To keep the financials organized and track all the transactions, a business needs some sort of an accounting software. Many small businesses start by using spreadsheets to record their revenue and expenses. Using spreadsheets initially to maintain and record financial transactions is prudent if you ask me. Most spreadsheet software is free to use, everyone on the team is familiar with it, and the workflow can be customized to suit the needs of a business.
But, as the company grows and as the number of transactions grows with it, the humble spreadsheet starts to show its shortcomings. In this day and age, where most of the transactions happen online, most likely business owners would prefer to use specialized software that would make their life easier.
There are many options for a business owner out in the market looking for the perfect accounting software for their business. And this can get quite intimidating at times. With so many options, there is always a dilemma about choosing the right one.
I have tried to shortlist a few options out of the plethora to try and make life easier for business owners scouting for a perfect software solution for their business.
The first option that comes to mind when anybody says accounting software is Quickbooks. There is a reason behind Quickbooks being such a popular name; it is the most comprehensive platform out there in the market; It is also one of the most user-friendly options. The other thing that works for Quickbooks is that everybody uses it, so if you happen to go to any Accountant or a Bookkeeper after having done the books yourself for a few years, in all likelihood or almost certainly, they will be familiar with Quickbooks. Also, during setting up or using the platform, if one happens to get stuck anywhere, there is a wide range of resources available online.
Price : $22/month
Features: Ease of use, widely used, availability of help and resources online.
Ideal for: All business types.
Freshbooks is another alternative a business owner can explore; although it is not as comprehensive as QuickBooks, it has all the necessary features a small or medium business would need. It’s again a cloud-based offering just like Quickbooks. It can be accessed from anywhere, where you have access to a computer and the internet.
Invoicing is the core feature of Freshbooks. If a business requires lots of invoicing, then Freshbooks is the best choice. It allows companies to create professional customized invoices and support direct payment of invoices, recurring invoices, and unpaid invoice reminders. Besides invoicing and basic accounting, Freshbooks offers time tracking and project management with their premium packages, ideal for customer-facing businesses and freelancers.
Price : $ 15/month
Features: Comprehensive Invoicing feature.
Ideal for: Customer-facing Businesses, Freelancers.
Xero is a full-feature accounting suite. It offers access to unlimited users across all plans, making it a preferred choice for startups. Collaboration and delegation across multifunctional teams are made accessible due to unlimited user access, which only Xero offers.
One thing to note here is that most businesses would exhaust their limit to do only five invoices and 20 bank transactions monthly with their base plan and might have to opt for more expensive plans to support invoicing.
The other feature that makes Xero stand apart is the access to inventory features across all its plans. With full-feature inventory support, it becomes an ideal platform for businesses reliant on inventory management. So if unlimited users and inventory are critical features, then Xero should be a perfect choice.
Features: Unlimited user access, Inventory management.
Ideal for: Inventory reliant businesses, Startups.
Although a late entrant into the market, Zoho is quickly becoming a preferred accounting tool for growing and established businesses. Zoho Books is also a cloud-based platform. It is a part of a larger set of business applications that together forms Zoho Suite. Although Zoho books primarily cater to small and medium business enterprises looking to digitize their accounting and bookkeeping, they can be scaled easily to cater to growing needs by plugging in different applications from the Zoho suite.
Zoho Books offers almost the same features as Quickbooks but at lower monthly fees. So if you are a business that doesn’t require Payroll management upfront, Zoho Books should be an obvious choice over QuickBooks. However, Payroll management is available as an addon with Zoho books if you wish to add it later.
The only downside being Zoho books is not that popular, and Accountants may resist using them if you choose to outsource your bookkeeping.
Features: Customisable, affordable, good customer support.
Ideal for: All business types.
Wave is the only offering that is completely free. Although it does not have all the bells and whistles that say Quickbooks or Freshbook have, it is the best platform if you are a bootstrapped operation looking to cut costs or a Boutique business that doesn’t require extensive workflows or integrations. With Wave business owners can conduct all the basic accounting activities like tracking income, and expenses, generating invoices, etc. It also supports a few basic reports that a business would typically need.
Key feature: Free.
Ideal for: Bootstrapped startups, Boutique businesses.
I hope this write-up would prove to be a good starting point for finding the right software solution for your business. Each solution has a niche feature that may appeal to different business types, also each solution offers a certain amount of free trial period which business owners can try to make an informed decision. We at Nimblefincorp help businesses in choosing the right accounting software for their business. We have a team of experienced and certified accounting professionals who can help you select the right accounting software for your business.