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Navigating the small business accounting software offerings available today can feel like venturing into a maze - but don't worry, you're about to get a map. Accounting software options serve as the backbone of a small business, helping you manage every cent that comes in or goes out. And yes, we're talking about more than just a glorified calculator or a digital ledger.
From generating, sending, and tracking invoices to managing your payroll and preparing you for tax season, modern accounting software is your financial Swiss Army knife. These platforms often go beyond the basics to offer real-time expense tracking by linking directly to your bank accounts or enabling you to snap pictures of your receipts with a mobile app.
Tuesday, March 5th
LessAccounting has been offering accounting software since 2011. They focus on providing simplified accounting solutions for freelancers and small businesses. The plans range from a self-service option priced at $24/month to full-service plans where costs depend on your business' expenditures. The standout feature of their full-service plan is the inclusion of a personal Certified Public Accountant to handle your finances. They'll also get you caught up on past years of transactions in just a matter of weeks. LessAccounting earns our highest 5-star rating.
Sage 50, originally known as Peachtree Accounting, is a cloud-connected accounting and payroll software aimed at small to medium-sized enterprises. The platform offers a variety of plans with pricing ranging from $57.17/month to $136/month, each with its own set of features selected for different business needs. Sage 50 has extensive features, cloud connectivity, and high-quality customer support. The software integrates well with third-party services like Microsoft 365 and has earned an "A-" rating from the Better Business Bureau, making it a trusted choice for over 2 million businesses and earning an exceptional rating in our reviews.
Zoho is an Indian company that offers online tools for small and medium businesses, and Zoho Books is one of their main products. This accounting software has different pricing options, from a free plan for very small businesses to a more expensive plan for larger ones. People like how easy Zoho Books is to use and how well it works with other Zoho tools. However, there are some downsides like limits on the number of users and fewer options to connect with other software. Even with these limitations, many customers think Zoho Books offers great value for the money. It's definitely worth checking out as an option for your small business' accounting software needs.
Xero is cloud-based accounting software for small to medium-sized businesses with a subscription model offering three plans priced between $15-$78/month. The software has a broad range of features, including bill payment, inventory management, and the ability to integrate with numerous apps like HubSpot and DocuSign. While Xero has received some criticism for frequent price hikes and has a somewhat inexplicable "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau, it has thousands of glowing reviews and is often recommended as an alternative to competitors, particularly praised for its exceptional customer support. The platform has a user-friendly interface, making it ideal for small business owners without extensive accounting knowledge. Overall, Xero's strengths outweigh its drawbacks.
Kashoo is a company based in Vancouver that offers accounting solutions for small businesses in over 180 countries. They have a range of products, from simple invoice tools to advanced accounting solutions. Their flagship product costs $27/month and includes payroll and unlimited users. Kashoo offers features like customizable invoices, business reporting, and an easy-to-use interface that can be integrated with third-party applications like Square. However, some people criticize their mobile app for its functionality and limited customization options compared to competitors. Although there aren't many reviews, most of them are positive and praise Kashoo for its user-friendly interface and responsive customer service. This up-and-comer could be a solid option for your small business accounting software.
QuickBooks Online (QBO) by Intuit has evolved from its original desktop software to become a major player in cloud-based accounting solutions. The platform offers a range of plans, from $15 to $100 per month, each with a different set of features tailored for various business sizes and needs. However, customer reviews reveal significant issues. Many users criticize the poor customer service, difficulties in migrating data from desktop to online versions, and annoying pop-up ads, even for premium accounts. QBO is a titan in the industry and shows a lot of flair, but customer sentiment has exposed legitimate issues.
FreshBooks offers online accounting software designed specifically for small- to medium-sized businesses, with features accessible via desktop or mobile. The customizable "Let's Talk" plan stands out as a unique option, allowing users to select the features they want. The pricing plans, ranging from $17 to $55, initially seem competitive, but costs can escalate quickly as each plan includes only one user, and additional users and functionalities, such as payroll, incur extra charges. Users appreciate FreshBooks for its simplified design, making it suitable for those new to business and accounting, and its excellent customer support receives high praise for efficiency and helpfulness. However, limitations in features, inefficiencies, and bugs hinder its scalability and overall user experience, making it seem fairly average in terms of usability and other aspects.
Wave offers a freemium business model that provides basic invoicing and accounting services at no cost, with additional paid features like Mobile Receipts, Payroll, and Advisors plans for more specialized needs. The company aims to be an all-in-one financial management solution for small businesses and has earned an "A" rating from the BBB. However, many users criticize Wave for its poor customer service, citing slow email responses and less-than-knowledgeable support staff. Technical issues are another concern; users complain about persistent bugs and functional limitations, including problems with connectivity to American Express accounts. Despite these criticisms, Wave has a loyal user base among freelancers and sole proprietors who appreciate its free basic features for straightforward financial tasks.
FreeAgent is a UK-based company that offers cloud-based accounting solutions primarily for freelancers and consultants. With a straightforward business model, they charge $12-$24/month and provide features such as unlimited users and free payroll. Users appreciate its intuitive interface, unique Radar feature, and competent customer support, though the support line operates during UK business hours. However, the platform has limitations for American users, issues with bank connections, and a less-than-ideal mobile app. Some of its website functionalities are not well-suited for the US market, leading to our recommendation that it might not be the first choice for non-UK residents who need small business accounting software.
NetSuite, an Oracle subsidiary, is a business management platform aimed at growing businesses, integrating various functions like customer management, e-commerce, HR, and more. While it claims superiority over other top accounting solutions, its pricing is considerably high, making it inaccessible for many small businesses. The software's pricing structure includes costs for the core platform, optional modules, and the number of users, with user reports suggesting hidden fees and complications. Despite its glossy promises, numerous customer reviews highlight negative experiences, from aggressive sales tactics and poor service to unexpected cost hikes and limited features. We recommend you think twice before choosing NetSuite for your accounting system.
The best part? You don't need to be an accounting whiz to use them. User-friendly interfaces, complete with dashboards and drag-and-drop features, make these software solutions accessible even for novices. But don't let the simplicity fool you; these platforms are capable of in-depth financial analysis and reporting, arming you with insights into your cashflow, profitability, and other key performance indicators (KPIs).
One of the primary drivers behind the popularity of small business accounting software is its ability to streamline complex financial tasks. Traditionally, small business owners grappled with intricate spreadsheets and manual calculations, leading to errors and inefficiencies. Accounting software automates these processes, reducing the likelihood of errors and saving everyone's time. This efficiency boost is particularly crucial for small businesses, where every minute counts towards keeping and growing the business.
The scalability of accounting software has also played a pivotal role in its popularity. Small businesses are dynamic entities. They can experience dramatic fluctuations in transactions, clients, and revenue streams. Accounting software adapts to these changes seamlessly, accommodating the evolving needs of the business. This scalability ensures that the software remains a valuable asset as the business changes.
Of course, not all small business accounting software is created equal. Some are designed to grow with your business, offering modular features like inventory management or e-commerce integrations that you can add on as needed. For some users, this might end up being overwhelming. If you just need something to track your cashflow, look for a platform with fewer features and an appealing interface. And then there's the question of how well the software plays with others - look for platforms that integrate seamlessly with other business tools, from your CRM to your email marketing software.
Price-wise, there's something for everyone: from free versions with limited capabilities to premium ones that offer the full financial suite. You can even choose between cloud-based platforms that promise remote accessibility and automatic updates, and on-premises solutions for those with specialized needs or higher security requirements.
Here are some things to look for when choosing your small business accounting software solution:
As you sift through the ocean of options, keep these features and considerations in mind. You're not just choosing software; you're choosing a financial partner for your business. Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed the best small business accounting software solutions to help you make this choice.
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