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Top 10 Alternatives to Quickbooks: Comparison of Leading Accounting Software Systems

Category: B2B News
What is the top alternative to QuickBooks?

The top alternative to QuickBooks is Freshbooks because of its fast accounting and online invoicing suite. Created for small businesses, this platform streamlines expense tracking, time tracking, bookkeeping, invoicing, and payment processing in one convenient interface. The vendor even offers budget-friendly pricing plans for different types of business sizes.

QuickBooks is one of the most popular entry-level accounting solutions on the market. In fact, it has become one of the most popular go-to solutions for companies moving from Excel spreadsheets to a full-fledged accounting system. But is QuickBooks the best accounting software? While it can definitely handle a good chunk of your daily accounting tasks and is undeniably one of the better solutions available, it still has limitations that may pose as a problem for you operation-wise.

Whatever your reason may be for wanting to opt out of QuickBooks, we have you covered. To help you find better-fitting accounting solutions for your operations, we’ve prepared a list of accounting software that rival QuickBooks in terms of features, interface, and value for money. We’ve even noted some reasons on why you should choose each platform on the list over QuickBooks and vice versa. This way, you’ll have all the information you need to compare these solutions with each other.

Accounting processes are becoming more and more complicated in today’s digital age. To top that, the Sage Practice of Now 2018 report, said that 83% of accountants say that their customers are expecting more from them now than they did five years ago. Moreover, they mentioned that 67% of professionals in the industry have noticed how competitive the profession has become.

In order to have an edge against your competition, it is important now more than ever to invest in accounting software. These systems are more than just simple financial management tools. They’re part of your company’s overall strategy to achieve its most efficient potential along with improving other business areas. By optimizing cash flow, monitoring expenses, and keeping a record of critical financial data, accounting software ensures your company stays at healthy financial levels.

Luckily, as Forrester has pointed out–the accounting software industry continues to grow with more scalable, secure, and agile general ledgers towards 2021. Meaning, you’ll have your pick of tools other than popular solutions like QuickBooks that are just as capable of keeping up with the times and adapting to your unique requirements.

Source: www.arbitrue.com

Keep in mind, however, that before you settle on a particular software solution, you should first have a goal in mind that you want to utilize your new accounting system for. Some of the most common purchase motivations for accounting software are to increase functionality (43%), replace a dated system (29%), and improve the usability of their accounting system (17%). By considering these factors, you will easily be able to narrow down what types of accounting software features you’ll be needing.

To kickstart your browsing process, our team of software experts have come up with a list of top 10 alternatives to QuickBooks. This way, you can have a better idea of the other products you can choose from. In case you want to expand your options even further, you can also check out our list of popular accounting solutions.

What is QuickBooks?

QuickBooks dashboard example

QuickBooks is an award-winning accounting solution often preferred by small to medium companies opting out of Excel. Proof of its popularity is that an entire community of QuickBooks experts has flourished, third-party consultants who’ll help you maximize the solution.

QuickBooks can be deployed on-premise or cloud-hosted targeting business of any size, but mostly the smaller companies. The software, in fact, is the mother brand for different versions. You have QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Enterprise. Collectively, they feature the software’s known attributes, namely, workflow automation and integration.

QuickBooks is regarded for syncing all business finance activities under a single dashboard that’s accessible to multiple users. However, this is now standard to most accounting solutions. Its key features include actionable insights, automatic banking and tax calculations, dashboards and feeds and mobile receipt capture.

What are the benefits you’ll get from QuickBooks?

  1. Better collaboration as it comes with an accounts management tool that lets you edit, create, share data with other users
  2. Improved mobility because of its access-anywhere dashboard with customizable feeds and charts
  3. Increased accounting integrity through its automatic financial data synchronization
  4. Stronger data protection as it has security controls like cloud and Excel export backup, payment tracker, restrictions and error alerts

QuickBooks may be a good accounting software, but it’s clearly not the best. For one, it lacks industry-specific features so you might not be able to streamline your workflow the way you want to if you have particular accounting needs. In addition to that, it has limited file size and data support making it insufficient for high-growth businesses. The advent of more robust, flexible solutions gives you more room to cherry pick in this category. Here, we have identified the top 10 alternatives to QuickBooks and highlighted their key benefits.

quickbooks alternatives

1. Freshbooks

Freshbooks dashboard example

Freshbooks is an award-winning accounting software and one of the best cloud apps in this category. Our review experts thoroughly assessed its features and concluded that Freshbooks can turn complex financial management to a simple, smooth experience. If you want to try out the key features of the software there is a great free trial plan that you should check out. You can easily sign up for Freshbooks free trial here.

FreshBooks

This award is given to the best product in our Accounting Software category. It highlights its superior quality and underlines the fact that it's a leader on the market.

FreshBooks won our Best Accouting Software Award for 2018

Our score
9.8
User satisfaction
99%

For one, the software allows businesses to manage invoices and track and collect payments on one platform, thus, fast-tracking the order-to-collection cycle. Freshbooks integrate smoothly with payment gateways like Google Checkout, PayPal, and major credit cards, as well as with many other business apps. You gain complete financial control without having to maintain a complex system.

Managing billing becomes easier, too, with Freshbooks. You can easily track current and previous invoices. Any unpaid or overdue invoice can be quickly pulled out from the system. More efficiently, an automated overdue payment can be set up to remind clients of their payments. This frees you from the stress of following up payments and, critically, keeps your cash flow healthy.

Moreover, Freshbooks Android and iOS mobile apps were noted to be exceptionally fully functional. One of its practical uses is taking image snaps of receipts for expense management, making expense liquidation simpler. Likewise, navigation is intuitive and notifications against duplication or inconsistent inputs are in place. Automated task prioritization also lets you manage your time more efficiently and puts cash inflow at the top of your agenda. You can find more Freshbooks alternatives here.

Why use Freshbooks instead of QuickBooks?

  1. Freshbooks has a smoother functional design that includes an efficient invoice-to-payment process
  2. It offers better customization such as for triggers and alerts, file management workflow, expense assigned rates, and white labeling
  3. The vendor provides more affordable plans at $15 per month for up to five clients

Why use QuickBooks instead of Freshbooks?

  1. It’s part of the QuickBooks product lineup in case you plan to use other QuickBooks versions
  2. It has a more established name in terms of brand recall, having been in the market longer
  3. It comes with plenty of support from third-party consultants, but this entails separate charges

2. Sage 50cloud

Sage 50cloud dashboard example

Sage 50cloud is a hybrid accounting solution that merges the power of a desktop software with the convenience of a cloud platform. The software is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses manage their financials and stay compliant with taxes and reporting requirements. It boasts of enterprise-level features and capabilities, enabling you to manage your business taxes, inventory, budgeting, cash flow, expenses, invoicing, and more. If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for a Sage 50cloud free trial here.

The software offers extensive add-ons including credit card processing, HR/payroll, POS, e-commerce, data management, supplier/partner management, and even sales and marketing, among others. With its mobile capability, you can make payments on-the-go and bill customers as well as provide your accountants with real-time access to accounting books.

The solution lets you access and store data in the cloud while doing other tasks in your local machine. You can use the software to track purchases and vendors and pay bills while its expense management features let you undertake mobile payments and bank feeds. It also allows you to connect to your bank accounts, providing for real-time recording of sales and receipts, tracking receivables, transferring funds, reconciling bank accounts, and making deposits. If you need more options, you can explore other Sage 50cloud alternatives.

Why use Sage 50cloud instead of QuickBooks?

  1. Sage 50cloud has a flexible cloud and on-premise set up and operation.
  2. It comes with extensive add-ons to expand the platform’s capabilities.
  3. It lets you sync financial data between desktops and the apps cloud servers.

Why use QuickBooks instead of Sage 50cloud?

  1. QuickBooks protects payment data according to the highest security and safeguarding standards.
  2. It comes with smart reporting filters.
  3. The platform allows you to get visibility on all your banking transactions.

3. NetSuite ERP

NetSuite ERP dashboard example

NetSuite ERP, as you can probably already tell by its name, goes beyond accounting systems. As an enterprise resource planning software, it covers quite a wide range of key business processes like purchasing and vendor management, warehouse management, and fixed asset management. Meaning, you can streamline different aspects of your operations and run them from a single place, making it a good option for fast-growing mid-sized businesses and large enterprises. Should you want to learn more about its features, you can sign up for a NetSuite ERP free demo here.

As part of the NetSuite product line, the ERP solution has smooth integration with the vendor’s CRM, eCommerce, and order management systems. This means you can easily combine all of the tools you need to carry out day to day operations. In case its native integrations are still not enough for you, NetSuite ERP can also connect with a wide network of third-party solutions such as Birst, Epay, and Bronto.

NetSuite ERP gives you clear visibility across your supply chain with a set of inventory, manufacturing and purchasing tools within your reach. It also speeds up quote-to-payment cycle by streamlining the sales quote, order, invoicing and payment workflows. The solution has more sophisticated features, including financial planning, revenue recognition management, and payroll services. You can find more NetSuite ERP alternatives here.

Why use NetSuite ERP instead of QuickBooks?

  1. NetSuite ERP meets the accounting processes of mid-level and large enterprises
  2. It has sophisticated features like vendor management, fixed asset management, and inventory control
  3. The platform provides more integrated accounting featuring smooth integration to other business processes like payroll, inventory, manufacturing

Why use QuickBooks instead of NetSuite ERP?

  1. QuickBooks can easily meet your core accounting needs
  2. It is a less expensive option if you don’t need an ERP system
  3. This has a lower learning curve compared to NetSuite ERP

4. Zoho Books

Zoho Books dashboard example

Zoho Books is one of the user-friendly cloud accounting solutions for small businesses. It has reliable uptime, support and security and one of the pioneers in cloud accounting. Offering a well-integrated system, it allows you to create a more seamless workflow from sales to accounting with its robust functionalities. For more information about its features, be sure to sign up for a Zoho Books free trial here. This way, you’ll get a better idea of what it has to offer.

Most first-time users are happy how Zoho Books let them send professionally designed invoices, which add credibility to their small operations. But the software has more to offer, tools that consolidate accounting tasks under one hood. For example, it features cash flow management, profit and loss estimates and balance sheets. These are standard accounting tasks, but Zoho Books adds value to them with visual charts and quick overviews.

Another great thing about Zoho Books is that it comes with contact management tools and collaborative client portals. With these, it is easier run your accounting tasks in line with customer service efforts. These will also allow you to improve data transparency by providing the clients easy access to their financial information. If you think that Zoho Books does not fit the bill for your operations, you can check out these Zoho Books alternatives here.

Why use Zoho Books instead of QuickBooks?

  1. Zoho Books has a cleaner interface with better professionally designed templates
  2. It works seamlessly with products from the Zoho Suite and provides integration via RESTful API
  3. The vendor offers a lower price point entry at $9 per month

Why use QuickBooks instead of Zoho Books?

  1. QuickBooks offers both on-premise and cloud-hosted deployment options
  2. It has a more scalable architecture that is ideal for growing businesses
  3. The platform has a more extensive and advanced set of accounting features

5. Gusto

Gusto dashboard example

Gusto is an accounting tool purpose-built for payroll management. With it, you can perform time tracking as well as automate the calculation of pre-tax benefits, reimbursements, and deductions. It is also equipped with direct deposit and digital paystub generation so that it is easier to distribute payments. What’s more is that it is fully compliant with HIPPA, ACA, and ERISA standards so you don’t have to worry about overlooking industry regulations. For more information about what this product has to offer, you can easily sign up for Gusto free trial here.

The problem with this software is that it has limited functionalities. While it may offer a complete payroll automation system, it is not capable of handling other accounting tasks such as bookkeeping, revenue management, expense management, and the like. For these, you will have to integrate it with third-party accounting systems. In case you find that this platform is not the right one for you, you can take a look at these Gusto alternatives.

Why use Gusto instead of QuickBooks?

  1. Gusto is built specifically for small businesses
  2. It is capable of bringing together your accounting and HR processes
  3. This platform is built to seamlessly blend with other software ecosystems

Why use QuickBooks instead of Gusto?

  1. QuickBooks is a full-fledged accounting system that goes beyond payroll
  2. This platform is highly scalable and can support the accounting needs of both small businesses and large enterprises.
  3. The vendor offers more affordable pricing plans.

6. Bench

Bench dashboard example

Unlike most accounting software in the market, Bench lets you focus on streamlining and simplifying your bookkeeping system. It gives you all the tools you need to streamline a highly strenuous business process, including the generation of quality financial statements, deployment of trained bookkeepers to consolidate and organize financial data and compile reports, as well as communications and tax support for continuous business growth. With its bookkeeping support, clients are given three well-trained bookkeepers who are tasked in reviewing and consolidating financial information for preparing year-end financial packages. This takes away the months’ worth of work from the business and shortens the consolidation of financial documents from months to 15 business days.

You can take a closer look at its functionalities when you sign up for Bench free trial here.

Its reporting and analytics module is also competitive all on its own. Users can oversee business health and all relevant business parameters and indicators. Quantitative analytics such as monthly and overall revenue, expenses, and profit can be viewed within a few swipes or clicks. Financial packages are thoroughly broken down, giving you easy access to financial reports necessary for strategic planning.

Bench, as a platform, is intuitive and user-friendly at best. It allows multiple logins, so your team can be on the loop for overseeing, managing, and planning for your business. It comes with communication and collaboration tools, so you and your team can generate accurate reports and are updated real-time on financial information.

With its well-rounded, powerful set of features, Bench makes competitive accounting software for businesses seeking to simplify such a strenuous and traditionally-manual business process. If you want more options, you can check these Bench alternatives.

Why use Bench instead of QuickBooks?

  1. Bench focuses on simplifying and automating your bookkeeping and provides you with three highly-trained bookkeepers to get the job done.
  2. The software is easy to use and learn.
  3. Bench goes beyond the contract coverage and can even link you to tax experts and provide CPA support for your books.

Why use QuickBooks instead of Bench?

  1. Bench starting plans are costly while you can avail QuickBooks for as low as $10 per month
  2. Companies who want to focus more on simplifying and automating core accounting processes should opt for QuickBooks
  3. It has an extensive set of accounting tools and functionalities for your disposal.

7. FreeAgent

FreeAgent dashboard example

FreeAgent is an affordable online accounting solution created for small businesses. Offering tools ranging from invoicing and project management to expense tracking and sales tax calculation, this will eliminate the need to rely on other solutions to manage your different accounting responsibilities. It also comes with an intuitive dashboard where you can get a real-time view of your cash flow, automatic bank feeds, and more. Aside from the abovementioned features, the platform is also completely mobile-ready, making it a great option for professionals who are always on the go. It also comes with 256-bit SSL connections to keep your data safe. If you want to learn more about how this product can help you with your accounting tasks, sign up for a FreeAgent free trial here.

While FreeAgent offers a comprehensive set of features, it is best to note that, as it is built for small companies, it might not be enough to handle your accounting tasks as your business grows. In case this will be a problem for you, you might want to take a look at these FreeAgent alternatives instead.

Why use FreeAgent instead of QuickBooks?

  1. FreeAgent has an affordable universal plan, so you don’t have to worry about having to choose from multiple plans
  2. It is completely web-based so you don’t need to go through lengthy installation processes
  3. This platform comes with free add-ons

Why use QuickBooks instead of FreeAgent?

  1. QuickBooks has flexible plans for different business sizes, making it a good option for companies that want a scalable solution
  2. This platform can be deployed on-premise or via cloud
  3. It has a more extensive set of accounting functionalities

8. Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Sage Business Cloud Accounting dashboard example

Sage Business Cloud Accounting is Sage’s accounting application for small businesses, freelance accountants, and independent bookkeepers. Like its sister application Sage 50cloud, which is also on this list, this platform can provide you with invoicing tools, income and expense tracking features, graphical overviews of your cash flow and sales performance, as well as bank statement importing options. It also comes with productivity tools such as its to-do list function which allows you to set reminders on deadlines and gives you an overview of all your pending, current, and finished tasks. To learn more about what this application can do, sign up for a Sage Business Cloud Accounting free trial here.

If you are looking for a platform that will boost collaborations, Sage Business Cloud Accounting also has solutions for you. It comes with an accountant access tool that enroll your consultants in the system and view your financial statements. The only drawback to this platform is that it might be too basic for high-growth businesses and large enterprises that deal with more complicated accounting responsibilities. Should you want to look for more solutions for your operations, you can also take a look at these Sage Business Cloud Accounting alternatives.

Why use Sage Business Cloud Accounting instead of QuickBooks?

  1. Sage Business Cloud Accounting is built for small businesses and freelancers
  2. It offers a no-fuss interface with only the essential accounting features
  3. The vendor offers an extensive knowledge base so its easy to get solutions when you encounter technical problems

Why use QuickBooks instead of Sage Business Cloud Accounting?

  1. QuickBooks is created to cater to the needs of all business sizes
  2. This platform supports a wide variety of basic and advanced accounting tools
  3. The vendor provides hands-on technical assistance as well as customer training

9. Tipalti

Tipalti dashboard example

Primarily a payment management software, Tipalti allows you to optimize the processing of global payables by providing you with end-to-end control over your AP workflow. It comes with invoice processing, instant payment reconciliation, and payment risk management so that you can accelerate your AP process without compromising data security. This platform can also process 120 currencies via PayPal, wire transfer, debit cards, ACH, and local bank transfers, making it a good option for international businesses. For more information about this product’s functionalities, sign up for a Tipalti free trial here.

To top it all off, Tipalti aims to strengthen your risk controls by operating in compliance with national and international taxation regulations. It is KPMG-certified and FATCA compliant so you can rest assured that all of your accounts payables are being processed according to industry standards. If you think that this platform won’t be enough to handle your accounting responsibilities, you can also take a look at these great Tipalti alternatives.

Why use Tipalti instead of QuickBooks?

  1. Tipalti offers robust tools specialized for payment processing
  2. This platform comes equipped with open API capabilities so you can connect it to virtually any other application or business system
  3. It offers a custom UI, making it a good option for those who want full control over their accounting system

Why use QuickBooks instead of Tipalti?

  1. QuickBooks is a more well-rounded accounting solution
  2. It offers a more advanced reporting tool that can be customized and scheduled according to your preferences
  3. The vendor offers plans at different price points depending on your accounting software requirements

10. Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense dashboard example

Zoho Expense is an accounting tool designed specifically for expense reporting. It comes with multi-stage workflows to streamline approvals and corporate card reconciliation to simplify how you consolidate your expense reports and accelerate reimbursements. It also comes with multi-currency support which comes in handy for companies with locations in different countries or firms with employees that often take international business trips. What’s more is that it has a native mobile application that lets users instantly capture receipts for better expense recording. To further investigate its features, be sure to sign up for a Zoho Expense free trial here.

In addition to the mentioned features, it also helps you keep tabs on your expenses through its robust analytics tools. It comes with over 25 reporting options and allows you to schedule report generation according to your needs. If you think that this accounting platform is not the right fit for your operations, you can choose to take a look at these Zoho Expense alternatives instead.

Why use Zoho Expense instead of QuickBooks?

  1. Zoho Expense offers specialized tools for expense reporting
  2. It can support more third-party integrations
  3. The vendor offers a forever free plan for small businesses as well as paid plans for larger companies

Why use QuickBooks instead of Zoho Expense?

  1. QuickBooks offers a wider variety of accounting tools
  2. It comes with productivity tools such as calendars, document sharing, and unified dashboards
  3. The platform also has more robust reporting tools

Factors to Consider When Buying an Accounting Software

Narrowing down your list of prospective accounting software can be quite tedious especially with the plethora of quality products available on the market. To help you simplify the process, we have compiled some factors that you might want to consider when buying an accounting software:

1. Can it adapt to your current accounting process?

Whether you are already using an accounting platform or are looking to graduate from your spreadsheet system, chances are you already have an idea of what you need to carry out your accounting process. You should find an accounting system that will be able to provide you with all the aspects that you think are working for your current system as well as give you other tools to reinforce it in the future.

For this, you might want to find solutions offering a complete set of features for all your accounting tasks, preferably one with a scalable architecture and easily configurable interface. Alternatively, you can opt for a solution that can support integrations so you can avoid dealing with bloatware.

2. Can it grow with your company?

Say for example you operate a t-shirt printing business from your home and are working to grow your customer base enough to open up a shop. While you could easily get away with using basic accounting tools as of the moment, it might not be able to handle your needs once your business expands.

To avoid having to replace your accounting tool every time your clientele grows, find a platform that will be able to scale to your changing needs. In short, don’t simply focus on your current needs when assessing a software but also consider your future business plans. This way, you can maximize your investment and avoid wasting time on learning a new software.

3. Does it fall within your budget?

A product’s value for money lies in its total cost of ownership so to truly get a good idea if a particular accounting software falls within your budget, you need to study your prospective software’s available pricing plans. Aside from looking at how much each package is, pay special attention to its inclusions and the limitations.

The solutions on your list should have basic accounting functionalities such as bookkeeping and expense management and, ideally, some advanced features and industry-specific tools. It is also important to note that some vendors can only support a certain number of users and accounts so be sure to check if it will be able to handle your requirements. In addition, you might want to ask the vendor if their plans are inclusive of regular updates, customer support, and installation fees as these all add to the total cost of ownership of a product.

Final Verdict: What is the Best QuickBooks Alternative?

Hopefully, with this list of top 10 alternatives to QuickBooks, you were able to get a better idea on what accounting system will work best for you. To sum it up, we highly recommend FreshBooks if you are looking for a good alternative to QuickBooks as it offers a similar easy-to-use interface and comprehensive functionalities. From basic accounting and expense tracking to time tracking and payment processing, this software can serve as an all-in-one hub for your accounting needs. You can easily sign up for Freshbooks free trial here to learn more.

Of course, it does have its shortcomings such as its lack of account charts and the fact that it doesn’t support automatic data synchronization. Should these pose as problems for you, you can always check out the other options we’ve mentioned on this list.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

1 Comments »
jerry strickland says:

My first concern is can I import my QuickBooks data base. And I will need a multiuser mode. I have 4 users now.

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