The best QuickBooks alternatives for small business accounting will include Freshbooks, Xero, FreeAgent, and Wave. We’ve reviewed some of the best accounting software to help you find alternatives that will allow you to drop QuickBooks and continue to streamline your operations, improve customer service, and ultimately boost your bottom line.
QuickBooks has long been one of the most popular accounting software options. The low cost and ease of use offered by QuickBooks programs–such as QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Enterprise–has made them a preferred bookkeeping choice for small business owners since the inception by Intuit in 1998. Today, the program has over 3 million subscribers.
While QuickBooks offers a wide range of functionalities, it has limitations. Selecting an alternative accounting system may be more suitable for your company’s individual requirements, such as cash management and other financial aspects.
By understanding the limitations of QuickBooks, you can make an informed decision when choosing an accouting solution that better aligns with your business needs. The following sections will explore the top 7 QuickBooks alternatives to help you find the perfect fit for your business.
The best QuickBooks alternatives for small business accounting are:
The best QuickBooks alternatives will be user-friendly and allow for the core bookkeeping capabilities. They will also fill a need QuickBooks may fall short in, such as industry preference, hosting preference, or even the size of your business.
Let’s dive into each QuickBooks alternative and explore their unique offerings.
FreshBooks is a true all-in-one accounting software that improves cash flow and automates your administrative tasks such as basic invoicing, organizing expenses, and tracking your time worked on projects. It also offers a large number of reports that help monitor the finances and financial health of your business.
The biggest benefit of FreshBooks is what you get included in the price. Rather than offer a limited base version of their software (such as only invoicing), their “Lite” package includes a full suite of unlimited invoices, expense entries, estimating, and time tracking. It can also accept credit card payments and ACH bank transfers and has an automated bank import feature built-in.
Over 1.3 million users have chosen Xero as their primary accounting software. Xero is very scalable, meaning many small businesses continue to use Xero as they grow into larger enterprises and upgrade to more advanced versions.
Online accounting solutions (also known as cloud accounting software) such as Xero provide a “log in from anywhere” approach, which is intended to increase usage given the ease of access. On top of being able to access your financial information from anywhere you have access to a web browser, Xero has a mobile app for iOS devices, which can provide accounting features such as receipt scanning.
Xero learns and categorizes each transaction to help save your business time. Xero also has a large customer support network and an online “checkup tool” that lets the customer support team run some system checks to identify issues and handle issues via chat support.
Want more results? Check out our list of best small business accounting software.
FreeAgent is a cloud accounting software tailored for freelancers, small businesses, and their accountants. It offers an all-in-one solution, especially beneficial for freelancers aiming for consolidated financial management.
With its user-friendly, mobile-optimized interface, users get a comprehensive view of their projects. Designed primarily for micro-businesses, FreeAgent might not be ideal for businesses with over 10 employees.
It negates the need for a separate bookkeeper by simplifying expense management and bank account reconciliation. The software streamlines finances by allocating transactions to specific projects, automates nonpayment reminders, and effortlessly converts project hours into billable time for invoicing. Its intuitive dashboard offers a quick snapshot of your financial health.
Wave is a forever-free accounting solution that offers accounting, invoicing, payments, payroll, and receipts. Wave is very transparent in their pricing structure. The accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning is 100% free. Collecting payments via credit card or bank transfers, or running payroll for your employees, does come at a price, however.
Wave is not only one of the most popular free accounting solutions, but it can also be thought of as one of the most popular accounting solutions period. Because of this, it’s a great choice for freelancers and start-ups who are strapped for cash.
Denali Business by Cougar Mountain Software is a tailored accounting system for small businesses, designed to evolve with them. As an on-premise solution, it ensures consistent availability and leverages your internal network’s security. Denali Business offers customizable applications to fit specific accounting needs, allowing businesses to expand functionality as they grow. It comes in three bundles: Basecamp, Ascent, and Summit, each adding features like inventory, order entry, and payroll.
Cougar Mountain sets itself apart with a generous 60-day trial, compared to the typical 15 or 30-day offers. Designed to mirror in-house accounting departments, Denali has an unlimited payroll module and supports all banking forms, giving customers flexibility in direct deposit methods. Users appreciate its functionality, user-friendliness, excellent support, and cost-effectiveness. While its initial cost might be higher than online counterparts, its long-term value makes it a cost-effective investment, backed by Cougar Mountain’s commitment to quality and longevity.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting, previously Sage One, offers an affordable cloud invoicing solution starting at $10/month, helping small businesses manage payments swiftly. With its robust mobile app for both iOS and Android, users can manage invoicing on-the-go, including tasks like data entry, reconciliation, and sales tax generation.
Beyond invoicing, Sage provides comprehensive accounting tools, from basic features to advanced cash flow management. Upgrading to the “Accounting” package is just an additional $15/month, making it a versatile choice for businesses at various stages.
Zoho Books is an online accounting platform with integrated inventory management features. It enables businesses to track stock, set reorder points, and organize inventory data, such as by SKU or cost. While Zoho Books might not be the first choice for dedicated inventory management (that’s where Zoho Inventory) comes in), it excels as a combined accounting and inventory solution. Recognized as a leading small business accounting software, Zoho Books offers an array of features, including sales order management and sales tax.
Its inventory management allows for detailed product data capture, image uploads for products, and customized price lists for vendors and customers. Plus, real-time stock tracking ensures timely reordering from preferred vendors. If businesses outgrow its capabilities, transitioning to Zoho Inventory is seamless, given its easy integration with Zoho Books, making it a top choice for evolving inventory management needs.
When selecting a QuickBooks alternative, it is essential to consider industry and business requirements, and budgetary constraints. Different industries have varying requirements and needs, and different businesses have distinct needs and objectives, making selecting an accounting system that can fulfill those needs and objectives imperative.
Moreover, different accounting systems have varying price points, and additional costs may be necessary for customization or additional features. By considering these key factors, you can ensure that you choose the right accounting solution that best suits your business requirements and budget.
In conclusion, selecting the right accounting system will optimize your business processes and let you achieve success in your industry. By considering the key factors discussed, such as industry and business requirements, budget, and scalability, you can make an informed decision in choosing the perfect accounting solution for your business.
The “best” alternative depends on specific business needs. Based on the article, FreshBooks seems to be a top all-around choice, but for specific needs, businesses might consider Xero, FreeAgent, Wave, and other options mentioned.
While QuickBooks is widely popular, it has its limitations. Some businesses find alternative software that better aligns with their individual needs, such as cash management, hosting preference, industry-specific features, or the scalability requirements of their business.
One way to get QuickBooks cheaper could be to look for promotions, discounts, or bundle offers. Some businesses might also consider using the basic versions if it meets their needs, thus reducing costs.
Yes, Wave is a free accounting solution. It offers accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning entirely for free. However, additional services like online payments or payroll come with fees.