Best accounting software assists accountants in balancing books and tracking a company’s financial reports. Despite their shared purpose, these software applications vary based on the diverse needs of companies and accounting firms.
Every business has unique requirements, whether catering to international clients, preferring specific software brands, or opting for simplicity with lesser-known apps.
However, the common thread among all accounting software is that they make calculations more accessible, streamline processes, and reduce the risk of fundamental mistakes.
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9 Best Accounting Software for the Smooth Functioning of Your Business
Here are the best accounting software for small businesses and Corporate Companies in 2024 that cater to different needs, ranging from free applications to robust paid solutions.
1. Xero (Paid)
Xero is a powerful contender in the accounting software arena. Boasting cloud-based functionality, Xero is known for its user-friendly interface and cost-effectiveness, making it an excellent choice for midsize and large businesses.
The cloud-based nature of Xero ensures accessibility for an unlimited number of users across various subscription levels.
Integration with Gusto for payroll and a marketplace for third-party apps adds to its appeal. However, users might find the reporting capabilities somewhat limited, and fees are incurred for ACH payments.
Xero is user-friendlier, offering features like bill tracking, expense management, and bank reconciliation.
The software collaborates with payment processing software, providing multi-currency payment processing.
With pricing ranging (USD) from $15 (Early), and $42 (Growing) to $78 per month. Xero is a cost-effective solution catering to businesses at different stages of growth.
2. QuickBooks (Paid & Popular)
QuickBooks is the best accounting software for small businesses, an offering from the renowned US financial software company Intuit.
QuickBooks Online, the cloud-based version, is the go-to choice for many small business owners. Its popularity is attributed to its intuitive interface and the extensive online training resources and forums available for support.
QuickBooks provides a comprehensive suite of features, allowing users to handle various payment methods, including credit cards, eChecks, PayPal, mobile payments, and point-of-sale transactions.
The option to connect with a live bookkeeper is noteworthy, enhancing the user’s experience. The software also facilitates seamless information sharing with accountants and bookkeepers familiar with QuickBooks.
On the downside, QuickBooks might challenge those unfamiliar with accounting practices. To unlock the full potential of business analytics and insights, opting for the best plan is essential. With pricing ranging from $15 to $100 per month, QuickBooks caters to businesses of all sizes, making it a versatile and robust accounting solution.
3. Sage Accounting (Paid & Popular)
From the UK-based Sage Group, Sage Accounting positions itself as a reliable accounting software for small businesses with a distinctive chat feature. Despite not boasting the same brand recognition as some competitors, Sage Accounting offers a comprehensive suite of features consistent across its software and mobile app.
Sage Accounting stands out with its double-entry accounting capabilities, affordability, and support for unlimited users at the second-tier plan. Integrating data-driven insights and artificial intelligence enhances accuracy and expedites accounting processes. However, the absence of a free plan and an outdated user interface might deter some users.
The app’s chat function is a standout feature, enabling users to manage transactions through text. This innovative approach allows checking balances, logging payments, and tracking receipts. Sage Accounting covers the entire spectrum of accounting needs, from invoicing and payment acceptance to real-time reporting and inventory management. With pricing starting at $10 per month, Sage Accounting offers a competitive and feature-rich solution.
4. Zoho Books (Free & Paid)
Zoho Books, part of the well-known Zoho brand, distinguishes itself as a feature-rich best accounting software for small businesses focusing on inventory management.
While not as widely recognized as some competitors, Zoho Books provides small business owners with a comprehensive suite of tools.
Zoho Books offers a user-friendly interface, ensuring easy navigation through its extensive feature set. The app supports automatic mileage conversion and allows users to create contacts using photos of business cards.
However, users may need Zoho Expense for receipt scanning, and the lack of payroll services might be a drawback for some.
The software covers various functionalities, including expense and bill management, estimates and invoices, purchase orders, and billable time tracking.
Zoho Books facilitates online payment options, bank account connections, and workflow automation. With pricing ranging from free to $240 per organization per month, Zoho Books caters to businesses with varying needs and budgets.
5. Wave (Free & Paid)
For small businesses seeking a free accounting solution without compromising on functionality, Wave emerges as a strong contender. Wave’s free invoicing app simplifies revenue tracking and offers a suite of tools for double-entry bookkeeping.
The key advantage of Wave is its cost-effectiveness, with accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning available for free. Users can run multiple businesses with a single account, and the number of users is unlimited. However, integrations are limited to Zapier, and additional fees apply for ACH payments and credit cards.
Wave provides a solid foundation for simple accounting needs without overwhelming users with complex features. The platform enables users to track income, manage expenses, create customizable invoices, and handle online payments. While the core accounting software is free, users may incur costs for add-on features like payroll services.
6. GnuCash (Free)
GnuCash is a free, open-source accounting program for those who embrace open-source solutions. Tailored for independent accountants and small businesses, GnuCash mirrors a checkbook-style registry, offering familiarity and simplicity.
While the interface may appear old-school to some, GnuCash provides a familiar checkbook-style registry, especially for those accustomed to Microsoft Excel. As an open-source solution, GnuCash is a cost-effective option for those seeking basic accounting functionalities.
7. Freshbooks (Free Trial & Paid)
Designed with freelancers and small business owners in mind, Freshbooks offers a robust invoicing and accounting solution. The Freshbooks Invoice+Accounting app has features that simplify regular invoicing tasks, making it an ideal choice for service-oriented businesses.
Freshbooks excels in user-friendly mobile UI, allowing users to review conversation history, chat with clients, and receive notifications on invoice views and payments. The app covers automatic mileage tracking and receipt import. However, adding more users can be costly, and advanced automation features may require a premium plan.
Beyond invoicing, Freshbooks encompasses essential accounting functions such as accounts receivable and payable, balance sheets, and general ledger tools.
Automation of credit card charges and payment reminders streamlines accounting tasks, while project management features enhance task distribution and communication.
8. Odoo Accounting (Free & Paid)
Odoo Accounting joins the ranks of free accounting solutions tailored for small businesses. While offering free financial tracking and invoicing, Odoo provides a platform for additional paid apps, streamlining daily operations for businesses.
As a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, Odoo Accounting offers a holistic approach to business management. Businesses can explore various paid apps to enhance their daily operations, creating a tailored suite of solutions.
9. Book Keeper (Paid)
While not as widely recognized as some competitors, Book Keeper positions itself as an excellent accounting app for small businesses with a user-friendly interface. With over 500,000 users, Book Keeper offers a straightforward design and ease of use.
Book Keeper’s strengths lie in its user-friendly interface, quick report generation, and features covering invoicing, reporting, and billing. The app maintains records neatly, and users praise its friendly customer service. However, a pop-up feature might benefit from improvement, and customer service is primarily accessible through email, live chat, or iMessage.
The app caters to users seeking a straightforward accounting and invoicing tool with many features. Inventory management is a standout capability, allowing users to monitor stock, support multiple warehouses, create barcodes, and scan them using the phone’s camera. Pricing ranges from $79 to $390 for yearly plans and $19 monthly for five users.
Conclusion on Best Accounting Software
Selecting the best accounting software depends on your business’s unique needs and scale. Whether you opt for the comprehensive features of QuickBooks, the user-friendliness of Xero, the cost-effectiveness of Wave, or the simplicity of Book Keeper.
Each option has its strengths. When deciding, consider your business’s specific requirements, budget constraints, and future scalability. With the right accounting software, you’ll streamline financial processes and gain valuable insights for informed decision-making in the dynamic business world.