There are endless options when it comes to accounting software available for businesses of all sizes. Years ago there was only one option: QuickBooks. Today, there seems to be a new accounting SaaS product launching each year.
More options means more features being released in an attempt to gain new users, as well as more competitive pricing. A lot of them used to give out free trials and then allow free accounts for a few clients. Most have moved away from this model because they only want paid users so they can focus on rolling out the best features to remain competitive.
Here are a half-dozen accounting programs to consider for managing your books, which can be used by any business, from a sports blog to brick and mortar retail locations and worldwide e-commerce websites.
This is one of the original SaaS platforms and it has really come a long way. They have really rolled out a lot of new options and are more focused on the small to medium sized business. “Little things like making it easy to grant access to an accountant or third-party to view and monitor expenses show how friendly Freshbooks is trying to make it for the SMB owner,” says Pat Skinner of answerfirst.com.
There is no longer a free plan. They used to have one that would allow you to manage three clients for free, but they increased costs to match the new features and it resulted in a better product. Customers should be willing to pay for a tool that has so many great features.
This is a very easy to use invoicing and billing platform that also has some extra features not found on other platforms. They have a digital wallet feature that is ahead of its time and something many more will surely implement in the future.
They also allow for time tracking, which is great for those that run a remote business and have to keep track of team members that are not physically in the office. “Due allows users to register an account for free, so if you are looking for something with some additional features, give it a try,” suggests April Gillmore of clickfirstmarketing.com. “It only takes a minutes to register and take a look under the hood.”
The Zoho suite of online tools is extensive and its invoicing platform is just one of many software applications they offer. This is a great choice for those that are already using Zoho for other business needs, as it seamlessly integrates with all of the other tools.
They seem to be more popular overseas, but more and more US-based companies seem to be giving them a chance. I know they are a very customer focused company and listen to feedback and suggestions, as they are always rolling out new feature requests and making improvements. Their software doesn’t remain unchanged for long, and that is a good sign.
“A product that is always innovating and adjusting with the market is going to allow you to benefit from their growth,” says Irene McConnell of Arielle Executive. “It’s always a good idea to go with SaaS products that allow for easy scaling.”
“This is the option that has been the most popular over the years simply because it was the only computer based option,” says Loren Taylor, whose company Soothing Company uses it to handle tracking and accounting of its indoor water fountains. “It has advanced a lot over the years and a lot of older companies use it still because it’s all they know.”
It still has a dated look and feel compared to other options, but that is probably done on purpose to keep its core older users to stick with it. If you are looking for a more modern user experience Freshbooks is probably the best bet. They are actually in the process of rolling out a brand new user interface that is super sleek.
Another old school option, as used by P101 Pest Control, this is what most businesses used if they had to physically track sales and inventory. Most new e-commerce stores will use multiple different programs to track inventory, shipping and sales, but NetSuite does it all.
Again, this feels and looks dated compared to other options, but its users love it. If it isn’t broken, why fix it, right?
It’s a good option for those that already use it and have their entire operation built around it, because switching over would require a lot of work not to mention teaching an entire team a brand new software stack. For new companies, though, I would lean towards one of the newer options rather than start with this.
This is a very sleek option for those that want something to handle basic accounting and invoicing. While it doesn’t have all of the features that the top (and more expensive) options have, this does just enough to help your business keep all of its financials in one spot for easy accounting.
“Not everyone needs all of the features and having access to too much can be overwhelming to some people,” says Tim Mahoney of Patterns of Evidence. “Xero is very user friendly, especially to someone with very little experience with online accounting software.”