Best Accounting Software For Small Businesses

With so many accounting software and invoice generators out there, how is a small business owner to choose from? What do you do when you’re starting a small business and have no idea about accounting?

Our recommendation for small business accounting software:

Software Best For
QuickBooks Online Overall Small Business Accounting
Wave Affordability
Zoho Books International Invoicing & Mobile Apps
FreshBooks Ease of Use

What should small businesses look for in accounting software?

When searching for the best accounting software for your business, it’s important to know what good accounting software should bring to the table. For beginners, ease-of-use, feature set and support should be taken into consideration. What counts most for small business owners, however, is affordability.

Most small businesses are on a fixed budget. Since most of the cloud-based SaaS software is broken down into more affordable monthly payments, you shouldn’t have to break the bank just to keep your finances in check.

we recommend subscribing to cloud-based software which provides customized processes, scalability and pricing flexibility.

While choosing an accounting software that meets all of your business needs, Here are some of the significant characteristics that you should consider:

  • Strong Accounting
  • Feature Set
  • Time-Saving Automations
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Good Customer Support
  • Affordability
  • Integrations
  • Strong Security

You may measure the importance of each of the above points differently depending on your business needs. However, we find these to be characteristics that make up a powerful accounting solution. The list below should save your product research time significantly.

Plug: TeamWave is an integrated CRM, Project Management & HR platform for small business. TeamWave has deep integration with both Quickbooks & Xero.

1: QuickBooks Online

Best for: Small businesses looking fully-featured cloud accounting software that’s easy to use. Ideal for ten users or fewer.

Pricing:

  • Simple Start: $7/month for one user
  • Essentials:  $17/month for up to three users
  • Plus: $30/month for more than 5 users

Quickbooks Online is one of the most popular cloud-based accounting platforms for small businesses  — and for good reason. It is one of the top choices for accounting firms with 2 million+ customers.

The Simple Start plan comes with the ability to track your income and expenses, invoice and accept payments, and run basic reports.

 If you choose the Essentials plan, you’ll be able to handle your bills and enable multiple users to access your account, as well as track time. The Plus premium plan offers project and inventory tracking and even full-service payroll.

Pros Cons
Strong accounting Limited Customer Support
Advanced feature set A little expensive
Strong invoicing Occasionally unintuitive
Good mobile apps
500+ integrations

2: Wave

Best for: Freelancers and small business owners looking for full-featured and free accounting software. Ideal for eBay sellers as well.

Pricing:

  • Free: Accounting, Invoicing, Receipt scanning
  • Online Payments: 2.9% + $.30 per transaction
  • Payroll:  $35 per month base in tax service states and $20 per month base fee in self-service states

Wave is a free accounting software developed, particularly for small businesses on a tight budget that still wants strong accounting features.

Most of the features of Wave are free. With an easy to use UI,  a strong feature set and the most affordable price, Wave is one of our top accounting choices. Wave offers invoice- and transaction-management, expense tracking, inventory, and even lending.  

Pros Cons
Free Limited integrations
Easy to use Poor customer support
Good feature set Limited mobile apps
Positive customer reviews Inventory tracking

3: Zoho Books

Best for: Best for small international businesses in need of strong accounting at a reasonable price. Perfect for international invoicing.

Pricing:

  • Basic:  $9/month per organization
  • Standard: $19/month per organization
  • Professional: $29/month per organization

Zoho has proved itself to be one of the leading third-party cloud-based software providers in the world.  And the company’s Zoho Books has been giving QuickBooks Online a run for its money by offering almost all the identical features as QuickBooks Online at half the cost.

Zoho Books offers all of the basic features that small businesses need as well as advanced tools like automation, and the ability to send international invoices. With exceptional customer support, strong mobile apps, and great invoicing, it’s easy to see why Zoho Books has the best price for all of its capabilities.

Pros Cons
Excellent customer support No payroll
Numerous features Limited integrations
International invoicing
Affordable monthly costs
Strong accounting

 

4: FreshBooks

Best for: Small or micro-businesses looking for easy-to-use accounting software and invoicing solutions, or which aren’t ready for a full accounting service.

Pricing:

  • Lite:  $15/month for five clients.
  • Plus:  $25/month for 50 clients.
  • Premium: $50/month for 500 clients.

Although most accounting software services are invoicing tools, FreshBooks is incredibly easy to use and offers excellent customer support and mobile apps. It also offers 70+ integrations and excellent time tracking capability.

FreshBooks comes in three plans. The Lite version is perfect for small businesses that only need up to five people to access financials and offers unlimited invoicing and estimating while Plus and Premium are available for up to 50 and 500 people respectively.

Pros Cons
Easy to use Expensive
Excellent customer support Limited users
Good mobile apps
70+ integrations

Other Alternatives

5: Xero

Best for: Ideal for businesses with many users in need of powerful accounting.

Pricing:

  • Starter: $9/month
  • Standard: $30/month
  • Premium: $70/month

Xero is one of the top accounting software choices because of it’s strong cloud accounting and a grand number of well-developed features. For the best part, no matter which plans you have, Xero offers unlimited users.

The differences between Xero’s pricing plans center on the number of invoices and quotes you can send every month, the number of reconciled bank transactions you have, and whether you need to run payroll.

The Starter plan of Xero allows you to send five invoices and quotes each month, enter five bills, and reconcile 20 transactions per month. Whereas, the Standard version only allows payroll for up to five people but allows for unlimited invoicing, bills, and bank reconciliations. Jumping to the Premium version, it allows payroll for 10 people and offers the same features of Standard plan.

6:  AccountEdge

Best for: Businesses with sole proprietors to automate their bookkeeping

Pricing:

  • AccountEdge Pro:  $399 one-time fee
  • AccountEdge Basic: $149 one-time fee

AccountEdge provides full-featured accounting software for small businesses with double-entry accounting tools from time billing to inventory. It is fully optimized for the desktop version and doesn’t have a mobile option.

It offers two pricing plans for its software. The Basic plan of AccountEdge helps sole proprietors automate their bookkeeping, while the Pro version is full-featured accounting software for small businesses.

7: FreeAgent

Best for: Small to medium businesses in need of unlimited users. Ideal for UK companies.

Pricing:

  • For the first 6 months: $12/month
  • Afterward, $24/month

FreeAgent has users over 70,000. The software comes with an array of tools such as easy to bill clients, setting up recurring invoices, automatic payment reminders and, most importantly, VAT support and international invoicing, making it ideal for UK users.

It also offers unlimited users — all for a single flat monthly fee. Adding to its small business friendly interest, it’s low-cost pricing available in a universal plan of $12/month for 6 months, then just $24/month afterward.

8: Sage 50cloud

Best for:  Small-to-medium-sized businesses looking to manage their financials and stay compliant with taxes and reporting requirements.

Pricing:

  • Pro Accounting: $46.83/month for one user
  • Premium Accounting: $72.41/month for one user
  • Quantum Accounting: $182.91/month for three users

Sage 50cloud is a best-in-class accounting solution that comes with impressive features such as taxes, inventory, budgeting, cash flow, and invoicing. In addition, it automatically backs up your data to the cloud and has remote access capabilities.

It also gives you extreme flexibility by combining the strength of desktop software and the accessibility of the cloud to manage your financial business operations. To manage your cash flow,  It integrates with Microsoft Office 365 and connects to your bank accounts.

Choosing the Best Accounting Software

With this review of the leading eight accounting software for your small business, it can be difficult to know which accounting software is best.

Sure, we may be given QuickBooks online, the title of best accounting software for small businesses overall, It all comes down to what your business needs from accounting software.

Not all small businesses need the extra features and assistance that paid accounting services to provide. It’s better to get started with a free trial and have a  firsthand look and feel of the application you have in mind. There are many affordable options out there to meet all levels of your accounting expectations.

Below is the overall comparison to help you choose the right software for your business.

 

QuickBooks Online Wave Zoho Books FreshBooks
Pricing $20 – $150/mo $0/mo $9 – $29/mo $15 – $50/mo
Size of Business Small – Medium Freelance – Small Small Small
Ease of Use Moderate Very Easy Very Easy Very Easy
Customer Service Fair Poor Very Good Very Good
Number of Users 1 – 25 1 1-9+ 1
Number of Integrations 500+ 4 30+ 70+
Cloud-Based or Installed Cloud-Based Cloud-Based Cloud-Based Cloud-Based
Mobile Apps iOS & Android iOS & Android iOS, Android, Windows, & Kindle iOS & Android

 

Xero vs Quickbooks – Which Is Best for Your Business?

Cloud accounting is an overcrowded market; two of biggest names in this space are Xero and QuickBooks Online.

When you have two very capable accounting software options, with almost identical offerings and similar feature set, It’s hard to know which is better for your business. That’s what we’re here to find out.

Plug: TeamWave is an integrated CRM, Project Management & HR platform for small business. TeamWave has deep integration with both Quickbooks & Xero.

Zero VS QuickBooks Online
Tie Accounting Tie
Features
Tie Pricing Tie
Tie Hardware & Software Requirements Tie
Users & Permissions
Ease of Use
Tie Customer Service & Support Tie
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Positive Review & Testimonials
Integrations
Security
? Final Verdict ?

Overview

Xero is a New Zealand-based accounting software that rivals QuickBooks in terms of capability and popularity. It offers strong accounting, access for unlimited users, over 700 integrations, and an effective feature selection.

QuickBooks is the accounting industry leader. With advanced accounting features, refined invoicing, 550+ integrations, and a lending feature, it’s easy to see why the software is so renowned by accountants and bookkeepers.

In this article, our goal is to help you find the best accounting software for your business needs. To make your decision easier, we’ve carefully researched and tested both products. We’ll compare Xero and QuickBooks based on features, pricing, customer experience, reliability, and more, so you don’t have to.

Accounting

Winner: Tie

For its cloud-based accounting, both Quickbooks Online and Xero offer strong accounting services. Both software has powerful accounting features including bank reconciliation, accounts payable, and lots of accounting reports. Each uses double-entry accounting and advocates cash-basis and accrual accounting.

Features

Winner: Quickbooks Online

Features Xero QuickBooks Online
Unlimited quotes and invoices Available in Standard

and Premium

Recurrent invoicing Available in Standard

and Premium

Available in Essentials

and Plus

Purchase orders Available in Plus
Bank Feeds
Inventory Basic functionality; integrates

with inventory management

Available in Plus
Payroll Employee numbers limited by

subscriptions; basic payroll functionality.

10 employees included,

$4 for each additional

employee

Multiple currencies Available in Premium Available in Essentials

and Plus

Tax Support
Lending

Both companies offer similar features. In some features such as invoicing, and lending, QuickBooks exceeds Xero. In other features like contact management, Xero provides better service than QBO. So how do we decide who is better?

Xero used to be the clear winner when it used to include most of the features in all of their versions and pricing plans, while Quickbooks limited access of many to their Plus accounts. But now, Xero restricts advanced features to expansive plans like QuickBooks.

Thus, it all comes down to the details. Xero offers limited invoice templates while Intuit’s QuickBooks offers lending and great invoicing with multiple templates to choose from as well as built-in packing slips.

However, for example, if you’re a startup who needs the basic features of time tracking, you’d find yourself needing the Plus plan on Quickbooks versus any version with Xero.

Pricing

Winner: Tie

Xero offers three pricing plans that run between $9 and $40 per month whereas QuickBooks has four pricing plans between $20/mo  and $70/mo. However, QBO may charge you more depending on how many employees you need to be able to access it, while Xero is one payment for unlimited access.

In terms of pricing, the clear winner will depend on the size of your business.

For small businesses, Quickbooks may have an edge because of slightly lower pricing for higher-tier plans, but Xero’s transparency of unlimited users, no matter your plan — makes it a winner for medium to large businesses.

Hardware & Software Requirements

Winner: Tie

As long as you have internet access, you can access QuickBooks with nearly any device using one of the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Internet Explorer 10+
  • Safari 6.1+

Since Xero is also cloud-based software, it can also be compatible with almost any device with internet access and works with any one of these browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari 8+

Both Quickbooks Online and Xero were built for the cloud, and come with free mobile apps for Android and iOS.

Users & Permissions

Winner: Xero

For all three of its pricing plans, Xero allows access to as many users as you need, plus it also offers incredibly powerful user permissions so you can control who has access to which features.

QBO supports users based on their pricing plans. It also has strong user permissions, but in the end, you can’t beat the unlimited users.

Ease of Use

Winner: QuickBooks Online

Although both QuickBooks Online and Xero have steep learning curves, QBO offers a well-organized UI which makes it easy to get used to the software and learn how it works.

Xero, on the other hand, is only easy to use once you get to know the software. The setup and learning curve of Xero can be quite intensive. However, it does have great support tutorials and tools to get over the learning curve, but apart from occasional navigational difficulty, QBO is definitely easier to use.

Customer service & support

Winner: Tie

Xero was known for its great customer service but has recently declined to the same level as QBO (which is somewhere Xero does not want to be). Xero doesn’t have a customer phone support or a telephone helpline and it often takes a day for email responses. However, Xero does have great tutorials and support alternatives to help you learn and troubleshoot the software.

QuickBooks is known for poor customer support. However, QuickBooks does offer customer phone support but wait times and holds are often long. Although QBO made some strides to shorten their wait time, users still aren’t happy with QBO’s support or the lack of email support.

Negative Reviews & Complaints

Winner: QuickBooks Online

This is a category where both companies should not want to win, and yet here they are.

QBO has received many customer complaints concerning poor customer assistance, bugs, limited mobile apps, and even unauthorized charges.

While Xero has fewer complaints than QBO. However, users still have concerns with Xero’s limited mobile apps, steep learning curve, and price changes.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials

Winner: Xero

While QBO has more positive reviews but on the whole, Xero users are happy with their experiences since it receives a higher percentage of positive to negative reviews.

Apps & Integrations

Winner: Xero

Both QBO and Xero have huge app libraries that can make your day-to-day business administration easier, With Xero has over 700 integrations, while QuickBooks Online comes in with 590 integrations. If integrations are important to you, Xero is the way to go.

Security

Winner: Xero

Security Features Xero QuickBooks Online
SSL Security encryption Transport Layer

Security (TLS)

encryption

Automatic backups
Session security audit trails ✘ (deleted transactions

can be viewed)

 

Both QuickBooks Online and Xero use strong data encryption and powerful security measures.  However, Xero has one of the strongest security reputations in the cloud accounting market with 99.97% uptime. On the other hand, QuickBooks users have reported downtime and outage issues on several occasions.

 

And the Winner Is…

quickbooks_online

Xero certainly lives up to their tagline of “beautiful accounting software,” with an intuitive interface but a recent change in price structure, Xero has lost the key points that set it apart. While Xero is still great software, a few recent QBO updates were just enough for QuickBooks Online to edge out the competition.

When it comes to reliability, Intuit’s Quickbooks is top-rated for small business accounting for it’s amazing invoicing automation, lending features and more. Although Xero didn’t win this match-up, it still has a ton to offer and might be the better fit for your business.

Just because QBO is the winner here does not mean that it’s the best choice for your company. Xero can be ideal for businesses looking for scalable software that will grow with their company. Every business and every accountant will need something different out of accounting software. So, the decision of choosing between QBO and Xero should be based on what’s best for your business needs and preferences.

As long as Xero keeps their quality of service and advertised features as they grow, they are a great alternative to your business accounting needs. Or, you may find that neither company meets your needs entirely,  then be sure to explore the many other business accounting software options out there for you.