Maintaining proper accounting and bookkeeping processes is vital to ensure the accuracy and prosperity of businesses. Today, accounting technology has been gaining traction for its ability to streamline business bookkeeping and decrease the time and effort spent on related tasks.
To help you navigate the packed accounting software market, we’ve created a list of software tools that we have identified as the optimal accounting solutions for businesses in 2023. This article takes an in-depth look into these seven best accounting solutions and their ideal use cases.
Top accounting software comparison
Consider the software comparison chart below to identify the best accounting software solution for your business. This chart compares how the solutions covered in this article approach prominent accounting software features and their differing price points.
|Starting price||Expense tracking||Invoicing capabilities||Financial reporting||User limits|
|QuickBooks Online||$30/mo.||Yes||Yes||Yes||25||Try QuickBooks|
|Zoho Books||$0 for businesses with an annual revenue below $50K USD||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unlimited||Try Zoho|
|Xero||$13/mo.||Limited to the highest-cost plan||Yes||Yes||Unlimited||Try Xero|
|Wave Accounting||$0||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unlimited||Try Wave|
Best accounting apps in 2023
QuickBooks Online: Best overall accounting app
If you’re searching for a top accounting software solution for your business, you have likely heard of QuickBooks Online. This accounting software solution, created by Intuit QuickBooks, is a favorite of ours for its robust features, wide range of integrations and transparent pricing.
As a cloud-based system, QuickBooks Online offers plenty of capabilities for its users, including bank account reconciliation, customizable invoicing, income and expense tracking and more. Some noteworthy features include built-in time-tracking capabilities and cash flow forecasting.
QuickBooks Online is also a fan favorite among small businesses for its ease of use and price tiers, including different features for organizations of various sizes — including freelancers. That said, it comes at a higher price than some other options on this list, so businesses should take their budget into account when considering QuickBooks Online.
- QuickBooks Simple Start: $30 per month with access for one user.
- QuickBooks Essentials: $60 per month with access for up to three users.
- QuickBooks Plus: $90 per month with access for up to five users.
- QuickBooks Advanced: $200 per month with access for up to 25 users.
New QuickBooks customers have the option of either locking in 50% off for their initial three months of use or signing up for a 30-day free trial of the software.
- Automatic recurring invoicing.
- Access to QuickBooks Payments.
- Customizable invoicing.
- Mobile application.
- Bookkeeping and accounting reports.
- Cash flow forecasting.
- Available in four plans to support the needs of small, midsize and large organizations.
- Comes with a wide range of reports, with higher-tier plans providing in-depth insights.
- Businesses can send an unlimited number of invoices to an unlimited number of clients.
- Often provides perks to first time buyers, and right now new users can get a 30-day free trial or a three-month 50% discount.
- Prices may be too high for smaller businesses with lower budgets.
- QuickBooks Online plans instill limits on the number of users supported.
For more information, read the full QuickBooks Online review.
Zoho Books: Most comprehensive app
Zoho Books is another top solution we had to include on this list for its comprehensive features and capabilities. Businesses that choose this software for their accounting needs can streamline their workflows through its automation features and manage each of their financial aspects through this all-in-one tool.
Zoho Books enables users to manage multiple areas of their business finances, taxes, sales, purchases and everything in between. Businesses can also use Zapier extensions or built-in connections to integrate with third-party applications, making it a single source of truth to support each of their financial processes.
A stand-out feature of this software is the collaborative customer portal. This increases transparency between businesses and clients to support straightforward business processes and positive customer relations.
Zoho Books offers a free version of their software for smaller businesses with an annual revenue below $50,000 USD. The paid plans are billed either month to month or yearly at a discounted rate.
- Standard: $20 billed monthly or $15 per month billed yearly.
- Professional: $50 billed monthly or $40 per month billed yearly.
- Premium: $70 billed monthly or $60 per month billed yearly.
- Elite: $150 billed monthly or $120 per month billed yearly.
- Ultimate: $275 billed monthly or $240 per month billed yearly.
The base price of each plan includes a specific number of users; however, businesses can purchase additional users at $3 per user billed monthly or $8 per user per month billed annually.
- Quote and invoice creation.
- Mobile apps.
- Collaborative customer portal.
- Sales tax compliant accounting.
- Automatic bank feeds.
- Exhaustive reports.
- Growing organizations can choose between six price plans and adjust them to scale alongside their business needs.
- Admins can customize their workflows and install transaction approvals within their processes to ensure accuracy.
- A free solution is exclusive to businesses with an annual revenue below $50K USD.
- Lower cost plans may not include some features such as cash flow forecasting and timesheet management.
- The free version of Zoho Books is exclusive to small businesses with an annual revenue of below $50K USD.
For more information, read the full Zoho Books review.
FreshBooks: Best invoicing app
An important aspect of accounting software is invoicing, and businesses should choose solutions that will allow them to process sales appropriately. That said, FreshBooks’s invoicing features make it an excellent software choice for freelancers and small businesses that provide services.
Its unlimited allowance of automated invoices and estimates means that services can be easily tracked and managed through this convenient tool. FreshBooks also includes features to facilitate on-time payments, including automated upcoming payment reminders and automatic late fees once the invoice becomes overdue.
Other significant aspects of this system include its built-in time-tracking and project-tracking tools that help to ensure error-free payment processes. And with four differently priced plans aimed towards freelancers, small businesses, midsize businesses and enterprises, any sized organization can find an option to meet their needs.
- Lite: $17 per month billed monthly or $204 billed yearly. Allows users to bill five clients per month.
- Plus: $30 per month billed monthly or $360 billed yearly. Allows users to bill 50 clients per month.
- Premium: $55 per month billed monthly or $660 billed yearly. Includes unlimited billable clients.
- Select: Custom quote pricing for enterprises.
- Mileage tracking.
- Project-based budgeting and billing.
- Automatic expense tracking.
- Collaborative client portals.
- Sales tax tracking and reporting.
- Includes features and capabilities to support reliable invoicing processes.
- FreshBooks software has a user-friendly interface, and its mobile accounting app lets users keep track of their business financials on the go.
- Ideal for service-oriented business organizations and freelancers.
- Its capabilities may not be suitable for larger businesses or businesses that sell inventory.
- All FreshBooks plans, apart from the Select plan, allow for just one user. Additional users can be purchased for the above-average cost of an additional $11 per month.
For more information, read the full Freshbooks review.
Xero: Best on-the-go profit tracking
For busy users on the go, we have to suggest Xero. Xero offers tools and apps to help users process their accounting from anywhere. This software’s convenience is also supported partly by its intuitive and user-friendly interface that’s easy for users to navigate.
Xero’s software helps businesses streamline their accounting with automatic data capturing and documentation management, so users don’t miss a thing when tracking and reporting their finances. The solution’s multicurrency support also facilitates easy reporting of international business activity.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that what this software lacks in built-in features, it makes up for through its integrations. Xero supports 1,000+ prebuilt connections with various accounting, e-commerce and payroll systems. Popular integration options include Hubdoc for document scanning and Gusto for payroll.
- Early: $13 per month and includes 20 invoices and five bills per month.
- Growing: $37 per month and includes unlimited invoicing and bill entry.
- Established: $70 per month and also includes unlimited invoicing and bill entry.
All plans allow the addition of unlimited users for no additional fee.
- Online file storage.
- Bank reconciliation.
- Basic inventory management tools.
- Automatic data capturing.
- Project tracking.
- Customized invoicing.
- Customizable accounting dashboard provides a comprehensive view of important business finances.
- No limits on the number of users for any of its plans.
- Mobile Xero Accounting App allows for easy on-the-go access.
- Less expensive Xero plans limit the number of estimates created, bills managed and invoices that can be sent per month.
- Xero doesn’t support multibusiness use, so users must purchase separate accounts for each business they want to run accounting for.
For more information, read the full Xero review.
Wave Accounting: Best receipt scanner
Wave Accounting is an entirely free income and expense tracking software that’s an excellent option for businesses on a budget. However, the system’s economic price point isn’t the only aspect that makes it a great choice. It also provides excellent tools for users looking to optimize their financial tracking and reporting.
Businesses can easily maintain up-to-date transactions and financial snapshots within the system by connecting their bank accounts to Wave Accounting software. Expense management is streamlined and simplified through the receipt scanning feature that automatically categorizes business expenses.
Although Wave Accounting offers users optional add-on services, the base software is forever free. Cost-effective tools such as Wave Accounting’s receipt scanner can be especially beneficial for small businesses and freelancers who want to stay on top of their financial management without breaking the bank.
- Wave Accounting is a forever-free software.
- Multibusiness management.
- Customized invoicing.
- Unlimited expense and income tracking.
- Unlimited bank and credit card connections.
- Automatic payment reminders.
- Mobile App.
- Free-for-life accounting software with inexpensive optional add-ons that aren’t required to perform basic accounting tasks.
- Very few limits on users’ capabilities — it offers unlimited invoices, billable clients, invoice tracking, expense tracking, credit card connections and more.
- Low learning curve for new users.
- Does charge processing fees for taking payments, but these charges are standard with accounting software services.
- Wave Accounting doesn’t support any built-in connections with third-party apps.
For more information, read the full Wave Accounting review.
Everlance: Best mileage and expense tracking
Everlance is a nifty tool for accounting businesses looking to streamline their expense tracking automatically. Everlance manages expenses by connecting to banks, integrating credit cards and processing expense reports.
Businesses can also track their data efficiently through the Everlance mobile app, automatically tracking drivers’ mileage using GPS. These features make it easy to submit, review and approve mileage and expense reports directly within the app so users can maintain accurate records.
Self-employed users and companies alike will enjoy the software’s work expense tracking features, making processing reimbursements a breeze. The integrated solution is also beneficial come tax season, providing features to help with processing employee taxes, taxability reporting and managing compliance.
Everlance offers its software to individual users and businesses through various pricing plans.
Plans for companies:
- Occasional Driver: $0
- Mileage Tracking and CPM Program: $12 per user billed monthly or $10 per user per month billed yearly.
- Fixed & Variable Rate (FAVR) Program: $33 per user per month billed yearly.
Plans for individuals:
- Free: $0
- Premium: $8 billed monthly or $5 per user per month billed yearly.
- Premium Plus: $12 billed monthly or $10 per month when you prepay for one year.
- Automatic mileage tracking.
- Expense tracking.
- Report approval flows.
- IRS-compliant mileage logs.
- Team reporting.
- No limits on the number of supported users for any of its plans.
- Auto-created expense reports with all plans.
- Free plan with limited functionality.
- Businesses can simplify their recordkeeping by establishing custom expense rules and automating their recurring expenses.
- Free version doesn’t integrate with users bank accounts or credit cards, as this feature is only included through the paid plans.
- Free plans only provide automatic trip detection mileage tracking for the first 30 trips each month.
Key features of accounting software
A fundamental rule in business is that you must spend money to make money. Accounting solutions with expense tracking features help businesses manage their expenditures and ensure that their spending aligns with the company’s goals. These tools allow businesses to track and categorize expenses, sync their spending data, and create expense reports. This feature enables them to keep track of their spending data and gain insights into how their spending impacts their financial health.
Accounting software solutions offer features that facilitate the generation and processing of invoices. These tools can help businesses create customizable invoices, submit them to their clients and monitor their payment status. Many accounting solutions even allow users to send automatic reminders to clients with overdue invoice payments. These features are helpful in terms of tracking income finances and ensuring that the business is appropriately compensated.
A robust accounting software system will provide tools and resources to support users in generating financial reports based on their business data. These reporting capabilities often include features for developing cash flow statements, balance sheets, income statements and other reports that reflect the business’s financial standing. These reports are also often customizable, allowing users to create fine-tuned reports on their unique business scenarios.
Business operations can occur anywhere and at any time. Mobile applications can enhance the flexibility of accounting solutions, allowing users to perform timely accounting actions while on the go. Using these systems through mobile applications can enable businesses to access their financial data and carry out expense tracking, invoicing and other financial management processes from anywhere.
A business’ accounting software should be able to integrate seamlessly with the other solutions in their software stack. Systems with built-in connections with popular third-party business applications and software tools are best, as they can support data syncing between systems and help ensure accuracy in the information used for financial reporting.
How do I choose the best accounting software for my business?
Although QuickBooks Online is an impressive solution, there may be better options for your business’s accounting needs. To identify the best accounting software solution for your business, consider the factors necessary for your organization’s financial management and reporting. This can involve aspects such as the number of people that will need to use the software, the type of reports your organization would need to generate and any third-party integration needs.
For example, a business that offers local deliveries may benefit from the mileage tracking features included in Everlance. On the other hand, a solo entrepreneur who performs services could have more luck with an invoice-centric solution such as FreshBooks.
These requirements can help you narrow down the tools that can offer the most valuable features for your business. From here, you can consider your budget and scalability needs and choose a plan that will align with these requirements.
This review is a technical piece based on compiled literature researched from relevant databases. The information provided within this article is gathered from vendor websites or based on an aggregate of user feedback to ensure a high-quality review.