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Free Accounting and Payroll Software for Small Business

Run your business off our free accounting and payroll software. The free accounting software is accompanied by an easy to use payroll system and is designed specifically with small businesses in mind. Each application gives you full support for tracking expenses and income, and for managing your payroll. Our easy-to-understand applications are perfect for advice and are available as a full download, without the need for installation!

Complete accounting and payroll software that’s quick and easy to use. Small Business Accounting and Payroll Software helps you save time, while giving you the tools you need to be confident your business is running at peak efficiency.

Wave

A top free accounting software to consider from the start of your search is Wave accounting software. Through this option, you’ll be able to connect unlimited bank and credit card accounts to your books. You’ll also be able to add unlimited income tracking, expense tracking, and guest collaborators for free. Plus, you’ll be able to invoice and scan receipts for free as well.

Be sure to note, though: If you want your invoiced customers to be able to pay online directly through the invoice, you’ll need to pay for that. Wave charges 2.9% + $0.30 for each credit card payment and 1% (with a minimum of $1) for each ACH payment. You’ll also need to pay for payroll through Wave. Depending on where you do business, you’ll pay a monthly base fee of either $35 or $20, plus $4 per employee and contractor on your payroll.

Wave Accounting is one of the more tested, reliable options listed here. It’s an accessible, intuitive program that doesn’t require much — if any — training to understand.

Its entire suite of accounting features is available for free — including unlimited income and expense tracking, the ability to run multiple businesses from a single account, and unlimited bank and credit card connections.

Most of Wave’s issues are relatively nit-picky. For one, it doesn’t allow users to track accounts payable. It also doesn’t have a comprehensive mobile application for its accounting features.

Still, the program is one of the sounder, more robust free accounting applications available, and it’s scalable enough to accommodate everyone from independent contractors to sole proprietors to small business owners. 

Wave’s Key Benefits

  • Accessible setup and interface
  • Unlimited bank and credit card connections
  • Unlimited income and expense tracking
  • Exportable accounting reports

Wave’s Key Drawbacks

  • Can’t track accounts payable
  • No comprehensive mobile application

ZipBooks

Another top free accounting software for small businesses to consider is ZipBooks. ZipBooks offers all the crucial features of an accounting software—reports, bank syncing, billing, expense management, and invoicing—in one free account.

If you want to offer online payments to your invoiced customers via ZipBooks, you’ll need to do so via Square or PayPal. You’ll pay the standard PayPal rates and Square rates for those transactions.

ZipBooks offers an integrated payroll add-on option with Gusto. Gusto starts at $39 per month, plus $6 per person per month. For a limited time, you can get the Core plan for a discounted price of a monthly $19 base cost for the first six months. Gusto also has a new option for contractor-only employers, who simply pay the $6 per employee rate and no base price.

 Akaunting

You should also consider a free accounting software called Akaunting. This option offers many of the most necessary features that a small business accounting software should. Within this technology, you’ll be able to invoice, sync accounts, track expenses, set up recurring bills, manage customers, and manage vendors. However, to access more advanced features like online payments, for example, you’ll have to download third-party apps that will cost you a yearly fee on top of whatever fees you have to pay for this third-party account.

Long story short, creating an Akaunting account won’t cost you anything, but as you navigate this software, you’ll realize that all the capabilities that you might expect to be ready-to-use will rely on your purchasing these third-party apps.

QuickBooks Online


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QuickBooks Online is the best overall accounting software for small businesses of those reviewed. Not only do the majority of small business accounting professionals use QuickBooks Online, but there are also endless online training resources and forums to get support when needed. All accounting features can be conveniently accessed on one main dashboard, making bookkeeping more fluid and efficient.Pros

  • Scalable
  • Commonly used by accounting professionals
  • Integration with third-party applications
  • Cloud-based
  • Mobile app

Cons

  • Upgrade required for more users
  • Occasional syncing problems with banks and credit cards

Intuit’s QuickBooks Online has been the most common accounting software used by small businesses and their bookkeeping and tax professionals. The software is cloud-based and can be accessed through a web browser or through the mobile app.

After the 30-day free trial, the four options for subscription plans include: Simple Start at $25 per month, Essentials at $40 per month, Plus at $70 per month, and Advanced at $150 per month. Typically there is a significant discount offered for the first few months, and some accountants are able to offer wholesale pricing to small businesses, as well. 

The monthly subscription for this software can be upgraded as a business grows, and there are many customization options with the mobile app that can be used to receive payments, review reports, capture an image of a receipt, and track business mileage. For businesses looking for a payroll solution, QuickBooks Payroll fully integrates with QuickBooks Online.

Each plan offers more advanced features like inventory management, time tracking, additional users, and budgeting. Most service-based small businesses will find that Simple Start meets all of their needs. For product-based small businesses, Essentials or Plus will have more options for inventory and customizations. The Advanced subscription is a new offering and provides robust financial reporting that is powered by Fathom. Fathom is an elite online financial report analysis tool used by many large companies all over the world.

All plans allow integration with third-party apps such as Stripe or PayPal. QuickBooks Online’s app store breaks down all of their apps by function and provides helpful examples of the benefits of each app.

Conclusion

Sooner or later, every small business needs accounting software. Free accounting software for small businesses can be downloaded quickly to your PC and is compatible with most versions of Windows and Excel (2000 or higher). If you are looking for free accounting and payroll software to run your business, then this is the right place.

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