When it comes to running a successful business, keeping track of your finances through accounting software is extremely important.
The problem is…
With so many different cloud accounting tools out there, how do you know which one is right for your new startup business?
That’s where we come in!
We’ve reviewed the top accounting tools so you can choose the one that best meets your needs.
The best accounting software (summary)
If you’re short on time, here is the top 5 accounting software solutions for startups:
- Quickbooks Online (best overall)
- Xero (best for technology)
- Freshbooks (best for freelancers)
- Wave Accounting (best free option to use)
- Sage business cloud accounting (best for brick & mortar businesses)
What is the best accounting software for small businesses & startups?
Here are the top 5 cloud accounting software programs for small to medium-sized businesses:
1. Intuit QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks Online is one of the USA’s most popular accounting software programs.
It’s designed specifically for small businesses and has all the features you need to run your business smoothly, from invoicing and expense tracking to bookkeeping and tax preparation.
QuickBooks Online also offers robust customer support, so you can always get help when needed.
What I like about Quickbooks Online is that it integrates with other Intuit software programs, such as TurboTax, for filing your personal taxes.
Quickbooks also integrates with eCommerce solutions, such as Shopify, which makes it a great option for eCommerce accounting software.
Xero is a cloud-based accounting software that’s perfect for small businesses that thrive on using technology to save time and money.
Xero is kind of like buying an iPhone. It’s powerful, looks great and has thousands of 3rd party mobile apps to enhance your experience.
Similarly, Xero is powerful, has an easy-to-use interface and even has its own Xero app store with thousands of 3rd party apps (both free and paid) that help make your Xero experience even better.
It offers all the features you need to run your business efficiently, including invoicing, expense tracking, and bank reconciliation. It even has a mobile app, although in my experience, it is very limited in what you can do with it.
One feature I really like about Xero is that it uses AI to predict what kind of category your expenses should be when reconciling your accounts. This saves you (or your bookkeeper) a lot of time.
Xero is a great choice for businesses that are looking for a modern all-in-one solution.
Tip: Xero is the accounting software I use for my own US-based business. When I lived in the UK I also used Xero for my business.
FreshBooks is another great option for small businesses, especially freelancers and self-employed individuals.
What I like about FreshBooks is how easy it is to use for individuals who want to handle their accounting themselves.
It has all the features you need to manage your finances, including invoicing, expense tracking, and online payments.
FreshBooks also offers excellent customer support and integrates with a number of other business tools, making it a great all-around choice for small businesses.
4. Wave Accounting
Best free option
Wave Accounting is a great choice for freelancers, small business owners or self-employed individuals (such as Uber or Lyft drivers) that are looking for affordable accounting software.
It’s free to use (with paid upgrades available) and comes with all the essential features you need to manage your finances, including invoicing, expense tracking, and online payments.
Wave Accounting offers excellent customer support and a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to use even if you’re not an accountant.
What I like about Wave is how easy it is to manage your whole business from one tool, even if you’re not an accountant. It’s a great all-in-one accounting tool.
5. Sage50 Sage business cloud accounting
Sage 50cloud is a great accounting software program for larger brick-and-mortar businesses of all sizes. It is cloud-based, making it easy to use and access anywhere.
It has many features, such as invoicing, expense tracking, and more.
The only thing I don’t like about sage business cloud accounting is that the design looks a bit outdated compared to other accounting software solutions.
On the plus side, sage business cloud accounting offers inventory management and many extra features that other accounting tools don’t have. It’s especially good for advanced users.
6. Zoho Books
Best mobile app accounting software
Zoho Books is one of the best small business accounting tools because it offers all-in-one business management solution.
For example, business owners can manage their finances from the Zoho mobile app, integrate the software with other Zoho tools (such as financial CRM software with Zoho CRM) and even integrate it with additional marketing services that Zoho offer.
Zoho also has a free plan that makes it easier for sole proprietors or small business owners to start using.
What Is Accounting Software and What Are Its Benefits?
Accounting software is an essential tool for businesses, both big and small. It helps manage finances, keep track of expenses, and generate invoices.
This type of small business accounting software can also help budget and forecast future expenses.
What are some of the benefits of small business accounting software?
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it can save businesses a lot of time. Rather than manually tracking finances, businesses can use accounting software to automate the process.
This can free up time for businesses to focus on other tasks, such as marketing and lead generation.
Another benefit of accounting software is that it can help businesses keep track of their spending.
This can help prevent overspending and can help businesses stay on budget.
Accounting software can also help businesses track their income and expenses, which can be helpful in tax preparation.
Because cloud accounting software is cloud based, your books can be managed by staff remotely. It can even be accessed by you or anyone else from anywhere in the world.
Finally, accounting software can also help businesses manage their customer records. This can help keep track of customer invoices and help businesses follow up with customers with outstanding balances.
Overall, accounting software can be a helpful tool for businesses of all sizes. It can save businesses time, help them keep track of their finances, and even help them manage their customer records.
Key Takeaway: Cloud accounting software can help businesses save time, track spending, and manage customer records.
How to Choose the Best Accounting Software for Your Business Needs
When choosing the Best Accounting Software for your business needs, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Type of business
First, you need to decide what type of business you have.
This will help you narrow down your choices. For example, if you have a small business, you may not need all the features that a larger business would need. Or, if you are a freelancer, you may not need accounting software with payroll features for employees.
Next, you need to think about your budget. There are many accounting software programs, but they all come with different price tags.
Small business accounting software typically costs less, and many even offer free plans for you to get started with.
If you have a larger business and need multiple currencies or additional inventory management features, you’ll most likely need accounting software that costs a bit more.
Finally, it would be best if you read reviews.
But don’t just read any reviews. Find reviews of people in your industry using the accounting software you’re interested in.
Reading reviews from other business owners in your industry can help you narrow down your choices and find the best accounting software for your needs.
A lot of things go into running a successful business, but one of the most important is having a good accounting software system in place.
The Top 5 Accounting Tool Features for Businesses
Here are four things to look for in a good accounting software system:
1. Ease of Use:
You want a system that is easy to use and understand. It should be user-friendly so you can quickly input data and get the necessary information.
2. Reporting Features:
A good accounting software system will have powerful reporting features that give you insights into your business finances. This can help you make better decisions about where to allocate your resources.
Look for a system that can integrate with your other software programs, such as your CRM or invoicing system. This will make getting all your information in one place easier.
4. Customer Support:
When you have questions or run into problems, you want to be able to get help from the software company. Look for a company that offers excellent customer support.
Choosing the best accounting software for your business is an important decision. Take your time to evaluate your options and select a system that will meet your needs.
Key Takeaway: The best accounting software is user-friendly, has powerful reporting features, integrates with other software and offers excellent customer support.
The bottom line
If you’re looking for the best accounting software to help your business grow, our top two recommendations are Xero & QuickBooks Online!
FAQs for small business accounting software
Ashley Davis (or ‘Ash’ for short) is the CEO & Founder of Skyline Social. For over 15 years, he has been helping business owners with lead generation. Ash specializes in helping businesses get high-quality leads, appointments and clients each month in an automated, scalable and profitable way. You can watch his free Masterclass training to learn more.