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In the digital age, managing your business’s finances shouldn’t be a chore. The right accounting software can transform this often daunting task into a breeze. Despite the clear benefits, a surprising 51% of small businesses with 19 or fewer employees still rely on outdated spreadsheets or nondigital methods to track their funds.

Our research suggests that QuickBooks Online stands out as an exceptional choice among accounting software packages. It’s user-friendly, packed with robust tracking and planning tools, and integrates seamlessly with other software. Plus, sharing your financial data with outside bookkeepers and accountants is a cinch. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into why QuickBooks Online could be the game-changer your small business needs.


Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses for 2024

Choosing the right accounting software for your small enterprise plays a key role in ensuring an efficient financial management process. QuickBooks Online, time and again, continues to clinch the top spot in small business accounting software. Its simple, user-friendly interface, robust tracking, and planning tools, along with its seamless integration with other software place it a cut above the rest.

Particularly, affordability strikes a chord with small businesses. Small business accounting software run the gamut from zero to 150 or more dollars per month. Basic plans range approximately from zero to 40 dollars per month, offering capabilities such as categorizing income and expenses, invoice sending, and financial reporting preparation.

But, why stop with a basic package if your business demands more? As growth takes hold, scalability becomes crucial. Most accounting software, including QuickBooks Online, offer easily upgraded plans to meet evolving business needs.

Remember, though, every penny saved is a penny earned. Scouting for the cheapest option might be a logical step. For instance, Wave offers freemium accounting software.

Ultimately, the choice of accounting software hinges on multiple factors. You could be a freelancer in need of a basic package or a growing business exploring upgradable options. QuickBooks, with its extensive range of products, could, in fact, be the solution you’re looking for.

Making the optimal choice isn’t just about managing finances efficiently. It’s also about contributing significantly to your business growth and success trajectory. Thus, invest the time to understand your business’s specific requirements and available resources before settling on any particular accounting software.

Best Overall: QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online

As a small business owner looking to streamline your financial management, QuickBooks Online offers a range of robust tools. Designed by Intuit, a company revered in the industry, QuickBooks Online emerges as an industry leader. Let’s further explore how it works, software options, setup, features, drawbacks, customer service, and costings.

How QuickBooks Works

QuickBooks operates as a cloud-based reporting system for financials. It delivers services for small businesses, including contractors and freelancers. QuickBooks provides tracking and planning tools that integrate effectively with other software. This software keeps its data as updated as of 12/12/22, ensuring you receive real-time insight into your accounts.

QuickBooks Software Options

Intuit offers six versions of QuickBooks, including QuickBooks Online, Enterprise, and Self-Employed. While QuickBooks Online supports small-business operations, QuickBooks Enterprise specifically targets bigger businesses, offering around 200 industry-specific reports. On the other hand, QuickBooks Self-Employed features basic bookkeeping and tax deduction tools, but lacks the advanced accounting tools QuickBooks is known for.

QuickBooks Online Setup

QuickBooks Online provides a flawless onboarding experience. The ease of setup allows you to add cost rates by employee, sync seamlessly with QuickBooks Payroll, and view time spent per project. What’s more, QuickBooks Online also lets you tabulate open construction invoices, balances, and past dues for easy tracing and tracking.

QuickBooks Online Features

QuickBooks Online exhibits an array of compelling features. The software enables run profit and full job cost reports, keeping you informed of your current financial stance. To increase visibility, income statements, balance sheets, and cash flows are assembled in one place. Plus, with the addition of tags, you can track transactions by category. Furthermore, you can create customizable dashboards in QuickBooks Online Advanced, offering a bird’s-eye view of your florishing business.

QuickBooks Online Drawbacks

Despite its bountiful advantages, QuickBooks Online isn’t without its quirks. QuickBooks Self-Employed, for instance, only allows generation of annual financial reports, not month-to-month reports. Moreover, for sole proprietors wanting to do more than filing taxes, the QuickBooks Online plan serves as a superior fit due to the software’s standard and less customizable invoices.

QuickBooks Customer Service

For any technical hiccups or support, a dedicated team is available. Fast issue resolution and patient assistance are shining traits of QuickBooks’ stellar customer service. They emphasize furthering your financial collaboration without troublingyou with intricate technical glitches.

QuickBooks Cost

Speaking of cost, QuickBooks Online can run over $52,000 a year if all features in the premier 150 financial reports are added. However, pricing is somewhat alleviated through the availability of a user-friendly mobile app featuring mileage and expense tracking. Lastly, the scope for customized pricing further reduces the investment burden if you opt for the Enterprise version. Thus, with QuickBooks, you get to experience the best of the accounting world, without breaking your budget.

How Quickbooks Can Benefit Your Business

Imagine a world where financial management isn’t a jigsaw puzzle, and robust accounting tools aren’t a distant dream. That’s the world QuickBooks Online creates for you. As a small to medium-sized business owner, this solution shines in simplifying intricate financial tasks. It’s an ally for your business growth with its scalable platform.

Let’s dissect your benefits. First off, it gifts you time efficiency. The platform’s streamlined interface makes managing finances less burdensome, freeing up your precious time. Here’s how: By reducing the time you spend on bookkeeping, you can devote more resources to nurturing other aspects of your business.

Next up, visualization. Wouldn’t it be useful to gaze into the financial health of your company with data-driven clarity? QuickBooks Online offers comprehensive reporting tools to keep you fully informed. Its in-depth reports provide real-time insights, enhancing your ability to make astute, data-led decisions.

But QuickBooks Online doesn’t tick all the boxes. If you’re a sole proprietor seeking more than just basic bookkeeping and tax deduction features, the software may not fully meet your needs. Its solution for self-employed individuals lacks some of the rich features that QuickBooks is renowned for.

Additionally, while it does offer invoicing capabilities, there’s a catch. These invoices are fairly standard, lacking the flexibility and customization you might require. So, if you’re planning more than just tax filing, QuickBooks Online may be a better fit over the self-employed edition.

Finally, cost. Everyone wants quality service without burning a hole in their pocket, right? Although QuickBooks Self-Employed is pricier than other self-employed accounting software solutions, it’s important to remember that value isn’t always synonymous with price. True, it may lack some features, but the user-friendly mobile app, with its built-in mileage and expense tracking, offers substantial value for users on the go.

In essence, QuickBooks, with its in-depth financial insights, time-saving features, and user-friendly interface, assists in driving your business’ growth, giving you an edge in the competitive world of businesses.

Best for Micro-Business Owners : Xero


Transitioning from a discussion of QuickBooks’ benefits and shortcomings, let’s explore Xero as another compelling solution in this landscape, specifically for micro-business owners. Armed with a clean interface and powerful features, Xero offers a competitive alternative to QuickBooks. Do bear in mind that the right choice still hinges on your business’s specific dynamics and accounting needs.


  1. User-Friendly Design: Xero’s interface remains a standout, designed for ease-of-use even if you’re not an accountant by trade. Its dashboard provides an overview of your financials at a glance, enabling neat navigation through transactions, sales, and purchases.
  2. Robust Integration: Xero plays friendly with other platforms. Enjoy seamless integration with over 700 business applications, implying it fits comfortably within an existing business ecosystem.
  3. Unlimited Users: Unlike some accounting software, Xero doesn’t limit the number of users. This feature results in collaborative potential across your business and flexibility in terms of access points.
  1. Limited Inventory Management: Small businesses that deal with a significant amount of inventory might find Xero’s inventory management capabilities a tad restrained. It lacks the advanced management tools found in QuickBooks Enterprise, for instance.
  2. No Budgeting Tool: Xero currently lacks a built-in budgeting tool. Although it does offer basic budget creation, it falls short when compared to the advanced budgeting features found in counterparts like QuickBooks.
  3. Cost Can Add Up: While Xero provides a decent range of functionalities at its core, your firm might need to subscribe to several paid add-ons to meet specific needs. These costs can add up quickly, especially for a micro-business running on a tight budget.

While Xero demonstrates a firm accounting footing, it’s essential to iterate that software choice depends on particular needs and preferences. Whether Xero or QuickBooks fits the bill, employing the right software can transform the way you navigate your business’s financials.

Best for Service-Based Businesses: FreshBooks


Switching our focus from QuickBooks and Xero, let’s explore FreshBooks – a highlight in the realm of service-based businesses. Designed with the needs of this particular demographic in mind, FreshBooks has stepped up as a formidable contender in the accounting software market.

Dominant Strengths

In customizing and handling invoices, FreshBooks carves a niche for itself. It serves businesses striving for top-notch invoicing tools. However, its application spreads beyond that. Its features encapsulate expense tracking, project time tracking, and double-entry accounting, making it more than just an invoicing generator.

  • Advanced Invoicing: FreshBooks let’s you automate recurring invoices, customize invoice templates, send payment reminders, and even accept payments directly from the invoice.
  • Expense Tracking: By categorizing expenses, FreshBooks allows businesses to keep a keen eye on the outflow of money, which is crucial for critical financial decisions.
  • Project Time Tracking: For service-based businesses, time tracking holds higher importance, and FreshBooks provides this feature with a professional touch.
  • Double-entry Accounting: FreshBooks introduced this feature recently, reinforcing its position in the accounting software market.

Noteworthy Limitations

No software comes without its fair share of limitations, and so is its case with FreshBooks. Despite its strengths, there are areas where the software falls short, creating room for competitors.

  • Pricing: FreshBooks packages might be a bit steep for small businesses or startups with tight budgets. It’s a valuable tool for those in need, but affordability is dependent on the individual business’s financial resources.
  • Limited Third-party Integrations: Compared to its rivals like Xero and QuickBooks, FreshBooks supports fewer third-party applications. It restricts businesses in terms of flexibility and options when it comes to software integrations.

In the eternal debate of FreshBooks versus other accounting software, remember, it’s not about finding the best software; it’s about finding the best software for your service-based business. After all, the software you choose shapes your financial management and, by extension, the growth trajectory of your business.

Best for Part-Time Freelancers: QuickBooks Solopreneur

QuickBooks Solopreneur

Part-time freelancers often face unique financial challenges with varying income streams and unpredictable expenses. Keeping track of financials efficiently becomes essential for successful financial management. QuickBooks Solopreneur emerges as a reliable solution for such freelancers, offering numerous advantages with few downsides. This section presents a balanced overview of QuickBooks Solopreneur, discussing its pros and cons diligently.

  1. QuickBooks Solopreneur, a version of QuickBooks Self-Employed, offers an optimal blend of simplicity and power. Its features include the separation of business and personal expenses, Schedule C deductions, automated quarterly tax estimates, and automatic mileage tracking. These functionalities aim to streamline the freelance bookkeeping process.
  2. The software has comprehensive reporting tools that help freelancers track financial activities and analyze business performance. This feature proves beneficial for freelancers to manage their cash flow and understand their earning patterns better.
  3. QuickBooks Solopreneur also simplifies tax preparation and compliance. With its built-in capability for automating tax estimates and Schedule C deductions, it takes the complexity out of tax accounting, especially for those unfamiliar with tax laws.
  4. On the flip side, QuickBooks Solopreneur has a higher learning curve for non-accountants. Freelancers might need some time to get accustomed to the interface and understand the full range of features.
  5. Additionally, some might find occasional slow performance with QuickBooks Solopreneur. However, this happens rarely and does not significantly disrupt the bookkeeping process.
  6. Also, QuickBooks Solopreneur might not be the best fit for all freelancers. As the feature set is more aligned towards sole proprietors and small businesses, freelancers with unique requirements might not find every functionality they need.

QuickBooks Solopreneur stands out as a valuable accounting tool for part-time freelancers. However, it’s recommended to consider your specific needs and preferences before proceeding with any accounting software.

Best Free Software : Wave


While QuickBooks Online shines in terms of efficiency and comprehensive reporting, and FreshBooks excels in invoicing and project tracking, there are free alternatives worth considering. One such platform is Wave Financial. Less feature-rich than QuickBooks, Wave Financial maintains its position as a cost-effective software for businesses that are just starting up or working with a limited budget.

Like any other software, Wave Financial comes with its set of benefits and drawbacks. Let’s delve into these.


  1. Cost-Effective Solution: Wave Financial is entirely free to use. This makes it a smart choice for microbusinesses working on a tight budget. Unlike other platforms that offer a free trial period, Wave is free indefinitely.
  2. User-Friendly Interface: Navigating through different features of Wave Financial is relatively simple. Despite being free, it doesn’t compromise on offering a user-friendly experience.
  3. Financial Reporting: Wave Financial provides tools for financial activity tracking and business performance analysis. This makes it easier to get a quick overview of your financial standing.
  1. Limited Features: Wave Financial, while free, has fewer features compared to QuickBooks. This might limit the scope of financial management for your business.
  2. Customer Service: Wave Financial is noted for its limited customer service options, potentially causing a delay in resolving any application-related issues that you might encounter.
  3. Lack of Advanced Reporting: Compared to counterparts like QuickBooks, Wave Financial falls short in detailed reporting and analysis, potentially making it difficult to capture financial data’s nuances.

Despite its constraints, Wave Financial shines as an accessible platform for base-level accounting needs. It’s a worthy contender for consideration if your business doesn’t require advanced accounting tools. Remember, the best choice of software largely depends on your unique business needs and workflow. Always assess these before making a decision.

Best for scales-up: Sage


In our quest for finding the ideal accounting software for your business needs, let’s now turn our attention to Sage, a robust accounting platform designed for businesses that need scalability.

Pros and Cons

Like any other business tool, the Sage accounting software also comes with its own set of benefits and limitations. Leveraging it to its full potential requires a keen understanding of these aspects.


  1. Scalability: Sage’s strong suit lies in its ability to accommodate business growth. As your financial operations expand, Sage skillfully scales up its features to cater to your growing needs.
  2. Advanced Features: This software brims with superior capabilities that help you manage complex financial processes. It’s more suited for larger businesses that require intricate monetary manipulation.
  3. Integration Ability: Sage integrates effortlessly with other business software, providing a comprehensive tool that enhances your overall business functionality.
  1. Complex Interface: If you’re a beginner, you might find Sage’s interface a tad overwhelming. Its advanced functionality demands a steep learning curve, potentially increasing your setup time.
  2. Premium Pricing: Compared to other contenders like QuickBooks, Sage is relatively pricier, mainly due to its extensive features and scalability. It might not be the preferred choice for small businesses with budget constraints.
  3. Limited Support: Some users have reported that Sage’s customer support could be a bit more forthcoming, especially considering the complexity of the software.

In the coming sections, we’ll drill further into these pros and cons, empowering you with insights to make an informed choice. Next, we’ll take a sneak peek into Sage’s signature features and how it can level up your accounting game.

Why Use Accounting Software?

In running your business, accounting software isn’t just an optional tool. It’s the backbone of your financial management, aiding in tracking income, expenditures, and financial reports. Its ability to automate complex calculations improves accuracy and saves time.

Indeed, accounting software affirms that financial reports are prepared correctly, building on your understanding of accounting practices. While at it, small business owners, you commonly employ bookkeepers or accountants to make sure books are spick and span. You know what’s better? Cloud-based accounting software! Its versatility lets you share your accounting data conveniently with your financial handlers.

Concrete instances show the capabilities of accounting software packages. They allow third-party application integrations, optimally fitting into your existing processes. As a business owner, a point-of-sale (POS) system capturing sales transactions could sync with your accounting software, providing prompt and detailed financial updates. Similarly, service-based businesses can integrate a time-tracking application with accounting software to seamlessly update client invoices.

Wondering if you can handle bookkeeping without QuickBooks? You bet! Other equally capable software options exist. And if your accounting needs are simple enough, a spreadsheet-based system like Excel or Google Sheets could do just fine.

Calming your worries about data security, cloud-based accounting platforms, take data protection seriously. Using multiple layers of data encryption, SSL transmittal encryption, firewalls, and other measures, these provide robust defense mechanisms, securing your critical financial data.

Lastly, addressing the elephant in the room, how much would accounting software for small business cost you? The price isn’t set in stone. With options spanning from $0 to $150 or more per month, you’re likely to find something that suits your budget. Remember, picking the most expensive software isn’t always the best choice. Assess your specific needs and weigh your options wisely. Premium priced products like Sage, packed with advanced features, might make sense for some while a cost-effective option like Wave Financial might serve the purpose for others.

Accounting software is, hence, an investment in your business’s financial health, a silent but diligent overseer ensuring every dollar is accounted for. The right accounting tool, chosen considering functionality, learning curve, and affordability, can significantly streamline your business operations, leaving you free to explore opportunities for growth.

Why You Should Trust Us

Understanding the intricate needs of small businesses, we delve deep into accounting software analysis. Our goal: to identify the most efficient, effective, and affordable solutions for managing your finances. We consider aspects such as features, ease of use, performance, integrations, customer service, and pricing to provide you with the most comprehensive, unbiased information.

Our meticulous evaluation process entails in-depth research and multiple hours of testing the platforms ourselves. For instance, our examination of QuickBooks considered three different plans with varied features and pricing. Among them, the QuickBooks Self-Employed package yields benefits such as the separation of business and personal expenses, automated quarterly tax estimates, and automatic mileage tracking. Likewise, the other two plans, namely Self-Employed Tax Bundle and Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle, offer significant upgrades.

Remember, we’re not here to sell you a particular software. Instead, we aim to empower you with knowledge, allowing you to make informed decisions that suit your business’s unique needs. We ensure the information we provide remains accurate, reliable, and valuable; so you can feel confident about choosing the best accounting software. Trust in our expertise – we are committed to helping your business thrive by streamlining financial management.

Why QuickBooks is a popular accounting software option for small businesses

Revolving around robust financial management needs, QuickBooks evolves as a much-preferred accounting software for small businesses. Designed by Intuit, a company founded in 1983, QuickBooks demonstrates incredible longevity and growth. Today, this platform extends an affordable way for businesses to manage their books efficiently.

Diverse pricing plans [1] attract businesses of varying scales, from small ventures to independent contractors and freelancers. No matter your firm’s size, QuickBooks provides essential bookkeeping features: invoicing, bill payments, expense tracking, and financial reporting are all included.

Moreover, QuickBooks showcases its versatility by offering cloud-based reporting – a feature equally boasted by its contenders like Tally. Yet, this accounting powerhouse forges ahead by integrating external applications such as time-tracking tools and POS systems seamlessly. As a result, it provides businesses a consolidated tool for managing their financials conveniently and efficiently.

But what makes QuickBooks truly stand out is its commitment to ease of use. Out of numerous software platforms reviewed [2], QuickBooks was commended for its focus on user-friendly operation. Even users with no prior accounting experience find navigating this software a breeze. In fact, small businesses can secure live assistance from skilled bookkeepers for as low as $50 per month [3], broadening QuickBooks’ appeal.

So, in your quest for an efficient accounting solution, consider QuickBooks. It combines affordability, versatility, user-friendly operation, and a range of features into a platform designed to meet your financial management demands.

  • [1] QuickBooks Pricing. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • [2] Forbes Advisor. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • [3] QuickBooks Live Assisted Bookkeeping. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Benefits and Drawbacks

As you’ve seen, there’s no shortage of impressive accounting software on the market. However, QuickBooks stands out as a smart choice for small businesses. It’s affordable, packed with essential features, and incredibly user-friendly. With its cloud-based reporting and seamless integration with external applications, it’s designed to streamline your financial management process. Plus, the availability of live assistance from skilled bookkeepers is a bonus not to be overlooked. While Sage offers advanced features, its complex interface and premium pricing can be a hurdle for some. In the end, it’s all about finding an accounting solution that fits your unique needs. QuickBooks, with its blend of affordability, versatility, and user-friendly operation, certainly makes a strong case for itself. So, consider your options carefully, and remember: the right software can make all the difference in managing your business finances effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits and limitations of QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Online offers advantages like affordability, essential bookkeeping features, cloud-based reporting, seamless integration with external applications, and user-friendly operation. However, its automation capabilities might not be extensive enough for businesses that require sophisticated automation of their accounting processes.

How scalable is Sage for small businesses?

Sage is highly scalable, making it a good option for businesses that have plans for growth. However, it does have a complex user interface and is more expensive compared to other software.

What factors should be considered when evaluating accounting software?

When selecting an accounting software, consider features, ease of use, performance, integrations, customer service, and pricing. Each aspect plays a critical role in ensuring the software meets your specific business needs.

How does QuickBooks assist with financial management?

QuickBooks provides a range of features for efficient financial management such as recurring transactions, bank feeds, and live assistance from skilled bookkeepers. It effectively combines affordability, versatility, and user-friendliness to meet various financial management demands.

Is QuickBooks recommended for all types of small businesses?

While QuickBooks is a popular and efficient solution for many small businesses, its suitability would depend on the specific needs and circumstances of each business. Factors such as the level of bookkeeping automation required, the complexity of financial transactions, and budget constraints play a role in determining whether QuickBooks would be the ideal choice.

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