business software best accounting software

With the best accounting software, businesses can manage their finances easily and intuitively. Companies of all sizes, from small businesses to large enterprises, use accounting software to automate tasks that would otherwise be tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone.

We’ve comprehensively researched and compared the seven best accounting software programs on the market today. Read on to find out how tools like Zoho Books, Oracle NetSuite, and QuickBooks can make your business more efficient and improve your bottom line.

 

Best Accounting Software for 2023 | Top 7 Shortlist

Some accounting software will offer you low pricing but prove unreliable or fail to meet your specific needs. Our research found that Zoho Books is the best accounting software due to its heavy focus on features, automation, and integrations, all of which are designed with efficiency in mind. Here’s a quick breakdown of our top choices:

  1. Zoho Books — Overall, the best accounting software for all kinds of businesses. Thanks to its automation and excellent workflow management, your business will run like a well-oiled machine. Sign up for its 14-day free trial.
  2. Oracle NetSuite — All-in-one accounting, ERP, and CRM software for large businesses. It offers a wealth of features that’ll streamline your business processes. Request a demo to see if it’s a good fit for you.
  3. QuickBooks — Most affordable and feature-rich accounting software for small businesses. You can use it to manage your finances, inventory, and payroll. Get started with its 30-day free trial.
  4. Sage — Ideal accounting software for startups and solopreneurs. It’s simple to use and comes with support from expert accountants.
  5. FreshBooks — Best cloud-based accounting software for invoicing and billing. You can customize invoices and automate payments.
  6. Xero — Great for bank reconciliation and easily customizable invoices thanks to its many integrations.
  7. Bonsai — Accounting software made for freelancers and consultants. Take advantage of its contract and proposal drafting features to get clients faster.

The Top 7 Accounting Software Programs | Reviewed

1. Zoho Books — Our top pick for the best accounting software program

Zoho Books is part of the Zoho suite of online business applications, which is known for seamless automation and collaboration features. The accounting software is suitable for all businesses and comes with an intuitive interface, making it extremely easy to use.

Zoho Books — Our top pick for the best accounting software program
Pricing No. Of Users Mobile App Trial Version
$10.00/mo 3 Yes Yes

Workflow matters when you’re running a business, and accounting is no different. Zoho Books offers a suite of workflow automation features that can help you get your work done faster and with less hassle. For example, the software can automatically generate invoices when an order is placed, track billable hours, and send payment reminders to customers. It makes your accounting processes more efficient, so you can focus on running your business.

Zoho Books also offers excellent collaboration features. With the software, you can easily invite your accountant or bookkeeper to help you with your books. You can also give them limited access to specific areas of the software, so they can only see what’s relevant to their work. This makes it easy to get help when you need it and keeps your accounting team organized.

Lastly, since Zoho Books is part of the larger Zoho suite, you can easily integrate it with other Zoho applications, such as the Client Portal. This gives you a complete view of your business and keeps all your data in one place. There’s no need to switch between applications or export/import data—it’s all right there at your fingertips. This makes for a much smoother experience and helps you avoid mistakes.

Pros

  • Flexible pricing structure
  • Great for automations
  • Offers bank reconciliation

Cons

  • Limited transactions per month

Pricing

Unlike most other accounting software, Zoho offers a Free Plan with invoicing, bank reconciliation, and expense tracking for 1 user. If you run a larger business, you can upgrade to one of their paid plans, the least expensive of which starts at $10/month.

Zoho offers five plans (including the free one):

  • Free: For businesses with revenue <50K USD per annum
  • Standard: $10 for 3 users
  • Professional: $20 for 5 users
  • Premium: $30 for 10 users
  • Elite: $100 for 10 users with Forecasting and Analytics
  • Ultimate: $200 for 15 users plus custom modulesZoho Books

Overall, we think Zoho Books is the best accounting software program for businesses, big or small. It’s easy to use, offers excellent automation and collaboration features, and integrates with other Zoho applications. And if you’re just starting out, you can take advantage of their free plan.

 

2. Oracle NetSuite — All-in-One Accounting Software for Large Businesses

Oracle Netsuite is a comprehensive, all-in-one accounting software solution for large businesses. It offers a suite of features that includes financial consolidation and reporting, accounts receivable and payable, order management, inventory, project accounting, and fixed asset management. Not only that, it comes with an ERP and CRM system as well.

Oracle NetSuite — All-In-One Accounting Software For Large Businesses
Pricing No. Of Users Mobile App Trial Version
Not Published Unspecified Yes Yes

With this software, you can manage your entire financial operations in one centralized platform. That includes real-time visibility into the financial health of the company, automated workflows to streamline processes, and built-in intelligence to make better decisions.

It’s imperative for big enterprises to streamline their accounting processes and have complete visibility into their finances because it can help them avoid costly mistakes, make more informed decisions, and run their businesses more efficiently.

With its seamless order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes, Oracle Netsuite can help businesses accelerate their financial close and achieve real-time visibility into their cash position. You no longer have to worry about manually reconciling accounts or dealing with errors and discrepancies. This software will take care of it all for you.

Not only is Oracle Netsuite great for financial consolidation and reporting, but it’s also excellent for managing projects and inventory. With its project accounting features, businesses can track project costs, revenue, and profitability in real time.

Meanwhile, inventory management tools let you keep track of stock levels, reorder points, and lead times. This software makes it easy to manage all aspects of your business finances from start to finish.

Pros

  • For big enterprises
  • Accounting, CRM and ERP software
  • Excellent workflow automation

Cons

  • Not for small businesses

Pricing

Unfortunately, Oracle doesn’t publicly disclose pricing for Netsuite. However, we’ve heard from users that it costs around $99 per month for the base package, which includes financial consolidation and reporting, accounts receivable and payable, order management, inventory, project accounting, and fixed asset management. If you need the ERP or CRM system as well, expect to pay an additional monthly fee.

Contact Oracle today for a custom pricing quote; this might be the software you’ve been searching for.

Oracle NetSuite offers a comprehensive suite of financial management tools

Oracle Netsuite is the answer if you’re looking for an all-in-one accounting solution for your large business. If you run a small or a startup business, this software might be a bit too comprehensive and expensive for your needs. But if you want to scale and grow your business, you need this one-stop-shop software solution.

 

3. QuickBooks — Budget-Friendly Accounting Software

QuickBooks is a no-frills accounting software that is budget-friendly for small businesses. The software is designed to be easy to use, with a simple interface and straightforward features.

QuickBooks — Budget-Friendly Accounting Software
Pricing No. Of Users Mobile App Trial Version
$5.10/mo 1 Yes Yes

QuickBooks is a good choice for small businesses that need basic accounting capabilities without the bells and whistles of more expensive software. It allows you to create and send custom invoices to your customers, which can be paid online, and track your expenses so you can stay on budget. If you’re a solopreneur, you will thank its invoicing feature come tax time.

QuickBooks is cloud-based and available on both Mac, PC and mobile phones so that you can access your data from anywhere. This is a big plus if you travel a lot or work from different locations. You can easily run your business from your phone while on the go.

You can also create and file 1099s for your contractors come tax time, which is a big time-saver for small business operators. Say you have a landscaping business and hire a few contractors throughout the year to help with busy periods.

QuickBooks will let you create and file 1099s for those workers, so you’re all set for tax season. It will provide you with an easy-to-follow template and fill in the appropriate information for each contractor.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Can integrate with other software
  • Unlimited invoicing

Cons

  • Basic features

Pricing

Pricing for QuickBooks starts at $5.10 per month, which is very affordable compared to other accounting software programs. For that price, you get unlimited invoicing, expense tracking and access to support from QuickBooks experts. You can also upgrade to a more expensive plan if you need additional features, such as inventory management or advanced reporting capabilities.

QuickBooks pricing

Overall, QuickBooks is an excellent value for small businesses that need basic accounting software to manage their finances. The only downside is that it lacks some of the more advanced features that larger businesses require. But for small business owners on a budget, QuickBooks is hard to beat.

 

4. Sage — Accounting Software for Startups and Solopreneurs

Sage Business Accounting, formerly known as Sage One, is a cloud-based accounting software app designed for small businesses and startups, especially those in the world of e-commerce.

Sage — World-class Desktop Accounting Software
Pricing No. Of Users Mobile App Trial Version
$10.00/mo 1 Yes Yes

What sets Sage apart from other accounting software is its focus on bill payments and management, which is critical for businesses that need to track inventory and sales tax. If you’re reviewing your finances every month, you might have encountered missing or duplicate transactions in your data.

This is where Sage’s focus on bill payments really shines: it offers features to reconcile accounts automatically and prevent errors.

Sage also offers various integrations, such as those with Shopify, PayPal, and QuickBooks, which makes it easier for businesses to manage their finances in one place. With Shopify, for example, businesses can connect their online store and automatically import sales data into Sage—which is then used to generate invoices, track inventory levels, and run reports.

Lastly, Sage’s inventory management features are top-notch and ideal for businesses that need to keep track of stock levels, product pricing, and supplier information. Simply connect it to your Shopify store, for instance, and it will make sure you’re never out-of-stock on popular items. When the surge of customer demand hits, you’ll be prepared.

Pros

  • Multi-currency
  • Affordable
  • Can integrate with e-commerce sites

Cons

  • Dated UI

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, there aren’t a lot of options. The software is currently offered in two plans: Sage Business Cloud Accounting Start and Grow. The former is designed for businesses with up to 9 employees for $10.00 per month, while the latter is meant for businesses with 10 or more employees.

Sage Accounting pricing

Overall, Sage Business Accounting is packed with features that are designed to save time and prevent errors. However, you may need to get used to their dated interface which can slightly affect your productivity.

 

5. FreshBooks — Best Cloud-Based Accounting Software

FreshBooks will let you run your business from anywhere at any time. It’s an intuitive, cloud-based accounting software app that makes life easy for small business owners and accountants worldwide.

FreshBooks — Best Cloud-Based Accounting Software
Pricing No. Of Users Mobile App Trial Version
$6.00/mo 5 Yes Yes

This software’s most unique feature is its In-App Estimates and Proposals. This allows you to quickly create an estimate or proposal and send it directly to your client from within the software.

If you want to succeed, setting clear and accurate expectations with your clients is vital, and this feature makes that process simpler than ever. It will show you which stage each proposal or estimate is in, so you can easily keep track of your sales pipeline.

In addition to being able to manage your finances from anywhere, FreshBooks also gives you great insights into your business. The software tracks billable and non-billable time, so you can see where your team’s time is being spent. This information can be used to make better decisions about how to allocate your resources.

You can also take advantage of its pre-populated chart of accounts, which is specific to your country or region. This ensures that your financial reports are compliant with local regulations. From account statements to balance sheets, you can trust that your reports will be accurate. Transparency is the key to success in business, and Freshbooks gives you the tools you need to succeed.

Pros

  • Unlimited Invoices
  • Profit projection
  • Basic time tracker

Cons

  • No budgeting capability

Pricing

Freshbooks offers three pricing plans, which are:

  • Lite: $6.00/month (billed annually)
  • Plus: $12.00/month (billed annually)
  • Premium: $22.00/month (billed annually)

With Lite, you can manage up to 5 clients and send unlimited invoices. Plus gives you the ability to track billable and non-billable time and create proposals and estimates. Premium gives you all of these features, plus allows you to track project profitability and more.

If you operate a large business and need to add more clients and users, contact Freshbooks and ask about its Select plan for custom pricing.

Freshbooks pricing

Whether you’re a solopreneur or have a team of employees, Freshbooks could well be the best cloud accounting software for you. The only thing it lacks is the ability to budget, but it makes up for that with its other features. If you’re looking for easy-to-use accounting software that will give you insights into your business, Freshbooks is the way to go.

If you need a more robust time tracking provider, check out our list of the best employee time tracking software here.

 

6. Xero — Top-Notch Accounting Software With Robust Integrations

Xero is an online accounting software program that connects directly to your bank account, making it easy to reconcile transactions and keep track of your spending. It also offers a wide range of integrations with other business software, so you can customize invoices and other documents to match your brand.

Xero — Accounting Software With Robust Integrations
Pricing No. Of Users Mobile App Trial Version
$13.00/mo Unlimited Yes Yes

Since it’s cloud-based, you don’t have to go through the hassle of installing and updating software on your computer. It won’t take up valuable space on your hard drive, either. All you need is an internet connection and you can access your account anywhere, anytime. If you ever lose or damage your computer, all your data will still be safe and sound in the cloud.

Xero also has its own marketplace for add-ons which can automate many of your business processes, from payroll to expense claims. This makes it easy to find solutions that work for your business, without having to piece together different software programs.

Lastly, if you’re running a business with multiple locations or employees, Xero makes it easy to track and manage your finances in one central place. It can help you manage your payroll, making sure that everyone gets paid on time and that you’re complying with tax laws. Your employees can access your employee portal and lodge time sheets, expense claims, and leave requests.

Pros

  • Excellent inventory management (COGS)
  • Cloud-based
  • Robust integrations and add-ons

Cons

  • Can be pricey

Pricing

While Xero is not the cheapest accounting software on the market, it does offer a free trial and a competitive monthly price for small businesses. It has three pricing tiers: Early, Growing, and Established.

The Early plan is suitable for businesses with 0-5 employees and starts at $13 per month. The Growing plan is designed for businesses with 6-10 employees and starts at $37 per month. The Established plan is perfect for larger businesses with 11 or more employees and starts at $70 per month.

Xero pricing

One downside of Xero is that it can be pricey compared to other accounting software. However, its many features and integrations may be worth the extra cost for some businesses.

 

7. Bonsai — For Freelancers and Independent Contractors

Bonsai is one of the newer accounting software programs on the market. Despite its relative newness, it has already established itself as a go-to solution for many freelancers and independent contractors.

Bonsai — For Freelancers and Independent Contractors
Pricing No. Of Users Mobile App Trial Version
$13.00/mo Unlimited Yes Yes

One of the things that makes Bonsai so popular is its proposal and contract maker. This feature allows users to quickly and easily create proposals and contracts that can be sent to clients. The proposal and contract maker is especially useful for those unfamiliar with these documents’ legal aspects. You can guarantee that what you will be sending your client is airtight.

Another great feature of Bonsai is its time-tracking capabilities. This is an essential tool for many freelancers, as it allows them to track the time they spend on each project. This information can then be used to generate invoices that accurately reflect the work that has been done. No more over- or under-billing your clients.

Finally, Bonsai offers a fantastic support system. The team behind the software is always available to answer any questions you may have. They also offer a range of helpful tutorials and articles, so you can learn how to use the software to its full potential.

Pros

  • Timekeeping
  • Automatic invoices
  • Proposal and contract maker

Cons

  • Can be pricey

Pricing

As mentioned, there is a free version of Bonsai available. However, this version is very limited in terms of features and functionality. If you’re running a business, you will need to upgrade to one of the paid plans.

The paid plans start at $24 per month ( billed annually) for the Starter plan. This plan includes all the basic features, such as invoicing, time tracking, and proposal and contract making. It also includes a CRM that can be used to manage clients and projects.

For businesses that need a more comprehensive solution, there is the $39 per month (billed annually) Professional plan. This plan includes everything in the Starter plan, plus additional features such as double-entry bookkeeping, project budgeting, and advanced reporting.

Bonsai pricing

If you’re looking for an accounting software solution that is tailored specifically for freelancers and independent contractors, Bonsai is definitely worth checking out. However, it should be noted that the free version of the software is fairly limited. If you’re running a business, you will likely need to upgrade to one of the paid plans.

 

The 7 Best Online Accounting Software | Compared

If you want to run your business smoothly, you need to have good accounting software in place. This will help you keep track of your finances, invoicing, and expenses. To give you a simpler picture of these accounting software options, check out our head-to-head comparison table of the 7 best online accounting software.

Software Pricing No. Of Users Mobile App Trial Version
Zoho $10.00/mo 3 Yes Yes
Oracle Netsuite Not Published Unspecified Yes Yes
QuickBooks $5.10/mo 1 Yes Yes
Sage Accounting $10.00/mo 1 Yes Yes
FreshBooks $6.00/mo 5 Yes Yes
Xero $13.00/mo Unlimited Yes Yes
Bonsai $24.00/mo Unlimited Yes Yes

Do I Need Accounting Software for My Business?

The only correct answer to this question is yes. We live in a digital and fast-paced world, and if you’re not taking advantage of these technologies for your business, you’re falling behind. Here’s why:

You Can’t Do Business Without It

In the past, businesses could get by without accounting software. They would use paper and pencil to track their finances. However, this is no longer the case. If you want to do business in today’s world, you need accounting software. There are a few reasons for this:

First, most businesses now use some form of online banking. This means that your bank statements are no longer coming to you in paper form. You need to be able to download them and input them into your accounting software.

Second, businesses are now required to file their taxes electronically. This means that you can no longer get by with just a paper return. You need accounting software in order to file your taxes electronically.

Third, more and more businesses are starting to accept credit cards. If you want to accept credit cards, you need to have some way of processing them. Accounting software will allow you to process credit cards and track your finances.

It Will Save You Time

If you still use paper and pencil to track your finances, you’re wasting a lot of time. Accounting software will save you time by automating many of the tasks that you would otherwise have to do manually. For example, most accounting software can automatically download your bank statements and credit card transactions. This means that you don’t have to input this information manually.

In addition, accounting software can automate many of the tasks involved in preparing your taxes. This means you will spend less time preparing your taxes if you use accounting software.

It Will Help You Make Better Decisions

If you want to make good decisions for your business, you need to have access to accurate financial information. Accounting software will give you the ability to track your income and expenses so that you can see where your money is going. This information will help you make better decisions about how to spend your money.

It’s Easy to Use

Accounting software is designed to be easy to use, even if you have no experience with accounting. Most accounting software programs come with tutorials and support so that you can get started quickly.

So, if you’re not using these digital solutions, such as accounting software for your business, you should be. It will save you time and money and help you make better decisions.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Accounting Software

With thousands and thousands of accounting software programs available today, it can be difficult to choose the best one for your business. When making your decision, there are a few key factors you should consider in order to find the best accounting software for your business needs.

Ease of Use

The best accounting software is the software that is easiest for you and your employees to use. If the software is difficult to use, it will take your employees longer to input data and generate reports, which can cost your business time and money.

Compatibility

You should also make sure that the accounting software you choose is compatible with the other software programs you use in your business. For example, if you use QuickBooks for bookkeeping, you will want to make sure that the accounting software you choose can integrate with QuickBooks.

Reporting

The best accounting software will also have robust reporting features. You should be able to generate reports that give you insights into your business finances so that you can make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources.

Pricing

Finally, you should consider pricing when choosing the best accounting software for your business. Some software programs are more expensive than others, but the price is not always indicative of quality. You should compare the features of each software program to find the one that offers the best value for your money.

Accounting Software FAQs

Which accounting software is easiest to use?

What’s the best accounting software in 2023?

Is accounting software safe?

What’s the best free accounting software?

What software do most accountants use?

Can I use Excel for bookkeeping?

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

Managing your finances, whether you’re an accountant, a business owner or a freelancer, can be a difficult and time-consuming task. That’s why finding the best accounting software is essential to keeping your business running smoothly.

We carefully chose these accounting software programs based on a variety of factors, including features, price, ease of use, and customer support.

  1. Zoho Books — Overall, the best accounting software for all kinds of businesses. Thanks to its automation and excellent workflow management, your business will run like a well-oiled machine. Sign up for its 14-day free trial.
  2. Oracle NetSuite — All-in-one accounting, ERP, and CRM software for large businesses. It offers a wealth of features that’ll streamline your business processes. Request a demo to see if it’s a good fit for you.
  3. QuickBooks — Most affordable and feature-rich accounting software for small businesses. You can use it to manage your finances, inventory, and payroll. Get started with its 30-day free trial.
  4. Sage — Ideal accounting software for startups and solopreneurs. It’s simple to use and comes with support from expert accountants.
  5. FreshBooks — Best cloud-based accounting software for invoicing and billing. You can customize invoices and automate payments.
  6. Xero — Great for bank reconciliation and easily customizable invoices thanks to its many integrations.
  7. Bonsai — Accounting software made for freelancers and consultants. Take advantage of its contract and proposal drafting features to get clients faster.

Zoho Books is our top pick for the best accounting software because it has a wide variety of features, including invoicing, expense tracking, and inventory management. Plus, you’ll be surprised once you see how your productivity and efficiency will improve when you use this accounting software, thanks to its advanced automation and robust integrations.

It offers a free account, suitable for businesses with less than 50k income per year, while you can also get a free trial for 14 days to test out the software before committing to a paid plan.

About Nik Saraev