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What is Accounting Software?

Accounting software is a suite of computer applications and programs that automate financial management in the corporate environment and help managers handle their accounting activities. Accounting software systems are designed for freelance accountants and accounting teams, based on which they vary from simple single-entry apps to enterprise-grade, double-entry solutions. The software helps reduce expenses and report accurately on your financial activities, and improves the quality of your accounting decisions. It can be deployed locally, or in cloud, depending on whether you intend to manage your own updates and security. Start by checking our leader FreshBooks, and other recommended solutions in this category.

Accounting Software

Top 16 Most Popular Accounting Software

FreshBooks reviews
1.
FreshBooks

Our Score 9.8

User Satisfaction 99%

FreshBooks is the winner of our 2017 Best Accounting Software Award. It is a great cloud accounting app for small business that makes billing easy and effective. Read Reviews

Sage 50cloud reviews
2.
Sage 50cloud

Our Score 9.7

User Satisfaction 100%

Desktop & cloud accounting software that offers built-in anytime, anywhere cloud access applications. Read Reviews

Sage Business Cloud Accounting reviews
3.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Our Score 9.3

User Satisfaction 96%

Sage Business Cloud Accounting is an easy-to-use accounting application for small businesses and startups. Read Reviews

Gusto reviews
4.
Gusto

Our Score 9.4

User Satisfaction 99%

Gusto is the winner of our Expert's Choice Award. It provides payroll, benefits, and workers' comp insurance to small businesses in the US. Read Reviews

NetSuite ERP reviews
5.
NetSuite ERP

Our Score 9.2

User Satisfaction 97%

A tool that offers complete financial management features that match a growing or changing business with real-time visibility for better decisions. Read Reviews

QuickBooks Online reviews
6.
QuickBooks Online

Our Score 9.3

User Satisfaction 94%

QuickBooks Online is an ideal accounting software for freelancers and small businesses that simplifies small business accounting. Read Reviews

Tipalti reviews
7.
Tipalti

Our Score 9.1

User Satisfaction 100%

Tipalti is a powerful and secure payment solution that automates the entire mass global payment processing operation. Read Reviews

FreeAgent reviews
8.
FreeAgent

Our Score 9.5

User Satisfaction 93%

The perfect financial management and accounting tool for small businesses or freelancers, whether you are just starting or in the business now. Read Reviews

Zoho Books reviews
9.
Zoho Books

Our Score 9.6

User Satisfaction 100%

Zoho Books is the winner of our 2016 Great User Experience Award. It is an intuitive accounting software designed for small businesses to manage their finances. Read Reviews

Zoho Invoice reviews
10.
Zoho Invoice

Our Score 8.8

User Satisfaction 94%

Zoho Invoice is the winner of our Expert's Choice Award. It's ideal for companies that create and manage invoices and is designed for smaller businesses. Read Reviews

Online Invoices reviews
11.
Online Invoices

Our Score 8.8

User Satisfaction 99%

Online Invoices is a software that simplifies the way businesses manage and monitor their sales, generate invoices, receive and track payments, and more. Read Reviews

Zoho Expense reviews
12.
Zoho Expense

Our Score 9.0

User Satisfaction 98%

Zoho Expense is a tool that businesses can use to automate travel and business expense reporting, streamline approvals, and gain spend visibility and control. Read Reviews

Invoice Meister reviews
13.
Invoice Meister

Our Score 8.5

User Satisfaction 100%

Invoice Meister is an effective online invoicing solution for freelancers and small businesses. Read Reviews

1&1 Online Accounting reviews
14.
1&1 Online Accounting

Our Score 8.5

User Satisfaction 96%

Online accounting platform with invoicing, accounting, and inventory management functions. Read Reviews

SutiSoft Spend Management reviews
15.
SutiSoft Spend Management

Our Score 8.0

User Satisfaction 98%

SutiSoft’s Spend Management Platform is a unified solution that includes a comprehensive suite of solutions for businesses to optimize enterprise spend. Read Reviews

FG Receivables Manager reviews
16.
FG Receivables Manager

Our Score 7.9

User Satisfaction 100%

Funding Gates makes it easy for businesses to manage their accounts receivable and get paid faster. Read Reviews

How To Choose The Best Accounting Software

Accounting software is today’s most valuable online asset of finance professionals who wish to automate accounting processes in order to cut costs and boost productivity. Choosing the appropriate programs, however, can be a daunting task, because there are many factors that need to be considered in advance. If you want to find out who the leaders in this category are check out our rankings list of top 10 accounting software. Here are some of the basic stuff you need to know about the best accounting software platforms before you start searching:

Get to know each product with free trial

Our accounting software reviews show that the diversity of this type of software is just outstanding, and so are the carefully crafted features specialized for a single or multiple industries. This is exactly why choosing the best accounting software can either push your business to the top or be a costly pick that will complicate your financial operations. In order to overcome the challenge, you need to not only realize what is accounting software and its core features, but also compose a check list of basic requirements and expectations, and consider multiple products that can respond to them. We recommend you to either try out some free accounting software tools or to go for at least a few free trials or demo for comparison, starting with some of the top accounting software providers that are currently leading the market: FreshBooks reviewsAppsForOps Expense Claim, Avangate, StockMarketEye, Float, Nichify Apps, W3B Management Solutions, e-SignLive, NetSuite OneWorld, Zoho Invoice, Chargify, Tipalti, XeroWorkflowMax, KashFlow, Intacct, and AccountEdge.

Targeted Businesses

  • Routine small business – your accounting needs are straightforward. These include: general ledger, accounts payable/accounts receivable, fixed assets, and bank reconciliation. In most cases, you only need the basic plan or core accounting with one or two add-ons to your liking. Vendor support is needed, but very rarely, perhaps only during setup. For a more detailed look on this type of solutions check out our list of accounting software for small business.
  • Growing business – you may have the same accounting needs as a small business now, but you’ll need more robust features in a few months or years. Look for accounting software with scalable options, that is, you can start with a core accounting module and add more modules later.
  • Large enterprise – you will need more complex and robust accounting modules. For example, instead of getting a core accounting module with bundled budget & forecast or fixed asset features, it’s recommended to get full but integrated modules. Standalone modules can handle multiple data from different departments and consolidate them to get an overall picture. In many instances, vendors need to quote a price based on the large enterprise’ specific processes. If you need some suggestions on this type of tools take a look at our list of accounting software for enterprises.
  • Specific industries – some businesses like engineering and construction firms require features that enable them to break down costing and estimation by project or other categories. Software development companies also need features to match the development phases specific to launching new products. Likewise, nonprofits and fundraising entities need accounting solutions that incorporate reporting requirements specific to them. If your business has a specific need, check for accounting solutions that specialize on your field.

Accounting Software for enterprises

More than SMB assets, accounting software tools are designed for large enterprises in need of robust and complex finance modules that can handle large amount of data. Most of the well-developed accounting & finance systems are built and integrated in accordance with large businesses’ requirements, and provide the full ROI and functionality picture, rather than simply forecasting the budget or handling fixed assets. At the same time, accounting software products are designed to blend within every software architecture, eliminating the need to pay for additional functionality. Most of these product are also priced by quote, so that they will give every business exactly what it needs. For a more detailed overview of the category there is also our top 15 accounting solutions that you can take a look at to do general comparisons of the different programs.

Examples of Accounting Software

  • FreshBooks: A smart cloud solution for small businesses that can streamline client invoicing. Its distinctive features are recurring subscriptions and the possibility to collect payment online (via PayPal, for instance).
  • QuickBooks Online: an ideal accounting software for freelancers and small businesses. This app allows full capabilities to up to five users and limited functionalities to an unlimited number of users.
  • Brightpearl: A multi-channel retail management system that handles inventory and accounting at a single platform. It is highly recommended because of its strong integrations with major retail platforms (Amazon, eBay, Magento, etc.)
  • Intacct: A recognized CPA’s financial-related applications provider, suitable mostly for growing businesses that require active financial monitoring.
  • QuickBooks Enterprise: It has an intuitive and easy-to-read interface, which is why it is perfect for non-accountant users. Together with the basic packages, it offers industry-specific solutions.
  • Xero: An online accounting app for small businesses and individual users which features a collaboration section for group financial activities.
  • Zoho Books: an intuitive accounting solution designed for small businesses to handle their finances and to remain on top of their cash flow.

Types of Accounting Software

Accounting software can optimize your business in many different ways, depending on who you are or what you’re looking for. Sometimes it’s better to take a look at the bigger picture first, and define the category you belong to before investing in a product.

  • Payroll Software. Payroll programs are standard tools for accounting and drafting reports, which work with drag-and-drop capabilities and are usually easy to understand. Their main feature are cash-flow calculators applied by multiple users, and they are far more industry-specific than other accounting products.
  • Enterprise Resource Management Software (ERP). ERP suites include all the standard reports and financial tools, the same as points of sale, inventory control, billing, purchasing, and customer relationship management. They can also be industry-specific, particularly for sectors such as construction and manufacturing.
  • Freemium Software. The main difference between this type and the other two types is that accounting features are slightly limited, or require paid subscriptions in order to be accessed. Most of them are on-premise, meaning that you have to use your company data or your financial information to download them.

Key Features of Accounting Software

  • Core accounting – it’s the basic component of all accounting software, so make sure you’re getting this module. Features include general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, fixed assets, and bank reconciliation. Most vendors offer this as their basic plan, while a few vendor even give it away as a freemium to get you on board for future paid subscriptions.
  • Billing & Invoicing – this module can be part of the basic module or as a separate component. It lets you to automate routine collections. Billing & Invoicing can vary by industry based on payment methods, industry standards and practices, and scale of operations.
  • Budget & Forecasting – often packaged as an add-on, this module lets you estimate next year’s budget based on historic data and sales targets. A standalone module can consolidate different departmental budgeting and forecasts for an overall company estimates, while a bundled feature usually only allows a single budget and forecast tool.
  • Fixed asset – whether as an add-on or bundled with core accounting, fixed asset lets you manage financial information on important company assets. Features include depreciation calculation; audit history; and cost. This module is critical if the business has a lot of assets in different forms. Otherwise, a bundled fixed asset may suffice.
  • Payroll system – lets you process employee payrolls, print checks, automatically withhold and pay taxes and create legal and tax reports on schedule. The module is often packaged as an add-on or standalone product. A practical feature to look at is an automated reminder when to issue government payments to avoid penalties.
  • Project accounting – it’s usually packaged as a standalone product targeted at businesses with project-oriented operations like construction and software firms. This product is usually bundled with core accounting on top of costing and estimation of overheads, labor, materials, and equipment, among others. Project accounting solutions range from simple systems that can manage projects one at a time, or complex solutions for multiple and simultaneous but interrelated projects.
  • Fund accounting – targeted at nonprofits and government agencies, which have a separate set of financial reporting requirements. Features include: tracking donation expenditures; grant management; and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) regulations.
  • Inventory management– it’s a specific module to manage inventory. The system allows you to manage the movement of products to avoid over or under stocking. It features tools to track orders, sales, and deliveries. More specific inventory systems have a tool to calculate stock depreciation if your business has a low shelf-life product line.

Benefits of Accounting Software

Automating finance and accounting processes is driven by the need to cut costs and to improve productivity, relying on a transparent financial picture to reveal trends and opportunities. These are some of the most important advantages and benefits of accounting software:

  • Improved productivity. The role of a proper A&F program is to drill deep into your daily routine and to take over complex processes that take hours to complete. What it does is to collect data, organize it, and analyze it for you, automatically meaning that you can focus on more important tasks in the meanwhile.
  • Savings. It doesn’t mean that you have to start all over – A&F products are made to be integrated into your existent financial framework, so you don’t have to worry about adjusting them to standards and revenue frameworks. Thinking about it, having an A&F system that will integrate multiple data operations in one platform is more cost-effective than running multiple systems and transferring data manually.
  • Resource Transparency. The magic of A&F systems is that they make finance management easy, and are usually packed with explanations and simple interfaces for non-accountant users. For you, this would mean that you don’t have to train staff to use them, and that everybody in the company will be familiar with your financial capacity even without explaining.
  • Automatic Production of Documents. Together with the fact that it wraps data into comprehensive views, an A&F system can also generate reports based on it. Invoices and credit notes will be produced automatically, and the risk of human error will be completely eliminated.
  • Smarter Strategies. Remember that your intention is not only to have bills clean at the end of the month, but to use your current financial state to develop smarter strategies for the future. A&F systems will enable you to forecast possible scenarios and to follow trends, because they are fast enough to meet the needs of the growing financial markets.

Latest Trends

Nobody knows what the future will bring, but that’s not a reason to be fraught by close misses and half-truths. Therefore, we can’t expect a huge outbreak in the case of Accounting Software, but rather an extension of what has been happening so far:

  • Cloud storage will become the only storage. Yes, local storage is on its way out, and it doesn’t take to be a fortune teller to predict it. That’s the only way mobile technology will make sense for people to access their files on the go, being sure at the same time that they are protected.
  • Smart scanning for less data. That’s where innovation becomes visible. The introduction of Optical Character Recognition will enable us to transform printed materials into digital data in minimal time, meaning that accountants can forget about manual checks.

Potential Issues

  • General vs. industry-specific accounting – An accounting software designed for your industry outperforms a general accounting solution. But consider other factors like vendor support, integration, and scalability to ensure the industry-specific software is truly superior.
  • Cross-process integration – other business processes like CRM, sales software, and project management solutions often work best when integrated with your financials. A reliable accounting software should not be capable of integrating to its own modules, but also across other processes. If the accounting software can export data to standard file formats like CSV, TXT, or PDF, it’s likely compatible with other business solutions.
  • Scalability – even if you’re a small business, give scalability a serious look. You can never tell if your business needs to expand, along with your financial needs. At the least, the accounting software should let you export data in case you need to get a more robust solution in the future.

List of Accounting Software Companies

Updated

Selected products (0)

1.
FreshBooks

Our Score 9.8

User Satisfaction 99%

FreshBooks is the winner of our 2017 Best Accounting Software Award. It is a great cloud accounting app for small business that makes billing easy and effective. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $15
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Monthly payment, Annual Subscription
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Freelancers
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted

2.
Sage 50cloud

Our Score 9.7

User Satisfaction 100%

Desktop & cloud accounting software that offers built-in anytime, anywhere cloud access applications. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $44.97
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Monthly payment, Annual Subscription
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Large Enterprises, Medium Business
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted, On Premise

3.
Zoho Books

Our Score 9.6

User Satisfaction 100%

Zoho Books is the winner of our 2016 Great User Experience Award. It is an intuitive accounting software designed for small businesses to manage their finances. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $9
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Monthly payment, Annual Subscription
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Medium Business, Freelancers
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted

4.
FreeAgent

Our Score 9.5

User Satisfaction 93%

The perfect financial management and accounting tool for small businesses or freelancers, whether you are just starting or in the business now. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $10
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Linux, Android, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Monthly payment
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Medium Business, Freelancers
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted

5.
Xero

Our Score 9.5

User Satisfaction 97%

Xero is the winner of our 2017 Expert's Choice Award. It is a popular online accounting app designed for the needs of small and medium businesses in multiple industries. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $9
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Monthly payment
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Freelancers
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted, Open API

6.
QuickBooks

Our Score 9.4

User Satisfaction 96%

QuickBooks is an accounting software app that pioneered the use of windows that look like real-life forms. It offers most features every business will need. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $5
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Monthly payment, One-time payment, Annual Subscription
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Large Enterprises, Medium Business
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted, On Premise

7.
Sage Intacct

Our Score 9.4

User Satisfaction 99%

Sage Intacct is a software app that offers a wide range of out-of-the-box features with customizable functions to fit various conversion funnels and purchase orders. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: by quote
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Quote-based
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Large Enterprises, Medium Business, Freelancers
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted

8.
Gusto

Our Score 9.4

User Satisfaction 99%

Gusto is the winner of our Expert's Choice Award. It provides payroll, benefits, and workers' comp insurance to small businesses in the US. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $39
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based, Windows Mobile
  • Pricing Model: Monthly payment
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Medium Business, Freelancers
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted

9.
QuickBooks Online

Our Score 9.3

User Satisfaction 94%

QuickBooks Online is an ideal accounting software for freelancers and small businesses that simplifies small business accounting. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: €4.20
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Monthly payment
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Freelancers
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted

10.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Our Score 9.3

User Satisfaction 96%

Sage Business Cloud Accounting is an easy-to-use accounting application for small businesses and startups. Read Reviews

  • Pricing: $10
  • Devices Supported: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
  • Pricing Model: Monthly payment
  • Customer Types: Small Business, Freelancers
  • Deployment: Cloud Hosted

Our Score Read More

Our review platform makes use of our special SmartScore™ approach to gather information about all the services in the Accounting Software category to help you select the best possible app. It takes into consideration the following elements: main modules, collaboration tools, customization, available integrations, ease of use, help & support, how secure a software is, support for mobile devices, general media ratings. As of now, FreshBooks is the leader in this category and our experts are really satisfied with it. After thorough testing it got the best results among its competitors and our experts strongly suggest that you include it as one of the solutions for your needs.

User Satisfaction Read More

An overview of total user satisfaction with the solutions in our Accounting Software category calculated using our unique algorythm that gathers customer reviews, comments and opinions across a wide range of social media platforms to help you make an educated investment decision.

99%

100%

100%

93%

97%

96%

99%

99%

94%

96%

Pricing Read More

Each vendor in the Accounting Software category will provide a different group of pricing plans for its service and each package will include a varied set of tools. Below we list the overal pricing for the most affordable package offered for each app. Please note that advanced features may cost extra.

$15

$44.97

$9

$10

$9

$5

by quote

$39

€4.20

$10

Devices Supported Read More

An analysis of what type of devices and operating systems are supported by all B2B solutions in the Accounting Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.

Windows

Android

iPhone/iPad

Mac

Web-based

Laguages Supported Read More

Find out what languages and countries are supported by the popular B2B apps in the Accounting Software category, including apps aimed at international markets and prepared for multi-cultural teams of employees.

Pricing Model Read More

Find out which pricing models are provided by the vendors in the Accounting Software category to check which one fits your business requirements and budget best. Be aware that specific apps can provide free or freemium accounts for you to test first.

Free

Monthly payment

One-time payment

Annual Subscription

Quote-based

Customer Types Read More

A brief look at what groups of companies a selected B2B software in the Accounting Software category aims for, from small businesses and non-profits to large enterprises.

Small Business

Large Enterprises

Medium Business

Freelancers

Deployment Read More

An overview of what styles of service deployement are offered by every B2B vendor in the Accounting Software category. Even though the majority of modern SaaS solutions are cloud-based certain services might offer an on-site deployment model too.

Cloud Hosted

On Premise

Open API

Post by Alex Hillsberg