Top 10 Accounting Software and How to Choose One In 2019

by Darina Lynkova

So you’re looking for accounting software, but you have no idea which to choose?

After all, pick the wrong one and you’re stuck with an expensive service that eats away your time as you desperately try to learn how to operate it. (Time you should be spending on your business, that is.)

To remedy that, we went through the 30 most popular programs to find out the best 10 among them. We paid for them and tested them in real-world scenarios to see how each one performs.

Here we go!

Rate

Accounting Software

Best For

Ranking

Link

1

freshbooks best accounting software techjury review

self-employed business owners, agencies, firms, and consultancies

9.7/10

Visit Website

2

oracle netsuite accounting software techjury review

all kinds of businesses

9.6/10

Visit Website

3

online invoices best accounting software techjury review

small business

9.2/10

Visit Website

4

xero accounting tool techjury review

medium to large business

9.0/10

Visit Website

5

tipalti accounting review techjury

medium to large business

8.7/10

Visit Website

6

zoho best accounting software techjury review

SME

8.4/10

Visit Website

7

quickbooks accounting software techjury review

small business

8.0/10

Visit Website

8

sage accounting online techjury review

all kinds of businesses

7.0/10

Visit Website

9

wave online software techjury review

small business

6.5/10

Visit Website

10

gnucash free accounting software techjury review

small business

6.2/10

Visit Website

How Did This List Happen

I used a comprehensive data-driven methodology to compile the list below. Here’s what I went through to rank the best accounting software:

  1. Read an unfathomable number of reviews on accounting software
  2. Kept track of those that pop up most frequently
  3. Visited the websites of the most popular accounting software
  4. Made a list of the top 30 best-performing products.
  5. Compared prices and features
  6. Got rid of those that offer less than the competition
  7. Selected top 20 and got a free trial for those that have one
  8. Identified key features that users value the most
  9. Narrowed down the list to the top 10
  10. Investigated their customer support – chat and email
  11. Examined their knowledge base, tutorials, and YouTube channels for info
  12. Made a thorough list of features – design, invoice, project management, payroll
  13. Rated the top 10

What follows is the actual list that came to life. And here is the case study of the best accounting software I crafted during the review process.

You are welcome!

How to Choose? 

Often we have difficulty deciding which pair of socks to wear in the morning. How, then, can we choose the software that will run the finances of our business?

Well: 

There are a couple of key questions to ask yourself before you start.  

  • How much money can I afford to spend on accounting software per month?
  • On which operating system will I be running it? 
  • Am I switching to a higher level accounting software and what am I looking for? 
  • Am I going to commit to one accounting software for a longer period of time, or am I just testing the water? 
  • What specific features do I need? (e.g. number of clients and invoices, inventory, payroll – these are not included in every package and sometimes you have to pay extra for those features) 
  • Is design important for me? 
  • Am I going to need an accounting software that supports payments in multiple currencies
  • Do I want to start with a free software?
  • Am I looking for a big-shot company to manage my accounting? 
  • Am I willing to invest time to learn a software with a steep learning curve, or do I need a software I can start using right away? 

In other words, if you need software advice, read on: 

Top 10 Accounting Software 

In the beginning, there was Chaos. 

Then accounting software came to be.

And Chaos is no more.

1. FreshBooks 

Price: from $13,50/mo

Our rating: 9.7/10

freshbooks accounting review techjury

FreshBooks is high-tier accounting software. It’s intuitive and you can access it from every device. Your files are safely stored in the cloud, so you can join the millions of businesses already using cloud-based tech! It’s best for both self-employed business owners, agencies, firms, and consultancies. 

FreshBooks has been around since 2003. In 2019, there are more than 10 million users in 120 countries.

Ease of Use

The setup takes some time but once you are done, the process feels natural and easy to manage. You can white-label the interface, which is always nice. Finally, you should receive an email with a trial invoice to confirm you’re set.  

The website is also user-friendly. Everything is just where you expect it. It is a great go-to solution and saves lots of time. 

Support

The support of FreshBooks is literally on an award-winning level. There is a great knowledge base, 24/7 phone support, and email for contact. I sent a couple of queries and every time the response was almost immediate. 

If you want to get live support, the toll-free phone line is always there for you. The Toronto-based customer support team will answer any questions until the issue is resolved. 

FreshBooks: Features 

Pros:

  • 30 days free trial – no credit card information required
  • Cloud storage – 100% web-based software – no need to install anything
  • Option for customized pricing
  • Free mobile app (FreshBooks Cloud Accounting) – for iOS and Android
  • Great time-tracking
  • Effortless organization of invoices
  • Track expenses easily 
  • Great design and option to personalize
  • Collaboration with other apps that will make your payments, time management, and project management way easier
  • Automatic full refund after 30 days
  • Available in 120 languages
  • Award-winning support team – email answer within 1 working day!
  • Various invoicing features
  • Works on Windows, MacOS, and Linux

Cons: 

  • Relatively long set up
  • Some bugs with automated expenses
  • Not too flexible pricing list – the plan for freelancers is pricey
  • Payroll not included

Who is FreshBooks best for?

FreshBooks fits well with a wide spectrum of users. From freelancers to large business owners. With a personalized payment plan, anyone can choose what features to include and get the best from the software. 

However, FreshBooks is designed for small business owners. The software is well-organized and intuitive, and users can choose from a wide variety of features within the individual packages. 

Price

FreshBooks offers a small range of pricing plans. There is a one of a kind pricing plan, though. Users can choose a customizable one – an option few other accounting software companies offer. 

If you wish to subscribe for a monthly payment plan, without any long-term commitment to the accounting software, this is the pricing list. If you opt for an annual subscription (which you can select from a toggle just above the pricing list) the price will be different and slightly lower: 

  • Lite $13,50/mo on annual basis

For a monthly subscription: $15/mo

This is the cheapest plan and it is geared toward freelancers. With this plan, you can add up to 5 billable clients. 

  • Plus – $22,50/mo on annual basis

For a monthly subscription: $25/mo 

This is the most popular option. Not necessarily because it’s the most powerful or great value – it’s just that small businesses sign up for it in spades. It includes all the features of the Lite package and several more. It is best suited for… you guessed it – small businesses. 

  • Premium – $45/mo on annual basis

For a monthly subscription: $50/mo

That plan builds upon the smaller ones and gives you the opportunity to add up to 500 billable clients.

  • Select  – custom price –  there is no free trial for that, but you can request a demo. It allows the user to add more than 500 billable clients. That option is best for medium and large businesses, which need a tailor-made plan. This option includes a live account manager.

Verdict

FreshBooks is an excellent piece of software with some great features. It makes invoicing a breeze. 

2. NetSuite ERP

Price: Custom, depending on your needs

Our rating: 9.6/10

netsuite best accounting tool techjury review

NetSuite ERP is one of the most trusted companies in the field. It works with a limited number of users, but every user is treated individually. NetSuite ERP is suited for any type of business. Among its clients are companies such as Siemens, Xerox, Fujitsu, and Cisco. 

Ease of use

The software is fairly easy to use and you get a dedicated account manager to train your team. The financial management of Netsuite ERP services a multitude of global businesses that dominate their respective fields.  

Support

When you visit the website the first thing you notice is the live chat option in the right bottom corner. The support team is supposed to answer in 15 seconds. And they do. Then they start getting to know you and your business – which they need to do to provide you with a tailor-made solution.

You may transfer that conversation to a phone call with a live accountant. After they get the information they need, they make you an offer. 

Netsuite ERP: Features

Pros: 

  • Free product tour
  • Live chat with an expert
  • Personal approach
  • Personalized payment plan
  • Supports global accounting
  • A great variety of features
  • Excellent customer support
  • Multilingual software – supports 24 languages
  • Up to 90 bank payment formats
  • Supports 190 currencies and exchange rates
  • Complete financial management in the cloud
  • Supports more than 100 countries and their tax systems

Cons: 

  • No free trial 
  • Takes time to get up to speed

Who is NetSuite ERP best for?

Any type of business can benefit greatly from a personal approach to managing its finances. Businesses can expand as much as they can and Netsuite ERP will be there along all the way. 

If you need a more personal approach and to be a part of a relatively small community of users who get their money’s worth, Netsuite ERP is a great option.  

Price

With Netsuite ERP there are no fixed prices. Each client gets an individual plan and pays exactly for what they use. 

Verdict

Netsuite ERP is one of the best accounting solutions for international companies. The individual payment plan and the sheer quantity of great features make it perfect for any type of business. 

3. Online Invoices

Price: from $0/mo

Our rating: 9.2/10

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Online Invoices has been around for almost 10 years now. 

Small business owners can benefit from this free software the most. The platform is great for invoicing and accounting and is super easy to use. You can control your accounting from anywhere – and rely on the security of your data.

Ease of use

Online Invoices offers a good user experience. Combined with flexible prices, a very good dashboard which visualizes everything for you, and an awesome set of features, this accounting software is one of the best on the market.

Among the features of Online Invoices, users enjoy the seamless invoicing and the option to personalize the invoices. Tax management is easy to set as well. 

Support

The support of Online Invoicing is somewhat limited. There is a US-based support team that offers phone support. Email support is also present and is divided into 2 categories – general questions and customer support. 

Online Invoicing: Features

Pros: 

  • Free trial period (no payment information required) 
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Free to use basic plan 
  • Creates a unique URL for every user
  • Small business oriented 
  • Pre-set profiles for different industries (e.g. travel agency, clinic and patient management, optical shop, consulting service)
  • Sleek and user-friendly design 
  • Easy to use dashboard
  • Email templates
  • Users can create their own invoice layout 
  • Website is easy to navigate
  • Free updates
  • Easy to use tax settings
  • Option to visualize all recent activities
  • Works on Windows, Linux, Android, MacOS, web-based
  • Online accounting and CRM

Cons: 

  • Limited support

Who is Online Invoices best for?

Running a small business with Online Invoices is easy and smooth. It helps users keep their management in control, with a feature-rich invoicing and billing system.

Price

Online Invoicing offers 4 payment plans. The first one is free.

  • Free$0/mo – the basic package. It includes: 15 clients, 15 invoices per month, 2 invoice layouts. This is a great way to start. You can always upgrade. 
  • Silver$9,95/mo – The cheapest premium bundle. It allows for 300 clients, 300 invoices per month, and 12 invoice layouts.
  • Gold$19,95/mo – For those who need more firepower. Let’s see: 2,500 clients, 1,000 invoices per month, and 30 invoice layouts.
  • Platinum$39,95/mo – the most expensive payment plan: unlimited clients, unlimited invoices per month, unlimited invoice layouts. Just in case you’re not a fan of limitations. (Or you have a really big company.)

Additional costs: 

  • Extra staff member user – $4,99/mo

Verdict

One of the best accounting software platforms out there. It incorporates many of the most desirable features and combines them with affordable pricing plans. 

4. Xero

Price: from $20/mo

Our rating: 9.0/10

xero accounting tool 2019 techjury review

Xero is one of the most popular solutions for medium and large businesses. Located in New Zealand, the company launched in 2006 and in 2008 it already had around 1.3 million users. 

Ease of use

The design of the website is modern and it delivers a great user experience. The learning curve is moderate. There is a whole page on the website dedicated to the users who need to improve their skills with the platform.

Xero offers free video tutorials and assistants to help accountants along their way. And if reading is your thing, there is a great written guide as well.

Support

Xero offers a free unlimited 24/7 phone support. There is a relatively big knowledge base, which answers most questions users can think of. The company only offers email support during the sales process, though. 

Xero: Features

Pros: 

  • Free trial
  • Cloud-based
  • Unlimited invoicing (for 2 of the 3 pricing plans)
  • Great mobile app (Xero Accounting and Invoices) 
  • Effortless accounting
  • Option for customized invoices
  • Easy setup
  • Client portal, where clients can view and pay their invoices online 
  • Option to import charts straight into the accounting software
  • Cloud accounting – access from any device
  • Xero live assistants (with accounting background!) available
  • Works with many currencies
  • Secure data protection

Cons: 

  • Limited customer support options
  • Users might need help at first with the software

Who is Xero best for?

Users with medium and large businesses will benefit from the options for unlimited invoices and multiple users.   

Price

Xero is pretty straight forward about its additional costs. It offers 3 monthly payment plans. 

  • Starter $20/mo – limited number of invoices, bills, and transactions
  • Standard$30/mo – unlimited invoices, bills, 
  • Premium$40/mo – handle multiple currencies

Optional costs: 

  • Payroll – using the Gusto app  – $39/month base + $6/month per person.
  • Projects: for 1 user – $7/mo
  • Projects: adding an active user – $5/mo
  • Expenses: for 1 use – $4/mo
  • Expenses: adding an active user – $4/mo

Verdict

Xero is a secure cloud accounting software for medium and large businesses, perfect for users who dislike being bogged down by limitations. 

5. Tipalti

Price: Custom plans

Our rating: 8.7/10

tipalti best accounting software techjury review

The accounting management software company Tipalti has been around since 2010. It is based in California and Israel. It specializes in cloud-based automated accounting services and keeping things simple for its clients. 

Tipalti’s clients enjoy a wide variety of benefits geared mostly toward small business owners. That said, it also serves medium and large enterprises with great success. Tipalti is one of the most secure and reliable accounting software solutions out there. 

Ease of use

Tipalti helps users pay hundreds of suppliers all over the world. The platform is accessible internationally and can ultimately alleviate more than 80% of users’ work – early payment automation, automation of taxes, effortless processing of invoices, and payments.  

It is super easy to use – once you get started, the software automates the process for you. After that, it will know your needs and preferences and will respond to them with ease.  

Support

To get started with Tipalti, users have to contact the support team. It’s part of their job to give you a tailor-made solution that works. You will need to provide them with a lot of information about your company from the very beginning. 

Once you’re in, there is phone and email support you can count on. You can send them a message directly from the website or simply chat from the front page. They start responding immediately. 

Tipalti: Features 

Pros: 

  • Free product tour
  • Reduction of payment error rates
  • Intuitive and easy to fill forms
  • Great with taxes
  • Beautiful dashboard
  • Invoice management – automated processing of invoices
  • Option for mass payment of suppliers
  • Supports payment in 120 currencies in 190 countries
  • Supports multiple payment methods
  • Payment automation
  • System backup every 4 hours
  • Automatic cross-check of payments
  • Automated book reports
  • Buyers and suppliers can easily see all payments at all time
  • The software scans for the tax regulations of the country that the payment came from
  • KPMG-certified tax module
  • Scanning for payees from an international blacklist
  • Effortless integration 

Cons: 

  • No free trial
  • Not the best customer support
  • Interface could be better
  • Steep learning curve 
  • No mobile app

Who is Tipalti best for?

Companies with complex payment operations will appreciate Tipalti the most. It has a number of features that make it a top choice for this type of businesses. 

Price

You get to have your own custom plan, which is great because you’ll get (and pay for) exactly what you want. 

Verdict

Tipalti has a great list of VIP clients and a super intuitive interface. This makes it easy to get the most out of it and even automate the process. It’s a perfect small business accounting software, but basically, any business can benefit from the accounting features.

6. Zoho Books

Price: from $9/mo

Our rating: 8.4/10

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Founded in 1996, the Zoho Corporation is a leading software provider, based in India. 60% of Fortune 500 companies work with their accounting software, which speaks for itself. With its award-winning user experience, ZohoBooks is great for SME.

Ease of use

The software is effortlessly easy to manage. It offers a quick search box, which gives step-by-step solutions to most problems you can encounter. To top it off, it gives you additional information on how to improve other features. 

Support

ZohoBooks offers a great knowledge base and a FAQ search directory. Users can also chat with customer support with any questions they might have – they answer within a minute! 

For those who need more than that, there is a 24/5 toll-free phone support. And of course there is email support – you can send your inquiry directly from the website. 

Zoho Books: Features

Pros

  • Fully-featured 14-day trial
  • Great UX
  • Free mobile app (Accounting app – Zoho Books)
  • Super easy setup
  • Intuitive dashboard that gives an instant visualization of your business
  • Affordable prices
  • Excellent customer support ( they answered my email within 3 hours)
  • Affordable for small businesses
  • Tracking of expenses and bills 
  • Online payment gateways
  • Reminder for payments
  • Simplifies banking transaction
  • Automated work process
  • Invoice customisation
  • Team management 
  • Works on Windows, MacOS, and Android. There’s a web-based version as well.

Cons

  • Payroll is not included in the pricing plans
  • Low number of possible contacts (the most expensive pricing plan gives you the opportunity to add only 10 contacts)
  • Additional costs that are not included in the initial packages

Who is Zoho Books best for?

With Zoho Books your small and growing business will flourish quickly. It can scale up with your company – users can upgrade their bundle at any time.

Price

With Zoho Books users can get a 14-day full-featured free trial. To top this off, if you sign up for a yearly plan, you get 2 months for free

  • Basic$9/mo 

Annual subscription – $90/year  

The entry-level accounting bundle. You can add up to 50 contacts, 1 user and 1 accountant can have access to the information. You also get 5 automated workflows. They help you automate things like, sending notifications and email alerts. They can be triggered when an invoice is paid or overdue, or just based on the status of the invoice.

  • Standard$19/mo

Annual subscription – $190/year

This is the most popular payment plan. It allows you to add up to 500 contacts, 3 users and 1 accountant that can have access to the information. You also get 10 automated workflows. 

  • Professional$29/mo

Annual subscription – $290/year

Unlimited contacts, 10 contacts, 10 users altogether can have access to the information. Again, you get 10 automated workflows. 

Additional costs: 

  • Payroll – paid separately
  • Add a user – $2/mo or $20/year
  • Auto scan – $5/mo or $50/year

Verdict

Zoho Books is a user-friendly software, perfect for small and medium-sized businesses. It offers great features, affordable prices, and modern design.

7. QuickBooks Online

Price: from $5/mo

Our rating: 8.0/10

quickbooks online accounting software 2019 techjury

If you own a small business and wish to automate its accounting, QuickBooks is among the best tools for the job. It’s affordable for freelancers ($5/mo bundle for the first year!), and fairly easy to manage. QuickBooks Online is most widely used for small business. 

Ease of use

The platform is extremely user-friendly. After you log in, they kindly ask you what kind of business you have, and what you’ll be using QuickBooks for. And you’re done. 

QuickBooks is amazing at visualizing your data. For example, it can show your expenses as a percentage of your income. Or where your money is going so you can cut expenses in the future. 

Small, nifty features like that make a lot of difference as they give you key information about how well you’re managing your finances. (And what to do about it.) 

Support 

QuickBooks is always there to help. You get a 24/7 support on the phone. 

QB has a great knowledge base where you can find answers to most questions. If that doesn’t help, there is a helpful QB community too. You can find a great resource for Q&A there. And if you need a deeper look into the matters – check out the self-help articles and find what you need. 

There are pretty great video tutorials on the website, that can come as a great help at times too. 

QuickBooks Online: Features

Pros:

  • 30 days free trial (no credit card information required)
  • Quick and easy set up 
  • 24/7 phone support 
  • Free mobile app (QuickBooks Accounting)
  • Manage your finances from any device simultaneously
  • Upgrade to another payment plan at any moment as your needs change
  • A handy dashboard with all the information you need at a glance
  • Great FAQ page with full articles that describe different tech question clients have and ways to address them  
  • The software allows you to manage up to 1099 contractors
  • Works on Windows, MacOS, and Linux

Cons:

  • Additional costs that are not included in the initial packages
  • Pricy live accounting services
  • It will take you some time to get to know the website in the beginning

Who is QuickBooks Online best for?

QuickBooks Online is good for practically any kind of business – from freelancers, through SMEs to large corporations. The platform offers a wide range of options that can fit every business’s needs. 

The pricing model allows you to save money and get used to the program during the first 3 months. It offers a free mobile app that will save you lots of time, AND you don’t need to sign a contract if you want to use the software. 

Alright, let’s see the prices: 

Price

QuickBooks offers a wide range of different platforms. You can always start with the basic package and upgrade as you go along and decide you need more features. 

  • Self-employed (freelance) – from: $5 /mo – this is the core plan.  
  • Simple start – from: $10 /mo – that’s a great plan for small business owners.
  • Essentials – from $20/mo – this is the cheapest bundle that allows you to add employees and give them access to your accounting books. 
  • Plus – from $35/mo – a great option for middle-sized businesses. It gives the user the option to manage the invoices of up to 5 users. The Plus and the Advanced bundles allow users to add up to 1099 contractors.  
  • Advanced – from $60/mo – that’s the most expensive option and the largest bundle of features. And it’s awesome! If you have a medium-to-large business, that’s the package for the job. This bundle will give you the opportunity to add up to 25 employees, effectively delegate workload, and perform accelerated invoicing. 

Additional prices and options: 

  • Self-Service Payroll – $18/mo + $4/ employee per month
  • Full-Service Payroll – $40/mo + $4/ employee per month – an expert will do everything for you 
  • 0.25 cents Transaction Fee – that’s right. For every transaction, QuickBooks Online will charge you a quarter.
  • Live Accountant – starting from: $410/mo – this could be of great help for any newbies that can appreciate the help during the first months. 
  • Live Tutorial – the overall price of the course is $579.95 for a Level 1 class that lasts 2 whole days. There is a 100% money back guarantee in case you aren’t happy.

Verdict 

QuickBooks Online is affordable for all kinds of business owners, it’s super easy to use, and it offers a flexible price list that you can upgrade at any moment.  

8. Sage 50cloud

Price: from $38,80/mo

Our rating: 7.0/10

sage 50cloud best accounting software techjury review

There are around 20 products of Sage Group accounting. The company was launched back in 1981 and currently has around 6.1 million customers worldwide. The assorted products are designed for every type of business and entrepreneur. 

That said, Sage 50cloud is specifically designed for small businesses

Ease of use

There is a steep learning curve when it comes to making the first steps with Sage 50cloud. Contrary to what the name suggests, it is a desktop-based platform, with access to the cloud, which combines the best of both worlds. 

After you sign up for a free trial on the website, you will receive an email. You will need to install the software, insert the serial number, activation key number, and account number which you will find in the email they sent you, and have a little patience before all the updates are installed and everything is ready for you.   

Support

Sage 50cloud offers unlimited support on the phone – customers can contact the Help Centre 24/7. Once you get there, you need to choose the topic of your question. 

There are also 

The best thing is the knowledge base articles. They will be there for you whenever the guys on the phone are not. 

Sage 50cloud: Features

Pros

  • A wide variety of products and pricing
  • Award-winning support team 
  • Cloud-based
  • Cloud backup
  • Available in English, French, German, Spanish, Polish
  • Option for direct deposit 
  • Great personalizable dashboard
  • Option to write and receive checks
  • Option for project management
  • Microsoft 365 integration
  • Unlimited North-America based phone support
  • Outlook connector – automatically sync your contacts to the Sage 50 Cloud
  • Expense management, payroll, sales optimization, reporting
  • Free 30-day trial (only for the Premium and Quantum packages) 

Cons

  • Old-fashioned interface – outdated UI
  • Available only for Windows 7, 8, and 10. MacOS and Linux are not supported
  • Website is difficult to navigate
  • No free trial for the cheapest (Pro Accounting) package
  • Software download needed (installation takes around 45 minutes)
  • Poor customer support

Who is Sage 50cloud best for?

Sage 50cloud is an amazing platform for small business. As long as you can handle a longer setup process and old-fashioned design. Nevertheless, Sage 50cloud offers so many features that it easily makes up for its shortcomings. 

Price

Sage 50 cloud offers 3 pricing plans. As you will see, there is a difference in the pricing if you sign up for an annual or a monthly subscription.  

  • Pro Accounting – $465,95/year (that’s $38/mo). 

For a monthly subscription: $46,83/ mo

This is the cheapest package of Sage 50cloud. It includes a simple desktop accounting service. Only 1 single user may operate the system.  

  • Premium Accounting – $720,95/year (that’s $60,07/mo). 

For a monthly subscription: $72,41/mo 

In this package users enjoy services like: job costing, advanced budgeting, serialized inventory, and audit trail. With Premium Accounting you can add up to 5 users. You need to state the number of users in advance (1, 3, or 5). In other words, up to 5 people may access information and add accounting data for your company. You can also add up to 10 different companies to your account.

  • Quantum Accounting – $1834,95/year (that’s $152,91/mo). 

For a monthly subscription: $182,91/mo 

The third and most expensive option builds upon the cheaper ones and adds services like: faster processing, industry-specific features, support for up to 40 users, stock and reporting capabilities, workflow automation, personalized dashboards, and role-based security.  That’s important as the fast majority of data breaches happen because of human error.

The minimum number of users is 5 and you can add up to 40 users. You can add as many companies as you want with this plan.

Additional fees: 

  • Microsoft 365 – it can be added to any of the 3 available pricing plans for $150/year. Integrating Microsoft 365 into your accounting strategy will provide you with visualizations, financial reports on Excel, upload and store receipts while you are still in the cloud. 
  • VAT – it is up to the user to add a VAT (Value Added Tax) service. The price varies according to the chosen payment plan.   
  • Payroll – if you need to add the Payroll option, contact the company directly for details. 

Verdict

Sage 50cloud is a great desktop platform connected to the cloud. The old-fashioned interface aside, it offers many great features that most of the other top 10 accounting software programs don’t, and it can be a great addition to your strategy.

9. Wave Accounting

Price: from $0/mo

Our rating: 6.5/10

wave accounting online techjury review

Wave Accounting launched back in 2010. In 2019, more than 3.5 million entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners use Wave Accounting. It’s one of the best free accounting software platforms, and offers no-nonsense features like accounting, invoicing, and receipts. Users can use the payroll and bookkeeping services for a price. That accounting software is designed for small businesses

Ease of use

Wave Accounting is cloud-based. Users can count on a well-organized software that is easy to navigate. It is also very intuitive and does not require previous knowledge and accounting skills from users. 

The Wave dashboard is easy to manage and gives users direct insight into invoices, payments, purchases, and customers.

Support

There is ticketing support divided into sections – you email your question after you have selected the subject of your inquiry. That way your question gets handled by a staff member with the right expertise. 

The email will get answered within a working week. It’s not super fast, but you will get what you need eventually. The email I received as an answer was detailed, personal, and eventually – helpful.

There is also ”community chat”, which can be pretty useful. It is also topic-based – you need to select what exactly you need help with before you can contact a member of the community.  There are also articles that can be of help. 

Wave Accounting: Features 

Pros:

  • Free to use (only the basic features) 
  • Free mobile app (Receipts by Wave)
  • Option to sign in with Google 
  • Satisfactory customer support
  • Option to customize your design and add your logo 
  • An easy to use dashboard
  • Cloud-based – no downloads required
  • Works on Windows, MacOS, and Linux

Cons: 

  • Limited app usage
  • Not suitable for medium or large businesses
  • Additional costs for payroll and transactions
  • No project management feature
  • Only available in English

Who is Wave Accounting best for?

Wave Accounting is specifically oriented toward small businesses. It is tailor-made to equip small business owners with the tools to manage their receipts, invoicing, purchases, reports, and payroll. 

Price

When it comes to price, Wave Accounting has no rival. 

It is free to use.

However, there are some additional products of Wave you might be interested in: 

  • Payroll: There is a 30-days free trial. After that, it’s $35/mo (or $20/mo, depending on your location in the US) + $4 per employee. With that in place, Wave handles all the payroll and taxes for you.
  • Payments: Wave charges 2.9% +  30¢ per credit card transaction. 
  • Wave+: if you need the services of an accounting coach you can pay a one time $249 fee and receive a live training
  • Bookkeeping Service: for $199/mo you can hire a Wave Bookkeeper to manage your accounting for you. It’s a great small business bookkeeping software

Verdict

Wave Accounting is a great way to manage a small business. It’s one of the best bookkeeping accounting software. Wave Accounting is free and allows users the perfect amount of features so they can enjoy the benefits of an accounting software program. 

10. GnuCash 

Price: free to use

Our rating: 6.2/10

gnucash online accounting software techjury review

GnuCash is a great solution for small business owners. It was released in 1998, so they have been on the market for quite a while – and have had the chance to build a mature piece of software over the years.  It is also free to use and open source

Ease of use

There is a steep learning curve in the beginning, but eventually, you will find it’s worth it. The fact that the software is free to use and there are no hidden taxes more than makes up for the initial challenges. 

Support

If you need some help from the GnuCash customer support, you need to be very specific. The SQL support is great for handling structural data. There is a great knowledge base that will help you when you need it. But if you have a more specific question you need to do some research before you find your answer. 

There is however an IRC channel where you can contact developers and ask your question. 

GnuCash: Features

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Open source
  • Available in 50 languages
  • Multiplatform – available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux
  • Mobile app for Android
  • Supports international transactions 
  • Straightforward budgeting report
  • Big database for problem-solving
  • Great transaction management
  • Scheduled transactions
  • IRC channel for questions
  • Double-entry bookkeeping – bind transactions together from 2 accounts

Cons: 

  • Outdated design
  • Steep learning curve
  • No integrated payroll system
  • No inventory management and payroll
  • Lackluster support – contacting customer support might be a challenge
  • No mobile app for Apple products

Who is GnuCash best for?

It’s a great accounting system for small business. GnuCash is a professional accounting platform and a great way to start your business accounting. If you have previous experience with accounting software, it may come in handy with GnuCash. Otherwise, you will just have to spend a bit of time getting to know the interface better.  

Price

The software is free to use and without any hidden taxes. Users can take advantage of the Android mobile version, which is also free to download. 

Verdict

If you need free accounting software, which also happens to be open source – GnuCash is a great solution. It may not have a fancy design, but it provides features for small business that more than makeup for its shortcomings. 

To Sum Up

Let’s face it – accounting is tricky business. Nobody wants to deal with that. 

That said… the government still wants you to. 

Fortunately, plenty of good people have decided to make things easy for you – hence this list of accounting software. 

If you’ve reached this part, you already know they’re not all made equal. Each has its own strengths and scenarios where it excels. 

One or two of these products probably made a bigger impression on you than the rest. Scroll back, find them and take a closer look. One of those can be your ticket to an easier life as you finally get to have your accounting handled properly – with less work on your part than you imagined possible.

If you have any questions, check out our: 

FAQ

Q: What is the difference between paid and free AS?

A: Free accounting software platforms are great if you are just starting out and can’t spare money from your budget. Such platforms can provide users with insight on what the process looks like and also help them discover what features they actually need. (And which are less important for their business.) 

On the other hand, free accounting software comes with way fewer features than its paid counterparts. To top it off, it also comes with poor customer support, which often makes it just a temporary solution.  

If you wish to switch to a higher level of accounting software, there are a lot of good options to choose from. There are platforms like Netsuite ERP that already manage the accounting of medium-sized and large businesses, and can help you grow along with them. That comes at a price, but the benefits are numerous. 

Q: Are there any open source accounting software? 

A: Yes. One in particular, GnuCash, even made this Top 10 list. The main benefit of an open source accounting software (apart from being free) is that users can customize it and come up with a version of the product that is entirely tailored to their needs. Watch out, though, because you might need a complete in-house IT department to pull this off!  

Q: Which is the best accounting software?

A: The question is more like: which one is the best for me? That depends on what you need as a business owner. I am sure one or two of our top 10 today have grabbed your attention. So, make sure to check them first. 

Q: How hard it is to use an AS?

A: It depends on your willingness to spare time and work on it. It also depends on the accounting software that you have chosen. Most programs on our list offer good customer support either way. If you’re prepared to finally make your life easier with accounting software, they’ll be there to help. 

Q: Why retailers need an AS? 

A: Managing your accounting is one of the most important elements of a business strategy. It’s a boring one – sure, but it’s still crucial. 

When you have a vast amount of inventory, clients, and a big team of assistants, you need a system that will help you delegate your workload. Retail business owners need reliable accounting software that will automate the process for them, generate reports, and manage their expenses and time. 

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