Best Accounting Software Apps for Small Business: Top 5 to Check Out

Check out these accounting apps. Perfect for running your small business.

Whether you run your business out of a 2000 square foot office or out of your one-bedroom apartment, whether your business sells shoes or offers legal advice, keeping track of your small business expenses, revenue, etc. Can be a pain in the neck. Add Payroll and other complex accounting activities, and your accounting situation can turn nightmarish pretty quickly.



Small business owners like yourself, all around the world have found that having a versatile, yet inexpensive accounting software application can make the difference between a business struggling to keep up with its expenditure and incoming cash and one that is on top of its financial picture. Having access to a decent account platform can make tax time a breeze, among other advantages.




According to Statistia, 64.4 percent of small-business owners use accounting software. A study by ICAS shows that 30 percent of small businesses place accountants at the top of their list of trusted advisors. 70 percent of small-business accountants see their advisory roles becoming more strategic according to PayPie.


Here are the best 5 accounting software applications, uniquely-suited for running and growing your small business.


1. Xero


Medium to large businesses in need of strong accounting. Ideal for businesses with multiple users in need of strong accounting.


With 5/5 stars, Xero is one of our top accounting software choices for a reason. Xero offers strong cloud accounting and an impressive number of well-developed features. Best of all, Xero offers unlimited users, no matter which plan you have.



At the end of 2018, Xero introduced a brand new pricing structure and discontinued their built-in payroll. While many users took issue with this, Xero’s payroll feature was always pretty limited. Xero now integrates with Gusto for a more capable payroll solution and has finally implemented a brand-new project feature that users have been waiting to see for years.


Xero offers three pricing plans ranging from $9/mo – $60/mo. Each step up in pricing increases the number of features and invoices you have access to. Each plan also has an unlimited number of users. The smallest plan is fairly limited with only five invoices and 20 bank transactions a month, but the larger plans can be good fits for mid to large-sized businesses. Read more about Xero’s pricing in our complete Xero review.


Features


Xero is chock-full of features. With such in-depth functionality, the software does have a steep learning curve and takes a while to learn. Xero offers invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, and some of the best contact management out there.



2. Intuit QuickBooks


Ideal for: Most small businesses, especially independent contractors and freelancers.


Cost: $10/month self-employed plan, $15/month simple plan, $35/month essentials plan, $50/month plus plan.


Available on: iOS and Android


QuickBooks’ built-in features help save time (you can favorite reports and set up recurring automated reporting), and also automate recurring bill payments, set reminders, connect bank and credit card transactions, and reconcile and organize expenses. It can also sync with many other small business apps (email marketing, customer relationship management, time tracking, etc.). The payroll feature can only be added to the top three tiers, though, and comes with an extra fee.


The plans vary by features, users, and business needs: The self-employed plan lets you track mileage, income and expenses, create invoices, accept payments, and run reports; the simple plan supports one user and includes all self-employed features (plus the ability to send estimates, and tracks sales and taxes); the essentials plan adds time tracking and bill management; and the plus plan adds inventory tracking and the option to pay independent contractors using the 1099 form. QuickBooks offers a free 30-day trial.



3. Wave Accounting


Ideal for: Freelancers, consultants, and service-based small businesses with few or no staff and low/no inventory.


Cost: Free!


Available on: iOS and Android


Wave is free and lets you include an unlimited number of users (staff, partners, or your accountant, for example). For basic accounting needs like invoicing, receipts, expenses, reporting, recurring billing, and customer payment reminders, Wave is excellent, and if your small business sends estimates to customers, you can quickly convert them into invoices.


Although it’s free, Wave lacks some features many paid small business accounting apps include, like the ability to track inventory, create purchase orders, or get phone-based user support. Services like payroll or credit card and bank payment processing can be added for a charge (which are comparable to many other apps that charge), and Wave does offer support through email, as well as a wide variety of guides and tutorials on their website.




4. Freshbooks


Freelancers and other solo business owners might not need a giant, complicated accounting system. FreshNooks offers what you might call bookkeeping light, with no double entry accounting support. However, it is easy to use for time tracking, invoicing, payments and reports. And it is one of the easiest accounting apps to use.


While it is great for self-employed workers, it is not powerful enough for many small businesses. Plans range from $15 per month for the Lite version up to $50 per month for the Premium version. Lite supports only five clients, so it isn’t viable for many users. The most popular plan, Plus, runs $25 per month and supports up to 50



5. GoDaddy Bookkeeping


nother bookkeeping option good for freelancers, GoDaddy Bookkeeping is a bargain starting at just $3.99 per month for the first year. Formerly known as Outright, GoDaddy acquired the accounting software company in 2012 and renamed it GoDaddy Bookkeeping. Its features are on the basic side, and like FreshBooks, does not include double entry accounting. But it does make time tracking and quarterly estimated taxes a lot easier than doing it manually.


The best features are integrations with online sales platforms such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy. If that is where you do most of your business, GoDaddy Bookkeeping could be a good choice ​and a cheap one. Prices range from $4.99 to $14.99 per month, with a 20 percent discount your first year.


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