Accounting Software for Small Business Not Quickbooks

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Most of the small businesses these days are running on software like Quickbooks. But there are many other great software options that you could use. Here I will try to cover some of the most important aspects of accounting software for small business and how this can help your business save money and improve gains. I get a lot of questions about accounting software and what’s the best for a small business. I thought it would be nice to put together a guide for some of the top options out there. I’ll cover the basics like pricing, features, etc.

So you have a small business, and are looking for accounting software. You’ve heard of Quickbooks, one of the leading providers or small business accounting software — but it has a lot of features you don’t actually need.

AccountEdge Pro

AccountEdge Pro is desktop accounting software for small businesses founded in 1989 and has developed new features and enhancements over the years.3 If you need to access your finances on the go or from your smartphone, you can use their cloud-based app or their hosting platform. It’s geared toward small to medium-sized businesses, has a basic version and a pro version, and offers comprehensive accounting solutions full of customizations.

We chose AccountEdge Pro as our best accounting software for experienced accountants because of its robust features and reporting capability. It’s a bit more complex than some of the other software, so this software works best if you’re already familiar with accounting terminology. 

AccountEdge Pro’s features include:

  • Bank feeds with integration
  • Direct deposit 
  • Inventory management 
  • Payment processing
  • Turn quotes into invoices
  • Customer and vendor management
  • Full-service payroll
  • Free accountant copy
  • Unique sales tax code per line item on a single invoice
  • Data sync with company files
  • Email support

Pricing for AccountEdge Pro is as follows:

AccountEdge Basic (Windows only): $149 one-time fee for one user, and $199 fee for phone support

AccountEdge Pro (Windows or Mac): $499 one-time fee or $15 per month for multiple users, $199 fee for phone support, and additional fees for licenses, payroll services, and more.

To find out more about what features are included and how much add-ons cost or to add custom features, it’s best to contact the company directly.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Sage Business Cloud Accounting, formerly known as Sage One, is a global brand that offers online accounting and business services. It was founded in 1981 in Newcastle, England, as a way to develop estimating and accounting software specifically for small businesses.2 It’s now cloud-based and allows you to choose your industry, company size, and needs. It will match you with specific accounting solutions and is used by over six million businesses. 

Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a reputable company, provides software that doesn’t require any accounting knowledge, and is set up for use by multiple users. Your accountant can use the software and access your books for no additional fees. 

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Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s features include:

  • Manage business finances and cash flow
  • Accept and receive payments
  • Create and send invoices
  • Manage payroll
  • Available on all devices so you can check your financials on the go
  • Integrate with your financial institution and other apps including AutoEntry, Zync, and more
  • Tax compliance tools
  • Dashboard view with easy-to-read financial reports and analysis
  • Inventory control
  • Forecast cash flow
  • Share access with your accountant in real-time on any device
  • Add-ons such as human resources management and estimating

Pricing is tiered for Sage Business Cloud Accounting as follows:

  • Accounting Start: $10 per month for entry-level accounting to help manage cashflow
  • Accounting: $25 per month for powerful cloud accounting with cashflow tools, invoice management, and quote/estimate capabilities for unlimited users

Wave

Starting at $0.00/mo.

If getting free software is your top priority, you quite literally can’t do better than Wave. Wave’s comprehensive software simplifies your financial tracking with automatic journal entries, bank reconciliation, and expense and income tracking.

Even if Wave weren’t completely free, we’d still be blown away by how much it offers. It’s one of our top accounting software picks for small-business owners, and for good reason. With Wave, you get perks like these:

  • Automatic bank account and credit card syncing for accurate, up-to-date financial records
  • Unlimited bank account and credit card connections
  • Easy, customizable income and expense tracking
  • Crucial accounting reports and general ledger
  • Invoicing and billing reminders
  • Automatically generated journal entries
  • Customer support (email only)

Wave’s easy-to-read dashboard shows you your most important financial info at a glance. Its billing, invoicing, and expense tracking features make it perfect for freelancers, but the software can work for larger businesses too, especially since Wave doesn’t limit the amount of users you can add (unlike, say, QuickBooks Online). You and the rest of your financial team can jump on your account to check numbers and enter information, free of charge.

Akaunting

Pros:

  • Open-source software means you can customize however you want.
  • Extensive library of integrations.
  • Robust user support via online forums.

Cons:

  • Design is not as intuitive as other platforms.
  • Advanced features cost extra.
  • Not as ready-to-use as other options.

Why we like it:

Akaunting is an open-source accounting platform that has the capability for customization, primarily through its library of add-ons. The primary features are available right out of the box: You can invoice, track receipts and take care of the everyday needs of your company’s finances. Plus, with a robust library of integrations, you can build your own Akaunting setup with a degree of customization other free platforms don’t provide. However, you or someone on your team will likely need some coding knowledge to use this software to its full potential.

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ZipBooks

ZipBooks provides powerful and simple-to-use accounting software designed to help small businesses move to the next level. ZipBooks’ free starter option includes unlimited invoicing, unlimited vendors and customers, unlimited bookkeeping, the ability to connect and manage one bank account, and a business health and invoice quality score.

GnuCash

GnuCash is an open-source accounting program that offers many features to help you manage your small business accounting. Volunteer developers update the software regularly, which means the program is always kept up-to-date.

GnuCash pros

GnuCash’s strength is that it contains advanced features such as customer and vendor tracking, job assignments, invoicing, bill pay, sales tax management, payroll management, and budget creation and management.

The checkbook-style register is an easy-to-use interface for entering all of your checking and credit card transactions. You can also enter income, stock, and currency transactions.

You can split transactions, mark transactions as canceled or reconciled, autofill entered transactions, and display multiple accounts in a single register window.

GnuCash cons

Since GnuCash is not cloud-based and only locally installed on a desktop computer, access to your financial data is limited to only one machine and one user. While GnuCash offers a mobile app, it is only for Android-based devices and requires you to manually import the data, which can be a pretty tedious process.

The interface of the program is also a bit dated and requires some time to get used to. Many users report problems with manually importing their transactions.

GnuCash’s customer support is through a public email-based discussion board, so it may take a while before you get a response to your question. Their chat support uses an obsolete IRC channel system, which can be tedious to set up.

SlickPie

The free accounting software SlickPie is also worth looking into for your small business finances. The free version of this accounting software allows for unlimited automated receipt entries, 10 different companies on one account, and email support. It also allows you to create quotes and estimates that can easily become professional invoices. SlickPie also allows you to connect your PayPal and Stripe accounts for free. That means customers will be able to fulfill their invoices with card or PayPal payments online—and you’ll simply have to pay the standard transaction fees that PayPal and Stripe charge.

One feature that this free accounting software seems to be lacking is reports—the SlickPie website doesn’t highlight any built-in reporting capabilities. If you’re hoping to extract valuable, high-level insights from your accounting software, then you might want to consider options other than SlickPie.

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Brightbook

Brightbook is a free online accounting system, designed to help time-strapped and cash-strapped small businesses with no accounting experience run their business easier. Businesses can send professional-looking invoices in any currency, track bills and find out who owes them money in an instant with the easy-to-use Brightbook system.

CloudBooks

While CloudBooks’ basic features are free, it doesn’t offer as much as the competition.

CloudBooks pros

CloudBooks is an online accounting software program that allows you to manage your online invoices, expenses, and projects. You can also view financial reports from any mobile device with their free app. Their platform allows for unlimited staff users, which means you can share access to your books as needed.

CloudBooks cons

CloudBooks is generally geared towards freelancers with few clients. Unless you are willing to shell out $10-$20 a month, you are limited to only five unbranded invoices per month. There is also no phone support or Paypal integration for the free version.

NCH Software (Express Accounts)

Starting at $0.00/mo.

With 20 easy-to-generate financial statements, Express Accounts is a perfect fit for business owners who want to focus on keeping their books in order.

Express Accounts, owned and operated by NCH software, has a pretty dated website. While multiple users can log on to your account, the software requires an initial desktop download, which makes it a little less flexible than the cloud-based providers on our list. But if you don’t mind the dated look, Express Accounts can simplify your basic bookkeeping in a big way.

For starters, it offers 20 financial reports (much better than ZipBooks’ two) that help you get a clear picture of your fiscal health. Express Accounts also easily tracks accounts payable and accounts receivable. You can even print checks using the software to streamline bill payments.

Express Accounts’ customer service is much less robust than our other top five picks. You can reach out to technical support over email if you have an issue with your download, but that’s the extent of your support. On the other hand, most customers use Express Accounts solely to track their business’s figures—so you shouldn’t need the kind of support you would with more complex accounting or payroll software.

Conclusion:

If you’re like most business owners, you probably think accounting software is something you have to buy. Just like with your software for your business, I don’t think you need it to be that complicated. I can relate. You don’t want to go there. It sounds like a whole lot of boring and super scary stuff.

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