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Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses (2020)

Susan Honea

Susan Honea – 8 years experience helping businesses with bookkeeping, tax preparation and auditing

Last updated: May 21, 2020

Picking the right accounting software for your small business can help keep your finances on track and reduce the stress of bookkeping. We look at 10 options well suited to small businesses.

Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses (2020)

That you are here reading about accounting software for small business indicates you are probably a small business owner considering investing in accounting software. Perhaps you have tried spreadsheets or doing your paperwork by hand and found it overwhelming, or maybe you realized your time could be better spent on other tasks. After all, time is money.

Accounting software can not only save you time (once you have mastered it!), it can also keep you organized and help you track your business’s profit and loss in real time. Accounting software is essential for businesses with inventory to track and/or a large customer base. In addition, if you plan to grow your business, starting off with accounting software at the beginning will save you the hassle of trying to convert to it down the road.

Depending upon your level of expertise and your experience, you may be trying to determine just what your needs are as a small business or what needs you may have later. To that end, here is a list of questions to help you consider your needs as a small business owner.

Do you need:

  • the ability to complete estimates or proposals that convert to invoices?
  • credit card processing, online and/or in-person?
  • expense tracking?
  • time tracking for employees?
  • budgeting?
  • financial reporting?
  • bookkeeping capabilities?
  • inventory management?
  • contact management for clients, vendors, and/or contractors?
  • payroll, periodic payroll tax filing, and 1099/W-2 creation at year-end?
  • project management and time tracking?
  • mobile capabilities?
  • single or multiple user functions and feature-specific permissions?
  • cloud, desktop, or both
  • scalability, if you intend to grow your business?
  • app integration?

Take a moment to list the specific features you need now and consider the ones you may need in the near future. In sum, the main benefits of accounting software are not having to create the calculations yourself and having the information ready for tax preparation at the end of the year.

Read on to learn more about the accounting products that are best for small businesses.

Here’s our list of the 10 best accounting software for small businesses:

We cover each accounting software solution in detail later, but for those of you who want a quick answer, here is a rundown of the best accounting software for small businesses:

1. FreshBooks: Best overall accounting software for small businesses. Invoice clients, receive payments, track time, and pay bills easily with FreshBooks. It’s simple, but it’s plenty powerful enough for anyone who is self-employed or runs a microbusiness. Businesses can be up and running in minutes, and staying organized throughout the year is a breeze.

2. Intuit QuickBooks Online: Most flexible accounting software for small businesses. With several feature set options, QuickBooks is the perennial favorite, especially for small businesses. Not only is it easy to use and affordable, it’s also flexible, scalable, and robust enough for any small business—from sole proprietors to businesses with up to 50 employees.

3. Xero: Best for small business accounting software mobile users. Now with over 700 integrations and functions that work even on an Apple Watch, Xero is a simple, straightforward accounting package for freelancers, microbusinesses, and small businesses. Automation tools help users save tons of time, but quickly-growing businesses may find it isn’t powerful enough.

4. Zoho Books: Best accounting software for sales-focused small businesses. The Zoho ecosystem is a full-fledged business suite, and Zoho Books is a powerful, scalable accounting product for small to medium sized businesses in the retail and service spaces. Time-saving features include automated client communications, barcode scanning, and time tracking and billing.

5. GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping: Best accounting software for online reseller-focused small businesses. GoDaddy’s software syncs with Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and PayPal, and works with banks and credit unions. According to the website, the software was designed mainly for the sole proprietor or LLC. Basic functions include accepting credit card and debit card payments by smartphone, creating and sending invoices, and easily viewing business reports.

6. Accounting by Wave: Most cost effective accounting software for small businesses and best accounting software for bloggers. With unlimited feature usage in a completely free version, Wave is an ideal accounting solution for bloggers, small online retailers, and Etsy store owners. Automations and inventory management features help business owners save time, and its user interface is simple and easy to navigate.

7. Kashoo: Best accounting software for consulting-focused small businesses. Kashoo is a simple, straightforward solution for project-based businesses with little or no accounting experience. Kashoo’s workspace provides fields for immediate data entry, and the sidebar always shows real-time summary data, so you can easily track your income and expenses. Though budgeting, inventory, and reporting features are limited, Kashoo does include multi-currency capability, and payroll can be added if you decide to grow.

8. Sage 50cloud Accounting: Formerly known as Peachtree Accounting, with more than four decades of availability, Sage 50cloud boasts a reputation of stability and support that other products can’t. Its claims to fame are superior contact management, robust reporting, and excellent user documentation. It’s versatile, and it’s a strong contender for small to medium sized businesses with a CPA on staff.

9. AccountEdge Pro: With all major accounting modules included in its base price and an intuitive setup process, AccountEdge Pro is a product that growing companies and nonprofits will find attractive. It works the way a business owner does, not the way an accountant does, making navigation easy and logical. Developed initially for the Macintosh market, AccountEdge Pro continues to be a top choice for Mac users, but the Windows and cloud versions are good choices, too.

10. Sage Business Cloud: If you need basic accounting functionality without built-in payroll, project management, or time tracking, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a good all-around, cost-effective solution you should consider, especially if you have multiple companies and/or multiple users. Reports are robust enough for the vast majority of businesses, and dashboard tabs help users navigate real-time core information and functions.

These snapshots provide you with a quick glance, but you can read on for more detailed information about each software option, including the following:

  • Best for: Which businesses typically use or might find each option useful?
  • Features important for small business: What’s in it for you?
  • Ease of use: How long will it take you to master the software? Does it have the functionality you need?
  • Cost: Does use of the software incur a monthly fee or annual fee? What features incur additional fees?
  • Pros and cons: What are the best and the not-so-great features?

Best accounting software for small businesses

1. FreshBooks

Price from $10.00/mo
Free Trial 30 days

Best overall

Best for:
FreshBooks is popular among sole proprietorships, small to midsize businesses (SMBs), self-employed professionals, and freelancers. The basic monthly subscription plans only allow one user (additional users can be purchased, but it drives the price up), and there are no permission controls for additional user profiles that can be purchased, so any business with multiple users may not find it ideal.

Features important for small businesses:

  • Easy to use, clean interface
  • Double-entry accounting requiring no accounting experience
  • Dashboard view for real-time data
  • Sales process flow, from proposals and estimates straight to invoices
  • Customizable and recurring invoices
  • Payment collection by credit card and ACH
  • Mobile apps (iOS and Android)
  • Accountant and/or bookkeeper access

Ease of use:
FreshBooks claims this software is “Ridiculously Easy to Use.” Specifically designed for business owners rather than accountants, it is intuitive and known for its usability. Recently redesigned as “New FreshBooks,” the software now includes double-entry accounting, but it seems to be more difficult to use than the previous version, FreshBooks Classic. FreshBooks has been and continues to be responsive to the challenges and is updating the new version regularly to improve on the issues. FreshBooks is also known for its friendly customer service and commitment to user success with the software.

Cost:
FreshBooks offers various monthly plans, which increase in price with the number of billable clients. More than 500 clients requires Custom Pricing, which comes with a personal account manager, customized training, and lower rates for credit card transactions. Users can watch for sales to secure as much as half-price savings.

Again, these plans serve one user; adding more users adds to the cost. FreshBooks isn’t the cheapest option out there, but the 30-day free trial should help users decide if it’s worth the investment. FreshBooks also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it within the first 30 days, FreshBooks will refund your purchase price.

Things we liked:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Requires no accounting experience
  • Strong estimate to invoice workflow
  • User-friendly client portal
  • Excellent mobile apps
  • Referral program

Things we didn’t like:

  • Multi-user pricing can be cost prohibitive
  • No budgeting feature
  • No accounts payable feature or native payroll

2. Intuit QuickBooks Online

Price from $8.00/mo
Free Trial 30 Days

Most flexible

Best for:
QuickBooks offers so many iterations that almost anyone can find a suitable version. Typical users range from micro to midsize businesses. However, companies that are growing quickly may outgrow QuickBooks Online quickly, too; if you’re a fast-growing organization, and you think you will need comprehensive scalability soon, consider whether QuickBooks Desktop or Enterprise might be more appropriate.

Features important for small business:

  • Comprehensive training materials and web-based help
  • New feature – paid access to live bookkeeper
  • Different versions for different sized businesses
  • Affordable options for various levels of needs
  • Many automation features, including invoices and bill payments
  • Project tracking (Plus and Advanced tiers)
  • Multiple users (Essentials, Plus, and Advanced tiers)
  • Accountant and/or bookkeeper access (all tiers but Self-Employed)
  • Mobile apps

Ease of use:
QuickBooks Online is always a popular choice among accounting software options. The interface and navigation are very user friendly. QuickBooks online is flexible with add-on options available, too. The QuickBooks website provides an interactive demo of the product with a sample company. QuickBooks also provides a plethora of video tutorials in addition to webinars and training classes, to orient new users. Plus, given the popularity and ubiquity of QuickBooks, finding the solution to any problem you encounter is just a few mouse clicks away.

Cost:
Whether or not you find it affordable is highly subjective. QuickBooks offers tiers of plans that increase in price with features and number of users. There is a 30-day free trial for the cloud-based version available, which is ample time to get a good sense of what the product can do for you and what you can do with it.

Be vigilant, and it is possible to get a “Limited time only” discount for the online version. If you are working with an accountant, you may be able to save money by purchasing your subscription through that firm instead of directly from Intuit.

QuickBooks also offers desktop versions that can be purchased for a one-time fee. Those will slow or unstable Internet connections might find this a good option. Businesses expecting to grow will find the Windows versions scalable. However, the Mac version is not scalable and has some limitations not found in the Windows version.

Things we liked:

  • Excellent mobile apps
  • Strong reporting capabilities
  • Modern user interface

Things we didn’t like:

  • Can be expensive
  • Feature set may be overwhelming
  • Can’t move data from Online to Desktop

3. Xero

Website www.xero.com
Price from $9.00/mo
Free Trial 30 days

Best for mobile users

Best for:
Freelancers, start-ups, mobile users, and small to medium-sized businesses are typical Xero users. Growing businesses may find themselves outgrowing Xero before long, though.

Features important for small business:

  • Sales process flow, quote to invoice conversion
  • Automatic reminders, payment recording, and receipts
  • Machine learning helps users save time by remembering transaction data
  • Contact management and grouping
  • Inventory management and purchase order workflow
  • Fixed asset management
  • Over 700 integrations
  • Mobile app, even on Apple Watch

Ease of use:
Even those with no accounting expertise can use Xero effectively. The interface is easy to navigate, and transactions are quick and painless thanks to the automatic bank feed and easy reconciliation feature. Good customer support in addition to training and user guides on the website help to orient new users.

Xero makes working on the go easier with both cloud and mobile (Android and iOS) accessibility, despite a limited mobile search feature. A wizard or more in-depth instructions would make setting up a chart of accounts easier.

Cost:
Xero is a cost-effective and affordable option. You also have the option to try the software for free for 30 days.

Things we liked:

  • Tons of integrations
  • Affordable
  • Regular updates

Things we didn’t like:

  • Limited built-in feature set
  • Limited multi-currency functionality
  • Not scalable

4. Zoho Books

Website www.zoho.com
Price from $9.00/mo

Best for sales-focused small businesses

Best for:
Zoho Books is a good accounting software option for small to medium businesses, resellers, service industries, freelancers, and startups. It does not handle multiple clients in the company, so it’s not an ideal solution for accountants or bookkeepers. The primary focal point is the Zoho ecosystem, and it’s not really usable outside of that.

Features important for small business:

  • Automatic reminders, payment recording, and receipts
  • Automatic report scheduling (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually)
  • Customizable templates for invoices
  • Price list and barcode scanning capability
  • Keyboard shortcuts help users save time on repetitive tasks
  • Automatic project tracking and billing
  • Mobile app for multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Windows)
  • Integration with other Zoho products creates a full business ecosystem

Ease of use:
ZohoBooks is ideal for users already in the Zoho ecosystem as it is designed to integrate with other modules in that system seamlessly. Integrating with applications outside of the Zoho ecosystem is a hassle and requires additional programming. Some users complain about too-frequent updates, which are not automatic. Users also note that the interface is cluttered and not exactly intuitive at first. Working on the go is easy with ZohoBooks robust mobile offerings.

Cost:
Zoho Books is an overall cost effective option. Like most accounting software options, Zoho Books offers a range of plans, and each plan includes more features than the previous one. Zoho also offers add-ons each month such as adding users, sending snail mail, and auto scans for additional charges.

Things we liked:

  • Excellent automation features
  • Includes default charts of accounts
  • Full ecosystem integration

Things we didn’t like:

  • Difficult to customize
  • Not scalable
  • Bank feed automation works inconsistently

5. GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping

Best for online resellers

Best for:
GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping is best for online sellers, sole proprietors, freelancers, and others self-employed. GoDaddy originally began as a quarterly tax calculation tool but gradually added features to become more robust. Because GoDaddy is not based on double-entry accounting, it’s not a good option for companies with assets and liabilities. GoDaddy also has limited reporting capability, but is well-known for Schedule C reporting at the end of the year.

Features important for small business:

  • Integrates directly with retail and reseller sites, including Amazon, eBay, and Etsy
  • Automates calculation of quarterly taxes
  • Setup checklist makes getting started a breeze
  • Strong end-of-year tax reporting capability
  • At-a-glance dashboard reminds the user of to-dos
  • Tabbed views make it less overwhelming to someone without
  • Accounting experience
  • Time tracking and invoicing are integrated
  • Notifications can be turned on for specific tasks, including when clients view documents

Ease of use:
Designed for the self-employed, GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping is meant to be simple and easy to use. It syncs with Amazon, Etsy, and PayPal. All primary business functions, including time tracking, real-time profit and loss reporting, and invoicing, are housed on the dashboard, simplifying day-to-day tasks. Daily bank download features help automate other tasks, so there is no manual entry required. However, manual entry is available, too, for those who want it. It does require verification of categorization for automatically downloaded transactions, but artificial intelligence helps, and it learns as users continue to work. It also includes a quarterly estimated tax payment option right on the dashboard.

Cost:
GoDaddy is an inexpensive option for those who have limited accounting needs. Three tiers of options provide increasing functionality at each level.

Things we liked:

  • Reseller integration
  • Good invoicing tools
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable

Things we didn’t like:

  • Mobile app user interfaces are very different – problematic if multiple users
  • No bill-pay feature
  • Time tracking not very robust

6. Wave

Price from FREE/mo

Best for bloggers and most cost effective

Best for:
Wave is ideal for small businesses and start-ups. Larger businesses won’t find it as useful because of its lack of scalability. Direct integration with Etsy, Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress makes it a good choice for bloggers and small eCommerce businesses. Its new 1099 module should appeal to small consultancies, other service-based businesses, and companies that work with contract employees.

Features important for small business:

  • Cost effective for most businesses
  • Unlimited feature usage (others limit volume by package)
  • Consistent approach toward product improvement
  • Automated expense tracking via bank download
  • Built-in eCommerce feature for small retailers
  • Inventory management feature
  • Direct Etsy integration
  • Dashboard view provides real-time at-a-glance information

Ease of use:
Wave is simple to navigate. The dashboard features a helpful overview of the business, and many financial functions—recurring invoicing, estimates converting to invoices, expense tracking, bank downloads—are automated. No additional software to management contracts is required because Wave offers a basic feature for that.

The Wave Community provides a way for users to help each other. Aside from that, self-help in the Help Center is often the quickest option for support unless you don’t mind waiting.

Cost:
Wave is not only free, it’s also ad-free. It’s best for companies that don’t need or can’t afford a more robust solution. Furthermore, it offers plenty of accounting power for the vast majority of lower-budget organizations. Payroll, payment processing, live bookkeeping, accounting, and tax support are available for reasonable fees if your company needs those functions.

Things we liked:

  • Totally free
  • Simple setup and navigation
  • Contract management feature

Things we didn’t like:

  • Not scalable
  • Limited to a single user
  • Insufficient mobile apps

7. Kashoo

Website www.kashoo.com
Price from $16.65/mo
Free Trial 14 days

Best for consultants

Best for:
Freelancers, consultants, sole proprietors, and small businesses may be drawn to Kashoo. It isn’t really for larger businesses that need robust functionality, but it’s a good overall low-cost solution.

Features important for small business:

  • Workspace includes direct data entry fields for income and expenses
  • Real-time summary reports are always visible in a sidebar
  • Customizable invoice templates
  • Stripe, Square, and BluePay credit card payment integration
  • Sure Payroll integration (an add on for an extra fee)
  • Mobile app allows for quickly snapping and saving pics of receipts
  • Accountant access
  • Exports to Excel, QBO, and other products

Ease of use:
Kashoo is a simple, easy-to-set-up program, but the company provides multi-business support for an additional monthly or annual fee (the latter is discounted). That it is so simple and basic is good for the learning curve but perhaps not ideal for functionality. If you outgrow Kashoo, that’s no problem because it exports to QuickBooks Online and other products easily. While there are no pre-invoice documents, such as proposals and estimates, Kashoo does facilitate tracking information by specific client or project. Similarly, users can enter product and service information for invoicing purposes, but there currently is no inventory tracking or purchase order functionality.

Cost:
Kashoo offers a 14 day free trial, so there’s an opportunity to try it before committing to it. An affordable monthly subscription is available, but going with the annual plan brings a discount. Plans allow for unlimited users and user-level permissions.

Things we liked:

  • Standard chart of accounts that’s easily customized
  • Recurring invoice function
  • Multicurrency capability

Things we didn’t like:

  • Limited reporting capabilities (only eight total)
  • No budget feature
  • No automatic payment reminders

8. Sage 50cloud Accounting

Price from $50.58/mo

Best for:
Formerly known as Peachtree Accounting, Sage 50cloud has been available for more than 40 years. Target companies include SMBs, complex businesses, businesses with a remote workforce with a need to access data, and those with multi-company accounting needs. Sage 50cloud Accounting is best for smaller companies of 1-50 employees; beyond that, you’ll want to look for something a little more comprehensive. It is a versatile product that can be used by almost any business type, but companies employing an accountant are probably the best match for Sage 50cloud.

Features Important for Small Business:

  • Integrates with Microsoft Office 365 (Contacts/Outlook, Reports/Excel, Backup/OneDrive), allowing for remote access (for an annual fee) to data without having to pay for additional users
  • Includes sample charts of accounts and the option to create your own
  • Standard invoice templates are fully customizable but limited
  • Superior client, vendor, and inventory management features
  • Custom reporting capabilities
  • Strong forecasting and profitability tracking functionality
  • Automated bank feeds and reconciliations

Ease of use:
Sage 50cloud requires minimal customization to get up and running and provides graphic workflows and online tutorials to help new users understand processes. Still, users will need some accounting capabilities to succeed with the product, given the limited documentation and poor overall support. The product is clearly designed primarily for accountants. Companies without at least one accountant on staff (or a CFO with accounting experience) may find Sage 50cloud challenging to use. In addition, while reporting capabilities are comprehensive, users will sometimes have to run multiple reports and combine them manually to get the information they want or need.

Cost:
Sage 50cloud can be expensive. The basic plan (single user) includes accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory management, payroll, reports—all that’s necessary for most every small business—with no need for add-ons. Accommodating more users is substantially more expensive. Additional features, like audit trail, budgeting, job costing, multi-company support, and user-level permissions, also cost more. Updates and upgrades are cost-prohibitive.

Things we liked:

  • Basic plan includes all major modules
  • Versatility
  • Longevity

Things we didn’t like:

  • Difficult to navigate
  • Can be expensive
  • Integrations work inconsistently
  • No mobile apps

9. AccountEdge Pro

Price from $10.00/mo

Best for:
AccountEdge Pro is most suitable accounting software for small business owners or bookkeepers.CPAs may find it frustrating because of issues with end-of-period closing, especially with retained earnings, but there is no extra charge for the accounting copy. In addition, AccountEdge Pro does have a certification program for accountants to learn the ins and outs. Some users may find it too robust with an overwhelming volume of choices. Business owners who prefer on-premises desktop options will appreciate AccountEdge Pro. Although it is a desktop application, it does offer remote functions through web-based AccountEdge Connect for a monthly fee.

Features important for small business:

  • Includes all major accounting modules: accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, payroll, time tracking, inventory (including bundles/kits)
  • Most forms are customizable (checks, invoices, statements)
  • Flexibility means it adapts to a wide variety of business structures and industries
  • Businesses using Shopify will appreciate the ability to set up their eCommerce easily
  • Includes credit card processing integration (limited to their own processor)

Ease of use:
AccountEdge is easy to set up and navigate. The dashboard is workflow based and tabbed, helping to facilitate data entry in the correct order, saving time. The display is logical for business function flow and is easy for small nonprofits to learn, as well. Overall, AccountEdge works the way business owners do, not the way CPAs do.

Cost:
AccountEdge Pro comes with a one-time fee, but a payroll subscription and phone support will require additional annual fees. Additional licenses incur an annual fee, as well. It offers scalability, and as businesses grow, they may want to consider a cloud-based option with a monthly fee.

Things we liked:

  • One of the very few desktop options left
  • Feature rich
  • One-time and annual fees

Things we didn’t like:

  • Poor customer support and knowledge base
  • Inconsistently calculates payroll tax submissions
  • No mobile app
  • Can be challenging to find prior year transactions

10. Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Price from $25.00/mo
Free Trial 30 Days

Best for:
Formerly known as Sage One, a product developed specifically for small businesses, Sage Business Cloud Accounting continues to target small businesses with limited accounting needs. It handles accounts payable and receivable, reporting, and integrations well, but if you require built-in payroll functionality, time tracking, and robust inventory management, this product might not be your best choice.

Features important for small business:

  • Includes invoicing, reporting, and expense tracking
  • Automated bank feeds with smart reconciliation
  • Dashboard tabs show real-time core functions
  • Apple and Android mobile apps enable primary functions on the go
  • Apps also show the business performance graph
  • Customizable standard Charts of Accounts
  • With more than 20 standard options, reporting is robust
  • More than 60 integrations, such as point of sale and CRM, with regular increases

Ease of use:
Sage Business Cloud Accounting is simple and easy to navigate with a clean modern user interface. Its “Getting Started” checklist approach helps simplify the setup process. There are good help features and documentation, along with live chat customer support to orient users, but Sage is not known for stellar customer support. While Sage Business Cloud Accounting does include a comprehensive module set, time-saving automation features are limited.

Cost:
Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers two plans, both of which are very reasonably priced and shouldn’t break the bank. The Accounting plan costs more than the Accounting Start plan but offers significantly more features. Sage offers a 30 day free trial to help you decide if their software is right for you.

Things we liked:

  • Clean user interface that is easy to navigate
  • Dashboard view
  • Strong reporting capabilities

Things we didn’t like:

  • Limited automation features
  • No built-in payroll
  • Difficult to adjust existing journal entries

Being your own boss is a dream many people have. Being an accountant for your own business is a less-common aspiration. When you consider the time and effort spent on keeping the books for a business, accounting software starts to seem more appealing. The right software can bring order out of chaos, helping you to track financials, work through estimates and invoices, manage projects, keep up on the go, and so much more. Choosing the right software can be intimidating, so if you take a little time to consider what you need, what you might need in the future, and read the reviews, you won’t go wrong.


FAQ

Why does my small business need accounting software?

Without accounting software, you can expect to spend more time working on your financial accounts for your business. In addition, errors are less likely when you let software help you with your accounting tasks. Most small business owners dream of growing their businesses, which means accounting is only going to become more time-intensive and more complex down the road. Implementing accounting software at the outset means that you won’t have to face the hassle of adapting to it down the line, when the business has grown even more complicated. Another factor to consider is the need to comply with tax laws, for which the right software can be a real perk.

What advice do you have for new small business owners who aren’t sure if they want to take on the expense of accounting software?

Fortunately, you have options! You can even find free accounting software, although you might find it limited or lacking in support. You can also find very affordable software. What you really want to do is consider scalability: Will the software grow with you? Often software companies offer tiers of plans with the option to move up a tier or add on modules or features as you grow. Two questions to consider here are “What do I really need right now?” and “What might I need in the future?” If you don’t know the answer to the latter, you’re still making the safe bet by going with an option that can grow with you.

Should I use cloud-based or desktop software?

Cloud-based accounting software is the wave of the future. One key feature of cloud-based software is accessibility. You’re not limited to one computer in an office somewhere; instead, you can access your account on any computer or mobile device. Upgrades can be applied by the company automatically. Unless the software is free, there’s typically a monthly subscription involved. However, consider that desktop versions do often require upgrades, and those are not typically free.

Isn’t my information more secure with desktop software?

Not really. Companies providing cloud-based accounting software have a vested interest in maintaining the security of your information. They want to not only keep your business but establish their reputations as providers of secure quality software. Therefore, they are dedicated to making sure your information is secure.

Do I need to know a lot about accounting to use accounting software?

Acquainting yourself with some basics [link to accounting terms document] is going to be beneficial, whether you use accounting software or not. You might be surprised to learn that software companies are aware of the needs of the small business owner, even one with little accounting knowledge. You will find that many offer free trials and work to make their software intuitive and easy to use. Many include training materials, video tutorials, and support on their websites, too!

Can you just tell me which accounting software is best for small businesses?

If you read our reviews, you’ll see that we can tell you which one we think is best overall, which one is most flexible, which is best for mobile users, which is best for sales-focused businesses, online resellers and so on. It’s really up to you to read the reviews, think about what you need, what you might need down the road, and find the one that’s best for you!