Best Accounting Software for Small Business Needs – Top 10 Compared for 2024

The best accounting software for small business is FreshBooks. We think it offers all-around features that can help any small business owner thrive. FreshBooks offers an easy-to-use interface with features like invoicing, expense tracking, team collaboration, and streamlined workflows. With top-notch integrations and automations, this accounting software makes it a breeze to keep up with business accounting.

The Best Small Business Accounting Software Ranked

Before we dig into the specifics of each platform, here’s an introduction to why these platforms are making waves:

  1. FreshBooks: Best Overall
  2. Oracle NetSuite: Best for Payroll
  3. Zoho Accounting: Best for Automations
  4. Xero: Best for Multi-Currency Support
  5. Sage: Best for Simplicity
  6. Bonsai: Best for Freelancers
  7. QuickBooks: Best for Advanced Inventory Management
  8. TurboTax: Best for Filing Taxes
  9. Melio: Best for ACH Bank Transfers
  10. Wave: Best Free Accounting Software

The Best Small Business Accounting Software Reviewed

We consider many factors when coming up with our best software lists. Our team looks at features, prices, third-party reviews, and more. If you want to learn more about how we choose featured products, read our “How we Choose” section below.

1. FreshBooks — Best Overall

FreshBooks | Best Law Firm Accounting Software

Starting Price

Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
$17/month 30-day trial – Superb automation
– Integrates with 130+ apps
– Time tracking and expense management
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Requires integration

FreshBooks takes the crown as the best software for small business accounting and bookkeeping, offering top-notch tools for financial management at affordable prices.

FreshBooks lets you focus on what matters most, whether you need to track expenses and assets, send invoices, perform double-entry accounting, or automate reminders. The platform also enables teamwork, allowing you to collaborate with an accountant and up to ten others.

It’s easy to set up bank feeds, automate invoice creation, and create financial reports, optimizing your financial management processes. Unsurprisingly, its efficiency makes it the preferred choice for many freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners.

Customers praise its ease of use, too, highlighting how FreshBooks nails it with its intuitive design. Plus, it accepts payments from popular gateways, empowering customers to pay however they want, whether with a credit card or ACH.

And there’s more – FreshBooks integrates with over 130 apps, including payroll services, allowing you to streamline various tasks and manage them from a single platform. And with its mobile app, you have everything you need at your fingertips whenever you need it.

Notable Features:

  • Sends payment reminders to clients for overdue invoices
  • Creates estimates for clients to approve automatically
  • Expenses, mileage, and time tracking
  • Generate reports for cash management and tax preparation
  • Collaboration with accountants and bookkeepers
  • Automated bank reconciliation

Pricing:

FreshBooks offers multi-tier pricing options with four plans:

  • Lite — $17/month — Five billable clients, unlimited expense and time-tracking, unlimited invoicing, and estimates
  • Plus — $30/month — 50 billable clients, double-entry accounting reports, and client retainers
  • Premium — $55/month — Unlimited clients, accounts payable, and unlimited proposals
  • Select — Custom plan — Unlimited clients, dedicated account manager, and data migration

Add-on team members cost an additional $11 per month for all tiered plans.

Pros:

  • Lets you manage finances and projects in one space
  • Incredibly intuitive user interface, easy to navigate
  • Excellent 24/7 customer support via live chat
  • Secure (256-bit SSL encryption)
  • Highly rated mobile app
  • Accepts international currencies with Stripe

Cons:

  • Higher-tier plans are pricier for new businesses

2. Oracle NetSuite — Best for Payroll

Oracle NetSuite dashboard capturing an array of business financial insights and KPIs.

Starting Price

Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
Custom Free demonstration available – Comprehensive accounting management
– Real-time financial reporting and analytics
– High-level automation
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Yes

Given NetSuite’s place in the market, it’s no surprise that Oracle’s all-in-one solution is among the best cloud accounting software for small business needs, thanks to its accounting, e-commerce, automation, and CRM features.

Its cornerstone features are top-tier financial reporting and analytics, which don’t just give you numbers but provide actionable insights. NetSuite’s dynamic automation makes invoice processing and approvals easier, too, increasing productivity and eliminating discrepancies.

Everything you need to streamline your business processes and accounting is provided with NetSuite. Plus, its convenient built-in SuitePeople Payroll service removes the hassle of integrating apps.

Loaded with high-quality features, NetSuite not only streamlines financial operations, but it also lets you take care of inventory and projects and gain access to the entire customer lifecycle — all from the cloud.

With cutting-edge features and a built-in payroll service, NetSuite fosters informed decision-making for your business. And the icing on the cake? If you want to take your business to greater heights, NetSuite’s scalability makes it more than possible.

Notable Features:

  • Customizable reports and real-time analytics
  • Automates payroll, invoices, and billing
  • Precise forecasting and budgeting
  • Highly scalable and grows with your business

Pricing:

Recognizing the unique nature of every business, Oracle NetSuite has a bespoke approach to pricing, tailoring custom quotes that are dependent on your business’s needs. As a result, it doesn’t offer public pricing plans.

However, we recommend taking NetSuite’s free demo for a spin before deciding if it’s the right vehicle to accelerate your business.

Pros:

  • Centralizes finance and business operations
  • Real-time insights for making informed decisions
  • Cloud-based and accessible anytime, anywhere
  • Offers a Starter Edition tailored for smaller businesses

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Implementation is costly

3. Zoho Accounting — Best for Automations

Zoho accounting dashboard screen displaying cash flow graphs, total receivables, and total payables.

Starting Price

Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
$15/month Yes, and 14-day trial available for paid plans – Powerful automation for finances
– Integrates with 130+ apps
– Time tracking and expense management
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Requires integration

Zoho Accounting is a cost-saving gem, offering the best free bookkeeping software for small business requirements. With its superior feature set, it simplifies financial management and is like having an accountant in your pocket.

And Zoho does it all, from tracking business expenses and inventory levels to business bookkeeping to creating professional invoices so clients can view transactions via the client portal. This makes it ideal for small business bookkeeping and accounting, centralizing your tasks in one intuitive platform.

Advanced analysis tools are at your disposal to help you understand your financial data, which is handy for small business owners. Its intuitive dashboard view and custom reports make it easy to get insights into your business’s financial health.

What’s more, automated reminders, managed recurring payments, and direct transactions are all streamlined in one place, which lets you spend less time on redundant tasks and focus on growth. Getting paid is simplified as well since Zoho accepts payments from many of the top payment gateways.

Zoho also integrates with a range of popular apps, including the company’s own inventory management software, which can help streamline product tracking and prevent costly overstocks. This is a significant boon for businesses, keeping managers abreast of inventory status.

Notable Features:

  • Generate quotes and invoices easily
  • Intuitive expense tracking
  • Seamless purchase order processing
  • Real-time tracking for tasks
  • Customize dashboards and reports

Pricing:

Zoho offers a free plan and five flexible paid plans loaded with features to choose from, giving you more wiggle room for your budget:

  • Standard — $15/month — Three users, manage up to 5,000 invoices, accept payment gateways, and ten custom financial report generators
  • Professional — $40/month — Five users, track project expenses and invoices, retainer invoices, vendor credits, and timesheet approval
  • Premium — $60/month — Ten users, vendor portal, budgeting, 50 custom reports, and dedicated customer support
  • Elite — $120/month — Ten users, advanced inventory control, unlimited custom reports, and multi-currency handling
  • Ultimate — $240/month — 15 users, analyze and track key financial metrics, customize reports and dashboards, and collaborate with colleagues

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Integrates with Zoho apps like Zoho CRM and Zoho Inventory
  • Automation powerhouse
  • Free and affordable plans available

Cons:

  • Lots of plans to choose from

4. Xero —  Best for Multi-Currency Support

Snapshot of Xero's user dashboard featuring new invoice details, branding theme for invoice, and all currencies worldwide to select from.

Starting Price

Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
$13/month 30-day trial – Set up bank feeds with Direct, Yodlee, PayPal, and Stripe
– Set automatic payment reminders for clients
– Accepts 160+ currencies and converts international transactions
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Requires integration

Xero is very user-friendly and has carved a niche for itself as the best online accounting software for small business operations, boasting feature-rich offerings, an intuitive mobile app, and multi-currency support.

With the capability to set up various bank feeds and automatically import transactions, Xero saves small business owners valuable time. It simplifies tasks and processes by letting you oversee accounts payable and cash flow and manage expense tracking and inventory, among other things.

Its time-saving features, like bulk bank reconciliation, assist in reducing errors and maintaining precise accuracy with financial records.

It doesn’t stop there, though. Xero’s convenient mobile app lets you send invoices directly from your phone while on the go, and it’s simple to automate payment reminders to clients so you don’t have to chase them down.

With its premium offerings, there’s no doubt this financial tool will help you turn up the dial of your business accounting from Xero to hero.

Notable Features:

  • Timer and location-based tracking to manage costs
  • Easily set up bank feeds and generate insightful reports
  • Streamlines inventory and contact management
  • Automatically captures data and docs with Hubdoc
  • Store files, contacts, bills, and receipts in Xero’s cloud storage
  • Lets you collaborate with an advisor to go over finances

Pricing:

Xero lets you take advantage of a 30-day free trial for all three of its plans:

  • Early — $13/month — Send quotes and 20 invoices, bank reconciliation, and capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc
  • Growing — $37/month — Enter bills, bulk bank reconciliation, short-term cash flow, and business snapshot
  • Established — $70/month — Use multiple currencies, track projects, claim expenses, and view in-depth analysis

Add-ons for integrating with payroll services like Gusto, which costs $40 per month for all plans.

Pros:

  • Customized financial reports
  • Mobile app for iOS and Android
  • Intuitive interface and easy-to-use out-of-the-box
  • Integrates with a wealth of apps from the Xero App store
  • All plans support unlimited users

Cons:

  • Only 20 invoices are offered on the Early plan
  • Costs extra to integrate Gusto payroll services

5. Sage — Best for Simplicity

Dashboard view of Sage accounting software detailing financial metrics and charts.

Starting Price

Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
$7.50/month 30-day trial – Free bank feeds
– Unlimited transactions and chart of accounts
– Forecast cash flow and bank reconciliation
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Requires integration

Sage is a powerful, cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping tool for small business functions. It’s simple to set up, it connects to your bank account, and you never have to worry about losing receipts again, making it ideal for managing your business’s finances with ease.

With Sage, you’re able to monitor balance sheets and cash flow, so you can get a bird’s eye view of your financial health and make data-driven decisions. Sage lets you create and send invoices as well as integrate with popular apps like Stripe.

You can forget about chasing clients, too, and use automated payment reminders instead. There’s also an option to add a “Pay Now” button to email invoices, so customers can pay you instantly from their devices.

Time tracking features are available as an add-on, making it simple to view how much time is spent on projects and ensuring billing accuracy. Plus, Sage lets you collaborate with your accountants and bookkeepers, too, if you need assistance.

On top of that, adding secure smart rules to your bank transactions and automatically categorizing them before posting them to the ledger has never been easier, greatly reducing errors. For a tool that minimizes data entry and ensures accuracy, it’s not bad for its simplicity.

Notable Features:

  • Customize reports and add Smart Rules to bank transactions
  • Capture and upload receipts from mobile devices
  • Automates late payment reminders for customers
  • Accepts payments in multiple currencies
  • Add a “Pay Now” button to emailed invoices

Pricing:

We aren’t kidding when we say Sage is straightforward, as it only gives you two plans to choose from:

  • Sage Accounting Start — $10/month — Create and send invoices, track expenses, and handle bank reconciliation
  • Sage Accounting — $30/month — Unlimited users, automatically snap and post receipts (free for three months), forecast cash flow, and send quotes and estimates

At the time of this review, Sage is offering a 70% discount for six months on its Sage Accounting plan. Grab it before the offer is gone.

Pros:

  • Simple to set up with any device
  • User-friendly interface
  • Customer support is very helpful
  • Comprehensive reports are available
  • Affordable plans to get started

Cons:

  • Payroll, time tracking, and automatic data entry cost extra as add-ons

6. Bonsai — Best for Freelancers

Bonsai dashboard snapshot displaying overview of invoices, documents, expenses, time tracking, cash flow assessments, notes, files and messages.

Starting Price

Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
$17/month 30-day trial – Keep track of invoicing and payments
– Bonsai Bookkeeping
– Automate expenses and budgeting
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Requires integration

This powerhouse lets you take care of business, and your accounting needs from the ground up, simplifying operations. It’s a well-rounded tool for managing finances, taxes, projects, and customer relations, all in one space.

The platform has a wide range of features that are ideal for small businesses. You can create eye-catching invoices to capture your clients’ attention, and it’s easy to track time spent on projects so you can bill accurately. You can also send contracts and proposals to clients and track 1099 expenses for contract work.

Automating invoices and timesheets is also a cinch, and Bonsai helps you stay tax compliant to avoid penalty pitfalls and legal complications, so you’re able to spare yourself any hassles and focus on growing your business.

Bonsai offers an array of tax templates, making tax season a stress-free experience. And what’s more? It has a built-in CRM to manage your clientele, so you can handle your client base, projects, and accounts from a single, unified platform.

Freelancers and boutique business owners, look no further. Bonsai is the best cloud-based online accounting software for streamlining your business and accounting processes, all under one roof.

Notable Features:

  • Track expenses, identify write-offs, and estimate quarterly taxes
  • Monster library of templates for taxes, contracts, and proposals
  • Manage your client list in one place with built-in CRM
  • Automated payment reminders for clients
  • Invite users to collaborate on projects for free

Pricing:

Take advantage of Bonsai’s features and gain access to a library of templates with any of its three plans:

  • Starter — $17/month — Unlimited clients and projects, access to all templates, expense tracking, invoicing, and payments
  • Professional — $32/month — Workflow automations, client portal, integrations, and up to 15 project collaborators
  • Business — $52/month — Subcontractor management and onboarding, hiring agreement templates, and unlimited project collaborators

A 14-day money-back guarantee is available as soon as you subscribe to a plan. If you’d like to take advantage of the Partner and Tax Assistant features, you have to pay extra.

Pros:

  • Manage CRM, projects, and finances in one place
  • The clean interface is easy to navigate
  • Craft customized invoices
  • Excellent customer support
  • Integrations with QuickBooks, Calendly, and Zapier

Cons:

  • Slight learning curve

7. QuickBooks — Best for Advanced Inventory Management

QuickBooks dashboard showcasing a business overview of cash flow, expenses, profit and loss, invoices, sales, bank and checking account balances.

Starting Price

Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
$15/month 30-day trial – Custom user permission access controls
– Powerful integrations with 750+ apps
– Advanced inventory management
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Yes, but incurs additional fees for add-on

Serving more than 29 million businesses in the US alone, it’s a no-brainer that QuickBooks is one of the most popular cloud accounting programs trusted for small business bookkeeping and accounting. QuickBooks has one of the most robust integration capabilities on the market, allowing you to connect to over 750 third-party apps to enhance your business’s efficiency.

It has a smorgasbord of features, a capable mobile app, powerful automation, and advanced inventory management capabilities. As a result, QuickBooks streamlines accounting tasks like tracking income, expenses, and billing while ensuring financial accuracy — even on your mobile phone.

With QuickBooks’ unique inventory management, you’ll gain critical insights for business growth, like identifying best-selling products — so it’s not just a tool for balancing the books. Plus, it offers an in-house payroll service as an add-on, which is highly convenient for any growing business with multiple employees.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. QuickBooks is scalable in the cloud, meaning it can handle increased demands as your business grows. With its versatility and feature-rich offerings, QuickBooks is quickly becoming the best accounting and payroll software for small business needs.

Notable Features:

  • Slick, no-hassle user interface
  • View reports and get real-time insights fast
  • Mobile app for Android and iOS
  • Integrates with over 750 popular business apps, including Amazon, Etsy, and Shopify
  • In-house payroll and bookkeeping are available as add-ons

Pricing:

QuickBooks offers four plans, with each offering a boatload of features as well as customer support and external app integrations:

  • Simple Start — $15/month — Manage invoices and payments, receipt capture, and tax deductions (mileage tracking included)
  • Essentials — $27.50/month — Bill management, insightful reports, and time-tracking capabilities
  • Plus — $42.50/month — Inventory management, track project profitability, and connect all sales channels
  • Advanced — $100/month — Customize user permissions to control access to sensitive data, automate routine tasks, and sync data with Excel

If you want to include add-ons like QuickBooks Payroll and QuickBooks Payments, it’ll cost extra.

Pros:

  • Packed to the brim with cutting-edge features
  • Manage expenses, invoices, payments, and taxes from a single hub
  • Custom rules for categorizing bank transactions
  • Secure cloud storage is available for keeping sensitive files
  • Data restoration for backup, 24/7 support, and data sync with Excel (Advanced plan only)

Cons:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Premium features are only available on higher-tier plans

8. TurboTax — Best for Filing Taxes

TurboTax interface showcasing situational tax options in which the user selects all those that apply before being recommended tax solutions.

Starting Price

Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included
$0-$129/month Yes, for simple tax returns – Accurate tax calculations and IRS compliant
– Tax planning tools
– Integrates with QuickBooks
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

No

TurboTax leads the tax software pack as a household name for tax season, boasting accurate tax calculations, an extensive tax form library, and comprehensive guidance for various types of businesses. Without question, it’s the go-to tax solution when it’s time to file taxes.

Tailored to support small and growing businesses, TurboTax streamlines bookkeeping tasks, offering personalized tax-saving suggestions and error detection for optimal accuracy. With an easy-to-navigate dashboard and visual icons, it simplifies the tax-filing process all around.

Add to that its automated data entry, financial overview dashboards, and easy expense tracking, and it’s clear that TurboTax injects some simplicity into the often chaotic world of accounting.

But that’s not all. TurboTax offers tax support for sole proprietors, partnerships, LLCs, S corporations, and C corporations. If you need tax assistance, TurboTax can connect you with a live accountant for guidance.

Its mobile app allows for convenient on-the-go filing, too, and its elite audit support makes filing taxes a walk in the park. And while TurboTax doesn’t offer payroll services, it remains a trusted, solid, and IRS-compliant tax solution.

Notable Features:

  • Identifies 350+ tax deductions and credits
  • Automatically import financial data
  • Guided step-by-step filing journey
  • Stays compliant and up-to-date with the latest tax laws
  • Guidance and support for audits is available

Pricing:

Below is an overview of three pricing plans and their key features offered by TurboTax:

  • TurboTax (starter plan) — $0-$129/month — Step-by-step guidance to fill in tax forms accurately, audit support, and easily upload or import your docs
  • Live Assisted — $99-$219/month — Unlimited help from real tax experts year-round, final expert review before filing, and audit support
  • Live Full Services — $219-$409/month — Get an expert matched to your situation to prepare taxes and sign and file your return for you

Pros:

  • Exceptional user experience
  • Accessible, detailed guidance
  • Phenomenal error detection
  • Free Edition is available for simple tax returns only
  • Live assistance available

Cons:

  • Upsells easily rack up in final costs
  • Doesn’t offer payroll services

9. Melio — Best for ACH Bank Transfers

Melio's app interface showing invoices, payment reminders in inbox, and scheduled bill payments

Starting Price

Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included

$0 for ACH bank transfer

Fees vary for various types of payments – see pricing for more details

Yes – Centralized dashboard
– Integrates with accounting software
– Flexible payment options
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Requires integration

Melio is a game-changing online payment solution that transforms the mundane business payment process into a convenient and easy experience for small businesses, freelancers, and contractors, all while offering a variety of flexible features.

Vendor bills and expense reimbursements are centralized in Melio’s clean and easy-to-navigate platform. Melio’s mobile app lets you manage payments or use its bill capture feature to upload photos of bills or files. Melio’s AI technology will then fill out the details for you — it’s no wonder Melio is widely praised for its convenience.

It’s also a breeze to make payments for free via ACH bank transfer but keep in mind that Melio charges for other types of payments. We still think it’s a game-changer, though, allowing you to make cross-border payments and access a vast network of 7,000+ local and nationwide billers.

Melio’s flexibility is unmatched. Businesses will also appreciate Melio’s unique “Pay Over Time” feature, which allows them to stagger payments and choose various repayment plans without affecting their credit score.

To top it off, Melio’s approval workflows ensure there are no bottlenecks since it’s easy to assign team members to manage payments. Finally, it seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero, allowing a two-way sync, so you’ll have fewer manual entries to make or errors when working with other popular accounting solutions.

Notable Features:

  • Payment tracking
  • Intelligent approval workflows
  • Easy bill capture
  • “Pay Over Time” feature
  • Custom payment link to get paid with one-click
  • Extensive global network of 7,000+ billers

Pricing:

While ACH bank transfers are free, take a look at Melio’s fees:

  • Mailing a check (first two checks free) — $1.50
  • Pay by card — 2.9%
  • Fast ACH bank transfer (same day) — 1%, up to $30
  • Fast check payment (3 business days) — $20
  • International payments (USD only) — $20 flat fee

Pros:

  • Clean, user-friendly interface
  • Absolutely free for ACH bank transfers
  • No registration fee
  • Easily integrates with QuickBooks, Xero, Freshbooks
  • Extensive resources and support

Cons:

  • International transactions get pricey

10. Wave — Best Free Accounting Software

Screenshot of Wave software's financial dashboard displaying various reports, bank and credit card transactions

Starting Price

Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility Payroll Included

$0 for accounting and invoicing features only – see pricing for more details

30-day trial for payroll software – Comprehensive financial reports and analytics
– Accepts credit card, ACH, and Apple Pay payments
– Built-in payroll software (add-on only)
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Yes, but incurs additional fees for add-on

As a free tool, Wave gifts a completely free suite of solutions for accounting, invoicing, and US banking, so you’ll only have to pay for payroll, bookkeeping, and payment processing.

Starting with its free features, you can create and send invoices to customers within minutes, set up recurring invoices, and automate overdue reminders, syncing all of your bookkeeping with the free Wave Accounting software. Wave lets you centralize all your financial details in its dashboard, so you’ll be able to easily manage them all in one place.

Wave’s smart dashboard lets you organize your invoices, expenses, income, and payments, as well as view credit card and bank transactions. Plus, it’s simple to view profit and loss reports, balance sheets, and cash flow — ideal for gaining insights on your finances and data-driven decision-making.

And if that wasn’t enough, Wave offers a payroll tax service, a “Mobile Receipts” feature that lets you bulk import ten receipts at a time so you won’t lose track of expenses, and charged accounting and payroll coaching services to provide the personal help you need.

The platform also prioritizes data security like no other, implementing bank-grade encryption. And as an authorized PCI-DSS Level 1 Service Provider, Wave is serious about protecting your credit card and bank account information. It’s a true winner in our book.

Notable Features:

  • Easy-to-use invoice creator with professional templates
  • Scan receipts and import them to the mobile app from your phone
  • Connects directly to bank accounts for real-time insights
  • Payroll tax management with automatic deductions
  • Collaboration with accountants

Pricing:

While Wave’s invoicing and accounting features are 100% free, Wave charges for payments and the exclusive features listed below.

  • Credit cards — 2.9% + $0.60 per transaction
  • AMEX — 3.4% + 0.60 per transaction
  • Bank payments — 1% per transaction
  • Mobile receipts — $8/month or $72 annually
  • Payroll tax service — $40/month + $6/employee + $6/independent contractor
  • Payroll self service — $20/month + $6/employee/ + $6/independent contractor
  • Advisors for bookkeeping support — $149/month
  • Accounting & payroll coaching — $379 one-time fee

Though payroll services cost extra, a 30-day trial is available to give Wave a test run.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive suite of free financial tools
  • Mobile app lets you manage invoices and upload receipts
  • Straightforward and easy-to-use interface
  • Automatic import of expenses from bank accounts
  • Offers real-time financial insights

Cons:

  • Payroll service is an additional cost
  • Only USD and CAD currencies are supported

The Top 10 Small Business Accounting Tools Compared

So what’s the best product for bookkeeping for small business? Take a look at our comparison table below to view the key details of the best small business accounting tools and see what they can offer your business:

Accounting Tool

Starting Price Free Version Top 3 Features Compatibility

Payroll Included

FreshBooks

$17/month 30-day trial – Powerful automation for finances
– Integrates with 130+ apps
– Time tracking and expense management
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Requires integration

Oracle NetSuite

Custom Free demo available – Comprehensive accounting management
– Real-time financial reporting and analytics
– High-level automation
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Yes

Zoho Accounting

$15/month Yes, and 14-day trial available for paid plans – Powerful automation for finances
– Integrates with 130+ apps
– Time tracking and expense management
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Requires integration

Xero

$13/month 30-day trial – Set up bank feeds with Direct, Yodlee, PayPal, and Stripe
– Set automatic payment reminders to clients
– Accepts 160+ currencies and converts international transactions
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS Requires integration

Sage

$7.50/month 30-day trial – Free bank feeds
– Unlimited transactions and chart of accounts
– Forecast cash flow and bank reconciliation
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Requires integration

Bonsai

$17/month 30-day trial – Keep track of invoicing and payments
– Bonsai Bookkeeping
– Automate expenses and budgeting
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Requires integration

QuickBooks

$15/month 30-day trial – Custom user permission access controls
– Powerful integrations with 750+ apps
– Advanced inventory management
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Yes, but incurs additional fees for add-on

TurboTax

$0-$129/month Yes – Accurate tax calculations and IRS compliant
– Tax planning tools
– Integrates with QuickBooks
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

No

Melio

$0 for ACH bank transfer

Various features incur fees

Yes – Centralized dashboard
– Integrates with accounting software
– Flexible payment options
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Requires integration

Wave $0 for accounting and invoicing features only 30-day trial for payroll software – Comprehensive financial reports and analytics
– Accepts credit card, ACH, and Apple Pay payments
– Built-in payroll software (add-on only)
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Yes, but incurs additional fees for add-on

These top 10 online accounting software providers offer the best small business accounting software for Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS devices. Plus, they’re all compatible with popular web browsers, too.

Conclusion – What is the Best Accounting Software for Small Business Needs?

In our fast-moving digital age, small businesses can greatly benefit from deploying a powerful accounting software solution to address their needs. With features like automation, they help you free up more time to focus on important business matters, and they ensure the accuracy of your accounts with precision, greatly reducing human errors and preventing nightmare tax audit scenarios.

With so many accounting software solutions to choose from, it’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of options, though. That’s why we took a deep dive into the best accounting tools on the market, ultimately selecting FreshBooks as our top choice based on its record for delivering the best accounting solutions for small business needs.

We highly recommend FreshBooks for any business as the perfect accounting software to get started with for your business, with its easy-to-navigate platform and countless features that freelancers and business owners will appreciate.

Whether you need to create invoices and track expenses, automate payment reminders, manage payroll, file taxes, or carry out any of the other financial tasks required to keep your business afloat, then FreshBooks will be your anchor.

Set sail with FreshBooks and let it steer your small business towards clear, streamlined accounting and payroll shores. Begin a risk-free 30-day trial by clicking the button below.

How we test accounting software

  • Pricing – We always consider pricing and if a product offers value for the cost. Our team looks at software that has a free version, is budget-friendly, or offers a ton of value.
  • Features – Features are important because you don’t want to pay for features you don’t need and vice versa. We considered which software options had the necessary features for most businesses, and then we considered if additional features helped to save money on other software types.
  • Integrations –  Integrations allow your software to work with other tools your team may be using. This can save money and time, which is important to all businesses, but especially those working on a limited budget and with a limited workforce.
  • Automation – Automations help streamline processes and reduce the need for extra staff and tools. This comes in particularly handy when working on a budget.
  • Ease of use – What help is software if it’s difficult to use? We consider how user-friendly each option is and how long it would take the average, non-tech-savvy person to get the hang of it.
  • Third-Party Reviews – We survey the internet to get the scoop on each software via reviews. We’re always looking for additional, first-person feedback on the pros and cons of each software.

How to Choose the Best Small Business Accounting Software

The process of selecting the best small business accounting software is a lot like putting a puzzle together. With so many factors to consider, it gets complicated and sometimes confusing.

Here are six key factors to consider, each playing an important role to help you determine the best solution for your business needs:

  • Budget – Decide how much your business will spend. Then, weigh out the features presented in the accounting tools and determine your must-haves and non-negotiables, including features you’re willing to compromise on.
  • Key Features – As stated previously, determine your must-have features for your small business. Examples of features are expense and time tracking, invoices, payroll services, multi-currency support, and reliable integrations.
  • Compatibility – Make sure that the software you select is compatible with your devices, operating system, and other business tools you regularly use. The worst thing that could happen is paying for software that doesn’t integrate with your preferred business apps.
  • Ease of Use – Choose a platform that’s easy to use and navigate. You don’t want to spend too much time figuring out how it works rather than getting a job done, all because the learning curve was too steep for your taste.
  • User Limitation – Figure out how many employees in your business will need to use the accounting software and if you plan to scale up. That is because some accounting programs allow unlimited users (great for growing businesses) or have a maximum limit.
Ideally, select accounting software that seamlessly integrates with business apps you will need to use, such as CRM systems, payment gateways, e-commerce platforms, etc. This helps you transform your accounting tools into a powerhouse.

Accounting Software FAQs

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Mars Groves

Mars Groves is a security researcher and technology writer. He serves as the editor in chief for Secjuice and as an advisory board member for a startup. In his spare time, he practices Shamatha meditation, reads non-fiction books, and enjoys traveling.