What is the best accounting software for small businesses?

May 20th 2020

Accounting software has become increasingly common for businesses as we trend towards a paperless office. By using accounting software, small businesses can increase their productivity and streamline their financial management. So, what is the best accounting software for small businesses?

Xero comes out on top as the best accounting software for small businesses. It has the best user experience and a lot of features packed into it, including advanced reporting, invoice reminders, easy bank reconciliation, and more. Xero is also available on the web, iOS, and Android, making it easy to send invoices and manage your finances from anywhere.

Why should you use accounting software?

1. Automation

A lot of accounting software options, like Xero, provide ways to automate your accounting processes, such as automatically sending overdue invoice reminders, or automatically sending repeating invoices to customers.

2. Improved productivity

On a similar note to automation, using account software streamlines the accounting processes for businesses, such as quick bank reconciliation and simplified book-keeping. 

3. Paperless storage

Ditch the file cabinets and store all of your invoices, receipts, and other financial documents securely on the cloud. By going paperless with accounting software, you can save money on office space, printing, paper, and other office expenses.

4. Reporting

Quickly generate reports for your sales, payroll, cashflow, and other areas to quickly understand the state of your financials. Most accounting software also provides the option to automatically view common reports, such as cash summary, aged payables and your balance sheet.

What features should you look for in accounting software?

1. Invoice creation

The most basic feature most small businesses need will be the ability to create and manage invoices. Most, if not all, account software offer this feature, but consider what software provides the simplest way to create invoices, as well as other features you could benefit from relating to invoicing like automatically sending invoice reminders.

2. Expense tracking

Another commonly required feature is expense tracking. A good accounting software app should allow you to easily reconcile bank transactions and keep track of your expenses. If you frequently reconcile bank transactions, consider also selecting an accounting software with a mobile app that allows you to do reconciling on the go.

3. Payroll

If you have employees, payroll is an important feature to have. Consider what you need from your accounting software to complete payroll, as well as how your options could streamline the process for you.

4. Financial reports

Financial reports are key to understanding the state of your business, take a look at what reports are available to create, and if there is any option to customise the reporting to your liking.

5. Ease of use

Pick accounting software that is easy to use, managing a business financials can be complex, and a good user interface can make your accounting processes much easier.

6. Mobile app

Accounting software with a mobile app available on iOS and Android can help simplify keeping on top of your bank reconciliation and other accounting duties as you go about your day.

7. Customer records

Look for an accounting software that can keep track of your customers’ information, which will save you time re-entering data, as well as providing visibility on who are your best customers.

What is the best free accounting software for small businesses?

If you’re looking for a free option for your accounting software, consider Wave. The free plan of wave covers a lot of features you would need like invoicing, payroll, expense tracking, and more. Wave also has a paid option, but it’s definitely not necessary if all you need is the basics for paperless accounting.

ZipBooks is another accounting software with a free option, which can be suitable if the main purpose of your accounting software is sending invoices. Both Wave and ZipBooks also have a great user interface, making them easy to operate and learn quickly.

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