No too long ago, small businesses looking for budget-friendly accounting software only had a few options to choose from. The good news is that in 2018 – soon to be 2019 – there are now a wide range of solutions available. Cloud-based accounting apps are available from a variety of different vendors that span the whole range of features and price points.
The challenge now is trying to figure out exactly which cloud-based accounting solution is the best fit for your business.
In order help narrow down the field, and provide some insight about the various tools available to you, here are some of the most popular and widely used accounting software packages in the marketplace today, and who they’re a good fit for.
NOTE: The following information is current as of this article’s publication. Pricing, reviews, and software features may change over time.
Quickbooks is the 800lb gorilla of the accounting software world. One could make the argument that without it, the personal and business accounting software marketplace wouldn’t exist as we know it today.
Founded in 2006, Xero is a New Zealand company that has quickly become one of the most recognizable cloud accounting software tools available after QuickBooks. Their popularity in the United States has increased steadily since launch, and they lead the market in several countries outside the US.
Xero is heavily focused on the SMB space, and they boast integration with over five hundred different third-party software applications.
Aimed primarily at self-employed business owners and “solopreneurs”, FreshBooks launched in 2007. The company is based in Toronto and claims to have customers in over 120 countries.
FreshBooks also promotes their software as an ideal solution for firms, agencies, and consultancies. They have a very active blog with topics heavily focused around helping new business owners figure out how to grow their business and avoid common mistakes.
Zoho Books is the cloud accounting software solution from Zoho, more commonly known for their free customer relationship management (CRM) software suite.
While Zoho Books offers many of the same features and functionality of other accounting tools mentioned here, its primary draw is its close integration with the rest of the Zoho family of products.
Those who are looking for an entire ecosystem of closely integrated tools (or who are already using other Zoho products) may find Zoho Books worth a look.
Wave is another Canadian company with a unique model for their cloud accounting software solution. Launched in 2010, Wave’s accounting software is completely free to use. Be aware, however, that if you want to accept online payments or use Wave’s payroll functionality, they do charge for those features separately.
While not as widely recognized as some of other vendors on this list, Wave’s lure of being free to use may make it worth a look for businesses looking to get up and running as cheaply as possible.
Similar to Zoho Books, Sage Intacct is an accounting solution offered by a company known primarily for their CRM software. While Intacct is certainly a viable option for SMBs, Intacct is designed to scale up for larger organizations that need advanced functionality.
Once again, those looking for an accounting package that will integrate with a larger (and more enterprise-friendly) suite of tools may find Intacct a good place to look.
How To Choose
Choosing the right cloud-based accounting solution for your needs may involve some trial and error. Our advice: spend some time assembling your accounting and ERP requirements first. With those in hand, you can put the onus on vendors to prove to you that they have the best solution for your business.
Also, make sure to consider other systems you may need your accounting system to integrate with. Find out what integration options are available for each vendor you are considering.