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              5 min read

              The Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses in 2023

              Featured Image

              Our six favourite accounting software options for SMEs.

              Table of Contents

              Picture yourself as the owner of "Cupcakes Galore," a flourishing bakery in your local shopping district. As your business grows, you realize that managing finances is a bigger task than anticipated. You don't have the budget to hire a full-time accountant, but worry not—accounting software comes to the rescue.

              Accounting apps offer tailored solutions for businesses like yours, handling your ongoing accounting and bookkeeping needs. But with a plethora of options available, you might feel lost in a sea of choices. Fret not, we've handpicked the best of the best, the crème de la crème of accounting solutions to simplify your decision.

              Introducing our top accounting software picks, backed by a thorough evaluation of each platform's pricing, features and suitability for various businesses. Get ready to take your "Cupcakes Galore" to newer heights with a solution that can streamline your financial management—an asset in every sense of the word.


              The best accounting software options for small businesses

              Finding the right fit for your accounting software needs relies primarily on the size of your business and the wiggle room in your company’s budget.

              Our six favourite accounting software options consider both price and business size, making them all suitable options for SMEs, regardless of their industry.


              1. QuickBooks


              Summary +/-
              • Best Accounting Software Overall
              • Cost Per Month: $5 to $140
              • Free Trial: 30 Days
              • French Support: Yes
              • Mobile App: Yes (iOS & Android)
              • Desktop App: Yes (Mac & Windows)

              QuickBooks is the leading business accounting software available on the market, considered an industry standard among small business owners. 

              It’s no surprise, either. QuickBooks is designed specifically for small business accounting and provides a sleek interface with a seamless user experience for its online, desktop and mobile platforms. 

              QuickBooks helps business owners track and monitor expenses, transactions, sales, cash flow, payroll, taxes, mileage and more.

              The software also offers a diverse app marketplace, allowing users to connect plugins to improve and personalize their experience using the software.

              Some QuickBooks plugins can process invoicing, billing, and payments, manage customer relationships and inventory, and even help businesses apply for loans, allowing the software to become truly personal to your business’s needs.

              QuickBooks can be slightly pricier than its competitors, depending on your chosen package. However, the software offers a 30-day free trial for first-time users, so you can try it before committing.

              QuickBooks offers tiered pricing, ranging from $5 to $140 per month, with six packages for freelancers, micro-businesses, and small and medium-sized enterprises.


              2. Sage Accounting


              Summary +/-
              • Best For: Start-ups, micro-businesses
              • Cost Per Month: $17 to $55
              • Free Trial: 3 months
              • French Support: Yes
              • Mobile App: Yes (iOS & Android)
              • Desktop App: Yes (Mac & Windows)

              Sage is one of the most popular accounting software options, notable for its affordable pricing, support of various global currencies, and ability to integrate third-party apps.

              Additional features Sage offers customers include audit trails, free banking fees and unlimited transactions, the ability to add unlimited users and chart accounts, and project profitability management.

              Pricing for Sage’s accounting software varies depending on your business’s needs. It offers three packages for Sage Business Cloud, which includes Start for solo entrepreneurs and freelancers, Standard for small businesses, and Plus for businesses on the path to becoming medium-sized enterprises.

              Sage offers both cloud-based accounting software and a traditional desktop application. If you choose to use the latter, you’ll need enough room on your computer to download the software.


              3. Xero


              Summary +/-
              • Best For: Growing a small business
              • Cost Per Month: $9 to $29
              • Free Trial: 30 days
              • French Support: No
              • Mobile App: Yes (iOS & Android)
              • Desktop App: Yes (Mac & Windows)

              Xero has grown in popularity since its launch and is today considered a serious contender among the world’s leading accounting software. 

              Staple features of the accounting software include access to automatic bank feeds, invoicing, accounts payable, expense claims, purchase orders, fixed asset depreciation, bank reconciliations, and financial reporting.

              The software also offers Starter, Standard, and Premium packages, with a long list of flexible options, from sending invoices, entering bills, reconciling bank transactions, capturing short-term cash flow and business snapshots, and using multiple currencies, among other features.

              Xero also offers an option to track inventory for up to 4,000 products and can process payments with help from third-party apps like Stripe and GoCardless.


              4. Zoho Books


              Summary +/-
              • Best For: Zoho users
              • Cost Per Month: $0 to $350
              • Free Trial: Yes
              • French Support: No
              • Mobile App: Yes (iOS & Android)
              • Desktop App: N/A

              Zoho is a cloud-based business ecosystem that assists businesses using multiple tools to help them manage daily tasks, including customer service, customer relationship management (CRM), email, and more.

              Zoho Books is accounting software compatible with the Zoho ecosystem and offers integrated payrolls and double-entry accounting support. Other features include managing sales and expense forms, customizable reports, and integration with PayPal.

              It also offers a mobile app for iOS and Android devices, making it suitable for business owners that frequently find themselves on the go.

              Six pricing packages are available, starting with a free package, followed by Standard, Professional, Premium, Elite, and Ultimate, up to $350 per month.


              5. FreshBooks


              Summary +/-
              • Best for: Simplicity, ease of use
              • Cost Per Month: From $8.80 to $60 per Month
              • Free Trial: 30 days
              • French Support: No
              • Mobile App: Yes (iOS & Android)
              • Desktop App: N/A

              FreshBooks offers features that let users send and receive invoices, track expenses and estimates, receive payments via credit card and preauthorized debits, and track sales tax and reports.

              Additional paid features include payroll and access to various apps in the FreshBooks AppStore.

              The accounting software offers four packages, including Lite, Plus and Premium, and Select, which require a custom price from a FreshBooks sales rep.

              Freshbooks is cloud-based; no desktop app currently exists for the accounting software. However, it does offer a mobile app for iOS and Android.

              Customer support is robust with FreshBooks. The SaaS company offers support via phone, email, and live chat, as well as a knowledge base and help center.


              6. Wave


              Summary +/-
              • Best For: Pricing
              • Cost Per Month: $0 to $379
              • Free Trial: Free invoicing, accounting and banking
              • French Support: No
              • Mobile App: Yes (iOS & Android) 
              • Desktop App: N/A 

              Wave offers features dedicated to the needs of most small and medium-sized businesses.

              Wave’s pricing model makes it unique, which allows customizable plans depending on the business’s needs. It offers six subscription options: Invoicing, Accounting, Banking, Payments, Payroll, and Advisors.

              Invoicing, Accounting, and Banking are free, while payment processing, payroll, and access to financial advisors come with affordable pricing.

              Small businesses that don’t need payroll and payment processing can reap many benefits of the free services and enjoy bookkeeping, accounting, and invoicing at no cost. Payment receiving and payroll come at an additional cost.


              Final thoughts: The best accounting software for small businesses

              Accounting, with all its intricacies, demands unwavering diligence from business owners to maintain organization and monitor cash flow. Serving as the lifeblood of any enterprise, financial stability can make or break a small business.

              For entrepreneurial minds, juggling financial tasks may hamper their primary focus on business growth, particularly if they lack financial acumen.

              While enlisting a certified accountant guarantees expert financial management, harnessing the power of accounting software can be invaluable.

              This technological ally not only streamlines organization and order, but also empowers you to assess your current position and envision the future trajectory of your business.

              So, let accounting software be the key that unlocks your full potential as a small business owner.



              What types of businesses should use accounting software?

              Any type of business earning revenue can benefit from using accounting software. That includes freelancers, consultants, brick-and-mortar, and more. Businesses of all types and sizes can benefit from tracking their expenses.


              How do I choose accounting software?

              Businesses should consider features, cost, and usability when choosing accounting software. If your business is smaller and has basic accounting needs, you’ll likely want to opt for more affordable or accessible accounting software.


              Is business accounting software free?

              Most accounting software available is not entirely free. However, many software options offer free trials or priceless tiers with reduced features.

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