Best Accounting and Bookkeeping Apps for Small Business

Stay on top of your bookkeeping with mobile apps that make it easy to upload receipts and reconcile transactions.
Rosalie MurphyJul 27, 2021
Male Owner Of Online Shoe Business Using Digital Tablet

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Bookkeeping is an important part of running a small business, but it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. An easy-to-use bookkeeping app can make it easier to keep track of transactions, document expenses and share information with your bookkeeper or accountant while on the go.

These are our picks for the best mobile apps for business accounting and bookkeeping.

More resources for choosing accounting software:

QuickBooks Accounting: Best overall bookkeeping app

Price: Before discounts, QuickBooks Online Simple Start costs $25 per month, Essentials costs $50 per month, Plus costs $80 per month and Advanced costs $180 per month. Once you have an Online plan, the QuickBooks Accounting app is free.

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks
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on QuickBooks's website

Pros:

  • Most accountants are familiar with QuickBooks Online, so sharing with accountants and bookkeepers is easy.

  • Users can photograph and upload receipts and pair them with expenses.

  • Automatic mileage tracking using GPS.

Cons:

  • QuickBooks can be challenging to learn if you don’t have an accounting background.

Why we like it: QuickBooks Accounting, the app that accompanies QuickBooks Online, allows users to send invoices, upload receipts, track miles and view accounting reports on the go. All the features of QuickBooks Online Simple Start are available in the app. If you use a costlier QuickBooks Online plan, however, some features are available only on the browser-based version. Still, this is a comprehensive bookkeeping app and a useful complement to QuickBooks Online.

FreshBooks: Best bookkeeping app for freelancers

Price: $15 per month for five billable clients, $25 per month for 50 clients and $50 per month for unlimited clients. After the first user, each additional team member costs an additional $10 per month. Custom pricing is available if users need additional features. There is no additional cost for the app.

FreshBooks Accounting

FreshBooks
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on FreshBooks's website

Pros:

  • Users receive notifications when clients view or pay invoices.

  • Automatic mileage tracking and receipt importing.

  • Easy-to-use mobile interface.

Cons:

  • Pricing structure makes it expensive to add additional users.

Why we like it: The FreshBooks app supports automated mileage tracking, in-app messaging with clients, mobile invoice creation and receipt capture to log expenses — all key features of a bookkeeping app. Its notifications tab makes it easy for freelancers to know when invoices have been paid or become overdue. This mobile-friendly product is a good fit for on-the-go business owners who want bookkeeping to be as convenient as possible.

Sunrise: Best free bookkeeping app

Price: The app and self-service software are free. Sunrise’s professional bookkeeping service starts at $149 per month.

Pros:

  • Free for all users, including your accountant or bookkeeper.

  • Users can customize their invoices within the app.

  • Offers receipt capture and expense tracking.

Cons:

  • No time or mileage tracking.

Why we like it: In this free app, users can create and send estimates and invoices, capture receipts and generate basic financial reports, including profit and loss statements and balance sheets. For a monthly fee, Sunrise will provide businesses with a virtual bookkeeper. Though it lacks time and mileage tracking, Sunrise is an easy-to-use free option for bookkeeping on the go.

Zoho Books: Best mobile-first features

Price: Free for businesses that have less than $50,000 in annual revenue with one user and one accountant. For larger businesses, Zoho Books costs $15 per month for three users, $40 per month for five users and $60 per month for 10 users, when paid annually. If you choose to pay monthly, prices will be slightly higher. There is no additional cost for the app.

Pros:

  • Automatic mileage conversion from GPS and Apple Maps.

  • Users can turn photos of business cards into contacts.

  • Apple Watch app available.

Cons:

  • To scan receipts, you’ll need Zoho Expense, a separate app.

Why we like it: Zoho Books is part of the robust Zoho suite, which includes lots of useful services at affordable prices. But Zoho Books has unique mobile-first features that set it apart, such as the ability to send invoices via iMessage. There’s even an Apple Watch app, through which you can track time, send payment reminders and review outstanding invoices.

GoDaddy Bookkeeping: Best bookkeeping app for e-commerce businesses

Price: With the Get Paid plan, users can create invoices and estimates, accept payments and track time for $4.99 per month. At $9.99 per month, the Essentials plan adds unlimited business reports, automatic importing of bank and credit card transactions and automatic importing of sales data. At $14.99 per month, the Premium plan adds recurring invoices. There is no additional cost for the app.

Pros:

  • Users can sync their business accounts on Amazon, Etsy, eBay or PayPal with GoDaddy Bookkeeping.

  • Estimates quarterly tax payments and generates a Schedule C worksheet (Essentials and Premium plans only).

  • Lower price point than other bookkeeping apps.

Cons:

  • Limited use cases.

Why we like it: GoDaddy Bookkeeping was designed with small e-commerce businesses in mind, and its integration with e-commerce seller accounts is unique. It offers most of the features that other bookkeeping apps do, including receipt capture, invoice creation and basic accounting reports. But service-based businesses or companies with employees may need more advanced financial reporting features.

Xero Accounting: Best app for unlimited users

Price: The Early plan, which limits the number of quotes and invoices you can send, costs $11 per month. The Growing plan adds unlimited quotes and invoices and costs $32 per month. The Established plan, which offers multiple currencies and project tracking, costs $62 per month. There is no additional cost for the app.

Pros:

  • Allows unlimited users at all subscription levels.

  • Though not as ubiquitous as QuickBooks, many accountants are familiar with Xero.

Cons:

  • No mileage tracking, though that is available in Xero Expenses.

Why we like it: From the Xero app, business owners can create, send and view invoices; reconcile and categorize bank transactions; and see what bills need to be paid. This app is not as feature-rich as the apps from some competitors, but if you already use Xero or need a large number of users to access a bookkeeping app, it’s a good option.

How to choose an accounting or bookkeeping app

Generally, no accounting or bookkeeping software lives totally on an app. All our picks for the best accounting and bookkeeping apps have desktop or browser-based versions, too. Some or most features are available on the apps, but users will probably still need their computers for certain tasks.

The less cumbersome bookkeeping feels, though, the easier it will be to keep up. A bookkeeping app should feel intuitive, automate simple tasks and make it easy to track receipts and expenses on the go. Here are some other things to keep in mind while you choose the best bookkeeping app for your business.

What do you need to do from your phone? 

Some tasks lend themselves to mobile, like tracking mileage or uploading photos of receipts. Creating and sending estimates and invoices at a job site can be helpful too.

If you prefer to work at your desktop computer or laptop, software that offers a fairly simple mobile app might be good enough. But if you’re mobile-first in other aspects of your business, then a powerful, intuitive mobile app might be more important.

What apps do you need to sync with? 

Many makers of accounting and bookkeeping software also make payments or expense-tracking software, and you may need to use those apps in tandem with bookkeeping apps for the full suite of services. For instance, if you use the Zoho Books app for bookkeeping, you’ll also need the Zoho Expenses app to upload photos of your receipts.

If any other apps or software programs are key to your operations, make sure to choose a bookkeeping app that integrates with those programs.

What tasks will this app automate? 

Bookkeeping apps should be able to automate simple tasks, like reading information from invoices or categorizing bank transactions. If it doesn’t save you time, it’s probably not a good fit.