows. These work well, though I did feel the occasional stab of annoyance as I would click somewhere and yet another window would show up.
Populating an invoice is as simple as clicking which contact it should go to, picking a code item it should go under and then filling out the quantity and price. You can either print it out and send it yourself or have OneUp do it for you. If you’re selling goods this information also updates your inventory.
Get paid straightaway
OneUp also offers a merchant service which is nice as all money coming in gets recorded straightaway and the program will keep track of who owes money. This service of course brings some costs with it but these are fairly standard terms, cheap even compared to some intermediaries. If you deal a lot with people that pay by credit card this could be a great option.
Oddly enough, though the program seems to assume that you have daily/hourly rates for the work you do it doesn’t have a built-in timer so you can record your time. What makes it even weirder is that users can set up projects so they can keep track of what needs to be done, yet again, no timer. It’s like the developers set everything up to facilitate a timer, then just forgot to add it.
There’s of course another side to revenue, namely those pesky bills. OneUp has called accounts payable ‘purchasing’ and it works much the same way as sales. Click on it and you’ll be greeted with a small mini-dashboard that gives you an overview of your money spent and what is due.
OneUp offers more options when it comes to bills than other programs. Not only will it track them after they’ve been entered, which is a fairly standard feature among accounting apps, but you can also get an overview that will help you plan into the future and also charts the history of any quotes you’ve given out. This is the kind of control that an advanced program can give you, though at the price of a steep learning curve.
Entering a bill will take maybe a minute, especially if you have your vendor’s contact details set up. This data then pops up straight into your general ledger, so no more worrying if this month is going to be a bad one or not; you can see straightaway if you’ll meet your targets.
As a complement to the inventory system you can enter purchase orders at this screen and keep an eye on what’s in the storehouse. With OneUp, your A/R and A/P are not just places you enter bills and invoices, they’re portals to a command center that let you control a large part of your business.
Setting up a feed from your bank account to your accounting software is a fairly standard feature now as it makes reconciliation a piece of cake. You need to be able to check if the amounts you’re entering into the system match up with what’s actually present at the bank, after all.
The problem with these feeds is that not all banks work equally well with all apps, making it a bit of a coin-toss whether you’ll be able to get them to work. Before you purchase a program you need to make sure this works well or you’re spending your money for nothing.
Taking OneUp to the bank
That being said, it may be possible that you needn’t worry too much when using OneUp as the list of banks they claim to work with it is ridiculously long. Even some of the obscure institutions that I keep on a list especially for this purpose (why, yes, I’m great at parties, why do you ask?) were in OneUp’s system. It’s pretty impressive.
If your bank doesn’t work with OneUp it’s not the end of the world: the program also allows manual entry. I have to say it’s pretty smooth, so even though it’s a chore it will be over pretty quickly.
The actual process of reconciliation is a doddle, it’s just a matter of typing some dates and amounts and then clicking the right button. If there are any discrepancies the program will look for you, though this may not always work as expected (it’s not quite that smart).
All in all, the automatization OneUp promises in its slogan definitely works as advertised.
After you record all your in- and outgoing money this data needs to be able to get over to your accountant in a way that he can get straight to work on your taxes without having to dig up stuff himself. You’re not doing this for him, mind, but rather to keep that billable time as low as possible.
Most likely, your accountant will thank you for using OneUp: not only is there an option to invite your accountant so he can find and print his reports for himself, speeding up communication, but the reports are plentiful and easy to read.
Regular users are going to be pretty happy too as the reports aren’t just for the pros, there are plenty of reports you can use to your advantage in planning your next step or just get an overview how things are going.
OneUp promises a short sign-up process and, depending on how fast you type, they deliver. They require a lot of data straight from the start, but it speeds up your overall experience so it’s a sacrifice worth making.
Once in you’re presented by a slick and sleek interface with everything in the right place and nice big letters. I like that everything is big, you don’t need to scrutinize every pixel to find what you need. There’s a short explanation of each tab and I love the tooltips: they pop up the second you mouse over one of the tabs.
Once you start clicking on the tabs you’re brought into a little mini-dashboard for each section with lots and lots of graphs and pie charts. I like it, but at the same time I can imagine it feels overwhelming to a lot of casual users. To be presented with a wall of data like that is not for everyone and could quickly turn some people off an accounting system.
OneUp pops out
My main criticism of the interface is the pop-ups. I understand it as a design choice and I’m impressed that they’re as fast as they are, but after using it for a while I just got annoyed with them, especially as a lot of them could just as easily have been replaced with drop-down menus. It’s a bit of a minor gripe, but it does obstruct the smoothness of the entire experience.
Besides that, navigation is pleasant; pages link to each other without the need of having to go to the dash each time and the contextual menu on the left will get you where you need to be with a single click. There’s no need to constantly return to the dashboard to get anywhere, which saves time.
Besides offering accounting, OneUp can also track inventory, manage workflow a little through the projects system and also acts as a CRM system for sales-oriented types. All these seem to work very well and integrate accounting functionality with other things a medium-sized business needs. If you want to do more than just keep your books, OneUp offers plenty all of it, it seems.
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If your books are a secondary concern to you, save yourself an information-overload headache and look elsewhere. This program is not meant for people that have a more laid-back approach or who’d rather spend their time doing something else than fiddle with figures.