The best accounting and bookkeeping apps for small businesses
Because dealing with percentages, decimal points, and calculations is likely to result in blunders and a headache for the average person, many of us just defer to the expertise of professionals when it comes to balancing the books.
The financial part of a business can easily go out of control, especially if it expands more quickly than was anticipated, despite the fact that many proprietors and managers of businesses desire to maintain control over every facet of their operations.
Many small businesses are turning to accounting software in order to keep a closer eye on their operations and spending habits, as well as to find ways to bump up their profits.
While accountants and bookkeepers can be helpful for those who are pressed for time or who simply prefer not to think about numbers, accounting software is becoming increasingly popular among small businesses.
When there are so many different platforms to choose from, it can feel like getting an economics degree just to locate one that is not only inexpensive but also simple to operate. Canstar Blue conducted a survey of more than 800 business owners and decision-makers in Australia to get the dirt on the accounting software that they prefer to use in their companies.
The results of this survey were compiled and analysed to create a useful reference.
The purpose of this exercise is to present you with as much information as possible about the various service providers that are being compared, with the goal of assisting you in making a more educated choice regarding which service will best match your requirements and preferences.
What exactly did we unearth this time around? After achieving the highest possible scores in the majority of our evaluation criteria, Intuit QuickBooks ascended to the top spot in our rankings.
Best Small Business Accounting and Bookkeeping Apps
The following is a list of the top accounting and bookkeeping apps for small businesses in the year 2020:
XERO ACCOUNTING APP
It is not only one of the most powerful accounting and bookkeeping tools on the market, but it also comes at a very reasonable price. Businesses that need to include a limitless number of users without incurring any additional costs for those users are the ones best suited to take advantage of it.
You are able to execute bank reconciliation with the assistance of the Xero app, monitor staff hours, obtain receipts, add and modify client details, and send invoices.
Both the software and the mobile application have received great ratings from end customers, with the mobile application receiving a rating of 3.5 in the Apple app store and a rating of 3.4 on Android. On the other hand, a significant number of customers ranked it lower than QuickBooks, which has received higher reviews for both its user experience and its capabilities.
QUICKBOOKS ACCOUNTING APP
Although it does well in the accounting software category, Xero is not as strong as its competitor QuickBooks in the app category. When compared, the user ratings for QuickBooks on the Apple app store and the Google Play store are 4.7 and 4.3, respectively; nonetheless, the gap between the two is pretty obvious.
This is due to the fact that the intuitive app synchronises data between devices in an unobtrusive manner and is capable of performing all of the tasks that are available to be performed by the programme.
It can help you retrieve more than 50 reports and share them with stakeholders; it can also assist you in sending invoices with associated receipts; monitoring expenses; accepting payments; moving funds to bank accounts; and more.
The one and only drawback is that it is more expensive than the other programmes, and you will also have to pay an additional sum for payroll. It is simple to use and comprehend, and it functions effectively with all varieties of commercial enterprises.
ZOHO BOOKS ACCOUNTING APP
The Zoho Books accounting app is compatible with all major operating systems, including Android, iOS, and Windows. It is helpful in automating the time-consuming and repetitive operations that, when done manually by the bookkeeper, become monotonous and a burden on their shoulders.
It gives users a number of different automated workflow choices, which in turn enables them to automate a variety of accounting procedures. On the Apple app store, it has a rating of 4.7, and it integrates flawlessly with Siri, Apple Maps, and iMessage.
Sending invoices, instantly pulling up reports, documenting expenses, obtaining insights from the dashboard, tracking time spent on projects, and many other tasks are made easier with the assistance of the Zoho app. The app’s lack of a payroll feature and its inability to interact with other software packages are also drawbacks to using it.
FRESH BOOKS ACCOUNTING APP
It is a highly rated mobile software that helps you to stay connected with your clients and make invoices while you are on the go, and it has received a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple app store from users. It reduces the amount of time needed to record expenses to just a few minutes, and it enables you to have real-time dialogues with your customers directly through the app itself.
The most useful feature of this application is that it informs you of the precise moment a customer viewed one of their invoices. It is an excellent choice for people who work alone. The correct bookkeeper will be able to assist you in determining whether or not you require this programme or a more advanced one.
SAGE ACCOUNTING APP
Sage, as the majority of bookkeepers, would agree, provides a variety of capabilities, some of which include access to data in real-time, rapid invoicing and management of overdue invoices, tracking of expenses, and control of cash flow from any location.
The Sage app has received a rating of 4.4 stars in the Apple app store and is compatible with both iOS and Android. It is equipped with a chat function that can be used for texting, taking images of receipts, checking balances, and other similar tasks. The cost is reasonable, and there are a variety of pricing tiers available to accommodate the various app features.
WAVE ACCOUNTING APP
The fact that the Wave accounting app is free to use for the vast majority of its capabilities makes it a good choice for companies that have only a few people working for them. It does not have any elaborate features, but it is adequate for meeting the fundamental requirements of a self-employed person.
You won’t be charged anything more to run multiple enterprises and keep tabs on your costs all from the same account. The primary benefits it offers are in the areas of billing and transaction management. If you require in-depth functions such as project management, then you will have no choice but to check at paid programmes that come with a variety of features to choose from.
GO DADDY BOOKKEEPING APP
Because it immediately interacts with e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay, Go Daddy Bookkeeping is the most effective accounting solution for business owners who sell their goods and services through online marketplaces like those mentioned above.
The fact that this app is more affordable than the alternatives now available on the market is another advantage it possesses. It has a rating of three stars on the Apple app store and may be used for a variety of purposes, such as accepting payments, taking pictures of receipts, sending invoices, and adding costs.
ZIPBOOKS ACCOUNTING APP
The low ratings given to the ZipBooks app in both the Apple app store and the Google Play store make it abundantly clear that the software does not have a high level of functionality. On the other hand, it is of enormous use to proprietors of small firms and independent contractors.
Invoicing, keeping track of hours worked, and monitoring projects can all be done easily with this tool. Although it lacks more advanced capabilities like as tracking of inventory and payroll, it is an effective solution for microbusinesses. In addition to that, it is quite simple to use.
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KASHOO CLOUD ACCOUNTING APP
Kashoo is a straightforward online accounting programme designed for straightforward bookkeeping techniques. It comes with a free trial period. You may use it to easily make invoices, analyse your financial data at any time, keep track of your costs, and get reports that are insightful.
It was developed specifically for use with Apple equipment and has gained a lot of traction among proprietors of small businesses with straightforward requirements.
Important factors to consider when selecting the finest accounting software
The prefered accounting or bookkeeping programme of your accountant or book-keeper
- Are you happy with your current external accountant or tax advisor??
- If that’s the case, ask them what software they recommend or prefer.
- If not, working with a good external accountant is an excellent place to start (nearly in any firm, let alone buying business software). Not just the one you know, but one that delights you. While you’re young, the technologies they utilise *should* affect your decision.
- Do you have or plan to hire a bookkeeper who makes you happy?
- If so, approach them and enquire about software recommendations. In my opinion, the bookkeeper’s viewpoint/preference surpasses the accountant’s (due to frequency of use and intimate understanding of your firm).
- If no, see question 1.
I believe that more accountants and bookkeepers use Xero these days, followed by MYOB and QuickBooks Online.
If your accountant or bookkeeper works in a certain profession (such as creatives or trades), they might recommend Rounded or Freshbooks, but most would recommend one of the BIG 3.
The incorporation of operational software
There’s more to software than accounting and bookkeeping.
These days, bookkeeping software isn’t always the most important operating tool. You’ll need a POS system like Square, Vend, Kounta, or Hike if you work in retail or hospitality.
Despite the fact that you could probably get away with just using the bookkeeping applications on their own (especially the mobile-friendly versions of QuickBooks, Xero, and Freshbooks), tradie-specific apps like ServiceM8, Tradify, NextMinute, and Simpro are definitely worth taking into consideration and should be on your list of priorities.
Applications such as Mindbody can be helpful if you own a fitness centre or a yoga studio since they allow you to schedule appointments and keep track of the sessions that are being taught.
When compared to the significance of essential running software, the significance of accounting and bookkeeping software is substantially lower. This demonstrates that the bookkeeping software’s ability to link with a variety of operational tools, in addition to the quantity of alternatives that these integrations give, is the most valuable attribute that it possesses.
In this sector in Australia, Xero is miles ahead of the competition and completely dominates the market. QuickBooks is the next step after that (whose add-ons have multiple connections depending on area, and many decent apps only link with the US QBo). MYOB is a close second place finisher.
ZohoBooks is only a small part of the larger offering that ZohoOne provides, which is comprised of a wide variety of products and features and includes connectors with third-party operational tools that are regarded as being the best of breed. ZohoOne’s offering also includes ZohoConnect, which allows users to connect their Zoho accounts with other popular business applications. ZohoOne, which is marketed as “the holistic approach to business software,” includes everything from accounting to reporting, inventory control to email marketing, customer relationship management to project management, as well as everything in between. It is just breathtaking, particularly when one considers the price.
Best mobile applications for accounting software
If you had told me 10 years ago that I could allocate transactions on my bank statement, such as customer payments, using a mobile device, I would have laughed in your face. They believe that the mobile capability of an app displays that a company is aware of and keeps up with the latest technological developments as well as the demands of its customers.
In this regard, I think that QuickBooks (Online and Self-Employed) has a little edge over Xero when it comes to full solutions that can be accessed on mobile devices. In addition to that, Zoho Books offers an all-encompassing mobile solution. In the meantime, Rounded, a tiny Australian startup, provides a mobile solution that is less extensive but has a high customer satisfaction rating in the app stores.
MYOB’s mobile solution seems disconnected and incomplete in compared to those offered by the company’s rivals.
Automated Accounting Software
If the focus of attention over the past several years has been on the mobile trend, then I believe that after the year 2020, it will shift to automation in the shape of workflows and artificial intelligence.
The finest systems include features like:
- Debtor reminders sent automatically (Xero, MYOB Essentials, ZohoBooks);
- Invoices, bills, and journal entries are examples of recurring transactions. (QuickBooks Online, Xero, ZohoBooks)
- Banking transaction auto-coding is progressing from customer-defined criteria to AI-driven suggestions. (QuickBooks, MYOB, Xero)
- Bill/expense entry automation, from pdf or picture to entered and coded (Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks and ZohoBooks)
Overall, building good automation engines necessitates vast datasets and significant resources.
Automation serves as the economic moat or barrier to a competition in which global players have a major competitive advantage. Companies such as Intuit (QuickBooks), Xero, Sage, and Zoho are already delivering in this space, and I can only see them accelerating away from smaller players. This is because of the size of these companies, their access to data, and the significant human capital they have to construct such things.
Single-touch payroll should be an absolute must for any business that has employees. If you have staff members, you will require up-to-date payroll software to maintain compliance and to make processing payroll easier. If you have decided to start your own business, you will almost probably need to hire yourself on as an employee, which means you will require a payroll system.
QuickBooks has collaborated with KeyPay to include payroll bundling as a component of their Australian QuickBooks Online offerings. Ironically, Sage Business Cloud Financials has followed suit with this action. On this score, KeyPay is likely to come out on top because it is an embedded “best-of-breed.”
The payroll feature of Xero is not the company’s strongest point. In spite of this, it is more than competent, it is always being improved, and it is light years ahead of MYOB’s payroll system (Essentials particularly).
Both Saasu and ReckonOne provide OK integrated Payroll solutions for free or at a low fee.
Could you simply Google it?
Learning how to accomplish things outside of the textbook is something that we are great fans of doing.
Do you lack confidence in your ability to finish a task? How can I figure things out in the quickest and most effective way possible? Simply look it up on Google…
I am of the opinion that it would be beneficial to provide a product rating based on the availability of internet resources for a variety of How-Tos. These resources might range from wikis to community assistance to Facebook groups to Youtube. It is a valid judging point due to the fact that it is the contemporary approach that people take to learning methods.
The major players will, by definition, have more online content from both themselves and the communities and partners with which they are affiliated. When it comes to “just googling it,” Xero is the finest option in Australia. QuickBooks Online has the most content, but the software itself is a little bit different due to the fact that it is primarily aimed at the American market.
Despite the fact that there are multiple versions of MYOB and it is easy to become confused as to which product you are using, which version you are using, and so on, MYOB has garnered a lot of praise for the sheer amount of industry-specific content that is made available.
Based solely on feedback from customers, Rounded has a reputation for having one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings. It is only right to point out that growing customer care in software for small and micro businesses is exceedingly difficult, as this is just fair.
My opinion is that Rounded is in the lead because the company is still relatively young, therefore it has not yet encountered the problem of scalability, and the company’s top directors are still very hands-on with the company’s clients.
When it comes to customer support in Australia, QuickBooks is head and shoulders above the competition thanks to its availability by phone, email, and live chat. MYOB offers first-rate support by phone and in a variety of different formats (though my experience is not as timely as QuickBooks).
Xero has been criticised for not offering phone support (for an example, see this thread), but not everyone expects phone service in 2020, and in general, Xero does alright given its scale and responsiveness to online queries.
Wave, which has been owned by H&R Block since the previous year, is a good option for the price (it is free), and it has been purchased by H&R Block. However, according to a well-known proverb, if you don’t pay for the product, you become the commodity that is being bought and sold. After dabbling in advertisements in the past, the company’s primary source of revenue now comes from consumers making use of its merchant facility, which offers exceptionally competitive prices. In a manner comparable to how Square manages POS.
Already, I have alleged that QuickBooks is engaging in price dumping in Australia (a big US player looking to muscle Xero in their home market). In recent years, I feel there has been a discernible movement away from this under the leadership of a new CEO. Although they have increased their costs, they are still less expensive than Xero and MYOB for services that are equivalent.
ReckonOne has extremely competitive pricing, with a starting point that is less than $7 per month, and a modular approach to its product. Saasu is a wonderful deal for what you get considering its starting price of $15 per month.
Freshbooks and ZohoBooks provide the impression of being good values; nevertheless, I do not like the way that they sell their products by contact or customer because even modestly sized firms may have a large number of clients.
MYOB is not the best accounting software in my opinion because they overprice their products for comparable capacity, betting on the goodwill of their long-standing brand and a rusted-on, boomer customer base. This is why MYOB is not the best accounting software.
The price of Xero reflects the company’s position as the industry leader as well as their premium service. You’re unlikely to choose Xero based solely on pricing, but it provides excellent value when other elements are considered.
How Accounting Tools Work
Accounting is probably not on your list of favourite things to do as a business owner; it’s complicated and must be done correctly. Small business accounting software developers have worked hard to make this discipline as simple and enjoyable as possible.
Some have proven more successful than others, such as Intuit QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books.
If you’ve ever used an online productivity programme, you’ll be familiar with the format of these tools.
They all use toolbars and other navigation aids to organise their material into logical chunks.
Purchase, inventory, reporting, and payroll activities are all grouped together. A Settings link is always there, leading to panels where you can set preferences for the entire utility.
These include your setup tasks as well as any settings you may need to change from time to time, such as limiting extra users to specific regions.
The dashboard homepage of a product gives a real-time summary of the financial data you need to see frequently, such as income and expense charts, account balances, and invoices and bills that need to be paid right away. Links to places of the tool where you can take action are frequently found.
To move across each tool and enter data, you follow conventional web conventions. You’ll come across a lot of buttons and arrows, drop-down lists, and menus along the way. Color is occasionally used to indicate relevant information, and visuals and typefaces are carefully picked to make the tools as appealing as possible.
Which accounting software is best for my business?
Although they may appear to some to be the same, each accounting software platform is distinct, with unique functions and features as well as varying levels of client care. You might be tempted to take the cheapest plan available.
However, you may be foregoing other capabilities that could help you speed up technical and challenging operations, saving you time and money in the long run.
With so many alternatives accessible to organisations, deciding which platform best suits your day-to-day operations can be a difficult task.
In the end, the decision will be based on your needs and budget, as well as how you want to manage your business.
Setting aside some time to investigate what each brand has to offer to assist you to attain your financial objectives can save you time and hassle in the long run.
The best accounting and bookkeeping apps for small businesses. Canstar Blue surveyed more than 800 business owners and decision-makers in Australia. Both the software and the mobile application have received great ratings from end customers.
However, a significant number of customers ranked it lower than QuickBooks. Zoho Books accounting app is compatible with all major operating systems, including Android, iOS, and Windows.
The app’s lack of a payroll feature and inability to interact with other software packages are also disappointing. The Sage app has received a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple app store from users.
It reduces the amount of time needed to record expenses to just a few minutes, and it enables you to have real-time dialogues with your customers. The ZipBooks app is of enormous use to proprietors of small firms and independent contractors.
It has a rating of three stars on the Apple app store and may be used for a variety of purposes, such as accepting payments, taking pictures of receipts, sending invoices, and adding costs.
Accounting and bookkeeping software’s most valuable feature is its capacity to link with various operational tools. Xero is the clear winner in this category in Australia. QuickBooks (Online and Self-Employed) slightly ahead of Xero, as far as full solutions on mobile.
Intuit, Xero, Sage, and Zoho are already delivering in this space. Integrated Payroll is a must for any company with employees.
KeyPay, as an embedded “best-of-breed,” is likely to win the battle on this front. Rounded arguably has the greatest customer satisfaction rating. QuickBooks outperforms the competition in Australia when it comes to customer service.
PricingWave, which has been owned by H&R Block since last year, is a good option for the price (it’s free). The Xero price reflects their market-leading position and premium service.
You’re unlikely to choose Xero based solely on pricing, but it provides excellent value.
The dashboard homepage of the product gives a real-time summary of the financial data you need to see frequently. Colour and typefaces are carefully chosen to make the tools as appealing as possible.
Each accounting software platform is distinct, with unique functions and features. The decision will be based on your needs and budget, as well as how you want to manage your business.