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Best accounting software for medium sized businesses

Susan Honea

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

Last updated: August 13, 2020

Trying to find the right accounting software for any business can be a difficult task. To make things easier we’ve reviewed the 10 best accounting software in 2020 and evaluated how each one could help improve your accounting process.

Best accounting software for medium sized businesses

Accounting software is accounting software, right? So, a user should just be able to look at overall ratings and price and determine which accounting software product is “best” for their business. That would make the process quite simple and straightforward.

In reality, it’s not that easy, especially as a business grows. The accounting software that works in a start-up, micro-business, or small business may not serve the company’s needs long term. For example, when employees have been added and business processes have gotten more complex, what used to be sufficient may lack necessary functionality.

For this review, we’ve looked at three key aspects of accounting software that are important to medium sized businesses:

  • Core accounting functions, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, payroll, and compliance
  • Secondary accounting functions, including budgeting, analytics, automations, supply chain, and sales tax/end-of-year tax prep
  • Business management functions, including CRM, ERP+HR, integrations, document management, and white labeling

Only a few of the products that made our list have all the functionality noted above, and that’s okay. Other elements are also important, such as ease of use and cost. Our goal is to help you understand what each product does offer and determine whether it’s a good fit for your business and how it operates.

Here’s our list of the best accounting software for medium sized businesses:

  1. Oracle NetSuite. Best overall accounting software for medium sized businesses. Oracle NetSuite is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform designed for businesses that are medium sized and/or growing rapidly. Providing a comprehensive and scalable approach to resource planning, NetSuite is more than accounting software as it provides medium sized businesses with financial, revenue, fixed asset, inventory management, and much more. Integrated financials, client relationship management, and e-commerce functionality make it the #1 cloud-based ERP.
  2. QuickBooks Enterprise. Best accounting software for medium sized businesses that don’t need a complete ERP. Not ready for a comprehensive, high-powered option like Oracle NetSuite? Not really interested in taking your data into the cloud? QuickBooks Enterprise offers robust core accounting capability on your desktop, plus some good secondary features like inventory management, expansive tracking features, job costing, along with good planning features and lots of integration opportunities. It’s not an ERP, but it’s a strong accounting software option.
  3. QuickBooks Online Advanced. Best cloud-based accounting software for mid-sized businesses. Significantly more powerful than other iterations of QuickBooks accounting software, QuickBooks Online Advanced takes the QuickBooks Enterprise features into the cloud. Though not an ERP, it’s a flexible system with rich accounting functions combined with good secondary features like budgeting, job costing, inventory management, purchasing workflows, and fixed asset tracking.
  4. Sage Intacct. Best accounting software for multinational medium sized businesses. Any medium sized CPA firm or any business with a CPA or CFO on staff will want to take a look at Sage Intacct. With many automated functions and seamless integrations, Sage Intacct brings robust core accounting functionality to the table. Multinational companies will appreciate the built-in multi-currency support and reporting designed to help businesses address industry-specific or country-specific requirements. Although not an ERP, Sage Intacct does provide expansive human resources features.
  5. FinancialForce. Best accounting software for medium sized businesses using Salesforce. Medium sized to larger global entities using Salesforce—or considering Salesforce—will want to also consider FinancialForce for their accounting software needs. FinancialForce and Salesforce together are a total ERP system. Businesses looking to grow quickly will appreciate Financial Force’s fast scalability. FinancialForce provides all the accounting and business management functions a company could want. It’s a highly customizable and powerful option.
  6. FreshBooks. Best accounting software for on-the-go medium sized businesses. FreshBooks is popular for its ease of use. Users need no accounting experience to work effectively with this software solution. It’s not an ERP, but companies on the smaller end of the medium sized category can make good use of FreshBooks for their accounting needs. Companies that need to invoice on-the-go and track expenses will appreciate those FreshBooks capabilities.
  7. Xero. Best accounting software for medium sized businesses needing multi-currency support. When it comes to integrations, it’s hard to beat Xero. This accounting software integrates with more than 500 third-party apps and continues to add options. If Xero doesn’t have what you want out of the box (and it does come with a lot, including multi-currency accounting), you can add it. It’s easy to learn, easy to use, and easy on the bank account.
  8. Zoho Books. Best accounting software for medium sized businesses for international tax reporting. Zoho Books provides accounting software, but it can also be integrated into the Zoho ecosystem. Integrating with the ecosystem provides not only strong accounting features but also sales, marketing, support, human resources, and operations functionality. Zoho is versatile and can be customized, and many users appreciate Zoho Books’s robust mobile app offerings, along with the international tax reporting functionality.
  9. Sage 50cloud. Best accounting software for medium sized businesses with 50 employees or fewer. Businesses on the smaller end of medium sized—50 or so employees—should take a peek at Sage 50cloud, especially stable businesses not expecting much growth. The versatile Sage 50cloud will appeal to more complex businesses with a remote workforce and multi-company entities. The most suitable businesses will have an accountant or accountants on staff.
  10. Aplos. Best accounting software for medium sized nonprofits. Aplos is designed for nonprofits and churches and can serve the accounting needs of a medium sized entity effectively. It combines accounting (including fund accounting) software features with membership management, budget, reporting, donation management, fundraising, and tax prep capability.

Best accounting software for medium sized businesses

1. Oracle NetSuite

Best overall accounting software for medium sized businesses.

Best for:
Oracle NetSuite is a fully integrated, customizable ERP platform with integrated financials, client relationship management, and e-commerce functionality. It is designed for fast-growing medium sized companies with revenues ranging from $1 million to $200 million USD. Because of its cloud-based, comprehensive approach to business management, and not just accounting functionality, Oracle NetSuite is the best accounting software for medium sized businesses. It allows businesses that need multi-departmental functionality in a single solution to reduce errors, eliminate disparate systems, and improve employee productivity.

Core accounting functions:
Oracle NetSuite offers all the core accounting functions that any medium sized business would need, including accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, billing and invoicing, payroll, and multiple users. Accounts payable features include online bill payment and payment by electronic funds transfer (EFT). It’s also scalable and customizable, and it supports multiple entities or subsidiaries easily and facilitates multi-currency transactions for companies that are shifting to a global reach.

Oracle NetSuite even automates the billing workflow process with recurring, time-based, and project-based functionality. Billing features include automatically sending an invoice once the order fulfillment process is complete and reducing errors in the overall sales to fulfillment workflow. Oracle NetSuite also offers custom billing types, including individual transactions, subscriptions, usage-based methods, and hybrids of all three. And, both headquarters- and subsidiary-level custom billing options exist, automatically consolidating subsidiary billing into a single invoice to be paid centrally.

The dashboard view provides a real-time snapshot of the business’s key metrics and other important information—customized to each user’s role. With over 100 standard reports, plus customizable reports and an ad hoc report builder, accounting, finance, and management personnel can quickly and easily find the information they need, and reports can always be exported to Microsoft Excel for additional customization.

Regulatory, procedural, and tax compliance is essential in any business, and it becomes more important as a business grows. Oracle NetSuite conforms to revenue recognition standards, making the reporting process more accurate (and simpler). This information flows directly to each dashboard, reports, analytical tools seamlessly. And, Oracle NetSuite includes strong compliance support for GAAP, SOX, and ASC 606, among other protocols.

Secondary accounting functions:
In addition to the essential core functions, Oracle NetSuite brings strong analytics capabilities to the table via a financial planning module that includes budgeting, forecasting, cash-flow management, and project-based accounting features. Oracle NetSuite’s multi-budgeting functionality allows budgeting by location, department, team, or project, along with multiple budgets for the same criteria (e.g., best case/worst case scenarios) and what-if modeling. Budgets can also be imported from CSV and offline budgets.

Oracle NetSuite also provides expense reporting capability, providing self-service to employees for recording expenses. Jobs and projects—including time and materials, fixed price, and cost—can be tracked easily and linked directly to a specific client.

Automatic updates are pushed out regularly, shoring up features and security frequently.

Business management functions:
More medium sized businesses need built-in client relationship management and enterprise resource planning functionality than ever before. Oracle NetSuite offers a full ERP platform, including built-in CRM and e-commerce, point of sale, project management, and HR modules. Having the ERP built in reduces errors and streamlines processes because all info is in one place.

There are no disparate systems; however, while fully integrated as a comprehensive platform (meaning that no additional programming is required to connect them to the accounting package), all of these require additional licenses and, therefore, additional cost. Employee productivity and the marketing process are improved because of the ERP platform and all the available automations, so the extra cost for a full ERP may be justifiable.

Oracle NetSuite is highly customizable using JavaScript, featuring developmental framework and IDE with SuiteBuilder, SuiteFlow, SuiteScript, and SuiteCloud. Oracle NetSuite allows hundreds of integrations for additional unique or industry-specific needs, including USPS, FedEx, and UPS for order fulfillment.

Ease of use:
Because it is cloud and subscription based, there is no need to install Oracle NetSuite. Not only does this reduce costs, but it allows access and use from anywhere.

Oracle NetSuite is a powerful ERP platform, so there’s a learning curve to negotiate. Value Added Resellers (VARs)—of whom there is a huge network—can help with implementation, training, support, and customization. Oracle NetSuite solution partners also help with training, and users often refer to the CloudFoundation’s free NetSuite course

Once you’re oriented to the software, you will find that Oracle NetSuite provides efficiency overall in business processes and makes reporting, analytics, and decision-making simpler. Operations, HR, and marketing functions are all also consolidated on a central platform. This dashboard view makes overall management tasks easier.

Oracle NetSuite does not offer pricing information on its website, and determining the price is a challenge because costs are dependent on the modules chosen, number and types of users, length of contract, billing frequency (e.g., monthly vs. annual), initial training requirements, and the type of customer support (Silver, Gold, Platinum) the user wants. The price for NetSuite reportedly starts at about $1K a month. The company does offer a free demo.

Things we liked:

  • Fully integrated platform and robust ERP solution
  • Fully scalable for growing businesses
  • Customizable with many automated processes
  • Fixed asset management
  • Strong compliance support

Things we didn’t like:

  • Can be pricey
  • Steep learning curve and marginal support
  • EDI and equipment/field service management all require partner add-on

2. QuickBooks Enterprise

Price from $8.00/mo
Free Trial 30 Days

Best accounting software for medium sized businesses that don’t need a complete ERP.

Best for:
Not ready for a robust enterprise resource planning software solution? QuickBooks Enterprise (currently in its 20.0 edition) might be perfect for you. Medium sized businesses looking for industry-specific accounting software solutions might be interested in QuickBooks Enterprise, too. Currently, QuickBooks Enterprise has customized editions for contractors, manufacturers and wholesalers, nonprofits, retailers, accountants, and those offering other professional services.

Core accounting functions:
QuickBooks Enterprise includes all core accounting functions, including accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, billing, and invoicing. QuickBooks Enterprise allows for electronic invoicing, saving time and money over manual printing and mailing processes, and multiple invoices can be consolidated into a single invoice. Automatic reminders can also be set up for upcoming and past due invoices, and companies can restrict new purchases from customers with past due invoices.

A nice-to-have feature allows the user to set an automatic markup on products by either a percentage or a set dollar amount. In addition, while there is a manual sales tax function included, an automatic sales tax calculation integration is available (for an extra fee). Batch processing for several functions (checks, deposits, invoices, bills, credit memos, etc.) is also available.

The built-in Bill Tracker for accounts payable ensures that you always know what’s paid, unpaid, and unbilled (e.g., purchase orders). Purchasing functionality includes customizable purchase forms, which allow users to track expenses more efficiently, and an automatic purchase order creation function that you can use when inventory items or assembly stock reach a predefined par level.

QuickBooks Enterprise boasts strong payroll functionality with its Enhanced Payroll module (extra cost for Silver subscription). because of Intuit’s comprehensive tax preparation suite, payroll tax support, IRS Forms 940, 941, W-2, and 1099 capability are all built in, including electronic filing directly from QuickBooks. Plus, QuickBooks enterprise automatically records payroll in the correct expense accounts.

One of QuickBooks Enterprise’s best features is its scalability. It supports up to one million list items and up to 750 different price points. In addition, up to 40 users can be working in QuickBooks simultaneously, and each can have specific user-level permissions. The comprehensive audit trail and automatic backup functionality also helps with compliance.

If your business includes multiple entities or subsidiaries, you will appreciate QuickBooks Enterprise’s multi-entity support, which allows a single user to work in two company files simultaneously. Similarly, multi-currency support is available, which is important for companies doing business in more than one country (or receiving international funds for payment); however, once you have activated the multi-currency function, you cannot turn it off, and use of multi-currency functionality deactivates some nice-to-have features, including Insight, Income Tracker, and Bill Tracker and eliminates batch processing altogether.

Secondary accounting functions:
QuickBooks Enterprise’s most impressive feature overall is its advanced inventory management. Not only does it allow a company to include item location information (down to the row, shelf, and bin) and mobile barcode scanning (which reduces both paperwork and errors), there is a built-in pick-pack-ship workflow right on the dashboard. Multiple inventory costing methods are supported (FIFO, average, and landed), as well.

Expense tracking includes freight and other inventory and shipping-related expenses, and the label printing function allows for product shipment via UPS, FedEx, or USPS. Plus, there’s serial number tracking for products that need to be registered. And, customizable pricing rules allow companies to run promotions easily or even offer special pricing for specific customers.

The Job Costing Center, which is built-in, is important for construction companies and any organization that needs to understand exactly what each product or service costs the company. QuickBooks Enterprise’s custom reports for job cost analysis make this process easy, as do many other industry-specific reports. Speaking of reports, there are over 200, all of which are customizable, and there’s even an Advanced Reporting module available for companies that need more flexibility with customization, searching, and filtering. All reports can be exported to Excel for further data manipulation.

There are two methods for accessing QuickBooks Enterprise remotely. It’s meant to be a desktop product, but today’s companies often need to be able to access it from multiple devices (such as desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones). Intuit does provide cloud hosting, which allows users to access QuickBooks Enterprise anywhere, anytime. For companies that only need to have remote access occasionally, the QuickBooks Remote Access Tool is a more cost-effective solution.

With powerful search functionality and a customizable left side menu, QuickBooks Enterprise is an excellent choice for most medium sized businesses; however, businesses with many fixed assets will want to consider whether the clunky, outdated fixed asset management interface is worth it.

Business management functions:
QuickBooks Enterprise includes a business planning tool, so if you’re a new company, or you’re in the process of updating your current business plan, this feature will be important to you. Additional business management features include a calendar view that shows upcoming and past due tasks—by user. There’s also a nifty instant messaging feature built in, as well as lots of email templates. The email feature within QuickBooks Enterprise allows users to attach files and show an email history, much like a CRM solution does. Plus, users can scan and attach documents in QuickBooks Enterprise’s built-in document storage functionality.

Recently, Intuit acquired TSheets time tracking software, and it has been integrated into QuickBooks Enterprise, so there’s no need to have disparate systems. This is particularly important for project- based companies that need to track time. And, there are more than 200 integrations and an open API for any additional company-specific integrations you may need.

Ease of use:
The interface for QuickBooks Enterprise is clean and consistent with other iterations of QuickBooks. Although it’s well-organized, it is rather complex and presents a steep learning curve. In addition, the setup can be time-consuming. QBE mitigates some of these issues with a dedicated Customer Success Manager. Upgrading support to Priority Circle is another option, along with online training. QBE is always improving with yearly updates, too.

Some users will appreciate the ability to open multiple windows on multiple screens at once. Not all desktop products provide this functionality.

QuickBooks Enterprise is an affordable option with several packages—Silver (cheapest), Gold, Platinum, and Diamond (most expensive). All packages except Silver include payroll, so buyers should be sure to consider whether that’s important first. Potential users can purchase online; prices are posted, and there are custom purchase options for the number of users, data storage location (cloud or desktop), and one-time or annual payment.

Things we liked:

  • Excellent inventory management functionality
  • Comprehensive feature set
  • Lots of integrations
  • Excellent payroll functionality

Things we didn’t like:

  • Steep learning curve
  • May be too much functionality
  • Tends to bog down
  • Not an ERP

3. QuickBooks Online Advanced

Price from $8.00/mo
Free Trial 30 Days

Best cloud-based accounting software for medium sized businesses.

Best for:
QuickBooks offers so many versions of its accounting software that almost anyone can find a suitable option. Companies that are growing quickly or need multi-entity functionality might look at QuickBooks Enterprise instead of Online. However, QuickBooks Online Advanced is a good accounting software solution for most medium sized businesses, including those in the financial services, healthcare, hospitality, professional services, nonprofit, wholesale, and franchise industries.

Core accounting functions:
QuickBooks Online Advanced is the top tier package in the QuickBooks Online family of products. QuickBooks Online Advanced is significantly more powerful than the lower-tier options, making it the best online QuickBooks choice for fast-growing medium sized businesses. And, while its functionality is similar to its sister product, QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBooks Online Advanced is cloud-based, giving users real-time access from anywhere, and the look and feel is quite different.

All core accounting functions can be accomplished easily in QuickBooks Online Advanced, including accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, and invoicing. The unlimited chart of accounts and class and location tracking provide significant flexibility for businesses to track financial data in the way that works best for them. Up to 25 users and three accountants can work in QuickBooks Online Advanced, which facilitates interdepartmental collaboration, and each person’s access is customizable.

Income and expenses are automatically categorized as QuickBooks Online Advanced’s artificial intelligence “learns” your business, and to ensure accurate recordkeeping, users can snap or scan receipts and attach them to their corresponding transactions. Batch processing allows users to complete tasks quickly, and workflow automation even helps eliminate some user input altogether. Up to 150 check, invoice, expense, and bill transactions can be imported from Excel into the QuickBooks Online Advanced transactions sheet and created automatically, all at one time. Plus, there is an estimate-to-invoice workflow that speeds up and professionalizes the transaction completion process between businesses and their clients.

Payroll is a separate module and does incur additional cost (there are three tiers that should provide a solution for any budget), but it’s fully integrated, meaning that all transactions are automatically tracked in QuickBooks Online Advanced. Plus, the Payroll module helps users track and file payroll taxes, provides same-day direct deposit, and even runs payroll automatically. Intuit stands behind its products, too. If the IRS penalizes a company that uses QuickBooks Online Advanced Payroll Elite version, Intuit will not only represent the company in front of the IRS, it’ll also pay the penalty and fee (up to $25,000).

The reporting module included in QuickBooks Online Advanced provides a dashboard that allows users to monitor revenue, cash flow, and other metrics. And, all report data can be exported to Excel or Google Sheets. For companies that require additional reporting capabilities, an integration with Fathom is available. While there is an additional annual fee, larger businesses may find it useful because both financial and non-financial metrics can be tracked and analyzed.

Because it’s a cloud-based product, backups are automatic and continuous. But, if a company ever needs to restore a previous version, it’s fairly easy to do. Plus, all QuickBooks Online products help companies comply with federal regulations related to transparency and data security.

Secondary accounting functions:
The budgeting features in QuickBooks Online Advanced are easy to set up and use. Though QuickBooks Online Advanced doesn’t support multiple entities, multiple budgets can be developed and managed concurrently. This is a particularly important feature for medium sized businesses that are required to use fund accounting, such as nonprofits. And, what-if scenarios can provide valuable information during the planning and budgeting process.

For project-based companies, QuickBooks Online Advanced provides a Job Costing module that tracks all aspects of each project, including expenses, payroll, and labor, allowing project and finance managers to understand profitability quickly and easily. And, QuickBooks Online Advanced includes excellent inventory management features, as well as a purchasing workflow. For companies with fixed assets, depreciation tracking is easy and straightforward.

Information from QuickBooks Online Advanced can be imported into Intuit’s ProConnect Tax product for end-of-year tax filing preparation. You’ll need to work with an accountant for this, but most medium sized businesses are likely to outsource tax prep functions anyway.

Business management functions:
QuickBooks Online Advanced includes built-in mileage and time tracking. Time tracking is synced through an integration with TSheets, and while there is an extra cost associated with the integration, medium sized service businesses may find it worthwhile.

The vendor, customer, and employee/contractor functionality in QuickBooks Online Advanced works somewhat like a CRM. However, users can’t track non-financial communications, such as emails. For companies that need full CRM functionality, integrations are available, including those for popular CRMs like Method, Insightly, Pipedrive, Salesforce, and Hubspot.

QuickBooks Online Advanced is an accounting platform. While it isn’t part of a comprehensive ERP or ecosystem, there are tons of app integrations (650+), including Square, PayPal, Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, and others.

Ease of use:
QuickBooks Online remains ever popular in part because of its clean interface and user-friendly navigation. Once it’s up and running, its automations are terrific time savers. QuickBooks Online “learns” to automatically assign deposit accounts, expense categories, and expense withdrawal accounts. The well-developed mobile apps add to the ease of use by allowing you to use the product on the go.

Potential users can take the product for a test drive with a sample company on the QuickBooks website and take advantage of a 30-day free trial to get a sense of how it works. Helpful video tutorials, webinars, and training classes are also featured on the QuickBooks Online website.

Because QuickBooks is so popular, it’s easy to find someone to help you pick up the basics, including members of the active User Community. QuickBooks also provides good customer support. And, QuickBooks Online Advanced users have access to a dedicated account manager. Need even more help? You might consider paying for access to QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping.

Affordability is always subjective, but QuickBooks Online is neither the most or the least expensive accounting software available. Whether it’s affordable really depends on the functionality that’s required and the company’s budget for accounting software. Plan tiers provide users with different pricing options, which increase with features and number of users. QuickBooks sometimes offers discounts for the online version.

Things we liked:

  • Clean user interface
  • User-level permissions
  • Strong reporting capabilities
  • Flexibility

Things we didn’t like:

  • Can be expensive
  • Feature set may be overwhelming
  • Single entity only
  • Chart of accounts can become unwieldy

4. Sage Intacct

Best accounting software for multinational medium sized businesses.

Best for:
Medium sized CPA firms and organizations with a CFO or accounting team will want to put Sage Intacct on the short list. Accounting familiarity will benefit the Sage Intacct user because when the numbers aren’t precise, the user will need to figure out why they are out of balance. Despite this, Sage Intacct is a solid and scalable program that has robust multi-currency features, making it a good choice for businesses that are expanding globally or that already do business in multiple countries.

Core accounting functions:
Sage Intacct touts itself as the “standard” for professional accounting packages for medium sized businesses. Its core accounting functions include accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, cash management, order management, and purchasing in a streamlined, sophisticated interface. Sage Intacct allows companies to automate many functions, including accounts payable, resulting in significant time savings on payables tasks and, thus, increasing productivity elsewhere. The customizable workflow even helps companies control spending with specific limits, and with the power of American Express behind the vendor payment system, users know they can trust that payments will be made on time and made safely.

Recurring invoices and seamless integrations form the core of the receivables workflow. From proposal to quote to invoice to payment—and even sales tax calculations—everything is recorded automatically in Sage Intacct’s general ledger and receivables modules, eliminating the need for manual data entry at several points in the process. Plus, reminders and other collections processes can be automated, making it easy to ensure invoices are paid in a timely fashion. And, the invoicing process integrates automatically with the order management process, allowing cross-functional collaboration and streamlining the quote to order to fulfillment process.

The cash management features in Sage Intacct allow users to have a real-time “big picture” view of all cash, including working capital. It’s easy to see all bank accounts, showing where cash is coming in or going out, on the cash management dashboard. Plus, automatic bank reconciliations mean that month-end close is a fast process.

Sage Intacct also supports multiple entities and helps companies create consolidated reports for all entities in the organization. Multi-currency support is also built-in, and reports can be created to help companies meet any industry- or country-specific standards.

Secondary accounting functions:
Sage Intacct’s purchase order functions simplify the entire purchasing process. Because the purchase order module is integrated with accounts receivable, inventory, and cash management, information doesn’t have to be entered multiple places, and the purchasing process can be fully automated based on built-in templates and user-driven customization and controls.

Comprehensive and secure budgeting and planning features allow users from across divisions and departments to collaborate in the budgeting process without ever having to open a spreadsheet. What-if scenarios make it easy to compare budget options and choose the best for a company’s specific needs. Sage Intacct uses the budget information to create a rolling forecast, allowing finance staff and business owners full visibility into the business’s future health at all times.

Complex revenue recognition is a breeze with Sage Intacct. Compliant with both ASC 605 and 606 and IFRS 15, users can use built-in templates to set revenue recognition rules and amortize expenses, and Sage Intacct will complete the process automatically. Two-way integration with Salesforce also streamlines the sales process, keeping data on both platforms up-to-date at all times.

Other key accounting features include inventory management, fixed asset management, and project accounting. Depending on the nature of the medium sized business, any or all of these robust features may be a deciding factor in the business’s choice of accounting platforms.

Business management functions:
While not a complete ERP package, Sage Intacct does provide comprehensive human resources functionality. Companies can house and push out policies and procedures; comply with state, federal, and international employment laws; examine workforce fluctuations and trends; and house all pertinent employee data in one place.

In addition to the strong Salesforce integration, there are currently more than 200 additional integrated apps that will allow a business to meet a wide variety of needs. Plus, Sage Intacct has a web services API, allowing businesses to connect their business systems easily. And, for companies needing advanced-level development, Sage Intacct Customization Services are available.

Ease of use:
Sage Intacct is generally considered easy to use although it’s not the most intuitive option available. Sage does offer webinars and other onsite training options, plus an annual conference offers even more training. Their website boasts “award-winning US-based support,” but customers say their support is not the best.

Sage Intacct doesn’t publish pricing information for its subscription-based service but instead requires potential users to request a price quote at the website. Sage Intacct is one of the pricier products, but it is a full ERP solution.

Things we liked:

  • Robust reporting functionality
  • Fully customizable, easily integrated with other software
  • Easily scalable across multiple entities
  • Time tracking and other HR functions

Things we didn’t like:

  • Functionality may be too much or too little
  • Poor customer support
  • Complete transactions are difficult to modify
  • Bank reconciliation isn’t user friendly

4. FinancialForce

Best accounting software for medium sized businesses using Salesforce.

Best for:
Businesses from the medium sized to very large (think global) already using Salesforce will find simply adding FinancialForce to the “family” is an efficient way to go. Salesforce and FinancialForce make it easy to share customer records and common workflows across departments. Being able to assign access by role is a terrific feature for a larger organization in which many people need to access the functionality and information for their area or department only. The helpful Chatter collaboration tool in FinancialForce allows users to comment on workflows and collaborate on projects.

Core accounting functions:
When connected, Salesforce and FinancialForce form a complete ERP system, and FinancialForce markets itself as the best customer-centric cloud-based ERP on the market. And, FinancialForce was built with medium sized companies in mind, especially those that need to scale quickly.

Because it’s built on the Salesforce platform, the quote to order to invoice to payment pipeline is significantly streamlined, and all the data is housed in one cohesive system, which facilitates interdivisional collaboration across sales/service and finance teams. This approach also helps with SOX compliance and other transparency requirements, as do the strong audit trail functionality, single sign-on, and user-based permissions.

All core accounting functionality (A/P, A/R, GL, and payroll) is included, as well as the ability to set up fund and project accounting. Customizable rules, best practice workflows, and automations help users decrease processing time significantly. Recurring transactions, including journal and reversing entries, also help users save time and increase productivity.

Multi-currency and multi-entity/location support is included, and companies can set up as many bank accounts as necessary. Plus, bank reconciliation can be automated, cutting out significant time and effort at month-end close.

With clean, comprehensive, modern dashboard views, companies can easily see all their financial information at a glance. The reporting module and multi-dimensional chart of accounts allows for customization and data slicing to help companies analyze data from many points of view. But, FinancialForce could benefit from including more standard reports, rather than requiring users to create them on an ad hoc basis.

Secondary accounting functions:
In addition to the core accounting functions, FinancialForce facilitates detailed budgeting and forecasting, as well as multi-departmental and multi-entity consolidation. The direct database manipulation ability and API integration provide tremendous flexibility for customization. Combined operations and finance functions offer insight into business health, and FinancialForce streamlines financial management through automation.

Time and expense tracking is available to ensure that job-level profitability can be maintained. There is also a strong inventory management module, allowing not just inventory tracking, but also automatic reordering and even a manufacturing module.

Moreover, multiple sales tax calculations and VAT are already integrated, along with 1099 support at the end of the year. Complex revenue recognition is handled easily, and companies can track fixed assets from acquisition through depreciation to disposal, all on one platform.

Business management functions:
The project management module not only allows for projects to be created quickly, but also helps users hand off task management easily. This functionality is especially useful in medium sized service-oriented companies and those with custom-built products. And, there is a built-in chat function that keeps users engaged not only at the project level, but also by department and by specific interests. There’s also a resource management module that facilitates human resources functions, including benefits, talent acquisition and management, and workforce management and analysis.

If you’re not a Salesforce user, you can still use FinancialForce. There are lots of other app integrations, but you’ll lose out on the seamlessness that comes with a cohesive, all-in-one platform like Salesforce.

Ease of use:
If you are an existing Salesforce user, you will probably face a flatter learning curve with FinancialForce than users who aren’t familiar with Salesforce. FinancialForce can be difficult to implement, and its interface is not the easiest to navigate at first. New users may consider it complex and overwhelming. However, training materials such as videos, webinars, and guides, along with a user community, at the FinancialForce website can help you learn the software. FinancialForce also provides “Success Plans” (the Standard plan for free, the Premier plan by paid subscription) to boost user success.

Because it is so customizable and scalable, FinancialForce pricing can vary quite a bit. In addition to features, types and levels of user access can affect the price. FinancialForce is more likely to require in-house development staff and/or an administrator, adding to the overall cost. To obtain specific pricing information, users need to contact FinancialForce.

Things we liked:

  • Built on the Salesforce platform
  • Highly customizable
  • Powerful inventory management function

Things we didn’t like:

  • Training is essential
  • Initial setup challenging
  • Steep learning curve for non Salesforce users

6. FreshBooks

Price from $4.50/mo
Free Trial 30 days

Best accounting software for on-the-go medium sized businesses.

Best for:
FreshBooks enjoys popularity among small to medium sized businesses and freelancers. It’s easy to learn and easy to use. A medium sized business that needs accounting software access for multiple users might not want to pay the increased price adding those users brings. In addition, the lack of permission controls for additional users can be a deal breaker between FreshBooks and the medium sized business. If these aren’t issues, FreshBooks is a strong contender.

Core accounting functions:
As with most software options on this list, FreshBooks includes some of the core accounting functions, including Accounts Receivable and General Ledger features. There is no Accounts Payable module, but with some fairly simple workarounds, FreshBooks can still be used as a complete accounting solution, especially for companies that combine the receivables and payables functions. It also does not currently include a native payroll module; however, FreshBooks integrates easily with several payroll apps, including Gusto and Payment Evolution. And, built-in time and attendance tracking simplifies the challenge of not having native payroll.

FreshBooks is very popular with Canadian and other international and multinational businesses, and, as such, includes strong multi-currency support and even multi-language support. In addition, while it’s not really scalable, FreshBooks does offer an excellent invoicing workflow (proposal to estimate to invoice), which saves both time and money. Invoices are customizable, time and expenses that are tracked in FreshBooks go straight to the right invoices, and the automation features in FreshBooks make setting up recurring invoices and automatic payment reminders a breeze. There’s even an automatic late fee that can be added, and the retainer feature simplifies legal and project-based billing.

Companies can take payment against invoices however they’d like, using a built-in payment method, Stripe, Apple Pay, credit card processing, or ACH transfers. When payments are received FreshBooks processes them automatically, even for recurring payments and complex invoices that include deposits and retainers.

The crisp, clean dashboard view allows users to monitor key financial data in one place. Reports in FreshBooks are fairly comprehensive. Users can easily run reports for the vast majority of basic accounting functions, including trial balances, income statements, profit and loss statements, and expense reports. Given that it’s a cloud-based product, backups are automatic, as well, increasing the security of a company’s data.

FreshBooks also offers multi-entity support, allowing business owners to set up multiple entity profiles under one master account; this facilitates separation of each entity’s financials from the others, but it limits the ability to create consolidated reports. With the ability to add as many users as a company needs (for a per-user monthly fee), multi-entity organizations may find it worth considering FreshBooks. However, users all have the same permissions.

Secondary accounting functions:
One of the biggest drawbacks of FreshBooks is that it doesn’t include a company-wide budgeting feature—yet. There is project-level budgeting, but larger organizations that rely on budgets to control spending may find this to be an insurmountable issue. The same is likely true for inventory management (which was removed in the current version of Freshbooks). The automations and integrations, however, may offset the challenge associated with inventory and budget management.

The project management features in FreshBooks are among the best in this list. For example, companies can collaborate directly with clients and contractors, as well as other personnel outside of the company. There’s a team document sharing area, and the discussion feature in FreshBooks facilitates project-level discussions all in one easy-to-navigate location.

Business management functions:
FreshBooks isn’t an ERP system—not by any stretch—but not all medium sized companies need that much functionality. Companies that are on the smaller size (say, 50-75 employees) will probably find that FreshBooks includes most everything they need. Plus, FreshBooks has very good mobile apps, so companies that have on-the-go invoicing and expense tracking needs should consider FreshBooks a contender.

Ease of use:
“Ridiculously Easy to Use” is how FreshBooks touts its accounting software. The general consensus is that FreshBooks is, indeed, easily set up, user-friendly, and intuitive. The product was designed with the business owner in mind rather than the accountant. Users frequently mention the friendly and responsive customer service, as well.

FreshBooks isn’t the cheapest option, but it’s not terribly expensive, either. Prices increase with the number of billable clients, with 500+ requiring Custom Pricing. Increasing the number of users will also increase the cost. FreshBooks does run sales from time to time, offering as much as 50 percent off. The 30-day free trial would give you plenty of time to decide if it’s right for you. If you do purchase a subscription and then decide it’s not for you within 30 days, FreshBooks will refund your money.

Things we liked:

  • Requires no accounting experience
  • Strong estimate to invoice workflow
  • User-friendly client portal
  • Fantastic customer service

Things we didn’t like:

  • Multi -user pricing can be cost prohibitive
  • Most plans only allow one user
  • No accounts payable feature or native payroll
  • No global budgeting feature

7. Xero

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

Best accounting software for medium sized businesses needing multi-currency support.

Best for:
Xero is a good option for small to medium sized businesses, especially those in need of multi-currency accounting capability. Xero’s certification process appeals to accountants and bookkeepers, both of whom use the product. A larger company could potentially outgrow Xero, however. A feature attractive to a medium sized business is the user-driven access allowing administrators to limit the features by user.

Core accounting functions:
The core accounting functionality in Xero includes payables, receivables, and general ledger, but that’s just the beginning of what Xero can do. As with FreshBooks, payroll isn’t native, but the Gusto integration includes automatic payroll runs, payroll filings, and tax payments in all 50 states, plus Forms W-2 and 1099 support at the end of the year. Plus, all payroll transactions sync automatically in Xero, saving time and effort—and reducing errors—related to manually inputting or importing those transactions.

The invoice templates in Xero are fully customizable. Businesses can change color schemes, add logos, set custom payment terms, and calculate sales tax, and the result is a professional invoice that mirrors a business’s brand. In addition, payment reminders are automated and customizable, and existing invoices can be duplicated, eliminating the need to re-key information multiple times. And, repeating invoices can be set up for clients who purchase the same products or services regularly. Xero’s bulk send feature is also a time-saver, and it includes a consolidation function that groups all of a customer’s invoices into a single message that allows payment in part or full against the total balance.

For companies that begin with proposals and quotes before sending invoices, Xero facilitates the sales process with a professional quote to invoice workflow. On-the-ground sales team members can send quotes from a mobile device, and the quotes can be converted to invoices with the tap of a button when the sale is complete. Of course, if modifications are required, they can be entered immediately without having to start over the entire process.

Xero offers multi-currency support in over 160 currencies. Multinational organizations will appreciate that they can send bills, invoices, quotes, and purchase orders and accept payments almost anywhere. A nice feature in Xero’s multi-currency support is that each client can be set to a default currency, so users don’t have to choose the correct currency with each new transaction. Users can even run reports, such as profit and loss, that show current value against specific conversions and exchanges.

User-level permissions and two-factor authentication help protect company data in Xero. It’s a cloud-based system, so backups are automatic, and encryption services add another layer of protection. And, the audit trail provides detailed information regarding who has done what and when.

Secondary accounting functions:
Xero’s inventory management tools not only simplify the inventory process, but also give businesses insight into what’s selling and what’s profitable. Using an average cost method, Xero provides a daily summary of total inventory values, and it helps users see what products need to be re-ordered. Plus, getting started with inventory is simplified via a bulk import process. The integration between invoicing and inventory helps cut down on oversell errors, too. Xero’s app integrations can help larger companies manage their complex inventory situations easily, including connecting to Point of Sale systems.

Online purchase orders also streamline the inventory process. When stock levels are low, users can create purchase orders and send them to suppliers immediately. Those purchase orders can then be converted to bills to be paid or invoices to be sent—or both. Users always know where things stand in the purchase order process, too.

Xero also includes comprehensive fixed asset management functionality that allows businesses to manage depreciation and disposal. Plus, the dashboard view provides the bigger picture of fixed asset value in real time.

Business management functions:
Secure file storage is a feature that more accounting platforms are including. The ability to attach documents to specific transactions or save client-specific information is important, especially for companies with multiple locations or many people who need access. Xero allows multiple files to be attached to any transaction, even customer-facing invoices (e.g., attaching billable expense receipts), and more global documents, like contracts, communications, and similar, can be attached to the client’s record.

Ease of use:
Xero is widely considered easy to learn and easy to use, even for those with no accounting or technical knowledge. The interface is clear and clean with an easy-to-navigate layout. Daily transactions can be managed quickly and easily thanks to the automatic bank feed. Xero’s website provides user guides, training materials, and customer support.

Even Xero’s most expensive plan (of the three levels offered) is cheaper than most software, making it one of the more affordable accounting software options. Like FreshBooks and QuickBooks, Xero provides a 30-day free trial.

Things we liked:

  • Strong audit trail functionality
  • Excellent cash flow reporting functionality
  • Affordable
  • Robust mobile app

Things we didn’t like:

  • Some features limited compared to other products
  • Limited multi-currency functionality
  • Not scalable
  • Limited budgeting features

8. ZohoBooks

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

Best accounting software for medium sized businesses for international tax reporting.

Best for:
Small to medium sized businesses, resellers, service industries, freelancers, start-ups and those already in the Zoho ecosystem are good candidates for Zoho Books accounting software. Zoho Books doesn’t handle multiple entities, so it’s not an ideal solution for companies that operate several businesses under one umbrella financial organization. International tax compliance makes Zoho Books a strong contender for any medium sized business with locations or customers abroad.

Core accounting functions:
The Zoho Books accounting platform includes all core accounting functions, and its invoice processing (billing and receivables) functionality rivals the best of its competitors. Not only does the invoicing workflow allow estimates to be converted to invoices automatically, all invoicing and payment reminders can be automated. Plus, the invoicing dashboard view shows users real-time information regarding what’s been paid, what’s upcoming, and what’s overdue. In addition, companies can get paid how they want to. Zoho Books integrates seamlessly with Square, Paypal, Authorize.net, 2Checkout, and Braintree, among other customer payment processors.

Payables (expenses) works essentially the same way. The dashboard view shows what’s upcoming and allows new bills to be entered with just the click of a button. Receipts and invoices can also be attached to make record keeping easier. Recurring bills can be set up for payment automatically, and there’s an approval process for bills that allows one user to enter them and another user to approve them, decreasing the probability of mistakes. Businesses that need to track landed costs can do so easily, and Zoho Books allows users to track billable expenses that are then automatically added to invoices. Vendors can even be paid online, and credits are tracked, too.

The dashboard approach in Zoho Books allows users to see real-time information about key metrics. The banking dashboard helps with managing cash flow and balancing accounts, and Zoho Books’ categories rules and machine learning help automate what used to take hours to do—the categorized transactions immediately transfer to the right reporting categories. Bank reconciliation takes seconds, too. And, companies that process lots of transactions can use Zoho Books’ bulk import feature to minimize the workload associated with manually keying the transactions.

Zoho Books also includes all the reports that most medium sized businesses will need, and like all of Zoho Books’ features, they are available from the Reports dashboard. Users can customize reports, as required, and a Zoho Analytics integration is available for advanced analysis. Zoho Books also allows users to share reports with team members either by reports-only Zoho Books access or by exporting and emailing. Just like recurring invoices and bills, recurring reports are easy to set up. They’ll be auto-delivered to one or more email inboxes when they’re prepared.

One of Zoho Books’ best features is its tax reporting capability internationally, including in India, the UK, Canada, United Arab Emirates, and the US. Of course, to do this, Zoho Books offers multi-currency support, too.

User-based permissions and audit trails are standard in Zoho Books, so companies can always rest assured that their data is secure. Zoho takes compliance seriously, and it provides the necessary transparency to meet a wide variety of compliance protocols.

Secondary accounting functions:
Inventory management is available in Zoho Books. Custom price lists are available for each item, and items can be customized to facilitate inventory tracking, including preventing overselling and automatically notifying someone in the organization when stock levels are low. Then, purchase order functionality within Zoho Books simplifies the reordering process. Once the purchase order is complete, it’s converted to a bill in one click.

Zoho Books facilitates time tracking for service-based businesses, too. Billable time needs to be tracked carefully, and if it’s not invoiced appropriately and timely, that’s lost revenue. Zoho Books tracks all billable hours and automatically adds them to invoices—for multiple projects. And, if Zoho Books’ retainer feature is used, invoices reflect the balance of the retainer and only bill the client for funds above and beyond that amount.

Business management functions:
Zoho Books is part of the comprehensive Zoho ecosystem, which includes functionality for sales, marketing, support, human resources, and operations. While Zoho Books can certainly be used on its own, it’s significantly more powerful when it’s integrated with other ecosystem apps and data are shared across the entire platform.

Ease of use:
For those already in the Zoho ecosystem, Zoho Books is easily integrated and set up. Integrations outside of that system require additional programming. Some users report finding the interface awkward and navigation difficult at first. Even users with no accounting experience can adjust and use the software effectively, though. Zoho Books’s robust mobile apps are a big hit with those who need to work on the go.

Zoho Books provides a range of plans that are fairly economical. The more costly the plan, the more features it brings, but all plans are in reach for most medium sized companies. The Basic plan allows two users and 50 contacts, comes with five automated workflows, and includes Zoho Sign integration, which is a nice feature for automating document signatures. The Standard plan adds 500 contacts and 50 workflows, and it includes bill pay and vendor credit features that companies will find useful. The Professional plan allows up to 10 users and adds purchase order, sales order, and inventory management functionality.

Things we liked:

  • Excellent automation features
  • Full ecosystem integration
  • APIs allow for custom integrations
  • Cost-effective

Things we didn’t like:

  • Bank feed automation works inconsistently
  • May require developer/programmer for customization
  • Not scalable
  • No multi-client/entity option
  • Difficult to undo things that aren’t done correctly

9. Sage 50cloud

Price from $50.58/mo

Best accounting software for medium sized businesses with 50 employees or fewer

Best for:
Sage 50cloud is best for medium sized businesses at the smaller end of “medium sized”—perhaps ones that are stable and don’t intend to grow much beyond 50 or so employees. Larger companies might want to look elsewhere to meet their needs. Still, more complex businesses, businesses with a remote workforce, and those needing multi-company accounting functionality will find Sage 50cloud a good option. It’s a hybrid product with remote access but doesn’t offer mobile apps, so it is more suited to a company that doesn’t need to use it on the go. It’s also more suitable for a business with an accountant on staff because it’s not the easiest to learn and use without some accounting knowledge.

Core accounting functions:
Sage 50cloud is a simple—yet full-featured—solution, including accounts payable and receivable, secure remote access, integrated payroll, comprehensive reporting, inventory management, and job costing even in its most cost-effective subscription. It’s well-known for being user-friendly, and it simplifies the finance and accounting functions in a way that most users with some accounting or bookkeeping experience can understand. However, some users may find that the functionality of Sage 50cloud accounting is too much for their needs.

One of the drawbacks of Sage 50cloud is that it must be installed on a computer (or mainframe, in larger companies) to use all its features. As such, it’s a hybrid product, but it still allows users access to data from anywhere, any time. Companies that need multi-entity support and user-based permissions will need to subscribe to the highest tier (Quantum Accounting), but that subscription level also provides access to quite a few advanced features, such as industry-specific functionality for the distribution, construction, and manufacturing sectors.

Sage 50cloud is well-known for its adherence to compliance protocols, including tax and payroll regulations, 501(c)(3) requirements, Governmental Audit and Accounting Compliance (GAAC), and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), among others. With regular updates pushed out automatically, users don’t have to worry about rule or calculation changes; Sage 50cloud handles it. Audit trails are available starting with the middle subscription tier (Premium Accounting), but the lowest tier (Pro Accounting) only allows one user, so audit trail functionality wouldn’t be needed.

Secondary accounting functions:
There aren’t many automated workflows in Sage 50cloud compared to other products on this list. Currently, purchase orders and billing can be automated, and that’s about it. However, since smaller medium sized companies may not need a lot of automation, the overall comprehensiveness of Sage 50cloud may counter this limitation.

Perhaps the strongest feature in Sage 50cloud accounting is it’s inventory management module, which allows companies to track inventory at almost a micro-detail level. Data that can be tracked in the inventory module include not only an item’s on-hand quantity, location, type, and SKU (which are common in most accounting platforms with built-in inventory management), but also serial numbers, assembly information, and more.

Business management functions:
One nice feature of Sage 50cloud accounting is its integration with Microsoft Office 365. As an add-on subscription, companies can get access to Office 365 at a significant discount. The savings realized with this integration may offset the expense of paying for a more robust subscription of Sage 50cloud.

The Office 365 integration and Sage Intelligence also enhance Sage 50cloud’s reporting functionality. Users can customize reports to their specifications, and the advanced analytics make year-end prep and routine decision-making a snap.

Ease of use:
Although Sage 50cloud is a versatile product that can be used by a variety of businesses, it is probably best for a company with an accountant. It can be challenging to learn and use for those with no accounting experience. However, Sage does offer graphic workflows and tutorials online to educate new users. In addition, the user interface is a bit outdated, so companies that want a more clean, crisp dashboard approach to accounting might want to look elsewhere.

The prices of Sage 50cloud’s range of packages increase with the number of users. The basic plan (Pro Accounting) is for a single user but does include accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory management, payroll, reporting. That might be fine for a small business, but a larger one may need to add users, which does get a bit expensive. Other features like budgeting, audit trail, job costing, multi-company support, and user-level permissions will also increase the price, as will updates and upgrades.

Things we liked:

  • Strong accounting and reporting functions
  • Supports multiple companies
  • Basic plan includes all major modules

Things we didn’t like:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Tax code formulas calculate inconsistently
  • Sometimes challenging to integrate other software
  • Can be expensive
  • No mobile apps

10. Aplos

Website www.aplos.com
Price from $29.50/mo
Free Trial 15 Days

Best accounting software for medium sized nonprofits

Best for:
Aplos is designed for nonprofits of all sizes, notably churches, and medium to large clubs and associations, such as homeowner associations, parent-teacher associations, sports clubs, and so on. It’s a scalable solution for a growing nonprofit organization, and it can also be used by accountants and bookkeepers to serve the needs of their clients (individual, nonprofit, and for-profit).

Core accounting functions:
Essentially an ERP for nonprofits, Aplos includes more than just accounts payable, accounts receivable, and general ledger functionality. It also includes donor management capabilities with an online donation and giving platform, and Aplos provides comprehensive end-of-period donation and giving statements. Fundraising tools and collaboration tools, such as a small group/team portal, are also included, as well as marketing/communication functionality and event registration. And, though it is designed for nonprofits and set up for true fund accounting, which is more complex than non-fund accounting, it’s actually usable by anyone.

Currently, Aplos doesn’t have a native payroll module. A Gusto integration facilitates automatic payroll runs, including direct deposit, W-2/1099 support, and payroll tax filing, as well as self-service new hire forms, which helps reduce input errors. Aplos users can run unlimited payroll (weekly, biweekly, or monthly for unlimited employees) in all 50 states. Aplos also supports housing allowances and tax exemptions, both of which are important for churches and nonprofit organizations.

Bookkeepers and accountants, in addition to nonprofit organizations, will enjoy Aplos’s multi-entity support with the Advanced Accounting subscription. Accountants will find that they can better support their nonprofit, for-profit, and individual clients, too, and because user-driven permissions are standard, the workload can be split between the accountant and the clients as it makes sense to do so. Plus, Aplos offers unlimited users per subscription.

Aplos has strong reporting capabilities. A particularly nice feature is the ability to run drilled-down reports by project, campaign, or department, improving both transparency and analytics within a medium sized nonprofit organization. End-of-year reporting facilitates the tax preparation process, as well, for both nonprofit organizations and their accountants (whether they’re employed by the nonprofit or independent).

Moreover, if nonprofits don’t want to do their own bookkeeping, Aplos will do it for them, including weekly or monthly reports and end-of-year 1099 prep. Aplos is a secure platform, and because it’s cloud-based, data backup occurs automatically. In addition, all payment processing is secure and meets current online payment protocols, and comprehensive internal controls are built-in.

Secondary accounting functions:
Aplos provides comprehensive budgeting capabilities. Budgets can be set up by organization, fund, or tag. The organizational level budget is a consolidated view of all budgets, and for organizations that have even more complex budgeting needs, dimensional budgeting is available. Reports can be run quickly and easily to help manage spending and know where additional fundraising and giving campaigns are required.

Fixed asset tracking helps larger nonprofits manage their assets easily. From acquisition to depreciation to disposition, the organization will always know its on-hand asset values, which is important for good stewardship.

Business management functions:
Aplos is a fully cloud-based solution, and it has a mobile app that can be used not only by a nonprofit organization’s employees or volunteers, but also by its members. Because giving and fundraising are such important aspects of nonprofit management, Aplos provides a donation widget, a Smart Donor database, recurring donation options, and donor-specific preferences, all facilitating the collection of tithes, pledges, and donations. Aplos also accepts online donations without any additional customization required, and the built-in text-to-give feature is good for any size organization.

Ease of use:
Getting up and running with Aplos doesn’t require accounting experience, which is important because many volunteers who use it may come to it with very little or no accounting experience. This accounting software is intuitive and easy to use. Still, the robust Support Center and the well-developed “Academy” on their website provide support and training to all levels of users. A very flexible accounting software solution, Aplos can be simple or complex with the use of advanced features.

Aplos is not the most expensive accounting software, but it’s not the cheapest either. Like many accounting software products, Aplos offers a range of plans. The most basic one includes most of the features an entity like a nonprofit or an association might need.The most advanced plan includes user-level permissions, among other features. Like many of the other products reviewed here, Aplos offers a free trial (15 days), discounts for buying an annual plan, and sales from time to time. Payroll is an add-on feature that costs extra. Aplos can provide bookkeeping and implementation services for additional cost.

Things we liked:

  • Easy to use
  • Excellent customer service
  • True fund accounting
  • Strong assortment of advanced features

Things we didn’t like:

  • Custom reports can be challenging to create
  • Users report that the software can be “buggy”
  • Feature set may be too rich
  • Can be expensive with add-on features


Why do businesses need accounting software? Can’t we just use spreadsheets?

The larger the business, the more essential it becomes to use accounting software. A medium sized business has grown far beyond the simple spreadsheet approach to record keeping. As a business grows in size and complexity, maintaining accuracy and compliance with tax laws becomes increasingly complex, as well. Even with an accountant on board, using accounting software can provide an accurate overview of the business in an efficient way.

What is the difference between accounting software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software?

Accounting software focuses on the financial aspect of business, enabling accounting functions, such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, banking, payroll, tax compliance, budgeting, and so on. An ERP, on the other hand, adds resource management to the mix, providing human resource functionality, the tracking of assets (tangible and intangible), logistics, etc.

What is cloud-based accounting software, and why would I want my information in the cloud?

Cloud-based accounting software is stored on remote servers, and users access it through applications. Most modern accounting software is cloud-based. It’s popular because users can access their data from anywhere, even on the go, from various devices in different locations. If you can access the internet, you can access your cloud-based data. Backups and updates are automated and easy.

How secure is my data in the cloud?

Providers of cloud-based accounting software know that their reputations and products are only as good as the security they provide for user information. Computers can be lost or stolen. USB drives used to transport information are also vulnerable to loss and theft. These days very few desktop accounting software options remain; the future lies in the cloud.

Can you tell me which accounting software is best for my medium sized business?

Your business is unique, and although it’s up to you to decide which software will be best for you, the hope is that these reviews will help you make that decision. You may need primary accounting functionality, or you may discover you could really use ERP features. Perhaps you need to be able to access your software on the go, so mobile apps are important to you. Perhaps cost is a consideration. There are many factors at play here, and only you can determine what is best for you (with a little help from us, of course!).


When choosing software for a medium sized business, there’s a lot to consider. Some businesses need only the core accounting functions like a general ledger, accounts payable/receivable, and payroll to stay on top of the company’s financials. Others need additional functions like budgeting, analytics, supply chain, automations, and extended tax support. Some need an ERP with even more business management functions. Whatever you need, one thing is certain: there’s an accounting software option for you.