Unless you’re an accountant, you probably didn’t build your business to satisfy a burning desire to keep the books in order. That's why there's accounting software, right? To help you crunch the numbers. But with so many options, how do you know which one is right for your business?
As is the case with most small business tools, the answer is, "It depends on your unique needs." Here's a summary of some popular options and their key benefits to help you decide what may work best for your business.
1. Intuit QuickBooks
Practically every top accounting software list includes QuickBooks—and for good reason.
Quickbooks offers robust features, live 24-hour support and fair pricing, all of which makes it a good accounting software choice for small businesses in a range of industries.
As you might imagine, different accounting software platforms have different strengths and weaknesses that make them particularly suitable (or unsuitable) for given industries.
I think FreshBooks is great for very small businesses or micro businesses with basic needs. (Note: If payroll management is one of your critical accounting needs, FreshBooks may not be for you.)
Want accounting software for your small business that easily links with your apps and established accounts? I find Xero's mobile functionality to be particularly robust and it has the ability to check out your cash flow in real time. Payroll services can be handled via partner company Gusto. Xero, however, lacks live support.
Your best bet is to have an idea of the features that matter most to you and then schedule a chat with your accountant to make sure they’re comfortable working with the solution you choose.
Most of the time, you get what you pay for. Wave is a delightful exception.
Particularly suited for very small businesses, Wave’s basic accounting services are…wait for it…free.
Tracking expenses and invoices is intuitive with Wave, and there are a host of fans among small-business owners. That said, some users say that the mobile app needs some work and that the reporting options aren’t as robust as some users would like.
5. Zoho Books
The chief strength of Zoho Books is the ease with which it integrates with other elements of the Zoho Suite—word processing, CRM and project management to name just a few.
Some users report that the interface isn’t as intuitive as they might like, but on the whole, Zoho Books is a solid accounting solution for many small businesses.
One of the accounting trends I think is really exciting is the proliferation of niche accountants and accounting solutions. KidKare is just one great example of this trend in action—it's accounting software that’s specifically designed with childcare providers in mind.
Whether you care for children in your home or at a center, this specialized accounting software is tailored to meet your needs. Have to ensure your meal program is state and federally compliant? KidKare is built for challenges like that.
If you're not in the childcare industry, keep an eye out for industry-specific accounting software solutions that help you manage your specific accounting needs.
7. Accounting Seed
Accounting Seed’s point of difference is its built-in design that lets you harness SalesForce's CRM platform and integrate it with your accounting solution.
Though Accounting Seed’s subscriptions cost more than some other accounting software, it’s particularly well-suited to small businesses that need inventory management and pricing functions.
Some accounting solutions—like Accounting Seed and QuickBooks—tout integrations with existing popular apps as one of their features. That means if you use and love SalesForce for your CRM, Accounting Seed will interface neatly with your existing app.
BizAutomation takes a different approach.
They fold necessary functions into their accounting solution for small business rather than relying on a host of different apps. Though some users point out that a big, complex accounting solution may take a little extra time to learn, you do gain efficiency by bringing all your functions under one umbrella, rather than duplicating work and dealing with app integration.
Some top accounting software for small business rely on integrating multiple functions into the accounting side of your business, focusing on automation and analytics as the key benefits. Other solutions focus on industry-specific benefits. And then there’s another approach that Kashoo has taken: simplicity.
Kashoo is a no-frills accounting platform with web- and mobile-based capabilities and useful features like the ability to handle multiple currencies. If your business needs more robust functions to solve specific problems, this may not be the best fit; however, those in search of a simple accounting solution may want to consider Kashoo.
10. Sage 50cloud
My final recommendation for the top ten accounting software for small businesses is Sage 50cloud. In addition to its standard features, Sage 50cloud boasts bank-level protection for your accounts. The accompanying Sage University has articles and classes that help you get the most out of your accounting solution.
It’s hard to keep track of all the accounting options for small businesses out there, but making the choice that's right for your business is important. Your best bet is to have an idea of the features that matter most to you and then schedule a chat with your accountant to make sure they’re comfortable working with the solution you choose.
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