The 5 Best Accounting Software For Small Business Of 2021

Otherwise, a free accounting software that doesn’t meet your needs simply isn’t worth the time. If you’re looking for a free desktop accounting software for your small business, then GnuCash is a solid contender.

What is better than Xero?

In Summary: The Best Xero Competitors

QuickBooks Online: Best overall Xero alternative. QuickBooks Desktop Pro: Best locally-installed Xero alternative. FINSYNC: Best for cash flow management. Sage Business Cloud Accounting: Best for usability and affordability.

For one thing, their balances will often appear on the dashboard . You can also view each account’s online register, which contains transactions that have cleared your bank and been imported into your accounting solution . Sunrise is a good choice for freelancers and sole proprietors who need to track income and expenses and invoice customers.

You’ve Done The Work Now Let’s Get You Paid

Free accounting software is automated cloud or desktop technology that allows business owners and financial professionals to manage a small business’s books for free through their computer. Perhaps the biggest advantage of a comprehensive small business accounting software is all of the time it will save. In the past, accountants and small business owners would have to hand-write and systematically file all of their expense reports and receipts in a physical location. Once the bookkeeper records and organizes all of the transactions, the next step of accounting is to analyze these transactions into helpful reports which will show the state of one’s finances. These reports can include profit/loss statements, cash flow reports, and can track sales tax to keep a close eye on what is owed come tax time. If you run a business and need to charge customers for your goods or services, you will need online invoicing software. QuickBooks is built for small businesses, freelancers, startups and established enterprises.

free accounting software

Our guide has pages of easy-to-follow tips and lessons to help you run your business with confidence.

Track Your Income And Expenses

QuickBooks Online is the best overall accounting software for small businesses of those reviewed. Not only do the majority of small business accounting professionals use QuickBooks Online, but there are also endless online training resources and forums to get support when needed. All accounting features can be conveniently accessed on one main dashboard, making bookkeeping more fluid and efficient. Unlike some other programs that didn’t make the cut, we actually loved SlickPie. The software offered great features, a nice UI, and was 100% free. Unfortunately, SlickPie shut down its services on March 31, 2021, and is no longer available.

  • You need to maintain the historical records contained in your free program as you make the shift to a new application.
  • Sync with eCommerce, customer management, time tracking, inventory, and payment processing apps to easily bring all your data together.
  • However, this management software offers several great features with an easy-to-use interface that simplifies freelancers’ accounting and bookkeeping tasks.
  • And, as such, when you make your decision, you can be confident you’re making the right one.
  • Scalability was the next most important consideration because as a company grows, its accounting needs grow as well, and transferring financial information to new software can be tedious.

Additional users can be added for $3/month per user, and you can also purchase advanced auto-scans and snail mail credits. Wave is the free accounting software choice of over 3.5 million users. It stands out from the competition for its forever-free plan, which doesn’t have the limitations of other free programs. Additionally, this cloud-based software is easy to use and has a robust feature set that’s on par with many paid software options. At Fundera, Randa specializes in reviewing small business products, software, and services.

Want A Free Month Of Bookkeeping?

The free version only allows you to connect one bank account and view basic reports. If you need multiple accounts and additional team members added, it will set you back $15 a month or more. Read on for our breakdown of the best free accounting software for your small business finances.

  • You can also purchase Success Packs and implementation with a local partner.
  • If you find that your current free software is slow, outdated, or doesn’t offer the features you need, it’s time to consider your options.
  • One of the great things about using a small business accounting website is that it reduces repetitive data entry.
  • CloudBooks is an online accounting software program that allows you to manage your online invoices, expenses, and projects.
  • ZipBooks does have an active community of users on Facebook and Twitter that may be of some help if you run into problems.
  • You can split transactions that should be assigned to multiple categories, make notes, and reconcile your accounts with your bank and credit card statements.
  • Features of QuickBooks Self-Employed include tracking mileage, sorting expenses, organizing receipts, sending invoices, and estimating and filing taxes seamlessly through TurboTax.

Do you want access to the transactions you have stored in online financial accounts ? Enter your login credentials for that account and the small business accounting site will import recent transactions (usually 90 days’ worth) and add them to an online register.

Accounting Software For Small Businesses

Most service-based small businesses will find that Simple Start meets all of their needs. For product-based small businesses, Essentials or Plus will have more options for inventory and customizations. The Advanced subscription is a new offering and provides robust financial reporting that is powered by Fathom.

free accounting software

In this plan, payroll is full-service, which means that all tax filings and payments are completely managed by Wave. Xero is the best in our review for micro-businesses that are looking for very simple accounting software. This software has a clean interface and also fully integrates with a third-party payroll service. Businesses can collect payment online from customers through Xero’s integration with Stripe and GoCardless. Intuit’s QuickBooks Online has been the most common accounting software used by small businesses and their bookkeeping and tax professionals. The software is cloud-based and can be accessed through a web browser or through the mobile app.


It’s not all about saving a few dollars on accountant fees, but rather the risk of losing valuable time to help your customers. Another pitfall with free small business accounting software is that their algorithms, or problem-solving formulas, may be more error-prone. You will need to take more time to generate and review reports to make sure the numbers add up.

While CloudBooks’ basic features are free, it doesn’t offer as much as the competition. Wave Accounting checks all the boxes for many powerful features that are well-suited for your small business. If the software passes those questions, then odds are the software is not a scam. However, even if the software isn’t a “scam,” that doesn’t mean it’s worth your time. An expert in accounting, finance, and point of sale, Erica has been researching and writing about all things small-business since 2018.

Godaddy Bookkeeping

Once synced, transactions will flow into the accounting software, where they can be categorized into various accounts. While most accounting software is easy to use, a general understanding of accounting principles is needed to ensure that financial reports are prepared correctly. For this reason, many businesses hire bookkeepers or accountants to maintain or review their books.

What software do most accountants use?

Intuit’s QuickBooks Online has been the most common accounting software used by small businesses and their bookkeeping and tax professionals. The software is cloud-based and can be accessed through a web browser or through the mobile app.

As I mentioned, its free plan is self-service — which works for small businesses but might not be sustainable as your business expands. So if you’re looking for exceptional invoice creation and management software, you should check out Cloudbooks.

Wave Accounting is one of the more tested, reliable options listed here. It’s an accessible, intuitive program that doesn’t require much — if any — training to understand. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page.

free accounting software

You’ll also be able to customize and brand invoice templates, track expenses, and interact with customers through a client portal. Not to mention, you can run integrated time tracking for yourself and employees for project billing. The free accounting software SlickPie is also worth looking into for your small business finances.

There are other reports, though, that aren’t so easy to understand. These are considered standard financial reports and they’re the kind of documents you’ll need if you ever want to get a loan from a bank or attract investors. They have names such as Balance Sheet, Statement of Cash Flows, Trial Balance, and Profit & Loss. Small business accounting sites can generate them, but you really need an accounting professional to analyze them to tell you in concrete terms what they mean for your company. As I mentioned earlier, one of your setup tasks involves creating records that contain information about the products and services you sell so you can use them in transactions.