The past two years have been extremely difficult for all with the Covid-19 shutdowns. Many small businesses have borne the brunt and suffered major losses. In fact, tens of thousands of small business in the US have shut doors. And even though hopefully our war against Covid-19 and its repercussions is on its last legs, we need to be careful.
It is critical for all small businesses to be in control of their finances. Accounting software and websites are something that will be extremely useful in such times. If as a small business, you use a good accounting software religiously, you will definitely make better decisions and be control of your finances. These software not only help you maintain a hold of your income and expenses, but also help you make smarter future plans.
We understand that financial book-keeping is both time consuming as well as complicated. Most individuals, sole-proprietors, and small business owners find it difficult to manage basic accounting like tracking revenue, paying bills etc. Add to it more complicated questions regarding profitability, tax requirements, possible investment in inventory etc. and people are lost.
Are you battling with the same issues?
Well, to make things simpler, we have prepared a list of top 10 accounting software. Every small business owner must consider using any one (or more) or these software:
1. Fresh books
Fresh Books is a well-rounded and intuitive online accounting software which is ideal for both sole proprietors and freelancers. In fact, the retainer feature in the software also make it a good fit for accountant, attorneys, and other professionals who work on a retainer fee basis. Fresh books in its latest version has added double-entry accounting to its list of features, something that is essential for growing businesses.
Other features of the software include solid invoicing, ACH payment acceptance, ability to create and manage projects, ability to create estimates and proposals. Though it does not offer payroll, it does integrate Gusto Payroll to meet this requirement.
Fresh Books comes in four different plans:
- Lite for 15 USD/ month, bills max 5 clients.
- Plus for 25 USD/month, bills max 50 clients
- Premium for 50 USD/ month, bills max 500 clients
- Select refers to plans with custom pricing for anyone who needs it.
The cons to this software though very negligible are- limited setup help, limited invoice customization, minor dashboard deficits, and somewhat lacking mobile app.
2. Intuit Quick Books Online
This is one of the best small business accounting software that covers all accounts payable functions efficiently. It is one of the most scalable as well as comprehensive software for SMEs. The software makes it easy for small business to track cash flow, make bill payments electronically or via checks. The online bill payment features makes tracking payment and remittance status easier.
In addition the software also has a feature wherein you can generate reports to gain insight into the business’s overall performance. For example you can check unpaid bills via vendor reports, and A/P aging as well.
Quick Book online comes in four different plans. As usual there is a free 30-day trial which you can avail before subscribing to a plan. The four plans are:
- Simple Start- 25 USD/month for one user
- Essentials- 50 USD/month for max 3 users
- Plus- 80 USD/month for max 5 users
- Advanced- 180 USD/month for max 25 users
The cons to this software are that it is comparatively expensive, has limited user accounts availability, and limited reporting options.
3. Sage 50 Cloud
This is a robust desktop accounting application that is ideal for small businesses. It incorporates an array of comprehensive financial tools and offers generous customization options. The most unique thing about this software is its integration with Microsoft 365, which makes it a hybrid solution. That is, it is a local hard-drive based software which facilitates sharing of data with other productivity applications via the cloud. Other benefits of Sage are a sophisticated feature set, in-depth contact and item recording, good support, and very strong inventory management tools.
As far as cost is concerned, note that Sage only comes in 12-month subscription plans. There are three plans:
- Pro starting at 567 USD/year for one user
- Premium starting at 850 USD/year for single user
- Quantum starting at 1404 USD/year for one user.
The high cost and resource heavy character of the software are both discouraging for many. Some other cons of the software are that it works for windows only, there is no dashboard, and the UI is dated. Additionally the mobile app is also not comprehensive to use.
Wave, a double-entry accounting website, is ideal for freelancers, independent contractors, and some small businesses. One of the most enticing things about using Wave is that it is absolutely free, and only payroll and payments incur a fee. It offer multicurrency support, has good user interface, excellent invoice/ transaction management, context sensitive help and more.
All in all it offers a small selection of features that are efficient and essential for every small business. In fact, it is always making small internal changes to improve functionality. And every once in a while they do come up with some major feature update for SME accounting.
As mentioned before, while its competitors charge a monthly fee, using Wave’s primary accounting functions is free of charge. There is only a charge for payments and payroll. This includes credit card processing costs of 2.9 percent plus 30 cents/ transaction. For American express this is, 3.4 percent plus 30 cents/ transaction. For other bank payments (ACH) the charge is 1 percent with a minimum of $1. The wave payroll charges 35 USD/ month of base fee, with additional 6 USD/month for each contractor/ employee.
Even though the pricing is very enticing, there are some cons that are worth noting. These are simple record templates, payroll feature isn’t on par with competitors, android app lacking essential features. There is also no dedicated time-tracking feature, and the mobile app needs to be a lot more comprehensive.
This software is third party payroll service with full integration, to simplify standard accounting processes. It provides cloud-based integration, has a mobile app, comes with an impressive dashboard, and many thorough reconciliation tools. The software also allows project tracking and simple inventory management.
One can avail Xero services through any of the following plans:
- Starter Plan- 27 AUD/month, ideal for sole traders, self-employed and new businesses.
- Standard Plan- 54 AUD/month, ideal for growing SMEs
- Premium Plan- 70 AUD/month, ideal for established companies.
The cons to the software are that there are limited reporting options, and lack of reorder level in inventory. Also there is no live support, expenses are handled in a separate mobile app, and the new invoices forms are missing labelled icons.
6. Zoho Books
This is a cloud-based software suite which helps automate back-office operations and perform financial transaction all on a single platform. It is ideal for small and mid-sized businesses. It also has a robust mobile app which is ideal for easy monitoring of expenses, bill management and to get insights about business performance. There is a key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard in the app/ software with makes it easier to analyze performance.
Not only this, Zoho Books also has an application for the Apple Watch. Yes, it enables users to keep an eye on the financials of the business on the go, even while multi-tasking. In addition, it is free to use for one user and one accountant. There are three more plans:
- Standard- 20 USD/month for max 3 users
- Professional- 50 USD/month for max 5 users
- Premium- 70 USD/month for max 10 users
Its cons are- lack of fixed asset management feature, transaction cap of 5000, missing inventory tracking feature, and limited integration options.
7. Go Daddy Book-Keeping
Long known for its web hosting services, GoDaddy has built a simple Book-keeping website that comes with Amazon, eBay, and Etsy integration. This makes it extremely exciting for freelancers, contractors and entrepreneurs. The website has a good dashboard, comes with good invoicing tools, offers simple time entries, and even estimates quarterly taxes.
Users can avail site benefits as per three different price plans:
- Get Paid plan, at 4.99 USD/month. It allows users to send invoices/ estimates, time and mileage tracking, accept mobile payments and run current business year reports.
- Essentials plan, at 9.99 USD/month. It gives the options to add online bank and credit card accounts, sales tax support, and unlimited reports.
- Premium plan, at 14.99 USD/month. Over and above the previous plans, this plan offers ability to schedule and send recurring invoices.
Even though the website is easy to use, flexible and has good book-keeping features, it still lacks a lot when compared with competitors. For example, it lacks multicurrency support, shows only minimal client info in records, and does not have the ability to track projects or bill payments.
This is one of the best free accounting software which is known for its accounts payable feature. It is extremely easy to create and track you vendor bills with this software. Additionally it is also easy to connect to the bank and import transactions. The software comes in two plan options:
- Free self-service plan- free for one user
- Sunrise plus plan- 14.55 USD/month for multiple users and payment integrations using Square, Stripe, and PayPal.
While the free version gives access to all important features, note that Sunrise is predominantly just a book-keeping service. And the paid plan will give you access to a dedicated book-keeper to import and reconcile transactions for you.
The cons to this software include- limited reports, lack of ability to track inventory, no back reconciliations, and inability to track a project income/ expenses.
9. Account Edge Pro
This on-premise application is a good fit for all small and growing businesses. It offers remote access, easy integration with Shopify and UPS shipping. The software makes it easy to go through the entire accounting cycle and is also ideal for online retails.
EdgePro also offers excellent time and billing features for both billable and non-billable hours, and invoicing capabilities. It also has solid inventory management tools, self-service as well as full-service payrolls, and an automatic back feed option.
The pricing structure for EdgePro is also very good, with four plans:
- Basic plan has one-time fee of $149
- Pro plan at $399
- AccountEdge connect comes at a subscription plan of $25/month for max 5 users.
- AccountEdge Pro Hosted for $40/month.
- There are additional license and payroll subscription charges.
The lacks of a comprehensive mobile app and additional cloud charges are both discouraging. Other cons include outdated invoices, lack of searching capabilities, and no central dashboard. Also the app does not allow download of back transaction (only statements).
Kashoo has several attractive features when it comes to small business accounting. It’s most important strengths are good expense and income management tools. And a clean, simple and easy to use interface. The software also has free email, chat and phone support. It comes integrated with SurePayroll and has good project cost tracking features.
The company is looking to add on many state-of-the-art features to emphasize better user experience and accounting automation. Users can have access to Kashoo for a monthly subscription fee of $19.95/month. However, there is extra fee for both payroll and merchant accounts.
The cons to using with software are the absence of a standard dashboard, no android mobile application, and inability to track time and inventory.