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The Best Accounting Software Programs

The 7 Best Accounting Software Programs

What is the Best Accounting Software to Use?

Gone are the days of needing to painstakingly enter all financial information into either paper or online sheets for your business. Accounting software increases efficiency by allowing companies to track their taxes, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and other details automatically.

The advantage of accounting software is not just that it saves time, but it also helps avoid human error that can be extremely costly to an organization. Accounting software can be integrated with a company's bank to help facilitate employees getting paid for the exact number of hours worked, keeping track of sales, balancing budgets, controlling inventory, and more. These processes are crucial to an organization, so finding good accounting software can make all the difference to a company's success.

Sunday, October 2nd

2022 Accounting Software Program Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award QuickBooks Review 5 Star Rating

QuickBooks

5 Star Rating
  • 30-day free trial
  • $12.50/month for Simple Start
  • $20/month for Essentials
  • $35/month for Plus
  • $299.95 for Desktop Pro (installed on one computer, not available for use on mobile devices)
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

QuickBooks was made by the company Intuit, which also created TurboTax and Mint. Intuit prides themselves in coming up with financial solutions that help consumers, self-employed individuals, and business owners prosper. The first version of QuickBooks was launched in 1998 and has grown and been restructured to the robust accounting software that it is today.

Packages That Fit Your Needs

QuickBooks can be purchased in different ways depending on what you're using it for. Customers can choose between options focused on small businesses, the self-employed, or even for professional accountants. Specific plans within each category can be purchased to fit your particular needs. For small businesses, there are four options to choose from that vary based on the number of users that can access QuickBooks, the ability to track timesheets, manage and pay bills, track inventory, manage 1099 contractors, and more.

Most Popular Quickbooks Plan

The most popular QuickBooks option is "Plus" which allows up to 5 users and includes the ability to capture and organize receipts, maximize tax deductions, run comprehensive reports, track project profitability, and much more. This accounting software option can be accessed from any device - Mac, phone, PC, and tablet. A full list of features can be viewed directly on the QuickBooks website.

Best Accounting Software

Cost Breakdown

QuickBooks charges monthly for the use of their accounting software. Pricing varies based on usage and features. The cost of small business accounting software includes:

  • Simple Start: $12.50/month
  • Essentials: $20/month
  • Plus: $35/month
  • Desktop Pro: $299.95/month

30 Day Free Trial

Implmenting accounting software for your company is a big deal. You'll want to find something that you can use for a long time and make sure that it tracks and manages everything that you need it to. Luckily, QuickBooks offers a 30-day free trial to help you make sure you are satisfied with all that it has to offer. No credit card is required, so all you need to provide is your email address, phone number, and a password. You'll be asked a series of questions about your business that QuickBooks can use to analyze how you can get the most from their services.

Highest Rating

Intuit has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Many professionals say QuickBooks is the best business accounting software they have ever used and thousands of customers give it high ratings. QuickBooks is definitely the best option for most businesses, so they have earned our top ranking for accounting software.

Xero Review 4.5 Star Rating

Xero

4.5 Star Rating
  • Early: $9/month
  • Growing: $30/month
  • Established: $60/month

Xero was started in 2006 out of New Zealand. This accounting software is designed for small businesses and has grown exponentially since it was first created. To give you an idea of how widely used Xero is, they have over 3,000 employees and over 2 million subscribers. They lead the cloud accounting markets in New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Everything A Small Business Needs

It is faster to say that Xero has all the accounting features a small business needs than to list out everything they offer. If you're wanting to take full ownership of the accounting at your company and have all the nitty-gritty details needed to manage the financial health of your business, Xero will help you do that.

Access Wherever You Are

Xero can be accessed on both iPhones and Android, so you can manage your sales, invoicing, and income on-the-go. There are over 800 other apps and programs that integrate with Xero, so it can be as simple or robust as you want it to be depending on the needs of your company.

Best Accounting Software

Straightforward, Competitive Pricing

The pricing plans at Xero are straightforward and they make it easy to know which option will work best for your company. They include:

  • Early: $9/month (allows you to send 5 invoices, enter 5 bills, reconcile 20 bank transactions, and capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc.)
  • Growing: $30/month (allows you to send unlimited invoices, enter unlimited bills, reconcile unlimited bank transactions, and capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc.)
  • Established: $60/month (allows everything from the Growing plan + multi-currency, captures and manages claims, and tracks project times and cost)

30 Day Free Trial

Each plan option includes a free 30-day trial. You only need to provide your name, email, and phone number: no credit card is required and you can get started right away.

Fantastic Option

Unfortunately, Xero does not have a Better Business Bureau rating, but we are pretty confident that it would be high if they did. Thousands of customers on other third-party sites have great things to report about their experience using Xero. People say working with customer service is great, Xero is easy to manage and learn, and that it's a great accounting software that you'll want to stick with for years. There are no red flags that raise concerns about choosing to use Xero as your accounting software, making this a fantastic option for small businesses!

Sage 50cloud Review 4 Star Rating

Sage 50cloud

4 Star Rating
  • 30-day free trial
  • Pro: $50.58/month or $503.95 yearly
  • Premium: $78.25/month or $778.95/yearly (with additional fees for more users)
  • Quantum: $131.66/month or $1,316.95 yearly (with additional fees for more users)

Sage is a company that not only has an accounting, finance, and payroll system, but has also created a platform for construction and real estate, human resources, and business management. The accounting software is called Sage 50cloud and works on a desktop as well as remotely from the cloud. The "50" in this software's name came because the product was meant for companies with up to 50 employees. Sage 50cloud was originally known as Peachtree Accounting, but was bought by Sage in 2013.

Accounting From The Cloud

Sage 50cloud was created to help with cash flow, invoicing, payments, banking, inventory management, payroll, and reporting. The cloud feature of this software allows you to make payments on-the-go, bill customers, and get real-time access to any of your financial information from wherever you are.

Most Expensive Option We Reviewed

Sage 50cloud is your most expensive option for accounting software. However, the basic plan (Pro) includes most everything a start-up business would need. Like many other accounting software platforms, you can choose to pay monthly or yearly. Paying yearly saves you a bit of money:

  • Pro: $50.58/month or $503.95 yearly
  • Premium: $78.25/month or $778.95/yearly (with additional fees for more users)
  • Quantum: $131.66/month or $1,316.95 yearly (with additional fees for more users)

Add Microsoft Office

All of the plans also come with the option to add Microsoft 365 for $150/year. It is an additional $217 or more for each user added to a plan, so to keep the already expensive price to use Sage 50cloud down, the less users the better.

Best Accounting Software

Test Drive Free For 30 Days

Sage allows you to "test drive" their 50cloud accounting software for 30 days by interactively exploring their platform. You can enter your own sample data to get a feel for how things work. To sign up for this, you'll be asked your name, zip code, email address, and phone number. You'll then receive a link that allows you access to get started.

Some Customer Issues

Sage has tens of thousands of customer reviews: most people have great things to say about them, especially their customer service team. If there are complaints from customers, it is almost always over the fact that Sage 50cloud frequently tries to sell them updates. Sometimes these updates are expensive and customers get frustrated about feeling pushed into new features that they don't want. Others have said that they experience discrepancies with what they are charged and poor communication about system changes. These are a big concern, so we recommend making sure you establish a good connection with someone from customer service who can explain and assure you of the cost of your plan and potential upgrades before signing on.

Failing Grade From The BBB

In addition, Sage has a shocking F rating from the Better Business Bureau. In most cases, this is a huge reason to possibly avoid buying from a company, but in this instance it is due to discrepancies between customer service reps when some people choose to upgrade their plans. To avoid issues like this, it is a good idea to read thoroughly into each plan Sage promotes and make sure there is a clear overview of the software features you are expecting to pay for.

Overall Solid Choice

We really like that Sage seems to have everything a small business would need for accounting. The payroll integration is great because it is often missing from many other accounting software platforms. Overall, Sage 50cloud seems like a professional, robust, and straightforward product that could prove beneficial to many small businesses. We are concerned about some of the long-term issues with upgrades that some customers have reported, but other than that, we are impressed with Sage 50cloud.

Wave Review 3.5 Star Rating

Wave

3.5 Star Rating
  • Some free features
  • Pay-per-use of 2.9% + 30 cents for Visa, Mastercard, Discover transactions
  • Pay-per-use of 3.4% + 30 cents for American Express transactions
  • Payroll for tax service states: $35/month + contractor and active employee fees
  • Payroll for self-service states: $20/month + contractor and active employee fees

Wave was launched in 2010 with only eight employees. Over the last 10+ years, they have grown to a team of over 250 employees, 55% of which have owned a business. Wave is based out of Toronto, Canada and primarily serves companies with between 1 and 9 employees. They have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and overall positive reviews from customers.

Free Features

One reason Wave is popular amongst small businesses is because they offer quite a few free features. Some customers say that the free plan has all the functionality they need, even though it isn't nearly as robust as QuickBooks, Xero, or others. Every so often people run into issues like the fact that it doesn't integrate with Stripe in the U.S., or PayPal integrations not auto-syncing, or other limitations with invoicing, but again, it's FREE.

What's Included

You get what you pay for here. Freelancers and entrepreneurs who need some basic accounting help are happy with what Wave offers at no cost. Some of these features include:

  • Unlimited income and expense tracking
  • Add unlimited accountants, collaborators, and partners
  • Track sales tax on income and expenses
  • Unlimited bank and credit card connections
  • Run multiple businesses from one account
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited receipt scanning
Best Accounting Software

Accept Payments With Pay-per-use Option

If you want to accept payments from customers receiving the invoices you send them, Wave has a pay-per-use pricing plan for credit card processing. They charge a 2.9% processing fee + 30 cents for transactions with Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. For American Express transactions, the cost is a bit higher at 3.4% processing + 30 cents. Bank payments carry a flat 1% fee and you'll get paid out in 2-7 business days.

Focus On The Small Business

Wave's payroll features are another fee-based option. For the 14 tax service states, Wave charges a $35 monthly base fee + $6 per active employee + $6 per independent contractor paid. For the other 36 self-service states, the monthly base fee is $20 + $6 per active employee + $6 per independent contractor paid. This is a very expensive way to do payroll, especially if you have quite a few employees. Keep in mind that Wave is catering to companies with 9 people or fewer, so beyond that you might want to look elsewhere for payroll software.

Good Place To Start

If you're an entrepreneur looking to stay within a tight budget while you try to grow your business, you have nothing to lose by using Wave for free. If you're able to take advantage of the basic features that Wave offers and don't have to pay anything for it, that's a great scenario for you. The app works on both iOS and Android, so you can manage your finances on-the-go. This accounting software won't be perfect, and probably won't have everything you'll need in the long run, but we think it is a good place to start.

Kashoo Review 3.5 Star Rating

Kashoo

3.5 Star Rating
  • $19.65/month if you are paying monthly
  • $16.65/month if you are paying annually

Kashoo is accounting software made specifically for small businesses -like, really small businesses with 500 transactions or less each year. This might include freelancers, owner-operators, digital professionals, contractors, or other small business owners. They work hard to listen to their customers and have created a platform that non-accountants can use with basic features that prevent the software from being overly complicated.

Keeping It Simple

To keep things simple, Kashoo only has one plan and price. There is no debating back and forth which plan to choose based on features, budget, or projected needs. Kashoo allows for unlimited users, which is a perk since many other accounting software platforms charge extra once you start adding more users to the mix. However, the cut-and-dried pricing and plan means that this platform isn't customizable. One size doesn't usually fit all, so if you're looking for a really robust system that will grow with your company, this probably isn't it.

Pay Monthly Or One-time Annually

The cost for Kashoo does depend on whether you want to pay a yearly lump sum or break it up month-by-month. The annual fee ends up being $16.65 per month ($199/year), whereas paying month-to-month will cost $19.95/month ($239/year). This seems like a terrific deal compared to the $500+ you could be paying per year using Xero, FreshBooks, or QuickBooks. However, the comparison isn't really apples-to- apples since the features of these accounting software options are quite different.

Best Accounting Software

Short List Of Features

Kashoo boasts that they don't provide a "bloated" set of tools as part of their accounting software that you'll never use. As a result, they have a fairly short list of tasks that their product does for you, including:

  • Automatic Reconciliation
  • Income & Expense Tracking
  • Categorization with Machine Learning
  • Invoicing with Payment Options
  • Sales and Tax Tracking
  • OCR Receipt Matching
  • One-Click Financial Reports
  • Unlimited Users

Missing Payroll Feature

For a really small business, these tools may be all you need. However, right off the bat, we noticed a key element missing from Kashoo's feature list that you might want to consider: there is no mention of a payroll feature, something that is critical to many businesses.

Do Your Homework

Kashoo is a great option for small companies with few employees, including those who aren't well-trained in accounting and just want a simple solution to track some financial data. It may be too simple for some companies, so we recommend making a list of everything you want your accounting software to do and comparing it against the feature list at Kashoo before signing on. Kashoo doesn't have a BBB rating or much by way of customer feedback on third-party sites, but anything said about them seems to be overall positive. If you're looking for an inexpensive, basic accounting software, Kashoo is definitely one to look into.

LessAccounting Review 3 Star Rating

LessAccounting

3 Star Rating
  • 30-day free trial
  • Lite: $240/year
  • Team: $360/year
  • Premium: Custom service, custom pricing

Created in 2006, LessAccounting caters to entrepreneurs who want to simplify their accounting procedures. As their name suggests, LessAccounting exists to help companies or individuals spend less time managing their financial data and more time focused on making money. They are completely software-based, meaning your information isn't stored in the cloud and is remotely accessible from multiple devices.

Built-in Integration

LessAccounting can integrate with a few other software platforms to add additional features that help customize your overall experience. Some of these include Wagepoint (for payroll), Stripe, PayPal, WePay, ZenCash, InvoiceSherpa, Basecamp, and others.

30 Day Free Trial

If you purchase LessAccounting's software annually, it is less expensive than if you pay month-to-month. There are two main plans: Lite ($240/year or $24/month) and Team ($360/year or $36/month). The Lite accounting software is for people who are self-employed. The Team software is for growing businesses. A third option is to have LessAccounting create a premium plan for you that includes everything in the Lite and Team plans and more. This option will be priced based on the additional features you require for the system. We recommend taking advantage of their 30-day free trial regardless of what plan option you're interested in to gauge whether or not this is the right accounting software for you.

Best Accounting Software

Plan Differences

The Lite and Team accounting software plans offer features that are vastly different from each other since they were created to help with different circumstances. The Lite plan really caters to self-employed people who have no accounting experience and don't need a payroll option as part of the accounting package. The Team plan is focused on growing businesses.

Lite Plan Features

  • Unlimited Custom Invoices
  • Unlimited Expense Entries
  • Unlimited Estimates
  • Unlimited Team Members
  • Automated Bank Imports
  • Mileage Tracking
  • Budget Creation
  • Accepting Payments
  • Tax Reports

Team Plan Features

  • Unlimited Proposals
  • Automated Late Payments
  • Time Tracking
  • Reminders
  • Advanced Tax Reports
  • Bookkeeping Help
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Multiple Businesses

Bookkeeping Option

Another interesting option that LessAccounting offers is simple help with bookkeeping. If you don't need the full accounting software, but just need help with bookkeeping and would like an expert to be reviewing your financial data to make things easier when tax season rolls around, there are options for this too. You can pay between $150 and $350 per month depending on your monthly expenses to have a dedicated finance expert assist with balance sheets, invoicing, cash flow, double-entry bookkeeping, and more.

Targeting Rival

It's obvious that LessAccounting views QuickBooks as their main rival. They have quotes about people who "hated" QuickBooks and a whole page dedicated to pointing out errors in their system. This seems quite petty, and hopefully LessAccounting stands behind their accounting software enough to feel like its quality speaks for itself. They don't have a rating from the Better Business Bureau, and there isn't a whole lot of feedback from customers themselves about their long-term experience using LessAccounting.

Good Potential

Overall, LessAccounting seems like it has good potential for freelancers and other small businesses, although it is one of the most expensive options. We foresee some people being turned off to this accounting software because it needs an internet connection to be used. Also, many businesses, no matter how small, will need an integrated payroll system and this is not an option here. However, thank goodness for free trials that can help you see the interface and features for yourself to decide if LessAccounting is the accounting software that will meet your needs.

FreshBooks Review 2.5 Star Rating

FreshBooks

2.5 Star Rating
  • 30-day free trial
  • Lite: $6/month
  • Plus: $10/month
  • Premium: $20/month
  • Select: custom pricing depending on the agreed-upon service.

FreshBooks began in 2003 as a way to save self-employed people and their teams from making costly errors when manually managing all their finances. Now, more than 24 million people have used this service to send, receive, and print invoices. They have the second-highest number of paying subscribers (rivaled only by QuickBooks), making them one of the most popular accounting solutions exclusively for small business owners. However, although this is the case, they've caused a lot of frustration for their customers, due to bugs in their system, poor customer service, and high prices.

Clean, Streamlined Features

The design of FreshBooks makes it easy for beginners to navigate their accounting software. The platform is clean, straightforward, and includes basic features that most businesses need. Some of these features include invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, accounting, project management, creation of estimates and proposals, taking online payments, generating financial reports, and more. Each feature is clearly and simply explained on the website with visuals to show what they look like.

30 Day Free Trial

Like many other accounting software options, FreshBooks allows their customers to try their product free for 30 days to see if it is the right fit for their business. After that, if you decide to move forward with implementing FreshBooks within your company, the cost breakdown for the different plans is:

  • Lite: $6/month - allows for 5 billable clients
  • Plus: $10/month - allows for 50 billable clients (most popular)
  • Premium: $20/month - allows for 500 billable clients
  • Select: custom pricing depending on the agreed-upon service.

Variety Of Customer Issues

FreshBooks has been featured by Forbes, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNET, and others. They even have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. From the outside, FreshBooks looks like an unquestionably great option for accounting software. However, it is disappointing to see how many customers have had issues with the product in recent years. Some say customer service gives you the runaround when opening a support ticket to get a bug fixed. Others are frustrated by the lack of updates over the years and say some of the main features are unreliable, causing big problems for them and their clients.

Room To Improve

FreshBooks has a lot going for them and has much to offer for small businesses. It seems that if they put more effort into prompt responses to their customers as well as consistent system updates to fix glitches, people would be happier with their accounting software. Until they are able to make some company changes, we recommend using a higher-rated accounting software platform.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Accounting software has become so important to businesses that other programs and platforms often are made to integrate with them to make things more streamlined. The software can usually be accessed online with any device that has internet connection. The complexity of the accounting software, and what it is used for, will greatly affect the overall cost.

When purchasing accounting software online, we suggest you keep the following criteria in mind:

  • Cost. You'll likely be using your accounting software for years to come, so you'll want to find something that comes with a sustainable price tag for the long-term.
  • Functionality. Does the accounting software have the features to take care of all the accounting for your business? Is it straightforward enough to use that others can be trained in its functions without frustration?
  • Customer Service. Integrating new accounting software into a company is a big task. You'll likely have many questions along the way, so you'll need a reliable customer support team that can offer help.

To give you an idea of which choice might be the most effective for you, TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked a variety of accounting software platforms. We hope this information helps you locate the right accounting software to help your business run efficiently!

The Best Accounting Software Programs Compare Accounting Software Programs Compare Accounting Software Program Reviews What are the best Accounting Software Programs Best Accounting Software Program Reviews

Accounting Software Program FAQ

Accounting software is a computer program that helps record a company's financial transactions. This includes accounts payable, bookkeeping, payroll, inventory, reconciliations, time sheets, and much more.
No, in fact many account software companies have made their product specifically for small businesses who don't have an in-house accountant and need to be able to manage their finances on the platform without prior knowledge of how it all works. Of course, it is helpful to have an accounting background, but it is not at all necessary.
Most accounting software companies give you the option to pay month-to-month or a lump sum each year. When you pay yearly, you usually end up paying less than you would monthly. You can typically expect to pay between $200 and $1,000 yearly for an accounting software built for small businesses. The number of users, features, and integrations are what make the biggest difference between what different companies charge.
It is highly recommended! Keeping all of your financial information backed up on a software platform that calculates taxes, payroll, does invoicing, monitors sales, and more, is a safe thing to do because it helps eliminate human error that can easily happen when dealing with so many details. Making a mistake with your accounting can be very costly to a business, so using accounting software is becoming the standard.
Nearly all accounting software companies allow you to try their product for 30 days without charge. This is a great way to test out their platform and make sure they have all the features your company needs.
If you're using accounting software that gets a big update, it's usually included in the cost you are already paying. If they add options for additional features, this may come with a separate price, but either way you don't have to worry about doing updates yourself.
It may take a bit of time to get used to all of the functions offered by your accounting software. The companies that create accounting software for small businesses work hard to make sure their platform is intuitive and easy to learn. If you have questions, it is a great idea to contact their customer service team for help.
Yes! Some companies are able to give you customized features and integrations that work for your particular industry. To do this, you'll work directly with the accounting software company to build out a platform that caters to your needs. The cost for this will be determined by the complexity of your software package.
The Best Reviews of Accounting Software Programs