Best Accounting & Finance Software

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Modern businesses rely on versatile accounting software to streamline bookkeeping and financial management. Accounting software typically lets you generate invoices, track expenses, and produce detailed reports. More advanced software may also offer tools to help you manage projects, inventory, and your supply chain.

The right software can help you make better business decisions and operate your business more efficiently. This article explores the best accounting and finance software available with tips from real users to help you identify the software that makes sense for you.

NetSuite, a Suite of Business Management Apps for Enterprises

  • Unified business management system for businesses that have outgrown QuickBooks
  • Includes apps to help you manage every part of your business:
    • Accounting and Finance
    • Customer management
    • E-commerce
    • Human resources
    • Project management
    • Inventory management
    • Supply chain management
  • Powerful workflows and integrations
  • Requires you to request a pricing quote, generally $10k+/year

QuickBooks, Bookkeeping for Small Businesses

  • Plans range from $15 to $100/month.
  • Options for $50/month bookkeeping support
  • QuickBooks is much cheaper than NetSuite but also lacks NetSuite’s business management tools.
    • No supply chain management, inventory management or warehouse management features
    • Cannot perform advanced revenue management, fixed assets management, or leasehold management
    • Limited as a CRM (customer relationship management tool)
    • Cannot manage multi-book accounting, multi-subsidiary operations, or multi-currency transactions

Zoho Books, Less Expensive Than QuickBooks

  • Send quotes and convert them to invoices
  • Manage payables: send purchase orders, upload expense receipts, and keep track of payments
  • Manage inventory: organize all your inventory details and set reorder points
  • Banking: import bank transactions, set rules to categorize transactions, reconcile quickly
  • Create, edit, and manage your customer and supplier contacts
  • Collaborate with clients in the Customer Portal
  • Automatically charge customers for recurring transactions
  • Accept payments by credit card, debit card, and other payment methods
  • $20/month flat rate pricing
  • While Zoho is inexpensive, most users on Reddit recommend Quickbooks for bookkeeping instead.

Bill, for Managing Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable

  • Send invoices, see the real-time status of your invoices, and get paid directly to your bank account.
  • Pay bills, manage expenses, track budgets, and control spending.
  • Access credit lines up to $5M.
  • Integrates with Xero and QuickBooks.
  • Doesn’t offer as many functions as QuickBooks. Lacks payroll management, inventory tracking, time tracking and project management.

Tipalti, Financial Automation

  • Automates accounts payable tasks, directly processing invoices sent to an email inbox.
  • Offers multi-subsidiary support and seamless NetSuite integration.
  • Enables attachment addition to invoices and detailed financial mapping.
  • Supports international payments in various methods and currencies.
  • Provides purchase order and non-purchase order invoice processing with approval workflows and machine learning for approver memory.

Stampli, Accounts Payable Automation

  • Deploy quickly. Stampli supports over 70 ERPs for rapid implementation without disrupting your business.
  • Centralize AP communications and documents in one platform for enhanced visibility and control.
  • Simplify learning and usage with an intuitive interface and Billy the Bot™ automating tasks like capture, coding, and fraud detection.
  • Boost efficiency through Stampli’s integrated suite, including Direct Pay, Credit Cards, and Advanced Vendor Management.
  • Gain complete oversight of your AP program, reducing risks of errors, fraud, and compliance issues.
  • Improve vendor relationships and streamline AP processes for greater operational efficiency.

Xero

  • Embrace global capabilities with Xero, offering core accounting, payroll, and more to 3.5 million subscribers.
  • Access a vast ecosystem of apps and financial connections directly within Xero’s open platform.
  • Leverage tools for professionals including compliance tools, practice management software, and a unified accounting ledger.
  • Eliminate data entry through automatic sales and expenses record pulling from banks and other sources.
  • Connect securely to banks for direct transaction import, eliminating manual data entry.
  • Simplify bank reconciliation with smart suggestions based on expenditure classifications.
  • Streamline billing online with versatile invoicing and multiple payment methods, plus automatic reminders.
  • Generate financial reports automatically including balance sheets and tax returns, where applicable.
  • Monitor business health via a real-time dashboard showing key financial statistics.
  • Integrate seamlessly with other apps for a tailored business management experience across various functions.

HoneyBook

  • Centralize client management with HoneyBook, designed for independent businesses to enhance client experiences confidently.
  • Issue invoices easily to streamline billing processes.
  • Create proposals quickly for efficient deal initiation.
  • Accept online payments for convenient transaction processing.
  • Schedule appointments effortlessly with integrated scheduling tools.
  • Manage contacts and leads effectively with built-in form and lead management.
  • Distribute branded brochures to enhance your professional image.
  • Simplify bookkeeping tasks for better financial oversight.
  • Integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks for comprehensive accounting.
  • Send automatic payment reminders to reduce late payments.
  • Offer a client portal and login for improved customer interaction and service.

Airbase

  • Optimize spend management with Airbase, ideal for businesses with 100-5,000 employees, enhancing control over spending and financial risk.
  • Combine key financial processes into one platform, including accounts payable automation, expense management, and corporate cards.
  • Enjoy seamless integration with popular general ledgers like NetSuite and Sage Intacct.
  • Simplify procurement from request to reconciliation, keeping stakeholders informed and involved.
  • Address complex accounting needs with support for multi-subsidiaries, multi-currency, and purchase orders.
  • Implement flexible workflows for approvals and purchases, ensuring oversight and spend compliance.

SAP Business One and SAP Concur

  • Lead with integrated solutions for travel, expense, and invoice management with SAP Concur, the global leader in the field.
  • Guide employees on trips with a top-rated app, simplifying travel management.
  • Automate expense reporting by effortlessly populating charges into reports.
  • Streamline invoice approvals through automation, reducing manual work.
  • Integrate real-time data and utilize AI to audit all transactions for complete spending visibility.
  • Eliminate tedious tasks to simplify daily work and optimize business operations.

Sage Intacct

  • Adopt a scalable platform with Sage Intacct, offering deep accounting capabilities globally.
  • Access core accounting applications including general ledger, accounts payable, and more for comprehensive financial management.
  • Benefit from advanced features like built-in dashboards, real-time reporting, and project accounting.
  • Manage revenue and expenses efficiently with specific tools for time, expense, and revenue management.
  • Support global operations with functionalities for global consolidations across multiple entities.
  • Tailor to industry needs with specialized features for sectors including Nonprofit, SaaS, Professional Services, and more.

Datarails

  • Leverage AI for financial planning with Datarails, designed for Excel users.
  • Enhance Excel with data consolidation, adding advanced visualization and reporting.
  • Uncover strategic insights through AI capabilities, improving decision-making.

What is Accounting Software?

Accounting software offers a complete solution for financial logging, management, and auditing. Typically, accounting software:

  • Includes essential functions for invoicing, expense tracking, reporting, cash flow monitoring, and client management
  • Generates financial documents you need like balance sheets and income statements
  • Automates routine tasks like accounts reconciliation, ledger management, and transaction matching.

Types of Accounting Software

Accounting software caters to different business needs. Here’s an overview of the 3 major types.

  • Payroll and Accounting Management Systems: These provide essential tools and reports for accounting needs, covering payroll, accounts receivable and payable, expense management, salary calculations, and cash flow reporting. Many allow customization for industry-specific requirements.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP): ERP integrates financial planning, inventory management, accounting, and other business functions like HR and marketing. It supports inventory control, point-of-sale functionality, and includes CRM modules, ideal for large or complex organizations needing comprehensive accounting records.
  • Billing & Invoicing Systems: Focused on daily financial tasks such as check writing and payment notifications, these systems generate professional invoices and track financial activities to ensure audit readiness.

Factors to Consider When Evaluating Accounting Software

When deciding on accounting software, consider these factors.

  • Functionality: Identify operations your software should support, like payroll, inventory management, and invoicing.
  • Availability and Mobility: Choose between on-network software for single locations or cloud-based software for accessibility across multiple locations.
  • Ease of Use: Consider the software’s user-friendliness and the accounting expertise it requires.
  • Features: Determine necessary features based on your business model, operations, and automation level.
  • Compatibility: Ensure the software integrates well with your current business tools.
  • Cost: Assess the value versus cost, including potential upgrades and support expenses.

Steps to Choose Your Accounting Software

  1. Read our article to get acquainted with the most popular accounting software today.
  2. Consider your business needs, compatibility with your other business systems, and your budget.
  3. Watch a tutorial or two to see how to complete tasks in the software you’re considering.
  4. Try the software. Take advantage of one or more free trials.

2024 Trends in Small Business Accounting Software

Accounting software has seen significant advancements recently. Here are current trends.

  • Cloud Accounting: Software can be either on-premise or cloud-based. Cloud-based software is typically offered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription, and is increasingly popular due to convenience and accessibility.
  • Automation: Modern accounting solutions enable businesses to automate routine tasks. Examples of automation include logging expenses with a photo of a receipt or using AI to track invoices and sales automatically.
  • Collaborative Accounting: Today’s accounting software supports multiple users across different locations, ensuring that everyone can access the same data in real-time. This capability enhances efficiency, maintains data integrity, and helps avoid discrepancies.

FAQ

Is there free accounting software?

For freelancers or very small businesses, free accounting software with basic features is available. These free versions are an excellent starting point, with the flexibility to upgrade to more comprehensive paid packages as your business needs grow.

Is accounting software cloud-based?

Most accounting software today is cloud-based. This lets you access financial data anywhere over different internet-enabled devices. This convenience lets you invoice, enter expenses, and view reports while you’re on the move, potentially saving you time and money.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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