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Fortunly's Guide

The Best Accounting Software Choices for 2021

By
G. Dautovic

September 24,2021


If you’re a business owner, you have no choice but to get serious about keeping track of your income and expenses. Accurate financial data doesn’t only save you time and trouble when tax season comes; it also helps you get a sense of the state and progress of your business at all times. 

Money management may seem daunting and complicated, but the good news is you don't have to be an accounting expert to keep your finances in order. The only thing you need is the best accounting software. You’re looking for a program that’s easy to use, has all the features that will make the financial aspect of your life easier, and doesn't come with a hefty price tag. We’re here to help.

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Top Accounting Software Options

QuickBooks Logo
QuickBooks
Our Rating
  • Numerous accounting features
  • Desktop- and cloud-based software
  • Scalable pricing
Xero Logo
Xero
Our Rating
  • Unlimited users
  • 700+ business integrations
  • Suited for large businesses
Wave Logo
Wave
Our Rating
  • Free of charge
  • Cloud-based software
  • Great support materials
Zoho Books Logo
Zoho Books
Our Rating
  • Competitive pricing packages
  • Simple and easy-to-use software
  • Outstanding customer support
FreshBooks Logo
FreshBooks
Our Rating
  • Top-notch customer service
  • Multitude of business integrations
  • Easy to use
Kashoo Logo
Kashoo
Our Rating
  • Great customer support
  • Unlimited users
  • Easy to use
Patriot Software Logo
Patriot Software
Our Rating
  • Easy-to-use solution
  • Invoice an unlimited number of customers
  • Unlimited users with permissions
FinancePal Logo
FinancePal
Our Rating
  • Additional business services on offer
  • Free mobile app
  • Third-party integrations
Sage Business Cloud Accounting Logo
Sage Business Cloud Accounting
Our Rating
  • Great user interface
  • Numerous integrations
  • Good value for the money

Accounting Software Reviews

Quickbooks Accounting Software Review

Quick Facts
Starting at:
$16/month
Free trial:
30 days
Platform:
Windows, Mac, web

QuickBooks is an accounting tool created by Intuit. It's one of the biggest names in the industry and for a good reason. With easy-to-use software and a great selection of features, QuickBooks has quickly become a go-to accounting solution for many small business owners. To suit everyone’s needs, this accounting system offers a combination of cloud-based versions and desktop applications.

Pricing and packages

With QuickBooks’ scalable pricing plans, you’ll be able to find a perfect match regardless of the size and specific requirements of your business. 

The Simple Start plan starts at $16/month ($8/month with a three-month 50% discount) and has everything that the best accounting software for contractors and freelancers should offer. Functionalities include sending and tracking simple invoices, managing business and personal expenses separately, quarterly estimated taxes calculated automatically, and mileage tracking. The package lets its users send an unlimited number of invoices, track their sales, expenses, and profits. 

The Essentials plan is priced at $25 per month ($12.50 with a three-month discount). It’s designed for up to three users, and it comes with everything from the Simple Start package and more. Additional features let you pay and manage your bills, create sales quotes, and make transactions in multiple currencies. 

The QuickBooks Plus plan comes at a monthly cost of $34, or $17, with a three-month discount. It’s considered one of the best small business accounting software options and is meant for five users. Apart from the aforementioned services included in the Simple Start and Essentials options, this package can help your business grow with several additional features. These include the options to make purchase orders and track inventory, projects, and job profitability.

The Advanced plan is designed for up to 25 users and has a price tag of $180 per month ($90 with the discount). While the Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus packages are geared towards offering the best accounting software for small business, the Advanced plan is designed to meet the needs of a medium-sized business. It comes with all the conveniences of the Plus package, as well as a few additional services. These include the options to customize access by role, import and send batch invoices, and automate workflows.

QuickBooks Advanced also provides enhanced custom fields, business analytics, a dedicated account manager, and online training.

All plans come with a number of basic features: free smartphone apps, dashboard and customizable reports, daily automatic backups, data security, and unlimited support.

There’s no arguing that trying out accounting software before making a final purchasing decision is a good idea. With Quickbooks, potential customers have two options - the 30-day free trial or the demo account. However, note that opting for the 30-day free trial forfeits the three-month discount of 50%. 

Features and Benefits

With robust features designed for tracking expenses, calculating taxes, managing invoices, and monitoring sales, it's clear that QuickBooks takes pride in providing all-in-one accounting software for small business and medium-size business owners.

QuickBooks’ dashboard reflects the overall financial state of your business by showing data about bank accounts, invoices and expenses, profit and loss, and sales. The platform also features a secondary dashboard where you can easily access any sales-related features and tools.

As for invoicing, not only is the software equipped with a number of customizable invoice templates, but it also features invoice reminders, tracking, and auto-scheduling.

Other services include contact management for customers and vendors, adding and categorizing expenses, bank reconciliation, accounts payable, inventory, project management tools, time-tracking tools, and reports. Make sure to check QuickBooks’ website for an in-depth overview of all features and benefits.

User Experience

As online software, QuickBooks can be accessed via any popular internet browser. If you prefer on-premises accounting solutions, the company also offers the best accounting software for both Mac and PC. Based on user reviews, the desktop versions perform better than the cloud option. 

QuickBooks is marketed as easy-to-use accounting software. To determine how simple and intuitive the software really is, we decided to test the Quickbooks free trial ourselves.

Getting started with the software and adding the necessary data to the system feels easy and straightforward. While the user interface is nicely designed, the organization could do with a few improvements. Certain features are hidden under the settings menu and therefore difficult to find. However, the on-page help makes the search easier.

Customer Service

As one of the most used accounting software options, Quickbooks offers a few different support channels to its users. Live chat and phone support are both accessible through the company's website.

If you prefer looking into problems on your own, Quickbooks's support page is equipped with a comprehensive library of guides, articles, and easy-to-follow video tutorials. Based on our experience, both customer support and sales representatives are prompt and helpful.

Bottom Line

Although it's not the most affordable option on the market, QuickBooks has so much to offer when it comes to accounting features and usability, alongside solid customer support. All in all, it’s optimized both for small business and for larger companies. If you’re unsure whether it'll be the right for you, take it for a free spin, but keep in mind that the trial forfeits the three-month discount.

Pros:

  • Numerous accounting features
  • Desktop- and cloud-based software
  • Scalable pricing plans

Cons:

  • Can get pricey
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Xero Accounting Software Review

Quick Facts
Starting at:
$11/month
Free trial:
30 days
Platform:
web, mobile

Xero offers one of the best cloud accounting software options for small and medium-size businesses. The company entered the US market in 2011, five years after it was founded in New Zealand.

Xero’s founders considered desktop accounting software solutions inconvenient and outdated, so they developed their product as exclusively web-based. Nowadays, Xero’s sophisticated accounting system serves more than 16,000 accounting firms and about 2 million users.

Pricing and packages

Xero has a three-tiered pricing structure. Here’s a short overview of the three different packages:

Priced at $11/month ($5.50/month with the current 50% three-month discount), Xero’s Early plan provides the best accounting software any small business could ask for. It lets its users send five invoices and quotes, enter five bills, and reconcile 20 bank transactions every month. 

With Xero’s ‘Growing’ plan, priced at $32 per month ($16/month with the current three-month discount), users can send any number of quotes and invoices, enter unlimited bills, and reconcile bank transactions. 

The ‘Established’ option costs $62/month ($31/month with the discount). It offers everything included in the Growing package, plus additional multi-currency, expense-tracking, and project management services.

All Xero plans conveniently come with unlimited users and a number of basic accounting tools and services. These include financial performance reports, invoices, smartphone apps for Android and iOS, and integration with more than 700 third-party business applications like inventory and time tracking tools. 

There is no such thing as an annual contract with this accounting software provider. Payments are handled on a monthly basis, which means you can upgrade or cancel your Xero subscription whenever you want, as long as you provide the company with 30 days’ notice. As one of the best online accounting software providers, Xero conveniently offers a demo account as well as a free 30-day trial period.

Features and Benefits

Xero’s wide selection of accounting features is one of its strongest points. Here’s an overview of its most important services:

The dashboard is beautifully designed and displays information about bank accounts, invoices that are owed to you, bills that you need to pay, and total cash flow. There is also a separate sales overview page that breaks down your invoices and estimates. When it comes to invoicing, Xero offers just one template, although you can create your own templates and customize them as extensively as you need.

This small business accounting program also lets its users create quotes that can be converted to purchase orders, invoices, or bills. Other useful features include a contact management system with groups and smart lists, expense tracking with smart categorization, bank reconciliation, contact management, a client portal, accounts payable, checks, inventory, budgeting, reports, and time tracking.

As the provider of the best accounting software for any medium sized business, Xero also offers payroll service. This additional feature is available in all 50 states with a starting price of $39 per month, plus another $6 per employee per month. 
User experience

The company offers cloud-based software, which means there’s nothing to download or install. To log into your Xero account, you’ll need a device with internet access and preferably the latest version of any popular browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer 11). For those who prefer finance management on the go, Xero offers an accounting app for Android and iOS mobile devices.

Xero’s software comes with a plethora of business accounting tools that can take quite a while to fully explore. However, once you get familiar with all Xero has to offer, this accounting program is pretty easy to use. For enhanced user experience, apart from the comprehensive help center, each section of Xero’s accounting software comes equipped with a video tutorial or a help article.

Customer Service

Although Xero doesn’t offer support by phone, there are quite a few ways to get in touch with the company’s customer service. These include email, live chat on the website, in-software help in the form of videos and articles, a comprehensive help center named Xero Central, and social media channels.

Bottom Line

Although Xero is developed and marketed mainly for small and growing companies, it also provides the best accounting software for any large-sized business, regardless of the industry.

Thanks to its wide variety of automation options and great accounting solutions, this cloud-based software can save you lots of time and help you improve your business management. In the end, Xero is a solid choice for any business in need of robust accounting features and multiple users.

Pros:

  • Unlimited users with any plan
  • 700+ business management integrations
  • Suited for large businesses

Cons:

  • No native desktop app
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Wave Accounting Software Review

Quick Facts
Starting at:
$0
Free trial:
unlimited
Platform:
web, mobile

Wave is well-known for offering one of the best free accounting software solutions for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. The features and services it provides include accounting, invoicing, billing, payroll management, payment tracking, receipts, and finance management.

Pricing and Packages

With Wave accounting software, invoicing, as well as receipt scanning, all come with no monthly fees or any other hidden charges. Unlike most other free accounting and bookkeeping programs, Wave puts no limits on monthly invoices, customers, or transactions. 

We’ve established that Wave provides one of the best free small business accounting software options. But how does the company generate revenue? Well, Wave offers a few additional services that can help you manage your business more efficiently, although they come with a price tag. 

It doesn't matter if your business is located in one of the 14 tax service states (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin) or in the remaining 36 self-service states; Wave has a payroll feature to meet your requirements. 

With the tax service payroll option, this cloud accounting software handles your payroll and takes care of all the paperwork for you. This feature comes with a base monthly cost of $35 plus $6/month per employee, while the self-service payroll feature is $20/month plus $6/month per employee.

Although you'll still be responsible for filing your taxes, the software will make it easier by calculating how much money you'll need per payroll.

Wave also offers payment processing as an additional service. The company charges 2.9% plus 30¢ per transaction for credit card processing. The processing time is two business days. As per ACH payments, the processing takes two to seven business days and the company will charge you 1% or a minimum amount of $1 per transaction.

Features and Benefits

Wave provides a convenient all-in-one financial management software option. With this free online accounting software, there are no limits to the number of users who can collaborate from a single login. Marketed as the software that strives to work as hard as you do, Wave eliminates tedious data-entry tasks and puts all financial reports that you may need at your disposal. 

Some of the most important features you’ll find in Wave’s accounting solution include a dashboard with charts and graphs indicating overdue invoices and bills, bank accounts and credit cards, cash flow, profit and loss statements, payable and owing accounts, net income, and a breakdown of expenses.

These breakdowns include a well-developed invoicing service, estimates, expense tracking, a contact management tool, bank reconciliation, accounts payable, inventory, multi-currency support, and a time-tracking tool.

User Experience

Wave's free accounting software solution is cloud-based, which means you can access your data anytime using almost any device with a stable internet connection. The company has also developed mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. However, these are not as comprehensive as the web-based solution. 

Wave’s accounting and invoicing software comes with a UI that's nicely laid out and easy to get around. Navigating the platform feels fairly simple, although the software doesn't feature a back button. Even if you have zero accounting experience, rest assured that you’ll learn how to make the most of Wave in no time.

Customer Service

Not only does Wave serve as an example of the best free accounting software for small business owners; it also provides an outstanding set of channels and resources for resolving any issues customers may encounter.

The ways to get your questions answered with Wave include email, in-software support forms, a comprehensive help center, the community of users, and social media channels. Payroll or credit card processing users can also get in touch with support via phone and chat.

Bottom Line

The fact that Wave offers its accounting software for free doesn't mean it lacks functionality. Given that all core accounting features come free of charge, it’s a smart choice for any freelancer, sole proprietor, or a small business owner looking for some room to grow. Thanks to its payroll integration, Wave is also a great fit for small businesses with employees.

The biggest drawback of this accounting software solution is its limited mobile version.

Pros:

  • Free of charge
  • Cloud-based
  • Great support materials

Cons:

  • Lacks features on mobile
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Zoho Books Accounting Software Review

Quick Facts
Starting at:
$0/month
Free trial:
14 days
Platform:
Windows, mobile, web

Zoho Books is an intuitive accounting solution developed for small and growing businesses. When it comes to customer experience, it's one of the best accounting systems on the market and its users claim that the software helps them make smart, data-based decisions.

Not only is Zoho Books simple and easy to use, but also it comes from a renowned software provider, which is reassuring in terms of support and security.

Pricing and packages

Zoho Books sits on the more affordable side of the accounting software spectrum. Here’s an overview of its three-tier pricing structure:

For starters, there is a free plan for businesses with revenue under $50,000 per annum. It’s suitable for a single user and an accountant. The plan comes with custom invoices, bank reconciliation, expense tracking, budgeting, sales approval, recurring transactions, projects and timesheets, sales approval, as well as Zoho Sign integration.  

With the Standard Zoho Books plan, your organization will pay $10 per month. This is the most popular small business accounting software option, and it's meant for two users plus an accountant. The package lets you make transactions with up to 500 contacts and set up 10 automated workflows. As for features, this package combines the free plan with a few additional accounting features. These include bill management, vendor credits, purchase approval, reporting tags, and Twilio integration.

Zoho Books Professional costs $20 per month per organization and lets you make transactions with an unlimited number of customers and vendors. This business accounting software plan is intended for five users, and it lets you set up a maximum of 10 automated workflows. It offers all the features of the Standard option, as well as sales orders, purchase orders, inventory, and a custom domain. 

Organizations that need to accommodate 10 users can upgrade to the Premium version for $30 per month, which has all the features found in the Professional plan and supports up to 200 automated workflows.     

As far as add-ons go, you can purchase 50 auto-scans a month for $8/month, while any additional user will cost you $2.5 per month.

Features and Benefits

Zoho Books has a long list of accounting software features. Here’s an overview of its most important functionalities.
 
The dashboard comes with a highly functional design and shows a number of graphs that can give you a sense of your financial state. The graphs display information about total receivables and payables, income and expenses, cash flow, your projects, your top expenses, and your bank and credit cards. 

But it’s the invoicing feature where this accounting software really shines. There are 16 invoice templates and a number of customization options. Zoho Books’ easy accounting software comes with a handy client portal and a contact management system that lets you manage both vendors and customers. You can also easily convert your estimates into projects or invoices.

When it comes to expense tracking, Zoho Books lets you enter expenses by hand, import bank statements manually, or get them directly delivered from your bank.

Other functionalities include bank reconciliation, accounts payable, a chart of accounts, fixed asset management and time-tracking tools, reports, and creating projects, tasks, and budgets. 

Zoho has recently introduced a payroll integration. However, its availability is limited to California and Texas.

User Experience

The creators of Zoho Books clearly take great pride in providing a neatly designed cloud-based product. For those who prefer using their accounting software programs on the go, apart from the web-based version, Zoho Books also comes in the form of an app for Android and Apple devices.

Thanks to the smart design for all platforms, the way accounting features and tools are organized doesn't disturb the user’s actions. You can rest assured that there isn't a steep learning curve with this software. Quick financial overviews and graphs can always be seen on your dashboard, while all the remaining tools can be accessed from the navigation bar.

Customer Service

Not only does Zoho Books make accounting for small business seem easy, but the company also provides outstanding support. You can get in touch with Zoho’s customer care department via several channels: phone, email, contact form, live chat, Facebook, and Twitter. Zoho’s customer support reps are well-informed and available 24/5, Monday through Friday.

Bottom Line

Designed with great attention to detail, this cloud-based software is a no-brainer, even for those with little prior accounting experience. Given its attractive price and extensive set of tools, Zoho Books is a great choice for any small or growing business. However, if your business requires payroll management, you’ll probably have to look elsewhere.

Pros:

  • Competitive pricing packages
  • Simple and easy-to-use software
  • Outstanding customer support

Cons:

  • Short, limited trial
  • No payroll management
+ Show more

FreshBooks Accounting Software Review

Quick Facts
Starting at:
$15/month
Free trial:
30 days
Platform:
mobile, web

Since its launch in 2003, FreshBooks’s accounting software has undergone a few redesigns, but has always been well-known for its easy-to-use interface and exceptional customer care. Today, this award-winning accounting and finance software is one of the biggest names in the industry and provides its services to more than 10 million

Pricing and packages

In terms of pricing, FreshBooks offers three fixed plans, plus a fourth customizable option created to meet the requirements of a larger-sized business.

FreshBooks Lite plan comes at a price tag of $15/month or $4.50/month with the current three-month 70% discount. It’s meant for the self-employed and is considered one of the best personal accounting software options. The Plus plan is priced at $25 per month ($7.50 with the discount). It’s designed for small businesses and lets you deal with up to 50 billable clients.

The Premium package comes at a monthly cost of $50 ($15/month for the first three months) and is geared towards those businesses that deal with up to billable 500 clients. Lastly, there isn’t a fixed price point with the Select plan. This package is meant for those who have transactions with more than 500 clients and require a custom set of services.

FreshBooks may not offer free accounting software for small business owners, but its product is still worth the money. All plans include customizable invoices, a dashboard, estimates, credit card processing, ACH payment processing, helpful customer service, budgeting, reports, and business insights, while higher tiers come with a number of added perks.

By default, each package supports a single user. Each additional user will cost you $10 per month. Payment processing also comes at an extra cost. For most credit cards, it costs 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.

Features and Benefits

To provide the best accounting software for the self-employed as well as owners of larger businesses, FreshBooks comes with many great features.

Organized into useful graphs, the dashboard offers a quick overview of the financial state of your business. It shows information related to total profit, spending, outstanding revenue, revenue streams, and unbilled time. Additionally, key reports can easily be accessed through the side menu.

FreshBooks also comes with two invoice templates that are highly customizable, and Plus and Premium customers can set recurring invoices. 

FreshBooks’s software for online accounts management also includes estimates, a client portal, a contact management tool, expense tracking, a built-in timer, bank reconciliation, hourly or flat-rate project management, and a basic chart of accounts.

On top of that, FreshBooks’s accounting software offers seamless integrations with a number of personal management apps that you probably already use. These include G Suite, Gusto, Capsule, Bench, HubSpot, and Dropbox.

User Experience

FreshBooks is easy to use, although it comes with a wide range of functionalities. According to accounting software reviews by users, setting up an account requires very little previous bookkeeping experience. While there are a few navigational issues, the company's robust customer support offers enough tools to help you overcome any problem that you may encounter.

Aside from the web-based version, FreshBooks also comes in the form of a smartphone app that is highly rated among both Apple and Android users.

Customer Service

FreshBooks is notable for offering top-notch customer support. To prove that, the company has won a number of customer satisfaction awards. Its representatives are helpful, kind, and informative. As per customer service channels, you can reach them via phone, email, online support forms, in-software help, and social media. As one of the best accounting software providers, FreshBooks also offers free webinars and has a comprehensive help center, as well as a blog full of helpful articles.

Bottom Line

With one of the highest customer satisfaction rates, a plethora of integrations, and responsive design, FreshBooks is a smart accounting choice for businesses of all shapes and sizes - provided that they can afford it. Apart from the hefty price tag, another drawback of this accounting solution is the limited number of users.

Pros:

  • Top-notch customer service
  • Multitude of integrations
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Limitations on number of users
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Kashoo Accounting Software Review

Quick Facts
Starting at:
$30/month
Free trial:
14 days
Platform:
mobile, web

Kashoo offers cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping software geared towards small enterprises. This accounting platform is an ideal choice for sole proprietors, consultants, and freelancers in need of an easy and affordable way to stay on top of their business.

Pricing and packages

Kashoo keeps it simple with only one pricing plan that comes with unlimited projects and unlimited users. If you decide to handle your payments on a monthly basis, this accounting software will cost you $30 per month.

Note that there’s a 14-day free trial with no strings attached for those who want to test-drive this cloud-based accounting software prior to making a purchasing decision.

According to the company’s website, Kashoo’s accounting package lets its users track their income and expenses, manage invoices and accept payments, capture and organize receipts easily, and track both sales and sales tax. Other services this financial software provides include reporting, printing checks, tracking unlimited projects, managing bills, adding multiple users, accountant access, and handling multiple currencies. 

Kashoo doesn't offer payroll, but it provides a 20% discount if you decide to integrate with SurePayroll. The other big drawback is that Kashoo doesn't support multiple companies with a single subscription. However, you get $6/month off every subsequent account.

Features and Benefits

If you are on the hunt for the best online accounting software for your small business, take a look at this provider’s selection of accounting features. 

Instead of a dashboard, the homepage features a breakdown of your income and expenses. Here you can also add new transactions and check the automatically calculated net income. As far as invoicing goes, the software offers a single template and very few customizable options. There's an option to create recurring invoices, but the estimates feature doesn’t come with this invoice software. 

Other features and services include a contact management system, the option to import and track expenses, bank reconciliation, a well set-up accounts payable feature, a basic items list, a basic project management tool, reports, and compatibility with 160 different currencies.

User Experience

As far as accounting programs go, Kashoo is fairly easy to use. Setting up your account with a little help from the in-software “getting started” guide is quick and straightforward. The software is designed with easy navigation in mind and lets users perform multiple functions at the same time.

As a cloud-based solution, Kashoo accounting can be accessed via any popular internet browser. However, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are preferred. There's also a mobile app for iOS devices, while Android users are out of luck - for now, at least.

Customer Service

This simple accounting software provider is well-known for offering outstanding customer support. Not only does Kashoo put multiple support channels at your disposal, but also its agents are incredibly kind and well-informed. You can get in touch with the company’s support department via phone, email, live chat, in-software help, and social media.

Kashoo cloud accounting also comes with a number of learning resources. These include a comprehensive help center, YouTube video tutorials, regular workshops, guides, and an accounting knowledge base.

Bottom Line

Kashoo comes with a limited set of basic functionalities. That said, this online accounting software is neatly designed and easy to navigate. Overall, it's an affordable option for any business that values the perks of unlimited users and exceptional customer support over a more comprehensive assortment of features.

Pros:

  • Great customer support
  • Unlimited users
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Limited basic features
+ Show more

Patriot Software Review

Quick Facts
Starting at:
$15/month
Free trial:
30 days
Platform:
mobile, web

Patriot Software provides a simple and affordable yet powerful accounting software solution for US-based business owners and accounting professionals. The program supports cash-basis, modified cash-basis, and accrual accounting and lets its users choose the options that fit their needs. It’s one of the best accounting software options we’ve come across and allows you to add unlimited users with permissions at no extra cost.

Pricing and packages

There are two monthly packages to choose from.

Priced at $15/month, the Accounting Basic plan offers functionalities that support basic tracking of the money going in and out of your business. The list of features includes unlimited payments to vendors, tracking an unlimited number of customers and invoices, recording payments, accepting credit card payments, importing bank transactions automatically, creating and printing 1099s and 1096s, optional 1099 e-filing, and payroll integration.

Patriot Software’s higher-tier web-based accounting software solution comes with a $25/month price tag. This Accounting Premium plan offers everything that comes with the Basic version with the addition of account reconciliation, creating and sending estimates, custom invoice templates, recurring invoices, invoice payment reminders, managing documents and receipts, and unlimited users with permissions. 

No matter which pricing plan you opt for, you’ll be able to access the platform using both desktop and mobile devices. Expert support is also available to all Patriot Software users.  

Lastly, the product comes with a 30-day free trial period which means that you can take the accounting and payroll software for a test drive before making a commitment. 

Features and benefits

The best thing about the Patriot Software is that it lets you generate different types of reports quickly and easily - whenever and wherever you need them. 

First, there’s the invoices report which lets you keep an eye on customer invoices and apply payments directly. Second, you get access to the profit and loss statement, which measures your company’s financial health by showing income and expense details in a given time frame. There’s also the functionality that lets you find out your total balance for different accounts, such as expenses of assets. Moreover, this accounting app offers you a general ledger report that you can use to view your account activity for any given time span. Lastly, there’s the balance sheet report featuring a breakdown of what’s owed to you and what you owe.

User experience

What makes Patriot Software stand out from the crowd is that this accounting solution is so simple you won’t need any special training to figure out how to create customer invoices, track income, and expenses, or print reports for your accountant. Not only is this one of the simplest accounting applications to grasp, but it also comes with a huge library of useful videos and guides. Whether you prefer doing your accounting using your computer or taking care of invoices on the go, Patriot Software can accommodate you as it uses all the most popular web browsers. 

Customer service

Should you have any questions or run into any issues, you can rest assured that Patriot Software’s support team will be there to assist you. You can get your questions answered by scrolling through the company’s help center, visiting the FAQ page, or getting in touch with the software provider via phone. 

Bottom line

In conclusion, this small business financial software solution is an easy-to-use option for small businesses and their accountants. It allows users to pay bills, track money transactions, invoice an unlimited number of customers, create estimates, and so much more for an affordable monthly fee. Patriot Software reviews also indicate that the company offers expert-level customer support. 

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use solution
  • Lets you invoice an unlimited number of customers
  • Unlimited users with permissions

Cons:

  • No free plan
+ Show more

FinancePal Review

Quick Facts
Starting at:
Custom quotes
Free trial:
Yes
Platform:
mobile, web

Launched in 2015, FinancePal is a Chicago-based online financial services provider that you can turn to for your bookkeeping, accounting, tax preparation, and payroll needs. Best known for offering customizable and affordable accounting software for small businesses, FinancePal provides dedicated online support for company owners, helping them run their businesses more efficiently.

Pricing and packages

Unlike most other providers on our list, FinancePal believes in tailoring the service for each client individually and doesn’t display its prices on the website. We don’t consider this a disadvantage as you can approach the company, share your specific requirements, and only pay for the services you actually need. 

Requesting a quote from FinancePal is quick and easy. All you have to do is visit the accounting system’s website and click on the “Get Your Custom Quote” button. Alternatively, you can get in touch with the provider’s sales team representatives via phone and tell them what you need. 

From there, FinancePal will ask you to provide a little more information about your business, such as its type, size, purpose, and similar basic information. Next, you’ll be prompted to go through the company’s offer and choose one or multiple services (accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, etc.) that you’d like to use. 

Features and benefits

When you sign up for FinancePal’s online accounting solution, you get access to a dedicated team of accountants who will oversee your company’s finances. The provider’s accounting team representatives will be there to offer detailed financial statements, insights, and expert recommendations on how to grow your business. Additionally, you’ll also receive access to FinancePal’s online platform that lets you take a quick overview of your business’s finances at any time so that you’re always aware of where you stand. 

One of the best things about FinancePal is that it supports seamless integration with third-party ​​software solutions that you may already be using. This online accounting software for small business owners lets you integrate its program with bookkeeping, scheduling, and time-tracking software, payroll and HR software, data management, tax preparing, and payroll software provided by another developer.

User experience

As far as accessibility goes, you can visit your FinancePal dashboard using your browser of choice or by downloading the provider’s apps for Android and iOS devices. Installing the app won’t take you more than a minute, and it’ll grant you much faster access to your records whenever and wherever you need them. The app comes with all the features and tools available on the browser-based version, so it’s very convenient for managers and business owners who are constantly on the go.

Customer service

As one of the best mobile and desktop accounting software solutions, FinancePal offers excellent customer support. Representatives take just a few minutes to respond, and you can get in touch with them via phone, email, or live chat. 

Bottom line

Finance Pal is a one-stop shop for all your bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll needs. Thanks to its dedicated team of accounting experts and reliable tech-based services, your day-to-day accounting challenges will be eliminated. In our opinion, this service provider’s solutions are best suited for small businesses. However, medium-sized companies can also benefit from Finance Pal’s software. The list of industries the accounting software provider caters to includes but isn’t limited to real estate, eCommerce, construction, agriculture, and hospitality.

Pros

  • Additional business services on offer
  • Free mobile app
  • Third-party integrations

Cons

  • Pricing is available on request only
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Evaluation Criteria

How do We Determine the Best Accounting Software?

Before you make a purchasing decision, it's important to establish a set of relevant criteria and make sure that a certain product meets all the requirements of your business. The accounting software market is very competitive nowadays, so to help you make the smartest choice, we’ve determined the most important aspects to take into account when choosing the best money management software. Here's how we identify and evaluate our top accounting picks.

Pricing and packages

We can all agree that keeping expenses down is a high priority for most businesses, so weighing cost against functionality is of the utmost importance. Let's say you've just started running your own business and you need the best accounting software for startups, but you're on a tight budget. You're in luck because this review is about to open your eyes to a number of affordable options in the accounting software market.

Most accounting software providers offer their services on a monthly or yearly subscription basis. Pricing plans and packages are usually tiered to match the requirements of different types and sizes of business. By default, free and lower-priced plans come with a limited set of features, while more complex functionalities have a higher price tag.

Features and benefits

No free accounting software, online or on-premises, will do you any good if it isn't equipped with all the features your business requires. There's nothing worse than realizing you need to turn to another provider because your software of choice doesn't suit all your needs. Functionality is just as important as cost, so these two factors need to be evaluated side-by-side. 

A decent accounting software solution should provide all the basic services such as invoices, estimates, expense tracking, bank reconciliation, reports, and managing contacts and items. Higher-level plans usually come with a number of benefits and add-ons, such as budgeting, payroll, tax support, and ample integrations.

User experience

For most people, the best business accounting software solution is one that doesn’t come with a steep learning curve. If you’re a newbie in the accounting world, make sure you choose software that doesn't use accounting jargon, uses a simple interface, and offers multiple channels of customer support. And even if you’re a pro, you'd still be better off with neatly-designed business software that can be navigated easily.

Nowadays, most accounting choices are offered as cloud-based or online, which means there are no installation requirements. However, any accounting software provider worth its salt needs to give its customers a smartphone-compatible option, too. 

Customer service

Customer care departments are a vital part of any online company that offers its services to a large number of customers. For some people, poor customer support is a deal-breaker. As for accounting software, any decent provider should offer support via a range of different channels. These usually include phone, email, live chat, contact forms, social media, blogs, help centers, and other knowledge bases.

Quick Breakdown

The 9 Best Small Business Accounting Software Options:

FAQ
What is the most widely used accounting software? +

QuickBooks by Intuit is one of the most popular choices in the accounting market. Other commonly used options are FreshBooks, Xero, Zoho Books, Kashoo, FinancePal, Patriot Software, and Wave.

What is the best accounting software for small business? +

If you’re a small business owner in need of affordable accounting software with a robust set of features, you should consider cloud-based small business accountant options offered by Xero, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Wave, Zoho Books, FinancePal, Patriot Software, and Kashoo.

Is there a free accounting software? +

Although even the best free accounting software options will never be as robust as the ones that charge fees for their services, there still are a few good choices to consider. One of the most popular free cloud-based accounting solutions is Wave. This provider offers the best accounting software for small business owners in need of a solid set of basic features and unlimited users, items, and projects. 

What are the benefits of using accounting software? +

The biggest advantage of using the right accounting software is that it can save you lots of time and money. Accounting tools can do wonders for the overall efficiency of your business by automating tasks, managing your cash flow, and minimizing all kinds of errors.

How do I choose the best accounting software for my business? +

The right accounting option for your business will be the one that ticks all the boxes on your list of requirements. When shopping for an accounting solution, make sure to evaluate the price of the product, the features and functionalities it offers, whether it’s easy to use, and what kind of customer service it provides.