Top 10 Accounting & ERP Software Systems
In the years and decades behind us, accounting software has become more than essential for businesses from all sizes and industries, and the more companies and employees experience its benefits, the more popular it becomes. The advantages of accounting software are numerous, the most popular among them include making accounting faster, reducing expenses, and error-free taxation. The palette of features is robust, to say the least, and companies often rely on the appealing interface and ease of use to choose the most appropriate solution.
As the clamor for accounting & ERP software systems grows, more and more products are introduced to the market. But how can you know which one is the best fit for your enterprise? To help you make a sound and educated decision, our experts here at FinancesOnline created a list of the top 10 best accounting software for your business.
1. Freshbooks – Score: 9.8/10
Freshbooks is an award-winning accounting system which currently holds the leading position in our Accounting & Finance Software category. With an expert score of 9.8/10, and an excellent user satisfaction rate of 99%, it is a definite leader that was also honored with a few of our prestigious awards, including the 2016 Supreme Software Award and the Best Accounting Software Award for 2016. Our team found Freshbooks to be the most intuitive and easy-to-use accounting system for small businesses and freelance accountants currently available on the market.
More than 5 million prominent brands around the world rely on Freshbooks to streamline client invoicing and time tracking, and that’s mostly due to the speed and reliability of this system. Just recently, the company introduced a new version of the product which allows natural collaboration between team members and partners, and has a completely redesigned dashboard where users get to prioritize tasks, as well as manage and track both timely and delayed payments. The classic functionality concept will nevertheless remain unchanged – Freshbooks offers excellent invoice-to-payment features, including the unsurpassed payment claims, delay fees, overdue payment reminders, and several direct payment gateways. Using this system, the business can collect payments effectively, and automate the recurring billing process by accepting credit card, PayPal, Amex, and Google Checkouts payments. Tracking time and charging hourly rates is another benefit worth considering when comparing Freshbooks to the other apps in this category.
Taking a deeper look at the features, one can easily conclude that Freshbook is one of those systems where no utility issue has been neglected: companies don’t only manage invoices, but also most of their expenses using the system’s handy snaps. Once data is entered and processed, account records can be filtered at any point in time in order to pull out the best reports and tax summaries. The system offers handy apps for all mobile devices, integrates with the most important business systems and applications, and invites users to rely on one of the most experienced technical support teams in the accounting software industry. Moderate pricing is yet another plus that should motivate you to explore it. There is also a great 30-day free trial available that allows you to experience all the key features of the software before purchasing (no credit card is required). You can easily sign up for FreshBooks free trial here.
2. Brightpearl – Score: 9.7/10
According to our team, the closest alternative to Freshbooks which we can suggest is Brightpearl, another amazing accounting system designed for small and medium businesses. Functionality comes fairly close to the one of Freshbooks. However, even with a resembling intuitiveness and array of features, we perceive the pricing gap between the two systems to be too big for a closer comparison look.
Nevertheless, midmarket players that are not on the budget should definitely give Brightpearl a look, as this is one of the market’s leading accounting systems designed for retail purposes. Based in the cloud, Brightpearl allows store managers to do accounting, manage inventory and customer accounts regardless of their location. The most notable feature is the central organizational hub you can easily integrate with your homegrown shipping system, and from where you can track and manage payables/receivables for each of your sales channels. The product also features order management, POS suite, quoting, CRM, batch processing, and multiple other sales-related functions.
Just as Freshbooks, Brightpearl is fully mobile-optimized, offers developers’ API for easy integration in your software system, and gives you access to premium customer support regardless of the package you’ve chosen.
3. Intacct – Score: 9.6/10
The name Intacct is derived from two terms, ‘internet’ and ‘accounting’, which basically reflects the kind of application Intaact is – a cloud-based accounting software. Business and individuals who want to move out from entry level accounting software and work with advanced accounting platforms will like Intaact, which implies that this platform is not an user-friendly product and requires users to have an advanced understanding of accounting and other accounting-related processes.
Intacct has a considerable learning curve but is a very useful accounting application once you get fully acquainted with the system. One of the reasons why Intacct is a popular option is that the software accommodates a wider variety of potential customers.
With a very basic set of core functionalities, Intaact starts with essential functions such as General Ledger, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, Order Entry, Cash Management, Purchasing, and Employee Expenses. As you go along, you can add advanced modules like Project Accounting, Global Consolidations, Revenue Recognition, and Salesforce.com integration.
4. Zoho Books – Score: 9.5/10
There isn’t much to explain when tackling a member of the Zoho family, as our readers have confirmed on many occasions that the company’s productivity suite genuinely streamlines business. Our experts agree it does its best to produce accounting software as well, and that’s why Zoho Books made it this high on the list.
This award-winning SMB-friendly accounting system does more than one would expect looking at its price. The main advantage is how it automates bank feeds, sends payment reminders without human interference, and how easy it makes it to send and track retainer invoices. In part, this is a unique system, because it integrates with Stripe, and it makes payment reconciliation easier than ever before.
What is particularly interesting is that this is one of the rare systems mentioned here that supports collaboration the way Freshbooks does, which is how it manages to dissolve all miscommunication between companies’ sales and accounting departments. Following the Freshbooks example, Zoho Books also took care of mobile optimization, and made API data public so that companies can integrate it with their other apps. Premade integrations with other Zoho systems are also available.
5. QuickBooks Enterprise – Score: 9.4/10
QuickBooks Enterprise is the professional business version of one of the very popular accounting systems. Unlike most of its competitors, QuickBooks Pro charges a single-payment license for enterprise-grade users, but it is not really suitable for smaller and mid-sized businesses.
Designed to suit professional and experienced users, QuickBooks features several modules for advanced accounting, including Reporting, Inventory, Sales, Purchasing, Payroll, and Employee Management, its functionality often resulting in usage difficulties for entry-level accountants. If you’ve outgrown that phase, however, you can consider some of its numerous unique benefits, including combined reports, custom reports, automated billing, direct credit card transactions, tracking fixed assets, and much more.
In terms of taxation, our experts believe companies should consider QuickBooks’ automated tax deductible expenses, being one of the tools of this system which none of its competitors can offer. Retailers, on the other hand, may be interested to know that QuickBooks will allow them to access all items from a single platform, making it possible to locate tasks, track services, accommodate customer requests by changing quantities, and create BOMs (bills of materials).
The price list includes more than 750 price moderations, uses multiple languages and currencies, and sending invoices and estimates automatically.
6. Xero – Score: 9.3/10
Xero is another of our experts’ preferred cloud-based accounting platforms. It offers instant access to business owners and their advisors, enabling both parties to look at and engage real time financial data anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Developed with small business owners in mind, Xero helps them to keep an eye on their cash flow, expenditures, payables, receivables, revenues, and wages. Users can also configure rules and customize them to match their requirements.
The platform also boasts connections with more than 5,000 banks and other financial establishments all over the world. This feature allows Xero users to automatically import and categorize their latest banking, credit card, and even PayPal transactions. Another cool feature is that Xero automatically matches and reconciles every bank transaction you performed, making it easy for you to stay on top of your finances.
Other very useful functionalities are custom invoices, multiple languages, multiple currencies, and real time currency exchange updates.
7. NetSuite ERP – Score: 9.1/10
While at its core NetSuite ERP is a customer relationship management system (CRM), the platform can be deployed to support sales force and marketing automation, as well as customer support and order management. NetSuite ERP comes loaded with a robust set of tools that will make financial management easy and is a league above entry-level accounting software in terms of sophistication.
Standard features include pre-configured dashboards that can be configured and customized by users according to their specific company roles. But what makes NetSuite ERP attractive are its scalability and automation features. It can grow with your business and automate front- and back-office processes such as billing, inventory management, fixed assets, revenue management, order management and financial management. Everyone who has access to the system can also customize their view of key performance indicators as well as reports that are specific to their role in the organization.
8. FinancialForce Accounting – Score: 9.1/10
FinancialForce Accounting is a complete financial management system that takes a fresh approach to how modern businesses should do their accounting processes. With its groundbreaking accounting system design, FinancialForce Accounting leverages the power of Force.com and provides users with a powerful platform that is flexible, easy to learn, use and maintain. The interface is not exactly among the simplest ones in this category, but will suit professional and experienced accountants appropriately.
The product flaunts an impressive set of features, ranging from strong accounting, billing, Professional Services Automation, and media solutions. With FinancialForce Accounting, users also get a flexible and very efficient general ledger, streamlined payables and receivables operations, cash management functions that optimize cash flow, and automated ordering and billing.
9. Sage 50 – Score: 8.8/10
Sage 50 is another product with verified quality, available in several different versions to respond to the needs of every business. Currently, it is one of the simplest, yet powerful desktop accounting apps which handle billing, account payables and account receivables, and cash flow management in a nutshell. The ease of use, however, was not the decisive criterion for our team – what we considered before anything else are Sage’s industry-specific features and module-level security, both of them explained in more detail in our Sage 50 review.
Compared to the leaders on this list, Sage 50 looks more basic than it actually is, but that’s exactly the source of its popularity – instead of reinventing the wheel, Sage’s developers simplified the complicated accounting operations, and excluded all bells and whistles that could confuse less-savvy users. It is well-structured, fast, flexible, and easy to use, and that’s already more than a small accounting team can expect. The same can be concluded from its moderate pricing. What is really surprising, though, is that you get automated data backup, job management and terminal services for just $29 per month.
10. AccountEdge – Score: 8.6/10
Last, but not least, we present you AccountEdge. This is a simplified desktop-based accounting system which runs payrolls, and manages sales and purchases as much as an average small business would require. Its double-entry mechanism allows accountants to peruse their files, and extract operable information for custom reports at any moment in time. Recognizable trademarks of this system are direct deposits, automated invoicing, and awesome inventory reports.
This system offers all vital banking functions in a nutshell: spending and receiving money is made a breeze, just as reconciling accounts and making electronic payments without creating a separate purchase order for each of them. You can use the same software to track time and bill your activities, and even consider paying employees based on 401K, health care and vacation deductions calculated within. More advanced users are encouraged to repurpose their system for inventory tracking, or even use it as their ecommerce platform by integrating it with a relevant system (Shopify, for instance).