Sunrise App Review For Small Business Bookkeeping
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- Date Established
- Lehi, UT
- Easy to use
- Supports unlimited users
- Supports unlimited businesses
- Double-entry accounting
- Excellent customer support
- Limited integrations
- Poor mobile apps
Overview Of Sunrise Bookkeeping Services
If you’ve ever browsed the Merchant Maverick website, you’ve likely come across the name Lendio. Maybe you’ve even gotten funding from Lendio for your small business in the past. While Lendio is known for connecting small business owners with lenders for a variety of funding products, the company has now branched out into bookkeeping software with Sunrise by Lendio.
Sunrise used to be known as Billy until Lendio acquired it in 2019. Though Sunrise is a new kid on the block, it’s already making an impact on small business owners. What makes Sunrise stand out is that its free self-service bookkeeping software. Yes, you read that correctly — you can balance your books without paying hefty monthly fees.
You won’t be stuck with an outdated UI or overrun with ads, either. Sunrise has a clean, simple design that’s easy to use — even for accounting newbies. And if you don’t have the time to balance the books yourself, Sunrise also offers bookkeeping services that give you access to a dedicated bookkeeper at a fraction of the cost of hiring one in-house.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? But, of course, there are a few drawbacks. The free software has basic accounting features but lacks other features that may be useful to your business, such as time-tracking and project management. Some users have also experienced issues when adding their bank accounts or when using Sunrise’s mobile apps, and the lack of integrations may pose a problem for some.
Overall, though, this software — and Sunrise’s professional bookkeeping services — may be worth a look for the budget-minded small business owner in search of easy-to-use bookkeeping software. Keep reading to find out where Sunrise gets it right…and where it misses the mark.
Table of Contents
- Sunrise Pricing
- Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed
- Hardware & Software Requirements
- Specific Size Of Business
- Accounting Method
- Ease Of Use
- Sunrise Bookkeeping Features
- Sunrise Customer Service & Support
- Sunrise Reviews
- Sunrise Integrations & Add-Ons
- Final Verdict Of Sunrise Bookkeeping Software For Small Businesses
Sunrise offers two bookkeeping products: self-service bookkeeping software and professional bookkeeping services.
Sunrise’s self-service bookkeeping software is free and includes:
- Manual or automatic transaction imports
- Income tracking
- Expense tracking
- Online and mobile payments with SunrisePay
- Contact management
- Sunrise Tax Assist
Professional Bookkeeping Services
If you’d prefer to have a professional handle your books, you can sign up for one of Sunrise’s bookkeeping plans. Plans start at $149/month and include:
- Dedicated bookkeeper
- One-on-one support
- Monthly financial reports
- Tax support and resources
- No long-term contracts required
There are several professional bookkeeping service plans. All of the plans come with the same features; the only difference is the number of monthly transactions allowed. There are no contracts required, and you can cancel your bookkeeping services at any time.
Even though the software is free, there are a few add-ons that may be useful to your business.
- Payroll: Sunrise integrates with Gusto payroll for an additional monthly fee. You can receive discounts by signing up for Gusto directly through your Sunrise account. Contact Gusto or Sunrise to learn more about pricing and getting started.
- SunrisePay: Make it easy for your customers to pay their invoices with SunrisePay. You can accept online credit card or bank payments with this service. Rates are 2.9% + $.30 per transaction for credit card payments and 1% per transaction for bank payments.
Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed
Sunrise is cloud-based software, so no installation or downloads are required.
Hardware & Software Requirements
Sunrise is cloud-based software, so it runs on any system, provided you have a stable internet connection. There is a Sunrise Bookkeeping and Invoicing app for iPhone (iOS 12.0+) and Android.
Specific Size Of Business
Sunrise is best suited for freelancers, independent contractors, and small business owners who want no-frills bookkeeping software that’s easy to set up, learn, and use. Larger businesses or businesses that will scale quickly will want to keep searching for full-featured accounting software. Businesses of any size requiring more advanced accounting features, such as project management, inventory management, or time tracking, may also want to seek out other options.
Sunrise does support additional users and additional businesses, which is a pleasant surprise for free software. You can easily add new users through your dashboard and set each user’s role as Coworker or Accountant/Bookkeeper. Users with the Accountant/Bookkeeper role will see a more advanced navigational menu. Otherwise, there are no differences between the two roles.
Sunrise uses both accrual and cash-basis accounting methods; although, cash-basis is limited to reporting.
Ease Of Use
Sunrise touts its product as “small business bookkeeping made simple,” and I have to say that I agree. In just a few minutes, my account was set up and ready for me to begin connecting my accounts, adding customers and vendors, and sending out invoices.
The software is very easy to navigate, with all features clearly marked on the dashboard. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the main dashboard, everything else is tucked away under the Settings menu. From here, you can quickly add users, update your items list, update invoice settings, change your tax settings, and customize your invoice template — just to name a few things.
Even users with little or no prior bookkeeping experience will find this software easy to navigate. And if you encounter any problems, the help center is just a click away and offers lots of helpful information.
Sunrise Bookkeeping Features
Despite being free software, Sunrise offers a number of features to help organize your finances and tackle the books. Notable features include:
- Dashboard: Sunrise has a dashboard that’s very easy to navigate. The dashboard gives you an overview of your financials, invoices, expenses, and top customers and vendors. You can also check out your cashflow insights once you’ve connected your bank account. Along the left-hand side of the dashboard, you’ll find all of the features and settings. In the bottom right-hand corner is the in-software chat and support feature.
- Invoicing: With Sunrise, you can send unlimited invoices to your customers. There is a single invoice template, but it can be customized to match your company’s branding. You can change the color and size of the font, edit headers, add a logo, change the background color, or add a background image. You can easily set up recurring invoices, and you can also send payment reminders for overdue invoices. Your customers can also pay their invoices online if you sign up for SunrisePay.
- Estimates: You can create estimates, quotes, and confirmation orders to send to your client. Once approved, these can easily be turned into invoices.
- Client Portal: There is a basic client portal that allows your customers to view their current invoices, view and pay recurring invoices, and access your contact information (address, phone number, and email).
- Contact Management: Sunrise has a contact management section that allows you to save information for your customers or vendors. You can store basic contact information, as well as tax ID numbers, currency, and payment terms.
- Expense Tracking: There are several ways to add your expenses to your Sunrise account. The easiest way is to sync your bank account, which will automatically import all of your transactions. You can also manually enter your expenses, or you can upload your receipts. While you can categorize your expenses, there is no automatic categorization option.
- Bank Reconciliation: A bank reconciliation feature is available to ensure your books are balanced.
- Chart Of Accounts: Your Sunrise chart of accounts automatically sets up with a number of default accounts. Accounts can be added, edited, or removed to best suit the needs of your business.
- Items List: You can add your inventory items to the Product section of your account. This is a very basic item list that allows you to add the name of the product or service, a description, revenue category, price, tax, SKU, and image.
- Payroll: Sunrise does not have built-in payroll software. However, it does integrate with Gusto for an additional monthly cost.
- Reports: Sunrise doesn’t have an extensive number of reports, but it does have a few of the most important financial statements your business needs. Available reports include profit and loss statement, balance sheet, sales tax, and trial balance.
- Cash Flow Management: A cash flow tracker is available on the Sunrise dashboard. This tracker shows inflows, outflows, potential inflows, potential outflows, and net changes to give you insights into your business cash flow.
- Journal Entries: Journal entries can be recorded in Sunrise.
- Sales Tax: You can set up sales tax and VAT rates and set rules to apply these automatically.
- Tax Support: Your free Sunrise account includes Tax Assist. This feature estimates your tax liability and includes a handy tax prep checklist. You can easily export tax documents for your tax preparer, or you can do your taxes yourself through a partnership with Sunrise and FreeTaxUSA.
- Multiple Currencies: Sunrise supports a number of different currencies. The software also automatically updates the exchange rate for 30+ currencies.
- Multiple Languages: English and Danish are the only languages supported by Sunrise. However, the company notes that this is one of its most requested features and has placed a priority on adding additional languages.
- Importing & Exporting: You can import bank transactions, journal entries, and other data as a .csv file. You can export some data, such as contacts and products, as CVS files. Other data, such as your chart of accounts, can be exported as .csv, .pdf, or HTML.
Sunrise Customer Service & Support
One of the things that stood out to me as I was testing the software was the speed of customer support. There are several ways to get in touch, and my first choice was to use the in-software live chat option. When you open the live chat feature, you can chat with “Sunny,” an automated assistant that offers answers to FAQs and points you in the direction of resources to get started. If Sunny can’t answer your questions, you can speak with a real representative.
I was connected to a rep in under one minute. She was polite, courteous, and knowledgeable. I had my questions answered and finished with the chat in less than five minutes. Accounting and bookkeeping software companies aren’t always known for having fast and helpful customer support, so this was a nice surprise, and something that I hope Sunrise continues to maintain as the company grows.
- Phone: Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to find a phone support option for current customers. However, there is a phone number for anyone that has questions about the different plan options. If you want to learn more about Sunrise’s plans, you can also schedule a call for a time that’s most convenient for you.
- Email: Sunrise has a dedicated email address for customer support.
- Contact Form: A contact form is available on Sunrise’s website.
- Live Chat: A live chat feature is available within the software. A live chat option is also available on the Sunrise website to learn more about the company’s products. Live chat is available from 8 AM to 6 PM MST.
- In-Software Help: There are a number of in-software resources to help you get the most out of your software. An automated assistant named Sunny can answer commonly-asked questions or point you to resources to help you get up and running. You can also opt to speak with an actual customer service representative. You can also browse through various Help articles to find the answers you’re looking for.
- Bookkeeping 101: Sunrise offers a resource called Bookkeeping 101, where it has compiled blog posts that can help you understand why bookkeeping is important for your business and how to get started.
- Blog: Sunrise has a blog that is updated often and provides useful information across various topics, including bookkeeping, accounting, taxes, and small business tips.
- Social Media: Sunrise can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It also has a YouTube channel, but there’s currently just a single video available on the platform.
Negative Sunrise Reviews & Complaints
Sunrise reviews across the web are overwhelmingly positive. However, we all know that not every software works for every business, so some complaints are mixed in. Most of the complaints I saw were a bit dated and were for the accounting software Billy, which was prior to Lendio’s acquisition and rebranding of the software. Based on the most recent negative reviews, the most common complaints among Sunrise users include:
- Templates & Customizations: Some users complained about the single default template for invoicing, estimates, and quotes. Users want to see additional templates or additional customization options to make their invoices and other documents really stand out.
- Bank Integration Errors: Some users report that they had issues integrating their bank accounts with Sunrise.
- Lack Of Integrations: Users would like to see Sunrise integrate with other apps and software.
- More Functionality For Mobile Apps: Some users have expressed that they would like to see more features available in Sunrise’s mobile apps.
Positive Sunrise Reviews & Testimonials
As previously mentioned, the majority of Sunrise’s reviews are positive. Sunrise receives 4.53/5 stars on Software Advice, 4.5/5 stars on Capterra, and 4.53/5 stars on GetApp. Users most commonly praise:
- Pricing: Users enjoy being able to use bookkeeping software without paying high monthly fees. After all, you can’t beat free! Users that have signed on for Sunrise’s professional bookkeeping services also praise the company’s competitive pricing.
- Ease Of Use: Many reviewers state that they enjoy how simple Sunrise is to use. Several users state that they previously used other accounting or bookkeeping software and found that Sunrise was much more user-friendly.
- Features: Although Sunrise isn’t full-featured accounting software and lacks advanced features, solopreneurs and small businesses that need basic bookkeeping and accounting features are more than satisfied with what this software has to offer.
- Customer Support: When looking at old reviews when the product was known as Billy, I saw that there were a few customer service issues. More recent reviews show that Sunrise has improved customer support and resources.
Here is what some users are saying about Sunrise:
It helped me get organized and serious about my business accounting, which helped my business grow. And it’s a great free alternative to Quickbooks Online.
Bookkeeping is not a sexy task, but Sunrise makes it bearable. And, the results are impressive.
Sunrise will truly make your bookkeeping easy and help you save money. It is made to be easy enough for a kid to even use.
My overall experience was great! The customer service I received was more than I expected and the ease of the program itself was above the rest.
Sunrise Integrations & Add-Ons
One of the areas where the Sunrise app falls short is its integrations. If you subscribe to payroll services, Sunrise does integrate with Gusto. Sunrise also integrates with Zapier, which connects you to 1,000+ apps and programs. Unfortunately, this is where integrations end, but hopefully, we will see additional integrations as Sunrise becomes more established.
Sunrise uses 256-bit SSL encryption and has backups in data centers across the United States. According to the company, multiple backups are made in the event that something goes wrong.
Final Verdict Of Sunrise Bookkeeping Software For Small Businesses
Whenever you hear the words “free software,” you always have to wonder, “What’s the catch?” In the case of Sunrise, there aren’t any catches. In fact, this free software has a lot of pleasant surprises. Sunrise is very easy to use and has numerous resources to help you set up and learn the software. Sunrise has a good feature set for its target audience — small businesses, microbusinesses, and freelancers. The UI is clean and easy to navigate, and I have no doubt that even if you’ve never used accounting or bookkeeping software in the past, you’ll be balancing the books like a pro in no time.
Customer service was also on point for me. The in-software chat option was extremely helpful, and most of my questions were answered just by performing a search or using the automated assistant. There doesn’t seem to be any phone support — other than for sales — which could be a drawback for some users. The ability to add multiple users and businesses at no cost is also a major benefit, as you won’t find this option with most software (especially free software!) While I didn’t try out the paid bookkeeping service, there are numerous customer reviews expressing praise for the attention to detail and services provided by Sunrise’s professional bookkeepers.
With everything it has to offer, though, Sunrise won’t be a good fit for everyone. Larger businesses or businesses that need full-featured accounting software with inventory management, project management, and all the bells and whistles won’t find what they need here. Likewise, businesses that want lots of integrations may also be disappointed. Accounting software such as Xero or QuickBooks Online may be a better option.
But businesses that want simple, basic bookkeeping without breaking the bank should give Sunrise a shot. It’s free, so there’s nothing to lose. It may just be the best software to help you get — and keep — your business finances on track.
Unsure if Sunrise is right for you? Make sure to check out our accounting comparison chart, our list of free accounting software, and our picks for the best easy-to-use software to find your perfect match. Good luck!
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Sunrise by Lendio
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