Top Accounting Software for Small Businesses

Accounting is a term closely associated with businesses of all forms. You have to keep a tab on every financial activity happening in your organization. But, would it be with the help of those age-old three-ring bound bookkeeping files? No, say goodbye to them, and find a systematic and efficient solution in accounting software.

Business organizations of all sizes benefit from the accounting software, and why not? Besides the basic functionalities of accounting like bank reconciliation statements and general ledgers, the software is also replete with powerful features like automatic invoice generation, in-built payroll services, and much more than you can imagine.

Benefits of Accounting Software

People nowadays are not baffled by content-heavy advertisements or juicy product reviews. They conduct research, measure the pros and cons and only then choose a product. Accounting software is not something that has been accepted worldwide without reason. It has many benefits which prompt more and more businesses, opt for them.

Accounting software is more efficient and makes almost none or fewer mistakes, as compared to manual processing.
Features like automation can save a lot of time. Automatic generation of invoices helps in speeding up the process of revenue collection.
The in-built services like payroll help calculate employee hours, reimburse the expenses, and process the taxes and direct account deposits.
Every organization wants to have a clear idea about the future of its operations. The software also helps in budgeting and forecasting modules, estimating the future expenses, analyzing the current year’s financial performance, and predicting the budget for the upcoming years.

Moreover, simple tax solutions offered by the software helps in ignoring irrelevant complexities.
If accounting is not your cup of coffee or you are not that tech-savvy too, the software is your savior. You don’t need to be specially trained to operate the software. The user-friendly UI can streamline your financial processes in an instant.

What is Accounting? How Can Accounting Software Help?

Simply put, accounting is the process of managing and recording every kind of financial transaction that is going on in your organization. To maintain the accuracy of your business at all times, you have to use accountancy for analysis, summarization, and reporting of financial transactions. The term accountancy is also an umbrella term for the processes that help comply with the defined tax rules and accounting regulations.

Accounting software for business helps track the entire flow of cash, in and out, from an organization. Different modules like account receivables, general ledger, account payable, etc., in the accounting software are designed for helping with different kinds of tasks.

Different Kinds of Accounting Software

Many different kinds of software are available for the benefit of businesses. Depending on the requirements, anyone can use them to digitize the records. They can be classified as follows:

Spreadsheets

A spreadsheet is a very flexible and dependable accounting tool, making it easy to store different kinds of relevant data.

Commercial Accounting Software

Right from managing the income and expenses of an organization to keeping a tab on the business’s financial condition, the tool can do all. It is entirely customizable software.

Enterprise Accounting Software

An enterprise accounting software helps businesses in maintaining financial transactions and data. It also has different modules to look after payrolls, billing, maintaining the ledger, forecasting, and much more.

Custom Accounting Software

As the name tells, these are applications developed as per the particular needs of a business.

Before we discuss in length some of the best accounting software in use, a question that stops us is, is it really worth investing money in such a tool? Yes, it is. Manual accounting will involve not only a lot of time but also involves a lot of resources. The dusty and lumpy racks of files will involve complicated paperwork and a lot of errors. The world is putting the era of cloud computing to the best use, so why need so much brainstorming? Go paperless, and adopt accounting software.

The next segment of discussion in this article would be the top 5 accounting software in use, especially for small businesses.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is a reputed online accounting software capable of managing the finances, automating the business’s workflows, helping the company make the business GST compliant, and bringing about cross-department lucidity. The software has gained accolades as the Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge winner, recognized by the GOI as the best business app.

Pros

  • The app helps in everything related to accounting, right from raising sales orders to negotiating.
  • More than 40 features of the app help in running every aspect of the business.
  • The Zoho Books helps in the association of HSN/SAC codes with the services and the goods. The GSTINs get recorded automatically, and the relevant information is updated automatically. Zoho Books also help in the direct filing of the GST returns.
  • The powerful integration with G Suite, Uber, Office 365, Paypal, Razorpay, and other applications makes it suitable for all kinds of business.

Cons

  • Though Zoho Books has various plans, they restrict the number of users who can log in from the same account.

Rate of subscription

There is a 14-day free trial period for the subscribers. Also, for businesses having a turnover of less than Rs 25 lakhs, the subscription is free. Other than that, there are Standard, Professional, Premium, Elite and Ultimate plans, being priced at Rs 749, 1, 499, 2, 999, 4, 999, and 7, 999, respectively.

Imprezz

Imprezz

Imprezz is one of the top accounting software in India. It helps in leveraging the account management system in India, like no other. It is comprehensive accounting software and one of the most effortless GST accounting one. If you want to get rid of managing loads of documents and piles of ledgers, you have to switch to Imprezz.

Pros

  • It helps in automatic calculations for GST filing. The GST export feature allows to get the data about the transactions with the GST inputs and helps the accountants access them, which is helpful for instant GST filing.
  • The software is essential for multi-user collaboration. A good amount of time and effort gets saved, as too much communication is not necessary.
    You will be able to keep a tab on the credit balances and the cash without any transaction slipping through.

Cons

  • The software does not allow multi-language facilities.

Rates of subscription

The demo plan is always free. For start-ups and small businesses, the starter plan starts at Rs 335/month. Three other plans, namely, Standard, Unlimited and Enterprise, come at Rs 835/month, Rs 1665/month, and a pre-decided price, respectively.

QuickBooks

QuickBooks

A very trustworthy accounting software, QuickBooks is in use for most small businesses in the world. The limitless online forums and the resources are for getting any kind of support, as needed. There is a single dashboard, which helps in having convenient access to all the accounting features. Thus, bookkeeping becomes more efficient and fluid.

QuickBooks has garnered so much popularity that it is the most widely accepted accounting software used by tax and bookkeeping professionals. It is a cloud-based software and can be easily accessed with the help of a mobile app or a browser.

If you are not convinced of what I am saying, get hold of a 30-day free trial. Though I am sure you would fall in love with it, if not, you can always choose to differ. After a significant discount in the first few months, there are various subscription plans which you can choose. Each of the plans is ready with advanced features like budgeting, inventory management, time tracking, and a lot more.

Pros

  • It is quite a scalable software, bringing in more streamlining in your business.
  • Due to its reliable and advanced features, more and more accounting professionals rely on it.
  • Various third-party applications are integrated with the software,
  • It is entirely cloud-based, making it easy to collect and retrieve information.
  • Features like mobile apps make it an in-demand tool.

Cons

  • If there are a greater number of users, upgrading to the next level is a must.
  • Infrequent problems of syncing take place with credit cards and banks.

Rate of subscription

There are four subscription plans after a month of free trial ends. The Simple Start package comes at $25 per month, the Essentials are available at $40 per month, the Plus is charged at $70 per month, and the Advanced comes at $150 per month.

Sage

Sage Business Cloud

Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a global name offering online accounting services to millions of people. It is such a user-friendly business solution that it allows you to choose the industry, the needs, and the company size. The cloud-based solutions will help you match your specific accounting needs and business solutions with the feature offered.

Multiple users can avail of the services at the same time. The best part of the story is that any layman can use the software without having the slightest accounting knowledge. This is great cloud-based software, which helps in excellent accounting for the business.

Pros

  • The software helps manage cash flow and business finances.
  • It helps control the acceptance and receipt of payments.
  • You can manage payroll very easily.
  • Creation and sending of invoices is just child’s play.
  • The reports can be availed from all devices, so, anywhere you are, you can keep a record of your finances.
  • The software is replete with all sorts of tax compliance tools.
  • The software also comes with a dashboard so that the reports are available easily for analysis.
  • Forecasting cash flow is another essential feature.
  • The access of the reports can be shared with anyone on any device, in real-time.
  • There are various add-ons like estimating and human resources management.

Cons

  • The service charges may be a bit expensive for start-ups.

Rate of subscription

The basic package starts at $10 per month, and for power cloud-based applications, it can go to $25 per month.

Xero

Xero

Is your company looking for simple yet functional accounting software? Well, Xero is the best suited to micro-business needs. It is software with a clean interface and is very well-equipped to integrate with a third-party payroll service. It is not without any reason that it has more than two million users all over the world. The Early Plan limits are perfect for five quotes or invoices, 20 reconciliations of bank statements, and five bills per month. The Growing and the Established subscriptions offer invoices, transactions, and bills, as much as you want. The Established plan also has extra features like expense management, multi-currency, and project costing. All the programs have Hubdoc, which is for capturing bills and receipts.

Pros

  • The inventory management process is straightforward.
  • The payroll part is integrated with Gusto.
  • The third-party app marketplace is another feature to boast of.
  • It is also cloud-based and is available as a mobile application.

Cons

  • Customer service is not something to be proud of.
  • Reporting is also limited.
  • Fees are charged for ACH payments.

Rate of subscription

The Early is priced at 11 per month, whereas the Growing and the Established are charged at $32 and $62 per month.

Wave

Wave

An ideal software platform for small businesses providing services, the tool is perfect for freelancers and people with no or limited accounting knowledge. Simple invoices are sent, and there is no requirement for running the payroll or tracking the inventory. The features of Wave cover all the accounting needs. The person in charge of your accounts can generate all the necessary reports to prepare the tax returns.

The basic accounting features that most small businesses look for, like invoicing, tracking of expenses and incomes, financial reporting, and scanning receipts, are all included. Most importantly, you can access the features from anywhere.

Pros

  • Unlimited users can avail the software.
  • There is no limit to transaction or billing.
  • Multiple businesses can be run in one account.
  • It is also a mobile app-based feature.

Cons

  • There is no provision for inventory management.
  • The full-service payroll service is limited to only 14 states.
  • Integration with third-party apps is limited.
  • The users have to pay higher fees for ACH payments and credit cards.

Subscription Rates

Wave makes money on the payment gateways, the fees of which are a little higher compared to other accounting software. Other than the free services, there are two payroll plans as add-ons. The first plan is charged at $20 per month plus $6 per employee. The second is charged at $35 per month and $6 per employee.

AccountEdfe Pro

AccountEdge Pro

Account Edge Pro is accounting software meant for small businesses. It is quite an experienced player when it comes to desktop accounting, founded way back in 1989. You can simply access the finances from the smartphone, using their hosting platform or cloud-based app. If holistic accounting solutions is what you are looking for, go for this tool. Lots of customizations are also available.

The commendable features and the accounting capabilities make it the first choice for experienced accountants.

Pros

  • Customer and vendor management is an integral feature.
  • Payment processing and direct deposit take place super-fast.
  • Inventory management is never a hassle anymore.
  • The quotes can be easily turned into invoices.
  • Full-service payroll services are available.
  • With integration, obtaining feeds from the bank is no more arduous.
  • Accountant copies are always free.
  • Data gets easily synced with the company files.
  • Email support is always there to help.

Cons

  • The software is a little difficult to operate, as compared to others.

Rates of Subscription

AccountEdge Basic comes at $149 for one user and $199 for phone support. AccountEdge Pro is priced at a $499 single-time fee and $15 per month for more than one user. $199 is again there for phone support, payroll services, and additional licenses.

MProfit

Mprofit

MProfit Investor is an accounting and portfolio management software for Indian investors. The software helps manage assets like MFs, stocks, FDs, ULIPS, PPF, and much more. It helps in importing contract notes, bank statements, mutual fund statements, and more from more than 900 sources. Accounting reports like Trial Balance, Balance Sheet, Profit/Loss, Goal, and Asset Allocation reports can be managed with this software. Being featured in ET Now and Outlook Money, MProfit caters satisfactorily to all kinds of Indian businesses.

Pros

  • It helps in managing and tracking multiple asset classes.
  • The user can also gain valuable insights about the portfolio with performance reports and analytics.
  • There is a provision of auto-import of data from more than 5000 formats and over 700 brokers.

Cons

  • No negative review has been received as of now.

Rates of subscription

The plans are categorized as MProfit Free, MProfit Investor+, MProfit Pro, and MProfit Advisor. While the first one has no charges, the following three plans are priced at Rs 3000, Rs 5000, and Rs 7500, respectively.

Conclusion

Accounting is not an easy task, but it is a necessary evil. To avoid the hassles, the software is a must-have for every firm. It is equally important to investigate the needs of the firms, the pros, and the cons, and the budget before paying for the plan. If possible, always go for a free trial and clear the post handling charges from the vendor in advance. Once you have chosen software, I am sure you will never repent the decision.