Best Accounting Software for Small Business (2023)

Explore the top accounting software for small businesses in 2023. Compare features, pricing, and find the perfect solution tailored to your needs.

Best Overall

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QuickBooks

Its diverse feature set and customization options make it a compelling choice for small businesses of all types.

Best For Simplicity

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FreshBooks

Perfect for small businesses and freelancers looking for a simple and efficient accounting system.

Best For Budget

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Wave

Free accounting software could be an ideal solution. Explore its core features without any subscription costs.

Best For Team Adoption

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Zoho Books

A perfect solution for small to medium-sized businesses looking for robust accounting tools.

Best For International

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Xero

Real-time data and multiple currency management make it a strong choice for small to medium-sized businesses.

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Introduction

In their initial year, 20% of small businesses fail, rising to 50% by the fifth year, as per the Small Business Administration. Effective financial management is critical to avoiding these risks. A study by the National Small Business Association indicates that 44% handle accounting internally, while 40% rely on external accountants.

Utilizing accounting software is prevalent, with 58% of small businesses employing such tools, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. The U.S. Department of Commerce notes an average annual spending of $1,400 by businesses with under 20 employees on tax and accounting services.

Accounting software users, as reported by the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers, save an average of 8 hours monthly. A survey by the National Small Business Association finds that 60% of small business owners credit accounting software for increased efficiency.

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks, a renowned name in accounting software, offers solutions specifically designed for small business owners. With its intuitive interface, QuickBooks provides ease of access, cloud integration, and a wide range of functionalities. The software’s automation capabilities and customization options make it a preferred choice for diverse industry needs.

QuickBooks caters to various types of small businesses, including:

  • Retailers: Tailor-made features for inventory management
  • Freelancers: Simplified invoicing and time-tracking
  • Service Providers: Customized billing and client management
  • Manufacturers: Detailed production cost analysis

QuickBooks aims to resolve several pain points common to small businesses:

  • Complexity: Simplifies complex financial tasks
  • Time Consumption: Automates tedious manual processes
  • Compliance Issues: Ensures adherence to legal regulations
  • Integration Challenges: Facilitates smooth integration with other tools
  • Automated invoicing and billing
  • Customizable financial reports
  • Cloud-based access and mobile optimization
  • Inventory management
  • Payroll integration
  • Time-tracking capabilities
  • Secure data protection
  • Integration with third-party applications
  • Multi-user support
  • Advanced tax features

QuickBooks offers various pricing tiers, ranging from basic to advanced packages. Prices start at around $15/month for the simplest version, scaling up depending on the features required.

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QuickBooks offers a user-friendly experience. With its clean design and logical navigation, users can easily access features on both desktop and mobile platforms. The mobile optimization ensures seamless operations, even on the go.

QuickBooks provides a robust support community, including:

  • 24/7 Customer Service: Dedicated support team
  • Online Forums: Peer-to-peer assistance
  • Tutorials and Guides: Extensive learning resources
  • Certified Advisors: Professional consultancy services
ProsCons
Intuitive interfaceSomewhat expensive for advanced features
Comprehensive feature setLearning curve for new users
Robust customer supportLimited customization in basic plans
Mobile optimizationAdd-ons can become costly
Seamless integration with other toolsPotential over-complexity with addons
Strong security measures 
Regular updates and improvements 
Diverse pricing options 
Suitable for various industries 
Compliance assurance 
  • Ease of use
  • Broad functionality
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Strong customer support
  • Integration capabilities
  • Reliable security features
  • Customizable to specific business needs
  • Regular updates and feature enhancements
  • Complexity for new users
  • High costs for advanced features
  • Limited customization in basic packages
  • Potential hidden costs with add-ons
  • Lack of certain industry-specific tools
  • Difficulty in migrating data from other platforms

QuickBooks Online

Take control of your financial management with QuickBooks. Its diverse feature set and customization options make it a compelling choice for small businesses of all types.

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FreshBooks

FreshBooks offers cloud-based accounting software specifically designed for small businesses and freelancers. Known for its simplicity and user-friendly design, FreshBooks provides robust invoicing capabilities, expense tracking, time management, and more. It’s a perfect choice for those seeking a more straightforward approach to accounting

FreshBooks is well-suited for various small businesses, including:

  • Freelancers: Easy invoicing and time tracking
  • Agencies: Collaborative tools for team projects
  • Consultants: Robust client management and billing
  • E-commerce Businesses: Inventory and sales tracking

FreshBooks addresses several key pain points:

  • Inefficient Invoicing: Automates invoice creation and follow-ups
  • Expense Mismanagement: Tracks expenses comprehensively
  • Time-consuming Time Tracking: Simplifies time logging and billing
  • Lack of Collaboration Tools: Facilitates teamwork
  • Simple and intuitive invoicing
  • Automated expense tracking
  • Time tracking for billable hours
  • Project collaboration and budgeting
  • Financial reports and insights
  • Mobile app for on-the-go management
  • Secure online payments
  • Integrations with popular business tools
  • Client portal for easy communication

FreshBooks offers several pricing plans, starting from around $18/month for the Lite version. The price increases with additional features and users.

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FreshBooks is known for its clean and intuitive user interface. Even non-accountants find it easy to navigate. Mobile optimization ensures that users can manage their finances from anywhere.

FreshBooks offers a strong support community:

  • Customer Support: Accessible via phone and email
  • Knowledge Base: Extensive library of tutorials and guides
  • Community Forum: Peer support and discussions
  • Webinars and Training: Regular educational resources
ProsCons
User-friendly interfaceLimited features in the basic plan
Excellent customer supportCosts can add up with more users
Strong invoicing capabilitiesSome integrations may require add-ons
Mobile app for on-the-go accessLimited inventory management features
Transparent pricing 
Secure online payments 
Customizable reports 
  • Simplicity and ease of use
  • Strong invoicing tools
  • Mobile app functionality
  • Transparent pricing
  • Responsive customer support
  • Integrations with other tools
  • Automated expense tracking
  • Client portal for smooth communication
  • Limited features in the basic plan
  • Costs can escalate with more users
  • Limited inventory management
  • Some desired integrations may require extra cost
  • Lack of advanced customization options

Try FreshBooks

FreshBooks is perfect for small businesses and freelancers looking for a simple and efficient way to manage their accounting needs. Give it a try and experience the ease of cloud-based accounting.

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Wave

Wave offers free accounting software targeting small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Its no-cost approach doesn’t skimp on features, including invoicing, expense tracking, and basic reporting. Wave’s simplicity and price point make it an attractive option for those just starting.

Wave is best suited for:

  • Freelancers: No-cost solution for individual needs
  • Start-ups: Basic accounting tools for new businesses
  • Small Service Providers: Simple billing and invoicing
  • Non-profit Organizations: Free accounting for budget-conscious entities

Wave addresses key challenges, including:

  • High Costs: Offers a free solution for basic needs
  • Complexity: Provides an easy-to-use interface
  • Invoicing Delays: Automates invoicing processes
  • Limited Reporting: Includes essential financial reports
  • Free and unlimited invoicing
  • Expense tracking and categorization
  • Basic financial reporting
  • Seamless bank connections
  • Receipt scanning via mobile app
  • Online payment acceptance (additional fees apply)
  • Payroll services (additional fees apply)

Wave’s core accounting features are free, with additional fees for online payments and payroll services.

Best Accounting Software for Small Business (2023) %count (title)%

Wave offers a simple and intuitive experience, focusing on essential accounting tasks. Its mobile optimization ensures that users can manage their finances from various devices.

Wave’s support community includes:

  • Online Help Center: Guides and FAQs
  • Community Forum: Peer support
  • Paid Support Plans: Additional dedicated support
ProsCons
Completely free for core featuresLimited advanced features
User-friendly interfaceCustomer support mainly online-based
Suitable for freelancersAdditional fees for payments and payroll
Mobile receipt scanningNo inventory management
  • Free core accounting features
  • Simple and intuitive design
  • Suitable for small and starting businesses
  • Online payment acceptance
  • Mobile app for receipt scanning
  • No unnecessary complexities
  • Limited advanced features
  • Online-based customer support
  • Additional fees for certain services
  • Lack of inventory and project management

Wave

If you’re starting your small business or freelancing journey, Wave’s free accounting software could be an ideal solution. Explore its core features without any subscription costs.
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Zoho Books

Zoho Books is part of the extensive Zoho suite, offering cloud-based accounting solutions designed for small businesses. With a focus on automation, collaboration, and customization, Zoho Books provides a comprehensive toolset for diverse accounting needs.

Zoho Books caters to:

  • Small to Medium-sized Businesses: Comprehensive features for growing businesses
  • Zoho Suite Users: Seamless integration within the Zoho ecosystem
  • Service Providers: Customizable invoicing and billing
  • E-commerce Platforms: Specific tools for online sales

Zoho Books solves various challenges:

  • Manual Workloads: Automates repetitive accounting tasks
  • Integration Hurdles: Smoothly integrates with other Zoho apps
  • Collaboration Barriers: Enables teamwork on financial tasks
  • Customization Limitations: Offers a flexible platform
  • Automated invoicing and billing
  • Customizable templates and branding
  • Inventory management
  • Time tracking and project accounting
  • Financial reports and analytics
  • Multi-currency support
  • Mobile app for on-the-go access
  • Secure data protection
  • Compliance with tax regulations

Zoho Books offers various pricing tiers, starting at $0/month for the Basic plan. Prices increase with added features and users.

Best Accounting Software for Small Business (2023) %count (title)%

Zoho Books provides a user-friendly experience, with easy navigation and a clean design. Mobile optimization ensures accessibility across devices.

Zoho Books’ support community includes:

  • 24/5 Customer Support: Phone and email support
  • Knowledge Base: In-depth guides and tutorials
  • Community Forums: Peer support and discussions
  • Webinars and Training: Regular educational sessions
ProsCons
Comprehensive feature setHigher learning curve
Seamless integration with ZohoCosts can add up with more users
Customizable and flexibleLimited features in the basic plan
Strong mobile appAdditional charges for add-ons

What we personally dislike about Zoho Books

  • Complexity for new users
  • Costs can escalate with add-ons and users
  • Limited features in the basic plan
  • Some integrations may require extra configuration

Zoho Books

Experience the comprehensive and customizable world of Zoho Books, a perfect solution for small to medium-sized businesses looking for robust accounting tools.
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Sage

Sage offers a variety of accounting solutions tailored to small businesses. With a focus on scalability and industry-specific features, Sage provides a platform that can grow with your business. Its cloud-based system ensures accessibility and security.

Sage is suitable for:

  • Growing Small Businesses: Scalable features
  • Manufacturers: Detailed production and inventory management
  • Retailers: Sales and inventory tracking
  • Service Providers: Customized billing and client management

Sage aims to resolve:

  • Scalability Issues: Grows with your business
  • Industry Mismatches: Offers tailored solutions
  • Accessibility Constraints: Cloud-based access
  • Integration Challenges: Facilitates smooth integration with other tools
  • Scalable financial management
  • Industry-specific solutions
  • Cloud-based access
  • Inventory management
  • Payroll integration
  • Time-tracking capabilities
  • Secure data protection
  • Integration with third-party applications
  • Advanced tax features

Sage’s pricing varies based on the chosen solution and features, with options suitable for different business sizes and needs.

Best Accounting Software for Small Business (2023) %count (title)%

Sage offers a user-friendly experience with a focus on industry-specific tools. Mobile optimization ensures seamless operations across devices.

Sage provides a robust support community, including:

  • 24/7 Customer Service: Dedicated support team
  • Online Forums: Peer-to-peer assistance
  • Tutorials and Guides: Extensive learning resources
  • Certified Advisors: Professional consultancy services
ProsCons
Scalable solutionsPricing can be complex
Industry-specific featuresSome learning curve for beginners
Strong customer supportLimited customization in basic plans
Mobile optimizationAdditional costs for certain add-ons
  • Scalable to business growth
  • Industry-specific solutions
  • Robust customer support
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Integration capabilities
  • Secure and compliant with regulations
  • Complexity in pricing structure
  • Learning curve for specific tools
  • Limited customization in basic packages
  • Potential hidden costs with add-ons

Sage

Explore Sage’s scalable and industry-specific solutions, a strong choice for growing small businesses with diverse needs.

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Xero

Xero offers cloud-based accounting software with a focus on collaboration and real-time data. Its intuitive design and robust features make it a favorite among small business owners. Xero’s emphasis on collaboration allows teams to work together efficiently.

Xero is well-suited for:

  • Small to Medium-sized Businesses: Comprehensive features
  • Collaborative Teams: Enables team collaboration
  • E-commerce Platforms: Integrates with various online sales tools
  • Service Providers: Customizable invoicing and billing

Xero addresses:

  • Data Delays: Real-time financial data access
  • Collaboration Barriers: Facilitates team cooperation
  • Integration Hurdles: Wide range of compatible apps
  • Manual Workloads: Automation of common tasks
  • Real-time data tracking
  • Collaborative tools
  • Wide range of integrations
  • Automated invoicing and billing
  • Inventory management
  • Payroll services
  • Time-tracking capabilities
  • Secure data protection
  • Advanced tax compliance

Xero offers several pricing plans, starting from $9/month for the Starter plan. Costs vary based on features and number of users.

Best Accounting Software for Small Business (2023) %count (title)%

Xero provides an intuitive user experience, with a focus on collaboration and real-time data. Mobile optimization ensures accessibility across various devices.

ProsCons
Real-time data accessLimited features in the basic plan
Strong collaboration toolsSome learning curve
Wide range of integrationsCosts can add up with more users
User-friendly interfaceAdditional charges for certain add-ons
  • Real-time data tracking
  • Collaboration features
  • Wide range of app integrations
  • User-friendly design
  • Scalable pricing plans
  • Strong customer support
  • Limited features in the Starter plan
  • Some complexities for new users
  • Costs can escalate with additional users and features
  • Certain add-ons may require extra configuration

Xero

Xero’s real-time data and collaboration features make it a strong choice for small to medium-sized businesses. Explore its robust capabilities to find the right fit for your needs.
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Comparison Table

A side-by-side comparison of the listed accounting software:

SoftwareBest ForPricing RangeWhy Choose This?
QuickBooks OnlineSmall to medium-sized businesses needing comprehensive features$25-$180/monthFor its comprehensive feature set and user-friendly experience tailored to diverse business needs.
FreshBooksService providers, freelancers, agencies$15-$50/monthIdeal for client-centric businesses looking for simplified invoicing and client management tools.
WaveFreelancers, solopreneurs, small businesses with basic needsFree (Additional for Payments)Perfect for those seeking essential, free accounting tools without the complexity of advanced features.
ZohoBusinesses requiring integrated solutions and scalability$9-$30/monthSuitable for those needing a flexible, customizable suite that can adapt to various industry needs.
XeroCollaborative teams, small to medium-sized businesses across sectors$11-$62/monthBest for businesses that value real-time collaboration and wide integration capabilities.
SageSmall to medium-sized businesses looking for customizable solutions$10-$60/monthKnown for its scalable options and customization, Sage is suitable for businesses seeking tailored accounting solutions.

Conclusion & Recommendations

Selecting the right accounting software is a critical decision for small businesses. This comprehensive review of the top solutions provides insights into their features, pricing, pros, and cons. Whether you’re a freelancer, start-up, or growing business, there’s a platform tailored to your needs.

Editorial Process

At Get X Media, our editorial process is driven by a blend of top-tier digital marketing services and content creation, all tailored to guide business owners in making informed online buying decisions.

Please note, some links in our content may be affiliate links, and making a purchase through them might earn us a commission at no extra cost to you.

Author

I’m Corey Hayes, marketing geek with 20+ years in web design, SEO, digital marketing & business automation. I am the CEO & Head of Growth at Get X Media, a company that helps small B2C businesses grow. Acting as CMO for clients, I’ve led 6-7 figure companies using cutting-edge tech and new-age marketing strategies. Passionate about travel, photography & video, I serve as a reliable resource for business growth.
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Corey Hayes

CEO & Head of Growth

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