Buying A Business

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.

Single Tax REturn

 

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.

Do you need help with your bookkeeping? Bookkept is a trusted accounting and bookkeeping company in Australia. We perform cheap and quick tax returns for individuals. You can give us a call at (03) 8568 3606 or email us on [email protected].

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.

Key considerations for choosing the best accounting software

Your Accountant’s / Bookkeeper’s software preference

  • 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.

Integration with 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.

While you could definitely get away with just using the bookkeeping applications on their own (especially the mobile-friendly QuickBooks, Xero, and Freshbooks), tradie-specific apps like ServiceM8, Tradify, NextMinute, and Simpro are worth considering.

If you run a yoga studio or a gym, applications like Mindbody can help you schedule appointments and keep track of your classes.

Accounting and bookkeeping software is less vital than critical operating software. This means that the bookkeeping software’s most valuable feature is its capacity to link with various operational tools, as well as the number of alternatives that these integrations provide.

Xero is the clear winner in this category in Australia. QuickBooks is next (whose add-ons have multiple connections depending on area, and many decent apps only link with the US QBo). Then there’s MYOB.

While most offer connectors with best-of-breed third-party operational tools, ZohoBooks is just one small portion of the ZohoOne offering, which includes a comprehensive portfolio of products. From accounting to reporting, inventory control to email marketing, CRM to project management, and everything in between… “The Holistic Approach To Business Software,” as ZohoOne is marketed. At the price, it’s quite impressive.

Best accounting software mobile apps

I would have laughed at the idea of assigning bank statement transactions such as customer payments on a mobile device ten years ago. They think an app’s mobile functionality demonstrates that a corporation knows and keeps up with technology and client demands.

On this count, I place QuickBooks (Online and Self-Employed) slightly ahead of Xero, as far as full solutions on mobile. In addition, ZohoBooks has a comprehensive mobile solution. Meanwhile, Rounded, a small Australian company, offers a less comprehensive mobile solution but has a good customer satisfaction rating in the app stores.

In comparison to its competitors, MYOB’s mobile product is disjointed and lacking.

Accounting Software Automation

If the last few years have been about the mobile trend, I predict that beyond 2020 it will be about automation in the form of workflows and AI.

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.

The economic moat or barrier to a competition where global players have a significant competitive advantage is automation. Because of their size, access to data, and significant human capital to construct such things, companies like Intuit (QuickBooks), Xero, Sage, and Zoho are already delivering in this space, and I can only see them accelerating away from smaller players.

Integrated Payroll

For any company with employees, single-touch payroll is a must. If you have employees, you’ll need modern payroll software to ensure compliance and ease of use. If you’ve formed a company, you’ll almost certainly be paying yourself as an employee and will want a payroll system.

As part of their Australian QuickBooks Online solutions, QuickBooks has worked with KeyPay to bundle payroll. Sage Business Cloud Financials, ironically, has done the same. On this front, KeyPay, as an embedded “best-of-breed,” is likely to win.

Xero’s payroll isn’t its strongest suit. Still, it’s more than adequate, and it’s improving all the time, and it’s light years ahead of MYOB’s payroll (Essentials particularly).

Both Saasu and ReckonOne provide OK integrated Payroll solutions for free or at a low fee.

Can you just Google it?

We’re big fans of learning how to do things outside of the textbook.

Are you unsure how to complete a task? What’s the most efficient approach to figure it out? Simply Google it…

I believe that providing a product rating based on the availability of internet resources for a variety of How-Tos, from wikis to community support, Facebook groups to Youtube… Because it is the modern method individuals learn systems, it is a legitimate judgement point.

The major players, by definition, have more online material from themselves and their communities/partners. In Australia, Xero is the best for “simply googling it.” QuickBooks Online contains the most content, however, the product is slightly different due to a dominating American focus.

MYOB gets special attention for the sheer volume of market-specific content available, despite the fact that there are several versions and it’s easy to get lost in which product, which version, and so on.

Personal Tax Couple

Support

Rounded arguably has the greatest customer satisfaction rating based on consumer comments alone. It is only fair to mention that scaling customer service in software for small and micro firms is extremely challenging.

Rounded, I believe, is leading the way since they are still small and haven’t yet run into the scalability issue, and their top directors are still very hands-on with their clientele.

QuickBooks outperforms the competition in Australia when it comes to customer service, giving phone, email, and live chat help. MYOB provides excellent phone and other forms of assistance (though my experience is not as timely as QuickBooks).

Xero has been chastised for not providing phone assistance (see this thread for example), but not everyone expects phone service in 2020, and Xero does OK in general, given its size and reactivity to online queries.

Pricing

Wave, which has been owned by H&R Block since last year, is a good option for the price (it’s free). Although, as the old adage goes, if you don’t pay for the product, you are the thing being sold. They currently monetize depending on people using their extremely reasonably priced merchant facility, after experimenting with ads previously. Similar to how Square handles POS.

I’ve already accused QuickBooks of price dumping in Australia (a big US player looking to muscle Xero in their home market). Under a new CEO, I believe there has been a notable shift away from this in recent times. They’ve raised their prices, but they’re still cheaper than Xero and MYOB for comparable services.

ReckonOne boasts exceptionally aggressive pricing, with an entry point of under $7/month and a modular approach. Starting at $15 a month, Saasu is a good deal for what you get.

Freshbooks and ZohoBooks appear to be good value, however, I don’t like how they price per contact/customer, as even small businesses might have a lot of them.

MYOB isn’t the greatest accounting software, in my opinion, because they overprice their solutions for comparable capability, banking on the goodwill of their long-standing brand and rusted-on, boomer customer base.

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 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.

Summary

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.

Scroll to Top

Learn how we've helped businesses just like yours