20 Best Accounting Software for Small Business in 2018

FreshBooks No. 1 Alternative

2018-11-30T11:18:44+00:00 20 Best Accounting Software for Small Business in 2018

We have updated this article with the most recent 2018 accounting software systems that are catered towards providing solutions for small businesses.


Many accounting software solutions are more similar than different in terms of features. Standard modules include general ledger management, invoicing, and payment processing.

Accounting has always been an integral part of any business organization as it provides businesses with a view of their profitability or in some cases, losses. The process is likewise necessary for sound financial management, enabling businesses to keep expenditure and income records, which can be utilized in coming up with sound financial decisions.

It maybe seen as a trying task but the importance of accounting can never be overstated. This necessary process has resulted in the development of accounting software, which aid accountants and bookkeepers in recording and reporting business transactions. In the olden days, these tasks were done manually with the use of bulky ledgers and journals. Thanks to accounting solutions, these processes, along with reporting tasks are now automated, eliminating the need for the consolidation of manual entries.

With accounting software, these tasks were automated and costs and human errors were remarkably reduced, making them indispensable tools for just about any type and size of business. What’s very interesting is that accounting platforms are now being used even by small businesses. These startups often need the basic functionalities that most of these platforms share.

accounting software for small business

So what should small businesses look for in such an app? For starters, ease-of-use, integration and security should be taken into consideration. However, what counts most is the pricing. As most of these players are on a tight budget, we recommend that they subscribe to a cloud-based solution as they provide customized processes, integrations and pricing flexibility.

These benefits, coupled with the demand for accounting automation have resulted in the growth of the global accounting software market. However, this market is forecast to further expand at a CAGR of over 6% from 2017 through 2021. The continuously rising demand for financial process modernization is seen to fuel this growth.

Another notable market trend is the increased use of mobile accounting applications, which have features such as payment acceptance, invoice distribution, receipt tracking and budget planning, to name a few. Although an emerging trend, businesses have yet to overcome the challenge of choosing the right solution as few of these tools are available on Mac despite supporting Android devices.

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In this article, we will present the 20 best accounting software for small business as determined by our experts. Their features, benefits and pricing will be discussed. The rankings do not necessarily mean that one platform is better than the other and should not be construed as such. Here are our picks:


First on our list of 20 best accounting software for small business is an accounting solution known for making financial management an easy undertaking. FreshBooks helps users address recurring invoices and subscription easily. It supports online payment collection via credit cards, PayPal and Google Checkout. This piece of software integrates seamlessly with known business applications, allowing for streamlined processes. As it is a complete suite, the need for additional software is eliminated, providing users with absolute control over their financial operations all from a single dashboard. For its out-of-the-box core accounting features and flexible pricing, FreshBooks is our Best Best Accounting Software in 2017. You can easily check its features with no commitment when you sign up for FreshBooks free trial here.

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 2017

To make the app even better, the vendor saw to it that its latest version as advanced functionalities to further improve the financial management capabilities of users. Its dashboard makes for easy customization while data security is not an issue as secure backups are regularly implemented to keep user information secure at all times. Charges are bound to be accurate using the system, which likewise allows the use of Android and iOS apps to track outside work times.

FreshBooks can be purchased in a variety of pricing models starting at $15/month. 

What’s unique about FreshBooks?

  1. Simpler but powerful solution.
    The latest version of FreshBooks is designed to be simpler but advanced features were incorporated in the platform. A sleek interface now comes with the software and collaboration among team members is now promoted, resulting in higher work quality.
  2. Mobile optimized.
    FreshBooks comes with mobile add-ons for devices running on Android and iOS, enabling users to access information anytime, anywhere.
  3. Online payment.
    The tool’s time tracking capability is designed for use in billing, enabling businesses to get paid online through a variety of payment gateways.
  4. Impeccable invoice to payment.
    For small business, FreshBooks offers invoice to payment functionalities. Users can pinpoint the exact location where a customer opened an invoice email, very useful in catching customers who say the invoice never got to them.
  5. Billing history management
    The platform hosts features that allow for the tracking of both past and current invoices. Unpaid invoices can be pulled out instantly using this functionality.

2. Sage 50cloud

Sage 50cloud is an online accounting solution designed to help small and medium-sized businesses manage their financials and stay compliant with taxes and reporting requirements. It comes with all essential features expected of a best-in-class accounting platform such as taxes, inventory, budgeting, cash flow, and invoicing. In addition, you get a wide range of add-ons including credit card processing, HR/payroll, POS, e-commerce, data management and more.  With its mobile capability, you can make payments on-the-go and bill customers, and provide your accountants real-time access to accounting books. You can easily sign up for a Sage 50cloud free trial here and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.

A distinctive attribute of the accounting platform is that it combines the robust feature set of a desktop tool with the accessibility of the cloud. This hybrid set up 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.

Sage 50cloud offers three pricing plans starting at $44.97/month. It also has a 60-day risk-free, money-back guarantee.

What’s unique about Sage 50cloud?

  1. Powerful & convenient hybrid solution.
    It gives you extreme flexibility by combining the power of desktop software and the convenience of the cloud with an array of 50 features to manage your financial business operations and requirements.
  2. Bank-level protection.
    You’ll have your finances safe and secure with screen-level user access and bank-level online protection to keep your critical information safe.
  3. Designed for SMBs.
    With its enterprise-grade features, the software is kept affordable and within reach of small and medium-sized businesses, making it the accounting solution of choice by over 7 million customers in 23 countries.
  4. Accounting made easy.
    You don’t have to be an accountant to organize your business and get ready for tax season with its built-in checks and balances to ensure your financials are accurate and are available anytime and anywhere for you and your accountant.
  5. Training & support.
    Explore the Sage University for on-demand learning topics and comprehensive instructor-led classes. You also get 24/7 access to support articles and other resources from a comprehensive knowledge base.

3. FreeAgent

FreeAgent is a feature-rich, cloud-hosted accounting platform intended to help small businesses and freelancers. It is relied upon by more than 60,000 businesses with its ability to bring together and manage all aspects of financial operations. The software comes with an array of tools designed to let you efficiently manage all important financial tasks and processes such as payrolls, taxes, expenses, estimates and invoices, bank transactions, cash flows, time tracking, and your project’s financial performance.

The software allows you to create, send, and track invoices; monitor expenses by simply taking a photo of your receipt and uploading it to the system; keep time records using a built-in stopwatch; and link to bank accounts with transactions imported automatically into the platform. The dashboard gives you full visibility over your business’ income, cash flows, expenses, profitability, and receivables.

FreeAgent also provides seamless connectivity as it allows you to associate it with all of your bank accounts, or move numbers in and out with few clicks through its integration capability. In fact, it integrates with over two dozen third-party apps and services and supports more than 750 add-ons with Zapier.

Adding to its small business friendly appeal is its low-cost pricing available in one universal plan of $10/month for 6 months, then just $20/month afterward.

The vendor also offers a great free trial plan that lets you try out all the key features. You can easily sign up for FreeAgent free trial here.

What is unique about FreeAgent

  1. Built for small business. The software is designed for small businesses as well as contractors and freelancers, providing them with all the accounting and financial tools they need.
  2. Intuitive navigation. Known as “Overview”, the dashboard features a sleek and modern interface that displays all important data and provides quick access to your invoices, projects, estimates, and timeslips.
  3. Advanced expense management. Small businesses can take advantage of an advanced tool normally reserved for more expensive solutions. You can have all expenses categorized by currency, linked to specific projects and activities, tracked, and documented once the invoice is paid.
  4. Facilitated payments. FreeAgent has enabled payments directly into the system, letting you attach links to all internationally applied payment systems in the invoicing templates.
  5. Expense tracking. The solution gives you the capability to track your businesses’ expenses with the use of bank feeds and imported bank statements as well as attach expenses to individual projects when billing customers.

4. Zoho Books

Zoho Books is a smart accounting solution designed to manage small businesses’ cash flow and finances. It is known for its ease-of-use, helping users make intelligent business decisions. Being a part of the Zoho product stable, the product does not only offer hassle-free accounting but excellent support, uptime, and security as well. It is capable of sending customers professional invoices and even accepting payments online. If you want to explore its features signing up for a free Zoho Books free trial here is fast.

The platform is not just handy, it is also powerful, giving users absolute control over financial management. It has a myriad of useful features such as P and L, cash flow statements and balance sheets creation, to name a few. The dashboard is pleasant to the eyes and is able to display financial overviews and graphs. Aside from these, the solution is also capable of streamlining other back-office functions.

Zoho Books can be purchased in different pricing plans, starting at $9/organization per month. But if you want to take it for a spin first, a free trial is available.

What is unique about Zoho Books?

  1. Automatic bank feeds
    Zoho Books imports all credit card and bank transactions, eliminating the need for manual data entry. These data are likewise categorized in accordance with bank rules.
  2. Automatic payment notifications
    Users can come up with messages for clients, reminding them to pay on time and set their frequency that is convenient to both parties.
  3. Customer engagement
    The app’s collaboration functionalities engage customers by making them feel that they are part of the payment process. This is done by providing clients with access to their invoices and estimates and allowing them to directly make payments online.
  4. Invoice distribution and tracking
    The system helps users in the collection of prepayments and retainers. Invoices can be pulled off for individual estimates. Offline payments can be recorded and even linked to selected invoices and projects.
  5. Project management and tracking
    Simply entering the time spent on projects into the system allows Zoho Books to record the expenses incurred on projects and invoice customers.

5. QuickBooks Online

Quickbooks Online is an accounting solution specifically targeted at small businesses and freelancers as it simplifies the most complex accounting processes. It has become a popular tool among accountants, bookkeepers, small business owners, and finance officers. For up to five users, all the app’s features can be accessed. However, functionalities are limited for packages with an unlimited number of users. To learn more about this software and see if it matches your needs, you can easily sign up for a QuickBooks Online free trial here.

The software automatically syncs business profiles to a single dashboard, where multiple users can view reports and corporate accounts. It is capable of generating profit and loss and trade sheets, invoices and billing, all which are accessible via mobile devices. Custom reports and feeds can likewise be created from the dashboard. Popular integrations include Quickbooks Online Payroll and Intuit GoPayment.

The app is being offered in a variety of pricing schemes, starting at $18/month. A free trial is available to those who want to try the software’s features first.

What’s unique about Quickbooks Online?

  1. Accounts management
    The app provides users with access to accounting information and allows for the creation, editing, sharing and duplication of the same with relevant parties.
  2. Online accessibility
    Users can log in to the system wherever there is Internet access without the need for any additional software. Creation of customizable feeds and charts can also be accomplished.
  3. Security and backups
    All accounting information is securely stored in the cloud. These can be accessed and exported to Excel spreadsheets.
  4. Support and upgrades
    All subscription packages come with support from the time of set up. Regular updates and upgrades are also provided.

6. Xero

Xero is an accounting software that is largely known for having revolutionized accounting. Developed to provide the best user experience possible, the solution is easy to use, making tough accounting tasks like double bookkeeping simple even for first-time users. For those who require a bookkeeper, the vendor offers certified advisors who are more than willing to assist them. The platform has gained traction in countries like the UK, US, Australia, and Europe. It comes with integrations with known third-party applications and accounting tools and the software’s Express Setup feature makes set up a breeze. You can maximize the product’s potential with the assistance of its help center.

Xero comes in different pricing models beginning with its Starting plan, which can be purchased for $25/month. A Premium package, which can handle complex accounting tasks such as invoices, bills, quotes, and multi-currency transactions is also available. But if you want to give it a try first, you can avail of a 30-day free trial.

What is unique about Xero?

  1. Easy setup
    One does not need to render overtime or undergo complicated training to set up Xero. Once all needed data are uploaded into the system, the software takes care of all transactions and contacts, all from a single page.
  2. Inventory/stock management
    The platform also doubles as an inventory and stock management tool, allowing it to process and run payrolls and adjust taxes for more than 20 states. It can create comprehensive possession records, which can be automatically be utilized in every transaction.
  3. Transactions made easy
    The transaction forms that the system generates provide users with richer transaction experiences. For example, editing of purchase files is possible with the ready-made templates that Xero provides, resulting in more personalized documents.
  4. Robust financial reporting
    Xero offers users financial reporting that effectively puts all activities’ impact in a nutshell. This can be done by filling filters for items for inclusion.

7. Wave

A free business suite that offers accounting, receipt scanning and invoicing capabilities, Wave is ideal for small businesses who employ less than 10 workers. It also works for entrepreneurs, freelancers, consultants, and other self-employed professionals. The app is easy to set up and even easier to operate owing to its simple dashboard, which has everything you need for your financial management processes.

The platform makes simple work of all invoicing and accounting processes, eliminating the hassles of expense monitoring, payments handling and employee and tax management. With Wave, you can generate and send estimates, receipts and professional-looking invoices in an instant.

As said earlier, Wave comes absolutely for free. However, the vendor offers pay-as-you-go payment plans for credit card processing and payroll services in selected countries. Contact the vendor for details.

What’s unique about Wave?

  1. Free software
    The solution comes for free and is therefore suitable for small businesses and startups.
  2. Easy invoice creation
    Users can create beautiful invoices, receipts and estimates very easily. Monitoring of invoice and payment status is also possible.
  3. Income/expense tracking simplified
    Using the software, income and expense tracking is simplified. Receipt scanning tools and bank links are also available, eliminating the need for manual data entry.
  4. Automated billing/invoicing
    The system automates the billing and invoicing creation process, saving users precious time. Recurring bills and invoices are also addressed.
  5. Online payment
    Users can pay their teams from virtually anywhere by using online pay stubs. Direct deposits are also supported

8. OnPay

A total payroll solution known for its ease-of-use, OnPay is highly-designed for small to medium-size businesses. This cloud-deployed software has the ability to streamline your payroll processes while automating tax filing and payment. You can enter payment data like tips, hours, bonuses and reimbursements easily. It can likewise manage benefits such as compensation insurance (for pay-as-you-go workers), health insurance and 401(k).

The platform offers unlimited payroll runs for W-2 workers and 1099 contract workers. You can pay workers using a check or via direct deposit, for which you must pass a risk assessment. OnPay handles all your payroll tax needs. It can compute state and federal payroll taxes, manage filing of tax forms, withholding and tax payments. What makes it even better is that the vendor guarantees accuracy by taking responsibility for any tax filing errors committed by the product.

OnPay is being sold in a simple pricing plan, with the first month free of charge. The basic fee is pegged at $36/month for online payroll. Every user (workers/contractors) is charged $4/month, which is added to the base fee.

What’s unique about OnPay?

  1. Employee management
    The software enables employees to enter their own personal information, edit them and even retrieve their individual tax forms and pay stubs, saving businesses valuable time.
  2. Streamlined payroll
    OnPay allows for unlimited pay runs, letting businesses run payrolls at no added cost. Pay run corrections and cancellations are also allowed.
  3. Improved payroll compliance
    The product takes care of all IRS and state requirements during payroll runs. It computes, pays and fills all needed tax forms.
  4. HR process management
    OnPay helps users in all aspects of their payroll processes by allowing them to store documents and take notes. This advanced note-taking feature comes with an image and document attachment capability. Access to an online HR library that houses templates for employee handbooks is also provided.
  5. Health insurance benefits management
    As OnPay is available nationwide, health insurance benefits are easily managed. Licensed insurance brokers are ready to assist users in better understanding these benefits.

9. QuickBooks

A very popular accounting platform, QuickBooks is capable of tracking customers and vendors and is able to automatically manage all relevant banking processes. It has a lot of organizational features that are very useful in managing accounting information such as payable bills, contact data, overdue items, and common accounting tasks. The solution makes payment so much easier with its Pay Now link, which can be connected to customers and vendors’ credit cards or bank accounts.

QuickBooks can come up with reports on a business’ profits and losses, with a few clicks from users, allowing them to stay on top of their game. 24/7 premium support is also provided by competent personnel while adoption of high-security standards help protect information. Upgrades are always available at no extra charge and can be availed easily. To make the product even better, the vendor has introduced smart search filters and automated reporting.

QuickBooks is available in a variety of pricing models. The Freelancer version comes for $5/month. The Small Business plan is available for $7/month. An Essentials plan can be purchased for $17/month, while the Plus plan is priced at $25/month.

What’s unique about QuickBooks Pro?

  1. More organized accounting
    The software is capable of organizing businesses’ accounting data, including overdue items, contact information, payables and common accounting processes.
  2. Easier payment
    QuickBooks Pro’s PayNow feature makes payment a lot easier as it can be linked to clients and vendors’ bank accounts and credit cards.
  3. Profit/loss reporting
    Reports on corporate profits or losses can be generated in moments. This allows businesses to have an idea of how their organization is performing financially.
  4. Support and security
    With QuickBooks, users are assured that all their data are secure as the system complies with high security standards. Premium support is also available 24/7 to those who have issues about the product.
  5. Free upgrades
    The vendors provide constant upgrades absolutely for free. These are easily available to all users.

10. Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct is a cloud-based financial management platform that houses cloud computing and accounting in a single tool. The product’s apps are used by a wide array of businesses as they are preferred for AICPA business solutions. Designed to improve business performance and financial productivity, Sage Intacct is being offered by many accounting firms and resellers to their clientele.

Core product functionalities such as accounting, cash management, purchasing, subscription billing, and financial consolidation are present. Easier information entry and error minimization are possible with the platform’s general ledger. The system can cut down income losses and is able to effectively control margins and costs. Computing for currency difference is much easier using the solution as it offers multi-currency support. In addition, it can streamline compliance by automating sales tax management.

Sage Intacct is available in different pricing plans starting at $400/month.

What’s unique about Sage Intacct?

  1. Solid reputation
    Recognized by the AICPA as a top provider of financial-related apps, Sage Intacct has been helping accounting professionals make sound decisions using key statistics and figures as a basis.
  2. Highly-scalable pricing
    Although the software is marketed starting at $400, the vendor offers optional features for additional fees. Aside from this, users can avail of an interactive demo and a webinar introduction.
  3. Robust accounting features
    Data entry is easier and time-saving with the system’s general ledger. It likewise minimizes inaccuracies in financial reporting. The product can significantly lower losses and boost cost and margin control.
  4. Customized reporting
    With its pre-made report templates, users can utilize balance sheets in analyzing performance and sales tracking. You can simplify financial reporting using your presentations’ needs as a basis.
  5. Fast payment processing
    The platform offers highly-secure and speedy credit card and bills processing. It can work seamlessly with online sellers’ websites by streamlining their processes.

11. ADP Workforce Now

This web-based human resource management software automates virtually all HR processes, including employee benefits, holidays and payroll management, all from a single dashboard. It likewise can generate reports which can be used in coming up with valuable business insights. The app assists staff in managing and coordinating HR functions by providing them with additional user permissions.

ADP Workforce Now’s key features include talent, benefits and payroll management and time and attendance keeping. It has a benefits plan creation wizard, which can be set up depending on a company’s on-boarding procedures. Benefits management functionalities are compliant with IRS reporting rules while its dashboard can be used to view all reporting statuses. Support for devices running on Android and iOS means that the solution can be accessed anytime anywhere.

ADP Workforce Now’s pricing plans are not publicly disclosed. You will have to contact the vendor for a price quote.

What’s unique about ADP Workforce Now?

  1. Payroll and HR management
    Using a single dashboard, ADP Workforce Now can coordinate businesses workforce management efforts. It helps in managing benefits, payroll, commissions, bonuses, talent, time and attendance and employee health statistics.
  2. Mobile optimization
    The platform can be accessed from mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones via apps for iOs and Android. These apps are totally synced with the system’s dashboard, providing a clear view of statistics and reports.
  3. Analytics and cloud storage
    Using the solution, analytics can be displayed in real-time, allowing users to come up with customized spreadsheets, charts, graphs, and reports. As it is web-based, hosting is likewise in the offing, along with constant security backups and server audits.
  4. Reliable support
    Expert support teams are regularly on standby to help users manage their workforce, through a variety of flexible service options.
  5. Easy payroll and tax filing
    The platform effectively reduces administrative errors and duties using real-time payroll computations. Users can also enlist the services of compliance professionals.

12. Tipalti

Tipalti is a cloud-based payment automation and management software that is known for helping businesses accurately meet deadlines. The solution helps solve problems that include non-compliance, late payments, administrative overload and complications arising from human error. Time spent on financial management is significantly decreased, solving one of the biggest problems facing accounting teams.

Aside from those mentioned, the software can automate any business’ payment operations around the world, which could range from tasks like onboarding to tax compliance. It is capable of streamlining payment processing in around 190 countries. Using the product, businesses can rest assured that they are compliant with all existing tax and regulatory requirements minus too much human intervention. Customer and vendor payment experiences are likewise improved, along with service quality.

Tipalti is available on a price quote basis. Interested parties can contact the vendor to get a customized quote.

What’s unique about Tipalti?

  1. Automated payment
    The system automates around 50% of all payment processes in 190 countries. It’s a leading solution for payment reconciliation, financial reporting, and AP. It normalizes data over a wide array of payment gateways.
  2. Payment facilitation
    The software makes payment easier than one can imagine. Users can pay across 190 countries, 120 currencies and 6 payment methods. It has an advanced payment configuration, providing a myriad of financial controls.
  3. Tax compliance
    The app collects W-9 and W-8 tax forms to be able to withhold payment for non-compliant payees. This allows for the prevention of payment to terrorists, money launderers and similar parties. In addition, the software creates forms with ease while computing for the right tax.
  4. Advanced Reporting
    The product has an excellent payment reporting system, generating accurate payment reconciliation reports. This is done with minimal intervention from managers.

13. FinancialForce Accounting

Known for its ease-of-use, FinancialForce Accounting for Salesforce is a robust accounting software that is highly recommended for small and large businesses. As it is cloud-based users are bound to boost operational efficiency at very minimal cost. A key feature is the Salesforce Accounting application, which is capable of doing tasks far beyond bookkeeping and processing transactions.

The product seamlessly integrates with Salesforce CRM, enabling users to work with the use of a singular platform, resulting in an efficient and consistent financial system. Aside from having a multidimensional chart of accounts, the app supports multi-company and multi-currency transactions. It automates expense and invoice approvals via authorization workflow and is capable of setting credit terms and limits. Other notable functionalities include invoice creation, cash management, ordering and billing

FinancialForce comes in a variety of modules, all of which are priced on a quote basis. You have to contact the vendor to get a quote.

What is unique about FinancialForce Accounting?

  1. General ledger
    FinancialForce can handle multi-company and multi-currency transactions and has a flexible chart of accounts. It can facilitate costs transfer between companies and business units via its intercompany journal. Accruals can be performed and budgets computed with its automatic reversing journals.
  2. Electronic invoicing and payment processing
    The software automates approvals for invoices and expenses via workflow authorization. Credit limits and terms can likewise be set through vendor accounts. Vendor payments can be made through checks or electronic transfer and invoice creation is automated through electronic invoicing and document templates.
  3. Cash management
    FinancialForce can predict cash flows and needs and is capable of setting up multiple bank accounts in a variety of currencies. Receipts can be recorded from customers and one-off payments issued to clients. Users can reconcile bank statements automatically and record bank interest and charges.
  4. Easy billing
    The platform can pull an invoice from any Salesforce CRM activity, create a singular invoice with a number of installment payment schedules. Recurring invoices can be set up and accounting entries generated.
  5. Ordering and invoicing
    Orders can be created from Salesforce with a single click. Invoices can also be generated automatically from approved orders.

14. Dayforce HCM

Cloud-based Dayforce HCM is a workforce management, tax, payroll, analytics, benefits, talent management, HR management, and document management solution. Providing businesses with real-time human capital management data, the platform offers a single user experience by consolidating all HCM processes.

The software can be utilized in managing core HR processes like payroll, benefits administration, and onboarding, among many others. This web-based tool is highly-flexible and compatible with all popular browsers. It allows employees to check on all transactions and information related to their work. Managers can use the app to get pertinent information across all existing departments and applications. Errors and redundancies are minimized as the product makes use of a single record for each employee.

Dayforce HCM’s pricing plans are not publicly disclosed. You will have to contact the vendor for a price quote.

What’s unique about Dayforce HCM?

  1. Employee self-service
    Dayforce HCM allows employees to check transactions and information related to their job descriptions while managers get to have access to reports with analytics. Important data can also get across departments and applications using the app.
  2. Tax and payroll management
    Users can rely on the vendor’s experts for assistance in tax filings, garnishments and other payroll-related matters. Multi-currency and multi-language support is also in the offer.
  3. HR platform integration
    The product can integrate seamlessly with other HR management applications.

15. Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense is an accounting solution that is capable of making expense reporting and tracking far simpler. It can automate many expense management tasks while making a record of all financial transactions. With this piece of software, receipts can be converted into expenses, collated, from which reports can be generated.

The platform can likewise capture expenses from credit card transactions, a very useful feature. It can be accessed at any given time and place as it runs on any device. Problems arising from spending limits and expenditures that are permissible are minimized, resulting in compliance and enforcement of companies’ spending policies. Popular integrations include Zoho Books and Zoho CRM, which allow users to utilize a single account for all tools.

Zoho Expense can be purchased at a single price model of $15/month. However, if more functionalities are required, contact the vendor for a customized quote.

What is unique about Zoho Expense?

  1. Easy recording
    Zoho Expense can easily record all company expenses in real time, saving users valuable time. It allows for the syncing of credit card transactions, which can be accessed automatically. The smallest yet relevant detail can be included in such records.
  2. Expense reports
    The solution can review and approve expense reports with the click of a mouse. Users are categorized as approvers, administrators and submitters, who play different roles in the system’s operations.
  3. Integration with other Zoho products
    The system is ideal for users of Zoho’s productivity suite as it works well with Zoho CRM and Zoho Invoice.

16. Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Cloud-based accounting and invoicing management platform Sage Business Cloud Accounting is designed to cater to small businesses. Its core functionalities include accounting, compliance and expense management. What sets Sage Business Cloud Accounting apart from its sister app Sage 50c is that the former is an add-on service that allows for the integration of the latter to the cloud, resulting in cloud storage and accessibility for all your accounting data. This combination makes Sage Business Cloud Accounting better than ever.

The system’s graphs, dashboards, and transaction overviews offer users a vivid idea of how their business is doing anytime, anywhere. It can generate histories of purchases and sales and bank statement imports, which is very useful in managing cash flow. The app can be accessed via smartphones, giving users a real-time view of customer data and letting them record notes at any given time.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting is being offered in two pricing models, starting at $30/month. If you want to give its functionalities a try first, a free trial is available.

What’s unique about Sage Business Cloud Accounting?

  1. Accounting tool for small businesses
    Sage Business Cloud Accounting is targeted at small businesses, allowing them to manage all tasks related to accounting. It helps users manage payment processes like estimates, invoicing and price quotations. It also comes at flexible pricing terms, making it ideal for businesses on a tight budget.
  2. Cloud storage and accessibility
    The app’s integration with Sage 50c provides it with cloud storage capability and gives users access to all accounting data
  3. Robust features from a single dashboard
    The platform makes users’ accounting information all available from its dashboard, keeping them informed on receivables and cash flows.
  4. Tax management
    Sage Business Cloud Accounting also serves as a tax management tool, able to calculate taxes accurately based on transaction information. It can forecast cash flow, allowing users to estimate cash requirements.
  5. Mobile optimization
    The platform comes with Android and iOS apps, which can be used in the creation of invoices, expense recording and in viewing graphs reflecting businesses’ performance. Integration with third-party apps is also possible.

17. ECount ERP

A cloud-based enterprise resource planning platform, ECount ERP is designed to let you manage your sales, production, accounting, HR and purchasing processes from a single dashboard. It is popular for aiding businesses in implementing and maintaining ERP systems while minimizing costs, making it ideal for small to medium-size businesses.

As the system is cloud-based, all its features and functionalities can be accessed from any device. It is easy to set up, without the need for additional hardware or software. It caters to specific users with a variety of customization options. The accounting module, which is a key feature of the platform allows users to manage processes like accounts receivable/payable, cash flow and cost accounting, among many others.

ECount ERP is being offered in a single enterprise pricing plan of $55/month or $600 per year. For those who want to give it a try first, a free trial is available.

What’s unique about ECount ERP?

  1. Accessibility and easy setup
    ECount ERP can be accessed anytime, anywhere through any device. Setup is easy, requiring no additional hardware.
  2. Powerful modules
    ECount ERP is made up of six distinct modules–Accounting, Purchasing, Sales, Inventory, Manufacturing and Business.
  3. Accounting capabilities
    With these, the software can manage accounts receivables/payables, cash flow projects and cost accounting.
  4. Manufacturing tool
    The platform’s manufacturing component sees to it that production is implemented within estimated costs and schedules, resulting in timely and cost-efficient project completions.
  5. Sales platform
    ECount ERP’s sales module helps users in managing sales activities more accurately. Greater transparency in sales processes is therefore achieved.

18. Spendesk

Spendesk equips businesses and organizations with a set of tools for efficient company expense management and monitoring. Controlling company budget is easily done by allocating a fixed amount of money to an employee’s virtual card and accordingly records all transaction details in real-time, allowing for easy spend monitoring and preventing unwanted overspending.

Storing receipts and inputting purchase details are no longer necessary as it keeps track of all purchase information. Because of this, users will no longer have to be burdened with lost receipts and documents for expense reconciliation. It profiles and categorizes all purchase records as well for easy auditing and reporting.

What’s unique about Spendesk?

  1. No manual data entry
    It automatically captures all essential details per transaction, such as the date, venue, total amount, and other information. 
  2. Controlled budget
    The management can easily define a custom budget per employee to prevent instances of overspending.
  3. Automated data capture
    Users will no longer have to fret about storing their purchase records such as receipts and tickets. All spend information is automatically recorded, allowing for simplified bookkeeping, auditing, and reporting. 

19. EasyForm Expense Management

Built for small businesses to enterprises, EasyForm Expense Management provides users with an easy way to control, track, and manage their expenditures to enhance their bottom line. This online expense tracking and management solution paints a clear picture of all expenses through complete visibility on expense records and various reporting tools, such as category and split reports.

With EasyForm Expense Management, employees will no longer have to physically submit expense reports. Users can take a snapshot of their receipts and easily upload them alongside their expense claims. Thereafter, managers can quickly approve or reject expense claims based on acquired data and audits. The software also utilizes GPS technology for reconciling travel-related expenses by tracking distance traveled during a business trip. Its travel intelligence capability also provides useful insights into how to better optimize one’s cost and spend.

What’s unique about EasyForm Expense Management?

  1. Location intelligence
    Keep tabs on an employee’s whereabouts without hounding their backs. The software leverages the power of GPS to get precise data on their location. Geofencing can also be used so you can be alerted when an employee goes out of their intended destination. 
  2. Online submissions
    Employees can take a photo of receipts with their mobile devices and upload these alongside their expense claims. Basically, employees no longer have to waste time printing reports and physically submitting them to their managers.
  3. Streamlined approvals
    Managers are able to easily track and audit expense claims digitally, thus, this leads to faster approvals.
  4. Detailed reports
    The platform provides users with a builder tool for Excel and PDF reports. It also provides real-time reporting capabilities where you can display the data via bar charts and other visuals for easier comprehension. 

20. myBooks Online Accounting Software

myBooks Online Accounting Software comes equipped with all the essential features for small businesses that are looking to manage their accounting processes at an affordable price. This web-based accounting application has a few automation capabilities to speed up one’s workflow, including automating conversions for foreign currencies and automatically displaying bank feeds on your dashboard. myBooks Online Accounting software supports multi-currency transactions, which essentially eliminates the intricacies attached to foreign exchange processes. Moreover, it features an enterprise-grade security to safeguard your financial data from external threats.

Those that are looking to kickstart their business can take advantage of myBook’s free version, which comes with limited features. It offers straightforward subscription plans for businesses that have thousands of monthly transactions, purchase orders, and contacts. 

What’s unique about myBooks Online Accounting?

  1. Ease-of-use
    This solution is easy to use and allows users to quickly learn and understand how to utilize its accounting tools.
  2. Multi-currency
    It is able to automatically process credit cards and bank transactions, regardless of the currency used. 
  3. Automated bank feeds
    Once you connect the software to your bank accounts, it can automatically send you bank feeds that are easily viewable from within your dashboard. 

So there you have it our top 20 accounting software for small business for 2018, but if you’re a Mac user and would like to know what options are available to you, check out this top 20 accounting software guide for Mac. Every product has its own strengths and weaknesses, but one is bound to suit your business.

Category: B2B News


  • Sarina Mandal says:

    I enjoy using Wave Accounting. I started with them and then moved to QB Online and then went back to Wave Accounting. It has improved a lot over 5 years, I highly recommend it!

  • Ginny West says:

    As a freelance accountant I’d say it is not as easy to take advantage of SMB tools as their vendors like to put it. As a matter of fact, I’ve tried several of those myself, but still had to work around them to make sense of my data, and they didn’t get much further than spreadsheets, to be honest. Does any of these systems actually fit sole accountants?

    • Alex says:

      You are right to assume that accounting technology designed for freelance and corporate use is rarely the same, and without knowing this, it is more than likely to end up paying for features one doesn’t need. The good news is that You, as a sole accountant, are not excluded from the best-in-breed accounting landscape!

      Many of the systems we’ve reviewed are just cut for freelancers, with configurable billing & invoicing, automated tax calculations, integration with all major banks, and of course – reports and metrics that comply with your needs. A large portion of them are also extremely affordable, but so that you stay on the safe side, we recommend you to look exclusively at online and cloud-hosted technology. Pick natively integrated systems instead of hiring a developer to build software connections from scratch, and pay attention to scalability so that your prospective system can handle sudden workload spikes.

      At this point, you shouldn’t exclude any of the products discussed in this list, but rather compare their features in detail to determine which one works the best for you. We’d probably hit off with FreshBooks or Wave, as they both offer a no-commitment freemium plan, and you can check whether they fit without investing in them.

  • Malcolm Fariz says:

    We are running a local gardening service business, and weren’t exactly lucky picking up a standalone billing service. We looked mostly at tools with multiple levels of service, but we couldn’t find an SMB-friendly plan that automates accounts payable. Pay-as-you-go was not an option either, as we’re working more or less with the same clients. Which system would you suggest?

    • Alex says:

      It is exactly SMB-friendly accounting systems that invest the most in efficient billing & invoicing technology, as larger companies are usually looking at tools they can integrate with their bank service providers, and handle payments from their original accounts. The challenge is, as you noticed, to get a standalone and restrictions-free product, or at least one where you don’t have to pay recurring fees each time you cross a predetermined limit.

      Looking up the list, we’d probably begin with Wave – their billing & invoicing services may not have the bells & whistles QuickBooks does, and you may not be able to infuse that much branding material in your docs, but they’ll get the job done for free. Zoho Books is the next-to-the-best service, as it lets you bill 25 clients for as much as $9 a month. FreshBooks, QuickBooks, and Xero are slightly more expensive (pricing starts at $15) and restrict their low-tier package to a smaller number of billed clients, but they will suit you perfectly if you want to customize and categorize invoices, and to report on your billing activity.

      Note that all five providers on this list offer a free trial of their product, and you can test them in advance to pick the right solution for your needs.

  • Rudy Ramirez says:

    Frankly, I’d think twice before entrusting financial data to a free-to-use service, probably even the freemium ones you mentioned. To make my point clear, I have nothing against cloud-based technology, in fact I could not imagine doing business without my smartphone, but when it comes to financials I still vote for local hosting. No bad experience with these solutions though, the choice’s up on you!

    • Alex says:

      You are absolutely right to believe that sensitive information must only be entrusted to reputed and premium providers. However, the affordability of a system and the safeguarding of customer data are not mutually exclusive, as this is how all vendors turn first time users into loyal clients.

      Security matters are among our prioritized criteria when comparing and listing suggestions, and they played a role when picking the 5 products above. They all use bank-grade data encryption technology and comply with leading safety regulations, and will assume full responsibility on eventual safety breaches as soon as you become their client. With data being hosted in cloud, and accessible only with valid credentials, you won’t risk losing it even if something happens to your device. With locally hosted solutions, however, you will need a dedicated team to work around your security network, and to keep an eye 24/7 to prevent a crash or an intruder.

      Plus, most of these systems offer additional security layers to be managed on your behalf, including 2-factor authentication, role-based access, audit logs, and a historical overview on all changes being made to your data.

      • Amanda says:

        I am using Xero for three years already, and I never encountered a security issue. I’ve logged in from several devices, and each time I got a unique code sent to my mobile phone to access the account, there is no way to get around that. From what I know, they are also backing up data on several locations, so I see no reason for you not to consider it.

  • Ferrin L Harker says:

    Which of the five systems analyzed supports a manufacturing environment best?

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