13 Best Accounting Tools Small Businesses Swear By

Serine Alejandro

Updated: January 13, 2021
Best Accounting Tools
Hiring new accounting professionals may not be feasible for small businesses, especially those that are cutting on costs. Instead of hiring someone to work on basic financial requirements, small business owners can employ a number of accounting software systems to streamline their company’s processes and generate accurate results.

Before purchasing any software, it’s important for businesses to analyze the current accounting needs of their company, what functions are vital to meeting those needs, and what their current budget permits. There are many different accounting tools available for small businesses, and each has its own unique features and price tag.

Here are a few things for businesses to consider when selecting the best accounting tools for their company:

1. Budget

Different accounting tools come equipped with different features, and thus, they range in cost. The more sophisticated a program is – meaning the more complex the bookkeeping problems it’s able to solve – the more expensive it will be. It’s important that business owners identify what their accounting needs are so they can evaluate which programs they need, but also what their budget will allow for.

2. Requirements

Small business owners overseeing all facets of their company will naturally have a lot on their plate. Implementing the right accounting tools allows for a more seamless flow of work, and ensures that accounting tasks won’t interfere with more important projects. Prior to investing in a sophisticated software, a business owner must first identify what his or her company’s specific accounting needs are.

Small business owners will find it cost-effective to utilize an accounting solution that’s applicable to their niche. There are tools designed to address the biggest challenges in, say, retail or manufacturing sectors. All basic solutions apply to almost all businesses, but organizations that want to get the best value for their buck should opt for ones that are tailor-fit for their needs.

3. Educated Accountant Opinion

Accountants, whether in-house or outsourced, are in the best position to choose which accounting software is vital to a company’s success. It is their job to analyze a company’s finances and make informed recommendations as to how the business can improve its financial health. Naturally, they are the ones most familiar with a company’s specific accounting needs as well as how these software tools are utilized.

When all these factors are taken into consideration, it’s time to shop the current best accounting tools for small businesses. Here’s a curated list.

Accounting Tools for Small Businesses

1. FreshBooks


Source: FreshBooks

One of the easiest-to-use accounting software platforms to date, FreshBooks proves to be a reliable solution for self-employed workers who are new to the playing field. A “Lite” version is available for $6 a month. There is also a “Premium” version available for up to $20 a month, and a “Plus” plan that’s $10 per month and allows the user to support up to 50 clients.

Why it’s great: FreshBooks is for people and organizations that are new in the field of accounting. It’s a widely used solution for those who want to explore basic functionalities and get simple, administrative tasks done in a few clicks.

2. Wave


Source: Wave Apps

Wave’s accounting software is one of the best-in-class tools available for small businesses, mainly because it’s 100% free and packed with functionalities. Users can connect the software to their business’ bank accounts, sync their expenses, process and manage taxes, and balance their books. Users can also track, store, and manage their receipts on Wave.

Wave designed a beginner-friendly accounting solution that even the most illiterate of accounting processes would find easy to navigate. It’s a plus that the accounting software uses 256-bit encryption for security, and the company is recognized for having PCI Level-1 certification for handling bank account information.

Why it’s great: Wave is completely free-of-charge. Small businesses on a tight budget can use it to oversee their cashflow and keep taxes up to date at little to no cost.

3. Neat


Source: Neat

Sifting through massive financial data can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to. Neat makes it possible for busy business owners to store, manage, and track years’ worth of financial transactions. It’s built with efficiency in mind, allowing users to locate financial records in one platform. Users can perform keyword searches to easily locate documents needed for strategic financial decision making.

Why it’s great: Clients of small businesses also have the power to snap, scan, import, or e-mail their financial documents to and from the software. Neat makes it easy for a company and its clients to retrieve and collect critical data in the simplest and most easy-to-navigate platform.

4. Xero


Source: Xero

When it comes to reconciling all types of accounting systems for small businesses, Xero is always top of mind. Small businesses that have less than 20 people may even enjoy the streamlined solution all at once. Xero allows users to gain financial overview through its smart dashboards, create personalized reports and invoices, prepare payroll, and process the company’s expenses.

Xero can be accessed from anywhere through its mobile app. This gives users complete freedom as to when and where they are able to pull data for their next big move. This accounting tool also allows for multiple logins so more tasks can be accomplished at the same time.

Why it’s great: Xero offers tailor-made solutions for different types of business. Companies may already enjoy its features starting at $10 per month. Those who need expert advice on accounting and bookkeeping may seek Xero’s advisors.

5. Intuit QuickBooks Online


Source: Intuit QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks is not just any accountant’s companion. In addition to tracking income and expenses, this solution allows users to create and send invoices, receive payments, and run reports. It also has integrations with PayPal, Shopify, and Square, so companies don’t have to juggle between platforms to crunch the numbers.

QuickBooks has over 4.5 million users worldwide, and counting. It’s equipped with bank-standard security to make sure that all financial records are secure on its cloud storage.

Why it’s great: While QuickBooks has all the basic functions of a standard accounting system, it also offers 24/7 chat support to users who want to simplify their work using the software. These extensive features make the accounting software a topnotch choice for growing businesses. Since the software is a little bit more comprehensive than other accounting tools, users will need to check out its tutorials and guides to have a better scope of what it can offer to the business.

6. Zoho Books

Zoho Books

Source: Zoho Books

Having very few employees should not keep small businesses from streamlining their accounting processes. In fact, a simple tool like Zoho Books can perform all types of accounting systems that may be too tedious for workers to do manually.

Smaller businesses can work wonders in its accounting department through Zoho Books. It’s a smart accounting software that has easy-to-navigate dashboards and graphs.

Plans start from $9 monthly, and go up to $29 monthly, depending on subscription type. Business owners also have the option to sign up for the whole year to get huge discounts.

Why it’s great: One of the highlights of Zoho Books is its automated payment reminders to clients who failed to pay on the date specified in the invoice. There are also automated banking features as well as inventory management that accountants can use every day. Not to mention, there are more than 40 collaboration applications that users can add to their existing plan.

7. GoDaddy Bookkeeping

GoDaddy Bookkeeping

Source: GoDaddy Bookkeeping

GoDaddy is popularly known for offering domain hosting, but it also has an intuitive bookkeeping service. GoDaddy’s Bookkeeping is integrated with Amazon, eBay and Etsy, which many entrepreneurs may find enticing.

Through its acquisition of Outright Accounting, GoDaddy was able to offer a web-based bookkeeping platform that’s optimized for managing the books. It’s not like any other accounting software, as it focuses mainly on bookkeeping to assist accountants on tax preparation and invoicing.

Why it’s great: Home-based companies, freelancers, and startup businesses are set for growth when they use GoDaddy Bookkeeping. It has tools that will help users manage their online transactions through PayPal and Stripe, analyze and create business reports, and set-up recurring invoices for customers and partners.

8. Plooto


Source: Plooto

Small businesses that rely heavily daily transactions should opt for Plooto, which is one of the best all-in-one payment solutions that provides accountants with a 360-degree view of their financial records. Ploota is trusted by businesses of all sizes but caters best to growing enterprises.

Plooto makes it possible to connect small businesses with their customers in over 30 countries. It’s great that Plooto charges a flat rate wire fee of $9.99 as well as competitive exchange rates regardless of the value of the international payment.

Why it’s great: Business owners may automate their client AP/AR workflows through Plooto. They can personalize and route all payments directly to the client, no matter where they are or when they want to send it. In fact, Plooto can make payments around the world, as well as next-day payments for critical transactions.

9. Kashoo


Kashoo offers basic accounting services on the cloud. In less than 30 minutes, business owners will be able to collate a year’s worth of financial data and come up with actionable decisions based on the results.

The business’ bank accounts can be synced to Kashoo to ensure that the inflow and outflow of payments are not overlooked. In the case of any problems, users can reach the program’s 24/7 customer support team via SMS, e-mail, in-app chat, or phone.

Why it’s great: Kashoo’s platform has a smart inbox that alerts the user of all transactions made using the application. Users can tag the categories those transactions will fall under to make sure everything is properly monitored.

10. Sunrise

Sunrise App

Source: Sunrise by Lendio

Cost savings will always be the name of the game for new entrepreneurs. Sunrise app offers bookkeeping services that provide great value for your buck. Sunrise is a helpful bookkeeping tool for small businesses who don’t need more complex features for the time being. Users can set up an account for free and start categorizing their transitions, keep the books up-to-date, and send recurring invoices to clients.

Companies with large transactions may choose the best plan to get the ball rolling. Prices range between $149 and $499 monthly, depending on the number of transactions the company makes. The paid plans include integration with PayPal, Square, and Stripe.

Why it’s great: Sunrise has in-house bookkeeping experts who can help small business owners navigate the platform. These accounting thought leaders help users the solution’s functionality, and are also available to answer questions related to accounting and bookkeeping.

11. Gusto


Source: Gusto

Gusto understands that the pain point of any business – and oftentimes the most overlooked – are HR and accounting processes. Starting at only $25 per month, Gusto can provide a multitude of online services to users ranging from payroll, health insurance, financial benefits, time tracking, hiring and onboarding, and exclusive employee benefits.

Using Gusto Pro, businesses will be able to accurately derive financial data that are crucial to the company’s growth. It has a seamless dashboard for all types of accounting systems, lessening the time it takes to perform heavy-duty financial tasks.

Why it’s great: Gusto prioritizes its clients, to make sure they gain more knowledge about their roles in the business. Gusto offers partner programs for accounting, bookkeeping and HR professionals that will help them gain more knowledge about the latest best practices in the industry.

12. 17Hats


Source: 17Hats

Regarded by Inc. Magazine as the “Perfect Business Tool for Solopreneurs,” 17Hats is proven to offer the best-in-class all-in-one suite of applications that every new business owner and freelancer needs today.

What’s interesting about 17Hats is its free 45-minute demo of the small business platform so potential customers can see how it works. This app organizes everything from calendars to invoices, integrating them all in one intuitive platform. Clients also have the power to oversee their transactions on the app.

Why it’s great: By using 17Hats, owners of small businesses can monitor leads, facilitate contracts and invoices, engage with their clients in real time, and analyze financial data all in one, hardworking solution.

13. Expensify


Source: Expensify

Last but not least is Expensify, a cloud-based solution that integrates almost everything in one platform: accounting, ERP, travel software, HR, and more. It offers integration with trusted tech organizations like Oracle, Uber, NexTravel, and other accounting software like Sage and QuickBooks.

Expensify believes that accounting shouldn’t be a tedious job when all the necessary applications to make the job better is already within reach. It automates receipts and the entire expense management process, lifting a heavy admin work off the shoulders of accountants.

Why it’s great: Expensify is praised for its one-click receipt scanning (which generates a report instantly), next-day reimbursement, and automatic approval workflows that will ping managers for any expenses that need to be reviewed. For international travel, Expensify automatically converts currencies and keeps a record of all purchase receipts simply by taking a photo.

It’s never too late nor too early to automate accounting processes

Small business owners need to leverage modern accounting software to focus on tasks that require more time and focus. Accounting is one of the most important aspects of a business, so equipping it with state-of-the-art accounting solutions that complies with today’s standards and trends will go a long way in ensuring this important work is done on time.

Serine Alejandro
Serine is a graduate of Journalism from one of the most prestigious universities. She has broad experience in public relations and marketing communications for the lifestyle, travel, tech, and banking industries. She is now a co-owner of a growing condiments business, a manager of her family’s pharmacy, and a full-time writer for SMB Compass.

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