Accounting Software Reviews

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  • Xero Review

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    Highlights: Unlimited users Robust features Payroll Good customer service 500+ integrations Overview: In the race to the top of the accounting software industry, QuickBooks has taken the lead for years, running laps around its competitors—that is, until now. Quickbooks has finally found its match in Xero, an accounting solution based out of New Zealand. While […]

  • Quickbooks Online Review

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    Highlights: Robust feature set Easy to use Beautiful new UI Over 400+ integrations Strong reputation Overview: If you’ve heard of accounting, you’ve heard of Intuit QuickBooks. Intuit has been one of the biggest names in accounting and personal finance for three decades now; it was founded in 1983 with the idea that there should be […]

  • FreshBooks Review

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    Highlights: Easy to use New interface Beautiful invoices Great customer service Strong mobile apps Overview: There are some people in the world who are good with change. I am not one of them. I firmly believe in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy. So, when FreshBooks redesigned their software in November 2016, […]

  • QuickBooks Pro Review

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    Highlights: True accounting Robust feature set Hundreds of reports Strong reputation Overview: In many ways, Intuit QuickBooks Pro is like the girl/boy of your dreams; the one who is always playing hard to get. Preceded by larger-than-life reputations, they both may seem way out of your league. If the thought of using a complex program like QuickBooks makes your palms […]

  • Wave Review (Formerly Wave Accounting)

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    Highlights: Free Personal and business account management Beautiful invoicing Etsy integration Good customer service Overview: “No jargon. No complicated software. No MBA required.” Wave, a free, cloud-based program that supports 2.5 million users, has been making ‘waves’ in the accounting world since 2010. From humble beginnings, the company has now grown to 150 employees. It […]

  • Zoho Books Review

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    Highlights: Competitive pricing Easy to use Unbeatable invoicing Beautiful UI Great client portal Overview: With automized email templates, report generating, inventory tracking, billing, and scheduled invoicing (all for a very competitive monthly cost), it should come as no surprise that one of this software’s primary slogans is “Focus on work. Waste less time.” If you […]

  • QuickBooks Mac

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    Highlights: Beautiful UI Robust feature set 100+ reports Job costing Class tracking Overview: As far as accounting software goes, QuickBooks Mac is a fresh pick from the Apple orchard. Like any good apple, QuickBooks Mac is clean, attractive, tasty, and nutritious. Okay, so, maybe this isn’t a perfect analogy, but you see what I’m getting […]

  • NetSuite ERP and SRP Review

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    Highlights: Enterprise business management software Robust features Cloud-based Strong user permissions 350 integrations Overview: Some small businesses can get by with basic bookkeeping tools, but others have long outgrown simple accounting software programs and need to bring in the big guns. That’s where NetSuite comes in. NetSuite is the whole business package, designed specifically for […]

  • Invoicely Review

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    Highlights: Easy to use Free pricing plan Unlimited invoices Unlimited clients Overview: It’s funny to see what kind of crazy names names people come up with for their businesses. You’d think there would be a finite number of ways a software company could fit the word invoice into their brand name, but Invoicely has actively […]

  • FINSYNC Review

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    Highlights: Robust feature set Best project management software Payroll Great customer service Comparable to QuickBooks Overview: It’s not often that a start-up with only a few thousand users can give a powerhouse like QuickBooks Online a run for its money, but that’s exactly what FINSYNC has been doing for the last three years. FINSYNC was […]

What is Accounting Software?

Accounting software allows business owners to manage their finances and balance the books. These tools often eliminate the need for a human accountant by giving business owners the ability to track their income, manage expenses, and run accounting reports themselves.

Web-hosted vs. Locally Installed

There are two types of accounting software: web-hosted software and locally installed software.

Web-hosted

Web-hosted accounting software is software that operates on the cloud. This type of accounting software offers mobility and access for multiple businesses in various locations. It is generally easier to use.

Locally-Installed

Locally-installed software is downloaded directly onto your computer via a disk or link. This type of program works offline and can potentially be more secure; however, you’ll lose the mobility and ease-of-use of web-hosted software.

Cash-basis vs. Accrual Accounting

As you begin researching accounting software, you will likely come across two terms: cash-basis accounting and accrual accounting. Cash-basis and accrual accounting refer to the way you record your business’s income.

Cash-basis

Cash-basis accounting records income when a product or service is actually paid for.

Accrual

Accrual accounting records income when products or services are agreed upon (rather than when paid for).

Cash-basis accounting can work for small business, but we recommend accrual accounting as it uses full double-entry accounting.

How Can Accounting Software Benefit My Business?

Accounting software allows business owners to record their income, track expenses, send invoices to make sales, pay bills, manage contacts, track inventory, and pay their taxes correctly. Accounting software doesn’t just benefit your business. It is integral to your business and the success of your company. In short, accounting software keeps your finances organized and ensures that your company is on good terms with the IRS.

Common Features to Look For in an Accounting Software

The features of accounting software vary depending on the type and size of business the software is designed for. However, there are some common features that most (good) software offers:

  • Invoices
  • Recurring invoices
  • Estimates
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Live bank feeds
  • Contact management
  • Items management
  • Basic time tracking
  • Basic project management
  • Reports
  • Unlimited sales tax rates
  • Import/export capabilities
  • Multiple currencies
  • Mobile apps
  • Some integrations

Higher-level accounting software companies will often offer the following features as well:

  • Chart of accounts
  • Ability to separate personal and business expenses
  • Full inventory tracking
  • Developed time tracking
  • Job costing
  • Large selection of reports
  • Budgeting
  • Payroll
  • Tax support
  • Track deductions
  • Class tracking
  • Mulitple languages
  • Ample integrations

How Much Will It Cost?

The price of accounting software will vary depending on your business size and needs.

A good, full featured accounting software for small businesses will cost anywhere from $20-$35/mo. Accounting software for medium businesses who need payroll and have multiple users will cost around $35-$50/mo. Larger businesses can expect to pay $50+.

Freelancers, independent contractors, micro businesses, and smaller businesses are in luck because there are a lot of free software options out there as well.

Do I Need Integrations?

While accounting software offers a large array of features, there is one type of integration you won’t be able to live without–payment gateways. Payments gateways allow you to accept payments for invoices online, which is a must for a successful invoice-sending business.

Beyond this, integrations are optional, but we highly recommend choosing a software that offers ample integrations. You may be able to get by with only your accounting software’s features for now, but most programs won’t meet all of your needs, or at least not to the depth that you need.

Choosing Specific Accounting Software

Now that you have a basic understanding of accounting software (what to expect in terms of price, which features to look for, etc.), it’s time to pick one. At Merchant Maverick, we’ve spent countless hours researching and testing the best accounting software programs on the market. Read our comprehensive reviews for more information, compare our highest rated software options, or check out Merchant Maverick’s best accounting software winners.

If you need more help picking a software solution, take a look at our Complete Guide to Choosing Online Accounting Software.

And before you commit to a software, be sure to take advantage of any free trials the company offers. Most accounting software companies offer a 14-day or 30-day free trial of their software, no credit card required.

Have fun shopping!

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