8.5
Editor’s Rating:
Best Overall
FreshBooks: Dashboard
FreshBooks
  • No setup costs
  • Discounted intro pricing
  • Simple and intuitive
9.1
Editor’s Rating:
Also Great
AccountingSuite: Home Page
AccountingSuite
  • Use multiple modules at once via tabs
  • Includes inventory management and time tracking
  • No costs beyond subscription fee
8.3
Editor’s Rating:
Best Free
Wave: Dashboard
Wave
  • Unlimited bank accounts and credit cards
  • Unlimited income/expense transactions
  • Multi-currency invoicing

The best small business accounting software will track your financial transactions to record profit and loss as accurately as possible–all while giving a clear view of your profitability.

Since accounting software is something your small business will use everyday, it’s important you choose one that is easy to use, easy to implement, and within your budget. Most small businesses may opt for a simple out-of-the-box software that does not require any additional add-ons or customization.

There are hundreds of accounting systems on the market today–so which is right for your small business? You may need to create invoices, run financial reports, or identify and follow up on past-due balances. The number of employees and your industry will also be a factors considered.

To help you find the best small business accounting solution, we’ve conducted research on a wide range of management software and put together a collection of our best picks for small business accounting software.

1 FreshBooks - Best Overall

FreshBooks is a true all-in-one small business 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 quantity of reports that help monitor the finances and financial health of your business.

The biggest benefit of FreshBooks is what you get included for 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.

Best Overall:
FreshBooks

FreshBooks: Dashboard
FreshBooks: Add Ons
FreshBooks: Mobile Dashboard
FreshBooks: Accounting Settings and Reports
FreshBooks: Advanced Accounting
FreshBooks: Bank Connections
FreshBooks: Mileage Tracking on Mobile
FreshBooks: Email Templates
FreshBooks: Expense Report
FreshBooks: Invoice From Unbilled Hours
FreshBooks: Mobile Trip Tracking
FreshBooks: Mobile Dashboard
FreshBooks: Mobile New Invoice
FreshBooks: Available Integrations
FreshBooks: Mobile New Invoice
FreshBooks: Add New Client
FreshBooks: Add New Expense
FreshBooks: Payroll Settings
FreshBooks: Create New Invoice
FreshBooks: Time Tracking
FreshBooks: New Project
FreshBooks: View Invoice
FreshBooks: FreshBooks Reports
What We Like
No setup costs
Discounted intro pricing
Simple and intuitive
What We Don’t Like
Client based pricing
No bulk invoice creation
Client-based pricing
Overview
Price Range: $
Starting Price: $15/month
Client OS: iOS, Android, Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

2 AccountingSuite - Also Great

AcountingSuite is basic option intended for the growing small business. Due to offering an integrated suite of banking, sales, purchasing, inventory management, and accounting in it’s base package, the solution encourages you to continue to use it as you grow and does not require 3rd party add-ons or outside stand-alone options.

AccountingSuite includes as many CPA/bookkeeper seats as needed so your accountant can help you use the program. The solution starts at $19/month for 1 user and the cost is mostly dependent on the number of users.

Also Great:
AccountingSuite

AccountingSuite: Home Page
AccountingSuite: Create Quote
AccountingSuite: Create Purchase Order
What We Like
Use multiple modules at once via tabs
Includes inventory management and time tracking
No costs beyond subscription fee
What We Don’t Like
Crowded user interface
No mobile app
Less efficient with high volume of transactions
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $19/unlimited/month
Client OS: Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

3 Wave - Best Free Option

Wave is a forever-free accounting solution that offers accounting, invoicing, payments, payroll, and receipts. Wave is very transparent into 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, 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.

Best Free:
Wave

Wave: Dashboard
Wave: New Invoice
Wave: Products and Services
Wave: Receipts
Wave: New Estimate
Wave: Available Reports
What We Like
Unlimited bank accounts and credit cards
Unlimited income/expense transactions
Multi-currency invoicing
What We Don’t Like
Collecting online payments is “pay-per-use”
Payroll is a monthly add-on
Collecting online payments is “pay-per-use”
Overview
Price Range: $
Client OS: iOS, Android, Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

4 Kashoo - Best for Invoicing

Kashoo is a complete bookkeeping solution for small business owners, providing invoicing, income/expense tracking, and credit card payment processing. However, Kashoo has it’s roots as primarily a powerful invoicing tool, which provides unlimited invoices and unlimited users. You can brand your invoices with your company logo, include payment instructions, and send invoices on a recurring basis.

Billing and invoicing capabilities in in Kashoo will help customers make payments on-time through automatic payment reminders and notifications. Kashoo’s dashboard was designed to quickly enter income and expense transactions. There are some key metrics found on the right-hand side, but the home screen is mainly a form for entering income and expenses, which shows you where it’s priorities lie.

Best for Invoicing:
Kashoo


Kashoo: Income and Expenses
Kashoo: Expenses
What We Like
Unlimited invoices
Multiple branded design templates
5000 bank feeds supported
What We Don’t Like
No Android app
No estimating or time tracking
Limited integrations
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $324/year
Client OS: iOS, Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

Want more results? Check out our list of best small business invoicing software.

5 Xero - Best Online Software

Xero is very scalable online accounting software, meaning many small businesses continue to use Xero as they grow into larger enterprises and upgrade to more advanced versions. Because of this, over 1.3 million users have chosen Xero as their primary accounting software.

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.

Best Online:
Xero


Xero: Dashboard
Xero: Expenses
What We Like
Strong invoicing capability
Large number of add ons and integrations
Easy-to-understand accounting language
What We Don’t Like
No “paid” notification alerts
Limited to 2,000 transactions per month
Payroll is limited to 36 U.S. states
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $13/month
Client OS: Web
Deployment: Cloud Hosted

6 QuickBooks for Mac - Best for Mac Users

QuickBooks for MacOS is the Mac-exclusive version of one of the most widely used accounting products ever, QuickBooks Desktop. New in 2020, the Mac version includes modernized reporting, an improved customer snapshot, a dark mode, electronic invoices with online ACH, credit card, or e-check payment options, and bounced check processing.

Due to the widespread popularity of PCs, many software developers have a “Windows-first” approach when it comes to creating their software. While it can be challenging to find an accounting software with a Mac-specific UI, QuickBooks for Mac gives all the same features provided to it’s Windows counterpart. This is a relief for Mac users who prefered a locally installed option rather than QuickBooks Online accounting software.

QuickBooks for Mac primarily serves small businesses and starts at only $299 for a one-time purchase.

Best for Mac:
QuickBooks for Mac


QuickBooks for Mac: Company Snapshot
QuickBooks for Mac: Invoices
QuickBooks for Mac: Payments
QuickBooks for Mac: Profit and Loss Details
QuickBooks for Mac: QuickBooks for Mac
What We Like
User-friendly
Low one-time cost
One-click finances, sales and tax reports
What We Don’t Like
3 users maximum
No mobile access
Limited tech suport
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $30/month
Client OS: macOS
Deployment: On-Premises

Want more results? Check out our list of best mac accounting software.

What is Small Business Accounting Software?

Small business accounting software manages financial transactions at a lower cost of entry. By tracking income and expenses and determining profit and loss, businesses can improve their cash flow through an affordable and easy to use platform that allows them to spend the least amount of time entering data.

Small businesses will usually only require core accounting features such as accounts payable for tracking expenses, accounts receivable for creating customer invoices, and a general ledger that creates profit and loss statements and balance sheets.

A growing small business may also look beyond basic income and expense tracking, desiring additional functionalities such as payroll services, inventory management, and fixed asset management. Some solutions are scalable and will let you add these functionalities on at a later date.

QuickBooks Online dashboard
QuickBooks Online provides a dashboard to view your profit and loss, expenses, bank accounts, and more.

Features of Small Business Accounting Software

  • Accounts Payable: Track expenses by monitoring the money you paid or owe.
  • Accounts Receivable: Track income by monitoring the money you received or are owed from invoicing.
  • General Ledger: Records financial activity including transactions and account structures. Creates reports such as profit and loss statements and balance sheets.
  • Payroll: Manage employee compensation including wages, check printing, ACH deposits, and compensation tax reports.
  • Inventory Management: Inventory is recorded as current assets on your balance sheet. The cost of goods sold is also tracked on the income statement.
  • Fixed Asset Management: Automates the calculation of depreciating asset value with standard or custom decay models.
Sage 50c Business Status page
The Sage 50c Business Status page shows your account balances, revenue, vendor payments, outstanding invoices, and more.

Types of Small Business Accounting Software

Small businesses need an affordable, easy to use solution. A company will understandably want to save on their first software purchase and will need a user-friendly option that someone without an accounting background can learn quickly. :::

Small Business Accounting Software for Mac

Finding a reliable small business accounting software for Mac platforms can be a challenge. This is because the vast majority of solutions are built with PCs in mind. Accounting solutions developed for Macs often have limited functionality compared to similar options on PC.

Developers tend to focus their efforts on PCs because PCs are more common. Net Applications found that only 10% of active personal computers were Macs. PCs are considerably cheaper than Macs, which plays a big part in their popularity. Businesses also find PCs to be a more cost-effective option for running accounting software.

Because of the prevalence of PCs in the workplace, software developers looking to capture both PC and Mac users will create full-featured online and cloud-based options that run easily on both. For example, Xero is a popular online accounting software that is optimized for PC and Mac.

One of the most popular desktop solutions for Mac users that doesn’t sacrifice functionality is QuickBooks for Mac.


QuickBooks for Mac: Company Snapshot
QuickBooks for Mac: Invoices
QuickBooks for Mac: Payments
QuickBooks for Mac: Profit and Loss Details
QuickBooks for Mac: QuickBooks for Mac
What We Like
Company snapshot dashboard
Generate loss and profit reports from anywhere
Ideal for payroll and invoice processing
What We Don’t Like
3 users maximum
Limited tech suport
No mobile access
Overview
Price Range: $$
Starting Price: $30/month
Client OS: macOS
Deployment: On-Premises

Online Small Business Accounting Software

Online (also known as cloud-based), small business accounting software lets you access real-time financial data from anywhere with an Internet connection. Online software has a low cost of entry, making it a popular option for smaller companies with limited funds.

Cloud-based software is typically lower-cost because it is billed on a subscription model. You will pay a small monthly or annual fee to get access to the software. The developer also handles all of the hosting and you won’t need to spend extra money on additional hardware to download the solution.

Our 2018 Accounting Software Buyer Trends Report surveyed 3,000 software projects and found that 21% of smaller businesses want cloud-hosted software only. Smaller companies were also more receptive to cloud solutions than larger companies.

FreshBooks dashboard
The FreshBooks dashboard shows your invoices and expenses, outstanding invoices, and more.

Free Small Businesses Accounting Software

Startups and very small businesses can get away with using free accounting software, but free software will be limited in functionality. You will also be limited to one user, and will usually have a small threshold when it comes to how many customer/vendor accounts you can store information on.

Features typically include income and expense tracking, invoicing, and receipt scanning. Additional fees usually apply to credit card payment processing and ACH transfers (per transaction).

Examples of free small business accounting software include:

Wave
Wave Screenshot
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
What We Like
Accounting features are free
Mobile app
Multi-currency invoicing
What We Don’t Like
Collecting online payments is “pay-per-use”
Payroll costs extra
Payroll is a monthly add-on
ZipBooks
ZipBooks Screenshot
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$15/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
What We Like
Credit card and bank integrations
Easy to create reports
Unlimited vendors, customers, and invoices
What We Don’t Like
Moible app was discontinued
Additional features require paid plans

Cloud-Based vs. On-Premise Small Business Accounting Software

  Cloud-Based On-Premise
Payment Model Monthly payments with smaller upfront costs for setup Upfront charge for license with annual maintenance fees
Deployment Hosted by developer Installed on your server or computer
Accessibility Accessible from anywhere with an Internet browser Accessible from the system it’s installed on

Cost

Cloud-based accounting software is usually more popular among small companies due to a generally lower monthly cost compared to the upfront prices of an on-premise solution. However, some companies prefer the one-time purchase of on-premise, because they feel more comfortable owning the software or don’t want to worry about ongoing monthly payments.

After years of paying for a subscription-based software, you might end up paying more than if you bought a solution outright. However, many smaller companies don’t have immediate funds to pay for a solution upfront.

Adding users

Online accounting software makes it easier to add additional users as your business grows. Some systems give you a range of users or even unlimited users that you can set up with an account in just a few minutes. Desktop software typically requires you to purchase additional user licenses for each computer you want to install the solution on.

Accessibility

Cloud-based solutions allow you to log into the software from any computer or mobile device. With on-premise software, you would only be able to access your financial data from the computer where the software is installed. A smaller company might need the convenience of cloud accessibility. If an employee is traveling for business or working from home for the day, they will have easy access to the data if needed.

Data backups

Online software generally allows automatic cloud data backup. Depending on the package, there may be a storage capacity limit. Desktop software requires data to be backed up manually.

Security

Some business like the idea of having their data secured on designated computers within the company instead of storing data on the cloud.

All Products

No products found
FreshBooks Screenshot

FreshBooks

★★★★★
★★★★★
(5)
FreshBooks is well-recognized in the accounting world and stands as a competitor to QuickBooks Online. It’s a simple cloud accounting software that allows you to invoice clients, track expenses, and accept payments.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$15/month
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
AccountingSuite Screenshot

AccountingSuite

★★★★★
★★★★★
(11)
AccountingSuite is a competitively-priced accounting software offering advanced functionalities beyond financial management. It provides banking integration, budgeting, financial reporting, and accounts receivables and payables.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$19/unlimited/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Wave Screenshot

Wave

★★★★★
★★★★★
(5)
The Wave app is a highly popular accounting solution among freelancers and small businesses. It’s a free cloud-hosted software that allows you to track income and expenses, perform bank reconciliation, capture and organize receipts, and create custom invoices.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Kashoo Screenshot

Kashoo

★★★★★
★★★★★
(2)
Kashoo is an invoice and accounting software built for small business. It lets users do the basics, such as send invoices, setup credit card payments, and provides easily digestible reports. It also offers straightforward bank reconciliation and efficient tax filing reports. The platform is completely online and is designed for use by average business owners, not certified accountants.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$324/year
Client OS
iOS, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Xero Screenshot

Xero

★★★★★
★★★★★
(3)
A contender against QuickBooks Online, Xero is a popular solution for its user-friendly interface, affordability, and unlimited users per subscription. It’s a cloud-based, double-entry accounting software that offers bank reconciliation, financial reporting, and basic invoicing and billing.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$13/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
QuickBooks for Mac Screenshot

QuickBooks for Mac

★★★★★
★★★★★
(3)
QuickBooks for Mac is a subscription-based accounting software designed for Mac users. The platform includes features for accounts payable and receivable, bank reconciliation, cash management, and electronic tax filing. QuickBooks for Mac offers capabilities for expense management, time tracking, fixed asset management, and customizable reporting.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$30/month
Client OS
macOS
Deployment
On-Premises
ZipBooks Screenshot

ZipBooks

★★★★★
★★★★★
(1)
ZipBooks is a simple accounting software that offers a completely free-to-use plan along with two paid monthly subscriptions. The solution lets users send professional invoices, accept payment via credit cards or Paypal, and handle automated billing. The paid plans manage bookkeeping with bank reconciliation, create reports, and monitor business performance. Other features include expense management, recurring invoices, project management, and custom report generation.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$15/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
QuickBooks Online Screenshot

QuickBooks Online

★★★★★
★★★★★
(45)
QuickBooks Online is the most popular financial software on the market. This cloud-based accounting solution enables tracking of sales and expenses, generating estimates, customer management, and seamless collaboration with external accountants.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$30/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Sage 50cloud Accounting Screenshot

Sage 50cloud Accounting

★★★★★
★★★★★
(23)
Sage 50c is accounting software that includes functions such as accounts payable and receivable, general ledger reporting, and inventory management. Additionally, the solution offers features like sales tax reporting, automated W2s, and precise tax calculations for employee withholdings.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$439/user/year
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Zoho Books Screenshot

Zoho Books

★★★★★
★★★★★
(6)
Zoho Books is a popular alternative to QuickBooks Online. It’s a cloud-based accounting software that offers accounts receivables and payables functionality. It lets you manage your financials and banking, create reports, and automate your sales and purchasing workflows.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$9/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Billy Screenshot

Billy

Billy is an accounting software for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Billy helps you create invoices and get paid faster by tracking expenses automatically and organizing all of your numbers. Quote creation and approval process; Convert quotes to invoices; Customized invoice generation; Recurring invoicing; Online credit card payments; Late payment reminders; Bank account and credit account reconciliation; and Easy tax preparation. Starts at $15/month; Upgrades available for added features
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$15/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Tipalti Screenshot
Tipalti is an accounts payable software that manages complex payment setups, supporting multiple currencies and international tax compliance. The platform streamlines invoice recording, approval workflows, and global payment processes. Its OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capability and automated invoice processing reduce the risk of errors. Tipalti automates and speeds up the accounts payable and closing processes.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$149/month
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Patriot Software Screenshot

Patriot Software

★★★★★
★★★★★
(1)
Patriot Software is a cloud-hosted 1099 and accounting software that handles basic payroll. Its accounting module supports vendor payments, invoicing, payment recording, and the tracking of bank cash deposits and withdrawals.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$20/month
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
AccountEdge Screenshot

AccountEdge

★★★★★
★★★★★
(7)
AccountEdge is a small business accounting software that helps business owners organize, process, and report on their financial information so they can focus on their business. Its feature set includes accounting, integrated payroll, sales and purchases, contact management, inventory tracking, time billing, and more. There are separate pricing plans for Mac and Windows users, though the monthly subscription for the first license is still $15. A 30-day free trial is available; no credit card is required.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$15/month
Client OS
Windows, macOS
Deployment
On-Premises
NolaPro Accounting Screenshot

NolaPro Accounting

Have industry requirements that need met? Specific problems no one else can solve? Need to increase your company’s efficiency standards? Let NolaPro’s powerful, scalable platform work for your business. Utilize its rock-solid ERP suite and then streamline your operations using its flexible architecture to customize on-demand. Since 2003, NolaPro has been modified to provide industry-specific solutions in: Contractor Supply; Construction; Property/Rental Management; Manufacturing; Service Labor;
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$5/user/month
Client OS
Windows, Linux, Web
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
FreeAgent Screenshot
FreeAgent is a cloud-based accounting software designed primarily for small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. It provides invoicing, expense management, project management, and sales tax management. The software is particularly beneficial for managing taxes, as it supports Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliance and allows for the direct submission of VAT and self-assessment tax returns to HMRC. FreeAgent is free for certain business account holders and a free 30-day trial is available.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$37/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
OnPay Solutions Screenshot

OnPay Solutions

OnPay Solutions is an accounts payable automation and accounts receivable automation software that helps eliminate the paper processes. OnPay will digitize your office through strong invoicing and supplier payment capabilities. Easy-to-implement cloud-based payment system that allows companies to automate electronic accounts payable Compatible with all Accounting or ERP systems — even if check is the only payment type available in AP system ; Streamlines all payment types into one, easy-to-use,
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Accounting Seed Screenshot

Accounting Seed

★★★★★
★★★★★
(3)
Accounting Seed, a full accrual accounting app on Salesforce, offers real-time financial tracking throughout the business lifecycle, from marketing to financial statement production.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$250/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Denali Business+Accounting Screenshot

Denali Business+Accounting

★★★★★
★★★★★
(13)
Everything you expect from a leading business accounting solution, plus the tools to manage cash flow, monitor profitability, analyze trends, track inventory, and make informed financial decisions based on real-time accounting data. Let Cougar Mountain show you how DENALI Business+Accounting can serve your business. Accounting software should do more than keep the books. Advanced, multi-tiered security system that allows system rights to be established for users by application and function,
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$1,999/user (perpetual license)
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Gusto Screenshot

Gusto

★★★★★
★★★★★
(4)
Gusto is an online payroll and HR administration platform tailored primarily for startups and small businesses. The software simplifies payroll processing, benefits administration, and offers features like charitable giving, financial wellness tools, and a wallet for employee financial management.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$45/month
Deployment
Cloud Hosted

We searched and searched, but we couldn’t find any products in our database that match your criteria. Perhaps our team of software experts can help? They’d be happy to provide a list of free recommendations that meet your exact requirements.

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