Every business needs an accountant for financial management.
However, not every business has the justification or means of hiring an accountant. This is especially true for small businesses.
Thankfully, there are different accounting software to guide you through every accounting process.
Still, with too much accounting software, you might be at a crossroads regarding the best option.
To make choosing a small business accounting software easier, we’ve highlighted thirteen of the best in this article and some factors you should consider before choosing one.
- Benefits of Accounting Software
- Types of Accounting Software
- Top 13 Small Business Accounting Software
- The Best SUBJECT (Overview)
- 1. Intuit QuickBooks Online – Top Pick for Small Businesses
- 2. Zoho Books – Best for Microbusinesses
- 3. Xero – Best for Mobility
- 4. FreshBooks – Best Invoicing Software
- 5. Wave – Best Free Accounting Software
- 6. Kashoo – Best for Workflow Automation
- 7. OneUp – Best for Inventory Management
- 8. Sage 50cloud – Best for Customization
- 9. ZipBooks – Top Pick for Excellent UX
- 10. Melio – Best for Bill Management
- 11. Neat – Best for Receipt and Expense Tracking
- 12. Oracle NetSuite – Best for Advanced Features
- 13. Plooto – Best Accounts Receivable and Payable Software
- How to Choose the Best Accounting Software (Buying Guide)
Benefits of Accounting Software
Here are some reasons accounting software is great for your business:
Humans can make bookkeeping and accounting errors, such as incorrect manual inputs.
With accounting software, you don’t have to worry about that, as it can pull data from third-party apps.
A business can only grow when its finances are in order, which is where accounting software comes in.
With this tool, you can track financial data and automate many accounting processes, so you don’t miss anything, even while focusing on other aspects of your business.
Accounting software has become cheaper over the years, and you can find any suitable software below $350. In fact, some platforms are free!
Better Tax Compliance
Businesses and taxes go hand in hand, but the process can be tedious sometimes.
There is accounting software that can help businesses perform every tax-related activity, saving you valuable time and effort.
Types of Accounting Software
These are the three types of accounting software options available:
Commercial Accounting Software
These applications offer accounting features that fall between basic and full-service functionalities.
They also come with various add-on features and are available as downloadable applications.
Commercial accounting software is also the most popular among business owners.
Enterprise Resource Planning Software
Large companies usually use this kind of software. This software offers features that small businesses don’t necessarily need. They also tend to be more expensive.
Custom Accounting Software Applications
Although once popular, custom software has lost its relevance, as they don’t offer as many functionalities as you can find in commercial software.
Top 13 Small Business Accounting Software
Based on their features and reviews, here are the top thirteen small business accounting software programs.
The Best SUBJECT (Overview)
We’ve included an overview of our top picks below. For detailed information on each pick, scroll down.
- Intuit QuickBooks Online – Top Pick for Small Businesses
- Zoho Books – Best for Microbusinesses
- Xero – Best for Mobility
- FreshBooks – Best Invoicing Software
- Wave – Best Free Accounting Software
- Kashoo – Best for Workflow Automation
- OneUp – Best for Inventory Management
- Sage 50cloud – Best for Customization
- ZipBooks – Top Pick for Excellent UX
- Melio – Best for Bill Management
- Neat – Best for Receipt and Expense Tracking
- Oracle NetSuite – Best for Advanced Features
- Plooto – Best Accounts Receivable and Payable Software
1. Intuit QuickBooks Online – Top Pick for Small Businesses
QuickBooks Online should be the first to come to mind when discussing the best accounting software for small businesses.
This software features everything a small business needs in terms of bookkeeping.
With intuitive reporting and a clean interface at its core, newcomers can start operating the software like a pro in no time.
All plans on QuickBooks Online will grant you access to sales and tax reporting, income, mileage, expense tracking, etc.
More advanced features include inventory management, a customer support manager, and support for about 25 users.
Finally, it offers third-party integrations with other apps like Shopify, Square, and PayPal, making it one of the most highly-sought after small business accounting software.
2. Zoho Books – Best for Microbusinesses
Whether you’re a freelancer, an independent contractor, a sole proprietor, or own a business with less than ten people, Zoho Books is the top online accounting software you should consider.
It offers straightforward accounting and invoicing needs—basically everything you need to manage your business’s finances and cash flow.
Even better, you can automate workflows and collaborate with other workers in your team.
Plus, all the tools you need to carry out all activities regarding time-tracking, inventory management, financial reporting, etc., are here.
And as your small business grows into a larger one, you can use the software’s ability to upgrade and merge with different business applications.
Overall, you’d be getting all these, including its easy-to-read dashboard, at a budget-friendly price.
3. Xero – Best for Mobility
Xero is another accounting software that small business owners can leverage while working from anywhere.
Thanks to its mobile app functionality, you can sync the software across several devices and receive the latest updates and information on the go, no matter where you are.
With this app, you don’t have to worry about accounting issues—it has it all sorted out. You can use this software across different niche markets, from eCommerce to IT, retail, legal, and start-ups.
You can have all your financial reports at your fingertips and even link your bank accounts for a better experience.
Some accounting tasks that Xero will perform for you include sales tax calculation, expense management, payroll (through its collaboration with Gusto), billing and invoicing, and many more.
4. FreshBooks – Best Invoicing Software
If you’re particular about invoicing in your business, then FreshBooks is one accounting solution you need to jump on.
Not only is this software ideal for making invoices that meet professional standards, but it’s also great for tracking those invoices. Hence, you know when buyers get their invoices and when their balances are overdue.
FreshBooks boasts a simple dashboard that contains project management tools, time and income and expense tracking, and even the ability to make proposals you intend to send to potential customers.
In addition, you’ll find several smart technologies to automate data entry and simplify your bookkeeping activities.
For example, you can automatically receive financial data from several sources.
Thus, you can easily get essential financial statements such as income and cash flow statements and balance sheets.
5. Wave – Best Free Accounting Software
Wave is an excellent tool for small businesses wanting to meet their accounting needs without spending money.
As a free accounting software, it can perform almost all functions on paid platforms, like banking reconciliation, invoicing, expense management, and payroll.
It also tracks overdue invoices and cash flow and accepts online payments, although this comes with a fee.
You can also link unlimited credit cards and bank accounts to the software.
However, you might be unable to access some features, such as project management and inventory tracking.
6. Kashoo – Best for Workflow Automation
Kashoo takes the front stage regarding workflow automation, especially for small business owners with a lot of administrative work.
This app analyzes everything from sales tax tracking to receipt categorization using machine-learning algorithms.
It also helps you make customized suggestions to minimize waste, facilitate efficiency, and save money.
With other bookkeeping functionalities, Kashoo has proven to be capable of being anything from a simple invoicing solution to a full accounting solution.
In addition, you can use its integration with SurePayroll to pay your employees, although that’s for users who only have a few employees to pay.
And while Kashoo has a paid plan that starts at $20 per month, you can always sign up for a free trial to confirm that its features satisfy all your bookkeeping needs.
7. OneUp – Best for Inventory Management
OneUp is another bookkeeping software that automates your accounting and bookkeeping tasks.
After regularly analyzing inputs, this software understands your accounting processes and encourages users to validate recommended reconciliations.
With these validations, OneUp’s algorithms can provide more precise suggestions for your business.
This platform can also match particular bank transactions with outstanding invoices, which helps business owners save time.
And in terms of inventory management, it automatically modifies your inventory levels as they adjust and informs you when to reorder.
8. Sage 50cloud – Best for Customization
Sage 50cloud is a small business accounting software that offers top customization features to make your accounting tasks even simpler and more streamlined.
Regarding accounting tasks, this platform can handle inventory tracking, expense management, and invoicing.
It can also help you calculate what you owe every tax season, although Sage lacks collaboration and time-tracking capabilities.
The best part is that it integrates smoothly with Microsoft Office.
Finally, Sage is great for sales and customer management, and its access to point-of-sales (POS) allows customers to make online payments.
9. ZipBooks – Top Pick for Excellent UX
ZipBooks is well known for its excellent UX, offering a top-notch user experience and a premium interface that encourages accessibility.
That’s not to say that this accounting software is slacking in other areas, as it offers full functionalities to meet all your accounting needs.
Some features on this platform include customer tracking, sales management, bank account connectivity, etc.
While its free plan has enough functions to get you up to speed on everything you need, you might have to upgrade to a paid plan to access advanced features like document sharing and time-tracking.
Thankfully, the paid plans are budget-friendly, so small businesses working on a budget can still use this accounting software.
10. Melio – Best for Bill Management
Part of Melio’s appeal is its seamless bill-paying feature—all businesses can pay or get paid via credit card, bank transfer, or check.
There’s no fee for bank transfers, but there’s a 2.9% charge on debit or credit card transactions.
In addition, payments and revenues are synced with QuickBooks Online, which is a much easier way for businesses to sync with their bookkeeper or accountant.
Melio is another free accounting software that small businesses can leverage, although some transactions might come with a small fee.
It offers a clean and easy interface that helps improve user experience and will be great for people new to accounting.
11. Neat – Best for Receipt and Expense Tracking
Neat is the ideal tool for businesses that handle many receipts and expenses.
As a cloud-based app, you can upload all receipts from anywhere, including a mobile app. The mobile app is easy to use without any accounting skills needed.
After uploading the receipts, you can categorize them for easy tracking and better organization.
Neat also allows you to access accounting reports and interactive charts that will help you gain more insight into your business’s financial health.
12. Oracle NetSuite – Best for Advanced Features
Oracle NetSuite is best suited for more mature companies, unlike other accounting software on this list.
This is because it’s an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform that offers a more robust online accounting service than most software.
It offers basic accounting features like planning, billing, and reporting. Plus, it integrates smoothly with other software.
In terms of advanced capabilities, you can use NetSuite with multiple currencies, which makes it suitable for organizations with global customers.
You can also use this platform to facilitate your accounts receivable and payable and meet intricate financial compliance requirements.
Most importantly, it comes with real-time analytics that allows you to project your business’s financial future.
NetSuite’s cost depends on individual requirements, but it still has a high price point, making it unsuitable for small businesses running on a budget.
13. Plooto – Best Accounts Receivable and Payable Software
Plooto is a top account receivable and payable software, and the process is automated.
With this app, users can receive one-time or recurring payments from customers and pay vendors without delay.
It also integrates with Xero and QuickBooks to enhance user experience.
There are several payment options on Plooto, so you can pay with a credit card or use its automatic withdrawal function to create pre-authorized debits.
On top of all this, it has a high-security level that guarantees that all sensitive bank details are kept safe.
How to Choose the Best Accounting Software (Buying Guide)
To choose the best accounting software for your accounting tasks, here are some tips you should consider.
Your Accounting Needs
You first need to figure out the online accounting services you need.
Do you want to track expenses or inventory? Or do you need something to help you with payroll taxes and financial reports?
Whatever accounting processes you need, list them in order of importance. You might also need to research the top features you need for your business.
This will narrow down your options and help you select the accounting software that will serve you well.
Know Your Budget
As a small business owner, you can’t afford to spend more money than is necessary.
It is why you should know your pocket size and determine how much you can spare for bookkeeping software.
Several free accounting software can perform basic accounting tasks. You can take advantage of those if you’re in a tight spot.
Know Your Niche
Knowing your business niche is another way to ensure you don’t choose the wrong software.
For instance, a business offering design services might have accounting needs that differ from someone who sells beauty products online.
Then, someone selling both products and services might need other accounting capabilities.
It is why it’s essential to research what features you need and don’t need beforehand.
Focus on Cloud-Based Applications
There are several reasons why modern businesses are tilting towards cloud-based applications.
You can access them from anywhere, as long as you have a stable internet connection. They’re also compatible with a smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
Regarding accounting software, it sounds appealing to be able to access your business finances from anywhere.
Besides the standard features in accounting software, you should also look for add-on features that will make your work much more manageable.
For instance, some accounting software programs can integrate with other platforms like eCommerce software.
Then, there are others that accept online payments and remote access.
You can check out these features and see if they’d be useful in your business.
Ease of Use
Choosing complex software might be counterproductive, especially if you don’t have accounting skills.
You should choose accounting software with an easy and interactive interface with enough support if you get stuck at any point.
Find an All-Encompassing Software
As a business, you need several tools to scale your business. Some include accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM), and other management software.
So that you don’t end up having too much software to handle, you can find software that performs as many of these functions or one that integrates with other platforms.
Accounting software is great for many reasons, so it only makes sense for you to take advantage of all this software offers.
With the top thirteen accounting software listed above and the buying guide to help you, you can easily choose the best option for your business needs.