business software best accounting software canada

The best accounting software for Canada assists you in organizing your business’s financial reports, cash flow, and accounting data and produces reports for effective decision-making. With the best accounting software for small business Canada, you’ll be able to easily manage multiple business functions such as invoicing, project management, bank reconciliation, payment follow-ups, end-to-end accounting, contract templates, and more.

However, finding the best accounting software in Canada when there are so many good ones out there can be challenging. We’ve reviewed the best desktop accounting software in Canada, evaluating them on criteria like the number of permitted users and invoices, pricing, integration options, ease of use, and others. Read on to find out how software like Zoho Books, Oracle NetSuite, and QuickBooks compare with the rest.

Best Accounting Software in Canada | Top 7 Shortlist

Zoho Books beat others on the list to emerge as the best accounting software Canada in our testing, owing to its free forever plan and features like automated follow-ups with clients, banking integrations, employee time tracking, multiple task automation, budgeting capabilities, and ease of payments. That said, others gave it a fair fight. See for yourself:

  1. Zoho Books — Overall, The Best Accounting Software Canada | Put it to the Test with a Free Forever Plan.
  2. Oracle NetSuite — The Best Cloud-based Accounting Software with its Own Payment Processing Software | Get a Custom Quote Now.
  3. QuickBooks — The Best Small Business Accounting Software Canada with Impeccable Time Tracking Feature | Try it Now with a 30-Day Free Trial.
  4. Sage Accounting — Leading Canada Accounting Software for Handling Multiple Bank Accounts Together | Test it with a 30-Day Free Trial.
  5. FreshBooks — Quality Accounting Software Canada for Automated Expense Management | Try it Now with a 30-Day Free Trial.
  6. Xero — The Best Accounting Software Canada for Monitoring the Profitability of Your Projects | Try it Now with a 30-Day Free Trial.
  7. Bonsai — Popular Accounting Software with In-House Human Expert Assistance | Put it to the Test with a 14-Day Free Trial and a 14-Day Money-back Guarantee.

The Top 7 Canada Accounting Solutions | Reviewed

Let’s now learn in detail the best features, pros, and cons of the top 7 accounting solutions in Canada. Here you go.

1. Zoho Books — Our Top Pick for the Best Overall Accounting Software in Canada

Zoho Books is a comprehensive cloud-based accounting software designed to take care of all the aspects of a business’s finance.

Zoho Books | best accounting software for small business Canada

For starters, it’ll centralize all your bank transactions and financial records in one place so that you won’t have to juggle multiple banking apps.

In short, whatever transactions you make from your company’s account will have a record on Zoho Books.

Even if you’re using Paypal, you can securely fetch the data and import it to your Zoho Books account. The software will then automatically reconcile the numbers with your bank and ensure that the transactions match your bank’s record, leaving no risk of fraudulent payments.

When handling tons of payments week after week, you run the risk of missing a few entries. To prevent that, Zoho Books offers an auto-categorization feature that uses bank rules and filters to group your transactions into individual categories. If you’re looking for specific transaction data, categorization will simplify the search.

What’s more, Zoho Books also has a dedicated client portal where your customers can get the complete history of their transactions.

This way, in case a conflict over payments ever arises, your customers will have legible evidence and won’t have to rely on your words, strengthening their relationship with you.

Zoho’s client portal will allow you to request feedback from your customers. With a deeper insight into their experience, you can take the necessary steps to improve customer satisfaction through better payment processing.

Starting Price Top Features Free Trial Customer Support
$0
  1. Invoice creation
  2. Time tracking
  3. Automated follow-ups
14 days 24×5 email and call

Pros

  • A comprehensive end-to-end accounting solution
  • Features like time tracking and multi-project management
  • Information-oriented dashboards
  • Detailed and customizable records
  • Various options for transaction types and forms
  • An effective Android and iOS app

Cons

  • It can be tricky to use for small enterprises
  • A long learning curve

Pricing

Zoho Books is the only accounting software on our list to have a totally free plan, with enough features for solopreneurs, small businesses, and personal use.

Zoho Pricing

With the free plan, you can manage up to 1,000 invoices plus enjoy a plethora of other features, including multi-lingual invoicing, expense tracking, and support over email.

Need Zoho Books to do more? Select one of five paid plans, depending on your needs, such as the number of integrations and invoices you’d like, type of customer support, and more.

For example, the Standard plan allows for integrations with Zendesk, Zoho People, Zoho Projects, and Avalara, but not with Zoho Sign and Twilio — you’ll get all 6 integrations in the Premium plan

All Zoho Books paid plans come with a 14-day free trial, so you can try it risk-free to find out if it matches your needs.

 

2. Oracle NetSuite — The Best Cloud-based Accounting Software with its Own Payment Processing Software

Oracle NetSuite is an AI-powered accounting software best known for its neat and organized data entry and endless automation options.

Oracle NetSuite | best accounting software Canada

If you don’t want your team to waste time on financial closing, NetSuite will take over and automate the entire process. It will:

  • Reconcile all account transactions
  • Look for mismatches
  • Speed up variance analysis, data entry, intercompany transactions, and basically all tedious manual tasks that usually hold up closing,

so that you can move to the next financial quarter quickly.

Automating your entire accounting process will get you your updated financial statements and records in hand sooner. You’ll have a better idea of your company’s current liquidity so that you can invest accordingly.

NetSuite will also simplify payment processing with its wide range of payment methods.

Whether you charge via invoices or recurring payments or get paid through cheques or the web, NetSuite is well-equipped to handle every kind of transaction — your customers won’t have to switch their preferred payment methods.

To make things simpler, NetSuite has also launched its own payment processing software — SuitePayments. It supports both credit cards and non-check options and basically integrates payment processing services to the NetSuite platform to shrink the credit-to-cash cycle. No third-party handling.

We also loved how NetSuite provides role-based dashboards to every user, where your employees will get a custom dashboard based on their job role.

Thanks to this, you’ll be able to supervise their individual work separately, and at the same time, each of your team members will only have access to data required for their job role and nothing more.

Starting Price Top Features Free Trial Customer Support
$99
  1. Invoice management
  2. Accurate real-time data
  3. Custom role-based dashboard
No Email, chat, and call

Pros

  • A feature-laden solution for global enterprises
  • Detailed report on various parameters
  • Multiple import and export options
  • Allows automated data input
  • Several custom process workflows

Cons

  • Customizing reports is difficult
  • Takes a lot of time to learn all the useful features

Pricing

Oracle NetSuite designs a custom plan for every user, so there are no pricing tiers available like the other software.

However, we do know that a monthly subscription starts at $99 but the final price of your plan will include:

  • An annual license fee made up of 3 components — core platform, number of users, and optional modules.
  • A one-time fee for the initial set up.

Contact NetSuite today to design a plan for yourself.

 

3. QuickBooks — The Best Small Business Accounting Software Canada with Impeccable Time Tracking Feature

QuickBooks is a great accounting software for startups lacking a full-fledged accounting team. It’s simple to set up, plus you get a rich database of FAQs, tutorials, and help articles, making the installation process even more effortless.

Quickbooks | best accounting software Canada

With detailed reports and customizable dashboards, you’ll instantly know how your business is performing financially.

Starting from daily transactions to outstanding bills and invoices, you’ll find everything you need in one place, meaning you’ll no longer have to juggle multiple accounting tools.

QuickBooks won’t just help you with bookkeeping and payments, but it’ll also simplify invoice and receipt generation.

You can either import your own template and use it for every bill or pick one from QuickBooks’s wide range of pre-designed templates and customize it to fit your brand.

Invoices with QuickBooks look professional and boost your brand image and authenticity before customers. Not to mention, faster invoice generation helps you get paid faster too.

Along with helping you with your bills and transactions, QuickBooks’s time tracking feature will help you manage the salaries of your employees on an hourly wage. Check out our guide for the best employee time tracking software in 2023.

Basically, it lets your employees clock in and out, maintain their own timesheet, and submit it for approval — all from the app itself.

In the case of on-field workers, you can also set up a geofencing alert to note their billable hours with 100% accuracy.

To conclude, instead of manually counting working hours or simply having to trust your employees’ claims, you’ll have digital proof of their total billable hours, ensuring you only pay for the hours they actually worked.

Starting Price Top Features Free Trial Customer Support
$5.10/month
  1. Quick invoices
  2. Multiple team members
  3. Automated vendor payments
30 days Chat and FAQs

Pros

  • It can be accessed on any device through a browser
  • Regular free upgrades
  • Several automation options, such as bank and tax automation
  • Finding and fixing errors is relatively easy
  • Exhaustive record-keeping and reporting

Cons

  • The security of data needs improvement
  • Limited users with each plan

Pricing

Although QuickBooks’s Simple Start plan costs $17/month, you can get it for just $5.10/month, thanks to a 70% off offer. The plan will fetch you detailed insights and reports of your expenses, a GST and VAT tracker, and custom invoices.

Quickbooks pricing

For more functionalities like managing your budgets, tracking project profitability, and allowing as many as 5 users + your accountant? Get a premium plan.

Try QuickBooks risk-free today with a 30-day free trial. If it doesn’t suit you, you can cancel your subscription without losing any money and then explore more options on our list.

 

4. Sage Accounting — Leading Canada Accounting Software for Handling Multiple Bank Accounts Together

Sage Accounting is the pick of the lot for businesses looking for user-friendly accounting software heavy on automation. Thanks to Sage’s advanced features, you’ll find yourself only supervising the accounting processes at best, while Sage will take care of all the boring, manual work.

Sage accounting solutions Canada

Its General Ledger is the perfect solution to centralize your heaps of transaction data in one place, regardless of the currency and geographical location. With just one click, you’ll be able to automate currency conversions and reconcile the transaction.

Unlike traditional general ledgers, Sage’s general ledger gives you more flexibility and visibility so that you’re aware of even the smallest denomination transaction happening in your company. Need we say more?

We do. Sage’s smart cash management feature will make handling multiple bank accounts together a breeze. All payments made and received across banks, credit cards and the web will reflect in one dashboard. This way, you’ll always know what bills are due or how much funds you’ve in hand.

Under its daily reconciliation, Sage will match its own record of transactions with your bank’s record of transactions to see if the numbers match.

This way, you’ll be able to prevent payment fraud and errors and have the right numbers during your next financial meeting. Plus, reconciliation occurs daily, so you’ll always have the latest numbers for quick, on-the-go decision-making.

One of our favorite things about Sage Accounting is how it streamlines and quickens invoice collection. Automated invoice reminders to clients will save you the trouble of manually reminding customers to pay — something many people might not be comfortable doing.

Starting Price Top Features Free Trial Customer Support
$10/month
  1. Intuitive dashboard
  2. Integrated payroll management tool
  3. Cash management
30 days Call

Pros

  • Additional features such as job costing and budgeting
  • Allows double-entry accounting
  • An excellent customer support
  • Effective import/export capabilities
  • Easy to drill down transaction details

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the time-tracking feature
  • Occasional inefficient journal entries

Pricing

You’ll get the best bang for your buck with Sage’s basic plan at just $10/month. The basic plan includes support for one user, automatic bank reconciliation, and a tracker to track what you’re owed.

Sage Accounting pricing

Do you fancy advanced reports, unlimited users, cash flow forecasts, and automatic purchase invoice management? If that’s the case, bump your plan up to the “Sage Accounting” plan.

Plus, you can get the “Sage Accounting” plan for 70% off for six months, thanks to a ridiculous offer by the platform.

Try Sage Accounting risk-free today with a 30-day free trial. Don’t like it? Cancel your subscription and lose no money in the process.

 

5. FreshBooks —  Quality Accounting Software Canada for Automated Expense Management

FreshBooks has made finance management easier than ever for over 30 million businesses worldwide — also one of the best accounting software UK, thanks to its user-friendly invoicing tool and automated accounting features.

FreshBooks dashboard | best accounting software Canada

It simplifies expense tracking for your business by automatically importing transaction data. All that you’ve to do is connect it to your bank and credit cards — FreshBooks will automatically update your expense sheet every day.

Knowing how much you’re spending daily and weekly will help you manage your monthly budget better and also prevent you from overspending.

Under its expense tracking functionality, FreshBooks will also let you keep track of your paper receipts — it’ll scan the details and store the digital version in its database.

Storing your receipts this way will ensure you don’t accidentally lose them. Plus, FreshBooks will also automatically categorize each receipt to help you file your taxes easily.

What we liked the most about FreshBooks is that it lets you convert your estimates into proposals in just one click.

Pick any of its proposal templates and customize it according to your needs. If a potential client of yours likes it, they can approve the project directly from the proposal.

Once you’ve done the job, you can convert the same proposal into a ready-to-pay invoice, complete with discounts (if any) and payment options in your preferred currency to speed up the payment cycle.

Starting Price Top Features Free Trial Customer Support
$6/month
  1. Expense tracker
  2. FreshBooks Payments
  3. Compatible with major banks
30 days Call

Pros

  • Compatible with various platforms and OS
  • Allows integrations with a wide range of third-party apps
  • An easy-to-use initiative design
  • Allows customized tax calculation as per country
  • Mobile apps available for both Andriod and iOS
  • A 30-day free trial

Cons

  • Not meant for larger enterprises
  • Limited customization options

Pricing

You can get started with FreshBooks for as little as $6/month. With the Lite plan, you can send unlimited invoices to up to 5 clients, track unlimited expenses, and send unlimited estimates. However, your accountant wouldn’t be able to get in on the dashboard on this plan.

Freshbooks Pricing

For accountant addition and features like automatic expense tracking, getting paid with checkout links, and removing FreshBooks branding from client emails, sign up for a premium FreshBooks plan.

With a 30-day free trial, you’ll have ample time to test FreshBooks to see if it’s worth your money. No credit card information needed for the free trial. No risk.

 

6. Xero — The Best Accounting Software Canada for Monitoring the Profitability of Your Projects

Xero’s diverse accounting features make it the perfect solution for both small businesses and independent accountants.

Xero payroll solutions

One of the best features of Xero is how it lets you monitor the profitability of your projects in real-time.

Here’s how it works: let’s say you quoted a certain amount to your client to complete a project. Now, each time you make investments in the project, Xero, having both the estimate and your expense record, will show you the profit margin of the task.

This feature helps you optimize your project investments so that you can turn in quality work without shrinking your profit margin.

It’ll also help you quickly prepare a formal business proposal or quote based on your project estimates. Once the quote is approved, Xero provides a one-click quote-to-invoice conversion, just like FreshBooks.

Xero’s Pay Run feature is best known for simplifying recurring payments, whether for vendors or your employees.

For example, if you’ve a permanent vendor with a fixed monthly payment, you can set it up on auto-pilot for any recurring payment.

Similarly, for employees, you can either manually pay them or schedule automated batch payments.

In both cases, since the payments will be going out on their own, you won’t have to waste time manually setting them up each month or supervising the transaction.

For more advanced payroll features, Xero itself recommends you connect to a third-party payroll management app, which on the brighter side, Xero will help set up and manage for you.

Starting Price Top Features Free Trial Customer Support
$13/month
  1. Automated batch payments
  2. Faster expense claims
  3. “Pay Now” button on invoices
30 days 24×7 online support

Pros

  • Highly customizable reports
  • Integrated inventory management functions
  • Allows easy collaboration with accountants
  • It can be accessed anytime over a browser
  • Offers a 30-day free trial
  • An easy-to-understand interface

Cons

  • No automatic recurring payments
  • Various monthly transaction limits

Pricing

Xero’s Early plan, priced at $13/month, although not as feature-rich as some of the other introductory plans we’ve seen till now, might be enough for sole traders, small businesses, and self-employed individuals. It’ll allow you to send 20 invoices a month and automatically reconcile your bank transactions.

Xero Pricing

However, we feel like you’ll do better with Xero’s premium plans that tag along with bulk reconciliation, in-depth analytics, and the ability to track projects.

Unsure? Try any of Xero’s plans free for a full month, thanks to its 30-day free trial.

 

7. Bonsai — Popular Accounting Software with In-House Human Expert Assistance

Bonsai is a solid accounting software for those looking for expert accounting assistance along with robust and AI-based accounting tools.

Bonsai dashboard | best accounting software Canada

It provides a dedicated accountant to help you with your company finances, even in its most basic plan. Having a real human accountant look over your account along with AI-powered accounting tools is the best combination any company can ask for to manage their transactions.

For beginners to get started, Bonsai also provides a free 1-hour consultation where it’ll help you understand your company’s needs and pick the right plan.

The only drawback we found in Bonsai is that its Starter and Professional plan has limited bandwidth for transactions. The former only allows up to 35 transactions, whereas the latter offers a maximum of 70 transactions.

To make up for this, Bonsai offers monthly/weekly automated financial reports to give you a clear view of your expenditure, revenue, profit, and more.

A concrete record of your expenses and profit will come in very handy during the taxing season. It’ll also help you understand where you stand financially so that you make the right financial decisions in the next month or quarter.

Also, each of Bonsai’s financial reports are generated in compliance with the International Financial Reporting Standards, which basically makes your reports more transparent for investors or higher authorities to identify opportunities or possible setbacks.

Starting Price Top Features Free Trial Customer Support
$24/month
  1. Banking details on dashboard
  2. Extensive reports
  3. Mileage tracking template
14 days Support center with FAQs

Pros

  • A summary-oriented dashboard
  • Decent customer support
  • Excellent invoicing tools for freelancers
  • An updated, modern layout and UI
  • Option to add unlimited clients
  • End-to-end document management

Cons

  • Problems in exporting time tracking
  • Requires more automation options

Pricing

For a mere $24/month, Bonsai’s basic plan will fetch you support for unlimited clients and projects, expense tracking, and permission to admit up to 5 project collaborators.

Bonsai Pricing

For accountant access, connecting multiple bank accounts, Calendly and Zapier integration, and more such advanced features, we recommend Bonsai’s higher-end plans.

Besides a 14-day free trial, Bonsai also provides a 14-day money-back guarantee, so essentially, you’ll have 44 days to test the platform and see if it’s worth putting your money into.

 

The 7 Best Online Accounting Tools in Canada | Compared

Our table here will save you time by highlighting only the critical differences between the best online accounting software Canada. You’ll arrive at the tool that’ll be best for you within a matter of minutes. Jump in.

Accounting Software Starting Price Top Features Free Trial Customer Support
Zoho Books $0
  1. Invoice creation tool
  2. Time tracking
  3. Automated follow-ups
Yes 24×5 email and call
Oracle NetSuite $99/month
  1. Invoice management
  2. Accurate real-time data
  3. Custom role-based dashboard
No Email, chat and call
QuickBooks $5.10/month
  1. Quick invoices
  2. Multiple team members
  3. Automated vendor payments
30-day free trial Chat and FAQs
Sage Accounting $10/month
  1. Intuitive dashboard
  2. Integrated payroll management too
  3. Cash management
30-day free trial Call
FreshBooks $6/month
  1. Expense tracker
  2. Freshbooks Payments
  3. Compatible with major banks
30-day free trial Call
Xero $13/month
  1. Automated batch payments
  2. Faster expense claims
  3. Pay Now” button on invoices
30-day free trial 24×7 online support
Bonsai $24/month
  1. Banking details on dashboard
  2. Extensive reports
  3. Mileage tracking template
14-day free trial Support center with FAQs

Do I Need An Accounting Software Program for My Business?

No matter how big or small, every business will benefit from having accounting software. Here’s how:

Accurate Transaction Entries 

One of the most important parts of managing your business’s finance is accurately logging transactions. Having a record of all your expenses and deposits will help you calculate your profit at the end of each month or quarter— an essential in properly charting your business growth. Seeing where your money is going is also an effective way to optimize your spending to maximize profit and will come in very handy during the taxing season.

Timely Payments 

If you want to maintain good relations with your vendor, paying them on time is mandatory. You already have too many responsibilities on your shoulder, so if you’re worried that a few payments might slip your mind, accounting software is all you need.

Feed the bills to the system and set up a date in advance for the payment to go out before the deadline— your job’s done here. The accounting software will automatically clear the bill on your selected day, ensuring you never miss a bill.

Reduced Risk of Fraud 

Since every payment is automatically recorded for you and the whole team to see, there is no risk of fraudulent payments by corrupt employees.

Protect your business no matter what

For example, if you’ve a few accounting department members handling bank transactions and company credit cards, and you’re worried that someone might steal from company funds, an accounting tool can help you.

Whether the payments made from your account are authorized or unauthorized, they’ll be tracked, recorded, and reconciled with the bank. No matter how they choose to steal, one simple glance at the expense reports will give away the truth.

Happier Customers  

Most of this accounting software not only helps you with your company finances but also doubles as a client payment portal. This means it can help you accept and process client payments. So what makes a client happy? Faster payments, multiple payment options, secure transactions— you’ll find everything on our chosen accounting tools.

Platforms like Zoho Books also have their very own Client Portal where your customers can check their payment history and outstanding dues themselves.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Canada Accounting Software

We’ve set various parameters to zero in on the best accounting software in Canada. Here are four things you need to look for in every business accounting software:

Feature Diversity 

Whenever you’re looking for accounting software, pick a platform that covers all your needs so that you don’t have to juggle multiple tools. For example, Xero helps you track your expenses, clear your bills on time, clear expense claims from your employees, and much more from just one platform. The job becomes much simpler and faster with just one platform to manage your finances.

Bulk Task Management 

If you’ve got a big team and a huge customer base, there might be a few tasks you’ll need to complete in bulk. For example, bulk payments to vendors, bulk expense tracking, or bulk invoice creation. If the same job needs to be done in bulk, there is no point in doing each individually.

All of the accounting platforms picked by us understand what a business needs. That’s why they allow you to schedule multiple automated payments at once or create a universal invoice template for all your clients— saving you a lot of time and trouble.

Customer Support  

The whole purpose of getting an accounting platform is to simplify managing your company finances. So obviously, it won’t be much help if the platform malfunctions and you’ve no way to fix it. Hence, when looking for an accounting tool for your company, ensure it offers customer support in every plan. Whether it’s live chat or email, you should have at least some means of getting hold of their team.

Pricing

Accounting tools are designed to be virtual accountants for your company, but they still need manpower to operate. So you need to pick a reasonably priced platform that costs more than professional accountants.

If you’re running on a very tight budget, try Zoho Books’ generous free plan or Xero’s 30-day free trial. Even if you’re looking for a paid plan, you’ll find plenty of affordable options on our list. For example, Freshbooks costs only $6/month to get started.

Accounting Software FAQs

What software do accountants use the most?

Is there a better accounting software than Xero?

Is QuickBooks better than an accountant?

What’s the best accounting software for the self-employed?

What’s the best free bookkeeping software in Canada?

What’s the best small business accounting software in 2023?

Conclusion | What’s the Best Accounting Software in Canada in 2023?

Our comprehensive review includes the best accounting software for all needs, be it a small business that needs to manage basic accounting or a large enterprise aiming to automate multiple functions. You can pick one that fits your needs. Here’s a roundup of the tools we discussed today:

  1. Zoho Books — Overall, The Best Accounting Software Canada | Put it to the Test with a Free Forever Plan.
  2. Oracle NetSuite — The Best Cloud-based Accounting Software with its Own Payment Processing Software | Get a Custom Quote Now.
  3. QuickBooks — The Best Small Business Accounting Software Canada with Impeccable Time Tracking Feature | Try it Now with a 30-Day Free Trial.
  4. Sage Accounting — Leading Canada Accounting Software for Handling Multiple Bank Accounts Together | Test it with a 30-Day Free Trial.
  5. FreshBooks —  Quality Accounting Software Canada for Automated Expense Management | Try it Now with a 30-Day Free Trial.
  6. Xero — The Best Accounting Software Canada for Monitoring the Profitability of Your Projects | Try it Now with a 30-Day Free Trial.
  7. Bonsai — Popular Accounting Software with In-House Human Expert Assistance | Put it to the Test with a 14-Day Free Trial and a 14-Day Money-back Guarantee.

There’s no doubt in our minds that Zoho Books is the best accounting software Canada, be it for solopreneurs, small businesses, or large corporations. A free forever plan plus budgeting capabilities, banking integrations, multiple automation options, employee time tracking, and quick payments make Zoho Books a force to reckon with.

Don’t believe us? Try Zoho Books now with a 30-day free trial. No risk of losing any money. No hassle.