As a small business owner, you’re expected to be a generalist, capable of handling every business process. However, there’s one area where it’s critical that you’re more than just competent: managing accounting. When every cent counts, you need to be an expert at bookkeeping and accounts: it’s your money, after all.
In the past, we have seen the best accounting software for small-medium businesses. However, if all you need is a simple app to record your financial transactions, then here we’ve curated a list of the best bookkeeping software. The solutions in this list will allow you to keep track of cashflow, tally expenses, handle invoicing, payroll, and much more. Let’s find out.
Best Bookkeeping Software for Small Business
1. Sage 50cloud
Sage is a well-known vendor for enterprise-class accounting software. Leading multinationals make use of Sage’s higher-end solutions, compliant with key standards such as the GAAP. Sage also offers entry-level solutions for small businesses and solopreneurs. Sage 50cloud is one of their more affordable offerings, though, at $44 per month, you’re still looking at a considerable investment. Despite what the name suggests, 50cloud isn’t actually a pure cloud-based solution. It’s installed on your systems though some data is stored on the cloud for added flexibility. It offers a suite of over 50 accounting functions, ranging from inventory management to time tracking to invoicing.
There is a caveat here, though—multiple user licenses and added functionality come at a steep increase in price: 50cloud’s top Quantum Accounting tier costs nearly $200 dollars per month, making it much more of a medium-size enterprise solution as opposed to something appropriate for small business owners and solopreneurs.
heck out Sage 50cloud
Payment resolution is extremely important for small business owners: Client relations are characterized by a fine balancing act between offering attractive payment terms and ensuring that you have enough cash flow for day-to-day operations. When you have a large number of clients, it can often be difficult to track late-paying customers and resolve outstanding payments. When you factor in making your own payments—to vendors, for taxes, and for compliance—things can very easily turn into a nightmare. Tipalti is an integrated payment management system that allows you to keep track and automate your payments to vendors and others, as well as handling invoicing. You won’t have to spend so much time wondering who owes what to whom.
Check out Tipalti
Tipalti isn’t the only vendor providing an effective billing solution. While the former places an emphasis on enabling your outgoing payments, Freshbooks keeps things simple: It’s primarily an invoicing and collection processing tool. Freshbooks allows for payment to be collected across a range of platforms including Paypal and credit cards, among others. It allows business owners to track billing end to end, from invoicing to actual collection. Freshbook is one of the more affordable options on this list at a relatively reasonable $15 per month. This also includes access to an iOS/Android app to monitor the payment situation when you’re not in the office.
Check out Freshbooks
4. Zoho Books
Zoho’s a well-known vendor of cloud-based tech solutions and their accounting platform—Zoho Books proves that you don’t need a dedicated software installation on an office computer to make use of a complete set of accounting tools. As a cloud-based accounting solution, Zoho Books is available anywhere and offers an end-to-end experience, from raising orders to invoicing. Moreover, tight integration with Zoho’s complete suite of cloud-based platforms expands possibilities significantly. Indian users will find Zoho Books especially useful because of functionality that makes GST compliance simpler. At $9 per month, Zoho Books is definitively a value-for-money accounting option.
Check out Zoho Books
Want to keep things really simple? Running a business should be more about, well, running a business and not squinting for hours at your ledger book. Kashoo was designed with one specific aim: To make the invoicing and monitoring as effortless as possible for business owners. Kashoo allows you to quickly send out customized invoices and accept credit card payments without much hassle. Moreover, it has an easy-to-understand reporting and dashboarding functionality that allows you to assess business performance and provides you with data that you can then take to your accountant without having to pore over it yourself.
Check out Kashoo
Like 50cloud, FreeAgent is an all-in-one bookkeeping solution. The FreeAgent suite allows you to handle a wide range of business processes from a single dashboard, including invoicing, monitoring cash flow, and receipt tracking. FreeAgent can also be connected to your bank account to enable you to assess profitability. This is a multi-platform solution: Apart from the main desktop suite, FreeAgent has extensive mobile functionality on Android and iOS: there’s a browser-based tool and a dedicated mobile app with unique features—such as capturing receipts with your camera. At $20 per month, FreeAgent is reasonably priced for an all-in-one accounting suite.
Check out FreeAgent
No list of bookkeeping software can be complete without Quickbooks. It’s not only incredibly user-friendly for the bookkeeper, but also suitable for both startups and large enterprises.
Usual features like connecting bank accounts, collecting payments, creating and tracking invoices and managing reports are all there. The first plan is Self-Employed targeted at freelancers and solopreneurs. You can’t pay bills or manage payrolls but accept payments and connect bank accounts. In my opinion, Quickbooks is good to get started on but doesn’t scale well. Costs $17/month.
Check out Quickbooks
Enterprise-class accounting made easy? Ready access to real, certified accounting consultants? Xero’s last on this list, but definitely not least. Xero places a strong emphasis on two seemingly opposite goals: Maximizing user-friendliness and ensuring comprehensive accounting functionality. With a very well-designed interface, Xero makes double bookkeeping and other advanced accounting tasks a breeze.
Unlike other software in this list—Kashoo being the most extreme example, Xero’s aim is to empower small business owners to be their own bookkeepers, not simply to get accounting out of the way. Xero’s developers recognize that accounting’s an area where access to SMEs is important. For this reason, Xero also offers business owners direct access to certified experts. Xero’s starting plan is $25 a month. But if you’re looking for a true end-to-end experience, you’ll want to bump things up to its Premium offering.
Check out Xero
That’s all for this list! What was the bookkeeping app you found most useful? Tell us in the comment section! And one more thing: You don’t have to be a business owner to track expenses. Check out the list of the best budget apps for couples if you’re planning on having that conversation with your significant other.