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The Best Free Accounting Software For Small Businesses

These free accounting apps are safe, reliable, and easy to use, while providing enough features to support most small business bookkeeping requirements.

    Davina Ward
  • UPDATED

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

Accounting software doesn’t have to cost your business a fortune. In fact, there are lots of great free accounting software options out on the market. With free software, you can balance the books and keep a close eye on your finances without spending a dime.

What’s the catch? Unfortunately, not all free accounting software is created equally. Limitations, no advanced features, and hard-to-navigate interfaces are just a few of the issues that can plague free software. The good news is that we’ve weeded through the options to find the best free accounting software. We’ve looked at features, usability, user reviews, and other factors to help you find the accounting solution that works for your business.

Keep reading to check out our top picks!

Learn More About Our Top Picks

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  • Best free bookkeeping software
  • Unlimited users
  • Integrates with Lendio for business funding
  • Best free bookkeeping software
  • Unlimited users
  • Integrates with Lendio for business funding

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  • Best overall free accounting software
  • Unlimited users
  • Positive user reviews
  • Best overall free accounting software
  • Unlimited users
  • Positive user reviews

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  • Best free accounting software for beginners
  • 5 users
  • Intuitive UI & financial insights
  • Best free accounting software for beginners
  • 5 users
  • Intuitive UI & financial insights

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  • Best scalable free accounting software
  • 1 user
  • Dozens of add-ons available
  • Best scalable free accounting software
  • 1 user
  • Dozens of add-ons available

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  • Best free accounting software for freelancers
  • 1 user
  • Strong proposal & contract features
  • Best free accounting software for freelancers
  • 1 user
  • Strong proposal & contract features

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  • Best free accounting software for invoicing
  • 1 user
  • Strong customer support & mobile app
  • Best free accounting software for invoicing
  • 1 user
  • Strong customer support & mobile app

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

The 6 Best Free Accounting Software

Free accounting software can be an affordable solution for small businesses. The best free accounting software options offer an enticing $0 price tag but should still be reliable, secure, and feature-rich. Our top choices include Wave, ZipBooks, Odoo, Sunrise, Zoho Books, and Fiverr Workspace.

1. Sunrise: Best Free Bookkeeping Software

Sunrise by Lendio



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Pros

  • Supports unlimited users
  • Good customer service
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Limited integrations
  • Lacks advanced features

Sunrise by Lendio (formerly Billy) is a great free option for businesses that want simple bookkeeping software without the bells and whistles (and high price tags!) of full accounting software. With Sunrise, you can be up and running in just minutes, performing tasks such as sending invoices to clients, managing expenses, and accepting online payments.

One unique feature of Sunrise is that you may qualify for additional funding opportunities through Lendio just by maintaining your books. And if your books become too time-consuming to manage? You can upgrade to Sunrise’s paid professional bookkeeping service, which offers extremely competitive pricing. Throw in support for unlimited users, good customer service, and positive online reviews, and it’s easy to see why Sunrise makes our cut.

Best Free Accounting Software

Sunrise Features

Businesses that need full accounting software with advanced features (such as inventory management) will need to seek out other software. However, businesses that want basic bookkeeping software with no limitations, an easy-to-use UI that’s perfect for beginners, and great customer service may find a winner in Sunrise. With Sunrise’s free self-service software, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited quotes and estimates
  • Expense tracking
  • Chart of accounts
  • Cash flow tracking
  • Journal entry
  • Tax support

Sunrise Pricing

Sunrise’s self-service software is completely free. If you need payment processing, Sunrise offers a pay-as-you-go plan of 3.55% + $0.30 for credit card transactions. You may also opt to upgrade to Sunrise Plus for $19.99/month, which offers lower processing fees, cash flow insights, and integrations with Square, Stripe, and PayPal.

You can also sign up for bookkeeping services with Sunrise. Pricing is based on your number of transactions per month and starts at $149/month.

Get Started With Sunrise by Lendio

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2. Wave: Overall Best Free Accounting Software

Wave



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Pros

  • Strong security features
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent feature set
  • No limitations on features

Cons

  • Poor customer support
  • Limited integrations
  • It doesn’t support multiple users

Wave is the free accounting software choice of over 3.5 million users. It stands out from the competition for its forever-free plan, which doesn’t have the limitations of other free programs. Additionally, this cloud-based software is easy to use and has a robust feature set that’s on par with many paid software options.

When using Wave, you’ll have access to customizable invoices and estimates, expense tracking, and bank reconciliation. You’ll also have access to journal entries, inventory lists, and a customizable chart of accounts. Despite a few shortcomings, Wave has received overall positive reviews from its users.

free accounting software

Wave Features

Unlike many other options you’ll find, Wave is truly forever free. You also won’t be held back with limitations on the number of invoices you receive or have to upgrade to access basic features. Wave offers one plan, which doesn’t have any setup fees, monthly fees, or hidden charges. With this free plan, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited, customizable invoices
  • Unlimited estimates
  • Recurring invoices and automatic payments
  • Unlimited bank and credit card connections
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • 12 reports

Wave Pricing

Although Wave is free to use, some of its paid add-ons may benefit your business. That includes credit card processing, which starts at 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. ACH bank payments are 1% per transaction. Wave also offers payroll services starting at $20/month plus $6/month per employee.

Additionally, you can sign up for Wave Advisors services for your tax and bookkeeping needs. Bookkeeping and payroll support start at $149/month, tax services start at $899/year, and you can purchase accounting and payroll coaching for a one-time fee of $229.

Get Started With Wave

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3. ZipBooks: Best Free Accounting Software For Beginners

ZipBooks



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Pros

  • Cloud-based software
  • Strong security features
  • Easy to use
  • Good customer support

Cons

  • Limited integrations
  • Some features limited on the free plan

ZipBooks is free accounting software designed by small business owners for other business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Automation is where ZipBooks truly stands out, combining a color-coded design with a strong feature set to simplify the accounting process.

With a free account from ZipBooks, you’ll be able to send invoices to customers, manage your contacts, and access business health scores. If you need additional features, ZipBooks offers several monthly membership plans. ZipBooks also stands out for excellent customer service and robust security features and has an excellent reputation among its users.

accounting software for free

ZipBooks Features

ZipBooks offers several plans, but for those that don’t want to pay a monthly fee, the free Starter plan includes:

  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited customers and vendors
  • Expense tracking
  • Connect to one bank account
  • Digital payments through Square or PayPal
  • Basic reporting

ZipBooks Pricing

The ZipBooks Starter plan is completely free. If you want access to more features, you can upgrade to one of ZipBooks’ paid subscriptions. For $15/month, you can sign up for the Smarter plan, which boasts additional features and automations, including scheduled recurring invoices, time tracking, and support for up to five team members. For $35/month, you can upgrade to the Sophisticated plan, which includes smart tagging, additional reports, and support for unlimited users.

Get Started With ZipBooks

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4. Odoo: Best Scalable Free Accounting Software

Odoo Accounting



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Pros

  • Open-source software
  • Customizable
  • Scalable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Poor customer support
  • It can be expensive to scale

Odoo is different from the other software on the list because it isn’t accounting software. Instead, it’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. While we could get technical about ERP, we’ll keep it simple: Odoo offers over 40 business applications, including Odoo Accounting. You can stick with just Odoo Accounting, or you can combine several different small business apps. One of the best things about Odoo is that the software is completely customizable to fit your business’s needs now and scalable to meet your needs in the future, too.

For this review, though, we’re focusing solely on Odoo Accounting. Odoo comes with features you’d expect from small business accounting software, such as a chart of accounts, invoicing, expense tracking, accounts payable, and basic inventory. Additionally, the software is easy to use, and you can choose from web-hosted and on-premise installations, although this may affect your total monthly cost.

best free accounting software

Odoo Features

The cloud-hosted version of Odoo Accounting is free for a single user. It includes most features you’d expect from accounting software, including:

  • Invoicing
  • Expense tracking
  • Accounts payable
  • Journal entries
  • Budgeting
  • Fixed asset management
  • Basic reporting

Odoo Pricing

Odoo Accounting for a single user is free. Additional apps, hosting, and users can be added for a monthly or annual subscription fee. Odoo apps start at $15/month, and integrations can be purchased starting at $45/month. You can also purchase Success Packs and implementation with a local partner.

Get Started With Odoo Accounting

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5. Fiverr Workspace: Best Free Accounting Software For Freelancers

Fiverr Workspace



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Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Strong mobile apps
  • Cloud-based software

Cons

  • Free plan limited to a single client
  • Limited integrations

Fiverr Workspace (formerly known as AND CO) was designed with the freelancer in mind. It isn’t full-fledged accounting software, but it offers plenty of basic tools that are beneficial to freelancers, microbusinesses, and independent contractors. Fiverr Workspace makes it easy to perform basic tasks, such as tracking expenses, managing contacts, sending invoices, and tracking time.

Fiverr Workspace offers a free plan, but unfortunately, limitations on this plan only allow you to bill a single client. If you need to invoice additional clients, you can upgrade to a paid subscription. If you aren’t a freelancer and instead operate a small business, you may need more tools than Fiverr Workspace offers. However, this management software offers several great features with an easy-to-use interface that simplifies freelancers’ accounting and bookkeeping tasks.

fiverr workspace dashboard

Fiverr Workspace Features

With the forever-free version of Fiverr Workspace software, a single user will have access to:

  • Branded invoicing for one client
  • Expense tracking
  • Time tracking
  • Basic reporting
  • Contracts and proposals
  • Project management tools

Fiverr Workspace Pricing

If you have more than one client, you must upgrade to the Unlimited plan. For $24 per month, you’ll be able to invoice unlimited customers. Pro users also get added features, such as non-branded invoicing and customizable contracts.

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6. Zoho Books: Best Free Accounting Software For Invoicing

Zoho Books



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Pros

  • Strong feature set
  • Advanced invoicing
  • Excellent customer support

Cons

  • Some advanced features only available with paid plans
  • Free plan limits invoices

Zoho Books offers everything you’d expect from accounting software, such as journal entries, charts of accounts, expense tracking, and financial reports. Where the software really shines, though, is in its invoicing. Zoho Books has 16 invoice templates and multiple customization options and automations to make invoicing more personalized and easier than ever.

Additionally, you’ll find that Zoho Books has an excellent public reputation and exceptional customer support. Though there are some limitations with the free plan (more on that in a minute), Zoho Books is an excellent choice for businesses that want strong accounting software comparable to QuickBooks Online without the monthly subscription fee.

Zoho Books Review

Zoho Books Features

Until recently, Zoho Books was only available as a paid subscription. The company has now added a free plan that’s ideal for businesses with revenues of $50,000 or less per year. Zoho Books’ free plan is made for a single user and includes:

  • 1,000 invoices per year
  • Expense tracking
  • Mileage tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Chart of accounts
  • Journal entries
  • Contractor management

Zoho Books Pricing

More invoices, additional users, and advanced features, such as project management, job costing, and budgeting, require a subscription to a paid plan. The free plan only includes email support, and access to text and phone support also requires a paid subscription. Plans start at $20/month. Zoho Books’ free plan is limited to one user plus one accountant; additional users cannot be purchased on this plan.

Get Started With Zoho Books

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Looking For One Of These Free Accounting Software Options?

There are many free accounting software options for small businesses, but not all of them pass muster.

To be one of the best, we expect free accounting software to be secure and reliable — meaning no spam and no excessive ads that make using the software near impossible. We also expect the software to have basic accounting features and a modern, easy-to-navigate UI.

The programs below didn’t meet these standards.

QuickBooks Online: Great Accounting Software But No Free Plan

QuickBooks Online is one of the top accounting software programs on the market, so why isn’t it included in our list? Quite simply, QuickBooks Online isn’t free. While it boasts many great accounting features, you will have to pay a monthly subscription fee to use this software. A free trial is available, though, if you want to give the software a spin. You can also check out some of the top QuickBooks Online alternatives to learn more about software programs that may be a good fit for your business.

SlickPie: Accounting Software That’s No Longer Available

SlickPie was an accounting solution for small business owners. Unlike some other programs that didn’t make the cut, we actually loved SlickPie. The software offered great features, a nice UI, and was 100% free. Unfortunately, SlickPie shut down its services on March 31, 2021, and is no longer available.

GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping: Limited Accounting Software With No Free Plan

GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping offers very inexpensive bookkeeping plans, so it’s easy to see how some people might think of this vendor when looking for free accounting software. However, GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping isn’t free — its smallest plan costs $4.99/month. Additionally, we do not recommend GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping. The software is incredibly limited, and the security is highly doubtful at best, with numerous data breaches reported in the past.

GnuCash: Decent But Outdated Accounting Software

GnuCash is a free, open-source personal and business accounting software platform. While GnuCash offers decent accounting features and receives fairly positive customer reviews, the UI is outdated. Furthermore, because the software is open-source, you also lose the benefits of the cloud, and the main form of customer support is just forums with other users.

TurboCASH: Accounting Software With Few User Reviews

Slightly more modern in design than GnuCash, TurboCASH is another free, open-source accounting solution. However, unlike GnuCash, TurboCASH has very few user reviews to legitimize this software. The fact that the software’s webpage shows up as “not secure” on my browser is also not very reassuring.

CloudBooks: Invoicing Software That Lacks Accounting Features

CloudBooks is an up-and-coming free invoicing software that often gets lumped into the list of “best free accounting software.” However, CloudBooks is not an accounting solution. The software offers some bookkeeping features, but it is actually a free invoicing program. To learn more about invoicing options, check out our top invoice software recommendations.

Akaunting: Newer Accounting Software To Keep An Eye On

Akaunting is another up-and-coming free accounting software program. The software looks promising and has a much more modern and user-friendly design than Gnu Cash and TurboCASH. However, there is still a very small number of reviews from actual users about this startup. As Akaunting grows, this software may become a real contender — only time will tell.

Choosing The Best Free Accounting Software For Your Business

Do an online search, and you’ll get inundated with free software options. Unfortunately, just because it’s free doesn’t mean that it will work for you. Some software isn’t reliable or secure, while others may be filled with ads or lack the features you need for your business. While you may want to save money, you don’t want to do so at the expense of your business’s security.

So how can you tell the difference between good free accounting software and scams?

Ask yourself:

  • Does the company offer robust security features, such as firewalls and data encryption?
  • Is the company transparent about its security policies?
  • Is there a history of data breaches or fraud?
  • Does the UI look like any random Joe pieced it together, or does it have a professional, modern appearance?
  • What do other customers say about the software on review sites, such as Trustpilot and Capterra?
  • What does the BBB say about the company?
  • Is the software updated regularly?
  • Has Merchant Maverick reviewed the software? (If so, we’ll take the guesswork out and let you know the full scoop on the software you’re looking into.)

If the software passes those questions, then odds are the software is not a scam. However, even if the software isn’t a “scam,” that doesn’t mean it’s worth your time.

The cost — or lack thereof, in the case of free software — shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when making your choice. Many free accounting options are good for the bank but not for the books. You want to make sure that the software is still worth your while as a business owner.

Here are the characteristics a good free accounting program will have:

  • A well-designed user interface
  • Good customer support
  • Useful features
  • Integrations

When Should I Upgrade To Paid Accounting Software?

free small business accounting software

Using free accounting software for as long as possible is perfectly fine. However, there comes a time when many businesses need more than what even the best free software has to offer. When that happens, it’s time to upgrade to paid software. So how do you know when it’s time to make the switch? Consider these reasons:

  • Advanced Features: If you want the more advanced features found with full accounting software, you’ll likely have to upgrade your free plan to a paid subscription or shop around for other paid options.
  • Customized Accounting: Whether you want a program specifically designed for your industry or a program that scales with your business, customization typically comes at a cost.
  • Improved Reporting: While most free software offers a handful of reports, a paid subscription is typically needed to access advanced reporting. Having that access could be necessary as your business grows, if you’re making big changes to your company, or when you seek funding from a lender.

If you find that your current free software is slow, outdated, or doesn’t offer the features you need, it’s time to consider your options. If other free programs just don’t fit your needs, it’s time to upgrade to paid software.

Unsure of where to start? Kick off your search with our picks for the best accounting software options for small businesses

Free Accounting Software FAQs

What is the best free accounting software for small businesses?

Wave is our pick for the best overall free accounting software for small businesses, and millions of small business owners agree. Wave is loaded with great accounting features typically reserved for paid software without pesky ads or limitations on its features. However, another one of the options on our list may be a better fit depending on your business’s needs.

What is the easiest accounting software to use?

ZipBooks is one of the easiest accounting software options on the market today. Even users with no prior accounting experience can balance the books, send invoices, and perform other accounting functions in no time using ZipBooks.

Is Wave Accounting actually free?

Wave is truly free with no strings attached. However, you will have to pay if you need to use Wave’s credit card processing or payroll services.

Is QuickBooks Online free?

QuickBooks Online is not free software. QuickBooks Online subscription plans start at $25/month, although discounts are usually offered for new users. You can also sign up for a 30-day free trial to test the software, but this typically makes you ineligible for any discounts.

Is there a free alternative to QuickBooks?

Wave is a great free alternative to QuickBooks. Wave boasts many of the same features as QBO without the monthly subscription cost. Zoho Books also recently added a free plan, and it offers a great feature set comparable to QuickBooks Online.

What is the best free accounting software for freelancers?

Fiverr Workspace offers a great free accounting software plan for freelancers and independent contractors. This free plan cuts out the advanced features you don’t need, leaving you with a simple way to perform critical business tasks, such as invoicing clients and tracking expenses.

In Summary: The 6 Best Free Accounting Software

  1. Sunrise by Lendio:
    • Best free bookkeeping software
    • Unlimited users
    • Integrates with Lendio for business funding
  2. Wave:
    • Best overall free accounting software
    • Unlimited users
    • Positive user reviews
  3. ZipBooks:
    • Best free accounting software for beginners
    • 5 users
    • Intuitive UI & financial insights
  4. Odoo Accounting:
    • Best scalable free accounting software
    • 1 user
    • Dozens of add-ons available
  5. Fiverr Workspace:
    • Best free accounting software for freelancers
    • 1 user
    • Strong proposal & contract features
  6. Zoho Books:
    • Best free accounting software for invoicing
    • 1 user
    • Strong customer support & mobile app
Davina Ward

Davina Ward

Expert Analyst & Reviewer
A New York native, Davina earned her BA in English from SUNY Geneseo in 2018. After graduating, she began her career as a freelance writing generalist before finding a niche writing about SaaS. Davina unironically enjoys testing and reviewing software on her free time but otherwise can be found oscillating between hobbies every few weeks or so — most recently, longboarding.
Davina Ward
View Davina Ward's professional experience on LinkedIn.

3 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Michael Magness

    I thank you for assembling your list of Accounting programs and advice for finding same. I do want to point out one thing, you mention Trustpilot as a source to trust for reviews. I recall reading on another site that they no longer used Trustpilot because the businesses being reviewed could pick & choose which reviews to keep & which to delete. This gives them the power to self review so to speak by deleting the negative ones.

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Michael!

      Thanks so much for your feedback, and the tip on Trustpilot. We actually have a (free) Trustpilot account for Merchant Maverick and have not found that to be true for us (maybe it’s different for paid accounts?). We have the capability of requesting more information from a reviewer to substantiate their claim if a review is in question, and then we can subsequently flag it for investigation, but ultimately, it’s up to Trustpilot as to whether the review is allowed or deleted. That has been our experience, but we’d love to know if others have had the experience you’ve shared. It sounds like there may be some loopholes in their review collection process if that’s the case!

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        Monica Gupta

        Nice Article, and very helpful I will recommend this to my clients.

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        Comments are closed.

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        The vendors that appear on this list were chosen by subject matter experts on the basis of product quality, wide usage and availability, and positive reputation.

        Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

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