Settling on the right accounting app to use for your business is not an easy choice to make, and often, what fits one business isn’t appropriate for another. The decision process needs to come with a large helping of research and even some experimentation. A great deal of finding the right fit depends on the size of the business, cash flow, the skill level of the individual handling the accounting duties, and of course, your budget. New businesses will definitely want to spend some time with the research and experimentation phase so they can understand their needs and the differences between all the offerings. To help you find the right accounting software, we researched and analyzed dozens of options, which we’ll post below, however, first we’re going to give you what we considered our top 5 of the more popular programs, and of course, each one offers its own special features for addressing various business’ needs.
SlickPie is an online accounting software program that is tailored for smaller businesses. The software is completely online, making it accessible from almost anywhere. It offers online invoices, allowing the user to either use one of the pre-set themes or offering a program that allows users to customize the look of their invoices. Along with online invoicing, the program offers online billing and document management. Through SlickPie, users can produce financial reports to monitor business growth. The software also offers tax management services. Another plus is cost, as it is completely free.
SlickPie relies on automation, offering features that allow companies to send out automatic payment reminders and auto-invoices. SlickPie is also the only no-cost accounting program to offer automated data entry, through its tool, MagicBot.
2. QuickBooks Online
A product of Intuit, QuickBooks has long been heralded as the go-to accounting software for small businesses. Two different versions of QuickBooks exist, including an online format, as well as a licensed version. The program offers easy, online access to all of your customers, vendors, and employee records.
Any user who purchases the online version of QuickBooks has access to free customer service as well. You can test out the program through a 30-day free trial and, after the trial expires, at a minimal monthly cost.
3. Sage 50
Formally known as Sage Peachtree, Sage 50 is an accounting program commonly used by small to mid-sized businesses. The program offers accounts payable and accounts receivable services, bank reconciliation, and cash management. Users can also bill and invoice directly to customers through online services. Payroll and employee management is another feature of the program and is widely used by smaller and mid-sized businesses.
The program also allows the users to create and maintain a general business ledger. Sage comes at a monthly cost of $29.95 per month, with customer service being a part of this cost.
If you need to create and send invoices, it can be ridiculously challenging to find a small business accounting software app that matches your needs. You’ll find some solutions that excel at invoicing but offer nothing in terms of accounting solutions. Other solutions feature solid accounting services, but the invoicing tools are comically bad. It can seem nearly impossible to find that perfect middle ground. Luckily, FreshBooks made a solution that hits the sweet spot.
This software works best for project-based businesses and freelancers. Any business generating invoices frequently should consider FreshBooks. The ability to combine accounting software tools and invoicing tools is rare, but FreshBooks does the job effectively. For businesses that don’t send invoices, other accounting solutions will make more sense, but freelancers and project-based businesses will naturally be drawn to the features and affordability of FreshBooks.
Xero is a program that both small business owners and accountants utilize. This online program can be utilized through mobile devices, like Kashoo, as well as via computer.
Users can process invoices and send out billing statements directly online. These can be done through pre-set templates or custom creation. You can handle payroll, including payroll taxes through the program. Xero does also have the capability to convert data directly from QuickBooks. Over 500 tools are available to allow the user to customize the program to their company’s specific needs.
Users can also reconcile multiple bank or credit accounts. Data is offered through a single ledger, which is a feature that makes it easy for users and accountants to collaborate and work together. Xero also supports multiple currencies.
As you can see, this is not a one brush can paint all the walls kind of thing. Research your options, test what works for you, and you will find the right fit for your company. Take advantage of the free trials and demos out there, as well as reviews found all over the Web. Connect with other business owners in your line of work and see what works for them. However, most importantly, look at what features you need and what features you do not need. Line up those needs with one of the programs above, and you will find the right one for you.
Here’s a full list of accounting apps we had a look at in order to compile our picks. remember, even one of the ones below may fit your niche better than the ones we chose based solely on what you yourself identify as your list of needs.
AccountEdge – AccountEdge offers two versions of its accounting software, plus an ERP through its parent company, Priority. AccountEdge Basic helps sole proprietors automate their bookkeeping, while AccountEdge Pro is full-featured accounting software for small businesses. Both are desktop-based with a one-time fee. If you want remote access, a cloud collaboration tool is available for the Pro plan as an add-on. accountedge.com
And Co – And Co from Fiverr is free business software for freelancers that provides many of the standard services associated with accounting software, including invoicing, subscription billing, expense and time tracking, and reporting. Its app is available for both iPhone and Android phones, and it integrates with other popular applications like Stripe, PayPal, Zapier, Slack and MailChimp. and.co
Billy – Billy is attractive, basic accounting software for small service-oriented businesses. With it, you can record expenses, generate reports, and create quotes, estimates and invoices. It connects to your business bank and credit card accounts to automatically download transaction data and has a proactive reconciliation process that predicts matches. It has an iPhone app and a Chrome extension for capturing receipts. billyapp.com
CenterPoint Accounting – CenterPoint Accounting from Red Wing Software has multiple editions of its accounting software for different types of organizations, including businesses, farms, nonprofits and municipal government. It supports an unlimited number of transactions, customers, suppliers and products, and there’s no limit to the years of historical accounting data you can store. Payroll services are also available. redwingsoftware.com
CheckMark MultiLedger – CheckMark MultiLedger is desktop accounting software for small businesses. It supports up to 10 simultaneous users, and its features include A/P, A/R, bank reconciliation, commissions, general ledger, inventory, invoicing, job tracking, purchase ordering and reporting. The company offers a cloud backup add-on for a monthly fee. The company also offers 1099 software, which you can use to print or e-file tax forms. checkmark.com/multiledger
Crunched – Crunched is cloud-based accounting software designed for both new and established small businesses. With it, you can track your finances, send quotes and invoices to customers, track bills and expenses, reconcile transactions, and generate reports. The company offers its own payment processing service, which you must use if you want to accept online invoice payments, and integrates with Gusto for payroll and HR services. crunched.io
Denali – This on-premises accounting system from Cougar Mountain Software can be used by businesses of all sizes, including those with multiple locations. The software is modular, allowing you to customize it with just the features you need. Modules include payroll, inventory and POS. POS hardware and e-commerce websites are also available from this company. cougarmtn.com
FreeAgent – FreeAgent is cloud-based accounting software for small businesses, freelancers and consultants. It supports unlimited users, clients and invoices for one monthly price. Features include automatic bank feeds, recurring invoices, automated payment reminders and time tracking. It also has project management tools to help you track billable hours and expenses. freeagent.com
FreshBooks – A favorite among small business owners, FreshBooks is one of the most user-friendly, cloud-based accounting applications for nonaccountants. It makes it easy to bill clients, set up recurring invoices and automatic payment reminders, and accept online payments. Its mobile app allows you to accomplish many accounting tasks on the go, such as invoicing, time tracking and managing expenses. Read our full review here. freshbooks.com
Harvest – Harvest makes it easy to bill clients and get paid. It offers a simple platform that lets you easily track time and turn billable hours into professional invoices. You can also log expenses, take snapshots of receipts, generate reports, and connect the accounting program to Google Apps, Salesforce, Basecamp and more than 50 other business programs. getharvest.com
Hiveage – Hiveage is online invoicing software for freelancers and small businesses. It allows you to create estimates and quotes, then convert them to invoices after client acceptance. The software tracks time, expenses and mileage. It also lets you accept online payments, including recurring payments such as subscriptions. All plans support unlimited clients and invoices. hiveage.com
Kashoo – Kashoo’s online accounting software can handle your invoicing, expense tracking, and double-entry bookkeeping on your computer, iPhone and iPad. It connects to your bank accounts, accepts online invoice payments, generates reports, and offers collaboration features that let you share your books with your bookkeeper, accountant and business partners at no extra cost. kashoo.com
Less Accounting – Less Accounting is accounting software for small business owners who want to spend less time managing their finances and more time running their businesses. It automates tasks such as data entry and billing, and it has features for invoicing, tracking expenses and mileage, managing contacts, and generating reports. The company also offers bookkeeping services. lessaccounting.com
myBooks – myBooks by Zetran is affordable cloud-based accounting software for entrepreneurs and small business owners. It has enterprise-grade security and connects to your bank feeds to automatically import transactions. Your key accounting metrics are displayed as charts and graphs on the dashboard, and you can easily create attractive invoices using its built-in templates. zetran.com/mybooks/
Officewise – Formerly known as Alatus, Officewise is web-based accounting software for small businesses. It has month-to-month subscriptions and offers a free plan for very small businesses. You can use it to send quotes and invoices, manage bills and expenses, create purchase orders, track inventory, create budgets, and generate more than 50 reports. officewise.com
OneUp – OneUp is online accounting software for small businesses that’s especially well-suited for businesses with sales teams and inventory. With it, you can create and send quotes or sales orders, convert them to invoices, track bills, and manage inventory in real time. It uses AI technology to speed bank reconciliation and includes CRM tools so your sales team can use the software to follow up on leads. oneup.com
Patriot Software – Patriot Software’s online accounting system for small business owners allows you to choose between cash, modified cash or accrual accounting methods. You can invoice your customers, track payments and expenses, and generate reports such as a profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and paid and unpaid customer invoices. The company also offers payroll software. patriotsoftware.com
QuickBooks Online – QuickBooks Online from Intuit has both accounts receivable and payable features, and it can track projects and inventory, making it a great choice for nearly every business type. If you want to customize the software with additional features, you can choose from hundreds of apps that integrate with this system. For those who prefer to install software rather than use an online app, the company offers QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Enterprise. Read our full review here. quickbooks.com
Quicken Home & Business – Quicken lets you manage both your personal and business finances in one place, making it a convenient solution for very small businesses and home-based entrepreneurs who don’t need accounting software designed for larger or more established businesses. Although it’s only available for Windows, it has iOS and Android apps, and the Quicken on the Web feature allows you to access key features from any browser. quicken.com
Sage 50 Cloud Accounting – Sage 50cloud Accounting is a desktop accounting solution that automatically backs up your data to the cloud and has remote access capabilities. It integrates with Microsoft Office 365 and connects to your bank accounts to help you manage your cash flow. Features include invoicing, inventory management, expense tracking and reporting. sageintacct.com
Sage Intacct – Sage Intacct is advanced, cloud-based financial management software for midsize businesses. It automates processes and generates a wide range of reports, giving you the ability to evaluate your business’s performance from any financial angle. It integrates with Salesforce CRM and other popular business systems. Other Sage accounting products for midsize and large businesses include Sage 100cloud, Sage 300cloud, Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management and Sage Fixed Assets. sageintacct.com
SlickPie – SlickPie is online accounting software for freelancers and very small businesses. Two plans are available: The Starter plan is free, and the Pro plan carries a monthly subscription fee. Features include bank feeds, online and recurring invoicing, automatic past-due reminders, bill and expense tracking, sales tax tracking, and reporting. slickpie.com
Tipalti – Tipalti’s online accounts payable platform is designed for small and midsize businesses with 100 or more suppliers or 1099 contractors, including international ones. It estimates that it can eliminate 80 percent of your accounts payable workload by automating multiple processes, including supplier onboarding, invoice processing, tax and regulatory compliance, and account reconciliation. tipalti.com
Wave Financial – Wave’s cloud-based accounting platform is free to use and offers many of the same features as paid accounting software. It connects to your bank and credit card accounts, tracks your income and expenses, and allows you to create and send invoices, including recurring billing. Online payment and payroll services are also available from this company. Read our full review here. waveapps.com
WorkingPoint – WorkingPoint is all-inclusive, cloud-based accounting software. It connects to your bank and credit card accounts and includes tools for invoicing, bill and expense tracking, inventory management, contact management, and financial and tax reporting. The company also offers payroll and email marketing services. workingpoint.com
Xero – Xero online accounting software for small businesses is affordable and easy to use, and it integrates with more than 700 third-party business solutions. Features include invoicing, inventory, bank reconciliation, bill tracking, reporting, and project time and cost tracking. Xero has mobile apps for Apple and Android devices, allowing you to accomplish accounting tasks on the go. Read our full review here. xero.com
Yendo – Yendo small business enterprise resource planning (ERP) software comes with accounting, CRM and project management modules as well as a dashboard that gives you a holistic look at your business. The financial module has tools to help you create invoices, send reminders, record payments and expenses, generate reports, and reconcile accounts. yendo.com
ZipBooks – This online accounting software offers several plans, including one that’s free and one that includes bookkeeping services. ZipBooks uses double-entry accounting, connects to your business bank accounts and generates a variety of reports to help you manage your business. It also includes invoicing, recurring invoicing, online payment acceptance, and billable time and expense tracking tools. zipbooks.com
Zoho Books – Zoho Books is full-featured accounting software with a small business price tag. Features include invoicing, automatic payment reminders, time and expense tracking, reporting, and reconciliation. It has client portals that your customers can use to approve estimates, pay invoices and view statements. This software integrates with other Zoho applications, payment gateways like PayPal and Square, and popular business solutions like Office 365 and Slack. Read our full review here. zoho.com/books