The Best Accounting Software in Canada for 2024

The best accounting software in Canada for 2024 is undoubtedly QuickBooks. It is intuitive, easy to learn, customizable, and offers a wide variety of advanced features and functionalities.

That said, we understand that the needs of every business are unique. That’s why we’ve reviewed seven other alternatives and compared each solution, looking at their standout features, pros & cons, and pricing plans.

Read on to see what the best accounting software platforms in Canada offer, how they align with GST (Goods and Services Tax) and HST (Harmonized Sales Tax), and find the one that’s the best fit for your business.

The Best Accounting Software Canada Ranked

  1. QuickBooks Online — Best overall, with built-in time tracking and inventory management
  2. Xero — Ideal for multi-currency accounting
  3. FreshBooks — Built-in time tracking and project management
  4. Zoho Books — Free for businesses with less than $50k annual revenue
  5. Wave — Free plan with unlimited invoicing
  6. AccountEdge — Perfect for commission-based sales
  7. Oracle NetSuite — Advanced fixed asset management
  8. MS Excel — A build-your-own accounting solution

The Best Accounting Software for Canada Reviewed

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the core features, pricing plans, automation and integration capabilities, and pros & cons of each accounting solution. This will help you compare them and discern which one best fits the unique needs of your business so you can make an informed decision.

1. QuickBooks Online — Best Canadian Accounting Software Overall With Time, Inventory, and Mileage Tracking

A screenshot of Quickbooks' dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Payroll Reporting
$24 CAD/month 30-day free trial Built-in inventory, mileage, and time tracking
Integrated payroll functionality
Cash flow planning and project profitability
Paid add-on

QuickBooks Online is one of the most robust, feature-rich accounting software solutions for Canadians on the market. In addition to its core accounting features, such as invoicing, income and expense tracking, and bookkeeping, it enables you to run payroll for your team, efficiently manage your inventory, and gain valuable business insights from customizable reports.

The platform also comes with pre-filled tax rates (including GST), lets you set your own tax rates, automatically tracks sales tax in Canada, and displays your HST number on invoices once set up.

What’s unique about QuickBooks Online is that it streamlines day-to-day business operation management, making it the best overall option for most Canadian businesses. Aside from helping you track inventory levels with real-time notifications, the platform automatically tracks mileage, which is essential for moving companies, truck drivers, and any other industry where it’s crucial to keep track of kilometres driven for tax deduction or reimbursement.

Another reason to opt for QuickBooks Online over alternatives like Zoho Books and AccountEdge is that it features cash flow planning and gives you a clear view of project profitability. You’ll be able to see every dollar coming in and out of your business, tell which clients and projects are bringing in the most profits, and make informed business decisions based on relevant data.

QuickBooks Online is also an excellent solution for team management. It lets you track time and attendance, manage schedules and shifts, and enable your team to access their pay stubs and other crucial information at any time through an intuitive mobile app.

Pros

  • A robust, feature-rich accounting platform
  • Built-in time, inventory, and mileage tracking
  • Features payroll as an optional add-on
  • Lets you make cash flow projections and view project profitability
  • Streamlines team management and shift scheduling

Cons

  • Has a steep learning curve due to the sheer number of features

2. Xero — Ideal for Multi-Currency Accounting in Canada, With Over 160 Currencies Supported

A screenshot of Xero's dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Payroll Reporting
$15 CAD/month 30-day free trial Advanced inventory management
Project tracking
Online file storage

Xero is another full-featured accounting solution that allows you to send online invoices and accept payments, easily track and pay all your bills, create and send digital purchase orders, and keep track of inventory levels in real-time.

When it comes to taxes, you can use preset standard rates or fully customize your own. The platform supports GST/HST filing, automatically calculates sales tax on transactions, and helps you quickly generate accurate sales tax reports for filing periods.

What’s unique about Xero is that the platform supports accounting in over 160 different currencies. This greatly simplifies international business accounting, given that the tool displays up-to-date exchange rates and supports instant currency conversions.

Another reason to opt for Xero is that it comes with built-in payroll, whereas solutions like QuickBooks Online only offer this functionality as a paid add-on. That said, Xero’s payroll functionality is rather simplistic, but you can still use it for straightforward, recurring pay runs for your salaried employees.

In addition to pay records, Xero can be used to capture and store all relevant business data. It acts as a centralized online file storage with filters and search functions, making it easy for your team to manage and share documents, contracts, bills, receipts, and other key documentation.

Lastly, Xero also offers project tracking, simplifying planning, budgeting, quoting, and invoicing. The platform also enables you to record time spent working on each project and track the costs so you can determine the profitability of each project at any given time.

Pros

  • Full-featured accounting solution
  • Advanced inventory management capabilities
  • Multi-currency accounting with over 160 currencies supported
  • Built-in payroll and payroll integration
  • Project planning, budgeting, and profitability tracking

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Support is only available via email

3. FreshBooks — Intuitive Canadian Accounting Solution With Built-in Time Tracking and Project Management

A screenshot of FreshBooks' dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Payroll Reporting
$8.80 CAD/month • Professional invoice templates
• Unlimited estimates and proposals
• Built-in time tracking and project management
Paid add-on

FreshBooks is an easy-to-use accounting and bookkeeping software for businesses of all sizes. It lets you create professional invoices in seconds, provide your clients with a variety of payment options, track unlimited expenses, and generate in-depth reports to track every dollar.

FreshBooks stands out from other solutions because it lets you send extremely detailed invoices to clients. You’ll have a rich library of professionally designed invoice templates to choose from and will be able to fully customize them to reflect your brand. The invoices can contain in-depth descriptions of line items so your clients can see all the work you’ve done and what it costs, including taxes.

The invoicing functionality of FreshBooks comes with automated payment reminders, so your clients are automatically nudged to fulfill their obligations. This helps ensure that you get paid for your work on time and eliminates the need to “chase” clients for the money you’re owed.

The platform also fully supports GST/HST tracking and filing, saving you valuable time and helping ensure complete tax filing accuracy with automated calculations.

FreshBooks also excels when it comes to time tracking and project management. It lets you track hours worked on each project and task to the minute, ensuring you don’t miss any billable hours. The logged time is automatically added to client invoices, so every second is accounted for.

The project management functionality makes it easy for your team, contractors, and clients to share information, collaborate, and track project progress. This ensures everyone is up-to-date, plus it gives you valuable insight into the profitability of each project.

Pros

  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Lets you create and send professional invoices in seconds
  • Built-in time tracking with hours logged automatically converted to invoices
  • Project management and project profitability

Cons

  • Limited number of team members for each tier

4. Zoho Books — Free For Canadian Business with Less Than $50K CAD in Annual Revenue

A screenshot of Zoho Books' dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Payroll Reporting
$15 CAD/month Free forever for businesses with <$50 CAD annual revenue • Bank rules and reconciliation
• Custom reports and reporting tags
• Task-level time tracking

Zoho Books is an excellent solution for small Canadian businesses, given that it offers a free plan for companies with annual revenue under $50,000 CAD.

While the free plan is limited to a single user plus an accountant, you’ll have access to all the essential functionalities like invoicing, automated reminders, expense and mileage tracking, importing bank and credit card statements, and reporting.

Zoho also fully supports GST/HST returns. The company even provides a detailed step-by-step GST/HST guide for configuring the settings within the app, so you’ll have all your tax information tracked and ready for filing.

As your business grows and you start generating more revenue, you can always upgrade to one of the premium Zoho plans. They come with an array of advanced functionalities, such as custom fields and reports, time tracking for individual project tasks, project expense tracking, sales and purchase orders, and multi-currency contacts.

The most expensive plans also include advanced inventory management capabilities, with native Shopify integration, warehouse management, and serial number tracking.

This easy scalability makes Zoho Books an excellent option for businesses that are still getting off the ground, given that the accounting platform can easily keep up with your growing needs as you expand your business.

Pros

  • Generous free plan for small businesses
  • Multi-lingual invoicing
  • Easy bank reconciliation
  • Project time and expense tracking
  • Advanced inventory management capabilities

Cons

  • No payroll functionality

5. Wave — Easy to Use Canadian Accounting Software, With Unlimited Invoicing and Bookkeeping Records on the Free Plan

A screenshot of Wave's dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Payroll Reporting
$20 CAD/month Free accounting and invoicing • Unlimited customizable invoices
• Automated late payment reminder
• Automatic bank reconciliation
Paid add-on

Wave is one of the best free accounting software solutions and a great alternative to Zoho if your business doesn’t fall into the under $50,000 CAD per annum category. The platform also fully supports GST/HST tracking, though you’ll have to manually edit the sales tax rate from the settings.

With Wave’s free plan, you can send unlimited invoices, fully customize them with your company logo and brand colours, and schedule automated reminders so you don’t have to chase clients for payments.

You’ll also be able to create unlimited bookkeeping records, either by entering them manually or by connecting your bank account to Wave. We recommend the latter since it also enables auto-import of all bank transactions, ensuring that your records are up-to-date.

The one thing worth noting is that the free plan gives you the option to accept online payments at a rate of 2.9% + $0.60 CAD per credit card transaction. This is on the high end of the average payment processing rates, so Wave can quickly turn from free to one of the more expensive solutions if you utilize it to accept payments from clients.

In addition to built-in invoicing and bookkeeping, Wave offers receipt capture and payroll as paid add-ons. You can also hire a professional bookkeeper through the platform for $199/month if you want to fully outsource your bookkeeping or get a professional coach to guide you through the process step-by-step.

Pros

  • Free plan with unlimited invoicing
  • Automatic bank reconciliation
  • Unlimited bookkeeping records
  • Payroll as a paid add-on
  • Bookkeeping outsourcing and professional coaching

Cons

  • Lacks advanced functionalities like time tracking and project management

6. AccountEdge — Expense Tracking With Vendor Management for Canadian Businesses, With Commission-Based Sales Support

A screenshot of AccountEdge's dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Payroll Reporting
$20 CAD/month • Vendor management
• Sales-based commission support
• Inventory tracking by location
Paid add-on

AccountEdge is a desktop accounting software geared towards small and medium-sized businesses. It merges invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, inventory management, and tax filing (GST/HST) into a single app, helping you streamline every financial aspect of your business.

In addition to the core functionalities like invoicing, expense tracking, and bank reconciliation, AccountEdge offers advanced inventory management, time tracking with custom billing rates, and simple data organization and management with easy import and export functions.

What’s worth noting is that payroll is only available as an add-on, with a flat $20/month rate for unlimited employees. Most other accounting software, like QuickBooks Online and Wave, charge per employee, which makes AccountEdge a much more affordable option.

What’s unique about AccountEdge, compared to other solutions we’ve reviewed in this guide, is that it supports sales-based commissions. You can define commission structures based on items sold or certain activities to incentivize your team and boost profits. The commissions are automatically tracked and included in your payroll processing.

Pros

  • Simple yet powerful accounting tool
  • Expense tracking with vendor management
  • Inventory management with stock tracking by location
  • Sales-based commission support
  • Simplified data management with audit trail tracking

Cons

  • Outdated UI (User Interface)
  • The started plan limited to a single user

7. Oracle NetSuite — Automated Account Reconciliation and Advanced Fixed Asset Management for Canadian Businesses

A screenshot of Oracle NetSuite's dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Payroll Reporting
Custom quote • Cash flow management
• Automated account reconciliation
• Fixed asset management
Standalone product

Oracle NetSuite Cloud Accounting software is a robust solution for established businesses and enterprises that want to streamline accounting and tax management, improve financial controls, shorten time-to-close, and generate accurate, in-depth financial reports.

Aside from invoicing, expense tracking, and cash management, Oracle NetSuite truly shines when it comes to account reconciliation. The platform automates the reconciliation process for virtually any transaction, including credit card, prepaid, accruals, fixed assets, and intercompany transactions.

Moreover, NetSuite lets you analyze every transaction down to line-item tax details. The company handles all local taxes across subsidiaries for you and supports multiple tax schedules for GST/HST, VAT, and sales taxes, saving you a ton of valuable time and giving you peace of mind.

NetSuite also enables businesses to easily manage the full lifecycle of their fixed assets (both depreciating and non-depreciating). This is crucial for larger companies with multiple offices, company vehicles, heavy machinery, and other fixed assets that need to be properly tracked and regularly managed.

Pros

  • Customizable account types, transactions, and reporting segments
  • Quick and easy account reconciliation
  • Simplified domestic and global tax management
  • Fixed asset management and tracking

Cons

  • Rather complex, with a steep learning curve
  • No public pricing available

8. MS Excel — Flexible Canadian Accounting Software for Small Businesses

A screenshot of MS Excel's dashboard

Starting Price Free Plan Top Features Payroll Reporting
From $6 CAD/month per user One-month free trial • Accounting templates
• Financial data visualization
• Valuable formulas for financial calculations

MS Excel is an extremely flexible tool that can be used as an accounting solution for small businesses. While it doesn’t come preloaded with accounting features, you can build functionalities in Excel and use it to record transactions, create invoices, track inventory, calculate and track GST/HST taxes, store crucial employee information, and even run payroll.

If you’re well-versed with the software, you can create an accounting solution that perfectly caters to the unique needs of your business. If not, you can always download templates from the web with pre-built formulas and fine-tune them. The templates typically include a chart of accounts sheet, an income statement sheet, and a transactions sheet.

The main advantage of Excel is that it’s relatively simple to use, it’s way more affordable than dedicated accounting software solutions, and it can be used to visualize your financial data.

That said, Excel is a single-entry accounting tool. Additionally, everything has to be done manually, so it takes a lot of time to handle your finances in the program, and there’s a ton of room for error.

Pros

  • Flexible and relatively easy to use
  • There are dozens of premade Excel templates for accounting
  • It’s much more affordable than other solutions on our list
  • Lets you visualize your financial data (as charts and graphs)

Cons

  • Everything needs to be entered manually
  • There’s a lot of room for human error

Top Canadian Accounting Software Compared

Here’s a master table with all the key data on each of the eight accounting software solutions we’ve reviewed. This will help you see how they compare head-to-head and find the perfect match for your business.

Accounting Software Best For Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
QuickBooks Online Time, inventory, and mileage tracking $24 CAD/month 30-day free trial Shopify, Pipedrive, Monday.com, HubSpot, Slack, Zapier, PayPal
Xero Multi-currency accounting $15 CAD/month 30-day free trial Stipe, HubSpot, Mailchimp, Salesforce, Gmail, Shopify
FreshBooks Time tracking and project management $8.80 CAD/month Gmail, Google Sheets, Toggl, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Slack, Zoom, PayPal, WooCommerce
Zoho Books Businesses with <$50k CAD annual revenue $15 CAD/month Free accounting software for businesses with <$50 CAD annual revenue Stripe, PayPal, WePay, Xero, Shopify, QuickBooks, HubSpot, Monday.com
Wave Unlimited free invoicing $20 CAD/month Free accounting and invoicing Calendly, Shopify, Mailchimp, PayPal, Stripe, Square, Slack
AccountEdge Tracking commission-based sales $20 CAD/month Zapier, Dropbox, Microsoft Power BI, TimeSolv Legal Billing, MarginEdge
Oracle NetSuite Automated account reconciliation Custom quote Cube, Shopify, WooCommerce, HubSpot, Salesforce, Magento, Amazon
MS Excel Affordable accounting for small businesses From $6 CAD/month per user One-month free trial Gmail, Google Sheets, Outlook, Jotform, Miro, Trello

Conclusion — What is the Best Accounting Software In Canada For 2024?

The best accounting software in Canada for 2024 is QuickBooks Online. It’s super intuitive and easy to use, all the while offering a myriad of advanced features and functionalities.

What makes QuickBooks Online stand out is that it comes with built-in team management functionalities, letting you track time, schedule shifts, and monitor project progress.

It also greatly facilitates budget planning, automates mileage tracking, lets you track project profitability, and lets you track inventory levels with real-time notifications.

Click the button below to start your 30-day free trial, test QuickBooks Online in practice, and see first-hand why it’s the number one software in Canada.

How We Test Canadian Accounting Software

When testing and reviewing accounting software, we focus on the following parameters:

  • Pricing — The available pricing plans, discounts, and free trials, and the overall value for money each platform provides.
  • Features — Core invoicing and accounting features, as well as additional features and add-ons businesses can benefit from, like time tracking, payroll, and inventory.
  • Integrations — Integrations with third-party HR, bookkeeping, time tracking, and other tools and apps.
  • Automation — Automated transaction tracking, invoice scheduling with reminders, bank reconciliation, inventory stock tracking, and other automations that save valuable time.
  • Ease of use — The average level of experience and technical knowledge required to fully utilize all of the features and functionalities the platforms offer.
  • Third-Party Reviews — Reviews from other users on trusted, reliable third-party review sites, like TrustPilot, TrustRadius, G2, and Capterra.

How To Choose the Best Canadian Accounting Software

If you can’t decide between the solutions we’ve covered in this article, here are a few pointers that will help you make the right choice for your business:

  • Budget — Determine how much money you can comfortably invest in an accounting software solution every month. Keep in mind that most solutions limit the number of users, so consider if just one person or a full team of accountants will use the software and adjust the budget accordingly.
  • Integrations — Go over the available integrations the platform you’re interested in offers. Make sure it can easily integrate with the tools you’re already using, so you can have quick and easy access to all relevant information in one place.
  • Compatibility — Check what devices and operating systems the accounting software solution is compatible with and whether it offers a mobile app. It’s always best to opt for a cloud-based solution since it can be accessed via a browser on virtually any device.
  • Ease of Use — Try and ascertain how complex the software is. The more intuitive and easier to use, the less time it would take you and your team to learn how to fully utilize everything it offers.
  • Scalability — Choose a scalable solution that lets you add new users, purchase add-ons, and upscale to a premium pricing plan as you grow and expand your business.
  • Customer Support — Note the available options for contacting customer support and their working hours. Also, take into account what other users have to say about the average response time and the technical knowledge of the support representatives.

FAQs

Which accounting software is most used in Canada?

What software will an accountant use the most?

Which is better: Quicken or QuickBooks?

Which is better: Sage or Quickbooks?

What is the best accounting software for small business in Canada?

References

Related Reading

Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…