What Is The Best Bookkeeping Software For Small Businesses?
Small company owners benefit from accounting software because it allows them to manage accounts receivable and payable, track profitability, and prepare for tax season. In the case of accounting software, a small business is one that can use off-the-shelf software without making significant changes.
However, accounting needs get increasingly complex as a firm grows, necessitating the usage of a specialist enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Small company accounting software comes in a number of flavours, each with its own set of features and pricing.
A small business owner may pick the best accounting software by considering the kind of industry and the number of workers. A freelancer, for example, does not need the same accounting software as a restaurant proprietor.
You can’t afford to lose track of your company’s cash (literally). Fortunately, several accounting software alternatives are available to help you arrange spending, bill clients, and keep track of your finances. The key is to choose accounting software that has all of the features you want at a price you can afford.
It’s easy to become lost in the sea of accounting software alternatives with so many possibilities—but don’t panic. To help you choose, we’ve examined our top ten picks below.
Accounting software is one of the first business apps you should get when starting a company. You’ll use it every day to track the money coming in and out of your business, so picking the appropriate one is critical.
You may use it to produce invoices, track incoming and outgoing payments, discover and follow up on past due accounts receivables, and run reports to monitor your organisation’s financial health and other elements.
It might be difficult to pick from the hundreds of accounting software solutions available.
In our search for the best accounting software for small businesses, we sought for economical, user-friendly accounting packages. In addition, we wanted them to be cloud-based with a mobile app so you could view your data from anywhere at any time.
Small company owners may use the best accounting software to simply handle their accounts, prepare for tax season, and keep track of their finances.
It’s a more cost-effective option to employing a large agency to handle taxes and payroll for many small firms.
However, picking one might be difficult with so many options available today. As a result, we’ve developed a list of the top small company accounting software to help you quickly identify the best fit.
We sought for time-saving features like automated bank feeds, automatic payment reminders, and online invoicing and payment acceptance in accounting systems.
We also searched for software that provided extensive, configurable, real-time financial reporting, which is critical for keeping track of and understanding your company’s finances.
Best Accounting Software for Small Business of 2020
Like choosing good accounting software, accounting does not have to be complex. There are several full-featured, capable accounting tools available on the cloud that are simple to use and may assist small business owners in gaining control of their money.
We’ll go through the top nine accounting software applications in this article.
Price, ease of use, accessible features, and user evaluations were all factors in our decision.
Each product on this list has important corporate accounting tools and automations that will simplify your accounting activities.
It’s nice to have a list of software options, but how do you know which one is best for your company? Keep the following items in mind while shopping for accounting or bookkeeping software.
Identify your needs.
Do you require a platform that allows you to manage inventories, or do you have more immediate issues such as receipt tracking and sales tax? Please establish a list of your accounting requirements and rank them in order of importance.
Before you begin looking for solutions, decide on a target amount of requirements that your selected program will satisfy.
You may be flexible here, but the bells and whistles of a solution that solves for 18 needs you don’t have are tempting to get sidetracked by.
Be honest about your budget
Setting a budget is probably not at the top of everyone’s list of things to accomplish. Examining your spending patterns may be a difficult and unpleasant task. However, if you think about it, a personal budget may help you gain control of your money and stay on pace to meet your financial objectives.
Determine how much you can afford to spend on accounting or bookkeeping software before you begin the research part of the process.
Then, when you know how much money you have set aside, try not to waste too much time reviewing software that isn’t feasible.
Budgets frequently have some wiggle area, but make it a rule to walk away if a solution costs more than 25% of your total budget.
Research for features that meet your needs.
It’s easy to get carried away with details. However, suppose you’re contemplating software that specializes in accounting services for worldwide teams but just do business in Australia. In that case, you can end up paying for a lot of features you don’t need.
Don’t get carried away. Instead, return to your list of prioritized requirements and only choose software that fulfills the majority of them.
Intuit QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks is often recognized as the best accounting software option for small businesses. QuickBooks is a dream accounting software tool for small businesses, whether it’s because of the inexpensive cost, the numerous pricing levels, or the exceptional features.
This small company software is popular because of its receipt capturing, 24/7 chat support, and interfaces with PayPal, Shopify, and Square.
All plans include features such as tracking revenue and spending, sending invoices and receiving payments, running reports, sending estimates, tracking sales and taxes, and capturing and organizing receipts. Advanced plans include inventory tracking, time tracking, and full-service payroll.
Of the accounting software for small companies tested, QuickBooks Online is the best overall.
Not only do the vast majority of small company accounting professionals utilize QuickBooks Online, but there are also a plethora of online training materials and forums where you can receive help when you need it. In addition, all accounting functions are available from a single dashboard, allowing for more fluid and efficient bookkeeping.
QuickBooks Online accounting software has long been used by small businesses and their bookkeeping and tax professionals.
The application is accessible via a web browser or a mobile app and is hosted in the cloud.
The four membership categories offered after the 30-day free trial are Simple Start ($25 per month), Essentials ($40 per month), Plus ($70 per month), and Advanced ($150 per month). Most accountants provide a substantial discount for the first several months, and some accountants can even offer wholesale pricing to small businesses.
This software’s monthly subscription may be updated as a business expands, and the mobile app has several customization choices for receiving payments, reviewing reports, capturing a picture of a receipt, and tracking business travel. In addition, QuickBooks Payroll is a payroll system that works seamlessly with QuickBooks Online.
Inventory management, time monitoring, extra users, and budgeting are all included in each plan.
Simple Start will cover all of the demands of most service-based small enterprises. Essentials or Plus will provide product-based small enterprises with additional inventory and customization possibilities.
The Advanced subscription is a brand-new product that includes Fathom-powered financial reports.
Fathom is a high-end online financial report analysis tool utilised by many significant corporations throughout the world.
While FreshBooks has a great user experience, no one has yet been able to match the magic formula that QuickBooks has discovered.
QuickBooks is the name in accounting software for many people, and they are undoubtedly one of the most powerful forces in the market.
The name QuickBooks has become associated with small company accounting for a reason: their software checks all the boxes and delivers an amazing user experience.
QuickBooks may be accessed from any device with an internet connection because it is a cloud-based solution.
There are, however, specific apps for mobile platforms that make it simple to manage your account while on the road.
Unfortunately, these companies’ mobile applications are frequently inferior to their web-based experiences. On the other hand, QuickBooks is an exception, and the QuickBooks app is the finest we’ve ever used.
Of course, QuickBooks charges a higher price than its competitors because of the brand name’s clout and the high level of service it provides.
QuickBooks is almost certain to handle any chores you throw at it for any small business that can pay the asking price. If you’re on a tight budget, though, QuickBooks can be overkill when it comes to the cost of entry.
However, this may not be an issue for some organizations because third-party apps are integrated.
If you are going to use these features, make sure they are compatible first.
All options include third-party app integration, such as Stripe or PayPal. The app shop for QuickBooks Online organizes all of their apps by function and includes useful samples of each product’s benefits.
With over 2.7 million users worldwide, Xero is a cloud-based accounting software platform for small companies.
Small company owners and their advisers may access real-time financial data using Xero at any time, from any location, on any device.
In addition, Xero has a community of over 1,000 third-party apps and over 300 banking and financial partner integrations.
Xero is the best option for microbusinesses searching for simple accounting software in our analysis.
This program features a straightforward user interface and seamlessly interacts with a third-party payroll provider. In addition, through Xero’s interface with Stripe and GoCardless, businesses can accept payments from clients online.
Xero was launched in New Zealand in 2006 and today has over two million customers throughout the world. New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom all use this accounting software. Xero employs over 3,000 people and is quickly expanding in the United States.
Xero has three monthly membership choices plus a full-service payroll add-on: Early, Growing, and Established, all of which cost $9 a month.
For an additional $39 per month + $6 per employee, Gusto offers a full-service payroll solution. In addition, the firm provides a 30-day free trial as well as a two-month 50% discount promotion.
The Early plan restricts usage to five invoices or quotations, five bills, and the reconciliation of 20 bank transactions each month.
This restricted plan may be appropriate for a micro-business that does a modest number of high-ticket transactions each month, such as a consultant or small service provider.
On the other hand, invoices, bills, and transactions are limitless in both the Growing and Established subscriptions.
The sole difference is that the Established plan includes more capabilities like as multi-currency, spending management, and project costing. In addition, Hubdoc, a bill and receipt capturing tool, is included in all three levels.
Website for small business accounting Account reconciliation, data imports, inventory management, and project monitoring are just a few of the areas where Xero excels.
It is now one of the best alternatives for today’s small enterprises, thanks to recent enhancements in areas like reporting, projects, and document management.
Automatic bank feeds, a collaborative client portal, accounting and taxes, online payments, invoice templates, and analytical reports are all included in Zoho Books.
In addition, users may track reimbursable expenditures and manage various time sheets for different projects with the system.
Zoho Books is an end-to-end accounting system that handles money across a whole company for businesses of all sizes.
Accounts payable and receivable, time tracking, payroll, transaction management, inventory control, and banking are all automated by the system.
Additionally, Zoho Books manages customer and supplier relationships via the client portal, allowing consumers to retain their payment information for recurring transactions securely.
With a nice UI, affordable pricing, and a robust collection of capabilities, Zoho Books is ideal for cloud-based small company accounting.
However, its restricted payroll service may drive some consumers to explore elsewhere.
If you send out recurring invoices, need time tracking, or run a subscription-based business, FreshBooks could be right for you. You can even track where a customer opened your invoice to avoid those annoying “I never got it” disputes.
They work with a range of business tools and provide a single dashboard for money and accounting management. Backups are performed on a regular basis, and a mobile app allows you to keep on top of your business at all times.
Invoicing is the most important accounting necessity for most service-based firms.
FreshBooks offers greater customization options than competing accounting software. Its major role is to transmit, receive, print, and pay invoices, but it may also help a firm with basic bookkeeping. This accounting software may be used by service-based businesses to issue proposals and invoices, collect deposits, manage project time, and receive payments.
FreshBooks originated in Toronto in 2003 as a basic invoicing program. FreshBooks now employs over 300 employees and has added more features over time. There are four distinct alternatives to choose from, and paying yearly rather than monthly may save companies 10%.
FreshBooks also offers a 60 percent monthly discount for a six-month term. Lite ($15/month), Plus ($25/month), Premium ($50/month), and Select ($50/month) are the four tiers. Select is a one-of-a-kind service with a one-of-a-kind price.
The amount of different clients who can be invoiced each month is the biggest variation between the four options. Up to five clients can be invoiced each month on the Lite plan. The Plus package allows you to bill up to 50 customers each month.
The Premium package allows you to bill up to 500 customers each month.
Finally, the number of clients that can be invoiced every month is unlimited with the Select package.
However, multiple team members cost an extra $10 per month, and the advanced payment option, which allows users to charge a credit card in real-time or set up a recurring credit card charge for a customer, costs an extra $20 per month.
Shopify, Gusto, Stripe, G Suite, and other third-party software connectors are also accessible. FreshBooks invoices may be fully personalized and adjusted for a professional appearance and feel, which is a unique feature. FreshBooks is an excellent tool for planning tasks, delivering estimates or proposals, and collecting money from customers.
Unlike Xero, FreshBooks does not place any harsh limitations on the user.
FreshBooks is so easy to use that it’s one of our favourite features. The user experience is designed to be as easy as possible, making creating personalized receipts from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop a breeze. To take use of the entire range of FreshBooks capabilities, you simply need the most basic subscription, which is $10 per month.
However, FreshBooks subscriptions have limitations on the number of clients you may have in your contact book. You can send as many invoices to each client as you like, but unless you upgrade to a more expensive plan, you can only maintain data for 5 at a time. This implies that, like Xero, FreshBooks’ lower-tier plans are better suited to freelancers and enterprises that are just getting started. You’ll want to upgrade to one of the more costly plans that supports 50 to 500 clients as your organization expands.
Freshbooks is a wonderful application for managing your money over time and making it simple to produce and handle invoices. Users may view precise breakdowns of how much money they have brought in, how much they have spent, and how much profit they have taken home with the push of a few buttons. In addition, users may simply customize these reports to span any time period they choose and compare their results over time.
Sage is a well-known accounting software program. It’s a favourite among solo traders, small firms, and accountants.
Sage can help you manage your firm’s cash flow, sales, and taxes. It also makes reporting a lot easier and more efficient. It’s a multi-functional solution that caters to a variety of corporate requirements.
When you’re ready to expand your firm, the platform also has a variety of more complex capabilities. Inventory management, payment card processing, and module-level security are among them.
Android, Apple, and Blackberry mobile apps are available for a variety of devices and operating systems.
In addition, other commercial productivity suites, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader, are also effortlessly integrated with Sage.
Sage is generally the first pick for organizations since it has been a market leader for many years, but it can be difficult to use if you have no prior knowledge.
On the other hand, Sage is an excellent alternative if you want an accounting software that you can use right away.
Wave is a fantastic accounting software platform for a service-based small business that does not require inventory management or payroll processing. Wave’s free features can manage all of a freelancer’s or service-based business’ accounting requirements, making it the best free software in our review. Accountants may utilize Wave to pull the reports they need to complete a company’s annual tax return.
The Wave is a corporation located in Toronto that was founded in 2010.
The company, which employs over 250 people, was recently purchased by H&R Block.
This free accounting software contains all of the necessary accounting capabilities for most small firms, including income and expense management, financial reporting, invoicing, and receipt scanning.
These features are accessible both online and via the mobile app. Customer payment processing and payroll are optional premium services, although bookkeeping, invoicing, and reporting are all free.
The payment gateway is where Wave makes its money.
Wave charges 2.9 percent plus 30 percent per transaction for Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, and 3.4 percent plus 30 percent for American Express to process a customer’s payment.
These fees are slightly more than those charged by other accounting software. When using an ACH payment instead of a credit card, Wave charges 1% each transaction with a $1 minimum fee. Because most accounting software does not charge a fee for ACH payment processing, Wave is one of the few exceptions.
As an add-on service, Wave provides two payroll options. The first option is $20 per month + $6 for each employee or contractor.
Wave will handle payroll and calculate payroll taxes under this plan, but the user will be responsible for manually filling out payroll tax forms and sending tax payments. The second option is $35 per month + $6 for each employee or contractor.
This package includes full-service payroll, which means that Wave handles all tax filings and payments. Unfortunately, only 14 states provide this full-service payroll solution.
It’s hard to top obtaining something for nothing. Free software frequently comes with a slew of disclaimers and/or integrated advertisements. Wave, on the other hand, does not fall under this category. Wave is a completely free accounting program that small businesses may use to their advantage.
Despite the fact that there is no cost to use Wave, it instantly provides customers with a user-friendly dashboard and sleek layout that makes browsing the various functions available as simple as possible. Many of the capabilities given by Wave are only available as paid features in rival apps, so it’s wonderful to have them available for free here.
Wave may also be used to manage many enterprises, making it ideal for any freelancer with a few side hustles. In addition, you may use Wave to handle both accounts in tandem, for example, if you moonlight as an Amazon seller while you’re not generating money from selling your drawing skills.
How Does Accounting Software Work?
Once a company’s bank accounts and credit cards have been synced with the accounting software, transactions will appear in a queue and may be sorted into the categories stated on the chart of accounts.
When the relevant category is selected, transactions begin to populate the company’s financial records.
By producing a financial report, business managers may examine profitability, compare income and costs, verify bank and loan balances, and predict tax liabilities in seconds. In addition, business executives can make key choices faster when they have rapid access to financial data.
Many accounting programs also support third-party application integration.
Consider the case of a business owner who utilizes a point of sale (POS) system to track sales. In such situation, the POS system and accounting software might work together to track particular transactions, sales tax liabilities, sales by subcategories, and more. A time tracking program might be integrated with accounting software to add labour to a customer invoice in a service-based firm.
How Did We Choose Accounting Software for Small Business?
Before determining our top five software solutions, we looked at nineteen accounting software vendors with specialized products for small businesses.
Cost, scalability, simplicity of use, reputation, and accounting features were all factors.
The longer a firm has been operational, the more likely any technology issues have been rectified, ensuring that essential financial information is provided properly.
The second most significant factor was scalability because as a company expands, so do its accounting demands, and moving financial data to new software may be time-consuming.
Finally, because all users must be able to access and analyze financials at the same time, simplicity of use and cooperation for business owners, employees, and accountants were examined.