13 of the best accounting software tools for small businesses
Account management is necessary for an organisation's overall financial health.
And with most accounting tools out there providing custom invoicing, payment tracking and full financial reporting, choosing the right software for your business can become a mammoth task. To help, we've provided 13 account management tools designed for small businesses.
Here are 13 of the best accounting software tools for small businesses (listed in alphabetical order).
Cloud accounting software ClearBooks offers invoicing, banking, purchasing, expenses and tax management while also integrating multiple online payment systems such as PayPal, GoCardless and PayPoint.
Its invoicing generator enables users to create branded invoices, set reminders, prompt late paying customers and schedule multiple invoices to be sent out using multiple currencies.
ClearBooks billing platform also lets users enter bills, set recurring bills and create purchase orders.
FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software designed specifically for small businesses, providing invoicing, expenses, time tracking, payments and detailed personalised financial reports over an online dashboard.
As FreshBooks is only offered via the cloud, users can access their accounts from multiple devices and locations while also ensuring data is backed-up regularly, and automatically. For a service-based business with frequent incoming and outgoing, this data security is an important factor.
All four packages on offer come with unlimited invoices, expenses, time tracking, PayPal, MailChimp and Basecamp integration (plus many more add-ons), credit card payments and branded customisable invoices. With its most expensive package providing team timesheets for an unlimited amount of billable clients.
3. GoDaddy Bookkeeping
Best known for its web hosting services, GoDaddy has expanded and now houses a simple but effective accounting tool, GoDaddy Bookkeeping.
GoDaddy users will be able to link their accounts to popular ecommerce sites such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy, providing a big advantage over competitors such as FreshBooks.
In addition, GoDaddy lets you set recurring invoices, create client profiles and manage multiple accounts with PayPal and Stripe integration.
It also provides a clean dashboard compiling all of your invoicing, annual profit, loss, open invoices and your estimated expenses e.g. tax.
KashFlow is a London-based online accounting software firm specialising in automated account handling for small businesses, initially developed as an alternative to legacy accountancy software from Sage and QuickBooks.
Offering over 85 possible integrations from PayPal and Stripe to Barclaycard MailChip and Dropbox, KashFlow also supports banking, quotes and estimates, customers and supplier information, purchases, payroll, full reports and automated invoicing.
KashFlow also offers numerous templates for ease of use, from pre-written payment reminders to fully customisable invoicing.
5. Kashoo Online Accounting
Claiming to eliminate the 'frustration of QuickBooks', Kashoo offers a cloud-based accounting software firm providing its users with a totally online bookkeeping service for small businesses.
Kashoo provides financial reporting, bank imports, invoice and expense creation, tax reporting and claims to have 'bank-level security'. Kashoo can also integrate with pre-existing payroll systems including Freshbooks. What's more, Kashoo's offers an iPad and iPhone app that provides users with real-time dashboards and receipt capture.
What's more, in 2013, HR and payroll giant Paychex joined forces with Kashoo in an equity investment. Since then, Paychex has integrated Kashoo's accountancy platform, adding Kashoo's online accountancy services to its own payroll, insurance, HR and retirement services.
LessAccounting offers a simple accounting application comprised of workflows, automation helpers and a simple bookkeeping service.
Users can record business expenses, create and send invoices, set expense reminders and expense by category, income type, project and due date.
Openly describing itself as a QuickBook alternative, LessAccounting claims QuickBook's business range is too large to cater for everyone, encouraging users to opt for LessAccounting for a simple accounting application.
While open to debate, LessAccounting does lack inventory management which may be a requirement for some businesses.
NetSuite offers a variety of products for small businesses (and of course larger enterprises). Within its small business portal, NetSuite - which was recently acquired by Oracle - provides an online accounting software offering financial planning, recurring revenue management, order and billing management and inventory management and supply chain controls.
Depending on the size of your small business, if it's on the larger size, NetSuite has certain products that could be used in conjunction with
standard account management tools, such as SuiteBilling, an order-to-billing service.
8. One Up
One Up supports invoicing, accounting, inventory services and a CRM, so for businesses looking for a one-stop-shop, One Up is definitely one to consider.
Initially developed for Android devices, One UP now offers a full web version which lets its users manage records, transactions, sales orders and overall profit and loss.
Bank accounts are easily synced and the browser interface is simple, if not a little large. But this will be due to the move from mobile to web.
However, as One UP was created for Android, the mobile experience is full-featured and extremely well made.
QuickBooks offers a well-rounded account management software package. With QuickBooks, users can estimate tax payments, track deductible mileage, create and send invoices, manage VAT, run payroll, provide multiple currencies and control stock levels.
All of QuickBook's claimed 1.5 million subscribers have access to a real-time dashboard offering both a desktop and mobile experience.
QuickBooks also offers a cloud accounting service providing business bookkeeping and full financial management, leveraging the collaborative nature of the cloud.
Sage offers both desktop and online accounting programmes, enabling users to analyse and manage, VAT, invoices, stock, budgets and payroll.
Sage offers eight different, but similarly named, accounting packages, One Start, One Accounting, Sage Live, 50 Accounts Essential, 50 Accounts, 50 Accounts Plus, 50 Accounts Professional and Sage 200 Standard Online.
Typically aimed at small businesses, Sage One Accounting, 50 Accounts Essential, 50 Accounts and its extended version, 50
Accounts Plus - offer businesses with around 5 to 100 employees - bookkeeping software with cash flow, VAT, stock and sales management.
With Sage 50 Accounts and Plus offering remote access, intuitive project costing tool and day-to-day financial management.
11. Wave Accounting
Wave Accounting offers free accounting software, aimed at micro businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs.
Wave users will receive lots of useful and competitive features, including automatic billing and invoicing, automatic data sync, receipt scanning and PayPal integration.
Wave also offers a handy dashboard providing a snapshot of your data from income, expenses and bank accounts to payables, receivables and all recent activity.
Like with most free applications, there are some drawbacks. Wave does rely on advertising revenue, which means you will see a few external ads from time to time and have Wave's own branding on your invoices and other accounting materials.
Payroll services are also not included, so you'll have to pay $4 (£3.11) per employee or go to a paid platform for this.
Aimed at small businesses, Xero offers an accounting software that enables users to create and customise invoices, payroll and expense
reports. In addition, users can create a tracked inventory, create purchase orders and connect to over 500 third-party apps (most of which
centre on invoicing, time tracking and expanse claims).
Claiming to have over 700,000 subscribers, Xero provides account management across smartphone, tablet and PCs
13. Zoho Books
Zoho also offers a comprehensive online accounting suite for small businesses. Users can track expenses, inventory and clients across
mobile, tablet, laptop and PC.
Zoho Books can integrate other popular Zoho software to create a custom business package, these include Zoho CRM, Expense, subscriptions, Reports , Inventory and Projects.
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