Adopting accounting software for your small business is necessary, but choosing one system can be difficult in a market where many competitors are constantly entering with different solutions.
The variety of accounting platforms is mostly driven by an growing number of cloud-based software companies. Cloud-based accounting software now rivals desktop software with helpful and simple services that can be accessed from any computer or device.
However, there are a number of downloadable applications for small businesses that remain at the top of the pool this year. In this article I will outline some of the best accounting software tools and the benefits of each. If you’re starting or growing a small business in 2017, take a look and see if any of these are right for you!
Best Traditional Accounting Software for Small Businesses: QuickBooks Pro
Even if you’ve never tested an accounting software before, you’ve probably seen or heard of QuickBooks as the long-running top contender in accounting software. The company’s traditional software offering, QuickBooks Pro, offers all the basic accounting services small businesses need for $299.
The software is one of the easiest to use, with step-by-step tutorials and user videos to assist even the greenest of business owners. It’s also constantly updated with intuitive dashboard improvements and integration features.
Best Cloud-Based Accounting Software for Small Businesses: Xero
It’s worth noting that software powerhouse QuickBooks have also adapted their software into a cloud-based platform--QuickBooks Online. However, Xero has quickly made a name for itself amongst its many cloud-based competitors.
The highlight of Xero includes its simple and easy-to-use interface, a must-have for new small business owners. In addition, their third-party integration is convenient--link to your bank accounts, project management software, and even Square for a seamless one-stop shop.
Xero’s basic plan, Starter, runs $9 a month and includes limited billing, invoicing, and bank integration. The mid-level Standard plan is $30. It removes caps on billing and invoicing while adding payroll for five employees. For $70 a month, the Premium plan throws in payroll for 10 employees and increased tax functionality.
Best Free Accounting Software for Small Businesses: Wave
If your business is very small—10 employees or less—cloud-based Wave is a feasible accounting software solution. Their features include invoicing, receipt scanning, expense tracking, and third-party integrations with most major banks and PayPal.
Advertising keeps Wave free, but they offer premium services for small fees, like payroll and payment tools. The interface is intuitive and simple, especially for beginners.
Best Accounting Mobile App for Small Business: FreshBooks
Most accounting software platforms have their own mobile app, but not all are easy to use or well-designed. FreshBooks tops the list of mobile accounting apps for its easy to use interface, unparalleled customer service, and inclusive features that small business owners need to manage their accounting services on the go.
Whether you choose a cloud-based or traditional accounting software for your small business, make sure you explore all the features of each platform to find the one best suited for your needs. And if you’re still writing your business plan or looking for financing and not quite ready to purchase accounting software, check back here for an updated list each year!