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The right accounting software can simplify money management for your small business, saving you time, stress, and money. This article explains what to look for in software and how to choose the right one to fit your business' unique needs.
Freshbooks is an invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, credit card payment acceptance, financial reports including profit and loss statements, and a mobile app. FreshBooks is my pick when it comes to the best accounting software for invoicing. Check out their current plans.
As a small business owner, you can use accounting software to stay on top of your finances, simplify bookkeeping, and streamline tax filing. By providing more detailed and organized financial insights, accounting software can even help your business save money.
You can choose from many accounting software types, which are tailored to different needs and business models. The right software will meet your unique needs, fitting in terms of accounting features, scalability, user-friendliness, and cost.
So, how can you know which accounting software is right for you? This guide explains what to look for in software and reviews six of the best accounting software options.
Summary of the Best Accounting Software
Comparison of Small Business Accounting Solutions
Every accounting software has its strengths and weaknesses. Read on for an overview of six of the best accounting software options.
QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. QuickBooks products are geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses.
The best cloud based small business accounting software. Send invoices, track time, manage receipts, expenses, and accept credit cards.
Bench Accounting is an online subscription service designed for small businesses. One of America's largest bookkeeping services.
Small business accounting software made easy. Take control of your small business bookkeeping with time-saving automation, invoicing, and remote access.
Webgility is an eCommerce accounting software that can help businesses manage their money, inventory, and product shipping either independently or with the help of accounting experts.
Online accounting software by ZarMoney®. Full-featured online accounting software: Advanced inventory management, invoicing, billing and reports.
Detailed Reviews of the Best Accounting Softwares
1. QuickBooks Online - Best Overall
QuickBooks is known for its user-friendliness and wide range of features. It has an easy-to-use mobile app and comes with more than 600 integrations, making it one of the most versatile options. You can add up to 25 users for an extra cost.
QuickBooks is a great pick if you're looking for a holistic accounting solution with extensive functionality and proven scalability. There are multiple pricing plans, with costs starting at $25 per month.
2. FreshBooks - Best for Invoicing
FreshBooks is another complete accounting solution for small businesses—although it first got its start as an invoicing software. Given its origins, it should come as no surprise that FreshBooks is great for invoicing.
It's also recognized for its straightforward interface, making it easy for novices and experts alike to use. If you're looking for a streamlined and straightforward bookkeeping tool with strong invoicing capabilities, FreshBooks is a good option. Pricing plans start as low as $15 per month.
3. Bench Accounting - Best for Bookkeeping
Bench Accounting takes a big picture approach to bookkeeping, offering advanced functionality such as financial statement generation. The tool provides everything you need to monitor your business' financial health, like expense tracking, general ledger, cash management, and more.
Bench is an excellent option if you are looking for a comprehensive bookkeeping tool that will simplify day-to-day financial management and tax filing. It costs more than some other options, starting at $249 per month—but you get a dedicated bookkeeping support team with it.
4. Sage Business Cloud - Best Cloud Software
Sage Accounting is a cloud-based software that you can access anytime, anywhere. It provides multi-functionality, including invoice tracking and cash flow management, all through the cloud. It also has a handy mobile app for simplified access.
Sage is an excellent solution if you're a business owner on the go. You can use it for billing and invoicing, accounts payable and receivable, ACH payment processing, and more. It's also highly affordable, with the most basic plan running at just $10 per month.
5. Webgility - Best for eCommerce
Webgility is an omni-channel sales management solution that automates many time-consuming tasks, including financial management. If you own a store, you can use it to sync data between your operational and sales channels, for example.
It provides real-time data and features a user-friendly analytics dashboard. Webgility is the obvious choice if you run an e-commerce store. It integrates with various platforms, like Shopify, eBay, and Etsy. Pricing starts at $39.00 per month.
6. ZarMoney - Best All-in-One Solution
ZarMoney is a cloud-based software that offers the whole gamut of accounting needs, including inventory tracking, quotes, estimates, invoicing, profit monitoring, and more. It can be used for everything from processing checks and ACH deposits to 1099 preparation.
If you want a simple all-in-one solution, ZarMoney is a logical choice. Pricing starts at $15 per month (for a single user). Enterprise plans can accommodate 30+ users and start at $350 monthly.
How to Choose an Accounting Software
So, which of the above is the best accounting software for you? Only you can answer that question!
The "right" software depends on the size and type of your business and your unique needs, as well as your personal preferences.
That said, there are some general points worth considering when shopping around for small business accounting software. Here are some factors to consider when choosing accounting software:
- Accounting features: Do you only require basic functionality, like invoice tracking, or do you want to generate complex financial reports (e.g., cash flow statements)?
- Scalability: How large is your company now? Do you plan to expand and grow? You want software that can grow with you to accommodate this change.
- User-friendliness: Will you be using the software yourself? Do you understand how to use it? If you have an accountant or bookkeeper, are they familiar with the software?
- Cost: There's no point paying big bucks for loads of fancy features that you don't need. Consider how much you're willing to pay.
- Reputation: An accounting software is usually linked to your business financial accounts. You want a reputable provider known for its security and reliability.
Keep these points in mind as you check out your options. In some cases, you may be able to benefit from a free trial. Take advantage of the opportunity if possible. This gives you a chance to see what the product is like before committing.
Why You Need an Accounting Software as a Small Business
As a small business owner, you must stay on top of money matters. Accounting software can help you track key metrics like accounts receivable and payable, streamline your bookkeeping, and simplify your tax filing.
The data contained in your software can also be used to understand your business profitability and financial bottlenecks. A more in-depth understanding of your company's financials can help you cut overhead expenses and improve profitability in the big picture.
The right accounting software can help you stay on top of your business finances and money management, saving you time and stress. The fact is that there is no one best accounting software, as every business has unique needs.
That said, there are a few critical criteria to consider when choosing software. In addition to accounting features, consider scalability, user-friendliness, and cost. Reputation is another consideration, as you don't want to fall prey to a scam or pay for a defective product.
The list above covers reputable providers. If you narrow your selection down to one of these options, you can be confident that you will get a quality product. You can use the criteria and the information in this guide to figure out which one is best for you.
Accounting Software FAQ's
Still got questions about accounting software? The below frequently asked questions can help.
As a small business owner, you can use your accounting software for various financial management tasks. Essential functions include invoicing, syncing bank and credit cards, collecting online payments from customers, and managing accounts receivable and accounts payable.
The software can also prepare financial statements like balance sheets, cash flow statements, and profit and loss statements. These statements provide valuable information about the profitability and overall financial health of your business.
Yes. If you work with a bookkeeper or accountant, you can provide them with access to your software so that they can prepare these statements for you. This can save you time and energy, as you'll only have to deal with the initial data input.
Most professionals in the financial services sector are well-versed in the more popular accounting software options. If you don't work with an accountant or bookkeeper but plan to in the future, make sure that they are familiar with the software you use before hiring them.
The key benefit of any accounting software is to save time on the repetitive task of data entry. The software allows you to sync your business credit cards and bank accounts, allowing for automatic data input with no effort on your part.
After the cards and accounts are synced, all financial transactions will be reported to the software. The software then categorizes the transaction according to type (e.g., accounts receivable versus accounts payable).
Many types of modern accounting software are cloud-based, meaning you can access them from anywhere. This is convenient if you work with an accountant or bookkeeper who isn't on site. Other benefits of cloud-based solutions include the fact that they offer real-time updates.
Even if you don't opt for a cloud-based solution, modern providers ensure accessibility from anywhere. For example, some software comes with an app that you can download on your smartphone and have with you at all times.
The costs of small business accounting software vary widely depending on functionality. A primary tool can cost anywhere from nothing to $40 monthly. More comprehensive software with more functionality can cost up to $150 or more.
The price increases according to functionality. For example, a more comprehensive software may allow for more sophisticated tasks like running payroll, tracking inventory, and preparing customized financial reports.
In contrast, a basic plan will only handle more rudimentary jobs, like sending invoices and categorizing expenses versus income. However, for many small businesses, this is sufficient in terms of accounting functionality.
Why I like QuickBooks Online:
QuickBooks Online is the gold standard in cloud-based accounting packages and is perfect for small business owners.
Features: Invoicing & accounting
Pricing: $15.00 - $50.00/month
Promotion: 30-Day Free Trial