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7 Best Xero Alternatives of 2024

NerdWallet gives Xero Accounting five stars, but it won’t be the best fit for every business. Our list of top Xero Alternatives offers a variety of pricing tiers (including free options) and feature strengths.
By Karrin Sehmbi
Last updated on May 23, 2024
Edited bySally Lauckner
Fact checked and reviewed

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Xero is a popular accounting software solution for small businesses and is known for its extensive feature set, user-friendly platform and mobile-friendly design. With three plan options, it can cover the needs of a variety of business sizes and industries. But it won’t be the right fit for every business.
Our list of the best Xero alternatives includes products with free plan options, industry-specific features, multilingual capabilities and more.

Best Xero Alternatives

Product
Promotion
Learn more

QuickBooks Online

Learn more

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

5.0/5

Best for Overall alternative

$30/month

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

50% off

for first three months or free 30-day trial.

Learn more

on QuickBooks Online's secure website

Zoho Books

Learn more

on Zoho Books' secure website

4.5/5

Best for Multilingual accounting software

$0

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

14-day free trial

of the Premium plan.

Learn more

on Zoho Books' secure website

FreshBooks

Learn more

on FreshBooks' secure website

4.5/5

Best for Freelancers

$19/month

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

30-day free trial

or monthly discount (terms vary).

Learn more

on FreshBooks' secure website

Sage 50 Accounting

Learn more

on Sage 50 Accounting's secure website

3.5/5

Best for Desktop software

$59/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $101.92, $172.

Discount for the first year

(terms vary).

Learn more

on Sage 50 Accounting's secure website

Striven

Learn more

on Striven's secure website

3.5/5

Best for Industry-specific software

$35/month

Per user. Additional pricing tiers per user (per month): $70.

7-day free trial

Learn more

on Striven's secure website

Wave Accounting

3.5/5

Best for Free software

$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $16

N/A

QuickBooks Enterprise

4.0/5

Best for Enterprise software

$1,481/year

Additional pricing tiers (per year): $1,922; $2,363; $4,668. Adding users or cloud access costs extra.

30-day free trial

Our pick for

Overall alternative

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.

Our pick for

Multilingual accounting software

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.

Our pick for

Freelancers

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).

Our pick for

Desktop software

Sage 50 Accounting

Learn more

on Sage 50 Accounting's secure website

Starting at
$59/month

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $101.92, $172.

Promotion
Discount for the first year

(terms vary).

Our pick for

Industry-specific software

Striven

3.5
NerdWallet rating 
Learn more

on Striven's secure website

Starting at
$35/month

Per user. Additional pricing tiers per user (per month): $70.

Promotion
7-day free trial

Our pick for

Free software

Wave Accounting

Starting at
$0

Additional pricing tiers (per month): $16

Promotion
N/A

Our pick for

Enterprise software

QuickBooks Enterprise

Starting at
$1,481/year

Additional pricing tiers (per year): $1,922; $2,363; $4,668. Adding users or cloud access costs extra.

Promotion
30-day free trial

Our picks for the best Xero alternatives

Quickbooks Online: Best overall alternative

Price:
  • $30 per month for the Simple Start plan.
  • $60 per month for the Essentials plan.
  • $90 per month for the Plus plan.
  • $200 per month for the Advanced plan.
Why we like it: QuickBooks is one of the most well-known and popular business accounting software platforms around. Its cloud-based software, QuickBooks Online, can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection.
QuickBooks Online comes with four pricing plans so you can choose the right one for your business that includes all of the features you need. All of its plans offer the ability to track income and expenses, organize receipts, send invoices, connect your business bank account, run basic reports, grant access to your accountant and more. The Essentials plan comes with added features like bill management, time tracking and access for three users. The Plus plan (its most popular plan) includes inventory tracking, project tracking and access for up to five users. The Advanced plan allows up to 25 users on the account and includes features such as batch invoicing, automated workflows, 24/7 support and more. All plans also come with the option to add live monthly bookkeeping assistance (for an additional cost). Read our complete QuickBooks Online review.

Zoho Books: Best multilingual accounting software

Price:
  • $0 per month for the Free plan.
  • $20 per month for the Standard plan.
  • $50 per month for the Professional plan.
  • $70 per month for the Premium plan.
  • $150 per month for the Elite plan.
  • $275 per month for the Ultimate plan.
Why we like it: Another option for your accounting software is Zoho Books, one of the many services part of the Zoho One Suite. Zoho offers six accounting plans, ranging in cost from free (if your business earns less than $50,000 in annual revenue) to over $200. All plans allow for your accountant to access your books, and each plan tier increases the number of users and invoices allowed, in addition to a host of additional features.
The free and Standard plans offer all the expected accounting functions, including invoicing and online payment collection, mileage and expense tracking, automated bank reconciliation, customizable chart of accounts, sales tax tracking and more. Higher-tier plans offer useful tools such as project tracking, additional reporting options (including forecasting), inventory management and advanced business insights, among others.
One of the more noteworthy features of Zoho Books, however, is that the entire product is available in 10 languages, including Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. If you have a multilingual team, they may be able to access various features of the software in their preferred language, and if you work with multilingual clients, the software can create invoices in a variety of languages. Read our review of Zoho Books.

FreshBooks: Best for freelancers

Price:
  • $19 per month for the Lite plan.
  • $33 per month for the Plus plan.
  • $60 per month for the Premium plan.
  • Custom pricing for the Select plan.
Why we like it: FreshBooks got its start as invoicing software, so that’s one of its strongest features, but today it’s a full accounting software solution that makes it a worthy competitor to Xero. It offers four plan options — including a customized pricing option — that are generally designed to suit businesses ranging from freelancers/solopreneurs to small businesses with employees.
The most simple plan, FreshBooks Lite, comes with quite a few features, like unlimited and customized invoices, unlimited time tracking and expense entries, unlimited estimates and the ability to accept credit card payments and ACH bank transfers online. It’s a plan tailored to freelance accounting, and if you take advantage of one of FreshBooks’ frequent promotions, you can grab the Lite plan at a very low monthly cost.
The Plus and Premium plans give you additional features like double-entry accounting (the industry standard), unlimited proposals, recurring invoice automation, a higher allowance for the number of billable clients, accountant access and more. There is also a custom pricing option for those businesses that need access for more than one account user, are interested in lower transaction fees for online payments and prefer dedicated customer support and training. Read our FreshBooks review.

Sage 50 Accounting: Best desktop software

Price:
  • $58.92 per month, for 1 user, for the Pro Accounting plan.
  • $101.92 per month, for 1 user, for the Premium Accounting plan.
  • $172 per month, for 1 user, for the Quantum Accounting plan.
  • Prices increase with each additional user.
Why we like it: Sage 50 Accounting is a desktop accounting solution, meaning it’s locally installed on one machine and can’t be accessed from multiple devices or on the go, the way that cloud accounting software can be. Sage 50 Accounting offers three plans: Pro, Premium and Quantum.
The Pro plan includes inventory management and job costing, features that competitors typically offer only in upper-tier plans. Upgrading to the Premium or Quantum plan will allow for more users to access the software, but be aware that adding users increases the cost of these products — the monthly prices listed above assume only one user. Additionally, these plans grant you advanced budgeting, reporting and inventory tracking along with a list of other useful features, including audit trails. Read our full Sage 50 Accounting review.

Wave Accounting: Best free software

Price: $0.
Why we like it: Wave offers a few paid services that include payroll and payment processing, but its accounting software is entirely free for users. Wave’s notable accounting features include the ability to connect an unlimited number of business bank and credit card accounts to help automate the reconciliation process, along with income and expense tracking, customizable invoicing and no limit to the number of collaborators (including accountants) that you can add to the account. Understanding that this is free software can help you adjust expectations accordingly. But if you don’t require some of the advanced capabilities you can get with other accounting products, this could be a great option. Read our review of Wave Accounting.

Striven: Best industry-specific software

Price:
  • $35 per month per user for the Standard plan.
  • $70 per month per user for the Enterprise plan.
Why we like it: Many accounting products on the market will advertise their software as solutions for specific fields and industries. Rarely, however, do those products include features different from the standard feature set that are intended to best suit the needs of a particular industry. That’s where Striven stands out among competitors.
In addition to a strong core accounting offering, Striven includes additional, varied features designed for particular needs of businesses operating in real estate, construction, education, the nonprofit sector and a handful of other industries. Striven’s software also includes tools for inventory and project management, CRM and HR.

QuickBooks Enterprise: Best enterprise software

Price:
  • $1,481 per year for the Silver plan.
  • $1,922 per year for the Gold plan.
  • $2,363 per year for the Platinum plan.
  • $4,668 per year for the Diamond plan.
Why we like it: If you run a well-established small business and/or find yourself quickly outgrowing the capabilities of your current accounting software, then you may benefit from enterprise-level software such as QuickBooks Enterprise. It comes at a higher price point than others on this list, but the features and capabilities may more closely align with your needs and may therefore be worth the investment.
At its core, QuickBooks Enterprise is desktop software, but you can purchase cloud access for an additional cost, which will allow you and your team to access real-time data from any device and location. All four plan options come with advanced reporting capabilities and 24/7 phone and chat support, in addition to the standard QuickBooks Desktop software features. The Gold plan includes payroll, while the Platinum and Diamond plans tack on advanced inventory management, billing workflows and up to 40 users who can access the account. Read our QuickBooks Enterprise review.
Nina Godlewski contributed to an earlier version of this article, which was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.
Last updated on May 23, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet independently reviews accounting software products before determining our top picks. We collect the data for our software ratings from products’ public-facing websites and from company representatives. Information is gathered on a regular basis and reviewed by our editorial team for consistency and accuracy.
NerdWallet’s accounting software ratings favor products that are easy to use, reasonably priced, have a robust feature set and can grow with your business. The best accounting software received top marks when evaluated across 10 categories and more than 30 subcategories. Learn more about how we rate small-business accounting software.
These ratings are meant to provide clarity in the decision-making process, but what’s best for your business will depend on its size, growth trajectory and which features you need most. We encourage you to research and compare multiple accounting software products before choosing one.
NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
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