8 Best Small Business Accounting Software Picks (2022)

Two small business owners reviewing options for accounting software.

While there is no shortage of small business accounting software available today, choosing the right tool can be challenging. With so much overlap in functionality and differences in pricing, it’s all too easy for business owners to end up choosing the wrong accounting tool. 

Even after a modest length of time, switching to another accounting program can seem more of a hassle than it’s worth––a great example of the sunk cost fallacy––which makes choosing the right tool in the first place particularly important.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best small business accounting software tools for independent businesses. 

Top accounting software picks for 2022

  • Best overall small business accounting software: QuickBooks Online
  • Best accounting software with customer support: FreshBooks
  • Best free accounting software: Wave
  • Best accounting software for beginners: Zoho Books

8 best small business accounting software compared

  1. FreshBooks
  2. Wave
  3. Zoho Books
  4. QuickBooks Online
  5. Sage 50cloud
  6. Kashoo
  7. OneUp
  8. Xero

1. FreshBooks

Best accounting software for customer support

freshbooks accounting software
Photo courtesy of: FreshBooks

One of the most popular and well-known small business accounting tools available today is FreshBooks.

Many of FreshBooks’ tools feature smart technologies and back-office automation designed to make bookkeeping easy. FreshBooks can be configured to automatically reconcile credit and debit amounts and can automatically import data from a range of sources.

You can easily access important financial statements like:

You can also adjust access permissions on an individual basis. For example, employees can be granted limited access to financial reports, while you can give your accountant administrator privileges. 

Pros:

  • Highly rated customer support
  • Time-tracking and mileage tracking features included in all plans
  • Wide range of cloud accounting features

Cons:

  • Limits the number of users and clients you can input
  • Lowest-tier plans don’t allow for bank reconciliation or accountant access
  • Doesn’t provide you with quarterly tax estimates

Available for: Web application (cloud)

Mobile app: Android, iOS

Price: Plans begin at $4.50 per month for lite plan

Free trial length: 30 days

Shopify app or integration: Yes

2. Wave

Best free accounting software

wave accounting
Photo courtesy of: Author

Many of the small business accounting software tools on this list are inexpensive. But for newly launched independent businesses, even inexpensive can be a little too much initially. Wave, an accounting tool designed for small businesses, understands that problem, which is why it’s 100% free.

Available for Windows and OS X, and with Android and iOS apps for invoicing and receipts, Wave is ideal for independent businesses still finding their feet. Wave Accounting can do almost everything premium accounting software tools can do, including expense management, banking reconciliation, payroll, and invoicing.

If all this sounds too good to be true, sign up for a free account and see how Wave can help you manage your business’s accounts in less time––all without spending a dime.

Pros:

  • Completely free
  • Double-entry accounting
  • Unlimited users with control over user permissions
  • Unlimited invoice creation with customizable templates 
  • Mobile invoicing accounting app

Cons:

  • No phone support, and live chat support only available for paid add-ons (Wave Payments and Payroll)
  • No updates planned for current features
  • No advanced accounting options

Available for: Web application (cloud)

Mobile app: Android, iOS

Price: Free

Free trial length: n/a

Shopify app or integration: No.

3. Zoho Books

Best mobile accounting software

Zoho books
Photo courtesy of: Zoho Books

Zoho Books is an online accounting software with really great accounts payable (A/P), accounts receivable (A/R), and inventory management capabilities. The invoicing software is blazing fast and its bookkeeping software offers a lot of features for a good price. Zoho Books is a great alternative to more expensive options like QuickBooks and can still meet all your business needs.

Pros:

  • You can do most accounting tasks through the mobile app
  • Fairly powerful free version of software
  • More affordable than similar accounting software
  • Multii-currency capabilities in top tier plan

Cons:

  • Must pay for advanced features like project tracking and workflow automation
  • Unable to track fixed assets like real estate, land, or equipment
  • Limited number of users with each tier (after 20, cannot add additional users regardless of plan tier)

Available for: Web application (cloud)

Mobile app: Android and iOS

Price: Free as long as revenue for fiscal year falls below $50,000; paid plans start at $10 per month

Free trial length: 14 days

Shopify app or integration: Yes

4. QuickBooks Online

Best overall accounting software 

Quickbooks online
Photo courtesy of: Quickbooks

Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is a popular bookkeeping tool that can help business owners handle their accounting quickly and easily.

QuickBooks has everything business owners need to take control of their bookkeeping. It features a clean, simple interface and intuitive reporting, meaning even newcomers can get up to speed quickly. All QuickBooks plans include mileage and expense tracking, sales and tax reporting, and tools to manage 1099 contractors.

QuickBooks’ other plans offer additional functionality, such as inventory tracking, support for up to 25 individual users, and even access to a dedicated customer support manager. Plans start at $12 per month.

Pros:

  • Inventory management included with QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced 
  • Double-entry accounting
  • Third-party-app integration friendly
  • Can easily share information with your accountant
  • Lots of QuickBooks tutorials, experts, resources, online

Cons:

  • Monthly plans are pricier than other accounting software options
  • Each plan allows only a limited number of account users
  • There is a bit of a learning curve to get a handle on this software

Available for: OS X, Windows, web application (cloud)

Mobile app: Android, iOS

Price: Plans begin at $12 per month

Free trial length: 30 days

Shopify app or integration: Yes

5. Sage 50cloud

Best accounting software for customization 

Sage50 accounting
Photo courtesy of: Sage 50cloud

Sage 50cloud Accounting is a comprehensive, cloud-based accounting software product with extensive customization options and advanced functionality.

The product’s Pro Accounting plan––the least expensive option, available for $33 per month––is aimed at smaller independent businesses. It can handle a range of accounting tasks, including expense management, invoicing, and inventory tracking. Sage 50cloud Accounting also integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office.

Sage’s other plans offer additional features, such as role-based security privileges and account management for multiple companies, but may be prohibitive for smaller businesses with more modest budgets.

Pros:

  • Lots of customization options so software fits your needs
  • Great tools to manage and track inventory
  • Microsoft365 integration

Cons:

  • Mobile app is only for capturing invoices/receipts/documents to upload to software—no access to other accounting features
  • Dated look to user interface
  • Time tracking not included with any plan option

Available for: Web application (cloud), Microsoft 365 integration

Mobile app: No, but does have Sage 50c Capture as companion to software

Price: Plans begin at $340 per year

Free trial length: None, but you can take a test drive (live demo) of the software

Shopify app or integration: No

6. Kashoo

Best accounting software for workflow automation 

kashoo accounting
Photo courtesy of: Kashoo

Kashoo is small business accounting software that aims to help business owners automate much of the administrative work behind bookkeeping.

Thanks to machine-learning algorithms, Kashoo understands your business better the more you use it. Everything from receipt categorization to sales tax tracking is analyzed by Kashoo, which lets the tool make individualized recommendations on steps to save money, minimize waste, and streamline overall efficiency.

Kashoo’s intelligent, automated approach to accounting won’t be for everybody. Kashoo costs $20 a month, but business owners interested in its approach to bookkeeping can sign up for a free trial.

Pros:

  • User friendly
  • Can have unlimited number of users
  • Great customer support
  • Automation of a lot of administrative processes

Cons:

  • Limited features
  • No Android mobile app
  • Not a lot of integration options
  • Lacks features like time-tracking and inventory management

Available for: Web application (cloud)

Mobile app: iOS

Price: Plans begin at $20 per month

Free trial length: 14 days

Shopify app or integration: No

7. OneUp

Best accounting software for inventory management 

one up accounting software
Photo courtesy of: Motley Fool

Like Kashoo, OneUp aims to make bookkeeping a much more streamlined process by automating routine tasks.

Over time, OneUp “learns” how your accounting works by analyzing inputs, such as bank account transactions. OneUp then prompts the user to validate suggested reconciliations with a single swipe on a mobile device. These validations further train

OneUp’s algorithms to offer more accurate suggestions in the future. OneUp can also match individual bank transactions with overdue invoices, saving business owners even more time.

Pros:

  • Excellent inventory module that will positively affect your cashflow
  • Simple start-up process
  • Built-in CRM function
  • Synchronizes with client’s banking info for automatic bookkeeping

Cons:

  • No payroll capabilities
  • Expensive for businesses with a lot of team members (unlimited user plan $169 per month)
  • No time-tracking features

Available for: Web application (cloud)

Mobile app: Android

Price: Plans begin at $9 per month

Free trial length: 30 days

Shopify app or integration: No

8. Xero

Best accounting tool for growing businesses 

Xero accounting

For business owners who find themselves constantly on the go, Xero might just be the accounting tool they’ve been waiting for.

Xero is an intelligent accounting software tool aimed at small businesses, with an emphasis on ease of use and mobile utility. Xero can be synced across multiple devices and offers users updates in real time, giving business owners the latest information wherever they might be.

The product features a clean, intuitive user interface and can handle a range of accounting tasks, including payroll (via an integration with Gusto), expenses, billing and invoicing, and sales tax calculation, among other features. Pricing starts at $12 per month.

Pros:

  • Can have unlimited users for all plans
  • Hubdoc included in all plan tiers (automatic capture of receipts and bills)
  • Can manage fixed assets
  • Effective project tracking

Cons:

  • Payment processing can lag if your company does a lot of transactions through PayPal
  • Need to manually follow up on unpaid invoices (no automatic reminders)
  • UI is not intuitive—bit of a learning curve
  • No phone support

Available for: Web application (cloud)

Mobile app: Android, iOS

Price: Plans begin at $12 per month

Free trial length: 30 days

Shopify app or integration: Yes; third-party integrations available

Accurate accounting means better business

No two businesses are exactly alike, and an accounting solution that works well for one business may not work at all for another.

While there’s a great deal of overlap between the small business accounting software above, only you can decide which tool is right for your business. 

Some business owners may see sophisticated reporting functionality as an essential feature, whereas some may prioritize automated reconciliation. Before investing in a new accounting system, it may be worth taking advantage of a few free trials before committing to a decision.


Small business accounting software FAQ

Which accounting system is useful for small businesses?

It will depend on what features you prioritize and where you are trying to take your business. Take a look at the list above to give yourself a better idea of what you need for your business.

What software do most small businesses use?

Most small businesses need good accounting software, document management software, and CRM software. Your best bet is to find comprehensive software that can do all three of those for you. Check out our list above for some good options.

Why is QuickBooks best for small business?

QuickBooks is one of the more versatile accounting software available for small business owners.

Which accounting software is the cheapest?

Wave is the cheapest accounting software because it’s completely free. But that doesn’t mean that’s what you should choose. Make sure the software you choose has all the features you need for your business and don’t be afraid to change your accounting software as your needs change.
Topics: