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Best QuickBooks Alternatives of May 2022

The best QuickBooks alternatives are easy to use, customizable and use double-entry accounting.

Apr 25, 2022

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QuickBooks Online has more than 5 million users globally, but this accounting product isn’t the best choice for every small business. It can be expensive and some features, like inventory management, are only available on higher-tier plans. Among other drawbacks, invoice customization options are lacking, and users without prior accounting knowledge may experience a learning curve.

Here are the best QuickBooks alternatives for small businesses:

Best QuickBooks Alternatives

Our pick for

Overall QuickBooks alternative

FreshBooks
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on FreshBooks Accounting's secure website

FreshBooks Accounting

FreshBooks

Starting at

$15/mo

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $25, $50, custom.

Promotion

60% off

60% off for first six months

Shop now

on FreshBooks Accounting's secure website


Why we like it

FreshBooks' mobile app is intuitive and feature-rich, making it a great choice for entrepreneurs who spend more time on the phone than at a desk. Aside from general accounting functions, the mobile app also allows you to respond to clients' questions and get notified when they view or pay invoices or when invoices are overdue. Entirely cloud-based, it covers the basics and includes some attractive automated features and reports. If you need to have more than one person access the system, be sure you factor that into the price.

Pros

  • Ease of use.

  • Billing includes unlimited estimates and invoices, though some plans limit the number of billable clients.

  • Option to add advanced payment processing.

  • Phone and email support.

Cons

  • Each pricing tier, except the Select plan, includes one user; each additional user adds $10 per month.

  • Lite plan doesn’t include double-entry accounting reports, bank reconciliation or accountant access.

  • Lite and Plus plans limit the number of billable clients.

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Our pick for

Ease of use

Xero
Shop now

on Xero's secure website

Xero

Xero

Starting at

$12/mo

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $34, $65.

Promotion

30-day free trial
Shop now

on Xero's secure website


Why we like it

Xero stands out by allowing unlimited users at every subscription tier, a potentially valuable feature for businesses where several users may need at least limited access to the system to run reports or analyze performance. You can also set up different permissions for each user so employees only have access to what's relevant to their job. By contrast, QuickBooks Online’s highest-tier Advanced plan allows just 25 users and three accounting firms. The New Zealand-based company, which is a market leader in some parts of the world, is also working to make inroads in the U.S. It offers a full certification program for accountants (like QuickBooks does), with more than 100,000 accountants and bookkeepers using Xero — which makes it easier for Xero customers to find outside help.

Pros

  • Unlimited users in all pricing plans.

  • Inventory management in all plans.

  • Full reporting included with all subscription levels.

  • Automated bill and receipt capture.

Cons

  • No live phone support.

  • Limits on bills and invoices with the entry-level plan (five and 20 monthly, respectively).

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Our pick for

Free QuickBooks alternative

Wave
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on NerdWallet's secure website

Wave Accounting

Wave

Starting at

$0

Free (Wave makes money via payment processing).

Promotion

N/A
Learn more

on NerdWallet's secure website


Why we like it

Unlike some “freemium” software products, Wave doesn’t put out a bare-bones free product as bait, then load it down with costly upgrades. Even the free version has things like the ability to add unlimited collaborators, along with unlimited bank and credit card connections. Its separate invoicing product (also free) adds unlimited invoices and automated invoice reminders. The company, which was purchased by H&R Block in 2019, makes money instead through payment processing, a service you can add on (starting at 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction). The payroll add-on starts at $20 per month in states where Wave's tax services aren't available and $35 per month in states where Wave will handle your payroll taxes.

Pros

  • Free.

  • Ease of use.

  • Unlimited income and expense tracking.

  • Unlimited partners, collaborators or accountants.

Cons

  • Not suitable for larger or fast-growing companies.

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Our pick for

Invoicing

Zoho
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on NerdWallet's secure website

Zoho Books

Zoho

Starting at

$0

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

Promotion

N/A
Learn more

on NerdWallet's secure website


Why we like it

Zoho Books packs an impressive collection of features and reporting capabilities for an affordable price. Its interface is easy to learn and use, and the option to automate workflows — for example, to send an email alert if an estimate exceeds a certain amount, or to apply a discount or late fee in certain cases — makes it stand out as an attractive choice. (You can create 10 automated workflows under in the Professional plan and up to 200 in the highest-tier Premium plan.) Zoho is perhaps best-known for its customer relationship management, or CRM, and productivity apps, which integrate well with its accounting software. It's possible to create contacts on Zoho Books based on new leads in Zoho CRM, for instance.

Pros

  • Ease of use.

  • Can integrate with a family of other Zoho products and several third-party apps.

  • Ability to automate workflows in Professional and Premium plans.

  • Phone and email support in paid plans.

Cons

  • Third-party app integrations are more limited than other choices.

  • The top-tier plan only includes 10 users (additional seats can be added at $3 each per month).

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Our pick for

Inventory management

Sage
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on NerdWallet's secure website

Sage 50cloud

Sage

Starting at

$56/mo

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $87.58, $145.17.

Promotion

40% off for the first year
Learn more

on NerdWallet's secure website


Why we like it

Sage 50cloud is a desktop product that has to be locally installed, but it includes features you’d find in cloud-based software, like automated bank reconciliation. This makes it a good solution for small-business owners who are hesitant to adopt an entirely cloud-based system or don’t have reliable internet access.

Pros

  • Inventory management features in all plans.

  • Job costing features in all plans.

  • Phone and chat support.

Cons

  • Runs on Windows operating systems only.

  • Lowest-tier plan doesn’t include audit trails.

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Our picks for best QuickBooks alternatives

Click software name to read review.

Our pick for: Best overall QuickBooks alternative

Price:

  • Lite: $15 per month.

  • Plus: $25 per month.

  • Premium: $50 per month.

  • Select: Quote only.

Unlike QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks includes inventory management in all plans — and it does so for a lower price. Its customer service, in particular, gets positive reviews across multiple platforms. One downside: Unlike other products on our list, it comes with a user limit. All plans, except the Select plan, include access for only one user; additional users cost $10 each per month.

Our pick for: Ease of use

Price: 

  • Early: $12 per month.

  • Growing: $34 per month.

  • Established: $65 per month.

Xero stands out for ease of use and intuitiveness, especially for accounting novices. Its minimalist, simple design and jargon-free language are especially popular among small-business owners. Like QuickBooks Online, it's also widely used, which makes it easy to find accountants who support it. Unlike QuickBooks Online, however, it doesn’t list a phone number for customer support. Instead, users can seek help online 24/7 through chat or email, and Xero will follow up with a call if necessary.

Our pick for: Best free QuickBooks alternative

Price:

  • Free (Wave makes money via payment processing).

You can’t beat accounting software that’s completely free, and Wave delivers on most of the basics without requiring expensive add-ons. It’s a good alternative to QuickBooks Online if you’re on a tight budget and run a small operation, but it’s not ideal for scaling your business. Like Xero, there is no phone number available for customer support.

Our pick for: Invoicing

Price:

  • Free for businesses with less than $50,000 in annual revenue and one user.

  • Three users: $20 per month.

  • Five users: $50 per month.

  • 10 users: $70 per month.

Zoho Books stands apart from QuickBooks Online because its combined invoice and accounting software product allows for more invoice customization. You can choose the invoice design, create invoices in multiple languages and accept payments in cash, check or online in different currencies. If you commit to the Zoho ecosystem, you can smoothly integrate its inventory management, CRM and other software with Zoho Books.

Our pick for: Inventory management

Price:

  • Pro Accounting: $56.08 per month for one user.

  • Premium Accounting: $87.58 (one user) to $201.58 (five users) per month.

  • Quantum Accounting: $145.17 (one user) to $371.08 per month (10 users).

  • For more than 10 users, contact Sage for pricing.

Sage 50cloud stands out for including solid inventory management and job costing features in all its plans. This could make it a better option for businesses with more complicated inventory needs, such as retail or manufacturing businesses, or service-based businesses that use job costing, like law firms. QuickBooks offers inventory tracking only in the Plus and Advanced plans. Since Sage 50cloud is a desktop software that runs only on Windows, it's different from all the other cloud-based software products on our list.

Awards for QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online earned a spot as one of the best products in NerdWallet roundups for these categories:

Last updated on April 25, 2022

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best QuickBooks Alternatives of May 2022