Top 3 Accounting Software: Comparison of Freshbooks, Brightpearl and QuickBooks
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Choosing one of the top accounting software systems can be overwhelming when the market is inundated with more than fifty different solutions offering different strengths and weaknesses. With technology developing rapidly and more and more operations shifting to cloud, companies and sole accountant have no choice but to choose an adequate program that will keep them a step ahead of competitors.
Sometimes, the best way to shortlist your choice is to aim for the leading products. In this case, we are highlighting our three top accounting software based on the overall score they merited from our B2B software experts and user satisfaction rating generated from aggregated user reviews across the Internet. Based on these metrics plus a closer inspection of the best features of the three accounting software solutions, FreshBooks emerges as a top choice followed by Brightpearl and QuickBooks. Below, you’ll find more details how each of the three top accounting software products match against each other.
3. QuickBooks – Our Score: 9.6 | User Satisfaction Rating: 96%
Top 3 Accounting Software Solutions of 2017
1. FreshBooks – Our Score: 9.8/10
FreshBooks is an award-winning accounting software company based in Toronto, Canada. It’s a cloud-based financial management solution designed for the non-accountant. Founded in 2003, it started as a SaaS for freelancers and consultants. Over time, FreshBooks has grown to expand its features and integration capabilities that now even larger companies can rely on the software.
It focuses on intuitive delivery of core accounting functions, such as, invoicing, expenses, time tracking, payments, and reporting. Its core aspects are: it’s easy to use, it saves the small business owner time, and it helps him get his financials organized.
For usability, scalability, and value for money, FreshBooks earned the first place on our list of top 10 accounting services. It got the highest total score of 9.8/10 among all accounting apps that we tested and received a very high user satisfaction rating of 99%. FreshBooks also won the FinancesOnline Best Accounting Software Award for 2016 and the Supreme Software Award for 2016. The app provides great flexibility when it comes to pricing plans and even offers a great free trial plan that will allow you to check if their services are really fit for your company. You can easily sign up for FreshBooks free trial here.
For more information about the software you can skip to the FreshBooks features section below or read our detailed review of FreshBooks.
2. Brightpearl – Our Score: 9.7/10
Brightpearl is another award winner and co-leader in our accounting software category designed to facilitate multi-channel retail management. Just as FreshBooks, Brightpearl combines accounting and finance reporting in a handy application, and makes it possible for users to manage orders, contacts, and inventory all from a single location. Armed with profitability analytics and valuable marketplace integrations, Brightpearl can cater to the needs of small, medium, and large companies, and do so offering several subscription plans for them to choose from.
What Brightpearl is best known for is its powerful workflow automation engine that can process an unlimited number of orders per month, adjusts accounting to multiple currencies, and integrates with all leading eCommerce service providers. What customers also like about this system is the dedicated Customer Success Management program that helps them draft a development plan based on their brand specifications and activities. Brightpearl is also intuitive and easy to use, be that the traditional desktop version or any of the dedicated mobile apps. You can also get a demo of Brightpearl here and see the software in action first if you want.
3. QuickBooks – Our Score: 9.6/10
Intuit’s QuickBooks is definitely one of the most popular accounting systems for retailers at the moment, with an array of spotlight-worth features to support its great reputation. Listed as the third top performer in this category, QuickBooks has a lot to offer to companies seeking to manage all income-producing transactions in a reliable system, track bounced checks, automate taxation and modify inventory checks, and much more. What makes QuickBooks really desirable in any large enterprise is the possibility to track sales and account offline, which, interestingly enough, doesn’t compromise the ease of use this system is known by.
QuickBooks doesn’t only streamline accounting, but it also polishes and perfects users’ experience offering features such as automated reporting with smart filters, progress tracking with direct alerts and warning messages, and a shipping management kit with a variety of packing options. Satisfied users also confirm the reliability of their tech support team, and assure prospective buyers that all security matters are already taken care of. With QuickBooks, your accounting and personal identification data will be fully protected and modifiable only with the adequate permissions.
Features of FreshBooks
FreshBooks may be known as a simplified yet useful accounting software that small and medium businesses like, but the software has since included more robust features, such as, time and expense tracking, reports and analytics, and a wide array of add-ons and apps that extend its functions. The feature expansion reflects FreshBooks’ growing popularity even for larger companies, mainly for its scalability, easy pricing terms, and usability. Despite this, FreshBooks remains a user-friendly tool for the small business owner.
Contacts and Items
One of its better features is its contacts and items. Contacts follow a standard format, but there is also a secondary page that allows you to link additional data relating to the contact. A screen shows important data like logged hours, emails sent, account statements, and invoices that concern the contact. Interestingly, the screen also displays the average number of days the client usually pays, a handy feature to help you manage the cash flow.
FreshBooks also allows for second-tiered users for people who can only access certain sections of the accounting records. However, additional users are billed as an add-on each. For example, you can give contractors access to invoicing and time-tracking for their billing, or limit your accountant to read-only access for journal entries and reports.
Meanwhile, items support both product and service with fields for cost, description, quantity, name, and taxes. Track Inventory automatically subtracts the number of stocks every time you add an item in an invoice, but, conversely, you need to add the number when you replenish stocks. Although it is not a full inventory management, it is what most small and medium businesses need. As with contacts, items feature a secondary page that displays related data, including invoices, sales reports, stock level, and estimates.
Another great FreshBooks feature is creating invoices. It’s intuitive and neat, alerting you for missing critical fields like your address and billing type (item vs. time vs. both). You can edit the fields, such as, purchase order number, date, items, etc. Moreover, calculations are automated once you’ve assigned rates like taxes and unit cost; you need only to enter hours or quantity. FreshBooks also lets you set recurring invoices and credit receipts and payment options such as FreshBooks’ own merchant account, Stripe, and PayPal.
Time and Expense Tracking
FreshBooks is also well liked for its flexible tracking tool for time and expenses, which allows for daily, weekly, and monthly views. The tool fits a simple project record that shows the project name, billing method, client, and estimate hours to finish the project. Similarly, expense records display important information such as vendor, date, category, sales tax (two levels tops), and client. You can also set it as recurring and quickly convert the expense claim to an invoice.
Navigation and Integration
It’s the accounting software’s signature, the ease of navigating its features and functions. A series of tabs run horizontally at the top, where subtabs show you more related features. For example, under Invoices you see Recurring, Received, Payments, Credits, and Items. The same relational organization can be found in other tabs for estimates, expenses, reports, and time tracking. Navigation is made easier with drop-down menus, buttons and icons, and interactive elements.
On another note, FreshBooks has a wide range of add-ons and integrations that extend your accounting functions. On top of its flexible API–it lest you connect FreshBooks to your applications – FreshBooks integrates with popular and standard business solutions, such as: help desk; e-commerce; payroll; project management; and payment gateways.
Features of Brightpearl
Brightpearl is predominantly an omnichannel retail management platform that automates core inventory and sales-related operations. It combines POS, CRM, inventory, and financials in a single system, and consolidates your activities to make sure customers will have nothing but the best shopping experience.
The feature suite of Brightpearl is a decent FreshBooks competitor, having in mind that both systems were developed to process and analyze data in retail environments. The system takes care of all core operations from supply to fulfillment, keeps an eye on your stock, and pairs data in accurate profitability reports. This is what the system will bring on board:
Omnichannel Retail Management
Its cloud-based inventory management suite allows users to monitor the availability and value of their products, and edit and access stock from literally any device. Both companies and independent merchants can create product bundles and kits, pull off low stock reports, and reorder their stock based on the cost of their goods in order to maximize ROI. On top of that, Brightpearl integrates with all leading eCommerce platforms and sales channels.
Each time goods are ordered, invoiced, or shipped, Brightpearl creates accounting journals to help you interpret your data in the most accurate manner and without unnecessary manipulation. This way, users won’t have to enter data multiple times, and manual errors will be eliminated. Thanks to the fact data is well connected, you can navigate easily between invoices and payments, and make use of a powerful audit trail that will save both time and money.
Brightpearl unites all customer data to manage your trade and communication activities and log those against customer records to ensure a more personalized approach. The system will also offer a contact tagging tool you can use to target marketing campaigns towards lapsed and loyal customers.
Reporting & Analytics
Brightpearl ensures access to in depth retail analytics which makes actionable data equally useful to ambitious merchants as it is to large and established sales teams. You will be provided with real time dashboards and clear retail KPIs, and therefore understand the behavior of customers and optimize products accordingly.
Features of QuickBooks
Generally observed, QuickBooks offers a vast array of insights and organizational capabilities which will help companies keep accounting data organized, including their overdue items, payable bills, accounting notes, and contacts’ data, and standard accounting operations. The system is predominantly oriented towards small businesses and sole accountants, and provides them with the following features:
Users can easily plug QuickBooks into an array of eCommerce apps to automate expense management. The system makes it possible to connect contact logs with credit cards and bank accounts for easier categorization, and controls cash flow by monitoring amounts and due dates, and automating alerts for concerned payers.
QuickBooks will also manage your inventory from shelf-to-shipment, and monitor on-hand and per item costs to manage your exact profitability. What is also useful to know is that the system can manage the bills you own, and cover recurring payments automatically and on time.
You can use QucikBooks to design good-looking invoices, estimates, and sales receipts that reflect your brand, and activate a direct PayNow button to let users pay with a single click. For the purpose, customers can use their debit and credit cards, or make a direct bank transfer from their account. All payroll records are tax-optimized, saved and secured in cloud, and accessible from mobile devices for easier collaboration.
QuickBooks’ reporting is deliberately simplified for small companies and independent accountants to summarize data with a single click. You can use the system to generate profit & loss summaries, balance sheets, or key financial calculations in less than no time.
Our Final Verdict
Among our top three accounting software solutions we found FreshBooks to be the most user-friendly and having the best value for money. Best value means you get to use all its features on regular basis and you won’t be paying for features that you don’t need. While it is regarded as a useful accounting software for small businesses, FreshBooks has enough robust features and integration capabilities that medium and large companies can safely rely on it as well.
The key advantages of this system compared to Brightpearl and QuickBooks are the affordable (and flexible) pricing scheme, capacity to serve enterprise-grade users, and almost unlimited customization that allows you to draft accounting documents and manage sales operations in a brand-specific fashion. Brightpearl, on the other hand, can meet the needs of companies where advanced accounting is not a priority, and the idea is to purchase a system that will at the same time act as a POS and a CRM platform you don’t really get to modify. Finally, QuickBooks is the representative that focuses on small businesses and single accountants in need of solid payroll management, but who would settle for basic reporting and simplified operations.Category: B2B News