Accounting Software Reviews

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  • Xero Review

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    Xero Promo: US-based customers: You can get 30% off your first six months of service; click here or use promo code XERO30NOW during signup. Highlights: Unlimited users Robust features Payroll Good customer service 500+ integrations Overview: In the race to the top for best accounting software, QuickBooks has taken the lead for years, running laps around […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Kashoo Review

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    Highlights: Great iPad app Easy to use Unlimited users Amazing customer service Overview: Kashoo. It’s not a sneeze noise, it’s an accounting software. Kashoo burst onto the accounting scene in 2008. We usually share information about how software companies got started, but this time the origin story of the name outshines the relatively bland details […]

  • FreeAgent Review

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    Highlights: Jargon-free Simple to use Invoicing automations Inventory Money-saving referral program Overview: In 2006, Oxford graduate and ex-RAF pilot Ed Molyneux was freelancing as an IT consultant and growing increasingly frustrated with the hours he was spending tracking time, income, and taxes in spreadsheets. He teamed up with two other freelancers, co-founders Olly Headey and […]

  • KashFlow Review

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    Highlights: Ideal for UK users Job-costing 50+ integrations 60+ reports Overview: You probably get tired of hearing the same old accounting software origin story: a businessman is tired of confusing software; he’s convinced that there is a better way; voila, a new accounting software is born. But with KashFlow, the story gets much more interesting—and […]

  • Clear Books Review

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    Highlights: Intuitive Strong automations Inventory Good invoicing Overview: In the summer of 2008, Tim Fouracre was working as an analyst with Arbuthnot Securities and spending his spare time building a basic online accounting system. He chatted about his program with Paul Maunders (co-founder of Fubra), who had recently built a simple invoicing system. A discussion […]

  • GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright) Review

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    Highlights: Great for Etsy, Amazon, and eBay sellers Affordable pricing Tax support Easy to use Basic bookkeeping features Overview: GoDaddy is generally known as a domain name and website building service. Although, if you are anything like me, you recognize the name from Danica Patrick’s Nascar racing days. While GoDaddy sets the speed for domain […]

  • LessAccounting Review

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    Highlights: Easy to use Automated bank rules Tags Overview: LessAccounting was created by Steven Bristol and Allan Branch in 2006. Reacting to a market where QuickBooks was the obvious choice, Bristol and Allan based their company around a software that would be less complicated, less confusing, and less overrun by unused features. LessAccounting is intended […]

  • 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 […]

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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