Organising your books, invoices and expenses as a small business is a tough gig. It can take hours of valuable time that you just don’t have. If you aren’t quite in the position to hire a dedicated accountant to take care of your business accounts for you, then there are options to save you time, money and sanity.
With technology at an all-time high, many people are opting for cloud-based applications. Cloud-based technologies allow for better integrations and easier overall management of your accounts. Integrating with bank accounts, Paypal accounts and the ability to simply take a picture of your purchase receipts all make for some pretty tidy features. A lot of the applications cater their accounting software for small businesses, giving you a better chance of finding one that will meet your needs.
A quick Google of accounting software will bring up a multitude of options however that will be quite overwhelming. So, we’ve done the hard part for you and taken out the overwhelm to bring you our top suggestions for off the shelf and cloud-based accounting software for your small business.
We’ll start straight up with what we think is the best FREE app on the market at the moment. If you are short on time, scroll to the bottom for our graph summary.
WAVE – Free
Wave has become very popular among small businesses and not just because it is free. It has very good invoicing features and the ability to upload your purchase receipt expenses via a single photo using optical character recognition. It integrates directly with your bank account and Paypal accounts and provides real-time account keeping. It does not give a straight Paypal option however to receive payments direct via Paypal. A way around this is to place your paypal.me link in the footer or notes section of your invoice and direct clients there. Overall, the interface is simple to use and for a free software app, you can’t look past this as a solution if you are a small start-up business.
ZOHO BOOKS – From $9 p/m
Zoho Books is great for sole trader or freelance businesses looking for a feature-filled accounting software system without the price tag. For $9 per month, it allows you to add up to 50 contacts, create invoices, track expenses and manage projects. It also has a track billable hours feature which is why it’s a good solution for service-based businesses.
XERO – From $9 p/m
One of our preferred virtual accounting systems, Xero offers all the usual features as well as payroll options for businesses with employees. Whilst you can get Xero for as little as $9 per month, we do recommend going the Standard package for $30 per month as you get unlimited everything and the payroll feature. If you are a Mac user, Xero is for you as it plays nicely with the Apple Mac set up.
INTUIT QUICKBOOKS – From $10 p/m
Quickbooks is another system both us and our clients use regularly. It’s a great accounting software for small businesses as it allows for electronic invoicing, time tracking and reports. Quickbooks invoicing is fully automated, so you can send your invoices and track them all in one place, meaning you get paid quicker. Being “accountant approved” there’s no need to show us the ropes when you had your account over to us!
FRESHBOOKS – From $15 p/m
This is another one you have probably seen advertised a bit lately. It is a very good accounting software if invoicing and keeping track of your expenses is your thing. With the ability to easily set up recurring payments, reminders and late fees, it will certainly help you get paid a lot quicker. These features are in the middle plan, but for $25 per month, it is certainly well worth the investment to improve cash flow.