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Accounting Software Reviews

buyers guide
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  • AccountEdge Review

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    Looking for strong, locally-installed accounting software? AccountEdge offers advanced features, over 300 reports, and -- unlike QuickBooks -- AccountEdge is also available for Macs and PCs.

  • AND CO Review

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    AND CO is a freelancer management software that boasts strong features like invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, contracts, and reports. These features make AND CO a solid choice for freelancers, as well as some independent contractors and service-based micro-businesses. Throw in excellent customer support and a free plan, and it seems clear why AND CO is a hit with freelancers that need basic bookkeeping and invoicing.

  • Bench Accounting Review

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    Not every business owner has the time or experience to tackle their business's bookkeeping, and for those owners, Bench may be the perfect solution. Bench's professionals can handle your bookkeeping on a regular basis at a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house bookkeeper.

  • Bonsai Review

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    If you're looking for a way to more efficiently manage your freelance business, Bonsai makes it easy for you to track clients, send invoices and proposals, and manage your projects all in one place.

  • Clear Books Review

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    Clear Books is an accounting software that offers an impressive number of features. The accounting features are particularly advanced with fixed asset management, depreciation, and a full chart of accounts. It is a great choice for UK small businesses.

  • Debitoor Review

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    Pros Easy to use International invoicing UK-based Well-designed UI Attractive invoice templates Cons Limited features Unsuited for US businesses Not accounting software No live bank feeds Overview Debitoor is an invoicing and (limited) bookkeeping solution that currently has users in over 40 countries, though it is ideally designed for British and European customers. Debitoor boasts […]

  • FinancePal Review For Small Business Accounting

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    FinancePal is a cloud-based accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll software service that is geared toward smaller to mid-sized businesses. The Chicago-based company's primary focus is on taking much of what can be a confusing and complicated part of entrepreneurship out of business owners' hands, allowing those clients to focus on other things.

  • FINSYNC Review

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    FINSYNC offers a unique product with a focus on cash flow management, but it also offers strong accounting and covers the basic features many businesses will need. Despite its limited features and integrations, FINSYNC is a good option for small to large-sized businesses looking for cash flow management, great payment options, and analytics built directly into its accounting software

  • FreeAgent Software Review

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    FreeAgent is accounting software with a large feature-set and unlimited users. It offers many basic accounting features, project management, inventory, time tracking, and more. The software is ideal for UK users in need of VAT support and international invoicing.

  • GoDaddy Bookkeeping Review (Formerly Outright)

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    Pros Cheap monthly cost Easy to use Suited for freelancers Cons Questionable security Poor public reputation Limited features Cash-basis accounting only Limited users Limited integrations 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 […]

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!

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

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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