The best accounting software for small businesses and payroll makes it easy to keep detailed, accurate books. Specifically, these programs use double-entry accounting, generate useful reports, provide live support, integrate with business apps you already use and can scale with your business. If your company is planning to hire expert help, you'll also want to get a program that's widely used by accountants and bookkeepers.
Here are NerdWallet’s picks for the best accounting software for small businesses.
|Product Name||Good for||Starting at||Promotion||Learn More|
Best overall accounting software
$25 and up per month.
50% off for first three months.
Best mobile-friendly option
$15 per month and up.
60% off for first six months
Best for unlimited users
$11 and up per month.
50% off for first two months.
Best for low-cost, high-value
$0 per month and up (with discounts for annual billing).
Best free option
Free (Wave makes money via payment processing).
Here are some questions to ask when evaluating small business accounting software.
Can I access my accounting software anywhere?
Some accounting software products are still desktop-run and can only be accessed from a certain computer. Most newer products are cloud-based and can be accessed through any device with an internet connection, in either a browser tab or a mobile app. This generally allows for greater collaboration and integrations with other business software. If accessing your accounting data from anywhere is a priority, look for a cloud-based option.
Can my bookkeeper or accountant work with it?
If you’re working with an outside bookkeeper or accountant, one way to start is to find out which accounting software they work with. QuickBooks is almost ubiquitous, but other companies, such as Xero, are making inroads as well.
Is it scalable?
You want accounting software that can grow with your business. If you're planning to scale, look for options that can be upgraded when needed and don't set limits on the use of certain features.
Does it have the features I need?
Is inventory management a priority? Are you dealing with foreign transactions? Do you need built-in payment processing? Do you need the software to integrate with other products you already use? If in doubt, try out the free trial offered by most providers.
How much does it cost?
When making the decision on which software to try, price is unlikely to be the deciding factor — but it's important to know what costs to expect and which services are included in the price. Subscription fees for most accounting software start at under $20, but add-ons could increase the price.