This is our roundup of the best accounting software for small businesses. When we started to examine accounting packages we had some criteria in mind, based on what small business owners have told us they look for in accounting software: the software provider must have a strong reputation, the cost of use should be reasonable for what is provided, the software should be easy to use and provide enough automation to take much of the work away from the business owner, it should have a mobile variant as well as a desktop version and there should be reasonable customer support.
Our Best Accounting Software Picks
We had four categories for best accounting software for small businesses and they break down as follows:
QuickBooks Online – The Best Paid Accounting Software for Small Businesses
QuickBooks was our overall winner and if you have a look at their market share of the small business accounting software market; it reflects our decision. It’s estimated QuickBooks makes up 90% of the accounting packages used by small businesses. It’s reasonably priced starting at $9.99 a month and scores well in all categories except for its mobile application which is just a touch limited. It’s also the easiest package for your accountant to get to grips with and that’s vital when it comes to handing over data for filings, etc.
FreshBooks – The Best Mobile App Accounting Software for Small Businesses
FreshBooks offers a desktop app which isn’t bad at all but it’s on the mobile platform where it stands head and shoulders above the competition. The app is fully featured and easy to use and for the busy business owner who is always on the move; that’s an essential. There’s no support for Windows Mobile or BlackBerry users but given the Android/iOS domination of the tablet and smartphone sphere – that’s not really a big deal either.
Wave Accounting – The Best Free Accounting Software for Small Businesses
Many of the “free” offerings on the market are actually “freemium” offerings where everything but the most basic service has to be unlocked for a fee. That’s not true of Wave Accounting and it’s one of the many reasons that it picked up our vote for the best free accounting software for small business. It is an ad-supported model though and that might be a turn off for some.
Zoho Books – The Best Accounting Software for the Smallest Businesses
Zoho’s strength is that it’s the most complete package for a very low fee – that is $24 a month and you get access to everything they offer for as many users as you want to add. That’s a big deal for the smallest businesses trying to get the maximum bang per buck. Yes, it’s true that there are cheaper initial offerings from other accounting software makers but they all end up more expensive, even Wave Accounting, when you add in the costs of using all their functionality for a number of users.
Other Accounts Packages
There are many other accounts packages available to small businesses and while none of these came top of our list; they may be the right package for your business. It’s a good idea to shop around for the best accounting package for your business when you’re ready to run with it.
Please note that the quotes below are what the software vendor says about their own product and they may not reflect our opinion of their software.
AccountEdge (Paid Service)
AccountEdge says; “AccountEdge is a complete small business accounting and management solution for your Mac or Windows office, with everything you need to make sales and purchases, run payroll, track and build inventory, bill for time, and manage contacts.”
FreeAgent (Paid Service)
FreeAgent offers; “FreeAgent provides online accounting software made specifically for freelancers, small business owners and their accountants.”
GnuCash (Open Source – Free Service)
Designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible, GnuCash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. As quick and intuitive to use as a checkbook register, it is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.”
Kashoo (Paid Service)
“Need to do your own bookkeeping? Don’t have weeks to get going? Kashoo is the best online accounting solution for small businesses, without the frustration of QuickBooks.”
Less Accounting (Paid Service)
“Accounting Software for Business Owners Who Dislike Bookkeeping” say Less Accounting.
Outright (Paid Service)
Outright is now known as GoDaddy Online Book Keeping. “Outright makes bookkeeping simple, understandable –– and even fun? Maybe, maybe not. But you’ll see your business in new ways. That part’s fun. Are you ready?”
PayChex Accounting Online (Paid Service)
PayChex is now offering the same service as Kashoo above – though you may find that their pricing is better/worse depending on when you commit to the plan.
Sage One (Paid Service)
Sage is one of the biggest names in accounting software but are generally considered to be best on medium-large enterprise platforms. However, they do offer a small business variant in the form of SageOne. “You know its important to have your businesses finances in check. Sage One helps you do it by giving you control over who does does what between you, your accountant and bookkeeper.”
Simple Invoices (Free Service)
“Simple Invoices is a free, open source, web based invoicing system that you can install on your server/pc or have hosted by one of our services providers.” Simple Invoices is a touch basic compared to the other packages here but it can be great for solo-preneurs and freelancers.
WorkingPoint (Paid Service)
“A Complete Solution — Don’t juggle multiple software packages. WorkingPoint integrates tools for small business accounting, online invoicing and many other small business needs.”
Xero (Paid Service)
“Accounting software with all the time-saving tools you need to grow your business: unlimited users and 24/7 support … not to mention the security and reliability you’d expect from Xero.”
Yendo (Paid Service)
Yendo says; “Financial accounting software for small business. It has everything you need to manage, invoicing, purchases, expenses and payments. Full accounting reports including Debtors, Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet.”