How to Choose the Best Online Accounting Software for Your Small Business

Accounting is one of the most essential and challenging aspects of running a small business. You need to keep track of your income, expenses, taxes, invoices, payroll, and more. However, doing all these tasks manually can be time-consuming, error-prone, and stressful. That’s why many small business owners opt for online accounting software that can automate and simplify their accounting processes.

Online accounting software is a cloud-based application that allows you to access and manage your financial data from any device and location. It can help you save time, money, and resources by streamlining your accounting workflows, generating reports, integrating with other tools, and providing security and backup. However, not all online accounting software is created equal. There are many factors to consider when choosing the best online accounting software for your small business, such as:

  • The features and functions that you need. Depending on the size, type, and complexity of your business, you may need different features and functions from your online accounting software. For example, some common features and functions that you may look for are invoicing, expense tracking, bank reconciliation, tax preparation, payroll, inventory management, project accounting, and multi-currency support.
  • The ease of use and learning curve. You want an online accounting software that is easy to use and learn, especially if you are not an accounting expert. You should look for an online accounting software that has a user-friendly interface, intuitive navigation, clear instructions, and helpful support. You should also check if the online accounting software offers a free trial, a demo, or a tutorial to help you get started.
  • The cost and value. You want an online accounting software that fits your budget and offers the best value for your money. You should compare the pricing plans, features, and benefits of different online accounting software options, and see which one meets your needs and expectations. You should also consider the hidden costs, such as setup fees, upgrade fees, transaction fees, and cancellation fees.
  • The security and reliability. You want an online accounting software that protects your financial data and ensures its availability and accuracy. You should look for an online accounting software that uses encryption, authentication, backup, and recovery methods to safeguard your data from unauthorized access, loss, or corruption. You should also check the uptime, performance, and customer reviews of the online accounting software to see how reliable it is.
  • The integration and compatibility. You want an online accounting software that works well with your existing tools and systems, such as your bank accounts, payment gateways, e-commerce platforms, CRM software, POS systems, and more. You should look for an online accounting software that offers integration and compatibility with the tools and systems that you use or plan to use, and see how seamless and efficient the data transfer and synchronization are.

By considering these factors, you can narrow down your options and find the best online accounting software for your small business. To help you further, here are some of the best online accounting software options that you can check out, based on their features, functions, ease of use, cost, value, security, reliability, integration, and compatibility:

  • Intuit QuickBooks Online: This is one of the most popular and comprehensive online accounting software for small businesses. It offers a range of features and functions, such as invoicing, expense tracking, bank reconciliation, tax preparation, payroll, inventory management, project accounting, and multi-currency support. It also has a user-friendly interface, a mobile app, a dashboard, and reports. It integrates with many tools and systems, such as PayPal, Shopify, Square, Mailchimp, and more. It has four pricing plans, starting from $15 per month1.
  • Zoho Books: This is a free online accounting software for small businesses that have less than $50,000 in annual revenue. It offers basic features and functions, such as invoicing, expense tracking, bank reconciliation, tax preparation, and multi-currency support. It also has a user-friendly interface, a mobile app, a dashboard, and reports. It integrates with other Zoho products, such as Zoho CRM, Zoho Inventory, Zoho Projects, and more. It has three paid plans, starting from $15 per organization per month2.
  • Xero: This is an online accounting software for small businesses that need advanced features and functions, such as quotes and invoices, bank reconciliation, tax preparation, payroll, inventory management, project accounting, and multi-currency support. It also has a user-friendly interface, a mobile app, a dashboard, and reports. It integrates with many tools and systems, such as Stripe, Shopify, HubSpot, Gusto, and more. It has three pricing plans, starting from $13 per month3.
  • FreshBooks: This is an online accounting software for small businesses that need ease of use and simplicity. It offers basic features and functions, such as unlimited invoicing, expense tracking, bank reconciliation, tax preparation, and multi-currency support. It also has a user-friendly interface, a mobile app, a dashboard, and reports. It integrates with many tools and systems, such as PayPal, Shopify, Mailchimp, Slack, and more. It has four pricing plans, starting from $8.50 per month4.
  • Wave Accounting: This is a free online accounting software for small businesses that need a budget-friendly option. It offers basic features and functions, such as invoicing, expense tracking, bank reconciliation, tax preparation, and multi-currency support. It also has a user-friendly interface, a mobile app, a dashboard, and reports. It integrates with some tools and systems, such as PayPal, Stripe, and Google Sheets. It charges transaction fees for payments and payroll5.

These are some of the best online accounting software options for small businesses that you can consider. However, you should always do your own research and compare different options before making a final decision. You should also consult with your accountant, bookkeeper, or financial advisor to get professional advice and guidance. By choosing the best online accounting software for your small business, you can save time, money, and resources, and focus on growing your business and achieving your goals.