The 10 Best Accounting Software Programs for 2024 Compared

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Our selection of the best accounting software highlights platforms known for their user-friendly interfaces, which ensure seamless navigation and operations.

Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, find the ideal business accounting software tailored to your needs. Say goodbye to complicated solutions and embrace straightforward accounting software instead.

FreshBooks - Best accounting software for small businesses


Zoho Books - Cost-effective accounting for SMBs


Xero - Feature rich accounting for established businesses


QuickBooks - Most popular one-stop-shop solution


TurboTax - Beginner-friendly tall-in-one tax solution


Wave - Free easy-to-use accounting platform


Bonsai - Simple financial management for creatives


Sage - Solves complex problems for enterprises


Melio - Free iOS payment management system


Oracle NetSuite - First-grade business management platform


Top 10 Accounting Software

  1. FreshBooksBest for Small Businesses & Self-Employed
  2. Zoho BooksBest for Retailers
  3. XeroBest for Multiple Users
  4. QuickBooksBest for Tracking Profits
  5. TurboTaxBest for Tax Filing
  6. WaveBest Free Accounting Solution
  7. BonsaiBest for CRM Needs
  8. SageBest for Advanced Inventory Management
  9. MelioBest for Payment Processes & Payroll
  10. NetSuiteBest for Larger Companies’ Accounting Needs

The Best Accounting Software Tools Reviewed

To provide you with a comprehensive review of the top 10 accounting software solutions we’ve meticulously evaluated each provider against a set of criteria.

Our assessment focuses on features, prices, usability, automation, third-party reviews of other small businesses, and more. To discover more about how we select featured products, see our “How We Choose” section further down the page.

1. FreshBooks – Best for Small Businesses

FreshBooks Logo

Best For Small Businesses
Free Trial Yes, 30 days free trial
Price From Starting from $19/month
Top 3 Features Customizable Invoice Generation, Time Tracking, Expense Tracking
Why We Picked It

FreshBooks is a popular small business accounting software thanks to its user-friendly interface, simplifying invoicing and bookkeeping.

It offers time-tracking features and is suitable for small businesses, freelancers, and contractors. You can easily customize your Chart of Accounts, create spending categories, and generate analytical reports.

  • Invoice Generator: Create professional-looking invoices in seconds, add your company’s logo and colors, personalize the email with the invoice link, and send it to your clients in seconds.
  • Payment Flexibility: FreshBooks supports small businesses in taking credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express) and ACH. It also sends payment due date reminders automatically, saving you time tracking down payments from clients.
  • Expense Tracking: We enjoy the simplicity of FreshBooks expense tracking. This accounting software allows you to take receipt images, forward email receipts to your business accounts, and import expenses directly from your business bank account, eliminating the need for manual entry.
  • Project Management: Keep your team in sync, easily manage contractors, and quickly exchange critical business files with clients, stakeholders, and team members.
Pricing Plans

FreshBooks provides four subscription tiers designed for business scalability. It charges based on the number of clients and uses.

Plan Lite Plus Premium Custom
1 month $19/month $33/month $60/month Quote-based
1 year $205.20/year $356.40/month $648.0/month Quote-based
  • Lite: This plan is designed for freelancers or self-employed professionals who manage up to five clients.
  • Plus: This plan suits professionals or business owners with an extensive client capacity.
  • Premium: This plan is suitable for small business agencies with unlimited capacity for client management but with a few employees.
  • Custom plan: This plan is ideal for small firms with few employees.

        All FreshBooks plans include 100% security and customer support. However, you may have to pay for add-ons such as more team members, which cost $11/user/month, and payroll is charged at a customized rate for all membership tiers, starting at $40 plus $6/per person each month.

        You can test the product for free for 30 days before making a financial commitment.

        Who's It Best For?

        FreshBooks is the best small business accounting software thanks to it’s ease-of-use when it comes to basic accounting tasks, such as invoicing, expenditure tracking, and payment options.

        Pros pros

        • Clean, easy-to-navigate user interface (UI)
        • Fully customizable estimates, project proposals, and invoices
        • Permission-based access for your accounting team
        • Built-in time tracking and project profitability management

        Cons cons

        • Adding extra team members incurs an extra fee
        • Payroll is only available as an add-on and is expensive
        • Customer service could be better

        Read our full FreshBooks review

        2. Zoho – Best for Retailers

        Zoho Books Logo

        Best For Retailers
        Free Trial Yes, 14 days free trial and free plan
        Price From Starting from $15/month
        Top 3 Features Inventory Management, Financial Reporting, Proposals
        Why We Picked It

        Zoho Books is our preferred accounting software for retailers due to its feature-rich free plan and user-friendly layout. It is another excellent online accounting solution for accounts payable, helping to automate everything from client negotiations to invoicing and payroll.

        If you are a growing retailer wanting to offer your clients more payment choices and get paid faster, Zoho Books is the ideal accounting software for you.

        • Inventory Management: Quickly categorize your inventory using critical information such as SKUs, cost, and available stock. For even more information, you can generate detailed inventory reports and restructure your inventory correctly.
        • Reporting: Aggregate data from many places on the platform and use visuals to understand your business performance better. It also allows you to design custom report fields specific to your company.
        • Automatic Payment Reminder: Automating payment reminders lets you keep your business organized while being professional with your customers. Zoho has automated this process to keep your clients informed, eliminating the need for a manual approach.
        • Customization: For example, you can tailor the chart of accounts, invoices, and reports to your preferences. After you generate invoices from quotes in seconds, you can personalize and polish them with logos, brand colors, and fonts before sending them globally.
        • Multi-currency Transactions Support: Zoho Books allows you to create invoices, bills, and other transactions in multiple currencies and automatically converts them based on the exchange rates you select.
        Pricing Plans

        Zoho Books’ pricing balances affordability and functionality. It offers a free plan for life and five premium plans.

        Plan Free Standard Professional Premium Elite Ultimate
        1 month $0/month $20/month $50/month $70/month $150/month $275/month
        1 year $0/month $15/month $40/month $60/month $120/month $240/month
        • Free: This free plan is suitable for businesses with annual revenue of less than 50K USD. One limitation is that you can’t use Zoho Books’ add-on with it.
        • Standard: This is a basic plan that supports three users, allows you to manage up to 5,000 invoices, accepts payment gateways and journal template creation, enables transaction period locking, and supports ten custom financial report generators.
        • Professional: This plan is suitable for companies just beyond the startup stage. It supports five users and includes all the features in the Standard plan.
        • Premium: Supports ten users, all the features in the Professional plan, vendor portal, budgeting, 50 custom reports, dedicated customer support
        • Elite: For up to ten users, all the features in the Premium plan, advanced inventory control, unlimited custom reports, and multi-currency support
        • Ultimate: Maximum 15 users, all the features in the Elite plan, analysis and tracking of key financial metrics, customized reports and dashboards, and collaboration features.

        Zoho Books provides a 14-day free trial so you can test and see if it’s a suitable fit. Zoho only makes add-ons available to premium users.

        You can purchase add-ons such as Advanced auto-scans, which are $8 for 50 monthly scans across all plans, and Additional users are available for $2.50 per month.

        Who's It Best For?

        Small retailers can benefit from Zoho Books’ inexpensive pricing and feature-rich free plan.

        Pros pros

        • Custom estimates, proposals, and invoices with project details
        • Built-in time-tracking that greatly facilitates payroll runs
        • Wide variety of payment options and customizable payment reminders
        • Advanced inventory handling and automated purchase orders

        Cons cons

        • It can be difficult to integrate with non-Zoho apps
        • The highest plan only supports 15 users
        • Premium customer support at an added cost

        Read our full Zoho Books review

        3. Xero – Best for Multiple Users

        Xero logo

        Best For Multiple Users
        Free Trial Yes, 30 days free trial
        Price From Starting from $29/month
        Top 3 Features Unlimited User Access, Bank Reconciliation, Fraud Detection
        Why We Picked It

        Xero is our top choice for entrepreneurs and service-based organizations with several team members since it allows multiple users to access one login.

        It is straightforward to use even if you have no accounting experience, allowing you to manage everything from invoices and costs to payroll runs and projects without needing to engage an accountant.

        • Bank Reconciliation: Bank reconciliation simplifies keeping account balances and bank statements up to date and ensures that each business activity is documented and accounted for.
        • Inventory Management: As a sophisticated solution, Xero provides inventory handling with stock-level tracking, detailed inventory reports, and the option to add items to invoices with a single click.
        • Payroll Management: Set up recurring monthly payments for your employees, send payments in batches, and even integrate third-party payment systems into the financial accounting software.
        • Fraud Detection: Xero automatically checks every payment for fraud, allowing you to accept credit card payments without fear of scams or fraudulent charges.
        • Multiple User Support: Unlike other online accounting software such as FreshBooks and Zoho, Xero allows several users to log in concurrently and access the platform without restrictions.
        • Bank Integration: You can connect your business’s bank accounts to Xero to automate the entry of every bank transaction and keep track of every dollar moving in and out of your business.
        Pricing Plans

        Xero’s pricing plans ensure that your business accounting needs are met while offering opportunities for growth. Each plan is only accessible monthly, not annually.

        Plan Starter Standard Premium
        1 month $29/month $46/month $62/month
        • Starter: The Starter plan is designed for businesses with limited invoice needs. The plan allows you to send quotes and 20 invoices, reconcile bank transactions, and capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc, short-term cash flow, and business snapshots.
        • Standard: This plan is for businesses with unlimited invoice transactions. It comes with unlimited invoices, quotes, bills, bulk transactions, and short-term cash flow.
        • Premium: This plan also supports unlimited invoice creation and features everything in the Standard plan, plus the ability to use multiple currencies.

        You can explore Xero’s features during the 30-day free trial.

        Who's It Best For?

        Xero is ideal for firms that need collaboration among teammates or the services of several people to access accounting software.

        Pros pros

        • Allows multiple users
        • Excellent expense tracking capabilities
        • Wide variety of payment options
        • Advanced support for third-party applications

        Cons cons

        • No money-back guarantee
        • Limited features for large business
        • Lack of free plan
        • Live chat comes with terms and conditions
        • Multi-currency support is only available on higher tiers

        Read our full Xero review

        4. QuickBooks – Best for Tracking Profits

        QuickBooks Logo

        Best For Tracking Profits
        Free Trial Yes, 30 days free trial
        Price From Starting from $15/month
        Top 3 Features Expense Tracking, Tax Filing, Project Profitability
        Why We Picked It

        As one of the most popular accounting software, QuickBooks allows you to connect and sync all of your business tools, making it simple to track all profits and spending in one spot.

        You can also use the QuickBooks Online mobile app to take images of receipts quickly, and the accounting solution will match the receipt to an existing bank transaction.

        • Custom Invoice Creation: QuickBooks lets you create personalized invoices, enter billable hours, and track each invoice in real-time.
        • Tax Management: Automatic tax computations are completed each quarter, so you’ll know precisely how much to set aside. In addition, you will have all of the necessary documentation on hand, ensuring that you are well-prepared for tax filing.
        • Project Profitability: Compare the cost of individual projects to their income. This allows you to examine the profit margins of all active projects at a glance and see which clients are making you the most revenue.
        • Ecommerce Management: QuickBooks automatically imports data from your connected ecommerce store to ensure that your financial transactions are tracked and reported.
        Pricing Plans

        QuickBooks provides monthly pay-as-you-go pricing options in four tiers.

        Plan Simple Start Essentials Plus Advanced
        1 month $15/month $30/month $45/month $100/month
        • Simple Start: This plan supports only one user and one sales channel connection, allowing you to manage invoices and payments, general reports, receipt capture, manage bills, deduct sales tax, and mileage tracking.
        • Essentials: This plan supports three users and includes everything from the Simple Start plan, enhanced reports, multiple currencies, and employee time addition.
        • Plus: Here, you can add five users and include all the Essential plan features, including inventory management, project profitability, and financial planning.
        • Advanced: This is the highest plan, and it supports twenty-five users. It includes everything in the Plus plan plus fixed assets auto-tracking, data sync with Excel, workflow automation, data restoration, and custom access controls.

        QuickBooks price plan supports no minimum contract period and plans that can be canceled anytime. Its price plans include free mobile apps, QuickBooks support, and app integrations.

        While it doesn’t offer a free plan, it offers a 30-day free trial and 30 days of free Live Assisted Bookkeeping.

        Who's It Best For?

        QuickBooks is a solid bookkeeping program for small business owners that want more insight into profit and spend magins.

        Pros pros

        • Customizable invoice templates
        • Automatic late payment reminders
        • Custom rules for expenses and categorization
        • Encrypted cloud storage for all your crucial business files
        • Inventory tracking with real-time insights
        • Manages accounts payable and accounts receivable

        Cons cons

        • The payroll option is available at an extra free
        • Limitations regarding the number of users
        • Cash flow insight is not available for the basic plan
        • Lack of forever free plan

        Read our full QuickBooks review

        5. TurboTax – Best for Tax Filing

        Turbotax Logo

        Best For Filing Taxes
        Free Trial Free until the first tax filing
        Price From Custom, $129/tax filing
        Top 3 Features Tax Prep, Tax Filing, IRS Audit Prep
        Why We Picked It

        TurboTax is not a standalone accounting service but tax software with a combination of human professional assistance for accuracy. You’ll have the option of totally outsourcing tax filing to an expert, doing taxes with the help of a professional, or doing everything yourself using the program.

        • Free Audit: TurboTax provides free one-on-one audit help annually, so you’ll be fully prepared for an IRS audit.
        • Deduction Finder: Compare over 350 tax deductions and credits to ensure you receive the maximum tax refund possible.
        • Accurate Tax Calculation: You may be confident that your tax calculations will be 100% accurate and completed correctly. Otherwise, TurboTax will pay any applicable IRS penalties.
        • Data Security: TurboTax implements security features such as multi-factor authentication, biometric support, auto email notifications, data encryption, and login activity.
        • Expert Guidance: When you choose TurboTax Live Assisted Deluxe or TurboTax Live Full Service, you will be given a local tax expert who will provide you with unique insight tailored to your specific case. This expert will work with you to get every dollar you deserve and complete your taxes correctly.
        Pricing Plans

        Turbotax is a tax filing software that provides basic functionality for free. This means you may try out its interface and in-app features before committing to a membership because you only pay when you file.

        Plan Do your own taxes Assisted Full Service
        Custom $0-$129 $89-$219 Starting from $129
        • Do your own taxes – This plan is designed for individuals or solo businesses that can handle their taxes independently without external assistance from Turbotax. With this plan, you may get 100% accurate calculations with Intuit AI assistance, a minimum refund guarantee, and easy scan and upload.
        • Assisted – This plan is available to people who need expert assistance to guide them as they file their taxes. It features everything in the previous tier, with expert approval, unlimited help from real tax experts, specialist review, and support.
        • Full Service – This full expert service plan takes your hands off the taxing processes. It is suitable for realtors managing many properties and would love to focus on other business processes while experts manage their tax processes for them.

        Turbotax pricing is not tied to a monthly subscription but is based on a pay-as-you-file process.

        Who's It Best For?

        TurboTax is ideal for individuals and sole proprietors needing assistance filing their taxes correctly. Businesses that need more funding for an in-house accountant may use TurboTax experts to help them with their business tax processes.

        Pros pros

        • Outsourced, assisted, and DIY tax filing options
        • Free Live Intuit AI Support for all your questions
        • A 100% accuracy guarantee
        • Free yearly one-on-one audit prep

        Cons cons

        • It doesn’t support invoicing and time tracking
        • Best suited for individual tax handling
        • A bit pricey compared to competitors
        • It may struggle to handle complex business tax issues

        Read our full TurboTax review

        6. Wave – Best Free Accounting Tool

        Wave Logo

        Best For Free Accounting
        Free Trial There is no trial but a free plan
        Price From Starting from $16/month
        Top 3 Features Professional Invoice Creation, Payment Tracking, Tax Filing
        Why We Picked It

        Wave is one of the best free accounting software tools on the market. Its purpose is to be accounting software for small businesses, and it has an intuitive, user-friendly dashboard with step-by-step tutorials for managing your business’s money.

        Wave allows you to create unique invoices from professionally designed templates, provide your clients with different online payment options, track all bills and expenses, and perform monthly payroll runs in minutes.

        • Professional Advice Support: Wave offers 1:1 sessions where experienced accountants can coach or do the job for you, so you’ll be in good hands if you choose this provider.
        • Custom Branding: Create professional invoices with your brand logo and colors with Wave’s drag-and-drop functionality.
        • Wave Mobile App: Easily upload invoices while on the go with free accounting apps using a sleek design.
        • Unlimited Bookkeeping Records: Manually enter your bank transactions or link your bank account to Wave to streamline your bookkeeping procedure and ensure all information is available in one place.
        • Dashboard and Reporting: You can easily access key reports, such as profit and loss statements, and learn more about your business’s financial health.
        Pricing Plans

        Wave offers a free accounting and invoicing feature and a paid plan that supports more.

        Plan Starter Pro
        1 month $0/month $16/month
        1 year $0/year $170/year

        Starter – This plan supports startups that only need basic accounting solutions. It features unlimited invoicing, bookkeeping, bills, on-the-go invoicing via the Wave mobile app, and cash flow management.

        Pro – This advanced plan caters to growing businesses that want to go beyond basics and achieve more than invoicing while saving more time. It features all the Starter plan offers including the option to accept online payments at a discounted rate, auto-import bank transactions, digital capturing of unlimited receipts and track expenses, and automation of late payment reminders.

        For both the free and paid plan, accepting online payment incurs charges starting at 2.9% + $0.60 per credit card transaction.

        You can also get the Payroll add-on at $20 per month.

        Who's It Best For?

        Wave is perfect for sole traders, freelancers, and small enterprises that want a basic accounting system with additional features such as invoicing and double-entry accounting support – for free.

        Pros pros

        • Free invoicing and accounting functionalities
        • User-friendly dashboard that’s super easy to navigate
        • Hundreds of professional invoice templates to choose from
        • Simplified payroll and tax filing

        Cons cons

        • Only viable if you’re working with a few clients
        • It may not support all financial institutions
        • Lack of live chat support
        • The basic plan only supports one user

        Read our full Wave review

        7. Bonsai – Best for CRM Needs

        Bonsai Logo

        Best For CRM Needs
        Free Trial Yes, 7 days free trial
        Price From Starting from $21/month
        Top 3 Features Minimalistic Design, Integration with Zapier, QuickBooks, and Calendly, Automatic Budgeting
        Why We Picked It

        Bonsai is a robust accounting program that allows you to easily manage anything from customer relationship management (CRM) to accounting tasks like invoicing and cost monitoring.

        The interface is fundamental and intuitive, allowing you to manage every financial aspect of your business, even if you’ve never used accounting or bookkeeping software.

        • Numerous Templates: In addition to email templates, Bonsai offers a template for virtually every aspect of your business, including proposals, quotes, contracts, invoices, briefs, and tax forms.
        • Built-in Time Tracker: It allows your staff to convert hours spent into invoices with a single click, saving your accountant hours comparing timesheets and confirming invoices for accuracy.
        • Team Collaboration: Bonsai’s fully integrated project management allows you to invite collaborators to your projects, assign tasks, and communicate seamlessly.
        • Bookkeeping: Tasks like spending tracking, tax projections, sales tax, and profit and loss tracking are automated to assure the accuracy of your bookkeeping.
        • Client Management: Bonsai simplifies client management by organizing customer information, tracking contact history, and scheduling follow-up reminders, resulting in simple client interactions using the client portal.
        Pricing Plans

        Bonsai provides three pricing levels to meet various business demands. Its pricing model is based on feature differences.

        Plan Starter Professional Business
        1 month $25/month $39/month $77/month
        1 year $21/month $32/month $66/month
        • Starter: This plan is designed for freelancers and contractors just starting out. It features all templates, unlimited clients & projects, invoicing & payments, proposals & contracts, scheduling, tasks & time tracking, client CRM, forms & questionnaires, and expense tracking.
        • Professional: This plan is suited for a growing business, and it includes everything in the Starter plan with branding, workflow automation, branded client portal, unlimited scheduling events, and integration with QuickBooks, Calendly, & Zapier.
        • Business: This plan is suited for small businesses and agencies. It includes everything in the Professional plan plus resource planning & scheduling, profitability management, subcontractor management, and premium customer support.

        There are two ways to get started with Bonsai for free: first, use its 7-day free trial, and second, take advantage of Bonsai’s first two months of free service when you sign up for a yearly subscription.

        Who's It Best For?

        Bonsai is suitable for small enterprises that need basic company administration software for accounting, project, and customer management.

        Pros pros

        • Best CRM and accounting software in one
        • Greatly speeds up the client onboarding process
        • Features time-tracking and project management tools
        • Offers hundreds of templates

        Cons cons

        • Contract templates can’t be fully customized
        • Tax handling is available at a fee
        • Large businesses may need advanced features
        • Starter plan doesn’t support removing Bonsai branding from invoices

        Read our full Bonsai review

        8. Sage – Best for Business Accounting & Advanced Inventory Management

        Sage Logo

        Best For Business Accounting & Advanced Inventory Management
        Free Trial Yes, 30 days free trial
        Price From Starting from $11/month
        Top 3 Features Debtors Manager, Bank Reconciliation, Accountants Network
        Why We Picked It

        We consider Sage to be an advanced inventory accounting software that supports scalability. It is a tool designed for accountants, with features that automate most of the work, minimize the chances of human error, and save valuable time.

        One of Sage’s key features is AutoEntry, which lets you scan bank statements, individually or in bulk, to minimize errors and save work hours.

        • Payroll Automation: It automatically calculates all deductibles, including taxes, insurance, and PTO, so you don’t have to spend a week each month double-checking every invoice to guarantee the salaries are exact.
        • Sage Accountants Network: This is extremely useful for single entrepreneurs and startups that cannot afford to engage a full-time accountant but need to ensure that all financial aspects of their firm are handled.
        • Multiple Payment Options: Sage makes it easy to be paid on time by providing a wide range of payment methods to your clients, including credit and debit cards, vouchers, and real-time online payments.
        • Debtors Manager: Stay on top of late payments by conducting a thorough analysis of who owes you money, how much, and when.
        • Advanced Inventory: After each transaction, your goods’ amount and actual worth are automatically computed. This reduces time spent manually updating and helps you avoid errors.
        Pricing Plans

        Sage offers two price options, which are based on the number of users and features.

        Plan Accounting Start Accounting Standard
        1 month $11/month $22/month for 2 users – price changes with increased number of users
        1 year $132/year $264/year for 2 users
        • Accounting Start – This plan is suitable for solopreneurs who manage their business themselves, as this plan only allows one user access. The plan features the ability to work anywhere, quick invoice creation, and finance tracking.
        • Accounting Standard – This plan is best for growing agencies that have team members or collaborators to ensure smooth business operations. This standard plan includes everything with the Start plan plus the ability to add up to 5 users, bookkeeping, VAT calculations, digital receipt capturing, and more flexibility.

        Sage pricing, together with its features, is scalability-focused. However, big businesses may pay more extra fees to access advanced features as their team members increase.

        Who's It Best For?

        Sage is best for growing businesses that need advanced inventory tracking functionalities with in-depth accounting solutions.

        Pros pros

        • Best self-employed accounting software
        • Saves a ton of valuable time via AutoEntry
        • Lets you create fully customized invoices with service descriptions
        • Facilitates payroll run by automatically calculating all deductibles

        Cons cons

        • It can be difficult to set up
        • AutoEntry is only available on the highest tier
        • Advanced accounting features imply an extra fee
        • Lack of forever free plan
        • The basic plan supports only one user

        Read our full Sage review

        9. Melio – Best for Payment Processes & Payroll

        Melio Logo

        Best For Payment Processes & Payroll
        Free Trial Yes, Start for free
        Price From There is no monthly plan, but transaction fees
        Top 3 Features Invoicing, Payment Processing, Custom Payment Approval
        Why We Picked It

        Melio is an online payment solution that makes it easy to pay your employees, create and send professional invoices to your clients, and keep track of all payables and receivables.

        What’s excellent about Melio is that it seamlessly integrates with bookkeeping programs like Xero and Quickbooks, allowing you to connect your clients’ accounts and eliminate double data entry.

        • Payment Flexibility: Melio allows you to pay and be paid precisely as you want. You or your clients can use any of the payment methods it accepts to make your preferred payment.
        • Seamless Synchronization: You can connect accounting software to eliminate duplicate data entry and simplify reconciliation. Once there is integration, Melio will continue automatically updating vendors, bills, payments, and your accounting software.
        • Permission Controls: You can assign roles and permissions for your team and digitize your approval workflow.
        • Payment Security: Melio not only makes payments more manageable for your clients but also provides payment protection. It can help avoid bounced checks, chargebacks, forgeries, and ACH returns.
        • Unlimited Users: Melio is specifically intended to manage payments and allows unlimited users to access a single account. This facilitates easy team cooperation for productivity.
        Pricing Plans

        Melio is free to use and offers transparent transaction fees. However, Melio charges you for each transaction, depending on the transaction option.

        See the list below for Melio’s transaction charges:

        • Mail check — $1.50 (first two are free)
        • Pay by card — $2.9%
        • Instant transfer — 1.5% (up to $50)
        • Fast ACH bank transfer — $1% (up to $30)
        • Fast check — $20
        • International payments — $20 (flat fee)
        Who's It Best For?

        Melio is a great option for small business owners who work with a handful of clients who rely on ACH Bank transfer as their payment method, as Melio supports free bank transfers.

        Pros pros

        • Entirely free for ACH bank transfers
        • No sign-up fee for your clients
        • Built-in payment tracking
        • Natively integrates with your client’s Xero and QuickBooks accounts

        Cons cons

        • It can get expensive if you’re working with international clients
        • The system focuses mainly on payment
        • May not be able to handle large business needs
        • Only supports one currency, the USD
        • International payments attract more charges

        Read our full Melio review

        10. NetSuite – Best for Larger Companies’ Accounting Needs

        Oracle NetSuite Logo

        Best For Larger Companies’ Accounting Needs
        Free Trial No
        Price From Custom-based
        Top 3 Features Task Automation, Managing Payables and Receivables, Multiple Payment Option
        Why We Picked It

        Oracle NetSuite is an excellent advanced accounting software with endless features to enhance operations and customer satisfaction. It offers full enterprise resource planning that helps companies monitor their business, automate administrative tasks, enhance productivity, and improve their bottom line.

        The NetSuite Cloud Accounting software is designed to help improve financial control, close deals faster, and easily handle every financial aspect of your business. This accounting software greatly simplifies recording business transactions, managing payables, collecting taxes, and generating financial reports.

        • Automation: Automate the menial, repetitive accounts payable tasks, such as creating new journal entries or reconciling account statements.
        • Fixed Asset Management: Easily manage accounts payable and control the full lifecycle of depreciating and non-depreciating assets while eliminating the need for manually entering everything in spreadsheets.
        • Multiple Payment Support: NetSuite supports a variety of bank payments and payment processing solutions, making it easy to invoice your clients for the completed work and reduce the waiting times for outstanding invoices.
        • Reporting & Analytics: NetSuite provides real-time data to see and monitor your business’s financial performance across all busines functions. The reports and analytics make it easy for you to get the data you need to make quick decisions.
        • Intuitive UI: Everything is neatly organized in a clean, slightly dated UI, so you’ll have real-time access to all the data you need to make informed business decisions and manage your cash flow.
        Pricing Plans

        Oracle NetSuite charges its services based on your business-specific needs. Your total annual subscription includes the main platform, optional modules, and the number of users.

        In addition, you will need to start with a one-time implementation which comes at a fee. You can contact Oracle NetSuite’s sales team to understand the cost of maintaining your business and start enjoying its feature-rich services.

        Who's It Best For?

        As a comprehensive enterprise resource planning tool, NetSuite is a solid choice for enterprise businesses seeking accounting software that can support their business with other business operation tools and also support scalability.

        Pros pros

        • Advanced automations
        • Fully customizable
        • Excellent ERP software
        • Variety of payment processing solutions

        Cons cons

        • The plethora of customization options can be confusing
        • No free trial
        • The price offer could be expensive
        • Steep learning curve

        Read our full NetSuite review

        The Best Accounting Systems Compared

        Our accounting software comparison allows you to better understand exactly what each solution excels at and choose the one that’s the best fit for your business:

        Software Best For Free Trial Starting Price Top Features
        FreshBooks Small Businesses Yes, 30 days free trial $19/month Customizable Invoice Generation, Time Tracking, Expense Tracking
        Zoho Books Retailers Yes, 14 days free trial and free plan $15/month Inventory Management, Financial Reporting, Proposals
        Xero Multiple User Businesses Yes, 30 days free trial $29/month Unlimited User Access, Bank Reconciliation, Fraud Detection
        QuickBooks Tracking Profits Yes, 30 days free trial $15/month Expense Tracking, Tax Filing, Project Profitability
        TurboTax Filing Taxes Free until the first tax filing Custom, $129/tax filing Tax Prep, Tax Filing, IRS Audit Prep
        Wave Free Invoicing There is no trial but a free plan $16/month Professional Invoice Creation, Payment Tracking, Tax Filing
        Bonsai CRM Needs Yes, 7 days free trial $21/month Minimalistic Design, Integration with Zapier, QuickBooks, and Calendly, Automatic Budgeting
        Sage Business Accounting & Advanced Inventory Management Yes, 30 days free trial $11/month Debtors Manager, Bank Reconciliation, Accountants Network
        Melio Payment Processes & Payroll Yes, Start for free There is no monthly plan, but transaction fees Invoicing, Payment Processing, Custom Payment Approval
        NetSuite Larger Companies’ Accounting Needs No Custom-based Task Automation, Managing Payables and Receivables, Multiple Payment Option

        How We Review and Test Accounting Products

        To provide our readers with accurate and well-informed recommendations, we test the most popular accounting products on the market to find the best options for you. Our methodology consists of the following criteria:

        • Features: We examine the features of each accounting software to determine what capabilities are offered- such as creating, editing, and deleting transactions.
        • Compliance: We evaluate accounting software based on whether it offers local compliance when it comes to payroll, taxes, documentation, and more.
        • Bank Reconciliation: We test the reconciliation process to ensure transactions match bank statements accurately.
        • Multi-Currency Support: We verify the accuracy of currency conversions and transactions in multi-currency environments.
        • User Experience: We get hands-on with each product and act as a new user, testing each platform to gain understanding if the platform is easy to use or not.
        • Reporting and Documentation: We verify the accuracy of financial reports generated by the software such as balance sheets and income statements.
        • Integrations: We evaluate the integrations of each piece of software to determine how well it fits in with other key pieces in a business’s software stack, and whether its functionality can be expanded as required.
        • Audit Trails: We ensure the software maintains comprehensive audit trails for tracking changes made to financial data.

        What is Accounting Software?

        Accounting software is a digital tool designed to streamline businesses’ financial processes. It automates accounting processes such as recording transactions, generating invoices, managing clients, and preparing financial statements.

        The top accounting software organizes data in a centralized system, facilitating efficient bookkeeping, tracking expenses, and managing budgets. It often offers features like payroll capabilities, tax preparation, and financial statements and analysis. Accounting tools help businesses maintain accurate financial accounts, comply with regulations, and make informed decisions.

        Overall, comprehensive accounting software enhances productivity, reduces errors, and provides insights into financial performance, making it an essential tool for effective financial management.

        Benefits of Using Top Accounting Software

        The benefits of using the best software for accounting are countless for a business seeking a hands-off way to manage its financial processes accurately.

        Here are some of the benefits of using accounting software:

        • Accurate Financial Reporting: Accounting software provides quick financial data gathered from several sources to provide insights into your company’s financial health. This report then assists you in making sound financial decisions while adhering to regulatory requirements.
        • Workflow Automation: Business finance management usually involves manually examining multiple data entries and documents. However, using accounting software helps automate repetitive tasks, saving time, reducing human error, and saving costs.
        • Data Accessibility: Gone are the days of paperwork that limit access to information only to a physical location. With the invention of accounting software using cloud-based data-saving methods, you can access financial data from anywhere with an internet connection. This method has improved remote work, team cooperation, and corporate production.
        • Business Management Tools Integration: With accounting software, you can integrate with other useful business tools such as inventory management, payment processors, and CRM systems or work in real time with experts like accountants and tax specialists.

        Accounting Software Features and Capabilities

        All online bookkeeping software includes the same basic features to ensure compliance with regulations and local tax laws. These include:

        General Ledger Management
        • Centralizes all financial transactions.
        • Tracks income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.
        • Facilitates double-entry bookkeeping, ensuring balanced accounts.
        • Supports journal entries, adjustments, and reconciliations.
        Accounts Payable and Receivable
        • Manages outgoing payments to vendors and incoming payments from customers.
        • Automates invoice creation, sending, and tracking.
        • Tracks outstanding receivables and payables, aiding in cash flow management.
        • Offers payment reminders and aging reports to ensure timely collections and payments.
        Payroll Processing
        • Automates calculation of employee wages, including deductions and benefits.
        • Ensures compliance with tax regulations and labor laws.
        • Generates pay stubs, tax forms, and direct deposit files.
        • Tracks employee hours, overtime, and leave balances.
        Financial Reporting and Analysis
        • Produces essential financial statements such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
        • Provides customizable reports for detailed financial analysis.
        • Offers real-time insights into financial health and performance.
        • Supports audit trails and compliance reporting, aiding in regulatory adherence.

        To learn more, check out our guide on the 8 steps of the accounting cycle.

        Which Software is Mostly Used for Accounting?

        Accounting software is used by different organizations depending on their needs. As a result, most accounting software is popular and distinct due to the solutions it offers and the industries it best serves.

        For example, FreshBooks is one of the most popular accounting software programs on the market. Its primary appeal is its accessibility and usage. Similarly, Wave and Melio are popular free accounting software options for small firms needing a basic accounting solution.

        What Types of Accounting Software Are There?

        While many accounting software exist, each falls in a specific software type. Below is the type of accounting software.

        Cloud-based accounting

        Cloud-based accounting – This includes accounting software that is available over the web and not locally. They facilitate easy accessibility of your finance data anywhere and on any device once there is internet. Most modern accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks, NetSuite, and others fall into this category.

        General accounting software

        General accounting software – This type of accounting software handles the basics of business finance management, such as expense and income tracking and account balancing.

        Payroll accounting software

        Payroll accounting software – The payroll accounting software handles tracking of employee paychecks and taxes.

        Inventory management software

        Inventory management software – Sage is an example of an accounting software with strong features in Inventory management. Product-focused businesses usually need accounting software with strength in inventory management to help them track stock counts in real time.

        Invoicing accounting software

        Invoicing accounting software – This type makes creating and sending professional invoices easy and may support unlimited invoicing. This software suits service-based businesses focusing more on invoicing than other finance activities. Wave is a good example of an invoicing accounting software.

        Free vs Paid Software for Accounting

        Free accounting software can be a cost-effective solution for small businesses or those with limited budgets to manage their financial needs. Often, free accounting software includes basic features which may limit customization. Paid accounting software often offers advanced features like unlimited user access, profitability management, tax management, advanced inventory, and more. They also provide dedicated customer support, regular software updates, and enhanced security features.

        However, it is vital to understand the differences between free and paid accounting software before selecting one. For a comprehensive overview of the best accounting software options, you can refer to our free accounting software.

        How to Choose The Best Online Accounting Software

        Choosing business accounting software is a critical decision-making process. As a result, you should consider several factors that align with your business operations before choosing one. Below are critical elements to consider when choosing business accounting software.

        BudgetIntegrationsCompatibilityEase of UseScalabilityUser LimitationData SecurityAccountant's Guidance

        Compare the prices of different solutions with their features. This doesn’t mean looking at the price tags of different subscription plans side by side. You also need to consider the value you’re getting for your money regarding features and functionalities you’ll have access to and any additional fees that may apply to every transaction. Then, evaluate those features with your business needs while you consider your budget.

        Managing business financial data requires data availability in one platform. That’s why your new small business accounting tools must integrate with the software you’re already using. Otherwise, you’d have to waste a ton of valuable time on manual, double data entry. Consider the integration support the software offers.

        Carefully check what devices and operating systems the software is compatible with. For example, the best accounting software for Mac might not be compatible with Windows or might not offer a mobile application.

        It’s no use paying hundreds of dollars for accounting software if you never use it because it’s too complex. That’s why you should always watch the videos on the provider’s website or request a demo before buying software. Seeing the program in action will give you a better idea of how easy or difficult it will be to use in daily business.

        Accounting software for small business owners isn’t something you will use for a month; it’s a long-term investment. Based on your projected growth, you should look for a solution that will grow with you and your business in terms of users, features, and more.

        Small business accounting software often limits the number of users you can add to your account to help with security. This isn’t something business owners can afford to overlook, especially if you’re planning on running payroll through the software since you’ll need to add every employee to allow them to track billable hours and convert their timesheets to invoices. So, carefully read through the limitations of different pricing plans, as they should clearly state how many users can be added to the account based on your tier.

        Evaluate how the software stores data, its security measures and standards to ensure your financial data is safe.

        Before you choose a particular accounting software, seek your accountant’s view, as they may have a specific platform they’re comfortable with. Also, their experience may help you choose accounting software that best suits your business needs.


        What software do most accountants use?

        What is the easiest bookkeeping software to use?

        Who uses accounting software?

        Is accounting software secure?

        Can you manage expenses and bills with accounting software?

        What is the best software tool for bookkeeping?

        John Iwuozor
        Tech Writer
        John Iwuozor
        Tech Writer

        John Iwuozor is a writer at Techopedia with over three years of experience and expertise covering topics on HR, business software, IT security, and finance for small and medium-sized businesses. His work has been featured on reputable platforms like Forbes Advisor and EsecurityPlanet. Leveraging his background in mathematics and data analysis, he specializes in delivering original and high-quality content with a keen eye for detail and accuracy.