There are many good accounting apps out there today, but sometimes it can be easier to manage simple accounting tasks like tracking expenses, sales, and mileage with free online services. Here are some of the top, free accounting apps for small business.
If you would like to try out a free accounting app, and perhaps learn a little more about income and expenses, then trust me, this one is for you. I’ve tried out a few free tax apps and they all have their faults. Then I found one that actually suited my business perfectly. We now use the app every month as we go over the profits and our taxes. That means, if you’re looking for an amazing small business accounting app, look no further than Small Business Finance.
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.
ZipBooks: Best for Small Businesses Looking to Upgrade From Spreadsheets
Best for Small Businesses Looking to Upgrade From Spreadsheets
ZipBooks is a web-based financial software with a solid suite of accounting features. The company offers a free plan called ZipBooks Starter — an option that includes basic bookkeeping functionality, along with profit, loss, and balance sheet reporting.
It also covers certain invoicing and quote-related bases — plus the ability to accept payment via credit card or PayPal. It’s a powerful, easy-to-use solution, but its free plan is extremely free plan-ish.
The program’s features you can access with a free plan are restricted to the point that it might be easy to outgrow. You can only link one bank account and view basic reports with its starter option. Should your needs extend beyond that, you’ll need to upgrade to one of its premium plans.
And while those upper-tier plans are reasonably priced, they’re obviously not what someone who wants a free plan is looking for. Again, the solution itself is sound, but if you want a free program that will remain free as you scale, you should look elsewhere.
ZipBooks’ Key Benefits
- Unlimited Invoices
- Ability to manage unlimited vendors and customers
- Accepts digital payments via Square and Paypal
ZipBooks’ Key Drawbacks
- Only allows you to connect one bank account
- Only lets you view basic reports
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
- Commonly used by accounting professionals
- Integration with third-party applications
- Mobile app
- 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.
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.
Fee-based accounting apps are one of the most popular accounting solutions for small businesses. It is increasingly important for small business owners to use services like these in order to keep track of their finances every day, but because of this there are some disadvantages. The advantages and disadvantages of these types of services are the same as with any other accounting solution.