If you’re starting a business, whether as a freelancer or solopreneur and can’t quite justify an accountant, one of the ways you can become more organized is by using online accounting software.
Not only does it save you hours of bookkeepingtime, but it also meets your budget and needs, while improving the efficiencyof your business.
We’ve compiled a list of 6 of the best online accounting software options available today, each with benefits that’ll help you manage time , billing, accounting and clients better. You can review them all in terms of ease of use, features, and pricing to find the best fit for your needs.
1. Intuit QuickBooks Online
QuickBooks is the most widely used onlineaccounting software thanks to its user-friendly interface and wealth offeatures.
It also scales as you grow, and makes it easyfor new users to learn how it all works by offering tutorials, videos, andguides. A help forum is available too, though it may take longer for you tofind an accurate and correct answer to your query.
Intuit seems to be slowly phasing out itsdesktop version of the software to focus more on this online version, but youcan still migrate to the online version if you’ve been using the desktopversion.
No matter the size or shape of your business,there’s a package that’s suitable for your needs. It may be pricier than itscompetitors, but it delivers more value by saving your business more time andresources.
All its pricing plans come with unlimited support via chat or phone, the ability to connect credit card or bank accounts, and accept online payments. They also offer access to financial statements such as balance sheet and profit and loss.
More advanced QBO plans let you track inventoryand time, manage 1099 contractors, and run full service payroll.
You can install its easy-to-use clients on Windows or macOS for the desktop, though the Mac version has fewer features compared to Windows or the online version. Besides browser accessibility, you can get QBO for mobile devices by downloading the Android or iOS app.
FreshBooks is an excellent tool for solopreneursand freelancers looking for a simple accounting system to streamline invoicingand payment collection.
It’s intuitive, well-rounded, and one of theeasiest online accounting software tools you can use for invoicing, timetracking, payments and reports.
Some of its features include double-entryaccounting, support for project tracking, ability to track work hours, and morethan 100 custom invoice templates. It also shows the location where yourcustomer opened your invoice so they don’t send you pesky excuses that theynever received it.
If you send out recurring invoices, run asubscription model business, or need time tracking for yourself or yourcontractors, FreshBooks could be ideal for you.
It integrates with many business apps and offersa dashboard where you can manage your accounting and finances.
Also included is a mobile app for Android or iOS devices so you can keep track of your business on the go, and take regular, secure backups.
Wave is a free online accounting software tooldesigned for businesses on a tight budget.
It stands out among other accounting software asit offers most of its features for free, such as the ability to track yourfinances in one platform instead of moving from one app to another fordifferent personal and business finances.
You also get free invoicing and receipts, but you’ll pay a fee when you want to use services like personal technical support, payroll or payment processing , which are integrated with its bookkeeping suite of tools.
The main drawback with this accounting softwareis that it’s not as in-depth as QuickBooks and other options on this list, butit should work fine if you just have basic needs. It also doesn’t track and payvendor bills, and serves you with ads as you’d expect with any free onlineservice.
Mobile apps for Android and iOS devices are available, though not as comprehensive as with other accounting software.
4. Zoho Books
Zoho Books is part of the Zoho cloud softwaresuite. It’s an online accounting software app that helps you manage your moneywhile giving you complete visibility of your finances.
It’s ideal for small businesses with a smallnumber of employees, inventory, and simpler needs to help manage cash flow andfinances.
Zoho Books takes pride in its straightforwardusability, and provides easy-to-understand graphs and dashboards, and automatedpayment reminders for customers who don’t pay on time. Plus, it offersfinancial statements, manual journal entries, inventory and collaborationtools, and much more.
It also integrates with other applications inthe Zoho suite of products so you don’t have to use several apps to manage yourbusiness. This sets it apart from other accounting software tools in this list.
Its main drawback is its limited payrolloffering, which may cause some users to find a different software with thisfunction.
All its pricing plans include the ability to accept online payments, give multiple users access to financial records, credit card and bank account feeds, and support for financial reports like balance sheets or profit and loss. Mobile apps for Android and iOS devices are also available.
5. Sage 50cloud
This is a robust onlineaccounting application for small businesses. It’s a complete desktop accountingsoftware that lets you focus more on developing your business instead ofspending time managing your accounts.
Its user interface iseasy to use for small businesses and entrepreneurs to operate effectively andefficiently. Plus, it offers a comprehensive set of financial tools andcustomization options.
Sage 50Cloud is idealfor small and medium-sized businesses, and provides tools for invoicing,tracking payments and expenses, and calculating taxes.
What you don’t getthough are time tracking and collaboration tools. Payroll isn’t included aswell, because it’s offered as a separate product.
The software integrateswith Microsoft Office 365, which means you can share data in the cloud withproductivity apps.
It doesn’t have a dashboard though, and it’s a bit pricey compared to similar options on this list. However, you’ll get access to an exceptionally sophisticated feature set plus great customization options, plus Android and iOS mobile apps for your convenience.
Xero is the go-to onlineaccounting software for business owners who want an alternative to QuickBooks.
It offers almost all thefeatures you’d find in QuickBooks except it doesn’t charge a fee per user, orlimit how many users you can have. Its 24/7 live chat support is also availablefor free.
Some of its strengthsinclude project tracking, time tracking, document management, inventorymanagement, data imports and account reconciliation. It also integrates withmore than 600 other applications so that you can manage your inventory,invoicing and payroll (offered through Xero’s partnership with Gusto) better.
All its pricing plansinclude features such as connection to bank and credit card accounts, unlimitednumber of users and email tech support, plus access to important financialstatements.
If you conduct most of your business on the go, Xero offers mobile apps for Android and iOS so you can send custom invoices, manage and track inventory, and create and attach purchase orders to bills from your tablet or phone.
Get Your Finances in Order
The best online accounting software is easy to use, allows you to track your time, income, and expenses, and is affordable. It should also provide key financial statements so you can see the financial health of your business.
When choosing the right one for your needs, make sure it has (at the very minimum) features such as custom invoicing, integration with credit card and bank accounts, detailed reports, tax tracking, and accessibility so you can get your information from anywhere and anytime you want.