Are you scared about losing track of your business’s finances? Fortunately, these best accounting software for small businesses can help you organize expenses, bill clients, and keep an eye on your bottom line. The tip is finding accounting software with the features you need at the price range you can afford.
It’s great to have a list of accounting software in mind, but how do you identify which is the right one for your business? Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re searching for accounting software.
Identify your needs
Before you start researching solutions, agree upon a goal number of needs your chosen software will meet. You can be flexible here, but it’s easy to get distracted by the bells and whistles of a product that solves for 18 needs you don’t have.
Be honest about your budget
Before you start on the research phase of the process, identify how much you can afford to spend on accounting or bookkeeping software. Once you know how much money you can pay for it, try not to spend too much time evaluating software that’s outside your possibility.
Research for features that meet your needs
It’s easy to have a wide look at features. But if you find yourself considering software that specializes in providing accounting services for global teams — and you only conduct business in the US — you might find yourself paying for a lot you just don’t need.
Don’t get distracted. Return to your list of prioritized lists and focus only on the software that meets the majority of those needs.
Ask the right questions
If you’re choosing software that requires a sales process, you must ask the right questions. Here are a few to ask:
With so many options out there, it’s not easy to find out the right accounting software for your own—but don’t worry! We recommended our top 5 picks below to help narrow your list.
QuickBooks is an instantly recognizable name in the world of accountancy and bookkeeping. It’s owned by Intuit, which also has other options for accounting small business and large ones too, with a diverse portfolio that includes Turbotax, Mint, and Proconnect. QuickBooks also comes in numerous different varieties, from desktop editions through to the hugely popular Online edition.
Depending on your requirements, you can choose from QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Self-Employed, QuickBooks Online Advanced, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Premier, and QuickBooks Enterprise. However, it is possible to create a custom package using the help of the QuickBooks team if you need a more bespoke option.
QuickBooks’ stellar reporting features come at a price, though: its cheapest small-business plan starts at $25 a month and restricts you to one user with an accountant. Its priciest plan, which allows for 25 users, starts at $150 a month. You can take it for a spin with the 30-day free accounting software trial, but if you do, keep in mind that you won’t have the 50% off the first three months deal anymore.
> Signup link: https://signup.quickbooks.intuit.com/
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Quickbooks started with a desktop, but Xero was always cloud-first. Mac users who can’t find what they need from Quickbooks for Windows were some of the earlier adopters of Xero, which includes 24/7 live chat support at no extra cost. Xero is also huge on integrations, with more than 600 integrations to help business owners manage invoicing, inventory, payroll, and much more.
Xero’s COVID-19 pricing
To make its accounting software easier on your wallet, Xero is offering new customers 50% off its software for two months. That discount brings the Early plan to $4.50 a month, the Growing plan to $15 a month, and the Established plan to $30 a month. However, Xero’s $9 a month plan limits you to sending five invoices and bills a month. You can send unlimited invoices and quotes with only the Growing and Established plans, which start at $30 and $60 a month, respectively. Furthermore, you’ll only get multi-currency payment support, expense tracking, and project management with the Established plan—a lot of other accounting software options offer multi-currency support and expense tracking upfront.
Freelancers and other solo business owners might not need a giant, complicated accounting system. FreshBooks is easy to use for time tracking, invoicing, payments, and reports. And it is one of the easiest accounting apps to use.
Unlike Xero, FreshBooks lets you send an unlimited number of invoices and estimates with every plan. Each plan also includes time tracking for easier, more accurate client billing, plus expense tracking to keep your budget balanced.
FreshBooks’ COVID-19 pricing
Right now, new FreshBooks customers can get 60% off for the first six months. This lowers FreshBooks’ cheapest plan, Lite, to $6 a month for a single user (or $16 a month for two users). The Plus plan will cost just $10 a month, while the priciest plan, Premium, starts at $20 a month.
FreshBooks also limits the number of customers you can bill each month, so while you can send those customers an unlimited amount of invoices, you can’t have more than five clients on your roster. That means FreshBooks’ cheapest plan works best for freelancers and super accounting small businesses. Midsize and growing businesses will want to consider the Plus plan, which limits you to 50 billable clients, or the Premium plan, which limits you to 500.
Wave is an ideal accounting software platform for a service-based accounting small business that sends simple invoices and doesn’t need to track inventory or run payroll, and it’s totally FREE accounting software! For many freelancers or service-based businesses, Wave’s free features will cover all of their accounting needs. At year-end, accountants can pull the necessary reports from Wave to prepare a business’ tax return.
Zoho Books is online accounting software that allows you to easily manage the money flowing in and out of your business. Manage your customers and invoices, while keeping expenses in check. Record, monitor and reconcile your bank accounts and transactions, and collaborate with your accountant in real-time. Most importantly, Zoho Books helps you make better, more informed decisions and stay on top of your business.
Zoho Books Basic now costs $9/£6 per organization, per month. For that, you get up to 50 contacts (as in the maximum amount of customers or vendors you can create transactions for), 2 users (as in yourself and your accountant), and 5 automated workflows.
The most popular package is Standard, which is $19/£12 per month and comes with up to 500 contacts, 3 users, and 10 automated workflows. Professional, meanwhile, is a full bells-and-whistles experience that offers 500 contacts, 10 users, and 10 automated workflows for $29/£18.
Incidentally, sign up for a yearly package and you get 2 months off. Zoho does offer additional add-ons, more about which you can glean from its website. There’s also a 14-day free accounting software trial available.
Finding the right accounting software for small businesses can seriously transform your working life. With less time spent on data entry, you have more time for the things you like most about small-business ownership, whether that’s getting to know customers or making products you’re proud of.
Most of our top 5 picks are either free or include a free trial, so please think about trying a few different brands if you don’t hit on your current software right away.
Good luck with your business!