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Best Business Software of March 2024

Choose accounting, point-of-sale, payment processing, payroll and additional solutions that your business won’t outgrow. The right software may not be free.
By Hillary Crawford
Last updated on January 2, 2024
Edited bySally Lauckner
Fact checked and reviewed

⏰ Estimated read time: 2 minutes

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The right business software for your company minimizes manual data entry on multiple fronts, whether it’s categorizing transactions, recording in-person sales, tracking inventory, generating invoices or making sure your employees get paid on time. Before choosing a product, verify that it integrates with the rest of your system.
Most businesses will need accounting software to keep their finances in order. Other business software products to consider include point-of-sale systems, payment processing services and software for payroll, invoicing, inventory management, budgeting and human resources.
Here are NerdWallet’s top picks for the best small-business software.

Our picks for

Best accounting software

Solid accounting software is the foundation of a capable business software ecosystem. Use it to centralize all of your financial data, prepare for tax season and keep tabs on the financial health of your business. Accounting software often includes features for budgeting (Xero and QuickBooks Online stand out for theirs) and invoicing (we rate FreshBooks as one of the best all-in-one invoicing and accounting products).

QuickBooks Online

Learn more

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

Starting at
$30/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $60, $90, $200.

Promotion
50% off

for first three months or free 30-day trial.

Learn more

on Xero's secure website

Starting at
$15/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $42, $78.

Promotion
30-day free trial

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Zoho Books

Learn more

on Zoho Books' secure website

Starting at
$0

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

Promotion
14-day free trial

of the Premium plan.

FreshBooks

Learn more

on FreshBooks' secure website

Starting at
$19/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $33, $60, custom.

Promotion
30-day free trial

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Wave Accounting

Starting at
$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $16

Promotion
N/A

Our picks for

Best point-of-sale (POS) software

Point-of-sale software often enables you to do much more than take payments. Capabilities can include inventory management, menu and table management, employee management, customer loyalty programs and integrations with third-party software for additional functionality. If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, make sure your POS software provider also offers hardware that lets you accept in-person payments.

Square POS

Learn more

on Square POS's secure website

Payment processing fees
2.6% + 10¢

in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online.

Monthly fee
$0.00

and up.

SpotOn Restaurant

4.5
NerdWallet rating 
Learn more

on SpotOn Restaurant's secure website

Payment processing fees
1.99% + 25¢

For most cards in paid plans.

Monthly fee
$0.00

and up.

Shopify Retail POS

Learn more

on Shopify POS's secure website

Payment processing fees
2.70%

in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online (Basic plan).

Monthly fee
$29.00

and up for e-commerce plans with POS Lite; Can upgrade to POS Pro for an extra $89.

Clover POS

Learn more

on Clover POS's secure website

Payment processing fees
2.3% + 10¢ or 2.6% + 10¢

in-person; 3.5% + 10¢ online.

Monthly fee
$14.95

and up.

PayPal Zettle

Payment processing fees
2.29% + 9¢

in-person; 3.49% + 9¢ keyed.

Monthly fee
$0.00

Our picks for

Best payment processors

A payment processor is necessary for any business that accepts credit cards. The best payment processors offer competitive transaction rates, can process multiple payment methods and currencies, are transparent with their fees and may offer discounted transaction rates based on sales volume.

Learn more

on Stripe Payments' secure website

Payment processing fees
2.7% + 5¢

in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online.

Monthly fee
$0.00
Learn more

on Helcim's secure website

Payment processing fees
0.40% + 8¢

plus interchange, in-person; 0.50% + 25¢ plus interchange, online.

Monthly fee
$0.00

Stax by Fattmerchant

Learn more

on Stax by Fattmerchant's secure website

Payment processing fees
0% + $0.08

Plus interchange

Monthly fee
$99.00

and up.

Payline

Learn more

on Payline's secure website

Payment processing fees
0.4% + 10¢

plus interchange in-person; 0.75% + 20¢ plus interchange online.

Monthly fee
$10.00

in person; $20 online.

Dharma Merchant Services

Payment processing fees
0.15% + 8¢

plus interchange in-person; 0.20% + 11¢ plus interchange online.

Monthly fee
$15.00

for most industries; $12 for nonprofits.

Our picks for

Best invoicing software

Invoicing and billing software lets you create one-off and recurring invoices, bills clients, keeps track of unpaid invoices and sends payment reminders. Here are several great options that all include a free pricing plan.

Harvest

5.0
NerdWallet rating 
Starting at
$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $12 per user.

Promotion
30-day free trial

of the Harvest Pro plan.

Square Invoices

Learn more

on Square Invoices' secure website

Starting at
$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20.

Promotion
30-day free trial

of the Plus plan.

Hiveage

4.5
NerdWallet rating 
Starting at
$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $19, $29, $49.

Promotion
14-day free trial

of the Pro plan.

Zoho Invoice

4.5
NerdWallet rating 
Learn more

on Zoho Invoice's secure website

Starting at
$0

Free.

Promotion
N/A

Invoice Ninja

4.0
NerdWallet rating 
Starting at
$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $12, $16.

Promotion
N/A

Our picks for

Best inventory management software

It’s not uncommon to find inventory tracking features in your accounting or POS software. Here are several standalone options, however, that may be a good fit for businesses with basic or limited POS software or those operating without a POS but in need of a system to help manage inventory.

Cin7

Starting at
$349/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $599, $999. Custom pricing also available.

Promotion
14-day free trial.

Brightpearl

Starting at
N/A

Quote-based.

Promotion
N/A

inFlow Inventory

Starting at
$110/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $279; $549; $1,319.

Promotion
14-day free trial

Zoho Inventory

Learn more

on Zoho Inventory's secure website

Starting at
$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $39, $99, $159, $299.

Promotion
14-day free trial

Katana

Starting at
$199/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $399; $899; $1,999.

Promotion
14-day free trial

plus $200 monthly discount on Professional plan.

Our picks for

Best payroll software

Payroll software doesn’t just make paying your employees easier — some will also calculate and file payroll taxes for you. Typically it offers some level of access to employees so they can view pay stubs, download tax forms and update their personal information. Standout payroll software includes automatic payroll functionality and direct integrations with popular accounting software.

Gusto Payroll

Learn more

on Gusto Payroll's secure website

Starting at
$40/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $80, custom pricing. Fee per employee varies by tier.

Promotion
N/A

QuickBooks Payroll

Learn more

on QuickBooks Payroll's secure website

Starting at
$45/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $80, $125. Fee per employee varies by tier.

Promotion
One month free trial

or 50% off for three months; terms apply.

RUN Powered by ADP

Learn more

on RUN Powered by ADP's secure website

Starting at
$79/month

Plus $4 per employee. Custom pricing also available.

Promotion
Three months free

Terms apply

OnPay Payroll

Learn more

on OnPay Payroll's secure website

Starting at
$40/month

Plus $6 per employee.

Promotion
One month free

Terms apply

Patriot Payroll

Learn more

on Patriot Payroll's secure website

Starting at
$17/month

Plus $4 per employee. Additional pricing tiers (per month): $37.

Promotion
One month free

Terms apply

Our picks for

Best business budgeting software

Business budgeting software is designed to help you forecast and manage cash flow. It often includes features for budget creation and reporting and can even help you run projections and plan for various financial scenarios.

PlanGuru

Starting at
$99/per month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $299.

Promotion
14-day free trial

Float

Starting at
$69/per month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $119, $249.

Promotion
14-day free trial

Centage Planning Maestro®

Starting at
$950/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $1,950, quote-based.

Promotion
N/A

LivePlan

Starting at
$20/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $40.

Promotion
N/A

Spendesk Collaborative Budgets

Starting at
$0

Free.

Promotion
N/A

Our picks for

Best HR software

If your business spends a lot of time hiring and training employees, it might be time to explore human resources software that can assist in benefits administration, payroll and employee onboarding.

Rippling

Learn more

on Rippling's secure website

Starting at
$35/month

Plus $8 per person.

Promotion
N/A

Namely

Starting at
N/A

Quote-based.

Promotion
N/A

BambooHR

Starting at
N/A

Quote-based.

Promotion
N/A

GoCo

Starting at
N/A

Quote-based. Plus $5 per person.

Promotion
N/A

TriNet Zenefits

Starting at
$10/month

Per employee. Must pay for at least 5 employees per month. Additional pricing tiers (per employee per month): $20, $33.

Promotion
12-months free payroll

With annual subscription to Growth and Zen plans.

How to choose the right business software 

Before subscribing to any business software product, make a list of the different types of products and features you think you’ll need. If you’re not sure where to start, most small businesses require point-of-sale (POS) software or at least payment processing software to be able to accept card payments. From there, you may want to consider accounting software, paying attention to whether it integrates directly with your POS software. If your business has employees, a good next step may be to explore a payroll software option that integrates with your accounting and or POS software.
In addition to considering which features meet your business’s specific needs, have a monthly software budget in mind and make sure your products directly integrate with each other. Paying for indirect integrations may add unnecessary costs.
For a more in-depth look at different types of business software — and to see even more options — check out NerdWallet’s picks for:
Last updated on January 2, 2024

Methodology

Here’s more information about how we evaluate accounting software, POS systems, payment processing providers and payroll software services.
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