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Online business budget software is a must-have for many businesses, freelancers and accounting professionals looking to automate their business financial tasks. From tracking expenses to running reports, the right budget software can increase your business’s efficiency and streamline your workflows.
Luckily, whether you’re looking for comprehensive small business budgeting software to create a detailed financial analysis or a pared-down option, there are plenty of quality options from which to choose. And to help you get started in the search process, we’ll review some of the best business budget software on the market today.
Top 7 business budget software options
So, first things first, what exactly is small business budgeting software?
In short, budget software is a specific program that small businesses use to manage, track and forecast their business budget. Budget software should have strong reporting capabilities that allow you to generate and manage financial statements like cash flow reports and profit and loss statements.
Similar to standard accounting software, business budgeting software can also come with additional features such as payroll processing or payroll services.
That said, although some business accounting software can be used as budgeting software, there are distinct business budget software solutions that you might consider as well—depending on your individual needs.
Before you dive into your options, consider how pricing, user experience, accounting tools and more will play into your decision-making process. Then take a look at these top options for business budget software.
1. QuickBooks Online
Best budget software for overall functionality.
Our top overall pick for the best budget software for small businesses goes to QuickBooks Online. Although QuickBooks is considered accounting software, it can automate virtually all of your financial business tasks, from invoicing and billing to sorting expenses. The user-friendly interface and dashboard let you easily track your budget and expenses.
Most importantly, QuickBooks Online has robust reporting capabilities. Small businesses can build their own customized reports or select one of QuickBooks’ own built-in reporting options, making it easier to generate profit and loss statements and other important financial reports. If you want to customize your software, QuickBooks also allows you to choose from hundreds of integrations.
QuickBooks Online offers four pricing plans for small businesses: Simple Start ($25 per month), Essentials ($50 per month), Plus ($80 per month), and Advanced, ($180 a month). No matter which plan you choose, you’ll enjoy (at minimum) these features:
Invoicing and payments
Income and expense management
Track sales and sales tax
Capture and organize receipts
Run standard reports
You can also look into QuickBooks Self-Employed, which includes tools designed for freelancers, contractors and other self-employed professionals. This software starts at $15 per month.
Easy to navigate
Various price points
Can separate personal and business expenses
Can be pricey
Difficult for non-finance professionals
Hard to set up
Best budget software for advanced features.
If you don’t want a lot of complex accounting features but still want one of the best cloud-based business budgeting software solutions, Xero is worth considering for your business.
With Xero, users can keep track of all of their accounts, invoices and budgets in one place. Plus, Xero has made improvements to their more advanced features such as their expense and project management modules, both of which are particularly useful for budgeting.
Xero offers three pricing plans: Early, Growing and Established.
The cheapest plan, Early, starts at $9 per month and includes Xero’s bare-bones accounting features and a limited number of invoices, quotes and bills.
The Growing plan costs $30 per month. It includes everything in the Early plan plus unlimited invoices, quotes and bills.
Lastly, Xero’s most expensive plan, Established, costs $60 per month. In addition to including everything in the Growing plan, the Established plan allows you to use multi-currency features, as well as the more advanced expense and project management tools.
Excellent integration capabilities
Accessible user interface
Strong customer service
Limited reporting options
Not ideal for larger businesses
Best budget software for basic budgeting.
FreshBooks is another well-known business accounting and budgeting software for small to medium-sized businesses and is really ideal for businesses that want basic budgeting tools.
With FreshBooks, you can create and view estimates during budgeting. FreshBooks also allows you to control your budget efficiently with their expense tracking system. However, it is important to note that FreshBooks is not capable of handling complex budget planning.
There are four versions of FreshBooks: Lite, Plus, Premium and Select. The Premium and Select versions are skewed toward larger businesses, while the Lite and Plus versions are geared toward self-employed and small to midsize businesses.
The Lite version is the cheapest option, costs $15 per month, and provides unlimited expense entries, unlimited custom invoices, custom functionality and much more.
Easily integrates with other web services
Very easy to navigate
Simple invoice creation
Can get very expensive with higher plans/adding team members
Doesn’t allow for complex budgeting
Best budget software for forecasting.
With years of experience helping small businesses and financial advisors, PlanGuru’s business budget software is known for its scalability. Whether you’re looking to create a simple small-business budget or a highly detailed operating budget, PlanGuru can make those accommodations. PlanGuru is known for its forecasting and analytics tools, providing over 20 forecasting methods to allow small businesses to easily budget and forecast up to 10 years ahead of time.
PlanGuru offers both a cloud-based app and a desktop application. The desktop version does come with slightly more features, as desktop users can run an unlimited number of consolidations, conduct a business valuation, and access the breakeven tool. Both versions of the product cost $99 per month or $899 annually. Additional users cost an extra $29 per month or $299 per year.
Integrates with Excel, QuickBooks, and Xero
Provides integrated balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements
Strong product support
Comes with additional analytics tools
Limited reporting flexibility
No remote access for Desktop
Best budget software to manage cash flow.
Float is an award-winning business budgeting and cash flow forecasting add-on for businesses that use Xero, QuickBooks Online or FreeAgent. With Float, users get clear visibility into their cash flow in real-time, and users also can set budgets.
You can view your cash flow on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Float will alert its users when cash flow is low or if there is a cash surplus, creating actionable insights for businesses.
Float offers a 14-day free trial period and three paid plans: Essential, Premium and Enterprise. Essential is $69 per month, Premium is $119 per month and Enterprise costs $249 a month.
Easily integrates with top accounting systems
Automatically imports data
No consolidated cash flow
Difficult to import large amounts of data
No mobile app
6. Centage’s Budget Maestro
Best budget software for collaboration.
Centage Corporation offers a suite of budgeting and accounting tools for small and medium-sized businesses. One of these tools is Budget Maestro, a cloud-based budgeting software specifically designed to allow businesses to easily create complete budgets and manage budget models. Budget Maestro comes with many impressive capabilities, including the ability to generate infinite “what if” budget scenarios.
In addition, Budget Maestro also comes with customizable dashboards, making it simple for finance and non-finance professionals to quickly understand the business’s financial data. The most popular feature of the software is that multiple contributors can work together on a budget. Budget Maestro then consolidates all of the work into one model.
Budget Maestro’s pricing is available upon request. You will have to contact the company directly to receive a quote.
Integrates with your general ledger
Tricky to set up
Quote-based pricing; could be expensive
7. Adaptive Planning
Best budget software for bigger businesses.
From business budgeting to modeling, Workday Adaptive Planning’s enterprise software can do it all. Adaptive Planning is a cloud-based CPM software that enables enterprises to plan budgets and conduct revenue forecasts, calculations and much more.
Users love Adaptive Planning for its ability to streamline budgeting expenses, accurately track budgeting costs and review total company spend. Like Centage’s Budget Maestro, Adaptive Planning also can generate and forecast different budgeting scenarios.
Adaptive Planning has two pricing packages: standard and enterprise. However, to learn more about specific pricing or implementation services, you’ll have to contact a sales representative.
Allows “what if” scenarios for budgeting
Synchronizes with select applications
Very difficult to set up
The bottom line
With so many small business budgeting software options from which to choose, it can be difficult to narrow down which solution is right for your business. To start, we’d recommend thinking through your most important feature needs and price points:
Are integrations important, or can you get by with customized financial statements and reports?
Do you want software that can scale or just the basics?
Ultimately, whether you opt for one of the best business budget software solutions we’ve reviewed here or another choice entirely, don’t forget to take advantage of free trials—and test out a platform for yourself before making a paid commitment.
This article originally appeared on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.