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The best accounting software for small business in 2024

By Miguel Rebelo · June 5, 2024
Hero image with the logos of the best accounting software

If you've been in business for long, you realize that it's not only about serving your customers. There's a lot of work about the work too. A host of documentation, information going back and forth, quotes to approve, invoices that need to be paid—and at the end of the year, the government wants to see if you've done your homework.

That's why having powerful accounting software is so important. It can help you handle your finances, see how your business is performing, and even help you sleep at night during tax season.

I tested dozens of accounting apps to find the best ones for your business. I've been updating this list for the past couple years, re-testing the apps each time. Because it's an established category, there's not a ton of movement—but maybe that's comforting? With that, here's the list of the best accounting software.

The best accounting software

  • QuickBooks Online for an all-around solution

  • Wave for free accounting software

  • Xero for project tracking with your accounting

  • Puzzle for startups

  • LessAccounting for tracking vehicles and mileage

  • OneUp for integrating accounting and sales

  • Sage Accounting for in-depth reporting

  • Zoho Books for software suite integration

  • Manager for open source accounting software

What makes the best accounting software?

How we evaluate and test apps

Our best apps roundups are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. Unless explicitly stated, we spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.

Accounting software has been around for a long time, so it's no surprise there are many viable options. Once you weed out the duds, the major differences lie in user experience and the collection of special features or add-ons each app offers.

At a minimum, online accounting software will handle your bookkeeping, provide a useful dashboard to give you an idea of your income and expenses, have basic sales tax features, and offer a collection of reports so you can look at your business from different angles. More advanced software can also help with inventory tracking, in-depth reporting, automated payroll, bank integration, budgeting, and eCommerce.

As I was testing every small business accounting software I could get my hands on, here's what I was looking for: 

  • Small business emphasis. I was looking for all-in-one tools that could be used by a small business owner or an accounting team at a small or medium business. I didn't consider anything purpose-built for freelancers or just for invoicing. If you're looking for that kind of solution, here are Zapier's picks for the best accounting and bookkeeping apps for freelancers and the best invoicing software

  • Usability. Is the app easy to use? Is the interface intuitive? Is it fast? Is your data secure?

  • Bookkeeping features. The best small business accounting software should have everything to help you handle invoices, expenses, and all bookkeeping documentation.

  • Reports and dashboards. All the apps on this list have at least a basic set of reports and one easy-to-use dashboard to give you an overview of where your business stands at each moment.

  • Tax preparation. Tax filing apps belong in a different category, but some of these accounting tools can help you get ready for the tax season by keeping track of things like 1099s, configuring sales tax, and allowing you to invite your accountant into the app.

  • Extra (useful) features: I kept my eye out for relevant bells and whistles: projects, time tracking, inventory tracking, bank integration, payment portals, automatic reconciliation, CRMs, capturing receipts via mobile app, and more.

I considered and tested dozens of accounting apps, using all the features as if I were running a small business: adding contacts, creating invoices, logging expenses, and so on. (I have thousands and thousands of fictional dollars coming my way sometime soon.) I tested the integrations with payment portals, added data to populate reports, and toured any interesting extra features to see if they were useful. Here are the results.

The best small business accounting software at a glance

Best for

Standout feature


QuickBooks Online

An all-around solution

Extensive onboarding and help support

From $18/month


Free accounting software

Native credit card payment processing

Free plan available; paid plans from $16/month


Project tracking with accounting

A nice range of reports with detailed project tracking

From $13/month (project tracking requires $65/month plan)



Unique metrics like burn rate and runway length

From $50/month


Integrating accounting and sales

CRM integration with accounting

From $9/month; full feature access requires $19/month

Sage Accounting

In-depth reporting

Customizable reports and lots of add-ons as you grow

From $17/month, (robust features at $39/month)

Zoho Books

Software suite integration

Over 70 apps in a single suite

Free plan available; paid plans from $12/month


Tracking vehicles and mileage

Category-based budgeting feature

From $24/month


Open source accounting software

Customizable modules

Complete desktop version is free; cloud hosting option at $49/month

Best all-around accounting software for small business

QuickBooks Online (Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)

QuickBooks, our pick for the best all-around accounting software for small business

QuickBooks pros:

  • Plenty of help and setup support

  • Lots of extras to grow your app, if you need them

QuickBooks cons:

  • As you activate more features, it becomes more difficult to use

Intuit has been in the game for a long time, and it shows: QuickBooks is one of the strongest and most complete accounting apps on the market. Its greatest strength lies in how it supports you all the way from step one of onboarding to running complex payroll automation, with simple and direct help content.

When creating a new account, QuickBooks will help you customize all the features you'll use. Enter your company type, whether you have any employees, and which other work apps you use—this will let you connect them later.

The onboarding process is long, true. It's not a bad thing, though: it'll take you through all the steps of customizing your account, and the work gets done as you do. When choosing the look and feel of your invoices, you can already create the first one and send it to yourself to see how it'll look in the inbox. Want to offer online payments? You can integrate PayPal or GoCardless. Want to connect your bank accounts? Set up a secure connection to get that data into QuickBooks. What about receipts? You get the idea: the onboarding track does nearly everything here.

When you finally land on the dashboard, you're already ahead. You can start creating documents, reviewing transactions, or adding expenses right away. There's still a setup checklist that you can follow to learn more about how to use all the tools here, or you can schedule a call with the team and ask all the questions that you need. Still, it's amazing to see how they nailed all the fundamentals.

If this is your first time dealing with accounting apps, you really can't go wrong with QuickBooks. It's smooth, easy to use, and has plenty of help if you ever hit a snag. Plus, since QuickBooks integrates with Zapier, you can connect it to thousands of other apps. Check out some ideas on how to automate QuickBooks, or get started from one of these Zaps.

Create QuickBooks Online customers with sales receipts for new Stripe payments

Create QuickBooks Online customers with sales receipts for new Stripe payments
  • Stripe logo
  • QuickBooks Online logo
Stripe + QuickBooks Online

Create ShipStation order from QuickBooks invoices

Create ShipStation order from QuickBooks invoices
  • QuickBooks Online logo
  • ShipStation logo
QuickBooks Online + ShipStation

Generate receipts in QuickBooks Online for new Stripe payments

Generate receipts in QuickBooks Online for new Stripe payments
  • Stripe logo
  • QuickBooks Online logo
Stripe + QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online pricing: Plans start at $18/month and increase based on number of users and extra features.

See how QuickBooks compares to another accounting software solution in our showdown: FreshBooks vs. QuickBooks.

Best free accounting software

Wave (Web, iOS, Android)

Wave, our pick for the best free accounting software

Wave pros:

  • Plenty of features for the (lack of) price tag

  • Native credit card payment processing

Wave cons:

  • Customer support only available if you pay for any of the services (payment processing included)

Wave makes accounting look easy. More than that, it has a business model that's great if you don't want to add an extra subscription to your monthly bill: most of the core features are completely free.

So, how does Wave keep the lights on? The app processes your online payments and, as it does so, keeps a percentage of the invoice amount, the same way that platforms like Stripe or PayPal do. At the time of writing, this fee is at 2.9% + $0.60 for credit card transactions and 1% for each bank transaction + $1 minimum fee. If you receive most of your payments via other means, Wave may turn out to be easy on your wallet.

There are other ways that Wave makes money, too. There's a paid plan that removes the $0.60 fee of each transaction and adds automation features. You can also subscribe to the automated payroll plugin, letting you pay yourself and your team while keeping all the paperwork up to date. Lastly, you can book time with bookkeeping experts and access accounting coaching, so you'll reach the tax season feeling confident and ready. To boost this feeling, you can invite your accountant into your account, and they'll be pleased to see that Wave handles details like 1099s.

The dashboard provides a simple big-picture view of your cash flow and invoice information. There are a few reports that'll help you look into profit and loss, see balance sheets, and get deeper insights into cash flow. The only snag? It's not available outside the U.S. and Canada.

Wave makes the list as the best free accounting software for small business due to its great user experience, strong features, and generous plan. If you're on the right side of the ocean, give it a try. And connect Wave to Zapier, so it can talk to all the other apps you use. Learn more about how to automate Wave, or take a look at these examples.

Add transactions in Wave for new Stripe sales

Add transactions in Wave for new Stripe sales
  • Stripe logo
  • Wave logo
Stripe + Wave

Add new Wave invoices to Google Sheets rows

Add new Wave invoices to Google Sheets rows
  • Wave logo
  • Google Sheets logo
Wave + Google Sheets

Create Mailchimp subscribers from new Wave customers

Create Mailchimp subscribers from new Wave customers
  • Wave logo
  • Mailchimp logo
Wave + Mailchimp

Wave pricing: Free; online payments charged at a percentage plus a fixed rate. Pro paid plan goes for $16/month.

If you like Wave's feature set but want to try another take on it, you have a couple of options for Wave alternatives: the first is FreshBooks, which might fit you if you're running a smaller operation; the other is ZipBooks, with robust inventory tracking features, appealing interface, and a nifty "invoice score" to help you fill in all invoice information to make the late payers reach for their wallets faster. Or, if you're deciding between Wave and QuickBooks, take a look at our comparison: Wave vs. QuickBooks.

Best accounting software for project tracking

Xero (Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)

Xero, our pick for the best accounting software for project tracking

Xero pros:

  • Intuitive user interface

  • Good range of reports

Xero cons:

  • Adding project management features costs extra

Hailing from New Zealand, Xero wants you to "do beautiful business." And with all the features Xero offers, you can do that and much more, especially when tackling your projects.

You can see projects in three stages: draft, in progress, and complete. Clicking on a project will take you to the project dashboard, with the estimate, the amount invoiced, time and expenses, and the deadline. A thorough approach, while at the same time helping you focus on all the relevant metrics.

Projects are the main course, but there's a lot more. Xero's main dashboard is very well designed. In addition to providing general information about your business, it acts as an onboarding tool: it lists all the tasks you still have to do to configure the platform, so you can take advantage of all the features it has to offer. You can use it to get started in configuring your invoices, creating accounting categories, connecting your bank account, and much more. If there's something you won't need, you can edit the dashboard to control what you don't want to see.

The bookkeeping features are top-notch. In addition to basic invoices and expenses, you can also create purchase orders, file expense claims, and print checks. All these features are peppered with reports and local dashboards to help you see what's going on with your business.

If you choose Xero as your accounting tool, be sure to keep an eye on JAX—shorthand for Just Ask Xero. It's a generative AI assistant that can help you do your accounting. It's still in beta, and I didn't have a chance to test it; but from the demo video, it looks like you'll be able to use your voice to talk to JAX to make changes to your invoices and give orders to run actions on your accounting.

Xero has its own app store, allowing you to integrate it with hundreds of apps across many categories. From the automotive industry to tourism, there's a lot to explore and to help you connect Xero to every part of your business. And if you don't find what you need, Zapier has you covered: connect Xero to Zapier, so you can integrate Xero with thousands of other apps. Here are some examples, or you can read more about how to automate Xero.

Create Xero invoices for new Stripe payments

Create Xero invoices for new Stripe payments
  • Stripe logo
  • Xero logo
Stripe + Xero

Create Xero invoices for new WooCommerce orders

Create Xero invoices for new WooCommerce orders
  • WooCommerce logo
  • Xero logo
WooCommerce + Xero

Create Xero invoices from new Shopify orders

Create Xero invoices from new Shopify orders
  • Shopify logo
  • Xero logo
Shopify + Xero

Xero pricing: Paid plans start at $13/month. To get the project tracking, you'll need the $65/month Established plan.

If you're looking for a Xero alternative, try FreeAgent. The interface is friendlier and it's a lot speedier than Xero. And see how Xero stacks up to a lighter-weight solution in our showdown: FreshBooks vs. Xero.

Best accounting software for startups

Puzzle (Web)

Puzzle, our pick for the best accounting software for startups

Puzzle pros:

  • Purpose-built for startups

  • Accountants available via chat

Puzzle cons:

  • A little too niche for many businesses

A startup is a unique kind of small business. Focused on innovation and growth, it needs special tools to measure how it's lifting off the ground. With so much to do every day across every aspect of the business, accounting shouldn't be a source of friction.

This is where Puzzle steps in. Instead of the more general metrics, it goes all in on tracking those that matter for your startup. It checks your current burn rate against your cash balance, helping you see how monthly costs stack up versus your reserves. Closely related, it gives you an estimated runway length, so you can see how long you have to reach net zero or cross into profit. This can help understand whether you should cut costs, look for more funding, or optimize for revenue.

These are all critical decisions, which is why Puzzle helps you drill down into the data. When you click on Monthly Checklist, you get a rundown of everything you need to check out. Reconcile your spending with bank statements and review credit card payments and uncategorized transactions. This makes it easier to see the big picture of your finances, helping you stay compliant when tax season comes and—perhaps more important—understand where you should save, optimize, or invest more.

In fact, when you click on any tab in the Financial Exploration section, you can see your income and expenses from multiple angles. This is useful for finding one-off transactions, recurring costs, and how much your payroll costs right now.

A tech-forward platform, it integrates with bank accounts via Plaid, payroll via Gusto, and payment infrastructure via Stripe, among other useful connections. You won't have to scrape around for your financial data: as long as it's connected, it'll find a way into your dashboards and statements.

Unless you're building a startup in the accounting industry, I'm sure you don't love working the books. All good: Puzzle offers their accountants via chat, so they can audit and review your accounts to tell you what's going well—or what isn't. Now that accounting is no longer a problem, you can throw yourself fully into everything else.

Puzzle price: Startup plan starts at $50/month

Best accounting software for integrating accounting and sales

OneUp (Web, Android)

OneUp, our pick for the best accounting software for integrating accounting and sales

OneUp pros:

  • Wide, well-integrated feature set

  • Good value for available features

OneUp cons:

  • Limited payment gateway integrations

OneUp is an appealing tool, with a fresh and uncluttered interface. Its features are split into a series of "apps": a CRM, invoicing, projects, expenses and purchasing, inventory, and accounting.

We'll get deeper into these features, but there's something that I really liked here: a search box where I could type what I wanted to do, and it showed a dropdown list of pages and actions I could take. This can save you a lot of time clicking through menus, especially if you like to jump directly to the action.

I activated all the apps OneUp had to offer (but you can leave out the ones you don't need, so the platform can be as lean or as full-featured as you want). I liked how the CRM feature integrates well with all the others—after all, it makes sense to track leads, calls, offers, and opportunities along with invoices in the same platform.

And this CRM works really well with the projects feature, where you keep track of not only the billables (invoices, estimates, and so on) but also the client calls and other contact data. This is great to combine your sales team with accounting, helping you follow everything that's happening at each stage of each deal with your clients.

There's manual time tracking support—by that, I mean you have to add billable hours without a stopwatch, which makes sense if you're running a bigger operation. The tax preparation features are in line with the basics for this category, and if you handle inventory, OneUp has an interesting feature as well: in addition to tracking what you have and what you're selling, you can also set up automatic inventory ordering, so you'll never run out of key products you sell frequently. 

OneUp Accounting pricing: Plans start at $9/month; you'll need at least the $19/month plan to invite your business partner or accountant and have access to support. Prices increase based on the number of users.

Do you like this feature set but can't live without the timer for time tracking? Don't need inventory features? Give Fiskl a try as a OneUp alternative. It has a calendar and a task view, so you can plan your projects directly within the app, and it also has a mileage tracker that uses Google Maps to make journey calculations.

Best accounting software for in-depth reports

Sage Accounting (Web, iOS, Android)

Sage Accounting, our pick for the best accounting software for in-depth reports

Sage Accounting pros:

  • Plenty of add-ons and tools available when you grow

  • Bigger-business feel and functionality

Sage Accounting cons:

  • Pricing packages are confusing

Like Intuit, Sage has been around since the '80s. It's a giant company with an accounting software offer for every part of the business spectrum, from small operations to corporate behemoths. It's no wonder that everything in the app has a distinctly professional and corporate vibe, a no-nonsense approach to your accounting needs.

The reports are the best part about it. Audit trails and cash flow statements, two examples from the 23 available, can be customized to your liking by applying filters or date ranges. But if you want even more insight into your data, you can send it to Sage Business Cloud Intelligence, a report-building platform that will give you lots of new angles to play around with. There's a learning curve here, but if you're dealing with lots of data, getting acquainted with it may help you make sharper decisions in the long run.

The dashboard is very detailed, introducing cash flow statements, forecasting, and views into the balances of your bank accounts. Integrating your bank accounts is easy, and you can set up automation to categorize transactions. You can identify transactions by source, name, or value, and then set Sage to apply the categories automatically. The tax features are also in line with the category. In addition to sales tax tracking, there are also 1099 vendor reports, which can simplify your accountant's life (you can invite them in, by the way).

Unlike other tools that have mobile apps that capture receipts for free, this is a paid feature in Sage (called AutoEntry). But it doesn't only take care of receipts: once you set up rules to import data, you can upload any relevant documents, and Sage will take care of sorting it out, extracting data, and having it available for you when you need it. It's definitely a step up from the classic capture receipts feature, so if you're handling a lot of paperwork, this could cut the sweat from the blood and tears equation.

Like Xero, Sage is in the AI game. Sage Copilot is currently in early access, with lots of advertising scattered throughout the London Underground. It's an AI chat-driven experience, offering starter prompts that help you run actions on your account. It can give you an overview of invoice status, generate reports, and pull documents you can download directly. If you go with Sage, hop on the waitlist and look forward to the activation notification.

Sage integrates with 31 additional apps in the Sage marketplace, including Stripe, CRM solutions, time tracking tools, and payroll platforms. Some of these may come with extra costs, so keep an eye out for subscription expenses. To integrate Sage with even more of your tech stack, connect Sage to Zapier. Here are some suggestions to get started.

Add new WooCommerce customers to Sage Accounting

Add new WooCommerce customers to Sage Accounting
  • WooCommerce logo
  • Sage Accounting logo
WooCommerce + Sage Accounting

Create Sage Accounting customers from new WooCommerce orders

Create Sage Accounting customers from new WooCommerce orders
  • WooCommerce logo
  • Sage Accounting logo
WooCommerce + Sage Accounting

Create multiple rows in Google Sheets for new Sage Accounting customers

Create multiple rows in Google Sheets for new Sage Accounting customers
  • Sage Accounting logo
  • Google Sheets logo
Sage Accounting + Google Sheets

Sage Accounting pricing: Plans start at $17/month, but you'll want the $39/month plan to have more than one user and access to robust features. Prices don't include tax.

Best accounting app for software suite integration

Zoho Books (Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)

Zoho Books, our pick for the best accounting app for software suite integration

Zoho Books pros:

  • Wide feature set

  • Good platform and account customization

Zoho Books cons:

  • Has a bit of a learning curve

Zoho has a robust software suite. From app-building to project management, there's a tool for every corporate task, and accounting is no exception. I've used Zoho Books, tested Zoho Creator in the past, and have tried Zoho Invoices as well. The company cares about quality as much as it does about quantity.

Zoho Books focuses on the professional side of things. The interface can be cluttered at times (especially the further away you move from the dashboard into creating invoices, or when you find yourself in the maze of the settings section), but there's a lot of power here.

All the core bookkeeping features are there, including projects, time, and inventory tracking. These are easy to use once you get used to the amount of information and input fields on each page. There's a budgeting feature where you can set limits for the accounts you choose, and even include asset, liability, and equity accounts in the mix. It's not the intuitive personal finance approach, but it makes sense for business budgets. The reports section has a lot of variety, and you can mark your favorites and even configure report layouts.

The accounting features are great, both for your accountant (whom you can invite) and for you. There's a whole section dedicated to tracking tax payments and tax adjustments over time, and a journal section to record all other accounting events.

Zoho integrates with nine different payment portals to let your customers pay invoices online, and it even separates the Stripe transaction costs as its own expense category, so you can see how much you're spending on fees. Since we're talking about a software suite, there are also integrations you can explore with other Zoho apps. Or integrate it with thousands of other apps by connecting Zoho Books to Zapier. Here are some ideas to get you started, or you can learn more about how to automate Zoho Books.

Create invoices in Zoho Books from new WooCommerce orders

Create invoices in Zoho Books from new WooCommerce orders
  • WooCommerce logo
  • Zoho Books logo
WooCommerce + Zoho Books

Create Zoho Books invoices from new Shopify orders

Create Zoho Books invoices from new Shopify orders
  • Shopify logo
  • Zoho Books logo
Shopify + Zoho Books

Subscribe new Zoho Books customers to a list on Mailchimp

Subscribe new Zoho Books customers to a list on Mailchimp
  • Zoho Books logo
  • Mailchimp logo
Zoho Books + Mailchimp

Zoho Books feels like the quiet kid in class who dazzles everyone whenever there's an interesting topic to talk about. It doesn't waste your time with glitter and sparkles—it cuts straight to the chase and doesn't let you down.

Zoho Books pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start at $12/organization/month. You can add additional users to any plan for $3/month.

Best accounting software for tracking vehicles and mileage

LessAccounting (Web)

LessAccounting, our pick for the best accounting software for tracking vehicles and mileage

LessAccounting pros:

  • Simple to use

  • Great visibility of business status via the dashboard and email updates

LessAccounting cons:

  • Support team is inconsistent

LessAccounting lands you for the first time on a cute, colorful dashboard with basic information about your business. The design seems to promise what the app's name implies: accounting will somehow get easier, and we'll have to do less of it.

In addition to design, LessAccounting has a lot of written help inside most of the pages on the app. This is useful if there are features that you'll only use once in a while, or if you need a refresher on specific tax rules or accounting tricks. If you need extra help, you can chat with customer service on the bottom-right and search for help topics there.

The bookkeeping features are in line with the category standards, including recurring invoices and proposals. Unlike other options, you can add the company's vehicles to the app and then pin mileage to each one, an interesting feature if you have a whole fleet at your disposal. I added some fictional cars to test, and you can either add the total distance of the trip or the start and end values of the odometer.

You can create your own budgets for each spending category, a bit like the classic personal finance experience. This budgeting feature is the easiest to use out of all the options on this list, so you'll have less trouble planning your spending.

In line with this, LessAccounting sends you "Monday emails," an automated email that you get every (you guessed it) Monday with some stats about your business, as well as reminders in case you're coming dangerously close to breaking your budget.

As for payment integrations, you can choose Stripe, WePay, PayPal, and Square. And you can process payments via a LessAccounting deal at 2.7% and $0.30 per online transaction. LessAccounting has a dedicated team of accountants to help you if you don't have your own, so that could ease your tax season. That, coupled with the great variety of reports, ensures you'll always have multiple angles to look at your business, and have all the information at hand to please the IRS.

A quick heads-up: as of this year, the platform is now focusing on a software-with-a-service model, where a team of accountants helps you keep your books in check. Despite this offer, when you register via the DIY pages, you'll still have access to the app.

LessAccounting pricing: Paid plans start at $24/month for accounting features.

Best open source accounting software

Manager (Web, Windows, Mac, Linux)

Manager, our pick for the best open source accounting software

Manager pros:

  • Lots of features for free

  • Configurable user interface

Manager cons:

  • Data isn't saved if you don't click the appropriate buttons

If you're not ready to commit to a monthly subscription, you like the vibe of open source software, and you don't need lots of advanced features, Manager is a great choice for simple accounting software. It has all the core bookkeeping features, including projects, time tracking (not timer-based), and a wide variety of useful modules.

When you hit Customize in the left menu, you can activate or deactivate all these modules depending on what you need. This ability to control the number of buttons on the menu is something I really like. Need purchase quotes? Add it in. Don't need investments? Uncheck the box. You control the clutter.

There's no onboarding sequence or detailed help within the app. You'll have to refer to the (very complete) documentation section to get up to speed on how everything works. If you already have experience with accounting apps, it shouldn't be too hard to get used to Manager.

Everything is local, so the app's speed is great. Your data is always inside your computer. But that also means there's no bank account integration, no automation, and no integration with other apps. If your accounting is straightforward and you can't automate a lot of it anyway, then Manager is a great option to keep your software expenses under control.

The dashboard is simple: just a list of the key information about your business. The reports section is surprisingly good, including a wide variety of options to see more into your finances.

Collaborating with an accountant isn't as easy as other options, but it's possible. If you're using the desktop app, you have two options: either back up all your information and send it to your accountant (remember to set up a secure way of doing this), or invite them over for a cup of coffee and an afternoon at your computer. If you go with option 2, take some time to chat and figure out how to streamline the tax season—it needs some configuration to get right.

When you visit the site, you'll notice there's an option to purchase hosting at $49 per month, which runs the very same Manager but on a cloud server you can access remotely. You can upgrade and downgrade at will, but let's be honest: if you're willing to pay, why would you do it with so many other attractive options on the market for a lower price?

Manager made this list because it's a free, open-source alternative to other paid apps on offer, with a set of strong core features and a simple user experience. It feels like a sleeper car: stock car on the outside, souped-up engine under the hood. Take it for a spin, and see how it handles.

Manager pricing: Complete desktop version is free. Paid cloud hosting option at $49/month.

Which accounting app should you use?

Honestly, the most important thing is that you toss your Excel sheet out the window and use a real accounting app. All the accounting software programs in this roundup have a free trial or a free tier that you can use to get a feel of the features on offer. Take some time to figure out what you value in an accounting app, and then try out the ones that offer the best package for your business.

Related reading:

  • The best accounting software for freelancers

  • Streamline your accounting with these 5 automation tips

  • The best free invoice software

  • 7 free small business budget templates

This article was originally published in January 2019 by David Harrington. The most recent update was in June 2024.

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