When starting a new business, one of the most important steps is to figure out what accounting software will work for your company. It’s not easy to decide which accounting software is right for your company simply because there’s so many out there and what you need one year might be different than what you need the next. More than likely, too, it will change as your business grows and evolves. When choosing an accounting software, there are a lot of different factors that can impact your decision. The best accounting software for Medium to Large businesses will be different depending on your needs today and in the future.
If you run a large business, you have plenty of things to worry about — but accounting doesn’t have to be one of them. There are several great mid- to large-sized accounting packages that can help you not only get your books in order but also run your business better. If you’re ready for an ERP, there are great enterprise solutions as well.
Good accounting software can keep your finances organized, provide valuable reporting and insight, and save time with automations. And the best accounting software will throw in unlimited users, advanced features, hundreds of integrations, and strong security, all for an affordable monthly cost.
So which accounting software is best for large businesses? And, more importantly, which is best for your business? That’s what we’re here to tell you.
We’ve spent hours researching and testing the top accounting programs so you don’t have to. We’ve evaluated each program on its features, accounting, pricing, ease of use, customer support, integrations, security, and overall ability to meet the needs of large businesses. Only the best of the best made the cut. Read on to see which programs we recommend and why.
Accounting software is accounting software, right? So, a user should just be able to look at overall ratings and price and determine which accounting software product is “best” for their business. That would make the process quite simple and straightforward.
In reality, it’s not that easy, especially as a business grows. The accounting software that works in a start-up, micro-business, or small business may not serve the company’s needs long term. For example, when employees have been added and business processes have gotten more complex, what used to be sufficient may lack necessary functionality.
For this review, we’ve looked at three key aspects of accounting software that are important to medium sized businesses:
- Core accounting functions, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, payroll, and compliance
- Secondary accounting functions, including budgeting, analytics, automations, supply chain, and sales tax/end-of-year tax prep
- Business management functions, including CRM, ERP+HR, integrations, document management, and white labeling
Only a few of the products that made our list have all the functionality noted above, and that’s okay. Other elements are also important, such as ease of use and cost. Our goal is to help you understand what each product does offer and determine whether it’s a good fit for your business and how it operates.
We found these to be the best accounting software for medium sized businesses.
- Oracle NetSuite. Best overall accounting software for medium sized businesses. Oracle NetSuite is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform designed for businesses that are medium sized and/or growing rapidly. Providing a comprehensive and scalable approach to resource planning, NetSuite is more than accounting software as it provides medium sized businesses with financial, revenue, fixed asset, inventory management, and much more. Integrated financials, client relationship management, and e-commerce functionality make it the #1 cloud-based ERP.
- QuickBooks Enterprise. Best accounting software for medium sized businesses that don’t need a complete ERP. Not ready for a comprehensive, high-powered option like Oracle NetSuite? Not really interested in taking your data into the cloud? QuickBooks Enterprise offers robust core accounting capability on your desktop, plus some good secondary features like inventory management, expansive tracking features, job costing, along with good planning features and lots of integration opportunities. It’s not an ERP, but it’s a strong accounting software option.
The Bigger Picture
Best overall accounting software for medium sized businesses.
Oracle NetSuite is a fully integrated, customizable ERP platform with integrated financials, client relationship management, and e-commerce functionality. It is designed for fast-growing medium sized companies with revenues ranging from $1 million to $200 million USD. Because of its cloud-based, comprehensive approach to business management, and not just accounting functionality, Oracle NetSuite is the best accounting software for medium sized businesses. It allows businesses that need multi-departmental functionality in a single solution to reduce errors, eliminate disparate systems, and improve employee productivity.
Core accounting functions:
Oracle NetSuite offers all the core accounting functions that any medium sized business would need, including accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, billing and invoicing, payroll, and multiple users. Accounts payable features include online bill payment and payment by electronic funds transfer (EFT). It’s also scalable and customizable, and it supports multiple entities or subsidiaries easily and facilitates multi-currency transactions for companies that are shifting to a global reach.
Oracle NetSuite even automates the billing workflow process with recurring, time-based, and project-based functionality. Billing features include automatically sending an invoice once the order fulfillment process is complete and reducing errors in the overall sales to fulfillment workflow. Oracle NetSuite also offers custom billing types, including individual transactions, subscriptions, usage-based methods, and hybrids of all three. And, both headquarters- and subsidiary-level custom billing options exist, automatically consolidating subsidiary billing into a single invoice to be paid centrally.
The dashboard view provides a real-time snapshot of the business’s key metrics and other important information—customized to each user’s role. With over 100 standard reports, plus customizable reports and an ad hoc report builder, accounting, finance, and management personnel can quickly and easily find the information they need, and reports can always be exported to Microsoft Excel for additional customization.
Regulatory, procedural, and tax compliance is essential in any business, and it becomes more important as a business grows. Oracle NetSuite conforms to revenue recognition standards, making the reporting process more accurate (and simpler). This information flows directly to each dashboard, report, and analytical tool seamlessly. And, Oracle NetSuite includes strong compliance support for GAAP, SOX, and ASC 606, among other protocols.
Secondary accounting functions:
In addition to the essential core functions, Oracle NetSuite brings strong analytics capabilities to the table via a financial planning module that includes budgeting, forecasting, cash-flow management, and project-based accounting features. Oracle NetSuite’s multi-budgeting functionality allows budgeting by location, department, team, or project, along with multiple budgets for the same criteria (e.g., best case/worst case scenarios) and what-if modeling. Budgets can also be imported from CSV and offline budgets.
Oracle NetSuite also provides expense reporting capability, providing self-service to employees for recording expenses. Jobs and projects—including time and materials, fixed price, and cost—can be tracked easily and linked directly to a specific client. Plus, automatic updates are pushed out regularly, shoring up features and security frequently.
Business management functions:
More medium sized businesses need built-in client relationship management and enterprise resource planning functionality than ever before. Oracle NetSuite offers a full ERP platform, including built-in CRM and e-commerce, point of sale, project management, and HR modules. Having the ERP built in reduces errors and streamlines processes because all info is in one place.
There are no disparate systems; however, while fully integrated as a comprehensive platform (meaning that no additional programming is required to connect them to the accounting package), all of these require additional licenses and, therefore, additional cost. Employee productivity and the marketing process are improved because of the ERP platform and all the available automations, so the extra cost for a full ERP may be justifiable.
Ease of use:
Because it is cloud and subscription based, there is no need to install Oracle NetSuite. Not only does this reduce costs, but it allows access and use from anywhere.
Oracle NetSuite is a powerful ERP platform, so there’s a learning curve to negotiate. Value Added Resellers (VARs)—of whom there is a huge network—can help with implementation, training, support, and customization. Oracle NetSuite solution partners also help with training, and users often refer to the CloudFoundation’s free NetSuite course
Once you’re oriented to the software, you will find that Oracle NetSuite provides efficiency overall in business processes and makes reporting, analytics, and decision-making simpler. Operations, HR, and marketing functions are all also consolidated on a central platform. This dashboard view makes overall management tasks easier.
Oracle NetSuite does not offer pricing information on its website, and determining the price is a challenge because costs are dependent on the modules chosen, number and types of users, length of contract, billing frequency (e.g., monthly vs. annual), initial training requirements, and the type of customer support (Silver, Gold, Platinum) the user wants. The price for NetSuite reportedly starts at about $1K a month. The company does offer a free demo.
Things we liked:
- Fully integrated platform and robust ERP solution
- Fully scalable for growing businesses
- Customizable with many automated processes
- Fixed asset management
- Strong compliance support
Things we didn’t like:
- Can be pricey
- Steep learning curve and marginal support
- EDI and equipment/field service management all require partner add-on
Best accounting software for medium sized businesses that don’t need a complete ERP.
Not ready for a robust enterprise resource planning software solution? QuickBooks Enterprise (currently in its 21.0 edition) might be perfect for you. Medium sized businesses looking for industry-specific accounting software solutions might be interested in QuickBooks Enterprise, too. Currently, QuickBooks Enterprise has customized editions for contractors, manufacturers and wholesalers, nonprofits, retailers, accountants, and those offering other professional services.
Core accounting functions:
QuickBooks Enterprise includes all core accounting functions, including accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, billing, and invoicing. QuickBooks Enterprise allows for electronic invoicing, saving time and money over manual printing and mailing processes, and multiple invoices can be consolidated into a single invoice. Automatic reminders can also be set up for upcoming and past due invoices, and companies can restrict new purchases from customers with past due invoices.
A nice-to-have feature allows the user to set an automatic markup on products by either a percentage or a set dollar amount. In addition, while there is a manual sales tax function included, an automatic sales tax calculation integration is available (for an extra fee). Batch processing for several functions (checks, deposits, invoices, bills, credit memos, etc.) is also available.
The built-in Bill Tracker for accounts payable ensures that you always know what’s paid, unpaid, and unbilled (e.g., purchase orders). Purchasing functionality includes customizable purchase forms, which allow users to track expenses more efficiently, and an automatic purchase order creation function that you can use when inventory items or assembly stock reach a predefined par level.
QuickBooks Enterprise boasts strong payroll functionality with its Enhanced Payroll module (extra cost for Silver subscription) because of Intuit’s comprehensive tax preparation suite, payroll tax support, IRS Forms 940, 941, W-2, and 1099 capability are all built in, including electronic filing directly from QuickBooks Enterprise. Plus, QuickBooks Enterprise automatically records payroll in the correct expense accounts.
One of QuickBooks Enterprise’s best features is its scalability. It supports up to one million list items and up to 750 different price points. In addition, up to 40 users can be working in QuickBooks simultaneously, and each can have specific user-level permissions. New in 2021, data level permissions have been introduced, allowing even more granular security for company data. The comprehensive audit trail and automatic backup functionality also helps with compliance.
If your business includes multiple entities or subsidiaries, you will appreciate QuickBooks Enterprise’s multi-entity support, which allows a single user to work in two company files simultaneously. Similarly, multi-currency support is available, which is important for companies doing business in more than one country (or receiving international funds for payment); however, once you have activated the multi-currency function, you cannot turn it off, and use of multi-currency functionality deactivates some nice-to-have features, including Insight, Income Tracker, and Bill Tracker and eliminates batch processing altogether.
Secondary accounting functions:
QuickBooks Enterprise’s most impressive feature overall is its advanced inventory management. Not only does it allow a company to include item location information (down to the row, shelf, and bin) and mobile barcode scanning (which reduces both paperwork and errors), there is a built-in pick-pack-ship workflow right on the dashboard. Multiple inventories costing methods are supported (FIFO, average, and landed), as well.
Expense tracking includes freight and other inventory and shipping-related expenses, and the label printing function allows for products shipped via UPS, FedEx, or USPS. Plus, there’s serial number tracking for products that need to be registered. And, customizable pricing rules allow companies to run promotions easily or even offer special pricing for specific customers.
The Job Costing Center, which is built-in, is important for construction companies and any organization that needs to understand exactly what each product or service costs the company. QuickBooks Enterprise’s custom reports for job cost analysis make this process easy, as do many other industry-specific reports. Speaking of reports, there are over 200, all of which are customizable, and there’s even an Advanced Reporting module available for companies that need more flexibility with customization, searching, and filtering. All reports can be exported to Excel for further data manipulation.
There are two methods for accessing QuickBooks Enterprise remotely. It’s meant to be a desktop product, but today’s companies often need to be able to access it from multiple devices (such as desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones). Intuit does provide cloud hosting, which allows users to access QuickBooks Enterprise anywhere, anytime. For companies that only need to have remote access occasionally, the QuickBooks Remote Access Tool is a more cost-effective solution.
With powerful search functionality and a customizable left-side menu, QuickBooks Enterprise is an excellent choice for most medium-sized businesses; however, businesses with many fixed assets will want to consider whether the clunky, outdated fixed asset management interface is worth it.
Business management functions:
QuickBooks Enterprise includes a business planning tool, so if you’re a new company, or you’re in the process of updating your current business plan, this feature will be important to you. Additional business management features include a calendar view that shows upcoming and past due tasks—by user. There’s also a nifty instant messaging feature built-in, as well as lots of email templates. The email feature within QuickBooks Enterprise allows users to attach files and show an email history, much like a CRM solution does. Plus, users can scan and attach documents in QuickBooks Enterprise’s built-in document storage functionality.
And, QuickBooks Enterprise recently added a receipt management feature that allows users to snap receipts using a mobile device and import them immediately. They can be reviewed right away, automatically categorized or modified based on user-defined rules, and batch processed, thus streamlining the receipt management process for growing businesses.
Recently, Intuit acquired TSheets time tracking software, and it has been integrated into QuickBooks Enterprise as QuickBooks Time, so there’s no need to have disparate systems. This is particularly important for project-based companies that need to track time. And, there are more than 200 integrations and an open API for any additional company-specific integrations you may need.
Ease of use:
The interface for QuickBooks Enterprise is clean and consistent with other iterations of QuickBooks. Although it’s well-organized, it is rather complex and presents a steep learning curve for many users. In addition, the setup can be time-consuming. QuickBooks Enterprise mitigates some of these issues with a dedicated Customer Success Manager. Upgrading support to Priority Circle is another option, along with online training. QuickBooks Enterprise is always improving with yearly updates, too.
Some users will appreciate the ability to open multiple windows on multiple screens at once. Not all desktop products provide this functionality.
QuickBooks Enterprise is an affordable option with several packages—Silver (cheapest), Gold, Platinum, and Diamond (most expensive). All packages except Silver include payroll, so buyers should be sure to consider whether that’s important first. Potential users can purchase online; prices are posted, and there are custom purchase options for the number of users, data storage location (cloud or desktop), and one-time or annual payment.
Things we liked:
- Excellent inventory management functionality
- Comprehensive feature set
- Lots of integrations
- Built-in time tracking and payroll
- Good audit trail
Things we didn’t like:
- Steep learning curve
- It May be too much functionality
- Not an ERP
3. QuickBooks Online Advanced
Best cloud-based accounting software for medium-sized businesses.
QuickBooks offers so many versions of its accounting software that almost anyone can find a suitable option. Companies that are growing quickly or need multi-entity functionality might look at QuickBooks Enterprise instead of Online. However, QuickBooks Online Advanced is a good accounting software solution for most medium-sized businesses, including those in the financial services, healthcare, hospitality, professional services, nonprofit, wholesale, and franchise industries.
Core accounting functions:
QuickBooks Online Advanced is the top-tier package in the QuickBooks Online family of products. QuickBooks Online Advanced is significantly more powerful than the lower-tier options, making it the best online QuickBooks choice for fast-growing medium-sized businesses. And, while its functionality is similar to its sister product, QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBooks Online Advanced is cloud-based, giving users real-time access from anywhere, and the look and feel is quite different.
All core accounting functions can be accomplished easily in QuickBooks Online Advanced, including accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, and invoicing. The unlimited chart of accounts and class and location tracking provide significant flexibility for businesses to track financial data in the way that works best for them. Up to 25 users and three accountants can work in QuickBooks Online Advanced, which facilitates interdepartmental collaboration, and each person’s access is customizable.
Income and expenses are automatically categorized as QuickBooks Online Advanced’s artificial intelligence “learns” your business, and to ensure accurate recordkeeping, users can snap or scan receipts and attach them to their corresponding transactions. Batch processing allows users to complete tasks quickly, and workflow automation even helps eliminate some user input altogether. Up to 150 check, invoice, expense, and bill transactions can be imported from Excel into the QuickBooks Online Advanced transactions sheet and created automatically, all at one time. Plus, there is an estimate-to-invoice workflow that speeds up and professionalizes the transaction completion process between businesses and their clients.
Payroll is a separate module and does incur an additional cost (there are three tiers that should provide a solution for any budget), but it’s fully integrated, meaning that all transactions are automatically tracked in QuickBooks Online Advanced. Plus, the Payroll module helps users track and file payroll taxes, provides same-day direct deposit, and even runs payroll automatically. Intuit stands behind its products, too. If the IRS penalizes a company that uses QuickBooks Online Advanced Payroll Elite version, Intuit will not only represent the company in front of the IRS, it’ll also pay the penalty and fee (up to $25,000).
The reporting module included in QuickBooks Online Advanced provides a dashboard that allows users to monitor revenue, cash flow, and other metrics. And, all report data can be exported to Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. For companies that require additional reporting capabilities, integration with Fathom is available. While there is an additional annual fee, larger businesses may find it useful because both financial and non-financial metrics can be tracked and analyzed.
Because it’s a cloud-based product, backups are automatic and continuous. But, if a company ever needs to restore a previous version, it’s fairly easy to do. Plus, all QuickBooks Online products help companies comply with federal regulations related to transparency and data security.
Secondary accounting functions:
The budgeting features in QuickBooks Online Advanced are easy to set up and use. Though QuickBooks Online Advanced doesn’t support multiple entities, multiple budgets can be developed and managed concurrently. This is a particularly important feature for medium-sized businesses that are required to use fund accounting, such as nonprofits. And, what-if scenarios can provide valuable information during the planning and budgeting process.
For project-based companies, QuickBooks Online Advanced provides a Job Costing module that tracks all aspects of each project, including expenses, payroll, and labor, allowing project and finance managers to understand profitability quickly and easily. And, QuickBooks Online Advanced includes excellent inventory management features, as well as a purchasing workflow. For companies with fixed assets, depreciation tracking is easy and straightforward.
Information from QuickBooks Online Advanced can be imported into Intuit’s ProConnect Tax product for end-of-year tax filing preparation. You’ll need to work with an accountant for this, but most medium-sized businesses are likely to outsource tax prep functions anyway.
Business management functions:
QuickBooks Online Advanced includes built-in mileage and time tracking. Time tracking is synced through integration with QuickBooks Time, and while there is an extra cost associated with the integration, medium-sized service businesses may find it worthwhile.
The vendor, customer, and employee/contractor functionality in QuickBooks Online Advanced works somewhat like a CRM. However, users can’t track non-financial communications, such as emails. For companies that need full CRM functionality, integrations are available, including those for popular CRMs like Method, Insightly, Pipedrive, Salesforce, and HubSpot.
QuickBooks Online Advanced is an accounting platform. While it isn’t part of a comprehensive ERP or ecosystem, there are tons of app integrations (650+), including Square, PayPal, Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, and others.
Ease of use:
QuickBooks Online remains ever-popular in part because of its clean interface and user-friendly navigation. Once it’s up and running, its automation are terrific time savers. QuickBooks Online “learns” to automatically assign deposit accounts, expense categories, and expense withdrawal accounts. The well-developed mobile apps add to the ease of use by allowing you to use the product on the go.
Potential users can take the product for a test drive with a sample company on the QuickBooks website and take advantage of a 30-day free trial to get a sense of how it works. Helpful video tutorials, webinars, and training classes are also featured on the QuickBooks Online website.
Because QuickBooks is so popular, it’s easy to find someone to help you pick up the basics, including members of the active User Community. QuickBooks also provides good customer support. And, QuickBooks Online Advanced users have access to a dedicated account manager. Need even more help? You might consider paying for access to QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping.
Affordability is always subjective, but QuickBooks Online is neither the most nor the least expensive accounting software available. Whether it’s affordable really depends on the functionality that’s required and the company’s budget for accounting software. Plan tiers provide users with different pricing options, which increase with features and number of users. Intuit sometimes offers discounts for the online version.
Things we liked:
- Clean user interface
- User-level permissions
- Strong reporting capabilities
- Strong querying capabilities
- Affordable monthly pricing and discounts for annual subscriptions
- Seamless integration with other Zoho products (e.g. Zoho CRM, Inventory and Projects)
- Cloud-based and user-friendly.
- Restricts the number of contracts, workflows and users per plan — with a maximum of 10 users for the Professional plan
- No payroll services
- Features are not as advanced as some other solutions.
Although QuickBooks Enterprise and QuickBooks Online Advanced may be highly-regarded, they won’t be right for every business. Therefore, if you’re looking for a QuickBooks alternative, you might consider Zoho Books.
In comparison to the two QuickBooks products discussed above, Zoho Books isn’t quite as advanced — however, it is pretty all-inclusive, with a range of accounting features, numerous integration options and an affordable price.
With Zoho Books, you’ll have access to tools for invoicing, bill management, estimates, time and expense tracking, reporting, budgeting, and more. In addition, all three of the Zoho Books plans include multi-currency and multilingual features, plus the Professional plan offers inventory tools, purchase orders, sales orders and up to 10 workflow rules per module.
Moreover, regardless of which of the three plans you choose, you’ll be able to integrate with the solutions in the vast Zoho product suite including Zoho CRM, Zoho Inventory, Zoho Expense, Zoho Subscriptions, Zoho Projects, Zoho Analytics and a variety of third-party tools.
This being said, although Zoho offers two lower-level plans, the Professional plan, for $29 per month or $290 per year, will be best suited for medium-sized businesses. It’s important to note, however, that Zoho does limit the number of users, contacts, workflow rules and custom views with each plan.
With all of this in mind, like QuickBooks Online Advanced, Zoho Books is one of the best cloud-based accounting software for medium-sized businesses — especially those are looking for a little more affordability and simplicity in their accounting solution. Back to top
- Fully cloud-based, user-friendly and affordable software
- Unlimited users with all plans
- 700+ integrations in the Xero app marketplace
- Advanced features for expenses, project management and inventory.
- Limited time tracking features
- Not as advanced as some enterprise-level software solutions
- Not as prevalent among accountants as QuickBooks is.
Similar to Zoho Books, Xero accounting is another worthwhile accounting software option for medium-sized businesses that are looking for a more affordable solution. Xero is also another top QuickBooks Online alternative — offering a robust feature set, over 700 integration options and significant flexibility.
With Xero, you’ll have three plan options, with the third one, Established, being the most suitable for medium-sized businesses.
The Established plan, at $60 per month, offers the ability to send unlimited invoices and quotes, enter bills, reconcile bank transactions and capture bills and receipts. In terms of advanced features, this version of Xero includes the Expenses module to capture and manage claims, as well as the Projects module, which allows you to track project time and costs.
In addition, Xero offers multi-currency accounting, inventory tools, purchase orders, asset management and more. Plus, although Xero doesn’t offer their own payroll services, they work with their partner, Gusto, to integrate the Gusto Payroll software with their accounting platform.
Moreover, and perhaps one of the most notable features of Xero is that they include an unlimited number of users, regardless of your plan — a feature that is pretty rare amongst small and medium-sized business accounting systems alike.
Therefore, again, similar to Zoho Books, Xero is one of the best cloud-based accounting software options for medium-sized businesses, as well as a top QuickBooks alternative. At only $60 per month, Xero will be more affordable than some other options, especially with unlimited users.
This being said, although Xero doesn’t offer the most advanced features on the market, it includes a vast range of accounting capabilities, plus an impressive number of integration options. Back to top
- Multiple plan options with advanced accounting features, including industry-specific tools
- Desktop solution with cloud storage and backup
- Integration with Microsoft Office and other Sage tools
- Monthly or discounted annual pricing
- Variety of customer support options and resources.
- Limited users; additional users incur a higher price
- Limited third-party integration options
- Not as user-friendly as some solutions.
Another top accounting software for medium-sized businesses is Sage 50cloud. Among the vast Sage product suite, Sage 50 accounting is actually pretty similar to QuickBooks Desktop. This being said, despite the name, Sage50 is first and foremost a desktop-based accounting software, but it also offers cloud storage and backup.
With this in mind, Sage 50 accounting gives you the ability to manage a variety of accounting tasks — from basic billing and invoicing to advanced inventory, reporting, sales order management and more.
Sage 50cloud allows you to integrate with Microsoft Office 365, as well as other Sage tools, like Sage Payroll and Sage 50 CRM. Like QuickBooks Enterprise, there are three plan options for Sage 50, with the higher-level plans offering advanced features for job costing, budgeting, auditing and workflows.
The highest plan level, Sage 50cloud Quantum, offers up to 40 users, an unlimited number of companies and industry-specific features.
Sage50 is priced on a monthly or annual basis, with the initial plan option, Pro Accounting, costing $50.58 per month or $503.23. It’s also important to note that with the higher-level plans, your price will vary based on the number of uses you require, once again similar to QuickBooks Enterprise. The more users you need, the higher the monthly or annual price.
All in all, however, Sage 50cloud is a very comparable alternative to QuickBooks Enterprise. In this way, it’s an ideal accounting system for medium-sized businesses that are looking for more advanced accounting tools, as well as a more traditional desktop-based solution.
Whether you are an experienced business owner or just starting your company, there are numerous financial applications to help you. As the head of your company, you not only need to keep track of money coming in and out of your business, but also taxes, customers, staff, inventory, purchases and more. That is where accounting software comes into play.