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QuickBooks Alternative: 5 Top Options for Finding One

Fees listed in this piece are accurate as of the date of publishing.

For a small business owner in need of accounting software, QuickBooks may be the most likely place to start. QuickBooks is a multi-faceted, ubiquitous online accounting and bookkeeping product for businesses of all sizes.

QuickBooks software includes:

  • Bill management
  • Income and expense tracking
  • Invoice and payment services
  • Mileage tracking
  • Payroll
  • Time tracking
  • Inventory management
  • Financial reporting
  • Sales tracking
  • Estimate distribution
  • Project tracking

QuickBooks is also available through mobile apps for iOS and Android, and it integrates with other apps like Square and PayPal. Following a 30-day free trial, QuickBooks Online plans cost $10 to $30 per month.

Finding a Quickbooks alternative

Although QuickBooks may be the go-to accounting software for many small business owners, other options are out there. Here are a few alternative platforms to meet your bookkeeping needs.

FreshBooks – Starting at $15/month

FreshBooks is a cloud-based software program that organizes your invoices, expenses, payments and projects. FreshBooks lets you customize invoices, allowing you to add due dates and a logo, as well as an automated thank-you email. The software also adds automatic tax calculations to invoices and accepts credit card payments. You can share project proposals and estimates with clients and then convert those estimates to invoices. FreshBooks tracks the hours you work and breaks them down into easy-to-read reports.

After a 30-day free trial, a FreshBooks subscription starts at $15 per month for the Lite plan, which includes unlimited invoices and estimates, time and expenses tracking and online credit card payments for up to five clients. The Plus plan, FreshBooks’ most popular plan, costs $25 per month for services for up to 50 clients. For $50 a month, the Premium plan lets you work with up to 500 clients.

Highlights

Made for self-employed entrepreneurs. FreshBooks generates invoices and automatically bills your clients based on the schedule you set, freeing you up to take care of the pile of other tasks you have as a small business owner. FreshBooks also caters to agencies and consulting firms, offering the option to receive invoices from contractors and billing for team hours.

Help is available. FreshBooks customer service is available via email and phone. FreshBooks also has a detailed FAQ page, breaking out answers by topic.

Access from anywhere. A FreshBooks app is available for free in the Apple App Store as well as the Google Play Store. Using the app, you could access your FreshBooks tools from your phone, tablet or computer.

What’s missing?

No balance sheets. Although FreshBooks provides a balance sheet template, the software does not help you create a new one. FreshBooks suggests users seek guidance from an accounting professional when making a balance sheet.

Head to head with QuickBooks

QuickBooks FreshBooks
Invoicing services Yes Yes
Mobile apps Yes Yes
30-day free trial Yes Yes

Wave – Free

This Quickbooks alternative is a free, web-based accounting software for small businesses. Wave tracks your income and expenses and creates and sends invoices. For a fee, you could use Wave to receive credit card and bank payments from customers, as well as pay employees. Wave also offers receipt scanning through its free iOS and Android apps.  Using the Wave app, you could send invoices from anywhere. You could also set automatic payment reminders and recurring billing for customers.

Wave lets you connect your bank accounts and credit cards, automatically uploading your transactions to keep all of your financial activity in one place. Your data is stored on the cloud and you can access it from any computer. Wave generates automated reports, such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements and sales tax reports. You could extend access to your information to your business partner, assistants or an accounting professional.

Highlights

Totally free software. Wave’s invoicing, accounting and receipt scanning software is available free of charge without any trial periods or hidden fees. Wave does charge for its credit card processing and payroll services, which is how the company makes money. For credit card processing, Wave charges 2.9% of each transaction plus $0.30. Bank payment processing costs 1% per transaction, and payroll services start at $20.

Smaller is better. Wave software is designed for owners of small and micro businesses. Freelancers, consultants and contractors could also benefit from using Wave.

Connect with an accountant. If you need further accounting assistance, Wave could help you find an accountant in your area. Wave has a searchable database of “Wave Pros” who offer accounting, bookkeeping and consulting services.

What’s missing?

No phone support. Wave’s customer service is web based, and you would be required to submit a support request form once signed into your account. Wave also encourages users to refer to guides and resources within its online Help Center.

No inventory tracking. Wave does not offer inventory management. However, you could keep track of your purchases through your bills. You could record expenses related to certain assets, but you would have to follow several steps to keep track of that inventory within the program.

Head to head with QuickBooks

QuickBooks Wave
Unlimited free software No Yes
Credit card processing Yes Yes
Inventory management Yes No

 

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AccountEdge – Starting with a one-time fee of $149

AccountEdge is a desktop accounting software for small business owners. AccountEdge manages sales and invoicing, purchases, payroll, inventory and time billing. Using AccountEdge’s mobile app or online platform, business owners can access their account from their phone or tablet through the cloud.

AccountEdge offers two formats for small business owners – Pro and Basic. AccountEdge Basic is available for a one-time fee of $149 and provides standard bookkeeping services for one user. The software is primarily for micro-businesses and sole proprietors needing help managing invoices, banking and basic financial statements. AccountEdge Pro is available for a one-time fee of $399 and features full accounting services for up to 10 users. The software offers full ledger control and financial reporting, as well as payroll services, credit card processing, time billing and inventory management. AccountEdge also offers customizable Priority ERP software for larger businesses.

Highlights

Keep your accounts organized. You could track all of your banking, credit cards and expense accounts in one place using AccountEdge Pro’s Chart of Accounts template, or you could create your own list. When reporting a transaction, each line item in a transaction can be assigned to a specific department, helping you create detailed reports.

Convert estimates to orders and invoices. AccountEdge Pro allows you to create an estimate to send to customers, then convert that estimate into an order or an invoice. You could send individual or multiple invoices to a customer directly from the AccountEdge Pro program and attach any additional documents.

Track projects. You could keep track of specific projects, including each project’s associated income and expenses, to get an idea of the cost of each of job. AccountEdge Pro lets you build an invoice from tracked time and set billing rates based on specific activity, such as employee experience or customer loyalty.

What’s missing?

Cloud access will cost you. AccountEdge Connect, an add-on product, extends service to the cloud. You, or employees, bookkeepers or contractors, could access your account from any browser on any device. AccountEdge Connect costs $10 to $100 per month, depending on how many people have access to the account.

Head to head with QuickBooks

QuickBooks AccountEdge
Cloud hosting included Yes No
30-day free trial Yes Yes
Invoice tracking Yes Yes

Xero – Starting at $20/month

Xero is an online invoicing service that allows you to send customizable, secured invoices from your phone, tablet or computer. You could send invoices in bulk and set up recurring charges, adding a “pay now” button to let customers pay you immediately. Xero also provides cloud-based accounting, allowing you to collaborate with your business team, bookkeeper or accountant.

Xero subscriptions cost $20 to $40 per month. All subscription plans include invoicing services, financial performance reports, mobile apps for iOS and Android and the option to connect your bank accounts. Xero offers a 30-day free trial.

Highlights

Connect with payment apps. Xero syncs with third-party payment platforms including Apple Pay, Square, Stripe and PayPal, making it easy for customers to quickly pay invoices. You could also make refunds through Xero or make adjustments to individual invoices.

Set up bank reconciliation. Once you’ve connected your bank account, Xero allows you to reconcile your transactions from the platform. You could also automatically match certain transactions to invoices or bill payments that have already been recorded in Xero.

Find an accountant. Xero has a directory of accountants and bookkeepers who specialize in a range of industries. Everyone in the directory has at least eight clients, as well as staff members who are trained in Xero software. Accountants who have completed the most training and are growing their business quickly have earned the distinction of “Xero champion.”

What’s missing?

Project tracking not included. If you want to track projects, including the time, money and profitability of each job, you would have to add an extra feature. Xero Projects costs $7 per month for one user and $5 for each additional user.

Payroll service is limited. Xero’s payroll software is available in 37 states, providing the ability to pay employees, track working hours, approve time-off requests. Xero also provides automatic tax rate updates. However, Xero only offers electronic payroll tax filing in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

Head to head with QuickBooks

QuickBooks Xero
Integration with payment apps Yes Yes
30-day free trial Yes Yes
Project tracking included Yes No

Sage Business Cloud Accounting – Starting at $10/month

Sage offers cloud-based accounting software for growing businesses. Sage Business Cloud Accounting, previously named Sage One, helps business owners track income, expenses and invoices and lets them manage quotes and payments from a phone, tablet or computer. Sage’s lower-tier subscription starts at $10 per month and supports basic accounting for one user. For $25 per month, Sage’s higher-tier program supports up to five users and includes cash flow forecasts, as well as access to quotes, estimates and vendor bills.

Sage has a mobile app available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Using the app, you could turn quotes into invoices, send them to customers and monitor your transactions. Sage’s app also shows your weekly, monthly and yearly performance and allows you to compare your current activity to past performance. The information is kept up to date, helping you take steps to increase your cash flow.

Highlights

Save time with automatic reconciliation. You could connect Sage Business Cloud Accounting to your bank account and set up automatic reconciliation. You could match every transaction in your account to activity within your Sage program, helping you save time organizing your bank accounts.

Keep track of your cash flow. Sage Business Cloud Accounting tracks your income, expenses and unpaid invoices, giving you a full picture of your finances. With up-to-date information on hand, you could better manage your monthly cash flow predictions and expectations.

Stay compliant. Sage Business Cloud Accounting helps you stay on top of tax rules and regulations, automatically calculating what tax you owe so you wouldn’t have to worry when submitting tax returns.

What’s missing?

No payroll or project tracking. The website for Sage Business Cloud Accounting does not mention any payroll services or project tracking capabilities with either tier of software. Sage offers a separate product for payroll management.

Head to head with QuickBooks

QuickBooks Sage Business Cloud Accounting
Invoice tracking and management Yes Yes
Payroll services included Yes No
Inventory management Yes No
 

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