Aug 31, 2021 Accounting — Eric Giguere

SBC - Small Business Computing

Businesses that need to keep track of their finances and provide accurate reports with up-to date data can use accounting software. Especially for small businesses, accounting software can make the difference between a good month and a great month. There are many tools that can handle your bookkeeping needs, and our comparison will help you narrow your search.

Pros

Quickbooks Online is one of the biggest names in accounting software, and that might be because of how easy it is to scale as your business grows. The Simple Start option provides all the basic functionalities for new businesses or very small teams, and you can easily move to the Essentials, Plus, or Advanced editions to access more tools and customizations. Many users love how easy Quickbooks is to learn and that it integrates with a wide variety of third-party platforms.

Cons

Quickbooks Online is popular because it's affordable for the first three month. However, this changes quickly once the 50% discount expires. It's more expensive than most of the other vendors on this list, and many users have expressed distaste for its customer support and payroll management functionality.

Pricing

Quickbooks Online comes in four different editions:

  • Simple Start: $25/month
  • Essentials: $40/month
  • Plus: $70/month
  • Advanced: $150/month

Wave: Best value in accounting software

Screenshot of Wave dashboard.

Screenshot of Xero dashboard.

 

Pros

Zoho Books is an ideal solution if you're looking for an accounting software that will save you time when it comes to bookkeeping. Zoho Books can be used to automate manual tasks such as generating recurring invoices and reminding customers about outstanding payments. Plus, Zoho Books is one tool within an entire ecosystem of Zoho applications, including CRM, CMS, and HR management. You'll be able streamline your business processes using applications that integrate seamlessly.

Cons

Be aware that Zoho Books does not allow you to process more than 25 transactions per month. If you plan to process more then 25,000 transactions in one year, you should search for another solution.

Pricing

Zoho Books is available in three different editions:

  • Standard: $10/organization/month
  • Professional: $20/organization/month
  • Premium: $30/organization/month

Sage Business Cloud Accounting: Best accounting software for larger teams

Pros

FreshBooks is an excellent solution for those who don't require many eyes to view your accounting data. This platform is extremely flexible and allows you to manage all of your accounting data from one location. You can track expenses, estimates, time tracking as well as mileage tracking, client billing, client billing, expense tracking, and invoices. FreshBooks users will be charged an extra $10 per user. This is a great solution for freelancers and solopreneurs as well as small teams.

Cons

FreshBooks does many different things. However, there are some tasks that you'll need to integrate an application with. FreshBooks is not able to manage inventory or pay the payroll, but it integrates with well-known tools like Shopify and Gusto, which can perform these tasks for you. Quickbooks, alternative accounting software that can do it all, is better.

Pricing

You can purchase FreshBooks in four editions.

  • $15/month for Lite
  • Plus: $25/month
  • Premium: $50/month
  • Select: Contact sales

Who really needs bookkeeping Software?

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A way to keep track and manage their finances is essential for all businesses. Everybody needs some sort of accounting or bookkeeping software. It's not merely a "nice to have" tool you could do without, like a social media management platform or a project management software.

However, there are alternative solutions that might be more appropriate for very small businesses. You might consider outsourcing your accounting requirements to a managed service provider or freelancer if you don't have the resources or budget to manage your own accounting software.

Related:How can SMBs tap into Gig Economy?

Excel: Why not?

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If you don't have the best spreadsheet skills, choosing Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet software over dedicated accounting software could be a mistake. Spreadsheet software such as Excel can be used for many tasks and is very versatile. This also means that it is easy to make mistakes with formulas, which could cause the entire spreadsheet or workbook to be lost. Excel spreadsheets are not encrypted. This means that there is a risk of your data being stolen or leaked.

Accounting software, on the other hand, was purpose-built for accounting. This means you can spend less time setting up formulas and reports, and more on your priorities. It also means there's less risk of user error, so you can feel confident that the information you have is accurate. Accounting software offers many advanced features that Excel can't, like invoice generation or integration with other business apps.

Similar:5 Excel Tools you Need Right Now

Accounting software considerations

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When searching for accounting software, there are a few things that are important to keep in mind.

Features and integrations

Look for solutions that have specific features to meet your unique needs, like invoice generation/processing, inventory management, property management, or expense reimbursement. These tools can also be used to integrate with existing third-party systems. This could include your POS software, HR software CRM software, supply chain management or software.

Reporting

Financial planning is a huge component of running a successful business, so your accounting software should be able to generate reports that provide actionable insight. Basic reporting capabilities include profit, loss, balance sheets as well as accounts payables and receivables and payroll summaries. Many accounting software solutions offer customizable reports that allow you to filter and visualize the information in a way you find most useful.

Mobile access

Like most applications in the digital age, accounting software is only partially effective if you can't access it when you're away from your office. Some vendors realize this fact and offer a consistent experience between the desktop and mobile apps. While others consider the mobile experience an afterthought. When you're comparing accounting software vendors, take a peek at their rating in your mobile device's app store.

Security

Your business data can be your most valuable asset. To protect your business data, you need to make sure your accounting software is properly secured. Your data's security is assured by multi-factor authentication and automatic backup/recovery. For bigger teams, it's also important to be able to specify who has access to what information and what actions they're allowed to take with it. For instance, some users may only need to access invoices. It wouldn't be logical to give them full admin access.

How to choose the right SMB accounting program

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The search for accounting software might feel overwhelming, but you can start narrowing your search by evaluating our top picks for small businesses. Do your research to find the best vendors for your needs. Read reviews by customers similar to yours or try the software out for yourself with a free trial.

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