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How Accounting Software Can Help Your Small Business

What’s the hardest part of running a small business? Getting paid. While most entrepreneurs are passionate about their product or service, they don’t always show the same level of excitement for accounting. Thankfully there are a host of tools available to make the process easy, if not enjoyable, and today’s small business software does more than just generate invoices. Most offer monthly subscriptions at a variety of price points, depending on your business size and needs. Online bookkeeping platforms offer the flexibility and convenience of access from anywhere, anytime, and the security of cloud-based backup.

How accounting software can help your small business:

  • Reduce repetitive data entry
  • Create detailed customer databases
  • Issue invoices and track accounts receivable
  • Remind you of upcoming payments due and manage accounts payable
  • Track expenses and identify cost saving opportunities
  • Manage employee payroll
  • Simplify tax filing
  • Prepare budgets, financial forecasts and reports

If you want to take the pain out of getting paid, start with a great accounting software package, like these top 5 picks:


1. FreshBooks

Named “Editors’ Choice” by PC Magazine in its 2019 review of the best small business accounting software, FreshBooks has long been a category leader. While it doesn’t have the number of features that some other packages offer, it is simply designed , intuitive to use and seamlessly integrates with a host of popular business apps you may already be using, including Shopify, Square, EventBrite, Gusto, Basecamp, Constant Contact, HubSpot and many more.


2. QuickBook

With more than 5.6 million small business users, Intuit’s QuickBooks is another giant in the industry – and for good reason. QuickBooks Online is designed specifically for small business owners and freelancers, and packages starts as low as $18, making it an attractive option for business owners on a budget. However, organizations with more than five users will want to look for a more robust version.


3. Wave

Wave has become hugely popular in recent years with small business owners on a budget, as much for its usability as for its price point. Cost is one of Wave’s most attractive features, with invoicing and basic accounting functions available for free. A monthly subscription is required for additional features such as payroll management, while credit card and bank payments can be accepted and processed on a pay-per-use basis. Wave Plus offers accounting coaching and bookkeeping services, while the Wave Community connects small business owners with each other.


4. Xero

Xero is another platform designed specifically with the small business user in mind. It offers a full suite of standard double-entry accounting functions, and also allows management of fixed assets – an option few of its competitors offer. Starting at just $9 a month, it is one of the most affordable platforms on the market, however usage at this price point is limited to five invoices and bills, and 20 bank transactions. At $30/months subscriptions include unlimited invoicing and billing, plus payroll for up to five employees. The $60 full-service package adds payroll for 10, multiple currency support, and project and expense tracking features.


5. Zoho Books

Though it’s not known as a financial services or accounting company, Zoho has built its reputation on making productivity apps that are popular with freelancers and small business owners. Its foray into the bookkeeping market with Zoho Books has been very successful with functionality and ease of use that is comparable to better-known programs, and the responsive support and help features that Zoho is known for.