14 Best Small Business Accounting Software of 2023
Keeping track of your business revenue and expenses is not an easy affair. Fortunately, there is multiple accounting software at affordable prices to enable you to focus on expanding your business.
Accounting software provides a clear understanding of your finances and prepares you for the stressful tax season. There are two factors that you need to consider before selecting your accounting software:
- Your business industry
- The number of your employees
Accounting software covers a range of features and price tags to match your needs to grow your business. With numerous options on the market, we have prepared a guide of the best 13 accounting software to help you choose which one suits your needs most.
Let’s dive in!
Best Accounting Software for Small Business
Powerful ERP accounting software; Financial management; Automated Inventory features; eCommerce tools; CRM. Most suited for medium to large enterprises.
NetSuite is a powerful cloud-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software that helps large businesses to automate their processes for fast-growing performances. Due to the powerful and large range of services provided, the plans are scalable according to your growth rate.
The software supports a system of several integrated applications to help you manage your business. Several aspects of your company will be automated including finances, project management and even CRM.
Its accounting tools span essential features such as invoicing and expense tracking to global accounting and risk compliance. NetSuite has several outstanding tools that are worth mentioning.
- Global accounting: this tool supports international regulations and compliance for worldwide enterprises.
- Pricing and Discounts: you can set up multiple price levels for your items with specific prices based on currencies. The feature also analyzes your transaction gross profit.
- Sales order and returns: a dashboard is provided to visualize the entire process from approving orders to managing returns.
- Product data: if you are creating your own product, from research to design management, this tool is a database for your employees.
- Revenue recognition: you can set up your requirements to record your revenue and not when related cash is received.
- Risk and compliance: the software highlights any risk issues and regulatory issues
- Payroll management: you can manage the wages of your employees according to multi-jurisdiction taxes and deductions or benefits.
With NetSuite, you can also customize your workflow with its multi-layered functionality and integrations. With its small business package, you can manage all aspects of your business in one system only.
Additionally, NetSuite has several pricing programs that differ according to the size of your company also called ‘suite’ or your job function in the company, e.g. CEO, Director of operations.
NetSuite differs in its monthly plans compared to other accounting software. If you are interested in a small business package, then the NetSuite SuiteSuccess Starter Edition is perfect for you.
There is no fixed pricing for the package as NetSuite provides customized pricing according to the size of your business, your location and how many users you will need. You will obtain the license at $999 for a one-time fee and pay $99 per user each month.
- Customizable Workflow
- Highly flexible software
- Automated features
- Industry-specific tools
- Global Business management
- Solid customer support
- Real-time data
- Expensive subscription
- Additional payment for advanced modules
- Advanced software for beginners
- Complex and sophisticated interface
Ideal for service-based businesses. Well-rounded features; unlimited invoices; unlimited estimates; affordable prices.
With its cloud-based and intuitive accounting features, Freshbooks is the best accounting software for self-employed, small, and medium businesses (SMBs).
Freshbooks allows you to create invoices, track time, and receive payment. The website has updated the features of double-entry accounting forms and standard bookkeeping.
With the newly designed “Chart of Accounts” and “General Ledger Accounts,” you get a more detailed analysis of your business’s performance. For our beginners, a Chart of Accounts is a list that contains all your company’s accounts. However, a General Ledger includes information on your company’s accounts.
Freshbooks also provides other accounting features such as “Other Income” and “Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)” to understand the expenses you make when producing your products. With essential features like “Bank Reconciliation,” “Trial Balance,” and “Balance Sheet,” you have various options to classify and divide your finances for a better organization.
With high sales and orders, it might be a challenging task to keep track of your inventory. Fortunately, Freshbooks comes in handy with its all-in-one inventory tracker. The feature offers a manager user, automatic mileage tracking and checkout links. The inventory options cater to a range of industries, from contractors to managers.
FreshBooks has an effective dashboard enabling you to have a quick overview of your company’s financial status. With its five charts, the “Outstanding Revenue” shows clients who are behind payments and who have not paid at all. The “Total Profit,” also accessible from the dashboard, provides real-time information about your company’s performance.
Receiving customers’ payments is much easier using the payment tool, with a transaction fee of 2.9% + 30 cents. The software also has an “Add Tax” that helps you add sales taxes to your invoices and payments. To help you fill your taxes, FreshBooks has a Sales Tax Summary Report with detailed transactions.
The system also provides better project management compared to other accounting software. If you have a manager or admin account, you can add an external client to the software for collaboration and payments. The feature offers two billing options, namely hourly or a flat rate.
Now you can also access Freshbooks through its mobile app available for both Android and iOS wherever you are. However, not all features are available on the app compared to the main site. Only the basic charts such as Outstanding Revenue, Total Profit and Total Spending are offered.
Freshbook offers a 60% discount for six months along with a 10% off on its yearly billing options. Moreover, you can also use the 30-day free trial to test their features but the renewal prices after the discounts are steep.
Available at $15/month, the Lite plan enables you to bill a maximum of 5 clients, while the Plus Plan at $25/month bills 50 clients.
The Premium tier at $50/month bills up to 500 clients for midsize businesses. Custom pricing is also provided for high-volume enterprises for more than 500 clients.
- Double-entry accounting
- Inventory Tracking
- Payment and Tax features
- Detailed client records
- Minimal help when setting up
- Limited customization of invoices
- Mobile app lacks site features
Perfect for micro-businesses. Robust account reconciliation; advanced project tracking.
With its simplified standard accounting process, you can skillfully navigate Xero for account reconciliation, sales, and project tracking. Xero has updated its software to add various features, including a “Short-Term Cash Flow” and “Business Snapshot.”
Xero provides a video tutorial that breaks down the site’s different features and tools to set up your account. The guide is simpler to follow compared to other competitors. The software also makes importing records and transactions from previous accounting software easy with its direct-conversion feature.
Moreover, the dashboard displays account balances with links to all related actions and pages needed, such as graphs for outstanding invoices and an account watch list.
Through the contact feature, you can create records and invoices for your clients and suppliers. The tool records all extensive contact information needed, along with a credit limit and blocking tool.
If the inventory is the foundation of your business, Xero provides an Inventory Asset Account that tracks your items in the background. The tool enables you to add an opening inventory balance or enter the information manually.
You also get multiple templates for every transaction, including repeated invoices, quotes, and bills. You can easily customize the templates by hiding or renaming specific fields. Xero has also updated the invoice form to auto-save your data every few seconds.
A new expense-tracking feature was created for more accurate tracking and recording of your expenses with detailed descriptions. However, the expense forms lack a payment method or account and sales tax section.
When you use the advanced Sales Tax feature, the sales rates are automatically added depending on the customer’s location. Using rates from Avalara, an integrated app in Xero, you can be sure that your tax data are accurate.
Also, you can easily track your projects with the simple project management tool specially designed for small businesses. Each project can be assigned to your contacts with added deadlines and estimated budgets. Time entries, document expenses, and timed invoices can be configured for easier management.
Communication with your clients is crucial. Therefore, Xero has an innovative online sales transaction that enables you to have real-time communication with your clients.
Additionally, to respond to the financial crisis caused by the pandemic, Xero created a Short-Term cash flow feature that estimates your future bills and invoices.
If accounting features are daunting for you, fear not. You can access step-by-step guides and tutorials that explain how the tools and features provided function. However, Xero customer support is only available through email.
With its mobile app available for Android and iOS, you can easily navigate your dashboard and add invoices on your phone. A second app called Xero Expenses is offered for businesses to submit reimbursable expenses. If your company has various fees, you can take a picture of the receipts using your phone and Xero automatically adds them to the expense forms.
Xero offers a 30-day trial on all of its three plans to test out their features.
At $11/month, the Early plan offers 20 invoices and quotes, five bills, and unlimited bank transactions.
Available at $32/month, the Growing plan offers unlimited invoices, bills, and quotes. However, at $62/month, the Established plan is the only plan that provides multiple currency features.
- User-friendly dashboard
- Easy setup process
- Interaction with customers in real-time
- Project tracking
- Inventory feature
- No phone or live chat support
- Mobile apps features are limited
- No reorder option in inventory
- Invoice forms need labeled icons
Perfect for emerging businesses with small budgets; user-friendly dashboard; excellent management tools.
The free accounting software beats all competitors with its price. While Wave Accounting has a limited range of features, the free invoice and unlimited expense tracking make it ideal for freelancers and small businesses on a budget.
Wave Accounting offers only one monthly plan that includes all features the software provides. The unlimited credit card and bank account connections, along with expense tracking, are a perfect way to highlight your monthly revenue and are all for free.
With its valuable prompts and intuitive interface, you will have no problem setting up your account. Besides, Wave Accounting has a clean and efficient dashboard that enables you to perform double-entry accounts. If you do not have a background in accounting and finances, the user-friendly interface will guide you to different tools and functions.
Various integrations are offered on your Wave account, like Google Sheets and Etsy. More than 1,500+ apps can be integrated through Zapier support, a software that syncs all your apps.
However, Wave Accounting provides a less detailed template than some competitors. The product and service records are also basic as you can only enter the name, description, and sales tax data.
Wace accounting makes up for its limited templates with an advanced transaction tool. A transaction table classifies and lists all your transactions according to the date, description, amount, and category. There is also a checkmark tool where you can verify if the transactions are correct or complete.
If you have a scalable small business, Wave Accounting is not for you. There are neither inventory management nor dedicated time-tracking features like FreshBooks. While the integrated payroll feature automatically calculates your taxes, you will have to file and pay them manually.
However, the software makes creating invoices easy by adding new customers or items to the list, but no discounts can be added for now. Yet, you can modify the time zones for your customers to ensure that invoices are sent at the right time. Estimates can also be converted into invoices later after the expiry date.
Despite providing basic reports such as Balance sheets and Cash Flow, Wave Accounting contains a limited category of reports compared to its competitors.
Additionally, Wave Accounting has a mobile app that contains simple features such as creating invoices and accepting payments. You can also download a second app called Receipts by Wave that includes OCR technology to transcribe your receipts in your account’s expenses section. However, Receipts by Wave is only available on iOS.
Wave Accounting provides a free monthly plan for its accounting features but charges a small transaction fee of 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. If you are interested in the payroll feature, it is available at $35/month with tax features or $20/month without any tax tools.
While Wave is perfect for micro-businesses and freelancers, growing small businesses may feel restricted with the lack of advanced features.
- Free accounting software
- Double-entry standards
- Unlimited invoices
- Simple and clean interface
- Multi-Currency support
- Simple record templates only
- Limited invoice customization
- No time-tracking features
- Missing features in mobile app
5. Zoho Books
Powerful automated accounting software; excellent for eCommerce businesses; attractive prices.
Zoho Books is easy-to-use and flexible accounting software that provides various features for standard bookkeeping. Zoho Books is perfect for small businesses in the growing phase that need more advanced features.
Zoho Books has updated its software to offer vendor portals, customer portals, and staff hour cost tracking to better manage your business. With its budgeting tools and bulk bill payment features, you can now have a firmer grip on your finances.
However, if you are outside the U.S., you do not have access to the payroll feature. The payroll system on Zoho Books is only available for businesses in certain states, namely California, New York, and Texas.
Zoho Books supports you in your account’s set up through its setup guide with tutorials and instructions despite the payroll drawback. Along with its setup support, Zoho Books has an excellent user-friendly dashboard. Graphs, account balances, and project status are displayed on the dashboard for a quick overview.
Additionally, records for customers and vendors are very detailed and customized with reporting tags and remarks. You can add up to 46 custom fields to the records, which is a first among accounting software. A small dashboard pops up from the main dashboard for each customer to add a timeline and audit trail.
You will be happy to know that Zoho Books has an advanced Inventory management feature compared to some competitors. You can easily record standard fields such as selling prices and purchase descriptions, along with opening stocks and preferred vendors.
In addition, you have access to a large variety of transaction forms such as retainer invoices and delivery notes. Shipping charges, discounts, and sales taxes can also be added to invoices for a more detailed transaction.
An automated workflow feature enables you to create multi-segment formulas to facilitate the task of your employees. For example, you can create an email alert that notifies your sales manager that your target amount was achieved.
Also, with the new project management tool, you can add a name, a billable customer and choose the payment method that you prefer. Detailed information such as the budget, additional users, and individual tasks may also be input in the project record. You can choose options such as requiring the signature of your clients or project managers if needed.
Zoho Books has a mobile app that is an excellent tool for on-the-go business owners. It provides a multi-screen dashboard that displays Cash Flow and Total Receivables. Contact records feature remembers clients’ contact information and their balance while letting you call, message, or email the person.
Zoho Books offers a 14-day trial to test the plans and their features, while the yearly subscription provides a two months discount for all plans available.
At $9/month, the Basic plan offers 50 contacts, one accountant user, and five automated workflows.
The Standard Plan provides a higher tier plan with add bills, vendor credits, multilevel purchase approvals, and Twilio integration (allows you to send automated text messages to your customers).
At the premium level, the Professional plan, $29/month, offers unlimited contacts and users along with ten automated workflows.
- Automated accounting tasks
- Interaction with customers through client portal
- Powerful and comprehensive interface
- Payments can be scheduled and planned
- Phone customer support
- Not suitable for growing businesses with more than 5,000 transactions per month
- Payment fee is for one organization only.
Hybrid accounting software; hard-drive software with Microsoft 365; cloud features. Ideal for businesses who prefer desktop tools with cloud-backup.
Located in the UK, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is ideal for small businesses that need a quick and straightforward solution. Through the accounting software, you can easily tackle any accounting problems with its simplified and cloud-based features.
In case of no internet connection, Sage Business Accounting Software has an app for both iOS and Android users for 24/7 access to their accounts. The software targets businesses that do not need time tracking and project management features.
With its user-friendly interface, you can easily create and send invoices to your clients while managing your company’s bookkeeping. Since it is a hybrid, you can access Sage Business Cloud Accounting via your computer, phone, or tablet using the cloud features.
The software is straightforward and rudimentary but offers excellent functionality. For beginners, Sage Business Cloud Accounting has a Get Started guide that prompts you to understand different dashboard features.
The dashboard summarizes your finances, ranging from important sales and expenses reports to a Cash Flow Forecast. Each feature comes with a chart that gives a quick overview of your business performance.
However, Sage Business Cloud Accounting does not have an advanced invoicing feature as compared to its competitors. With basic templates and little customization, you can only create invoices for products or services. If you need recurring invoices, you will have to duplicate a past invoice which can be time-consuming.
Yet, Sage Business Cloud Accounting makes up for the lack of invoice options with a fantastic customer contact management feature. The tool enables you to create credit limits for your customers, add tax rates and send customer statements.
On the other hand, you can directly connect your bank to the software when using the expense tracking tool. Bank reconciliation is also easy as the software compares your cash balance to your bank statement’s corresponding amount. Likewise, Sage Business Cloud Accounting detects if there has been any cash manipulation or fraud.
Another plus is the inventory feature provided. While being advanced, the inventory tool is still user-friendly, even if you are an amateur in the financial industry. You can add inventory or non-inventory products, services, and detailed information such as barcodes and vendors to your database.
With the software, you can also have 20+ reports that span basic accounting reports and customized ones. Besides, creating journal entries is easy, though you cannot adjust them once started. If needed, you can add attachments to the entries for more details.
If you find tax season stressful, as we do, you will significantly enjoy the Sales tax rate feature. Sage Business Accounting Cloud provides unlimited sales tax rates according to different state State policies.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers only two pricing plans. The Basic plan, at 10/month, is limited to invoices, expense tracking, live bank feeds, contact management, and one user account.
In contrast, the Premium plan, priced at $25/month, provides advanced accounting features, including inventory management, cash flow forecasts, and unlimited users.
- Simple and easy to navigate
- 40 integrations on Sage Marketplace
- Knowledge base for instructions and tutorial
- Payroll feature
- Smart Bank reconciliation
- Cannot create recurring invoices
- No scheduling of automatic payments
- Cannot track billable hours
- Cannot purchase orders
Fast and straightforward accounting software. Excellent for small businesses that do not need inventory tracking or time-billing tools.
Kashoo is an attractive accounting software for small businesses ready to automate their finances. With amazing customer support, accessible through email, live chats, and phone calls, Kashoo comes at competitive prices.
Unlike other accounting software, Kashoo does not provide a setup wizard to guide you in your account’s launch. But, all you need to set up your account are your company’s information, your financial institutions, customers’ and supplier’s contact and your products.
Moreover, the dashboard and navigational tools are very clear and compelling. Most sites provide a quick overview. Kashoo designed its dashboard as a working screen. The dashboard contains features such as incomes, expenses, and account balances.
Since Kashoo mainly revolves around transactions, the forms are attractive and clean but not as detailed as competitors. You can include invoices, bill pages, or credit remittances in the transaction forms. Downloads of transaction forms are supported in Excel, HTML, or PDF if you need a backup.
Journal entries, the foundation of accounting, are an easy step when using Kashoo. You only need to provide some basic information for new entries. Another plus is the warning message that notifies you if the credit and debit totals are not balanced.
Since Kashoo already has features like bills pay and unpaid invoices, the system does not provide detailed reports. You only get standard financial statements that accounting professionals use. To back up your reports, you can export them as Excel, CSV, HTML, or Google Sheets.
Unfortunately, Kashoo mobile app does not cater to Android apps. But, their iOS version provides a simple dashboard with most features available on a desktop. The only vital features missing are the lists of clients, projects, and merchants.
Besides, the new update now allows users to toggle between the two versions without changing their data. The final version includes a standard dashboard for a quick overview, sales tax management, and custom reports.
An important feature is customer support, especially when you are dealing with your finances. Kashoo offers telephone support, live chats, and email support. iOS users may also access the customer support team through the app via chat and emails.
However, advanced features such as multi-currency, inventory, and sales tax tracking are not as efficient and developed as other competitors. Also, Kashoo works best with connected bank accounts to the software. Manual transactions are very slow and heavily impact the accounting features.
Kashoo has two targeted audiences, micro-businesses, and small businesses. Another branch under Kashoo called Truly Small Business offers free invoices and basic accounting tools for micro-businesses or startup businesses.
However, Kashoo itself only provides one monthly plan at $30/month. The plan contains both basic and advanced features such as inventory management and project tracking. You can even benefit from the 14-day free trial to test out the accounting software.
- Simple and accurate bookkeeping
- Up to 5000 banks for bank reconciliation
- Cloud-based software
- Efficient mobile app
- Automatic backups and advanced encryption
- Real-time reports
- Not all features are available on mobile app
- Not suitable for growing small businesses
- Lacks some advanced features
Terrific accounting software; direct integration to Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. Most beneficial for entrepreneurs
GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping wanted to build a simple accounting software that would help freelancers and entrepreneurs calculate their estimated quarterly taxes. Now, the software includes powerful invoicing features and expense tracking.
The setting up process is simple with its quick guide and suggestions to customize your reports and payment methods. Yet, customer reviews recommend starting with connecting your bank account to the software first, as all your previous transactions during the last 90 days will be synced to your account. The automated download saves you time to focus on expanding your business.
As mentioned, GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping is known for its automated quarterly income tax estimates. It categorizes the reports for you. The estimates will significantly help when submitting the information to your state agencies.
The interface is designed for self-employed users. With simple language and comprehensible procedures, the home page provides a quick summary of your finances. You also get recording and tracking billable features, which are crucial for freelancers and contractors.
While using a simple interface, all areas are thoroughly broken down into sub-tabs. In fact, the dashboard turns into an open screen where you can add data about your clients, estimates, or recurring schedules for your invoices. You only need to select from drop-down lists or fill in some text boxes.
In contrast to the efficient invoice forms, GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping does not have any detailed record templates. Most transaction records only contain billing addresses and multiple contacts, while contact templates are quite generic.
However, GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping invoices are quick to make because the forms contain several customizable fields. You can even tweak the settings to add a purchase order number or a discount to your invoices. Besides tracking invoices, notifications for viewed invoices and due invoices can be easily set up in one click.
Besides, GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping also provides notifications for estimates. The feature is similar to that of invoices and lets you know when one estimate will be expiring soon. If you need recurring invoices, you can access the feature with the premium plans.
However, the main selling point for GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping is the direct connection with Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, and exchanging sales data with those sites.
GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping offers three monthly plans to cater to your specific needs. The Get Paid plan is the simplest package at $4.99/month. You get the basic accounting features, including tracking time and running reports for your business year.
The most common plan, the Essentials package, is at $9.99/month. The plan includes added connections to credit card accounts and online banks, sales tax support and data integration with Amazon, Etsy and eBay.
The Premium plan is among the most expensive plans for freelancers. However, the plan provides all features from the Essentials plan and recurring invoices.
- Affordable prices
- Efficient invoice tools and dashboard
- Simple time entries
- Direct integration with Amazon, eBay and Paypal
- Quarterly taxes estimation
- No project tracking and bill payment
- No multi currency support
- Basic client information records
All-rounded accounting platform; streamline invoicing; contracting processes. Refined for freelancers and self-employed businesses.
Bonsai is an all-rounded platform that helps you manage your time and finances for numerous projects Through automated invoices and legally-binding contracts, freelancers and contractors can store all of their important documents on the platform.
The setting up process is very simple with a simple quiz to customize your account for your business industry. You can choose from writing and design to marketing and finance. There is also an ‘Other’ option if the designated categories do not fit your business.
After the questions, you are directed to the dashboard where you can create a new proposal or contract, start an invoice and track your time. The dashboard also changes to a more detailed dashboard during project creation, including project management features.
To create your proposal, you need to upload all the details, personalize with images and your company’s logo. Bonsai can also categorize your proposals into different groups for your clients to increase upselling.
The mobile application notifies you when your client has viewed the proposal. The only downside is that your client must have the mobile app to approve the proposal in one click. Or else, the proposal is sent to your client’s email with a secure link or an electronic approval.
While the platform generates an automatic invoice when you create a contract, you can also draft an invoice independent of any contracts. All your invoices are categorized as Paid, Outstanding or Overdue. For any overdue invoices, Bonsai automatically notifies your clients of the late payment. You can also link your Stripe or Paypal account to the platform for direct payment processing.
Bonsai also offers a time-tracking feature that is integrated with its invoicing tool. Tracking your hours is done in one click, or you can manually manage your time. For any unpaid hours, Bonsai generates quick invoices to send to your client. However, the time-tracking feature is not the best available on the market since it does not provide any proof to your clients.
If you are concerned about your expenses, Bonsai has got you covered. You can connect your bank account to the platform for automatic tracking. If you do not feel comfortable with this, you can manually add your expenses to your invoices or Bonsai account. However, there are no advanced features such as receipt scanning.
Unfortunately, the mobile app only provides some basic financial reports without any customization. Also, the project management feature on the app only provides a simple overview of the project such as the tasks completed and the hours spent on the project.
Bonsai provides a free 14-day trial for both Workflow and Workflow Plus plans. Plus, their yearly billing option offers 2 free months for first time users.
The basic Workflow plan is ideal for starting freelancers at $19/month. The plan includes unlimited clients and projects, proposals, contracts, project management and time tracking features.
In contrast, the Workflow Plus provides a white-labelled client experience, client forms, workflow automation and a client portal. All these features come at a monthly price of $29.
- Straightforward setting up process
- Excellent invoice system
- Direct correlation to Paypal
- Creates contracts for projects
- Basic accounting features
- Limited language setting
- Limited personalization
Best finance platform for keeping track of your budget and for learning about financial responsibility. Ideal for starting freelancers and self-employed people.
The meaning for YNAB is You Need A Budget. YNAB is an online personal finance app that connects directly to your bank accounts. Along with educational material, YNAB helps you to assign your earnings to be either spent or saved. However, YNAB does not have any accounting features.
Since YNAB connects to your bank accounts, the platform takes security seriously. Through bank-grade encryption of your account information, you are assured that no one can steal your data. The company also has a strong policy that deletes your account if you decide to leave the platform. To access your account, YNAB has included a two-step verification for maximum security.
You can create several categories on YNAB to allocate your money to a saving or spending group. The categories can be edited later for an evolving lifestyle. The goal is to balance your finances while not overspending your hard-earned money.
You can choose a budget template that has several groups for Credit Card Payments, True Expenses and so on. A list of all previous budgets such as Cash Left Over from the previous months and Spent Last months, is also available to track your saving and spending routine.
YNAB provides a book on personal finances that explores the subject in depth. Moreover, you get help from the platform via their searchable help system, email support and free live workshops each week. All financial support to set up your financial goals and achieving financial independence is provided when using YNAB.
However, since YNAB is essentially a budgeting platform, you do not have access to any accounting features and project management that would help you as a freelancer. Tracking your income and expenses takes a different perspective when using YNAB through budgeting.
YNAB has a monthly plan that is billed and renewed each month or a yearly plan. By choosing the yearly plan, you save $59 dollars compared to the monthly plan. However, the monthly plan, at $11.99, is perfect if you just want to test out the features before settling on YNAB.
- Bank reconciliation with over 12,000 banks
- Syncs with various devices
- Expenses tracking
- Free 30-day trial
- Low cost
- Lacks accounting features
- No phone or email contacts
- No bill tracking
Efficient accounting software; automatic mileage tracking; basic bookkeeping; quarterly tax estimates. Attractive for freelancers and contractors.
Targeted for freelancers and sole proprietors, QuickBooks Self-employed is famous for its automated tracking mileage, invoices and transactions. With an exceptional user-friendly interface, QuickBooks enables you to connect your financial accounts to the software.
The tax timeline and TurboTax are two setting up tools that were designed to launch your account in a few clicks. You can then manually enter all your transactions for the last 90 days. The first step may take some time but it will all pay off when you start using the software.
QuickBooks self-employed has an efficient dashboard that gives you all important information at a glance by displaying six graphs, including the Profit and Loss and Expenses charts. You can click on the graphs to obtain the original recordkeeping entry for more details. For a quicker access, the dashboard provides links to outstanding tasks and transactions above the charts.
Since the interface is simple and intuitive, it is unlikely that you would require any assistance. However, if you do, you can talk to QB Assistant which is an interactive tool that provides any answers to your questions. If you still cannot get any answers, you can access QuickBooks Self-employed customer support through chat, email and phone calls.
Besides, QuickBooks is well known for its transaction page. While the page features your business income and spending for the last 90 days, you can also filter your data to only view a subcategory such as personal or business. Along with the filter, you can use the search bar for quicker results.
For on-the-go freelancers or contractors, you will greatly benefit from the OCR technology integrated in QuickBook Self-Employed. The software can quickly scan any receipt photos and enter the relevant details in the correct fields.
If your work includes driving and deducts the mileage expense, you can use the mileage tracking feature on the mobile app. The app will automatically track your mileage when you turn on your Location. Information from Google can also be imported to the software for an easy record.
Moreover, the mobile app is among the best apps on our list. From estimated tax reports to mileage tracking and interactive help, almost all features from the desktop version are found in the mobile app. The only tools missing are time tracking and tags. Also, you can download the app on both Android or iOS phones.
QuickBooks Self-employed uses your income and expenses data to estimate your quarterly taxes as a self-employed. The software even breaks down your business profit into Schedule C deductions and income.
However, one drawback is the lack of invoice options available. QuickBooks does not provide customization options for invoices, except for adding a logo. Besides, you only get a simple time tracking feature which is detrimental if your business is based on hourly projects.
QuickBooks provides a free 30-day trial for all of its three plans along with a 50% discount for the first three months. You can also benefit from a 10% extra discount if you choose the yearly billing method.
QuickBooks Self-Employed provides the basic functionality for starting self-employed businesses such as tracking personal and business finances, automatic mileage tracking and invoice processing. The beginner plan starts at $15/month without a discount.
The next tier is the Self-Employed Tax Bundle at $25/month. The plan offers a seamless transfer of your tax information with the Turbotax tool.
The Self-employed Live Tax Bundle, at $35/month, offers unlimited help and advice from a chartered accountant along with a final review of your finances for your business year.
- Automated system
- Tax optimized income and expenses features
- Making invoices is quick and easy
- Integrated mileage tracking
- Quarterly tax estimation
- Good support resources
- Limited accounting software
- Not scalable
- Addition charges for premium features
- High prices after discount
- No contact or product records
- No customized invoices
Cloud-based accounting software; advanced core features; managing budgets; creating multiple purchase orders.
Spendwise is an all-rounder software that allows you to manage your financial chores efficiently. The software is targeted at small to medium-sized businesses for its efficient features.
All your business activities revolve around the main dashboard. The core features of Spendwise are purchase orders, purchase orders receipts and tracking bills with dashboard providing quick access to the tools.
Spendwise designed a Quick Setup tool on the dashboard to guide you and display your progress. To start your account, you can import files into various categories for a quicker launch. The groups include expenses, purchase orders, spending and your spending budget.
Moreover, you can easily review detailed reports and contact forms. With convenience and speed at heart, Spendwise enables you to customize contact forms for a better organization.
The interface has a lightweight design that makes importing large amounts of data faster. You can choose a CSV file or upload it from your desktop to fill in all your financial details. The user-friendly interface also delivers instant access to specific categories. Moreover, the dashboard can be fully customized through a drag-and-drop tool to match your preferences.
However, Spendwise is not accounting-focused therefore, it does not offer features like double-entry bookkeeping and credit/debit balances. Moreover, the 25+ reports are geared towards highlighting your expenses instead of your accounts.
Fortunately, Spendwise has a searchable knowledge base that answers the most frequent questions with guides and FAQs. You also get access to a customer support team through a ticketing system or priority for premium members for serious matters.
Spendwise offers a two months discount for all plans if you choose the annual billing method. The Basic plan, at $9/month, provides access to 5 users total and a limit of 10 transactions per month. You also get purchase orders, invoice matching, and reporting features.
For growing small businesses, the Pro plan is best for you. Priced at $19/month, you can add up to 50 users to your plan and get unlimited transactions each month. Additional features such as multiple dashboards and workflows are also included.
The Premium plan, targeted at medium-sized businesses, includes priority support and implementation packages. You can contact Spendwise directly for the price.
- Efficient Inventory features
- Affordable prices
- Sourcing management
- Easy-to-use interface
- Purchasing features
- Limited accounting features
- Dependable on internet connection
- Difficult to set up
- Lags when updated
Easy-to-use accounting software; rich in features; customizable options; custom invoicing; vendor management
ZipBooks is an accounting software designed to accommodate all your needs as a small business owner, including freelancers and consultants. With its user-friendly interface and robust features, ZipBooks offers a large selection of time-saving tools for you.
By linking your bank accounts to the software, all previous transactions are automatically uploaded to your ZipBooks account. The software even provides double-entry accounting features for accounting beginners.
Besides the easy setup, ZipBooks has an intuitive interface for smooth navigation. You will have no difficulty in understanding how to operate the software. The navigation screen provides quick access to all main features such as invoicing, transactions and contacts.
An auto-categorization built-in algorithm is used to remember your classifying process for transactions and implements the guidelines rapidly. The algorithm significantly reduces the time to record a transaction.
You can easily manage receivable balances and overdue accounts with prompt notification from ZipBooks. Moreover, you can use the project management tool for better control over your finances and projects.
Additionally, ZipBooks provides customizable invoices where logos, payable taxes and payment methods can be included in the forms. You can even set up an invoice customer email or add a note or a message to customers via invoices,
Along with customizable invoices, you get a time-tracking feature with the timer displayed on top of the dashboard. In a few clicks, you can start and stop the time as many times needed. The feature provides a note-taking section where you can jot down notes for billing purposes.
Moreover, you have access to a selection of standard reports ranging from financial statements to accounting and tracking reports. Yet, the reports cannot be customized and have limited export options. To counteract the drawback, ZipBooks provides an intelligence reporting feature for advanced reports.
Infact, ZipBooks provides several advanced features such as a Business Health Score that analyzes your business performance. You also get a Smart Search tool that locates your vendors, customers or bills on your account for a quicker search.
ZipBooks provides four different plans that accommodate startup businesses to growing ones. All paid plans have a 30-day free trial to test out their features. ZipBooks also provides a personal bookkeeper at a steep price of $125/month.
The Starter plan is free and supports a single user. Freelancers who do not need advanced accounting features would greatly benefit from this plan. You get unlimited invoicing, customer management and connection to one bank account.
The Smarter plan is priced at $15/month and supports up to 5 users for micro-companies. The plan provides all Starter features and recurring invoices, time tracking, and automated reminders.
In contrast, the premium tiered plan, Sophisticated plan is priced at $35/month. It supports unlimited users, custom charts of accounts, shared documents and more advanced report features.
The Accountant plan is targeted to chartered accountants that need a plan for bookkeeping or accounting chores for various clients. The cost for this plan will be directly discussed with ZipBooks customer support.
- Excellent user experience
- Free version available
- Project tracking features
- Time tracking features
- Categorized invoices with tags
- Limited contact records
- No inventory tracking features
- Lacks Android version
- Limited help and customer service
- No integrated add-ons
- No payrolls
Powerful Accounting software; manages expenses; fast invoices processing; advanced tax returns. Best suited for project and service-based businesses.
Ideal for project- and service-based businesses, FreeAgent is a cloud-based accounting software known for its efficient features such as invoicing, expenses and tracking time. While it offers a US-based monthly plan, the UK and international businesses are also provided.
To launch your account, the software provides several setup pages such as linking your bank accounts and local currency. The interface is efficient with the customizable dashboard to suit your liking. On setting pages, you get email and invoice templates along with an inventory price list.
When you create estimates and invoices, you go through a two-step process. Firstly, you add the setup details, including the description and payment terms. The next step is to enter both billable and unbilled items such as timeslips and expenses. Estimates can also be converted into invoices in one click.
The advanced invoice features also enable you to schedule any automatic payment reminders for recurring invoices. With the Paypal and Stripe integrations, your customers can pay you using those payment methods. An automatic thank-you email is also sent to your clients after receiving their payments.
FreeAgent has a timer that tracks the time you spent on a project. With accurate timeslips and a few clicks, you can add your hours to the projects along with your expenses. When connecting your financial accounts to your FreeAgent account, the software downloads your transactions every day.
Besides, the smart bank reconciliation feature integrates a tool known as Guess that predicts if your bank transactions are matched to those on your FreeAgent account. You are then notified on the desktop version or through the mobile apps. Both Android and iOS versions are available to oversee your accounts wherever you are.
Moreover, FreeAgent has a high-financial and detailed report feature that provides customer sales, profit and loss reports, and balance sheets. Project management is also an amazing tool on FreeAgent. You can manage all aspects of the project including invoices, payments, time tracking and project tasks.
However, the downside of FreeAgent is its inventory feature. The tool is very basic with its price list and stock screen. You do not receive any notification when your invoices and stocks do not match. Real-time tracking is also unavailable for small businesses who want to track their products.
FreeAgent only has one plan for all small businesses for the US version. While the plan is very affordable, you may feel restricted by the lack of options. The software provides a free 30-day trial if you want to test out its features first. An additional discount is provided if you choose the annual billing option.
In addition, there are no cancellations or hidden fees if ever you decide to close your account. Priced at $24/month after the first six months, the monthly plan is accessible to unlimited users.
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface
- Ideal for small businesses
- Good expense tracking features
- Bills payable management
- Efficient invoicing and contact management
- Easy payment processing
- Tax management features
- Manual transactions using Paypal
- Customer service is very poor
- Exporting information is tricky
- Bank transactions are slow
- Limited accounting features
What Is Small Business Accounting Software?
Accounting software is designed to reduce the time that you spend on data entry by syncing your credit cards and bank accounts to the software. Small business accounting software is geared up with features that suit small businesses only. With a synced account, all your transactions are then categorized into different areas including invoicing and expenses.
Besides, good accounting software should provide all information needed in a few seconds. The dashboard organizes your data into charts and graphs for a more visual representation of your finances.
However, despite their user-friendly interface, you should have a basic foundation in accounting principles to ensure that all your financial reports are correct. If that is not the case, from our list, QuickBooks provides personal accountant services but the main drawback is the steep price that comes with their advice.
Most accounting software services are cloud-based which is convenient for 24/7 accessibility provided that you have an internet connection. Several software have also developed a mobile phone app for both Android and iOS on-the-go users.
Some accounting software have added advanced features such as quarterly tax estimates to stand out from their competitors. Moreover, accounting software services are also offering competitive prices with a rich feature monthly plan to attract more users.
Benefits of Using Accounting Software For Small Businesses
By doing your accounting reports for you, accounting software provides accurate and reliable information to grow your business. Since the accounting platforms come with many benefits, we made a list of the top ones for you.
1. Access To Your Finances Anywhere 24/7
Since most accounting software services are cloud-based, you can access your data whenever you want and from different devices. All you need is an internet connection to view all aspects of your finances in one place.
From expenses reports to project management, you can create, view or download your financial statements in a few clicks. You do not have to tell your accountant ahead of time before getting a report.
2. Facilitates Partnership
If you are a small company, all your employees have access to real-time accounting information when using accounting software. They only need an account on the platform and they get instant access to the business financial data.
Moreover, various accounting platforms now provide access to multiple users at the same time without any bugging. You can also limit access for different users to tailor their reach based on the function of your employees.
3. Efficient Automation
Most of an accountant’s daily job is repetitive and manual, including creating invoices or tracking transactions. Fortunately, repetitive accounting tasks are automated when you use accounting software.
With automated journal entries, you do not have to manually record all your transactions. All you need is to connect your bank accounts to the software. You can also schedule other advanced features such as monthly financial reports or vendor payments but note that not all accounting platforms offer the same automated features.
4. More Secure Finances
Since finances are a crucial aspect of your business, accounting software services have maxed out their resources to protect your financial information. Your data is shielded from any cyber-attacks with high-end encryption algorithms, including bank-grade encryption.
Additionally, the softwares always syncs your data for real-time accounts. Along with secure encryption, accounting software services also back up your data in their powerful clouds.
5. More Accurate Bookkeeping
Accounting softwares platforms ensure that all your financial records are organized and accurate every time. Now, you don't have to spend several hours on a balance sheet that is not balancing.
If the system detects any mistakes, it immediately notifies you and highlights the potential error. Besides, some accounting softwares even provide quarterly tax estimates for a stress-free tax season.
What Features Should I Look For In The Best Small Business Accounting Software?
Now that you know about the different accounting softwares and their benefits, it is vital that you know what features to look for before choosing your ideal software. At a bare minimum, you should be able to create invoices, know your expenses and payment methods.
1. Invoice Processing
A robust invoicing management tool is a basic feature that all accounting software should have. Look out for a variety of invoice templates for a more detailed invoice. The system should remember and organize all your clients’ data, including account numbers for smooth transactions.
You can also print and email your customers for most accounting softwares for any overdue payments. Additionally, most accounting platforms also store the pricing of a wide range of products and services, such as FreshBooks and Xero.
2. Automatic Invoices
By setting up automatic invoices, you can rest assured that your invoices are never delayed. Moreover, the software also notifies your customers with late reminders and automated statements. You get the best automatic invoicing feature with Zoho Books and Bonsai for their advanced invoicing tools.
3. Direct Payment Method
Your customers can pay their invoices directly by clicking on the button from your electronic invoice. Several systems have integrated credit card payment gateways such as Paypal and Stripe for your customers.
With those common payment portals, you are guaranteed faster processing times and more secure payments. However, their services come with a transaction fee for every payment your client makes.
Other accounting software services support Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments for U.S.-based companies. From our list, GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping, Bonsai and FreeAgent have integrated credit card processing tools in their monthly plans.
4. Purchase Orders
One of the main chores of bookkeeping is to handle your purchases and record them. The function of purchase orders may differ across all accounting softwares, from creating simple purchase orders to tracking quotes throughout the process of buying to payment.
We recommend using SpendWise for its advanced purchasing order as the system revolves around transactions and expenses.
5. Vendor Credit
Depending on your business industry, vendor credit may be a normal procedure that your company uses with its vendors. However, keeping track of all the credits requires meticulous recording and reminders.
Accounting platforms facilitate your task by automatically recording and notifying you about overdue credit. Check out Xero, Zoho Books and Sage Business Cloud Accounting for their efficient vendor credit features.
6. Automatic Payments
With automatic payment tools, you ensure that your company does not fall behind for any bank payments or direct deposits that are due. Advanced automatic payments notify you when the payments are sent and record them in their specific expense categories. You can choose between Zoho Books and Wave Accounting to have the best advanced automatic payments.
7. Quarterly Tax Estimates
Several accounting services provide quarterly tax estimates for a worry-free tax season. But, most tax estimates are based on the U.S. tax policies, such as the 1096 and 1099 IRS forms.
Unfortunately for international users, you will have to manually calculate and fill out your tax paperwork. Both QuickBooks Self-Employed and SpendWise have powerful quarterly tax estimate tools if ever you are interested.
8. Wage Schedules
If you pay your employees in different formats, such as monthly salaries, hourly pay, or part-time staff, your accounting software should have an efficient payroll feature. Moreover, the systems may also include different types of compensations and benefits like commissions, health insurance, or retirement plans.
While starting businesses may not need this feature yet, if you have a growing business, this feature may be perfect for you. Sage Business Cloud Accounting and Zoho Books provide advanced payrolls. Direct Deposit
As an essential feature, direct deposit helps you transfer your employees’ paycheck directly into their bank accounts. Since most employees now expect to have their salary transferred to their bank accounts, the system should support the scheduling of direct deposit payments. Have a look at Xero and Wave Accounting for their efficient direct deposit tools.
9. Banking Reconciliation
Bank reconciliation is especially useful if your business has several bank accounts. The accounting platforms ensure that all your information is synced with real-time data from the bank accounts.
You don’t have to log into multiple bank accounts to record your transactions as the system includes the transactions into a general ledger or a checkbook reconciliation.
We recommend FreshBooks, Kashoo and YNAB for their powerful bank reconciliation features that are connected to over 12,00 banks.
10. Large Selection Of Reports
Detailed reports for several aspects of your work are needed to understand the performance of your business along with areas to improve on. While most accounting software services provide basic reports.
The reports include Profit and Loss, Balance sheets and Expenses reports, detailed reports provide a deeper insight into your business health. Some softwares also support downloading and customization of reports, namely ZipBooks, Sage Business Accounting Software and Kashoo.
11. Inventory Management
If your business involves selling products, a good inventory management is a must-have feature for your accounting software. Real-time tracking and updates for your inventory ensure that you always know when you are low in stocks.
12. Multi-currency Support
For eCommerce business owners who usually deal with international customers, multi-currency support is the ideal feature for you. Accounting software platforms now offer multi-currency support to stand out from their competitors.
The feature allows you to get paid or make payments in different currencies with up-to-date exchange rates. In a few clicks, you can create invoices or accept payments with more than 100 currencies.
Small Business Accounting FAQ
With all the above information, we are certain that you have several questions in mind. We know that it will take time to learn the basics to navigate the accounting softwares for an accurate understanding of financial reports. But rest assured, we answered the most pertinent questions to help you in choosing the best accounting software for your business.
FreshBooks is the best accounting software for small businesses in 2021. With its affordable price and powerful accounting functionality, FreshBooks wins the title by far. The intuitive and simple interface makes it easy for both accounting beginners and experts to navigate the software.
The wide range of features provides great functionality to business owners who do not want to spend hours on solving accounting problems. Besides, service-based businesses can considerably benefit from FreshBooks’ efficient project management feature.
FreshBooks also contains more than 80 apps and integrations that provide more tools and direct connections to other business programs. These apps provide added options such as analytics, marketing, scheduling and tax estimates.
QuickBooks was initially intended for small businesses. However with time, the company has developed several packages such as QuicksBooks Online and QuickBooks Pro for enterprise-level businesses.
For small businesses and freelancers, QuickBooks Self-Employed has optimized features to cater to your needs. You can choose between three monthly packages, including the Tax Bundle, if you do not want to hire an accountant for your taxes.
In contrast, QuickBooks Online provides four plans to accommodate both small businesses and multi-person organizations. If your business is growing exponentially, you can check out their Essentials plan for more reports and additional capabilities of bill management. The Plus and Advanced monthly plans are catered for enterprises and high-volume companies who need more advanced features.
For small businesses, you can do without an accountant since your finances are still manageable with an accounting software.
Most standard accounting reports such as Profit and Loss Balances or Expenses Balances are intuitive enough to understand. Besides, most small businesses do not require in-depth statistical analysis.
However, finances can become complex very quickly with growing businesses and several detailed analytics would require statistical knowledge and mathematics background. Some accounting services provide advanced accounting reports that may require the interpretation of an accountant.
Besides, you may require the help of an accountant for advice with tax filing. Your accountant may even use their knowledge of tax laws to suggest how you can save money or free up cash flow.
Wave Accounting is the best free accounting software with its automatic bank account syncing and expense tracking. You get a variety of essential features including unlimited credit card and bank account connections, for a better grip on your finances.
With the user-friendly dashboard, you can view all your billing data, invoices or expenses at a glance. For a free accounting software, Wave provides the same range of features as some basic paid monthly plans.
It should be noted that you can also generate automatic journal entries and set up invoice billing reminders. Additionally, Wave Accounting has knowledgeable and efficient customer support available via email for any of your questions.
Most accounting software provide payroll software in their monthly plans if you pay your employees in different ways. You can also schedule their wages either monthly, bi-weekly, weekly or hourly for each employee.
FreshBooks, Xero and QuickBooks have Gusto, a payroll provider, integrated into their monthly plans. You can also choose the payroll plan from QuickBooks but the price is much steeper, at $45/month, compared to Gusto.
If you want a separate payroll software from your accounting platform, SurePayroll offers self-service plans starting at $19.99/month. The software also has a guarantee that protects you from any mishaps.
Which Small Business Accounting Software Should I Choose?
Finding the best accounting plan for your business is an important step into growing your company. Most of the accounting softwares on our list are either free or offer free trials, so you can try different systems before settling on the perfect one.
Emerging small companies may not have a large budget to spare for accounting softwares. Fear not, we recommend Wave Accounting for its free plan with high functional tools. You will not miss out on efficient accounting features, even with a small budget.
If your business is linked to online selling platforms such as Etsy, Amazon or eBay, GoDaddy Bookkeeping is the ideal software for you with its direct integration with the platforms.
For growing small businesses who require robust and user-friendly accounting tools at affordable prices, check out FreshBooks. You can even allocate discounts and barcodes to your items for an easier classification.