The Best QuickBooks Alternatives for Accounting 2024 – Top 5 Compared

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If you’ve found QuickBooks doesn’t fit your needs, you’re probably looking for an alternative. However, finding the best-fit platform can be challenging when there are many options available.

Although your choice should depend on your specific business context, the software on our list covers most use cases. Keep reading to explore the best QuickBooks alternatives on the market in 2024.

EDITORS' CHOICE

FreshBooks - Best accounting software for small businesses

FreshBooks - Best accounting software for small businesses

  • Double-entry accounting reports
  • Client account portal
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Zoho Books - Cost-effective accounting for SMBs

Zoho Books - Cost-effective accounting for SMBs

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $15/month/user
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Xero - Feature rich accounting for established businesses

Xero - Feature rich accounting for established businesses

  • Advanced inventory management
  • Custom reporting
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Wave - Free easy-to-use accounting platform

Wave - Free easy-to-use accounting platform

  • Free plan available
  • Price from $16/month
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Sage - Solves complex problems for enterprises

Sage - Solves complex problems for enterprises

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $59/month/user for Sage50
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The 5 Best Alternatives to QuickBooks

Here’s a quick look at the QuickBooks alternatives we’re going to review:

  1. FreshBooksBest for freelancers and solopreneurs
  2. Zoho BooksBest for small businesses with a growing customer base
  3. XeroBest for small to medium businesses with global operations
  4. WaveBest for free accounting alternative
  5. SageBest for established companies with complex finances

The Best Alternative Software to QuickBooks Reviewed

Businesses need accounting software to reconcile accounts, track cashflow, and file taxes compliantly. While QuickBooks is a leading provider, it doesn’t suit every use case. We’ve researched and analyzed similar solutions based on their pricing, features, and support to give you the best alternatives.

Read our how we review section for more details about our research process.

1. FreshBooks – Best For Freelancers and Solopreneurs

FreshBooks Logo

Best For Freelancers and solopreneurs
Free Trial 30-day free trial
Price From Starting from $19/month
Top 3 Features Automation tools, client portal, and time tracker
Why We Picked It

The user-friendliness and affordable pricing make FreshBooks a great option for small business owners. It’s a popular accounting software that comes with a free trial and user-friendly interface. You can also access the automation tools from the lower price tiers, allowing you to create scalable accounting processes.

To manage your accounts well, FreshBooks lets you invite your accountant to the platform for free. They can access important reports like your balance sheet, P&L statement, and chart of accounts to assess your business’s financial health.

Features
  • Intuitive dashboard: The FreshBooks user friendly interface is clear and minimalistic without sacrificing any capabilities. If you found QuickBooks too complex, it’d be ideal for you.
  • Automation: You can automate invoices, reminders, and bank imports in every plan. Many alternatives don’t introduce robust automation tools until the higher tiers.
  • Customer portal: Service-based companies will appreciate the comprehensive portal feature. Clients can log in for free and comment on all relevant accounting documents for more seamless communication.
  • Time tracker: Unlike many solutions, FreshBooks includes robust time tracking tools from its lowest tier. You can record hours for different projects, clients, and even apps.
  • Payment processing: You can filter payments by client, amount, or method to search your database quickly. It’s also possible to implement automatic payment reminders.
Pricing Plans

FreshBooks has four monthly plans, all aimed at different-sized businesses. The payroll feature can be added to any plan, and it starts at $40 plus $6 per employee per month.

Lite Plus Premium Select
$19/month $33/month $60/month Custom
$228/year $396/year $720/year Custom

Lite – Designed for freelancers, the plan offers basic invoicing, expenses, and advanced payment management. You can also generate a range of different reports.

Plus – You can find more features for client management in the Plus plan like unlimited estimates and proposals. There’s also the option to add your accountant as a user.

Premium – The Premium plan gives you unlimited clients. You gain profitability tracking and email management tools to help you deal with a larger, more complex customer base.

Select – Aimed at businesses with employees, the Select plan gives you a dedicated account manager and access to advanced payments. You also get a lower rate on payment transfers.

Although the starting cost isn’t the lowest on our list, FreshBooks remains a cheaper alternative to QuickBooks. The platform also offers generous introductory offers to new users, for example, 50% off for the first six months.

Who's It Best For?

Small, service-based businesses can benefit from FreshBooks’ focus on basic accounting, reporting, and client management features. The platform includes many specialized tools like retainers and customizable invoices so you can offer patrons a seamless service.

Pros pros

  • Flexible pricing structure
  • Unlimited invoices across all plans
  • User friendly
  • Option to add payroll

Cons cons

  • Additional fees for extra users
  • Caps on clients in the lowest tier
  • Limited inventory tools
  • Fewer customization options than some alternatives

Read our full FreshBooks review

2. Zoho – Best For Small Businesses With a Growing Customer Base

Zoho Books Logo

Best For Small businesses with a growing customer base
Free Trial Free plan or 14-day free trial
Price From Starting from $20/month
Top 3 Features Inventory management, currency support, and mobile app
Why We Picked It

Growing businesses will appreciate how Zoho lets you start at no cost for 14 days and gradually add features when your budget increases. This is possible thanks to Zoho’s modular approach, which allows you to pick and choose the features that work best for you.

There is a wider choice of plans than QuickBooks, so you have more control over what you spend on upgrades. Unlike QuickBooks, invoicing is free in Zoho Books for up to 1,000 invoices. This works if you run a B2B business with a few high-ticket clients. However, B2C businesses should consider subscribing to the paid plans.

Features
  • Customization options: You can configure many of the accounting and reporting features on Zoho. For example, the receipt feature lets you choose the color, font, and format.
  • Mobile app: The Zoho mobile app shares most of the capabilities of the dashboard version. Many alternatives only provide an employee app.
  • Inventory management: In the highest tier, you can access all the inventory and shipment management tools you need to manage your online store’s books. This makes it an ideal alternative to FreshBooks, which has limited ecommerce capabilities.
  • Multi-currency support: Zoho not only supports different currencies but lets you assign them to clients. That means you save time selecting this option each time you issue an invoice.
  • Team collaboration: You can work alongside other users through a variety of communication channels.
  • Client portal: Zoho Books has a separate portal for customers to review invoices and quotes, leave feedback, digitally sign documents, and make bulk payments—something platforms like QuickBooks and Xero don’t offer. If you’re feeling a little creative, you can repurpose this feature to manage your vendor payments and invoicing as well.
Pricing Plans

Zoho has six pricing plans to choose from including a free version. You can add more users for $2.50 per person monthly or 50 autoscans for $8 monthly. These extras involve an annual commitment.

Free Standard Professional Premium Elite Ultimate
$0/month $20/month $50/month $70/month $150/month $275/month
$0/year $15/year $40/year $60/year $120/year $240/year

Free – You can access all the essential accounting features like invoicing and expense tracking for free. Unlike the other plans, you can’t add extra users.

Standard – This plan has more advanced accounting tools and support options. You can also invite two team members.

Professional – The Professional plan allows up to five users. You can access more reporting and tracking tools to manage your business as it grows more complex.

Premium – Aimed at streamlining processes, the Premium plan includes more customization features so you can tailor the tools to your unique workflow. The user limit jumps to ten people.

Elite – The main feature of the Elite plan is the extra inventory tools like warehouse management and batch tracking. It’s best for shops and ecommerce stores.

Ultimate – Although the Ultimate plan is double the cost of Elite, it includes many more advanced data analytics and performance management tools. The user limit also rises to 15 people.

Zoho isn’t just a free QuickBooks alternative but also has the most comprehensive no-cost plan of any solution we’ve reviewed. However, it also differentiates itself with its flexible pricing structure and low fees.

Who's It Best For?

Zoho is ideal for small online stores with a growing customer base. The choice of plans and lack of annual commitment means you can choose the fees that suit your current budget as sales fluctuate. There’s also support for inventory tracking and ecommerce integrations.

Pros pros

  • Comprehensive free plan
  • Flexible pricing structure
  • Option to add native CRM and HR tools
  • Ability to add your accountant to every plan
  • Robust mobile app

Cons cons

  • Limited integrations
  • Restrictive user caps
  • Annual commitment for extra users
  • Leap in cost between highest tiers

Read our full Zoho review

3. Xero – Best For Small to Medium Businesses With Global Operations

Xero logo

Best For Small to medium businesses with global operations
Free Trial 30-day free trial
Price From Starting from $29/month
op 3 Features Payroll, analytics, and reporting
Why We Picked It

No alternatives have such comprehensive and highly customizable reporting tools as Xero. Its multiple currency support allows you to use these tools for all your international clients.

The accounting solution simplifies workflows with its bank reconciliation and sync features. It’s perfect for small business owners who are looking to save time so they can focus on growing their business globally. You can connect with over 21,000 financial institutions (3,500 in the U.S.), so transactions are updated automatically on Xero—a significant number compared to QuickBooks’ 36 connections.

Features
  • App marketplace: Like QuickBooks, Xero connects with a range of different apps and plug-ins. You can build the exact tech stack your business needs.
  • Payroll: If you’re looking for a QuickBooks alternative with payroll, Xero has a native solution starting from $29 monthly. You can calculate wages and withholdings and then easily transfer the data to the accounting software.
  • Powerful analytics: Xero’s standout feature is its analytics tool with predictive capabilities. We appreciate how it’s an add-on so simple businesses aren’t burdened with the extra complexity until they’re ready.
  • Reporting: Xero has an unrivaled level of customization options for different financial reports. You can create them from scratch or edit best-practice templates.
Pricing Plans

You can only find three monthly plans on Xero’s platform. However, there are optional add-ons to give you more flexibility over the features you pick.

Starter Standard Premium
$29/month $46/month $62/month

Starter – The lowest tier allows you to access invoicing, billing, reporting, recurring invoices, and bank reconciliation tools. You can use the Hubdoc integration to capture receipts and bills.

Standard – If you upgrade, you can access bulk reconciliations. The tool suggests matches between fields to save you time.

Premium – Designed for global businesses, the Premium plan offers currency support and exchange rates. You can switch between local and foreign reporting to check financial performance.

Xero may not have the lowest starting price, but it offers competitive fees with consistent increases. You can also benefit from their frequent discounts and offers.

Who's It Best For?

Small to medium businesses with clients or customers abroad will enjoy Xero’s affordable pricing, robust analytics, and international support. As you diversify your revenue abroad, the configurable reporting tools ensure you don’t lose track of your finances.

Pros pros

  • Unlimited users on every plan
  • Powerful analytics tools
  • Range of integrations
  • 24/7 support

Cons cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Inflexible pricing structure
  • Restrictive low-tier plans
  • Lots of additional fees

Read our full Xero review

4. Wave – Best For Free Accounting Alternative

Wave Logo

Best For Free accounting option
Free Trial Free plan
Price From Starting from $16/month
Top 3 Features User permissions, payroll, and online payments
Why We Picked It

Wave is a free accounting alternative to QuickBooks that offers all the basic accounting and payroll tools in one platform. Even the leanest teams can learn Wave’s intuitive features and factor the low costs into their budget.

Compared to QuickBooks and Sage, Wave’s reporting feature can appear lackluster on the surface. But as you spend time on the platform, it becomes apparent that Wave focuses on offering vital reports that offer insights into your finances, taxes, vendors, etc.

Features
  • User permissions: Wave allows you to add unlimited users and assign them different user controls. You can facilitate collaboration without exposing your business to risk.
  • Payroll: One of Wave’s standout features is its native payroll. Alternatives don’t always offer a built-in feature to let you manage the data in one place.
  • Bookkeeping service: Wave is one of the few solutions to offer bookkeeping services as part of the accounting bundle. The starting price is also much lower than alternatives like QuickBooks.
  • Online payments: You can allow clients to pay you through a feature on the Wave invoices. As you only pay per transfer, you can tailor costs to your budget.
Pricing Plans

There are two Wave plans with the option to add Payroll for $20 monthly and a bookkeeping service starting from $149 monthly.

Starter Pro
$0/month $16/month
$0/year $170/year

Starter – The free plan provides unlimited invoicing, estimates, bills, and records. Users can also download the Wave mobile app for free.

Pro – If you switch to the paid plan, you get more advanced bookkeeping features like bank imports and categorization.

Wave doesn’t offer you a wide choice of plans. However, the fees are lower than most alternatives, and the payroll and bookkeeping add-ons are competitively priced.

Who's It Best For?

Startups may find QuickBooks pricing is outside their budget. Wave is an ideal alternative with a free plan and per-transaction pricing so you can control your costs.

Pros pros

  • Free plan
  • Generous limits on free features
  • Granular user permissions
  • Beginner friendly

Cons cons

  • Inflexible pricing plan
  • Limited customization options
  • Lower support availability than some alternatives
  • Lacks inventory tools

Read our full Wave review

5. Sage – Best For Established Companies With Complex Finances

Sage Logo

Best For Established companies with complex finances
Free Trial 1-month free trial
Price From Custom pricing
Top 3 Features Automation, currency support, and reporting
Why We Picked It

Sage’s detailed reporting, budgeting, and forecasting tools allow you to retain oversight no matter how complex your business becomes. It’s one of the few solutions like QuickBooks to offer dedicated solutions for countries like Australia and the UK.

It is a complete accounting solution offering invoicing, payroll, project forecasting, inventory management, track expenses, reporting, and more. It is perfect for an accounting firm crunching numbers for multiple clients.

Features
  • Multi-location support: If you have operations in different countries, Sage can help you maintain compliance with the different tax requirements. Most small to medium business solutions just cover the US and Canada.
  • Industry-specific support: Sage helps specific types of companies maintain tax compliance. For instance, they have accounting programs for churches and non-profits.
  • Currency support: Like Xero, you can manage invoicing in different currencies and track exchange rates. You can also set foreign prices on your inventory.
  • Robust reporting: You can get instant insights into your financial performance to help you make decisions. Sage also has predictive analytics to forecast needs and challenges.
  • Automation: Sages lets you set rules and triggers across different entities. That means you can open new divisions and keep processes consistent.
Pricing Plans

Sage has custom pricing based on your exact business needs. You have to contact the customer support team to get a quote.

Who's It Best For?

Sage accounting is part of a larger ecosystem, making it ideal for larger businesses with more extensive needs. The platform offers a range of HR, workforce management, and CRM tools.

Pros pros

  • Access to range of Sage products
  • Industry-specific solutions
  • Tax support for countries outside the US
  • Range of integrations

Cons cons

  • Dated design
  • Lack of transparent pricing
  • Complex interface
  • Lots of additional fees

Read our full Sage review

The Top Accounting Software Like QuickBooks Compared

Here’s an overview of the main differences between our QuickBooks alternatives:

Accounting Software QuickBooks FreshBooks Zoho Xero Wave Sage
Best For Small to medium businesses with broad accounting needs Freelancers and solopreneurs Small businesses with a growing customer base Small to medium businesses with global operations Startups and very small businesses Established companies with complex finances
Free Version? 30-day free trial 30-day free trial Yes 30-day free trial Yes 1-month free trial
Starting Price $30/month $19/month $20/month $29/month $16/month Custom
Top Features Inventory management, payment options, and integrations Automation tools, client portal, and time tracker Inventory management, currency support, and mobile app Payroll, analytics, and reporting User permissions, payroll, and online payments Automation, currency support, and reporting

Methodology

How We Review and Test Accounting Products

To provide our readers with accurate and well-informed recommendations, we test the most popular accounting products on the market to find the best options for you. Our methodology consists of the following criteria:

  • Features: We examine the features of each accounting software to determine what capabilities are offered- such as creating, editing, and deleting transactions.
  • Compliance: We evaluate accounting software based on whether it offers local compliance when it comes to payroll, taxes, documentation, and more.
  • Bank Reconciliation: We test the reconciliation process to ensure transactions match bank statements accurately.
  • Multi-Currency Support: We verify the accuracy of currency conversions and transactions in multi-currency environments.
  • User Experience: We get hands-on with each product and act as a new user, testing each platform to gain understanding if the platform is easy to use or not.
  • Reporting and Documentation: We verify the accuracy of financial reports generated by the software such as balance sheets and income statements.
  • Integrations: We evaluate the integrations of each piece of software to determine how well it fits in with other key pieces in a business’s software stack, and whether its functionality can be expanded as required.
  • Audit Trails: We ensure the software maintains comprehensive audit trails for tracking changes made to financial data.

When to Choose an Alternative to QuickBooks

If you’ve been using QuickBooks for a while, you may be unsure whether to consider an alternative or keep trying. Here are some signs the software isn’t the right fit:

  • High monthly costs: While QuickBooks targets small businesses, it’s still a mid-range software. Some companies may find the monthly fees cut into their budget.
  • Difficulties using the platform: QuickBooks has a range of accounting tools to help you manage different processes. If your business has simple needs, you may find the system is too cumbersome for your team.
  • Need for industry-specific features: One of the most impressive qualities of QuickBooks is how it caters to a broad range of industries. However, some businesses prefer to work with dedicated solutions with experienced and qualified customer support.
Blake OliverAccounting Expert
EXPERT INSIGHT

“Consult with an accountant or whoever is doing your tax return or books to ensure your software meets your needs and their needs. You can then map out the next five years. Remember that packages like QuickBooks can be extended for a long time with add-ons. That's the beauty of the cloud accounting ecosystems developed over the last 10-20 years.”

Benefits of Using Accounting Software Programs

When a QuickBooks alternative is right for you, you should notice the following benefits:

  1. Improved accuracy

    Accounting software automates calculations, reducing the risk of human error. It also keeps data consistent across your accounts.
  2. Enhanced efficiency

    Accounting software streamlines tasks like invoicing, expense management, and tax filing. You can save time on these processes without compromising their accuracy or the quality of outcomes.
  3. Greater overview

    As the software gives you better access to data, you can make more informed decisions. You’ll also notice potential problems or opportunities sooner.
  4. Cost savings

    Accounting software saves time and reduces the need for labor. The tax compliance features may also prevent you from incurring costly penalties.

How Much do Accounting Software Programs Cost?

The cost of accounting software varies widely. Basic subscriptions start around $20 per month, often covering essential functions like invoicing and expense tracking. Some providers offer free plans with limitations on users or transactions. Mid-range options like QuickBooks and Xero typically cost between $50 and $150 monthly, offering advanced features such as inventory tracking and multi-currency support. High-end solutions for larger businesses, like Sage, range from $200 per month to several thousand dollars annually, providing extensive customization and integration capabilities.

Additional costs may include setup fees, extra user licenses, training, and support. When choosing software, consider not just the price but also the features and support that align with your business needs.

Can You Get a Free QuickBooks Alternative?

You can get accounting software like QuickBooks for free, such as Zoho and Wave. However, you’re unlikely to find free plans that match QuickBooks in features and functionality. While cost is an important factor, also consider your needs and goals when choosing a QuickBooks alternative.

How to Choose Accounting Software

How can you be sure you’ve found the right QuickBooks alternative for you? You can follow this list of steps to check whether your accounting software meets all your needs.

PricingKey featuresEase of useCompatibilityScalabilitySupport

Ensure you can access all your required features and no unnecessary extras for an affordable cost. It’s best to verify the platform offers the same value on higher tiers in case you upgrade.

Explore the features using demos and free plans. Check their performance and how well you can tailor them to your workflow.

While using demos, see how easily you can navigate the platform. Also, consider how many steps different features take and how easily they slot into your workflow.

Look at the software’s list of integrations. Ideally, it should connect with most of your existing solutions and any you’re likely to need.

Great accounting software has automation tools and generous limits in the lowest-tier plans to scale your processes. Ensure the fees don’t leap as you upgrade so you can manage the subscription costs as you grow.

Check that the platform offers different contact options. They should have wide availability so you can contact them anytime with serious issues.

How QuickBooks Compares to Alternatives

Check out how QuickBooks compares to more alternatives in the guides below.

FAQs

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Rhiannon Stone
Technology Writer
Rhiannon Stone
Technology Writer

Rhiannon Stone is an experienced web content creator with over four years in the industry and graduated with an MA in English. Before she began working with Techopedia, she traveled the world teaching Business English where her students worked in sectors such as banking, manufacturing, and telecommunications. After teaching Rhiannon joined a publishing house where she started her writing career. Now, Rhiannon is based in Greece and specializes in writing in-depth reviews and thought-out comparison content within SaaS, HR, and accounting to help Techopedia readers make fully-informed choices.