Accounting software has improved tremendously over the near couple of years.
What used to be done on books, Now are equipped with advanced analytics and data visualization tools. They help the user to manage and automate complex financial transactions and functions. You can leverage multiple modules like accounts receivable, payroll, billing, accounts payable, and general ledger into a single platform.
The reason I am writing this is to let you understand that today accounting software tools are no longer a nice-to-have thing. Maybe it’s for personal use or professional, You need to leverage the accounting system from day 1.
Soon I will be covering the accounting software by industries. Here are the best accounting software’s that I have reviewed and are generally used by every individual and business professional.
So let’s get started.
1. Quickbooks Online
Most probable you must have heard about this accounting tool. Quickbooks developed by Intuit is online accounting software designed specifically for small businesses and individuals.
They provide both on-cloud and on-premise solutions for hosting the software. They provide a holistic solution for a range of accounting activities like management, accepting business payments, payment of bills, and payroll functions.
Key Quickbooks Features
- Accounting Reports – Provides business performance in interactive dashboards and customizable reports.
- Invoicing – Allow you to create custom sales receipts, professional invoices, and estimates that you can send in minutes
- Cash Flow management – You can enter bills from vendors that are due and schedule recurring payments.
- Expense Tracking – You can track your expenses month on month for paying your taxes. You can also save receipts by taking a photograph and storing it on Quickbooks mobile App.
- Inventory Management – This is the module which I love the most. You can track your quantity on hand when you have sold or buy due to real-time updates. You have the access to real-time inventory valuation, this is automatically adjusted throughout the day. This allows you to stay on top of purchase orders by keeping track of what you’ve ordered from each vendor.
Intuit offers a 30 day Free Trial for the software. Their pricing plans start from $22/month and range to $63/month. However, the price increases if you want to add new modules.
2. Wave Accounting
Wave is an efficiently integrated and comprehensive software that provides all-in-one holistic solutions when it comes to your free online accounting needs.
The best part of this software is that it provides free accounting for entrepreneurs, freelancers, small businesses, and any one of those who I may have missed. In my opinion, it is best as a home accounting software.
Key Wave Accounting Features
- Accounting – The basic accounting software provides all the functionalities of tracking income and expenses. Along with that, you can connect your bank accounts, balance your books, prepare for tax compliances.
- Invoicing – Provides easy to use, highly customizable invoice templates to create and send using one click.
- Receipts – One of the good things is that you can read the receipts wherever you are, even when you’re offline.
Wave accounting is absolutely free. I highly recommend you give it a try.
3. Accounting Seed
If you are looking for highly customizable software providing robust features that will take care of all accounting-related aspects, then you should go for Accounting Seed.
Powered by the Salesforce platform, the software architecture allows both reliable connection and open customization with Salesforce tools. Accounting Seed Database provides collaboration, best-in-class security, and automation in one place.
Key Accounting Seed Features
- Inventory and order management – Provide robust inventory control from replenishment to ordering.
- Financial Reporting – They provide a wide range of financial reports like balance sheets, cash flow statements, profit and loss, comparative of budget to budget, comparative of budget to actual, and many more.
- Cost-Effective – Have fast implementation and offer incentives for new prospective customers.
- Flexibility – They provide a lot of customization tools to configure business tools. That includes document management, customization around custom objects and fields, security, and much more.
- Automation – This includes batch automation, scheduled job automation, event automation, as well as full automation of internal control processes.
- Sales Order Management – They provide a highly streamlined process to consolidate sales orders. You can allocate inventory to reserve products, create a sales order record packing, and shipping details, and create purchase orders directly.
- Purchase order management – Their customizable purchase order management provides the receipt of goods in warehouses, creation tracking, and approval of purchase orders.
You need to contact their sales team to get a personalized quote.
Xero is mainly designed for small businesses and provides all the accounting tools they need. It is one of the best bookkeeping software available in the market that provides easy accounting for small business owners.
Key Xero Features
- Project Management – it allows you to complete all your project management tasks like sending invoices, capturing time and costs, and monitoring progress on a single platform
- Sales Tax – Provide features that make it easy to prepare, file taxes online, and submit sales tax returns. It also calculates taxes for your purchases and sales with the most recent rates
- Asset management – Helps you track machinery, hardware, vehicles, and office equipment for real-time accounting purposes
- Inventory Management – Helps you keep track of your inventory and keep it up-to-date
- Performance Dashboard – The built-in Data visualization graphs and charts help you make informed business decisions.
Their paid plan starts from $20/month and ranges to $40/month. They provide a 30-day free trial.
Freshbook is one of the best accounting tools available in the market. it is known for streamlining accounting management tasks like time tracking, invoicing, making payments, and more. Also, it is secure, fast, and easy to use.
Key Freshbooks Features
- Project Management – Provides seamless project management features and collaboration tools for teams.
- Invoicing – Invoices come with a touch of personalization by providing the option to include logo, signature, and customized email to send an invoice.
- Automatic Expense Tracker – This is the most boasted feature of the tool. Get automated updates about your expenses at regular frequencies by linking your bank account.
- Time Tracker – Trace the exact time utilized on finishing a project, engaging clients, and more.
Freshbook’s price starts from $6/month and ranges to $20/month (When Billed Annually). They also offer a customized plan and for that, you need to contact their sales team. There is one of the cheap accounting software with quality that you can find in the market.
6. Zoho Books
Zoho’s book is an accounting and inventory software providing features to automate business workflows, manage your finances, and cross-collaboration between different departments.
You can easily connect your Zoho Books account to your WordPress hosting using their plugin.
Key Zoho books Features
- Project Management – Perform functionalities like role-based access to track time, logging time, raising direct invoices, and recording project expenses.
- Inventory Management – Provide complete control and monitoring of stock levels and its replenishment.
- Automation – Provides automation to error-prone and high volume tasks.
- Estimation management – Allows you to create estimates that can be transformed to invoice in a click
The plans start from $9/month and range up to $29/month per organization. They offer a 14 day free trial period.
SlickPie is an easy-to-use, simple cloud-based software that provides all the accounting features you need. Its primary focus is basically on taking care of your taxes and ensure regulatory compliance.
Key SlickPie Features
- Late Payment Reminders – In-built notification system to track due and overdue reminders. This helps you to get paid faster and avoid late payment charges.
- Track Sales Tax – You can manage business tax input like state, regional, federal, provincial, municipal, and others into a single platform
- MagicBot – Pulls details from the entered bills and convert them into digital entries.
- Financial Reports – Track, measure, and access all information related to the finances of your business. Helps you to make data-driven decisions supported by insightful reports and visualization graphs.
They have only 2 plans. The first one comes free with limited features and the second one charges $39.95/month.
If you are a small business, freelancer, or accountant then this cloud-based financial accounting software is for you. FreeAgent is trusted by more than 90000 businesses worldwide.
They bring everything from expense management to invoice creation, sales tax automation to project management tools, all in one platform.
Key FreeAgent Features
- Tax management – This allows you to complete all activities related to tax management and compliance.
- Contract management – Send and create invoices from a range of custom templates available
- Expense management – Advanced management with support to multiple currencies to categorize expenses
- Payable management – Manage and generate bills efficiently. Provide facility to add information on each bill for reference
There is only one plan. It costs $12/month for the first 6 months of subscription and $24/month after that. They provide you a 30-day free trial.
Tilapti is a KPMG-certified certified application that aims to automate the supplier payment operation. The platform makes global B2B payments frictionless and efficient.
Key Tilapti Features
- Invoice Management – provides approvals, payments, automated invoice capture, and reconciliation in a single end-to-end API platform to boost standardization and efficiency
- Supplier management – Can easily guide suppliers through banking details, tax forms, submitting contact information, and more
- Tax Compliance – provides the KPMG-certified tax module ensuring VAT and IRS compliance. Solves complex manual process of collecting taxes by ensuring payment validation before getting processes and digital captures.
- Defect Feature – Prevent fraud to mitigate risk exposure with detailed payee monitoring.
Tilpati pricing starts from $299/month and range to $1599/month
10. Invoice Meister
Invoice Meister is one of the best accounting software I love. Basically designed to cater to small and medium-sized businesses. It helps in creating invoices, entering your revenue and expenses, and linking bank accounts to organize your business.
Key Invoice Meister Features
- Financial Reports – Provide easy navigation along with the dashboard equipped with detailed financial reports and visualization charts.
- Invoice Templates – The platform provides a wide variety of invoice templates. You can customize it with your own logo and signature, and send it with a personalized email.
- Detailed Analytics – Provide detailed insights into the form of data visualization charts to power data-driven decisions.
- Sendbox – This feature helps you to keep track of every history of your invoice sent to the client. You can also download all the records.
Their accounting packages starts from $7/month and range to $15/month per user. Upon annual or bi-annual plan you get a discount of 17% and 33%, respectively.
AccountEdge is a desktop accounting software designed for mom and pop stores who love to do accounting on their Windows/Mac Desktop. It is popular among offline accounting software users who still do not want to embrace the digital revolution. The software provides functionalities like financial reporting, full general ledger control, buying, tracking, and selling of items.
Though they have recently introduced their web-based accounting software to allow business bookkeepers, contractors, employees, or vendors to access AccountEdge functions from any browser. I can say that they are one of the best accounting software for mac with respect to the features they offer.
Key AccountEdge Basic Features
- Customer Management – Track important employee, customer, and vendor information.
- Financial Management – Prepare bank deposits, Write checks, and reconcile your account.
- Report Generation – Create reports of all accounts and current balances, transaction history, and a ton more.
- Payroll Management – Provide full management of filling taxes to paying employees using this service.
Key AccountEdge Pro Features (includes Basic Features)
- Data Analytics – The software provides an analytics chart to manage financial information including liabilities, equities, assets, income, and expenses. Create your own list of accounts or choose from hundreds of available templates.
- Business Insights ( Mac Only) – Calculate financial information including current turnover, profits, and operating balances between fiscal years.
- Recurring Transactions – Record daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly transactions automatically.
- Department management – You can assign each item of the transaction to one or split into multiple departments.
The AccountEdge Cloud pricing starts from $10/month per user and range to $100/month up to 50 users. The AccountEdge Pro starts from $499 one time payment and offers a 30-day free trial period. However, You need to pay more to upgrade to the newest version.
Kashoo is one of the simplest accounting software I have ever seen. They live up to their expectation to keep things simple. Mostly designed for small business owners, the application offers to enter income, enter and track expenses, view cash flow at-glance, create and send invoices, do end-of-the-year accounting, and be able to add details.
If you are looking for a simple project accounting software then this is the one.
Key Kashoo Features
- Cloud-based – The app can be accessed online via desktop or mobile. The app allows the creating of multiple users with unlimited projects
- Integration – Facilitates seamless integration with Square, Payroll, FreshBooks, and other payment-related software.
- Expense Management – Help you track expenses and income along with a real-time view of your finances
- Invoice Management – Create and send invoices that can accept payment too. Supports multiple currencies and provide full bank reconciliation
There is only one paid plan that costs $16.65/month if subscribed annually. They offer a 14-day free trial period.
13. Sage 50 Accounting
Sage 50 is a reputed player when it comes to the accounting space. It combines both the reliability of desktop accounting software and the flexibility of the cloud. I recommend you opt for this solution if you are not looking for just an accounting solution but a holistic solution to all your business operations.
Sage 50 Accounting provides basically everything you need for accounting which includes managing cash flow, customer management center, Fixed assets management, invoices and expenses, inventory management, and a lot more.
Key Sage50 Accounting Features
- Financial Management – Eliminate manual data entry and simplify payment acceptances with automatic reconciliation. Allows you to connect multiple bank feeds.
- Inventory Management – Maintains products in stock and that which our in-order pipeline. Allows you to stay on top of purchase orders and provide a view to show quantity in hand.
- Payroll Management – Simply your employee’s payroll management by providing with pay cards, direct deposit, or direct deposit checks.
- Job Costing – Helps you to set up job records, phases, and cost codes very easily. You can track your job costs through inventory adjustment, purchasing, payroll, and more.
- Advanced Reporting – Provide data visualization charts on expenses, sales taxes, and profits, that you can access in one click. This helps you to drill down the data-driven business decisions more precisely.
The paid plan starts from $56/month per user and range to $139.58/month per user. You can get a 40% off on an annual subscription.
Zipbooks is accounting software that allows you to tracks time and expenses, sends invoices, integrates with your bank & lets you process credit cards. The software is primarily created for small businesses, freelancers, and any other individual professional.
Key ZipBooks Features
- Intelligent Analytics – Provide insights and a full suite of reports of the transaction to help you keep track of where your money is going and how it’s coming.
- Expense Management – Provides efficient methods for saving receipts, allocating and recording expenses, and managing vendors you do business with.
- Invoice management – Provide professional invoices where you can add your own logo, specific colors, and contact info
- Recurring Billing – You can bill clients on weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual schedules. Also, you can schedule discounts and set start dates and end dates.
- Accounting management – provides an easy way to reconcile all your bank accounts, without needing to keep a paper check register on hand. Connect your bank account and it will transfer the data automatically. Also allows you to manage your taxes and balance sheet.
Zipbooks provide a completely free plan to start with. The paid plan starts from $15/month and ranges to $35/month. Also, there is a custom pricing plan available, for that, you have to contact the sales team.
Holded was founded in 2015 with an aim to simplify business management software. They provide Accounting, CRM, Invoicing, Team, Projects, and Inventory, everything you need in one place. The cloud accounting software is perfect for business professionals who need sophisticated features but easy to operate.
You can reduce your expenses, do bank reconciliation, get precise accounting tracking, integrate with multiple platforms, and a lot more in a single platform.
Key Holded Features
- Financial Management – You can add multiple bank accounts to the platform. Automatically synchronize the bank statements from multiple bank accounts and control your treasury.
- Advanced Analytics – See your Losses and Profits in real-time to make the monthly and annual analysis. Compare your balance sheet with the estimated targets and forecast.
- API Integration – Connect with payment platforms like Stripe, Paypal, A3 accounting, and a lot more. You can link the data of these platforms to your sales and purchase transactions.
- Invoice Management – Choose from 40+ professional invoice templates, add your logo, pick your colors, and send a quote with personalized emails. You can also set up recurring invoices or set a send date for the invoice.
The company has 2 different plans for freelancers and companies. For the freelancer, it has a free and $9/month plan with limited functionalities. For companies, the plan starts from $25/month and ranges to $159/month. You get a free trial of 14 days on the company plans.
Okay now let’s understand the basics.
What is Accounting Software?
Accounting software’s primary task is to automate your financial operations and transactions. It provides modules like accounts payable software, payroll, billing, accounts receivable, and general ledger.
The software plays a vital for self-employed people who have a definite amount of clients or large-scale operations. Investing in accounting automation helps you save unnecessary time spent on calculating and maintaining book records.
In this fast-paced world, you need to keep updated with the latest and best technology to speed up efficiency and scale. You need to trust accounting software for your bookkeeping and get rid of the old error-prone process that is coming from ages.
Use personal accounting software to manage your own financial transaction. Or, a small business accounting software if you have just started a business or freelancing.
Features of Business Accounting Software
- Financial Reporting – Provides graphical visualization of data on the online accounting system. They include cash flow analysis, Annual Profit/Annual Revenue, sales report, etc.
- Expense Tracking – Allows you to track each and every expense occurring during the business.
- Account Payable – helps you automate approval management, invoice capture, and authorization processes.
- Account Receivable – Tracks consumer’s credit-related payments or purchases.
- General Ledger – Lists the accounts receivable and accounts payable information in a table.
- Bank reconciliation – helps you match debit and credit of your accounts to prevent discrepancies and missing entries in the record.
When to use a comprehensive accounting system?
Now this a good question. The moment you have a paid client or when you know a large number of clients are coming ahead. If you are just starting with no clearly visible traction ahead, start with a free one. But once you know that you are going to hit a certain target of customers, time to switch to paid ones.
Here are some obvious benefits you will recognize from day one.
- Improved Process Efficiency – You will see how within seconds you can add the transaction into the software. The software not only calculates the transaction amounts but also give you history analytics about your performance.
- Cost Saving – Instead of hiring a dedicated guy for bookkeeping you can now do it yourself. This thus reduces the total price tag that you need to pay for operations.
- Easier Tax Compliance – Reduces the number of human errors that occur when performing documentation and paperwork. Also, some software makes sure that you submit tax forms on time to avoid extra penalties.
- Data Security – You can easily take the backup of your transaction history without ever worrying about it getting lost. Also, provide restricted access mode to users so that they do not tamper with crucial data.
- Forecasting – With all the transaction history and records at the software disposal, it can now provide advanced forecasting about the future of the business.
Considerations when purchasing accounting software
There are generally only 2 major factors you need to consider before opting for any accounting software.
Third-Party integrations – This is a very important factor to consider. You don’t want to be at a disadvantage and later stages of growth due to the limitation of the third-party integrations. They should allow integrations with other CRM and HR software at least as they are also required frequently.
Commonly Asked Questions
Okay, there is various bookkeeping software available for small businesses but these are the most popular ones. Freshbooks, Wave accounting, Quickbooks, Kashoo, and FreeAgent.
The best accounting software for enterprise is Sage50, Holded, Tilapti, Zoho Books. I highly recommend comparing which one is best for your industry type as some of these software provides an added advantage for certain industries.
Depends, if you are using it for personal use then it’s okay. But the moment you think you might need it for business or investment related purposes, I recommend you to start from paid ones.
Okay, there is much easy bookkeeping software available for all types of users. But the easiest accounting software to use by far is Freshbooks.