Easy Accounting Software For Small Businesses
If you’re reading this, you’re in the market for a simple accounting solution. Maybe you don’t know anything about accounting and need a program that’s easy to learn. Or maybe you’ve been using Sage or QuickBooks Desktop Pro and are tired of the confusing accounting lingo.
The good news is that accounting doesn’t have to be difficult, and neither does finding easy accounting software. Thanks to the Cloud, there are plenty of full-featured, capable accounting programs that are easy to use and can help small business owners gain control of their business’s finances.
In this post, we’ll cover the top seven easiest accounting software programs. Each program on this list is easy to use and makes learning how to manage your accounting a breeze. We’ve included options to fit every budget and multiple business types.
Each program is ranked by how easy it is to use, how well the software is designed, and how quickly it can be mastered. Read on to see which is right for you!
Table of Contents
Wave (see our review) is an eminently easy to use accounting software — and with a price of $0, it’s easy on the budget as well. Excellent customer support, competitive pricing, and great features have earned this software 4.5/5 stars on our site.
Small businesses on a tight budget that still want strong accounting capabilities. Ideal for Etsy sellers and micro businesses.
As we mentioned earlier, Wave is free, no gimmicks or strings attached. With a Wave account, you get access to all Wave features and unlimited users. The only extra costs to be aware of are payroll and payment processing. Read our complete Wave review for all of the pricing details.
Wave is well-developed software that even rivals some paid programs in terms of features. This app is incredibly easy to navigate, and the learning curve is minimal, making it a great choice for business owners with little previous accounting experience. The software covers all of the accounting basics including invoicing, expense tracking, accounts payable, bank reconciliation, and more.
Wave also has several unique features. In Wave, users can separate personal and business expenses, which is ideal for freelancers or side hustlers who don’t have a separate business bank account. Wave also offers Lending by Wave, which helps business owners gain access to capital through a partnership with OnDeck (see our review). Learn more about this financing option in our post Lending by Wave: Everything Small Businesses Need to Know.
Other features include:
- Item management
- Contact management
Wave doesn’t offer as many integrations as its competitors; however, it does have a Zapier integration, which connects Wave with over 750 third-party apps. Besides Zapier, there are only three other integrations. (The Etsy integration makes Wave a great choice for Etsy sellers in need of simple accounting.) Wave also has several mobile apps.
There are a ton of customer support resources that make the software easy to learn. Only payroll users have phone and chat support, but Wave’s support team answers emails quickly and there’s a thorough help center with how-to videos.
The only downside to the software is that there is no project management feature and time tracking is limited to payroll users. There also isn’t a true inventory feature. If these features are integral to your business, you’ll have to use an integration. Or you can take a look at one of the other options on this list.
If you’re looking for an affordable accounting option, it doesn’t get better than Wave. With positive customer reviews, excellent customer support, and a well-organized UI, it’s no wonder this free accounting software is so popular. It’s easy to jump straight in and start using Wave, even with little previous accounting experience.
Created in 2011, Zoho Books (see our review) offers unbeatable invoicing and strong mobile apps. In fact, recent updates have put Zoho Books on par with QuickBooks Online in terms of features, but with better customer service, cheaper pricing, and a more user-friendly UI, Zoho Books is a great option for small businesses.
Small businesses in need of strong online accounting, affordable pricing, and good invoicing. Ideal for international business.
Zoho Books Pricing
Zoho Books offers three affordable pricing plans ranging from $9/mo – $29/mo. Each plan comes with basic features and unlimited invoices. The larger the plan, the more contacts, users, and advanced features you’ll have access to. Read our Zoho Books review for the details.
Zoho Books Features
Zoho Books has an impressive number of features. With good customer support and a well-designed UI, the software is easy to use and learn. The software has all of the features you’d expect from a fully-developed accounting solution including invoicing, contact management, expense tracking, time tracking, inventory, project management, and even tax support.
The best part about Zoho Books is its invoicing offerings. Zoho Books offers 15 customizable invoice templates, a client portal where customers can pay invoices directly online, recurring invoices, and the unique ability to encrypt invoices. There are also many automations that make it easy to invoice customers, like the ability to autoschedule invoices to be sent at a later time. In addition, you can send invoices in over 10 languages, making Zoho Books a great choice for international business.
You’ll find these key accounting features as well:
- Accounts payable
- Charts of accounts
- Bank reconciliation
- Fixed asset management
Zoho Books offers 30 integrations, including 12 payments gateways options and a Zapier integration that connects Zoho Books to over 750 other third-party apps. Zoho Books also has easy accounting apps that are highly developed and praised by existing users.
Zoho Books is known for great customer service. Phone support and email support are both available. Representatives are generally helpful and quick to respond to questions. The majority of customer reviews are positive, and users especially like the level of support they receive.
The only drawback is that Zoho Books has no payroll feature. You’ll either have to find a payroll integration or opt for a different software.
With almost as many features as QuickBooks Online, Zoho Books is definitely a contender worth considering. The software is easy to use and its invoicing features are unbeatable. Great customer support, a good number of integrations, and international features are also perks of the software.
ZipBooks (see our review) is an up-and-coming accounting software that was launched in 2015 and offers a free accounting software plan. The software may be new, but it has already mastered simplicity. ZipBooks is one of the easiest accounting programs out there, and with a free plan, unlimited users, and ample automations, it’s not hard to see why this software gets 4/5 stars.
Small businesses in need of affordable, strong accounting. Ideal for business owners with little previous accounting experience.
ZipBooks offers three pricing plans ranging from $0/mo – $35/mo. Each plan comes with unlimited invoicing and unlimited users, which is almost unheard of (especially for the free plan) Each pricing level adds more features. Read our complete ZipBooks review to see which plan’s features suit your needs best.
ZipBooks offers a good number of features that are easy to use and has one of the most attractive interfaces out there. The software’s design is simple and intuitive, using automations to save you time. The UI is even color-coded to make navigation a breeze. ZipBooks offers the basics you’d expect from accounting software, including invoicing, contact management, and expense tracking.
One unique aspect of ZipBooks is that the software takes the data you input and uses it to provide helpful business insights, including a business health score and business recommendations specific to your financial situation.
In addition, ZipBooks offers:
- Time tracking
- Project management
- Category tracking
ZipBooks only comes with eight integrations, so if you’re looking for ample add-ons, this may not be the software for you.
If you’re looking for good customer support, ZipBooks has you covered. Representatives are quick to respond to questions. Phone support is available for the paid plans. Other support options include email, in-software chat, a knowledge base, and a blog.
Before purchasing ZipBooks, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider. Compared to the other choices on this list, ZipBooks has very limited invoicing and only a small number of accounting reports. There also is no item or inventory feature. Despite these shortcomings, ZipBooks receives many positive customer reviews.
If you’re looking for easy accounting software, ZipBooks is hard to beat. With a great design, good learning resources, and ample automations, ZipBooks does everything it can to make accounting simple.
FreshBooks (see our review) is invoicing software with a few bookkeeping tools tossed in. Although it’s not true “accounting” software, we kept in in the mix because it is incredibly easy to use and free of accounting jargon.
Small businesses looking for strong invoicing and basic bookkeeping but not a full accounting software.
FreshBooks offers three pricing plans ranging from $15/mo – $50/mo. Most features are included in all plans, so each larger level mainly adds more billable customers.
FreshBooks only supports a single user (additional users cost an extra $10/mo each). Read our full FreshBooks review to learn more.
FreshBooks has always been easy to use, but a recent redesign has made the user experience even simpler and the UI more attractive. Setup is simple and the software takes very little time to learn. In terms of features, you’ll find invoicing, expense tracking, contact management, and more.
FreshBooks offers two customizable invoice templates and a client portal where customers can pay their invoices directly online. One of the coolest features in FreshBooks is the ability to chat with your customers directly on their invoices.
Other features include:
- Project management
- Time tracking
FreshBooks offers 60 integrations, which is significantly more than most invoicing programs. There are also mobile apps available.
FreshBooks has great customer support. Representatives are friendly, helpful, and quick to respond. There is phone support, email support, a help center, and several other resources to help you learn the software.
For the most part, FreshBooks receives positive customer reviews; however, there are some recurring complaints.
In addition to not being true accounting software, FreshBooks only supports a single user — and this invoicing software is already more expensive than most accounting software. Instead of purchasing additional users, you’d get more bang for your buck by choosing a full-fledged accounting program (or a less expensive invoicing program like Zoho Invoice or Invoicera).
While FreshBooks isn’t accounting software, many small businesses are able to look past the lack of double-entry accounting because the software is so simple and easy to use. This easy bookkeeping software is ideal for small businesses that only need to send invoices and track expenses.
QuickBooks Self-Employed (see our review) is tax software designed to help freelancers with basic bookkeeping and tax support. While QuickBooks Self-Employed isn’t exactly accounting software, it offers easy bookkeeping and tax support for freelancers.
Freelancers, contractors, and other self-employed individuals needing basic bookkeeping and tax support. Ideal for managing estimated quarterly taxes and maximizing deductions.
QuickBooks Self-Employed Pricing
There are two pricing options for QuickBooks Self-Employed. There’s a $10/mo plan that includes all of the software’s features. Going with the $17/mo plan adds a Turbo Tax integration, so you can easily file your self-employed taxes.
QuickBooks Self-Employed Features
QuickBooks Self-Employed is well-organized and easy to use. The features help simplify estimated quarterly taxes and allow freelancers to manage their expenses and track their deductions.
This software also makes it easy to separate personal and business expenses, which is ideal for freelancers who don’t have a designated business bank account. LIke Wave, QuickBooks Online also has a built-in lending feature called QuickBooks Capital (see our review) that helps small businesses manage gain access to working capital to manage their cash flow.
In addition, QuickBooks Self-Employed offers:
- Fixed asset management
- Schedule Cs
- Tax checklist
QuickBooks Self-Employed offers a small number of integrations, but the Turbo Tax integration is the best part of the software by far. This integration makes self-employed taxes a breeze and makes it easy to file taxes online.
Unfortunately, QuickBooks Self-Employed is known for poor customer service. With no phone support and limited additional resources, it can be hard to find help, though the company is working to improve this. There is a live chat feature, a redesigned help center, and a small business resource center with helpful business advice.
While QuickBooks Self-Employed is a great option for managing your federal taxes, our one concern is that the software lacks state tax support. This means you’ll have to find another way to file state taxes.
If you’re a freelancer looking for a way to manage your finances and taxes, QuickBooks Self-Employed could be a good option for your business. The software is easy to use and comes with good mobile apps for quick access to your data.
Founded in 2015, SlickPie (see our review) is an easy-to-use accounting software that has already received positive customer reviews and press coverage. Like Wave and ZipBooks, SlickPie offers an impressive free plan and a beautiful interface.
Small businesses on a tight budget in need of basic accounting features and bookkeeping automations.
SlickPie offers a free plan and a paid plan which costs $9.95/mo. Both plans come with basic features and unlimited users. The main difference is the number of invoices you are allowed to send. Read our complete SlickPie review for all of the pricing details.
As we mentioned earlier, SlickPie is easy to use and offers several automations to help save you time and energy. There are a few occasional navigational difficulties and the organization could be improved, but overall the software is simple to set up. Features include invoicing, expense tracking, contact management, accounts payable, and more.
One of the coolest features is SlickPie’s MagicBot, which is a data entry tool that automates your receipts. When you take a photo of your receipt, SlickPie will automatically gather the information from the photo and enter the data for you.
Here are some other features found in SlickPie:
- Chart of accounts
- Item management
SlickPie only offers three integrations, which might not cut it for many small businesses.
This app does have good customer support, however. Emails are responded to incredibly quickly. There is also phone support and a helpful knowledge base. SlickPie receives positive customer reviews, especially where support is concerned.
There are a few limitations to consider when comparing SlickPie to the other options on this list. While SlickPie is still easy to use, the software is difficult to navigate at times. There are also no project management or time tracking features. Unlike the other options, SlickPIe does not have mobile apps.
SlickPie is simple accounting software with basic features and a few promising automations. However, its limited automations, missing features, and occasionally unintuitive organization may rule this software out as a viable option for some small business owners.
QuickBooks Online (see our review) is a fully-featured accounting software program that is generally easy to use. With 200+ integrations, strong mobile apps, and tax support, it’s no wonder this software receives 5/5 stars.
Small businesses looking for a full-featured accounting solution that is relatively easy to use. Ideal for businesses with five users or fewer (though you can add up to 25 users for an additional cost).
QuickBooks Online Pricing
QuickBooks Online offers three pricing plans ranging from $15/mo – $50/mo. The larger the plan, the more feature you have access to and the more users you can have.
Payroll costs an additional $39 – $90/mo (plus $2/mo per employee). Read our full QuickBooks Online review to learn more and to see if Intuit is running any sales promotions.
QuickBooks Online Features
While this cloud accounting software is not quite as easy to use as the other options on this list, the trade-off is more advanced features. Set up is a bit involved and the organization is occasionally difficult to navigate, but compared to other big-name programs like Xero, Sage, and AccountEdge Pro, QuickBooks Online is a piece of cake.
QuickBooks offers double-entry bookkeeping and strong accounting features like bank reconciliation, accounts payable, reports, and a chart of accounts. You’ll also find invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, project management, and more. In terms of invoicing, QuickBooks Online offers the second best templates and automations (with Zoho Books being the first).
Other features include:
- Class tracking
- Client portal
- Tax support
- Contact management
With over 200 integrations, QuickBooks has more integrations than any other accounting program on this list. This includes 15 payment processing options and great mobile apps.
As we mentioned earlier, QuickBooks has been known for poor customer service in the past. Recently, QuickBooks Online has made great strides to improve their customer support. While the company still has a ways to go, phone response times have greatly improved and a redesigned help center makes it easy to find assistance.
While QuickBooks Online may not be quite as easy to use as the other options on this list, this online accounting software might be a good fit for businesses looking to get the most bang for their buck in terms of features.
Any one of these simple small business accounting software options will allow you to easily manage your business’s finances and balance the books, no matter what level of accounting experience you bring to the table. Ultimately, the decision will come down to your budget and the features your business needs.
Want a good double-entry accounting solution that’s more robust than the options we discussed above? I suggest trying Xero, Sage, AccountEdge Pro, or QuickBooks Pro. These apps aren’t quite as easy to use as the seven programs in this post, but they come with far more advanced features. If you need higher-level inventory management, payroll software, or a more refined method to track bank accounts, credit card payments and/or credit card charges, you’re going to be better off with one of these solutions. Conversely, for small business owners who are in the market for something very simple and don’t want to pay anything for an accounting app, we’ve compiled a list of the best free online accounting software programs out there.
If you need more help deciding, read the Complete Guide to Choosing Online Accounting or 20 Questions To Ask Before Choosing Accounting Software. And don’t forget to download the Beginner’s Guide to Accounting — in this free ebook, we make accounting simple and teach you everything you need to know without the confusing accounting jargon.
As always, let us know if you have any questions, and happy hunting!