One of the most common questions small business owners have is whether they need accounting software. While it's not a necessity, the...Read More >
Highest Rated Accounting Software
Different software vendors build solutions for freelancers, small businesses, and larger businesses. All the tools we've reviewed are industry-agnostic, meaning that they're relevant for businesses of all types.
QuickBooks online is the most popular accounting tool for small businesses. It includes all features a small business needs to keep track of its financials, and most accountants are very familiar with using the tool. QuickBooks Online has over 70 financial reports, integrations with many third-party tools, and a powerful payroll add-on.
Xero is an accounting software that's used by more than 2 million customers worldwide. It includes all essential accounting features like reporting, invoicing, inventory management, and tax form generation. It's a great option for most small and medium businesses in any industry.
Zoho Books is an accounting software designed for small and medium businesses. Its standout features are its invoicing templates and vast number of financial reports. We recommend Zoho Books for those who need inventory management features.
Bench is a software-enabled bookkeeping service with around 10,000 customers. It offers both bookkeeping and tax services for small businesses at reasonable monthly prices.
FreshBooks is the most user-friendly accounting software for beginners and freelancers. With features like invoicing, receipt capture, and expense tracking, it's a great first accounting tool to use when you're starting your business.
Wave is a freemium accounting tool designed for freelancers and small businesses. With features like invoicing, accounting reports, payroll, and bookkeeping services, Wave is a great option for service-based businesses with standard accounting needs.
Sage Business Cloud is a mid-tier accounting software designed for small businesses. Its main features include invoicing, expense tracking, and accounting reports. Overall, Sage Business Cloud is a very user-friendly tool, but is not as nuanced or cost-effective as other accounting software products.
Accounting Software Prices
Accounting software can range from free to upwards of $200 per month. Here are some details that will help you compare prices for the most popular accounting platforms.
|Software Vendor||Starting Monthly Price||Free Trial|
|Sage Business Cloud||$10||Yes|
Accounting Software FAQs
Accounting software is technology that allows companies to manage their financials. This involves sending invoices to customers, collecting payments online, tracking company expenses, and balancing books to ensure a hassle-free accounting experience.
The short answer is that every business needs to do bookkeeping or accounting of some sort. You need to have your financial records in order come tax time, and it’s good practice to consistently check in on your company’s financial standing.
This depends on your budget and type of business. If you’re a freelancer or very small service-based business, Wave and FreshBooks are reliable options. If you’re a small or medium business and need to keep track of inventory, QuickBooks Online, Xero, or Zoho Books will be best for you.
The most popular accounting tools for small businesses are QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Wave.
The most common live chat software features are:
- Accounting Reports
- Expense Tracking
- Inventory Management
- Payment Processing
- Customer CRM
- Vendor CRM
- Tax Form Generation
- Time Tracking
- Receipt Capture
Accounting Software Research & Advice
Cheree Hill, the founder and owner of Tranquility Bookkeeping Services, offers in-depth insights about bookkeeping for small businesses....Read More >
If you’re a freelancer or small business wondering about the ins and outs of accounting software, this guide is for you. Accounting...Read More >
Is Zoho Books or QuickBooks Online the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best...Read More >
Is Sage Business Cloud or Xero the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best...Read More >
We've created a list of our favorite accounting blogs and resources that are actively producing original content in 2021. Read More >
Are you considering Wave to manage accounting for your business? Before choosing a software, it’s important to learn about other accounting...Read More >
Is Xero or Wave the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best accounting software...Read More >
Are you considering Xero to manage accounting for your business? Before choosing a software, it’s important to learn about other accounting...Read More >
Is FreshBooks or QuickBooks Online the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best...Read More >
Are you considering QuickBooks Online to manage accounting for your business? Before choosing a software, it’s important to learn about...Read More >
Are you considering FreshBooks for your accounting purposes? Before choosing a software, it’s important to learn about other accounting...Read More >
Is Wave or QuickBooks Online the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best...Read More >
Is Zoho Books or Xero the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best accounting...Read More >
Is QuickBooks Online or Sage Business Cloud the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select...Read More >
Is QuickBooks Online or Xero the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best...Read More >
Is FreshBooks or Wave the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you select the best accounting...Read More >
Why You Should Trust Our Recommendations
The team at SoftwarePundit has been testing software since 2017. We’ve hand-tested over 250 software products in that time, including 8 in the accounting category. We applied the same rigorous process to each piece of accounting software that we analyzed. The specifics of our accounting category research process are outlined below.
Katelyn led our analysis of accounting software. She has spent more than 300 hours evaluating leading accounting software systems. To test the tools, she set up trials of each tool, created and sent test invoices, and tested key user flows. She also spoke with each of the companies to hear about their value propositions. The most important part of this research process involved speaking with professional CPAs and bookkeepers, as their advice and knowledge about bookkeeping and accounting was crucial.
In addition, all research and content was overseen by Bruce Hogan, SoftwarePundit’s Co-founder & CEO. Bruce has more than a decade of experience researching, building, and reviewing the world’s best software products. His technology advice has been featured on a wide range of media sites such as AngelList, CMSWire, Dental Economics, iPhone Life, Reader’s Digest, Thrive Global, U.S. News, and the Zapier Blog.
How We Selected the Best Accounting Software
We selected the best accounting software tools to review based upon a number of criteria. The most important criteria were each software tool’s features, usability, price, and customer support. The details of our analyses are captured in the in-depth reviews we publish about each software tool.
There are a handful of critical features that you should look for in accounting software. We prioritized the following features in our analysis:
- Accounting Reports
- Payment Processing
- Inventory Management
- Expense Tracking
- Vendor and Customer CRM
- Payroll & Time Tracking
How We Evaluated Accounting Software
We used the same rigorous process to evaluate accounting software as all other software categories. For the accounting category, Katelyn invested several weeks researching, testing, and writing about the tools.
We interviewed the teams at the software companies listed above. Our conversations with the companies included questions about each company’s product, customer base, pricing, customer support, and business strength. After a general interview, Katelyn spent additional time participating in a product demo led by each company. This provided Katelyn with the opportunity to ask detailed questions about the features and functionality of the accounting software. She asked questions about each company’s target market, their best features, and more.
Katelyn also obtained a free trial of each software tool listed above. She spent several hours testing the key user journeys in each software product. This allowed us to validate the features offered by each product, and to gain an understanding of the software’s usability.
In addition to conducting conversations with the software companies and hand-testing every platform, Katelyn also spent dozens of hours consulting industry experts and interviewing real customers of the software tools listed above.
- Cheree Hill: Cheree Hill is the owner of Tranquility Bookkeeping Services and uses Xero with all of her clients.
- Graham Davies: Graham Davies is the founder of Addition Finance, a professional bookkeeping service. He and his team use Xero for their customers, who are small business owners across many industries.
- May Jiang, CPA, CFP®: May is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Financial Planner at Offit Advisors. All clients at their financial services firm are onboarded with QuickBooks.
Accounting Software Customers
- Apryl Syed: Apryl is the founder of a consulting business called Apryl Syed Consulting. She’s used a variety of accounting tools like NetSuite, Sage, and QuickBooks.
- Gilad Rom: Gilad is the founder and CEO of Huan. He currently uses Zoho Books to handle accounting for his business and used Sage Business Cloud in the past.
- Nick Chernets: Nick currently uses Sage to manage accounting for his business, DataForSEO. He has also used QuickBooks Online in the past.
- Mark Hayes: Mark is the head of marketing at Kintell. The company currently uses Wave to pay their team of freelancers.
- Cole Torres: Cole is the owner of Local Eye Media. He currently uses Wave for his accounting purposes.