Most small business owners find accounting one of the more complicated sides of running their business. We have reviewed the best accounting software for small business.
The good news is that there is a range of accounting software products that will make your life a whole lot easier.
Small Business Accounting Software: A Brutally Honest List
- QuickBooks Online
- Zoho Books (Free version and can upgrade to paid versions)
- Quickfile (Best Free Accounting Software For Small Businesses)
Keep in mind that the best accounting software overall might not necessarily be suited for you. I tried to add a “best for” tag to every option that I’ve used, making it easier for you to identify the option that suits your business model.
Whether it’s sending invoices, keeping track of payments, or even submitting your self-assessment – there is software to help you.
I have been in the accounting industry for over 30 years and decided to test out all the major accounting software products to see which one is best.
Keep reading to see which accounting software products made the cut – and find the best option for YOUR business.
Quickbooks Online (Best For Products)
QuickBooks is one of the most popular accounting platforms there is.
The company, Intuit has also created other software products for small business owners that can easily integrate with each other.
What makes Quickbooks so great is its ease of use and that it’s suited for businesses of all sizes. So, if your small business grows, you won’t need to switch to another platform.
Quickbooks is especially well-suited for small businesses that sell products – whether that’s for local shops or e-commerce stores.
This is mainly because of its advanced inventory management tools, and some other cool features as well.
But if you own a service-based business, there may be better options out there. We’ll talk more about those later on, though.
QuickBooks is one of the complete accounting software products on the market. So whether you need to manage your inventory or project your profits – it can all be done from the cloud app’s user-friendly interface.
- Cloud Accounting.
- Send Invoices
- Project Profitability.
- Accounting reports.
- Inventory Management.
The QuickBooks online accounting software for small businesses starts at just £8 for sole traders and £12 for companies.
However, you can get access to a 90% discount on the first 4 months. Just check out the discount section below.
Take a look at the full pricing plans.
- It has a user-friendly interface
- You can send unlimited invoices
- Lots of features to help you manage your business – all the essentials for general businesses
- Affordable pricing plans starting from just £8 per month
- You can process checks and credit cards
- Great expenses management
- Lots of integrations
- No payroll or project management features are included.
- Little industry-specific features
- Limitations with file size and data, as well as the number of users.
Get 90% OFF QuickBooks Your First 4 Months
I browsed the internet to find the best Quickbooks deal available for you.
Here’s what I found: 90% off Quickbooks your first 4 months.
That means the prices start at just £1.20 per month – you can get access to this deal by clicking below.QuickBooks
Freshbooks (Best For Service Businesses)
FreshBooks is the best small business accounting software for service businesses. What I loved about Freshbooks was how clean and professional the invoices look:
Although Quickbooks has better product and inventory management tools, one area where Freshbooks wins is project management.
If you are working with a team or clients on projects, it’s much easier to
- find attachments
- leave comments
- keep an overview
Because of this feature, I believe that Freshbooks is the best option for freelancers and service businesses.
However, it also has a lot of useful tools if you don’t fit in that category.
Freshbooks Key Features
Freshbooks targets self-employed, freelancers and service businesses quite heavily. And their features reflect that.
When you sign up for Freshbooks, you’ll have everything you need to charge your customers, handle projects and manage your business.
Some of Freshbooks key features include:
- Cloud-based accounting
- Income and Expenses tracking
- Time tracking
Freshbooks also starts at a similar rate as most other best accounting software products on this list.
If you’re a freelancer, it’s a great choice because you get more project-specific tools, despite it being the same price.
Take a look at the full pricing table below.
- The projects feature is great for freelancers, especially in the digital space.
- The dashboard is user-friendly
- Affordable pricing plans starting at just £11
- Automatically track expenses allows you to save time
- Great list of integrations to help you manage your business
- It offers a free trial
- The mobile app is a bit limited
- Some users have complained that the software isn’t suited for larger businesses.
- Not as many product/inventory management features as competitors
Freshbooks Best Deal
Again, I browsed the internet to see what Freshbooks offers I could find.
The best one is a 6-month 60% discount, which you can access by clicking the button below.
Xero (Easiest To Use)
Xero is by far one of the biggest names in the small business accounting software space. Starting at just £10 per month, it’s fairly affordable, but it also has flexible plans to suit businesses of all sizes.
What makes Xero great: It’s easy to use but still has all the tools to handle your business when it scales.
The one downside compared to competitors is that there are a lot of additional charges.
Whether it’s payroll, claiming expenses, tracking projects – you’ll be charged an additional fee.
However, it has a really easy to use and beautiful interface that users LOVE. Take a look below.
If ease of use is one of the main things you look for in accounting software for small businesses, Xero is probably the best choice.
Xero has quite a unique set of features tailored toward general small businesses. So whether it’s claiming expenses, managing payroll or sending Invoices, it comes with all the essentials.
I noticed that Xero doesn’t have electronic payments, billable hours, or invoice management.
So if you’re a freelancer or someone else who needs these features, Xero probably isn’t the best choice.
Some of Xeros key features include:
- Manage and pay your bills
- Submit VAT returns online
- Claim Expenses
- Bank Connections
- Accept Payments
- Track Projects
Xero starts at just £10 per month. But unlike other accounting software for small businesses on this list, it does not have any annual options.
Take a look at the pricing table below.
Here are the main pros of the Xero accounting software:
- It’s straightforward to use
- Plans start at just £10 per month
- It comes with a balance sheet feature
- Xero has 24/7 online support
- You can get started with a 30-day trial
- It has outstanding tools to manage & submit your tax reports
- You can download the Xero mobile app
Here are the main cons of Xero:
- Xero used to be more affordable
- There are lots of additional charges, depending on your needs
- It does not have phone support
- Multi-currency support only on the standard plan of £24 per month
Xero Best Offers Available
Xero has a 30-day free trial, which you can access below.
But again, I also browsed the internet to look for the best deal and found the following coupon for 30% off on your first 6 months: 30XERO6M
Zoho Books (Best For Startups)
Zoho Books is another great account software choice.
The cool thing about Zoho Books is that it has a FREE plan that you can use if your business is earning less than £35K per year.
And even then, the next plan up is only £10 per month, so it definitely will not break the bank.
Besides starting with a free plan, Zoho books is also a perfect mix of ease of use and features.
Looking at the dashboard, it’s almost as simple as Xero – while it also has some robust features and a decent list of integrations. Not bad.
Plus, another cool thing about Zoho is that they have a lot of other software products for small business owners such as their:
This means that if you do ever use them, you can seamlessly integrate them.
Zoho Books Features
Zoho books main features include:
- Manage invoices
- Recurring payments & invoices
- Expense tracking
- Client portal
- Purchase orders
- Multi-lingual invoicing
Zoho Books has the advantage of having a completely free plan for businesses doing less than £35K per year in revenue.
If you’re starting and looking for a FREE option that can scale with you in the future, ZohoBooks is a great choice. Plus, the next plan is only £10 per month too.
Take a full look at the pricing table below.
Zoho Books Pros
- Easy to use
- Has a free plan
- All plans are fairly affordable
- Full support for automatic reminders & payments
- Income and expense tracking is easy to use
Zoho Books Cons
- Lacks some integrations outside of its own tools such as WorldPay and some banks
- Has no payroll management
- Not suited for scale
- Not great invoice templates
Zoho Books Best Offers
I couldn’t find any coupons or offers on the Zoho books accounting software. But you can sign up for a free account below.
Best Free Accounting Software: Quickfile Accounting
For those of you that are after free accounting software, I also found a solution. Which platform?
QuickFile is completely free for up to 1000 ledger entries per year.
Automated bank feeds are an additional £15 + VAT, but not everyone needs to use bank feeds.
QuickFile free accounting software main features include:
- Trustpilot reviews score 4.8 out of 5
- Up to 1000 Nominal transactions free
- Capture receipts within the App
- Quickly send estimates and turn them into invoices once approved
- Invoice any currencies
- Online payments using Stripe
- Automatic payments
- VAT returns track and file
Here are the pros of the Quickfile accounting software:
- It’s FREE, and you only need to pay for bank feeds or over 1000 Ledger entries
- Unlimited users, so you won’t need to pay to add accountants, partners, etc.
- The QuickFile accounting and bookkeeping software has multi-currency support
- Receive online payments via Stripe
- QuickFile comes with complete invoicing and accounting tools
- Online community for support
- You could go over the 1000 nominal transactions and have to pat £45 per year
- Adverts within the software can be annoying
- Reports are limited (hard to do month to month comparisons)
Small Business Accounting Software: Frequently Asked Questions
Finally, I wanted to answer some frequently asked questions about the best accounting software for small business.
What is the easiest accounting software for small business?
If you want to pick an accounting software primarily for ease of use, I recommend Xero.
The dashboard is clean, beautiful and easy to learn. And most user reviews agree that it’s #1 in the industry for ease of use.
However, for features, it may not be suited for your business model.
Does a small business need accounting software?
In most cases, yes. There are some exceptions, for example, if you are a sole proprietor and only work with a few clients or customers. But in general, bookkeeping or accounting software will likely help run your business more efficiently.
If you don’t want to switch from how you are currently doing business, you can check out some of my spreadsheet templates.
Can I do my own small business accounting?
Yes, you can! In fact, this entire website is dedicated to helping business owners like you do their own accounting.
But if you scale your business, it would obviously make sense to hire a skilled accountant.
What is better than QuickBooks?
Quickbooks is one of the best small accounting software products for small businesses. So it really depends what in particular you are looking for:
- Xero is better for ease of use.
- Freshbooks is better for freelancers & service businesses
- Zoho is better for beginners
What About The Wave Accounting Software?
Wave accounting has recently announced that they will be withdrawing from the UK, and won’t be accepting new accounts.
There have been also been many complaints from existing UK customers in regards to changes in the dashboard, features being unavailable and other issues.
That’s it. I hope you have enjoyed this guide on the best free accounting software for small business. If you are interested in learning more about accounting and bookkeeping for small businesses, make sure to check out some of the related articles below.