If you are a busy small business owner or professional freelancer searching for the best accounting software, don’t just pick the first solution that you can find (read: there are plenty of Quickbooks alternatives out there). There are many great accounting solutions to choose from that are feature-rich, easy-to-use, and in some cases, completely free.
Below is a roundup of the best accounting software solutions in 2021 for freelancers and small business owners who have little time and money to invest in them. Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution; each platform offers a different set of benefits and features. So, when you are trying to figure out which one will be most suitable, you need to decide which of the following criteria is most important to you and your business:
- The price tag
- How easy it is to use
- Reporting capabilities
- Mobile access and mobile features
- Customer service
- Integration with third-party apps
While all of the options in this list score pretty high in these criteria, in the list below, we’ll highlight some of the biggest features and benefits of each accounting software platform.
5 Free Best Accounting Software Options for Small Business
Let’s start with the free small business accounting apps:
Wave is touted as “a free, online software alternative to Quickbooks,” which basically sums up the platform in a nutshell. This popular cloud-based accounting solution is specifically targeted to entrepreneurs, freelancers, consultants and small businesses with less than 10 employees. Wave offers an assortment of features, such as invoicing, credit card payments, accounting, and payroll, and it takes only a minute to sign up for an account.
PostBooks is another free open source accounting tool with all the standard features, such as a general ledger, accounts payable and receivable, invoicing, and bank reconciliation. It also sports a relatively easy-to-use interface. But what really sets the platform apart is its robust set of features that includes CRM, sales and inventory management. This is a good option for a growing b2b business that involves significant inventory and works with many suppliers.
Manager is simple to use and set up, and this free accounting program supports an impressive list of all the accounting features you could ever need… and then some. But, perhaps one of the biggest features that makes Manager stand out is that it supports multiple languages as well as local tax codes, local date formats, local currency formats, and country-specific tax reporting.
A powerful fully-featured, multi-user accounting system. For years, TurboCash has been touted as one of the world’s leading open source accounting software for small businesses. TurboCASH is available in 25 different languages and covers over 80 different local tax codes. When joining TurboCASH you become a part of a community that has over 100,000 members.
A personal and small business free open source application, GnuCash has been continuously upgraded and developed since it was first released in 1998. GnuCash is perfect for small business since it is designed to be easy to use, while still being powerful and flexible. It offers a full range of features including: double entry accounting, scheduled transactions, account tracking, statement reconciliation, and financial reporting.
Generate forms, invoices, quotes and orders in an instant, plus automate recurring transactions so you can easily send them by email or fax. It’s free version is for businesses with less than five employees.
Free online small business accounting that does not require desktop software. Designed specifically for non-accountants, QuickFile offers free tiers for small businesses while still delivering automatic invoicing, purchase receipt management, quotations and multi-currency support.
Cheap Accounting Software for Small Businesses and Freelancers
FreeAgent is best suited for professional freelancers and micro businesses. It supports a project management feature that allows you keep track of billable hours, as well as all the standard accounting features. What makes FreeAgent unique is that it offers unlimited users, clients, invoices, expenses and other functions for one low monthly price: $20 a month.
Cloud-based accounting software, FreshBooks, offers a clear, user-friendly interface. With a focus on making accounting doable- even for those who hate accounting- it has become one of the most popular platforms for small serviced-based businesses. It also sports a great, fully-featured mobile accounting app for both iOS and Android devices. The price is doable as well with packages starting as low as $19.95 a month.
Xero is another affordable alternative to QuickBooks Online for small businesses. This easy-to-use, cloud-based accounting software offers a wide assortment of features and integrates with many popular third-party apps. Packages start at an affordable $20 per month and includes features like invoicing, mobile apps, billing, expense reports and unlimited users.
Harvest offer allows users to easily track time spent on jobs, create and send professional invoices to their clients, and receive payments. You can also record expenses, store receipts, generate reports and connect an assortment of third-party apps including: Apps, Salesforce, and Basecamp. The platform has a limited free version, after that packages start at $12 a month.
Kashoo makes it simple to keep track of expenses, take pictures of receipts, and send invoices. Kashoo’s online accounting software also features double-entry bookkeeping, mobile apps, and collaboration features, so you can share your books with your bookkeeper, accountant, and business partners. The most cost-effective plan is a yearly subscription at $199. What makes Kashoo unique is that it offers users access to a dedicated expert who can help you set up features, such as payroll and payment processing.
So, there you have it, our roundup a of the best accounting software solutions in 2021 for freelancers and small business owners. Had any experience using the platforms in our best accounting software roundup? Let us know comments below.