The 8 Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses in 2024

Keeping your finances organized and having a clear picture of the financial health of your business is critical as a small business owner. The right accounting software can automate tasks, generate key insights, and save you time. In this post, we’ll compare the top 8 accounting software tools for small businesses this year based on features, ease of use, pricing, and more.

Accounting Software Options for Small Businesses

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is one of the most popular and user-friendly accounting software options. It’s feature-rich for all essential accounting needs of a small business. Features include invoicing, expense tracking, reporting, and integration with POS systems. Plans start at $25/month.

Pros: Very intuitive and easy to use, excellent reporting, seamless integrations, strong mobile apps.

Cons: Customization is limited, pricier than some competitors.

Xero

Xero offers robust accounting software with a beautiful, modern interface. Features include billing and invoicing, expense claims, bank reconciliations, 300+ app integrations. Starter plans are $9/month.

Pros: User-friendly interface, unlimited users, excellent mobile apps.

Cons: Setup takes some accounting knowledge, reporting lacks customization.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is a cloud accounting solution designed for service-based small businesses. It excels at client invoicing, time tracking, expense management, and reporting. Plans start at $15/month.

Pros: Very simple to create and send invoices, excellent time tracking features.

Cons: Reporting functionality is limited compared to other options.

Wave

Wave is free accounting software that offers ample features for basic accounting needs. It includes invoicing, accounting, and expense tracking. There are also affordable paid upgrades for added features.

Pros: 100% free core software, easy to use, helpful for accounting basics.

Cons: Support options lacking for free version, limited reporting.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books offers affordable yet powerful accounting software for small businesses. Features include invoicing, inventory and order management, expense tracking, and visual reports. Plans start at $9/month.

Pros: Cost-effective, excellent inventory management tools.

Cons: Steep learning curve for the interface and advanced features.

Sage 50cloud

Sage 50cloud (formerly Peachtree) provides robust accounting capabilities for small to mid-sized businesses. It offers fixed assets, job costing, inventory, and deep reporting. Plans start at $42/month.

Pros: Powerful reporting, good for manufacturing and distribution businesses.

Cons: More complex than other options, expensive for limited features.

ZipBooks

ZipBooks is an inexpensive, web-based accounting option with mobile apps. Features include invoicing, expense tracking, reporting, and integrations. Plans start at $15/month with a $5/month starter.

Pros: Affordable pricing, especially for starters. Clean interface.

Cons: Reports are basic, limited inventory functionality.

Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense offers dedicated expense management for small businesses looking to simplify and control employee spending. Plans start at $9/month with helpful budgeting and reporting features.

Pros: Affordable, excellent for streamlining T&E spending.

Cons: No integration with full accounting suite (Zoho Books) unless on premium plan.

Evaluating Accounting Software for Your Small Business

  • Features – Make sure the software has all the essential accounting features you need like invoicing, expense tracking, reporting, etc. But don’t overbuy on advanced features you may not use.
  • Ease of Use – The software should have an intuitive interface and workflows that aren’t overly complex. Look for drag-and-drop simplicity.
  • Learning Curve – Opt for accounting software that you can pick up quickly via self-onboarding resources. Steep learning curves lead to frustration.
  • Mobile Apps – Having companion apps allows you to manage finances on-the-go. Check that apps are full-featured.
  • Customer Support – Look for responsive customer support via email, phone, live chat in case you need help.
  • Integrations – See what software integrations are offered to sync the accounting system with other business apps.
  • Scalability – Make sure the solution can grow with your evolving business needs over time.
  • Pricing – Compare pricing tiers to find the best value. Watch for hidden fees.
  • Security – Cloud-based software should have robust security like automatic data backups, SSL encryption.

With many solid accounting software options for small business, focus on your budget, primary needs, and ease of use. Take advantage of free trials to evaluate the interface and features firsthand before committing. Partnering with an accountant or bookkeeper can also help you determine the best solution. Proper accounting software saves you time, provides insights, and gives you peace of mind.