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Best Accounting Software 2020 – Voted by 24 Experts

Are you looking for the best accounting software for your small business in 2020?

Choosing the right bookkeeper software for your small business can be a huge time saver and can help you to stay on top of your business’ financial data.

So, how do you find the best software to use for your small business?

We have reached out to 20+ small businesses, freelancers, accountants and bookkeepers. We asked them the question: which accounting software would you recommend other small businesses to use and why?

Without further ado, these are the best accounting software the experts voted for.

Top Accounting Software 2020

1. QuickBooks (13 votes)

QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. Their products are geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses and offer on-premises accounting applications as well as cloud-based versions that accept business payments, manage and pay bills, and payroll functions.

2. Xero (6 votes)

Xero is accounting software made for your business. From invoicing on the run to helping keep you Single Touch Payroll (STP) compliant, Xero’s accounting software has all the features you need to manage your numbers effortlessly.

3. Wave Accounting (5 votes)

Wave is a company that provides financial services and software for small businesses. They provide a free invoicing & accounting software with credit card processing & payroll services, which is primarily designed for businesses with 1-9 employees.

So, why would you use finance software for running your business?

A bookkeeper software can help you with your business’ accounting and bookkeeping tasks. It stores all of your financial data, making it easily accessible and manageable.

Choosing the right account software will make your life as a business owner a lot easier. It’s a tool that can be the bridge between a business owner and their accountant/bookkeeper. No more boxes full of receipts to finish off the financial year. No more uncertainty about your income and expenses. Instead, you have everything nicely stored within the software.

Nowadays, most of the accounting software is cloud-based. This means that nothing is stored locally on your computer. If your software is cloud-based, you would be able to access your financial data at any time and on any device. Of course, you will need to be connected to the internet to get access. Some bookkeeping software will enable you to access your data offline as well.

Now, most financing software will allow you to do basic things like invoicing, payment solutions etc. Depending on your business you might want more out of your software. For example, payroll management or direct access for your accountant/bookkeeper.

We recommend having a look at the features of each of the software on our list. Make a decision based on today, but also keep in mind how your business might develop in the future. The financing software will store all your financial data, so having a scalable solution might be a good option.

Read What The Experts Said

Find out what each expert had to say about their favorite bookkeeping software. Select the software from the list below.

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Ella McKendrick

Founder - Nutribuddy.com

✓ Quickbooks
We would recommend Quickbooks for the following reasons:

1 – It’s low cost. We pay around £15 per month which makes it cheaper than the price we were previously paying for Sage Accounts 50.

2 – It integrates with other software such as Hubdoc. Hubdoc is a great time saver as we get most invoices via email and then forward them to Hubdoc. Hubdoc then scans the invoices and extracts all the data such as supplier, goods description, VAT rates and totals and with a single click publishes these to Quickbooks. It also uploads a copy to Quickbooks and also a backup copy to our cloud storage.

3 – It’s easy to fix errors. Everyone makes mistakes so it’s great that Quickbooks makes it so easy to make changes to past postings in order to fix any errors.

The downsides of Quickbooks would be:

1 – The support is not as good as it could be with long wait times for more difficult issues. In the past we’ve chased support after 6 days with no responses. On the plus side though it’s very rare that you have to contact support as it’s all pretty easy to use.

2 – You can’t export your data to back it up yourself which means you can’t restore a previous version of your data should things go wrong. However, they do have a good audit history feature should you need to manually undo errors.

On balance we’ve been very happy with Quickbooks Online and plan to continue to use it for the foreseeable future.

Brandon Pfaff

Advisor - Wealthy Living Today

✓ QuickBooks
QuickBooks is by far the best software platform for businesses of any size. From freelance contractors to full-fledged enterprises, Intuit has provided all the tools necessary for business owners to keep track of all their financial information. At its most basic version, independent contractors can keep track of expenses and mileage. Ready to hire employees or pay vendors? QuickBooks offers built in payroll solutions and bill pay. Maybe your business needs to track inventory or expenses by project. QuickBooks has you covered too with inventory and billable expense tracking. QuickBooks parent company, Intuit, offers a full range of software solutions to cover all your business needs.

Jay Clouse

Founder - Freelancing School

✓ QuickBooks
I use and recommend all my clients use Quickbooks Self Employed. It’s incredibly affordable, it’s easy to make rules to automatically categorize expenses, it tracks mileage, and it allows you to invite your accountant to your team. It’s so easy to use and well worth the price so that you can quickly see auto-generated Profit and Loss reports and more.

Bradley Stevens

Founder - LLC Formations

✓ QuickBooks
Small businesses typically use QuickBooks for invoice management, Bill payments and for tracking the daily cash flow. The software is best for monthly and yearly financial reports as well as help businesses to calculate the quarterly or annual business taxes.

With the in-depth details to every financial transaction, I highly recommend Intuit’s QuickBooks Online as the best accounting software for small businesses. QuickBooks is ideal for small businesses but with its largest plans, it is also best for small to medium and medium to large businesses. The software provides cloud-based strong accounting features to every business.

The best thing is that it has a mobile application that is easy to use.

The QuickBooks comes in different types like:
– QuickBooks Simple Start – For starters
– QuickBooks Online
– QuickBooks Mac
– QuickBooks Pro
– QuickBooks Premier
– QuickBooks Enterprise

For the startups or small businesses, I suggest QuickBooks premier that comes with advanced options useful for handling day-to-day transactions. It helps small businesses track their biggest sources of income. With the premier, they can edit, delete and manage all of their inventory in a single location.

The QuickBooks accounting software is best for Receipt capture, 24/7 chat support, integration with PayPal, Shopify and Square. The software is used to send invoices, receive payments, run reports, calculating the estimates and organize the receipts accordingly. It helps to track the inventory on a larger scale.

Like many other time tracking apps, QuickBooks is easy to integrate with your current working system. One can simply set up employee timesheets and track their hours. It also helps in paying your workers as per their working hours.

Ruth Wilson

Founder - The Polytech

✓ Xero
We use Xero as our accounting software. It is easy to use with a simple, clean interface and data entry is greatly reduced because it syncs seamlessly with our bank and credit card. The feature I love most of all is how professionally the invoices were formatted. It was so simple to enter my client’s data and produce a clear invoice that appeared I had designed by a graphic artists. No one on my staff is an accountant and we all appreciate the information we’re able to track and monitor from Xero.

Ian Wright

Founder - British Business Energy

✓ Xero
I don’t have a huge amount of experience with accounting software, but I love Xero. It makes accounting really, really easy. I’d recommend it mainly because it’s both cheap and easy to use. Even the most expensive plan is only $60 (£30) a month and it pretty much eliminates the need for a bookkeeper as it syncs all your bank transactions and invoices.. Not sure it’s the best but it works for me.

James Canzanella

Owner - Isolated Marketing Nights

✓ QuickBooks
I’d recommend that small businesses try out and use Quickbooks. This was actually the first software that I used for accounting and I liked it so much, that I didn’t need to look for anything else. It’s simple to use, too. You connect your accounts, they get updated in the background, and then you can segment your expenses, earnings, and anything else that you would like to add-in. Highly recommended.

Sarah Cissna

Event Producer - The Side Lobby

✓ QuickBooks Simple Start
I originally was using QuickBooks Self-Employed in conjunction with my husband who is a freelancer, but it was difficult to separate out just my business’s transactions from our collective transactions, which was frustrating in terms of running reports. I switched to Simple Start with just my business accounts at the start of calendar year 2019 and had a much easier time reporting and tracking throughout the year. I also use the invoicing and payment features. I wish it was more intuitive to create invoices ahead of time to be sent at later dates, but I’m slowly figuring it out.

Margaret H. Geiger

Owner - Twelve31 Media, LLC

✓ Quickbooks
As a small business, it’s important to stay organized with finances. I use Quickbooks Self-Employed. It’s only $9.99 a month and I utilize the mobile app every day for sending invoices, logging mileage, keeping up with tax deadlines, and logging all expenses and profits. I can also connect my accountant to the software through email, so she is able to see everything – making doing taxes a quick and easy process. (Your accountant will love you, too!)

Quickbooks Self-Employed is great for small businesses and freelancers because it’s inexpensive and very user-friendly. It breaks down your total profit for the year, income, expenses, mileage with potential deductions, invoices to be paid or overdue, tax deadlines AND connects directly to your business bank account. Track transactions and upload receipts through the app. No more receipt hoarding! I recommend this software for anyone. There are other programs and levels depending on your business’ needs. Quickbooks makes staying organized a piece of cake!

Kenny Trinh

CEO - Netbooknews

✓ Moon Invoice
The accounting software that I use is Moon Invoice. It is one of the best software which provides multiple features. It is the only software that provides offline access with cross-platform synchronization and cloud synchronization. Apart from this, it provides a feature like Creating Unlimited invoices, Time tracking facility, Track business records, Import/Export pdfs, Add Multiple Companies, Add Digital Signature, Add Logo, Single Payment for Multiple Invoices and many more.

Tim Yoder

Tax and Bookkeeping Analyst - FitSmallBusiness.com

✓ QuickBook Desktop
I recommend QuickBooks Desktop for small businesses with a full-time bookkeeper. The software allows user-defined classes that can be used to customize the software for almost any business. Reports can be linked to Excel for further analysis. The data in Excel can then be updated from within QuickBooks Desktop, so you don’t have to redo your analysis every time an updated report is generated.

Finally, QuickBooks Desktop is much less expensive than a comparable version of QuickBooks Online, especially if you only update to a new edition every 3 years, which is my recommendation. QuickBooks Desktop is only for full-time bookkeepers because:
– It’s powerful software that takes time to master.
– Data input and navigation is much faster than cloud-based accounting software. This increased speed is a huge benefit to someone that spends all day in the software.
– Sharing your information with an external accountant is more difficult than with cloud-based software, so QuickBooks Desktop isn’t right for an inexperienced bookkeeper that will need a lot of outside help.

✓ QuickBook Online
I recommend QuickBooks Online to most small businesses where the owner or office manager is doing the bookkeeping. Your outside accountant can be given direct access to your account so they can view and correct things from the comfort of their own office, and without charging you for traveling to your location! It’s powerful software with good reporting capabilities. Because it’s cloud-based, it can be accessed from anywhere on the internet including with the mobile phone app. It’s especially good for people that need to issue invoices in the field. The big drawback to QuickBooks Online is the high price.

I had a client with a landscaping business that was not great when it came to technology. I met him while he was using QuickBook Desktop and when it was time to prepare his tax return he literally gave me his entire desktop computer! To be clear, that is not the preferred method of sharing your QuickBooks Desktop data with your CPA (use the Accountant’s Copy feature)! I set him up with QuickBooks Online and he still struggled, but I was able to login to his online account and see exactly what he was looking at to help solve his problems. He eventually liked QuickBooks Online, especially the mobile app, and got very good at emailing clients their invoices right on the spot!

✓ Wave
I recommend Wave for self-employed people looking for free accounting software. The software does most things a small business needs:
– Connect checking and credit cards accounts to automatically load transactions
– Create invoices and track customer payments
– Input bills and track due dates
– Reports are a bit limited, but include the essentials: balance sheet, income statement, aged receivables, and aged payables

Wave is easy to use and completely adequate. For a fee, you can add payroll and accept credit card payments from your website.

David Reischer

Business Lawyer - LegalAdvice.com

✓ Quickbooks
Quickbooks really is the best software available for a small business. The software is easy to use and can generate many different types of reports that are helpful to track and understand the financial health of the company. Quickbooks Pro costs $299.95 and can be downloaded on a single computer. Quickbooks Essentials is the online version that can be purchased for a monthly subscription fee of $40.

Jovan Milenkovic

Co-Founder - KommandoTech

✓ Xero
I would recommend Xero for small businesses, as a cost-effective yet powerful accounting suite that can integrate with over 700 apps. Xero gives you over 50 types of reports including cashflow, AR management, and inventory, all of which are quickly accessible through the mobile app.

The program is intuitive and easy to set up, but what I like the most is the interface that is clean and uncluttered compared to some of the older accounting software such as Sage. Xero can sync with all your financial accounts, keeping them up neatly arranged and easy to browse through.

With pricing from $25 to $75 per month, it’s a good choice for entrepreneurs and small businesses who need a versatile accounting software on a budget. Should you need help, their customer support is awesome and they have a strong presence on social media, with several hundred video guides and tutorials to help guide you along the way.

Torben Lonne

Chief Editor - DIVEIN

✓ Xero
I would recommend Xero for small businesses and entrepreneurs, as a cost-effective yet powerful accounting suite that can integrate with over 700 apps. Xero gives you over 50 types of reports including cashflow, AR management, and inventory, all of which are quickly accessible through the mobile app.

The program is intuitive and easy to set up, but what I like the most is the interface that is clean and uncluttered compared to some of the older accounting software such as Sage. Xero can sync with all your financial accounts, keeping them up neatly arranged and easy to browse through.

With pricing from $25 to $75 per month, it’s a good choice for entrepreneurs and small businesses who need a versatile accounting software on a budget. Should you need help, their customer support is awesome and they have a strong presence on social media, with several hundred video guides and tutorials to help guide you along the way.

Bryan Clayton

CEO - Your Green Pal

✓ Xero
We recently changed our small business bookkeeping and accounting software from a desktop based QuickBooks to cloud based Xero.

My number one tip for fellow small business owners to consider when searching for their bookkeeping and accounting software solution is to make sure that the software will integrate and “talk” to your checking account and credit card account.

This will make sure your books are constantly in sync and also will save you hours of mind numbing data entry every month which is the cause of most small business owners dread for bookkeeping tasks.

Having your data feeds all in sync with your accounting software can directly translate to a better run and tighter business operation.

Mason Culligan

Founder - Mattress Battle

✓ Odoo
The best accounting software I recommend for small businesses is Odoo.

The level of functionality that Odoo offers is what stood out for me. Odoo packs substantial accounting features such as billing and invoicing, inventory and financial management, purchasing, and the likes. These features allow small businesses to manage their accounting and financial activities centralized in one application.

What I also like with Odoo is you can automate many processes, including invoicing processes. With Odoo, invoices can be drafted automatically. You can choose the vendor and purchase order, and Odoo will do the rest; all you need to do is verify its accuracy. This automation cuts the time of creating a new invoice.

As small business owners, this functionality allows you to productively manage your time and be able to handle other activities.

Amanda Evans

Managing Partner - Tight Ship, LLC

✓ QuickBooks
QBO is nice because most accountants are familiar with it and can access your account directly through it, no need to send backups or company files for them. It is also nice that a lot of CRM and other productivity apps sync with it. The downside, and I will scream this from the rooftops, the customer service SUCKS. Even as a Advanced Quickbooks advisor and Authorized Quickbooks Service Provider (reseller), the service still is awful. Also, their 1099 feature is a bit clunky as well. Reporting is limited, but will do for your needs.

✓ Xero
Xero is great. Your accountant can access it, has all of the reports that QBO as and so much more. You can quickly categorize your transactions with their cash coding option, so that makes reconciliation a breeze. A shit ton of apps work with it (mostly because their API is so simple, lots of software folks can easily integrate). You get free HubDoc (digital document retention system) with your subscription. Price is comparable to QBO as well (if not a bit cheaper). 1099 feature is very nice. Their customer service is KICK ASS. Downsides, if you input an expense into the wrong bank account, you cannot simply select to move it to a different one. You need to delete and re-do. There isn’t a clear audit trail report available. Your accountant may or may not be familiar with it.

✓ Wave
Wave apps is nice because it is free, has integrated invoicing and payment collection. Which, for a free app is super nice. You can upload receipts into it, bank feeds come into it, has basic P&L and Balance sheet. But the only downsides are their reporting isn’t as robust as Xero or QBO, and the reconciliation feature is a bit clunky. Sometimes, if you delete a transaction, it will delete one side of it, and not remove both the credit and the debit side. So that can leave your balance sheet unbalanced. (to an accountant, this is a nightmare).

Alex Williams

Website Builder and Owner - Hosting Data UK

✓ QuickBooks
At Hosting Data, an online web hosting comparison site for UK users, we use Quickbooks Online for all our accounting needs.

Quickbooks is a great, cloud-based service offering both accounts receivable and accounts payable features, with an easy to use mobile app, it can be accessed at the tip of your finger. Being able to create and issue an invoice from your phone is extremely useful as a small tech business working with other small to medium sized businesses.

QuickBooks offers a one-month free trial which was really great when trying out various accounting software options. As your business grows, QuickBooks offers a tier-based service plan to provide the level of support you require over the years, it’s great value and dependable which is paramount to a small business.

✓ FreeAgent
FreeAgent is aimed at freelancers and very small businesses meaning it has slightly fewer features compared to Quickbooks. FreeAgent can support tasks such as invoicing, time tracking, and expense management, all available via the cloud. It is slightly more expensive than Quickbooks with less functionality.

✓ Wave
Wave Accounting provides a totally free option, offering high level invoicing, accounting, and receipt scanning, with additional services including payroll on a pay-as-you-need type basis. Wave Accounting was pretty good considering it’s free of charge, but it offers no reporting function with HMRC meaning there was some manual processing involved.

Jessica Chase

Sales & Marketing Manager - Premier Title Loans

✓ Kiwili
After using Kiwili for more than a year, we came to a conclusion; indeed, it is a proper billing and financial management tool for small businesses, self-employed, and even for freelancers.

I am in love with its user-friendly and intuitive interface. The team just had to spend a few hours to understand this software completely. It has the functionality to manage contacts, customers, and suppliers. Along with every client’s personal information, shipping address, and transaction history are also stored. A team could administer and organize their projects as well as track their profitability in real-time. It helps in creating detailed and professional quotes that accelerate the sales process.

You can prepare professional invoices, including any discount, as well as tax information. It gives an option for clients to pay online.

This software analyzes cash flow by keeping track of cash flow activities. Its features also assist you with timely payments. We do not find difficulty in filing tax because it keeps records of tax collected and paid. Additionally, it bifurcates the income and expenses.

You could use all the features above to gather information for creating balance sheets, income statements, and sending reports to accountants.

Ollie Smith

Chief Executive Officer - Card Accounts

✓ QuickBooks
In my opinion, the ‘QuickBooks Pro’ is the best accounting software right now. This software provides my business with an easy-to-use, efficient accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll function. All of this means I can effectively plan my invoicing and billing system, all of which has helped me to improve my money management.

Curtis Bickler

Director - Expert Media Design

We’ve used 2 platforms over the past 5 years for our accounting: Wave and Quickbooks.
I can give some pros and cons of each:

✓ Wave Accounting Software:
Pros:
– Free to use & start
– Easy to use for those not familiar with accounting
– Easy automatic reminders for overdue invoices

Cons:
– Some limitations for online management of past records
– No android app when we were using it (unsure of now)
– Missing some smaller features that Quickbooks makes standard like mileage tracking

✓ Quickbooks Online:

Pros:
– Better record keeping options: detailed matching & reconciling of records to payments, online search options, etc.
– Due to it’s popularity, easier to find bookkeepers & accountants familiar with the system
– Plenty of features to dig into.

Cons:
– No free model to start – can be discouraging for new businesses
– Bit of a learning curve & can be time consuming – learning how to reconcile payments, how products & services work, etc. Almost too many options.
– Recurring invoices can be a bit unusual / inconsistent.

Emily LaRusch

Founder & CEO - Back Office Betties, LLC

✓ Zoho
We started off with QuickBooks online and the merchant account options were limited at the time leading to high rates. We also had unique logins to 8 different tools we were using such as Skype, Outlook, Google Drive, etc. When a friend introduced me to Zoho, I heard angels singing! One login to access over 20 different apps!

We now use Zoho for Books and the transition was easy. Neither my bookkeeper or CPA had never used it and had no problem making the switch. Zoho One platform saved me a ton of money as the full suite of products is only $35 per month per user. We use Books, Email, Chat, CRM, Docs, Social Media, Email Campaigns, Survey, Support Desk and more! Best software decision I’ve ever made as a business owner!

Jeremy Harrison

Founder - Hustle Life

✓ Freshbooks
As a small entrepreneur, I have used and tested several accounting software in the market. Some were expensive and yet offer the same functions as that of cheaper products. Others are limited in terms of functionality and really not worth your money. For my business, I like to use Freshbooks for all my accounting needs. It has everything you need from invoicing to payments, to the preparation of financial statements, and even has a mobile app. The best part of this is the interface is easy to use. Anyone would look like a pro when using FreshBooks. I also love the fact that the phone app makes it easy to store receipts and can easily integrate with my bookkeeper.

Brianna Régine Walston

Founder - Brianna Régine Visionary Consulting, LLC

✓ Wave
For the past year and a half, my go-to accounting software has been Wave Accounting. This software makes bookkeeping a breeze. It’s free to use their basic invoicing system as well as access necessary reports that help with monitoring the finances in my business (and filing for taxes!).

I find their invoicing system to be more professional than Paypal, Zelle and Cash App; and I love that Wave can automatically categorize expenses, which is a huge time saver! Wave is most ideal for the business owner or freelancer who wants to have a professional accounting software, that’s easy to understand and highly functional for everyone involved. Wave gives you back much-needed time; and their customer service as well as premium features are also a plus!

Financing Software FAQ

What is accounting software?

Accounting software is software that helps you with accounting and bookkeeper tasks. ith your business’ accounting and bookkeeping tasks. It stores all of your financial data, making it easily accessible and manageable.

What are the best accounting software of 2020?

Our experts voted for QuickBooks, Xero and Wave Accounting. See the full list in our article.

Which financing software is best for you?

We recommend having a look at the features of each of the finance software in our list. Make a decision based on today, but also keep in mind how your business might develop in the future.

What are some features of a bookkeeping software?

Easy & quick invoicing. Financial reporting. Income and expense management. Payment and bank reconciliation. Payroll management.

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