TMCnet Feature
October 18, 2021

Top 7 Business Accounting Software Tools

  • Emerging digital tools such as accounting software are empowering the capabilities of entrepreneurs and small business owners in the US.
  • In 2021, business accounting software has evolved to the point where business owners can organize and manage their business’ finances effectively and with relative ease.
  • This article briefly reviews seven of the top business accounting software tools available on the US market.



Accounting software has significant potential to empower entreprepreneurs and small business owners in particular. This is crucial given that small businesses employ over 50 million people in the US economy (nearly half the country’s private workforce).

These emerging digital tools enable entrepreneurs to manage their own business finances effectively and efficiently, and offer features such as basic double-entry accounting, invoicing, payrolls, inventory tracking, and project budgeting, as well a variety of additional functions such as mobile capability, and user ‘dashboards’ that allow real-time monitoring of the business’ finances.

There are many accounting software programs available. Some programs offer all the basic accounting features that an entrepreneur or small business owner would require to manage their finances effectively. Other programs focus on specific accounting functions such as invoicing or inventory management. The Really Useful Information Company (TRUiC) emphasizes that utilizing accounting software that is aligned with a business’ unique needs can significantly improve the business’ efficiency and profitability for relatively little cost.

However, finding the most strategically beneficial software can be complicated and  time-consuming for entrepreneurs and business owners whose primary focus is on managing and operating their business. In this article we’ll briefly review seven of the top accounting software programs available in 2021 (see this link for more in-depth information on business accounting software).

Fresh Books

One of the most popular business accounting software programs, and is particularly useful for small and micro-sized businesses such as sole proprietorships and partnerships. Fresh Books offers a comprehensive package for all basic accounting functions, including:

  • double-entry ledger,
  • invoicing,
  • payrolls,
  • inventory tracking,
  • expense budgeting.

Fresh Books also supports mobile access, team collaboration through a multi-user function, and enables real-time tracking of inventory, as well as project incomes and expenses.

Crucially, Fresh Books is easy to use, so business owners don’t require high levels of technical or accounting expertise in order to get the full benefit from the software’s capabilities.

Fresh Books is also reasonably priced for the value it delivers, with the entry-level package costing $15p/month.

Sage 50cloud

Sage 50cloud focuses offers a full suite of accounting functions, but is particularly useful because of its complex inventory tracking and management capabilities. Some of the main features of Sage 50cloud include:

  • double-entry ledger,
  • payroll,
  • inventory tracking,
  • mobile access.

The features of Sage50cloud are sophisticated and highly customizable, which may be disadvantageous for smaller business owners with limited technical expertise.  A further consideration is that Sage 50cloud costs $50per month for the entry package, so it is perhaps best suited to businesses that are large enough to require this kind of specialized inventory software.

Xero

Xero offers a range of basic accounting features, and an even wider range of additional sets of more advanced functions that can be purchased as add-ons. The software has the advantage of enabling entrepreneurs to select and tailor the software to their specific business needs. Xero’s basic features include:

  • double-entry ledger,
  • payroll,
  • time tracking,
  • live support,
  • mobile access.

Xero is well-suited to small and micro-sized enterprises because of the comprehensiveness of its features. The standard package for Xero costs $60 per month.

Intuit (News - Alert) QuickBooks Online

Intuit QuickBooks Online is one of the best accounting software programs for small and micro-sized businesses. The comprehensiveness of QuickBooks Online’s features, and its ease of use, make it particularly well suited to the needs and capabilities of small business owners who need a simple way to organize and manage their business’ finances.

QuickBooks Online includes a comprehensive range of basic accounting features such as:

  • double-ledger accounting,
  • transaction and contact records,
  • payroll,
  • time tracking,
  • inventory tracking,
  • live support,
  • mobile access.

QuickBooks Online has one of the most comprehensive ranges of basic accounting features available. The pricing is, however, relatively more expensive than similar business accounting software, with the entry-level package costing $25p/month.

Wave

Wave offers a range of accounting features, with a particularly useful invoicing capability. The software also includes:

  • double-entry ledger,
  • mobile access,
  • inventory,
  • dashboard,
  • live support.

Wave is user-friendly,  and stands out for its invoice creation and management functions. This accounting software can be accessed for free,  but there are costs for payment processing. Payroll functions must also be purchased at a cost of $35p/month, plus $6p/month for each employee. Additional, more advanced features must be purchased at a cost of $19.

Zoho (News - Alert) Books

Zoho Books is another comprehensive and user-friendly accounting software program. There are three tiers available, though the first tier contains most of the basic accounting features that smaller businesses would typically require. It’s features include:

  • double-entry ledger,
  • payroll (first tier only allows for up to 50 employees),
  • mobile access,
  • live support.

Two of Zoho Books’ main strengths are that it offers business owners a diverse selection of payment capabilities, as well as a diverse selection of mobile access features. Zoho’s pricing is competitive, with the three packages ranging from $9 to $29p/month.

Sunrise

Sunrise is one of the most user-friendly business accounting software programs on the market.

Its basic features include:

  • double-entry ledger,
  • dashboard,
  • payroll,
  • mobile access,

Sunrise is potentially well-suited to independent contractors and small and micro-sized enterprises. The software lacks an inventory tracking feature, this might not be relevant for many types of service-related business. Sunrise can be used for free, and has additional expert support at a cost of $149p/month.

Final thoughts

The best accounting software is the software most closely aligned to a business’ unique context and needs. Strategic research into the business accounting software market is crucial for finding the software that will advance an entrepreneur’s vision for their business.



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