Every business must focus on accounting and bookkeeping to be financially healthy. They will need to have meticulous records for tax purposes, budgeting, payroll, and to produce financial statements required for financial uses. Though it is highly recommended that you hire a professional accountant or bookkeeper (or both), many small businesses cannot afford to do so and must utilize accounting and bookkeeping software.
Most software dedicated to business accounting and bookkeeping is practical and useful. Some are better than others. The software may be superior in quality or function, or it may be better because it is lower cost or more user friendly. Whatever the reason, here are the best five accounting and bookkeeping software and their key features to help you decide which is best for you and your business.
Quickbooks by Intuit is perhaps the best known and most used in this list. Despite this, it may not be what every small business needs. Quickbooks is widely considered the best overall accounting and bookkeeping software, but this means its price tag is a bit more than other effective software in this category. It can be purchased for a one-time expense for the desktop version, or it can be purchased through a monthly subscription for the portable cloud-based version.
The desktop version is compatible with all computer types; however, the cloud-based version is not compatible with Mac computers at this time. It is expected it will eventually work for all users in both versions.
Xero is a fantastic and easy to use cloud-first accounting and bookkeeping software. It has over 600 integrations meant to help business owners with basic accounting, payroll, inventory, and much more. One of its advantages is that it is a cloud-based software compatible with the Mac making it an ideal software for those Mac users who want cloud-based accounting software. One of Xero’s most remarkable functions is a money and time tracking component that will analyze real-time costs for a project using this function.
Zoho Books is one of the more user-friendly accounting and bookkeeping software on this list. This software includes easy to read dashboards and graphs that are straightforward as far as any user would be concerned. Because it is simple, it doesn’t include some of the features of Quickbooks. Still, if your business doesn’t have payroll or heavy inventory, it is perfect, and the price tag reflects the simplicity. Some of the excellent features it includes are automated payment reminders for your business accounts payable and receivable. It also has some features for project management and smaller inventories. While it is less expensive than other software, the monthly fee will vary depending on the features you choose to include in your package.
Wave is a free accounting and bookkeeping software that offers only basic personal and business accounting and bookkeeping features. This software was developed with the sole proprietor or freelance businesses, as it has no features to deal with heavy business accounting. It does do the job if you need a simple software and doesn’t have it in your budget to purchase something with more functions
FreshBooks is similar to Wave in that it has limited accounting features and was developed with the freelance or sole-proprietor business in mind. It does have a few more business-related features than Wave and includes a low monthly subscription fee, but it comes highly recommended by those business owners who use it as intended. It is simple in design, which keeps its user friendly for the sole proprietor.
Suppose you are a small business owner and cannot afford to hire an accountant or bookkeeper. In that case, you will need to implement accounting and bookkeeping software or risk financial issues that could destroy your small business. Consider your needs as a business owner and apply those needs to the information provided to help you decide which accounting and bookkeeping software are best for you and your business.