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Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses of December 2022

Take into account your business’s size, budget, whether you’re self-employed and which features you care about most.
Last updated on October 31, 2022

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Accounting software helps entrepreneurs keep track of how money moves into and out of their business, and provides a detailed overview of the business’s financial health. The best accounting software for small businesses should be easy to use, include strong reporting and invoicing capabilities and integrate with your payroll software and/or point-of-sale system at the very least. Also consider cost, ease of sharing with accountants, customer support, mobile app features and scalability.
Here are NerdWallet’s picks for the best small-business accounting software and why we like them, plus tips on how to choose the right software for your business’s specific needs.

Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses

Product
Best for
Starting at
Promotion
Learn more

QuickBooks Online

Shop now

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

5.0/5

Best for Overall accounting software

$30/mo

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $55, $85, $200.

50% off

for first three months or free 30-day trial.

Shop now

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

Xero

Shop now

on Xero's secure website

4.5/5

Best for Unlimited users

$13/mo

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $37, $70.

30-day free trial.

Shop now

on Xero's secure website

Zoho Books

4.0/5

Best for Zoho users

$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20, $50, $70, $150, $275.

14-day free trial

of the Premium plan.

FreshBooks Accounting

Shop now

on FreshBooks Accounting's secure website

3.5/5

Best for Freelancers

$15/mo

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $30, $55, custom.

60% off

for first four months or free 30-day trial.

Shop now

on FreshBooks Accounting's secure website

Wave Accounting

3.5/5

Best for Free option

$0

Free (Wave makes money via paid money management products).

N/A

Our pick for

Overall accounting software

QuickBooks Online

5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review
Shop now

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

Starting at

$30/mo

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $55, $85, $200.

Promotion

50% off

for first three months or free 30-day trial.

QuickBooks Online is an industry leader in the accounting field, thanks to its strong feature set, scalability and ability to accommodate small businesses with more complex financial needs. With millions of users worldwide, your accountant will likely be familiar with it.

Our pick for

Unlimited users

Xero

4.5
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review
Shop now

on Xero's secure website

Starting at

$13/mo

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $37, $70.

Promotion

30-day free trial.

Xero allows unlimited users at every subscription tier, a valuable feature for businesses where several users may need at least limited access to the system to run reports or analyze performance. In terms of functionality and features, Xero is one of QuickBooks Online’s biggest competitors and has a more customizable dashboard that lets each user rearrange or hide panels.

Our pick for

Zoho users

Zoho Books

4.0
NerdWallet rating 
Starting at

$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20, $50, $70, $150, $275.

Promotion

14-day free trial

of the Premium plan.

Zoho Books packs an impressive collection of features and capabilities for an affordable price, and higher-tier plans let users automate workflows and track project profitability. It’s an especially good choice for users that already use the company’s other in-house apps.

Our pick for

Freelancers

FreshBooks Accounting

3.5
NerdWallet rating 
Read Review
Shop now

on FreshBooks Accounting's secure website

Starting at

$15/mo

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $30, $55, custom.

Promotion

60% off

for first four months or free 30-day trial.

FreshBooks is a simple and affordable option for freelancers and very small businesses that don’t require many users and prioritize being able to operate on the go via mobile app. It’s an especially inexpensive choice for those who can work within lower-tier plans’ billable client limits.

Our pick for

Free option

Wave Accounting

3.5
NerdWallet rating 
Starting at

$0

Free (Wave makes money via paid money management products).

Promotion

N/A

Unlike some “freemium” software products, Wave doesn’t put out a bare-bones free product as bait, then load it down with costly upgrades. The free accounting software lets you add unlimited collaborators, along with unlimited bank and credit card connections.

How to choose accounting software

Here are some questions to ask yourself before landing on an accounting software product.
  • Can I access my accounting software anywhere? Most accounting products today are cloud-based and can be accessed through any device with an internet connection. This generally allows for easier collaboration with accountants and seamless integration with other business software. Some accounting products are still desktop-run and can only be accessed from a certain computer.
  • What software do accountants use? 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 come with comprehensive reporting capabilities and can be upgraded to serve a larger organization with more complicated financials.
  • Does it have the features I need? If inventory management is a priority, look for a system that comes with useful tracking features or integrates with your point-of-sale system. Solid invoicing features and reporting are typically must-haves. Some businesses, like nonprofits and construction companies, might also require industry-specific features or reports. If you're not sure whether a product fits your business's needs, try out the free trial offered by most providers.
  • How much does it cost? Subscription fees for most accounting software start at under $20, but add-ons could increase the price. See NerdWallet’s picks for best free accounting products if you run a micro business or are self-employed and want to keep costs down.

What is the best accounting software for small business?

QuickBooks Online is NerdWallet’s pick for best overall accounting software, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for every business. Wave might be sufficient for very small businesses, and people who already use Zoho business apps might find that Zoho Books is the most convenient option. Xero is a good deal for businesses that need to grant software access to more than a handful of users. Consider which features matter most to you, and which user interfaces are easiest for you to navigate.
Last updated on October 31, 2022

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