Choosing the best accounting software can be a radical change for your small businesses. You might like the idea of “doing it your way” and keeping tabs on things in your head, but purpose-built software can free up an astonishing amount of time and dramatically cut down on mistakes.
The kind of accounting software functionalities you get depend heavily on which tool you go for. As it can be difficult to decide what the best tool is for you, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites for 2023.
Price: Free / paid versions from $15 per month
Pros: A great range of features and integrations
Cons: Payroll functions come with restrictions
With everything from invoice software, expenses and analytics, Zoho Books gives you a vast series of functions at a competitive price. Furthermore, solopreneurs can go for the free forever version, which gives one user the capacity for 1000 invoices per year. Customers frequently praise the automations, which cover tax calculations and workflows so you can streamline your accounting.
Zoho Books is an ideal option if you’re already a Zoho user. With native integrations to software like Zoho Mail, Zoho People, and Zoho CRM. Put together, this gives you a single platform to run your entire business and no need to remember a bunch of different passwords.
Furthermore, you can get excellent integrations with other apps that deal with card verification and tax compliance. This also comes in handy if you need a payroll function, as Zoho only offers payroll to customers in India.
Price: From $15 per month
Pros: Frequent deals with massive savings
Cons: FreshBooks falls short on training materials
Ideal for business leaders with no accounting experience, FreshBooks is designed to be user-friendly and to keep you compliant even if you don’t exactly know what you’re doing.
The Lite version is at the cheaper end of the spectrum, but it’s also quite lite on scope — you only get five billable clients. That said, you can get paid by credit card and bank transfers, as well as tracking your sales and drawing out reports. Moving up the tiers, you can increase your number of active clients and welcome foreign clients with multi-currency and language billing.
By the time you reach the premium level, you get a huge array of automated tracking, such as expenses, bills, receipts, late payment reminders, and project profitability. It can be initially somewhat difficult to get your head around these features to begin with, but they offer a massive advantage in terms of efficiency and professionalism.
Price: From $15 per month
Pros: Good help on tax returns
Cons: Very expensive for advanced packages
Intuit by name, intuitive by nature, QuickBooks is among the best accounting software in terms of set up and features. Small business owners love the quarterly tax estimates on top of the standard income and expenses functions, and mileage tracking is great for small teams on the move. Intuit QuickBooks also offers a self-employed tier — a stripped-down version of the Simple Start package aimed at solopreneurs.
But on the downside, many more stand-out features come at a significant extra cost, which is frustrating for many users. For example, analytics and insights only come on the advanced plan which is an eye-watering $200 per month. Although the features of different platforms may not be as comprehensive, the fact that you can analyze your performance for free elsewhere makes paying megabucks a questionable decision.
In summary, if you value reducing your tax payments as much as possible and have a healthy amount of revenue coming in every month, Intuit QuickBooks is a safe bet.
Price: From $13 per month
Pros: Excellent online and offline support
Cons: Only 20 quotes and invoices per month with the Early package
With two-step authentication, you know your data is safe and secure, and you can also loop in an accountant and other team members on the cloud-based app.
Even the best accounting software only rarely includes payroll, but Xero’s dedicated integration with Gusto does a good job in guiding users to sort out their employee payments easily. Many users point to their Hubdoc feature — an automatic data capture feature that saves you hours every month by storing all your major documents in one place. It takes care of your data entry by scraping info from your bills and turning them into draft transactions, ready for you to review and send.
Xero has done a great job in terms of supporting material, with guides and courses on all areas of the app. This makes it excellent for new business owners who haven’t spent too much time learning the ropes of accountancy.
Price: Different for every business
Pros: Fully customizable to fulfill all your business needs
Cons: Advanced features come with an advanced price tag
Made by Oracle, NetSuite is a more complete business tool than most of the other options on this list. More a so-called enterprise resource planning system than a bare-bones accountancy tool, you’ll get marketing automation, sales force tools, and much more. All of this comes with a comprehensive onboarding package so you can get up and running straight away.
Despite the undoubted quality of Oracle’s software, it is unfortunately out of reach for most small business budgets. Every company pays a different level, linked to the precise features they need, but most users say they realistically pay a hefty monthly amount for the tools they get.
For most small businesses, the best accounting software isn’t necessarily the one with the most features. Unless you need a top-of-the-range platform, it’s hard to justify splashing out the big dollars.
Manage your leads and deals easily with Bitrix24, send quotes and invoices. Connect payment systems to your CRM and start selling right away!
Price: Free / paid version from $18 per month
Pros: Unlimited users and free invoicing
Cons: Few extra features such as time tracking and document management
Kashoo is a simple platform that does most of what any typical small business owner could need. It makes creating and sending invoices as easy as pie, and the first paid tier gives you automated income and expense tracking. Moving up to the top tier at $30 per month, you get reporting, project cost tracking and a bunch of customizable tools.
With the free TrulySmall Accounting tier, you get simple invoicing tools with templates, payment tracking, and even automatic reminders if you haven’t been paid on time. It’s a foolproof way to take accounting off your mind so you can stick to your more practical work. Link your bank account too and your payments will be automatically categorized and reconciled — another thing off your mind.
While Kashoo is no slouch in its basic functionalities, it does lack some additional extras that come as standard with cheaper tools. No time tracking nor document management leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouths of some users.
Price: From $10 per month
Pros: A well-earned global reputation
Cons: Support is far from perfect and the software can be counter-intuitive
Sage Business Cloud Accounting began life back in 1981 when the internet was still a futuristic fantasy. It built its name as one of the best accounting tools for small business before successfully making the transition to the cloud. However, it isn’t exactly the most intuitive software out there and lots of user reviews complain about inconsistencies with foreign currencies and system issues.
One advantage it has over most competitors is you can add multiple users, including a dedicated accountant, for free. As you climb through the subscription tiers, you unlock a variety of features that are fully focused on keeping you compliant. You can use Sage to receive payments while you manage payroll and track your inventory — perfect for ecommerce businesses.
Price: From $16.66 per month ($200 per year)
Pros: Excellent support from onboarding onwards
Cons: Relatively expensive for the higher tiers
Neat is possibly more of a document management platform than a dedicated accountancy tool, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve its place on this list. Users compile all their receipts and invoices and upload pictures from their mobile app to their appropriate folders. This allows you to track your expenses and income if you get multiple payments per day, such as a food truck.
In terms of support, Neat could be the best accounting software on this list. The VIP service gives you one-to-one training, which is a pretty unique benefit compared to competitors, and continues with a dedicated support team throughout your subscription.
The Automated Insights tier will put you at a $350 per year price point, which is worth it if you want a whole host of automations, analytics, and insights. However, the fact that you need to pay this much to also get customized invoicing means you’re entering a different setup to more dedicated accountancy platforms.
Price: Free / paid versions from $40 per month
Pros: Great accounting software functionalities with the free version
Cons: Preditably poor support for the free service
Back to the more purpose-built accounting tools for small business, Wave gives you invoicing, credit card processing, and payroll.
Wave is easily the best accounting software in terms of value for money. The 100% free tier includes invoice software, accounting, and banking — ideal for newly established companies who need to keep their purse strings tight. You do, however, need to pay 2.9% plus $0.60 for credit card payments, so it’s not quite as good as it sounds.
Once you need to advance, you can add on payroll services, and for a considerable amount, upgrade to the Advisors package. This will give you bookkeeping support and even accounting and payroll coaching so you can really bump yourself up to the next level.
Price: Free / paid versions from $15 per month
Pros: ZipBooks comes with basic project management software
Cons: It can be easy to make mistakes for non-accountants
ZipBooks gets rave reviews online for its simple but powerful software. You can do an impressive amount just on the free Starter version, and stepping up to the Smarter package adds in automations, recurring invoices, time tracking, and five team members.
Unlike most others on this list, you can create entire projects in ZipBooks, full with billable tasks. This helps to better visualize your return on investment, and you can track the time of each task to judge how well you plan your projects.
That said, despite its slick look, it’s not actually as user friendly as you might expect. For example, you can’t create your projects through the time tracking app, and there are fairly few customizable features. Even so, it’s a good option for non-experts who want to simplify their invoicing.
Now we’re at the end of our list, you’ve probably got a better idea for how to bolster your small business with some of the best invoice management software out there.
But before we finish, we’d like to introduce you to a dynamic alternative.
Bitrix24 has comprehensive invoicing and billing features that you can adapt depending on your tax obligations and the location of your clients. You can prepare all your payment details once, then attach them to every invoice, saving you a bunch of time when you need it most. Speaking of payments, Bitrix24 integrates with a vast array of payment systems so you can receive your money on your terms.
If you’re running an ecommerce store, you can connect your inventory to your sales workflows and watch as they automatically update when a sale is made. With detailed records saved automatically, you’re in an ideal position when balancing your books at the end of the quarter.
But Bitrix24 has so much more than some of the best invoice management software out there. You get unbeatable native integrations with all your other business tools, making it a seriously cost-effective option when seen in the bigger picture.
So if looking at the financial side of your business makes you want to scream, sign up to Bitrix24 for free and see how using the best accounting software can benefit your business.
The best accounting software for most organizations should include:
Small businesses need accounting software so they can standardize processes and work on autopilot, without having to fully concentrate every time you need to send an invoice.
The market standard for entry-level accounting software for small businesses is around $15 per month. Established businesses who want top-level functions can expect to pay up to $200 per month, and most Enterprise-level packages are custom-built and custom-priced.