account software

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.

How to know which is the best accounting software that you should use? 

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:

  • “How secure is your API?”
  • “How do you back up system data?”
  • “What other costs or fees should I expect?”
  • “Tell me about customer support. What are your hours, and how quickly should I expect to get a response if I submit an issue or a question?”
  • “Can you tell me about a client you’ve worked with that’s similar to my business? What pain points have they experienced with your software?”

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.

1. Best Overall: QuickBooks

Accounting software for small business: QuickBooks
QuickBooks home page. Cre: QuickBooks

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.

PRICING

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.

FEATURES 

  • Easily track your income and expenses thanks to the ability to attach photos of receipts and other documents.
  • Ability to automatically sort your transactions according to which tax category they fall into.
  • Send professional-looking invoices that can be customized to suit your business.
  • Support for partial invoices and regular and recurring invoices.
  • Easily sort your expenses according to their tax deduction.
  • Run detailed reports about your business and its finances

PROS

  • The go-to option for many accounting small businesses and one of the highest-rated options.
  • Offers a comprehensive toolset and an impressive suite of easy-to-use features.
  • Provides detailed financial reports.
  • Offers extensive tracking features at all levels

CONS

  • More expensive than its competitors.
  • Inventory tracking and payroll features leave a lot to be desired.
  • Their customer service is a notable weak spot.

> Signup link: https://signup.quickbooks.intuit.com/

2. Best for Micro-Business Owners: Xero

Best for Micro-Business Owners: Xero
Xero’s home page. Cre: Xero
FYI:  AllFetch is now an official partner of Xero, we have released an app on Shopify App Store named Xero Integration by AllFetch, click HERE to get the app for FREE! 

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.

PRICING

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.

FEATURES

  • Bank reconciliation
  • Contacts – Keep track of suppliers and customers
  • Dashboard
  • Expense claims
  • Files – Attach documents to your financial data
  • Financial reporting
  • Free, unlimited email support
  • Inventory
  • Invoicing – Create and send invoices automatically
  • Log in from anywhere
  • Mobile apps (Android, iPhone/iPad)
  • Multi-currency
  • Online accounting – Access anytime, anywhere, on any devices
  • Payroll
  • Purchase orders
  • Quick and easy 1099s
  • Receive bills electronically
  • Smart lists – Segment contacts based on purchase history
  • Fixed assets
  • GST returns

PROS

  • Cloud-based
  • Mobile app
  • Payroll integration with Gusto
  • Third-party app marketplace
  • Simple inventory management

CONS

  • Limited reporting
  • Fees charged for ACH payments
  • Limited customer service

3. Best for Service-Based Businesses: FreshBooks

Best for Service-Based Businesses: FreshBooks
FreshBooks’s home page. Cre: FreshBooks

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.

PRICING

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.

FEATURE

  • General Ledger
  • Accountant Access
  • Profit & Loss
  • Sales Tax Summary
  • Accounts Aging
  • Expense Report
  • Invoice Details
  • Chart of Accounts
  • Balance Sheet
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Cost of Goods Sold
  • Trial Balance
  • Other Income
  • Journal Entries (full transaction capture)

PROS

  • Expense and time tracking with every plan
  • $15 a month starting price
  • Customizable proposals, estimates, and invoices

CONS

  • Billable clients limited to five with the cheapest plan
  • No built-in inventory tracking (available via third-party apps)

4. Best FREE accounting software: Wave

Best FREE accounting software: Wave
Wave’s home page. Cre: Wave

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.

FEATURES

  • Comprehensive billing and invoicing features
  • Allows you to track investments as well as invoices
  • Generates detailed financial reports that are easily digested
  • Supports invoicing and payroll using multiple currencies
  • Personal budgeting tools alongside the business-focused tools
  • Receipt-scanning makes it easy to track expenses

PROS

  • Free accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning
  • No transaction or billing limits
  • Run multiple businesses in one account
  • Unlimited number of users
  • Mobile app

CONS

  • Limited third-party app integrations
  • Higher fees for credit cards and ACH payments
  • Full-service payroll is limited to only 14 states
  • No inventory management

5. Best simple-using accounting software: ZOHO Books 

Best simple-using accounting software: ZOHO Books
ZOHO Books’s home page. Cre: ZOHO

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.

PRICING

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

FEATURES

  • Create customized invoices and enable clients to pay directly through their invoice
  • Generates documentation for professional quotes and enables you to convert them into invoices
  • A client portal makes collaboration and communication considerably easier
  • Receipt-scanning allows for more accurate and reliable expense tracking.
  • Generate bills and keep track of what you owe
  • Record and organize your bank transactions after linking your bank account to Zoho.

PROS

  • Every plan comes with the tools you need to automate your workflow
  • Enables you to set up client portals for your clients to connect through, making collaboration a breeze.
  • Plans start at just $9 per month.

CONS

  • Only supports payroll for three places – Texas, California, and India
  • Integrates well with other Zoho products but not so well with third-party apps and software
  • Has a steeper learning curve than its competitors

Choose the best accounting software that fits your needs 

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!

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