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5 Best Small-Business Apps of July 2024

These apps can help you with point-of-sale, accounting, invoicing and payroll.
By Lisa A. Anthony, Hillary Crawford
Last updated on June 24, 2024
Edited byRyan Lane
Fact checked and reviewed

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The best small-business apps can help you run your company, startup or side hustle more efficiently, saving you time and money. Using the same app for multiple business functions — think accounting and invoicing — will offer the simplest setup. But if you’re looking for standalone options, here are NerdWallet's top picks in five main categories:

Our pick for

Best POS app

Square’s POS system is known for its simple user interface and can accommodate businesses in a range of industries, including retail stores, restaurants and appointment-based operations. Its free POS app and card reader help you track data and complete sales on the go while keeping costs low.

Square POS

Learn more

on Square POS's secure website

Payment processing fees
2.6% + 10¢

in-person; 2.9% + 30¢ online.

Monthly fee

and up.

Our pick for

Best accounting app

With income and expense tracking, invoicing, reporting and a longstanding reputation in the industry, QuickBooks Online hits the mark for most small businesses’ accounting software needs. Its streamlined mobile app lets you enter transactions from anywhere so you don’t have to remember later. You can also use it to run key reports, like a profit and loss statement.

QuickBooks Online

Learn more

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

Starting at

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

50% off

for first three months or free 30-day trial.

Our pick for

Best payroll app

Gusto receives high marks for its core payroll services and range of HR tools for hiring employees and providing benefits. And unlike some of its competitors, the company built an app specifically for employees. Gusto Wallet lets your staff view paychecks and set up custom saving goals from their smartphone.

Gusto Payroll

Learn more

on Gusto Payroll's secure website

Starting at

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $80, $180. Fee per employee varies by tier.

6 months free

for contractor-only businesses.

Our pick for

Best invoicing app

Square Invoices is a standalone, free invoicing app that lets you add your business logo to invoices, run reports, store customer info and send unlimited invoices, estimates and contracts. You can upgrade to the paid plan to access lower payment processing rates and more customization options.

Square Invoices

Learn more

on Square Invoices' secure website

Starting at

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $20.

30-day free trial

of the Plus plan.

Our pick for

Best expense tracking app

At its core, Xero is an accounting software program, but it stands out for its Xero Me employee app and the expense tracking features in its Established plan. Business owners can use Xero to claim mileage expenses, approve employee expenses and snap photos of receipts, while employees use the Xero Me app to submit expenses directly from their smartphones.

Learn more

on Xero's secure website

Starting at

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

30-day free trial

or monthly discount (terms vary).

More small-business apps to consider

The top small-business apps listed are the best overall in their category, but that doesn’t mean they’re the perfect fit for every business. If you’re looking for more industry-specific alternatives or have particular must-have features in mind, you might weigh these options, too.
Keep in mind that some apps — like QuickBooks Online and FreshBooks — can serve multiple functions. Be sure to check the feature list of your existing software to avoid adding a potentially redundant subscription to your expenses.

How to choose the best small-business apps

Here’s a rundown of each type of business app’s key function and which factors to consider to find the best fit.

POS apps

The best POS systems reach far beyond simply handling customer payments. Some systems are designed for specific industries, such as retail, online stores and restaurants. In addition to the cost of hardware and software fees, a processing fee for each customer transaction will typically be assessed. When comparing systems, pay attention to the following:
  • Hardware options, including card readers, terminals, cash drawers and receipt printers.
  • Inventory tracking features.
  • Monthly software fees and payment processing fees.
  • Card payment methods accepted (e.g., swiped, tapped or keyed).
  • Offline and mobile payment processing options.
  • Live support availability.

Accounting apps

Accounting software, at a minimum, tracks your business’s income and expenditures. The best accounting software has additional features that can make it easier to determine the financial health of your business. Look for the following features:
  • Ease of use.
  • Robust accounting reports.
  • Invoicing capabilities.
  • Integrations with third-party apps including payroll and POS systems.
  • Daily customer support.
  • Scalability.

Payroll apps

The best payroll software does more than help you pay your employees on time. Transparent pricing is a timesaver when comparing products and you’ll want to look for the following features:
  • Unlimited payroll runs.
  • The ability to calculate, file and pay federal, state and local payroll taxes.
  • Employee portal or mobile app. 
  • Benefits administration.
  • Next-day or same-day direct deposit options.
  • Accounting software integrations.

Invoicing apps

The best invoicing software helps you bill clients for your services, create quotes, track time and communicate with your customers. Before comparing products, consider the following:
  • Monthly software fee. 
  • Processing fees. 
  • Invoice customization options. 
  • Accounting software integrations. 

Expense tracking apps

The best expense trackers give you insight into where your business’s money is going and how efficiently it’s being spent. Above all, these apps should make it easy to record money out transactions, whether you’re at your desk or on the go. Here are some other points to take into account:
  • Mileage tracking. 
  • Employee app for submitting business-related expenses. 
  • Ability to snap photos of receipts with a mobile app. 
  • Accounting software integrations.  


Here is more information on how NerdWallet evaluates different business software products and their apps:
Last updated on June 24, 2024
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