The Best Accounting App for Small Businesses 2024

If you’d like to be able to do your accounting tasks on the go, it’s time to invest in an accounting application. The question is: what’s the best accounting app for small businesses in 2024?

In truth, it depends on your company’s unique needs. While we rate FreshBooks as the best overall small business accounting app–thanks to its ease of use and rich features–there are several other providers out there that might better suit your goals and needs.

Read on to learn more.

The 7 Best Accounting Apps Ranked

  1. FreshBooks: Best for micro businesses
  2. Oracle NetSuite: Best for fast-growing businesses
  3. Zoho Books: Best for beginners
  4. Xero: Best for startups
  5. Tide: Best-combined accounting and banking service
  6. Sage: Best for in-house accountants
  7. Wave: Best free accounting app

The Best Accounting App for Small Businesses Reviewed

To put together our top seven, we tried out the leading accounting app software providers on the market, reviewing factors like their price, features, user experience, integrations, security, and more.

FreshBooks – Best for Micro Businesses

A screenshot of FreshBooks' dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Invoicing Compatibility
$8.50/month – Beginner friendly
– Inventory management
– Powerful automations
Android and iOS

FreshBooks’ mobile application is the perfect piece of accounting software for small businesses keen to streamline the financial process.

We love that the platform is easy to use–even for non-technical employees–and that it has a wealth of features, including invoicing, bookkeeping, expenses, time tracking, inventory management, and project management. Really, it has everything a small business could need to manage its accounts quickly and easily.

On top of that, we love the reports and insights that FreshBooks generates from the data you feed it. Over time, we started to notice operational inefficiencies are areas for improvement, all of which can help to boost the bottom line.

Read more about FreshBooks in our full review

FreshBooks Pricing Plans

  • Lite — $8.50/month
    • Up to five billable clients, unlimited expense tracking, and estimates.
  • Plus — $15/month
    • Up to 50 billable clients, plus unlock features to set up recurring bills and client retainers
  • Premium — $27.50/month
    • Unlimited clients, plus features for tracking project profitability

The other major benefit of FreshBooks is its price. While some competitors start their plans at $20/month, FreshBooks comes in much cheaper.

While the Lite plan is very cost-efficient, we have to say that FreshBooks really comes into its own with the Plus plan. It’s here that you can start using automation features like recurring invoices to retain clients, which is a huge time saver.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • Robust feature set

Cons

  • Limited users
  • Lacks depth of reporting for larger businesses
  • Limited invoice templates

Oracle NetSuite – Best for Fast-Growing Businesses

A screenshot of Oracle NetSuite's dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Invoicing Compatibility
Subscription – Starts at $99/month/user
Licensing fee – Around $999/month
Set up fee – $10,000 – $300,000 (one-time fee, cost depending on size)
– Customizable reporting
– CRM capabilities
– Excellent cash management
iOS and Android

If your organization is growing faster than you can manage, Oracle NetSuite could be the solution for you. Oracle NetSuite is much more than just an accounting application; it’s a full enterprise resource management suite that covers customer relationship management, HR processes, and much more.

Thankfully, the platform offers its features in modules, so you only pay for what you need. While it is undoubtedly a more complex application than others on this list (we had to undergo several training sessions to get the hang of NetSuite), it is also the most powerful, with in-depth, customizable reports and all the financial features you could ever need to make sense of your accounts and discover new efficiencies.

Read more about Oracle NetSuite Accounting in our full review

Oracle NetSuite Pricing Plans

  • Subscription – Starts at $99/month/user
  • Licensing fee – Around $999/month
  • Set up fee – $10,000 – $300,000 (one-time fee, cost depending on size)

Oracle NetSuite is the most expensive provider on this list. It’s not for the average small business. This platform is for fast-growing startups and businesses that plan to scale quickly. If you’re a sole trader or have a company with a simple accounting structure, then the price means this app isn’t worth it.

Pros

  • Customizable reports
  • Excellent customer support
  • CRM capabilities

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Complex to use
  • Not plug-and-play

Zoho Books – Best for Beginners

A screenshot of Zoho Books' dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Invoicing Compatibility
Free Scalable
Retailer-friendly custom reporting
iOS and Android

Zoho Books makes our list not just for its great features but its scalability and flexibility. This is a platform that can grow with your business. You can start with a free plan and then move to the Standard or Professional plan as your accounting needs increase.

Plus, we love that Zoho Books has considered different audiences within its plans. For example, its Elite plan is perfect for e-commerce retailers, thanks to the Shopify integration, while its Professional plan makes it easy for service-based businesses to track profitability and automate accounting functions like invoicing and bookkeeping.

Read more about Zoho Books in our full review

Zoho Books Pricing Plans

  • Free — $0/Month
    • Limited to a single user plus your accountant with access to all the accounting basics, such as chart of accounts, invoicing, payment reminders, bank and credit statements import, taxes, and reporting.
  • Standard — Starts at $15/Month
    • Up to three other users, combined with custom reporting
  • Professional — Starts at $40/Month
    • Best for product-based businesses and larger companies, with features like timesheets and billing, sales approval, vendor credits, purchase orders, currency adjustment, and inventory management.
  • Premium — Starts at $60/Month
    • More reporting functionality and the ability to create a vendor portal for supplier relationship management.
  • Elite — Starts at $120/Month
    • Unlimited custom advanced multi-currency handling and advanced inventory controls that integrate with Shopify. Perfect for retailers.
  • Ultimate — Starts at $240/Month
    • For established businesses seeking hands-on support from the Zoho Books team.

Zoho Books isn’t the cheapest provider out there. Wave and FreshBooks both offer similar accounting features for less. However, Zoho Books does have some capabilities that these providers do not. Namely, it allows you to manage inventory and supplier relationships within the app.

Depending on how many suppliers you work with, this could be a game-changer. However, if you only send a few invoices each month and only rely on one or two suppliers, you may not need all of the features Zoho Books provides.

Pros

  • Forever free plan
  • Advanced inventory tracking
  • CRM capabilities

Cons

  • Limited users on most plans
  • Customer support can be difficult to get hold of
  • Bank account connection sometimes falters

Xero – Best for Startups

A screenshot of Xero's dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Invoicing Compatibility
$13.50/month Fantastic app integrations
Unlimited users
Robust reporting
iOS and Android

It’s wonderful to purchase an app and be able to start using it immediately. You don’t want to spend time learning the ropes or watching videos. You want the experience to be intuitive and effortless. That’s exactly the case with Xero, and it’s why it’s our favorite accounting app for startups.

The Xero app is sleek in design and a joy to use. On top of that, it has an unlimited number of seats, which is excellent for companies where multiple people enter accounting information. Beyond that, Xero takes a place on our list for its formidable features and app integrations. Use it wisely, and you can turn Xero into a complete business management solution encompassing sales, marketing, HR, and more.

Read more about Xero in our full review

Xero Pricing Plans

  • Early — $13/month
    • Send up to 20 invoices per month, reconcile bank transactions, and capture bills and receipts
  • Growing — $37/month
    • Unlimited invoices, along with bulk reconciled transactions
  • Established — $70/month
    • Unlock the ability to use multiple currencies

Xero is undoubtedly cost-effective for the number of features it offers. The yearly subscription will suffice for startups with annual pricing plans or a lower number of clients. Of course, if your company deals with multiple currencies, you’ll need the established plan, and this is on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of price.

Pros

  • Scalable
  • Beautiful user interface
  • In-depth reporting

Cons

  • Can only access multiple currencies on the highest tier plan
  • Payroll costs extra
  • Customer support can be difficult to contact

Tide – Best Combined Accounting and Banking Service

A screenshot of Tide's dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Invoicing Compatibility
£9.99
(UK only)
Digital banking services
Excellent mobile app
Member perks on paid plans
iOS and Android

Tide brings something a little different to the mix of accounting apps for small businesses. For one, it only serves the UK market (so skip ahead if you’re based elsewhere). For two, it cleverly combines accounting services with digital banking features that are designed to help your business save money and streamline expenses and payments.

Importantly, Tide offers integrations with the likes of Quickbooks, Xero, Sage, and more. In essence, its accounting features are almost secondary to its business banking feature, which, we must say, is exceptional. With discounts for a range of business services–from hot desking to transport–Tide is a great business card.

Its accounting features, too, are solid, presented in a nice, clean interface that makes sending invoices, paying bills, and completing tax returns simple and easy. However, Tide’s reporting features aren’t as in-depth or granular as the likes of Sage or FreshBooks.

Read more about Tide in our full review

Tide Pricing Plans

  • Accounting — £9.99/per month
    • Intuitive solution for basic accounting, banking, and invoicing.

Tide’s accounting solution is relatively cheap compared to other providers. However, it’s worth noting that using Tide Accounting without using its bank features feels like a waste–and this is where the price also starts to go up.

While you can get a Tide bank card for free, to make the most of the perks, expense cards, and other features, you’ll want to go for the Tide Pro account, which costs £18.99/month.

Pros

  • Excellent banking features
  • Intuitive interface
  • Perfect for beginners

Cons

  • UK only
  • No payroll
  • Integrations only available with higher-tier plans

Sage – Best for In-House Accountants

A screenshot of Sage's dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Invoicing Compatibility
$58.92/month Next-level reporting
Inventory management capabilities
Professional invoices
iOS and Android

Sage is probably the most intimidating accounting app we’ve put on this list. It’s mighty and powerful, full of features that in-house finance personnel will find useful for discovering insights and simplifying accounting.

However, for small business owners who wear many hats, Sage is a steep learning curve. While FreshBooks and Xero are intuitive to use, Sage takes time, practice, and dedication to get your head around. Once you do, though, you’ll find that the wealth of features–from automated invoicing excellent inventory tracking, and customized reports–gives you unparalleled control over your business’ finances.

Read more about Sage in our full review

Sage Pricing Plans

  • Pro Accounting–$58.92 /month
    • Features like invoice management, expense management, and an automated bank reconciliation tool, but only one seat.
  • Premium Accounting–$96.58 /month
    • Up to five seats and additional features like advanced reporting, job costing, auditing, and budgeting features.
  • Quantum Accounting–$160 /month
    • Unlock workflow management features and segregate user permissions by role.

Sage is by no means cheap; its lowest-tier plan is more expensive than the highest-grade plan at FreshBooks, for example. However, the two target slightly different audiences. FreshBooks is for small businesses first stepping into accounting software, while Sage is for finance professionals who know what they’re doing.

Still, depending on the size of your business and your growth plans, the price of Sage could be off-putting, or the platform might be exactly what you need to fuel future growth.

Pros

  • Excellent inventory management
  • Customized reporting
  • Integrates with Microsoft 365

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited integrations
  • Steep learning curve

Wave – Best Free Accounting App

A screenshot of Wave's dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Invoicing Compatibility
Free A wealth of free features
Robust reporting
Intuitive interface
iOS and Android

It’s always worth remembering that, with accounting software, you can strike off the cost as a business expense at the end of the year. However, if you’d rather not spend any money, then Wave is a fantastic choice.

Wave’s accounting app is excellent for small businesses looking for basic accounting features like invoice management, bookkeeping, expense tracking, and high-level reporting.

It’s worth noting that Wave will fall short for some businesses, though. Namely, there’s no time-tracking feature or inventory capabilities. Plus, if you want to pay vendors or employees, you’ll need to pay extra for Wave payroll, which has a $40 monthly base fee.

Read more about Wave in our full review

Wave Pricing Plans

  • Free plan with unlimited users, double-entry accounting, invoicing, payments, and automated bookkeeping.

For small businesses with simple financial structures and sole traders, Wave is an excellent choice, especially as it’s free. Of course, Wave has to make money somehow, and it’s worth noting that it charges a standard transaction fee for payments processed through the platform.

Moreover, if you want to use Wave’s mobile app to scan expense receipts, that’s going to cost. While the feature used to be free, we noticed that Wave now charges $8/month for this capability.

Pros

  • Simple design
  • Free
  • Double-entry bookkeeping

Cons

  • Scanning receipts comes at an extra fee
  • No inventory management
  • No time tracking

The Best Accounting Apps for Small Businesses Compared

Best For Standout Features Free Plan Offer Double-Entry Invoicing Compatibility
FreshBooks Micro-businesses – Beginner friendly
– Inventory management
– Powerful automations
30-day free trial iOS and Android
Oracle NetSuite Fast-growing companies – Customizable reporting
– CRM capabilities
– Excellent cash management
N/A iOS and Android
Zoho Books Beginners Scalable
Retailer-friendly custom reporting
14-day free trial iOS and Android
Xero Startups – Fantastic app integrations
– Unlimited users
– Robust reporting
30-day free trial iOS and Android
Tide Accounting and banking – Digital banking services
– Excellent mobile app
– Member perks on paid plans
2-month free trial iOS and Android
Sage In-house accountants – Next-level reporting
– Inventory management capabilities
– Professional invoices
3-month free trial iOS and Android
Wave Free app – A wealth of free features
– Robust reporting
– Intuitive interface
Free iOS and Android

Conclusion – What is the Best Small Business Accounting App?

Ultimately, while there are a number of excellent small business accounting apps out there, FreshBooks takes the winning slot for its impeccable user experience, quality features, and small business-friendly price.

How We Test Accounting Software

Our goal is to provide you with unbiased expertise on the leading accounting software platforms on the market. To achieve this, we conduct thorough testing on each provider for 30 days, assessing factors like:

  • Pricing – We compare the pricing structures of each software platform to give you unbiased advice on how each fares in the market.
  • Features – We assess factors like ease of use, reporting capabilities, bookkeeping, CRM integrations, and security.
  • Integrations – During the review process, we scrutinize the available integrations and their effectiveness in helping users achieve their objectives.
  • Automation – We conduct comprehensive tests on the automation capabilities of each feature, analyzing the platform’s potential to enhance productivity.
  • Ease of use – Our review involves assessing the user interface as if we were newcomers to accounting software, looking at how easily non-technical users can navigate the platform.
  • Third-Party Reviews – In order to provide a comprehensive overview, we combine our overview with insights gathered from reputable third-party websites such as Reddit and Trustpilot.

How to Choose the Best Desktop Accounting Software

Switching between accounting platforms until you find the right one can eat away at productivity and cause stress and frustration. When you purchase an app, it’s crucial to make the right choice. So, here are some factors to bear in mind:

  • Pricing – Choose a solution that is not only affordable now but also becomes more cost-effective as your business grows.
  • Features – Scrutinize the features offered in each plan. Look for a provider that can meet as many of your requirements as possible without requiring additional software purchases.
  • Scalability – Consider your business’s long-term growth plans and evaluate whether the software offers the flexibility to scale as your business expands.
  • Ease of Use – Ideally, the software will be easy to use from the get-go without a steep learning curve.
  • Integrations – Check that the chosen plan includes access to the integrations you need.
  • Customer Support – In case you face challenges, having a reliable customer support team is essential. Ensure the chosen provider offers easily accessible support, preferably through 24/7 live chat.

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Hannah Pisani

Hannah Pisani is a seasoned writer with a keen focus on the intersection between technology and the evolving nature of work. Over the last five years, she has written content for numerous leading technology brands, including Microsoft, AWS and Oracle. She regularly contributes to international technology publications such as Silicon Angle, Cloudwards and Techopedia. Hannah's depth of knowledge encompasses HR software, cybersecurity, SaaS tools and marketing optimization. She thrives on leveraging her expertise to empower business leaders, guiding them towards informed decisions that optimize efficiency and drive productivity.