Review: Klix Online Accounting

Wednesday Feb 11th 2009 by Wayne Kawamoto
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Klix Online uses the Internet as the ultimate office network to provide decent accounting capabilities at a reasonable price for businesses with up to 100 users.

Tossing its Web-based hat into the accounting ring, Klix Online offers small businesses a solid accounting program. Using the Web as an office network, Klix provides businesses with 24/7 functionality from any Internet-connected PC and lets multiple users share data between departments and employees – no matter where they're located geographically. Also, the IT department doesn’t have to deal with desktop programs and their persnickety networking needs.

Klix Online Accounting
Klix Online offers an intuitive screen with the requisite flowcharts that depict accounting processes and serve options, as seen here and in Figure 2.
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Klix Online adequately covers accounting basics and offers the features that small businesses use most. It provides security to manage access rights, and on the sales side, comes with capabilities to create a Web store and an interface with point-of-sale terminals. The system oversees inventory and payroll and features adequate reporting.

The company says that its system supports businesses with up to 100 users. After reviewing it, there appears to be nothing to dispute this claim.

Managing the System

Any system that shares data is only as good as its ability to define and manage access rights. After all, you don’t want someone in the warehouse viewing personnel records or using banking features when he or she shouldn’t.

The program lets you define new users in terms of their function, which, in turn, defines their access rights. For this, the application provides a generous number of predefined roles that include accountant, accounts payable, accounts receivable, banking, inventory, payroll manager, purchasing, sales, retail user and more.

You can modify roles to accommodate access to different areas, but this becomes a bit unwieldy when dealing with two employees with similar jobs but with different access needs ‑‑ a common occurrence in small businesses. Overall, the security features lack the detail of user-based access rights found in QuickBooks and Peachtree.

Adding a new user is a simple process that only takes minutes. An administrator first configures an account for a new person. The system then sends the designated person an e-mail that contains login instructions. After clicking a link, the designee is set to go.

Making Sales

Klix can build a Web-based retail store that accepts PayPal payments and comes complete with back-end accounting support. Thus, the system downloads sales data from your Klix Web store and integrates the data into your accounting system. If you already have a non-Klix Web store, you can download transactions through a manual import process.

Support for point-of-sale (POS) devices lets you centralize transactions across multiple terminals located in different stores. POS devices can execute transfers and periodically upload transactions via the Internet. Klix has its own proprietary POS system that works with cash drawers, bar code scanners and credit card readers. Both the POS and Web store features are available at extra cost.

Taking Inventory

Beyond managing inventory, the program tracks the assembly of products, which is handy for companies that package or manufacture goods. The program includes the standard reports that you would expect: profit and loss, invoices, customer and vendor balance, transaction detail and more. Integration with Microsoft Office lets you create forms in Microsoft Word and import data from other accounting applications in Excel format.

According to the company, Klix Online delivers a 99.81 percent reliability rate and protects your data through the use of firewall-protected servers and 128-bit SSL encryption technology. The company relies on uninterruptable power supplies and backup generators to maintain operation during outages, and it has smoke and flood detection and fire suppression systems to protect against physical damage.

Fast Setup

The company says that business owners can configure a complete accounting system, Web store and point-of-sale modules in as little as 45 minutes. This may be overly optimistic, and it probably assumes that you have all of the relevant data in a single place. But you can get up and running fairly quickly.

The process begins with a straightforward wizard that walks you through the setup with a series of screens that ask for business information. And it helps you to set up a Paypal account and to define sales forms with the information that you wish to display.

During the process you can add custom fields; display messages on invoices and other forms; configure sales tax and define payment terms, aging, finance charges and more.

Klix comes with a wide variety of pre-defined and customizable charts of accounts, 131 different industries in all, which helps to streamline the setup process. After selecting an industry, the program creates a detailed and relevant chart of accounts.

The Interface

Klix Online Accounting
On-screen forms allow you to easily input data into the system.
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With its rather stark logo and screens, Klix lacks the visual polish of a QuickBooks. And the promotional and instructional videos feature a robotic, computer-generated voice that is not what you would expect in a high-end system.

The main screen is intuitive and displays the requisite flow-style diagrams that outline accounting processes and serve menu options. The main screen is logically divided into two main sections: 1) “Money In,” and 2) “Money Out,” and it comes with options for handling payroll, performing banking and changing settings. Pull-down options across the top of the screen are organized under company, customer, vendor, banking, employee and reports.

Online videos (with that annoying robotic voice) offer assistance and instruction to newbies. Also, there are on-screen forms that represent their paper counterparts, for example, invoices, which allow you to easily input data - par for the course these days.

Online Versus Desktop

It’s probably not fair to compare Klix against the likes of the QuickBooks and Peachtree desktop programs. And when you look at it, Intuit’s QuickBooks Online, the software powerhouse’s own Web-based accounting system, pales against the capabilities of its namesake desktop versions by offering a drastically reduced feature set. 

At $34.95 per month, QuickBooks Online is more expensive than Klix Online, but it supports up to three users at this price (Klix would cost about $90 per month for three users). On the other hand, QuickBooks Online lacks inventory-tracking features, can’t create purchase orders, and payroll costs extra.

Pricing

Klix Online is priced at $29 per user per month. That includes support, and the company does not bind you to contracts. The Web store application costs $49 per month, and the point-of-sale costs $19 per concurrent terminal per month. You can try the full version of Klix for free during a 60-day trial period.

Wayne Kawamoto has written more than 800 articles, columns and reviews about computers, new technologies, the Internet and small businesses. Wayne has also published three books about upgrading PCs, building office networks and troubleshooting notebook computers.

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