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Best accounting software of 2021

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In this day and age, doing your business’ finances has never been easier. You can choose to sign up for individual platforms to help you calculate your taxes or manage invoices, but you might want a more comprehensive solution that comes in the form of good bookkeeping software.

As you might expect, there are plenty of capable accounting solutions on the market, but not all of them are created equal. Let’s take a look at the best options for your business’ requirements.


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1. FreshBooks

Cloud accounting for any level of expertise

Reasons to buy
+Feature-packed +30-day free trial +Very simple to use +Plenty of popular integrations 
Reasons to avoid
-Some client limitations are included 

FreshBooks offers an all-in-one small business solution for your business’ invoicing and accounting needs, that is so well-designed that anyone, even non-accountants, can get around very easily.

The features include expense tracking, time tracking, various business reports, and an option to accept credit card payments (with a 2.9% plus ¢30 transaction fee). You’re also getting support for billing in any currency, recurring invoices, automatic credit card billing, and employee collaborations. The integrations include Stripe, Shopify, G Suite, HubSpot, Fundbox, Stripe, PayPal, WordPress, Zendesk, MailChimp, Gusto, Basecamp, and so on. You can use FreshBooks’ system from anywhere, be it your desktop computer or an Android or iOS device through its free apps.

There are several plans under which you can purchase this provider’s services. First is the Lite option at $15/month ($4.5/month for the first term), covering unlimited customized invoices, expense entries, time tracking, estimates, tax time reports support for online credit card payments and ACH bank transfers, importing of expenses from your bank account, and 200+ integrations. It is, however, limited to up to five clients.

It is followed by the Plus package at $25/month ($7.5/month for the first term) that expands the Lite plan with recurring invoices, automatic payment reminders, double-entry accounting reports, scheduled late fees, client retainers and sending of unlimited proposals. It also increases the limitation on up to 50 clients.

Finally, the Premium solution at $50/month ($15/month for the first term) supports up to 500 clients. Additional clients can be added in each plan for $10/month. There’s also a custom pricing option for 500+ clients that adds a personal account manager, customized training for your team, lower credit card transaction rates, and integration with Xero and QuickBooks.

If you’re not sure FreshBooks has what it takes to support your business' accounting needs, you’re invited to try it out during a generous 30-day free trial period, and you won’t even need to give your credit card details.

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2. QuickBooks

Numerous options for any requirement

Reasons to buy
+Plenty of options and features in all packages +Lots of available bonuses +Try it for free 
Reasons to avoid
- Some increase in prices 

QuickBooks is another popular choice for small business’ accounting, owned by Intuit - a major name in the small business sphere known as the owner of Turbotax, Proconnect, and Mint.

The platform is quite diverse, with package collections including QuickBooks Online, Self-Employed, Live Bookkeeping, Desktop Pro, Desktop Premier, and Enterprise. There’s even an option to create your own customized package with some assistance from the guys and gals on the QuickBooks team.

QuickBooks Online includes Essentials at $40/month, Plus at $70, as well as Advanced at $150 (at the time of writing, you can get 50% off on all plans for three months). Essentials covers income and expense tracking, receipts organization, tax deduction maximization, invoicing and accepting payments, tacking miles, bills management, sending estimates, tracking sales and sales tax, and running general reports. Plus adds managing 1099 contractors, project profitability, time tracking, inventory tracking, and covers five users. Finally, Advanced adds managing and paying bills, business analytics, customizing access by role, automating workflows, on-demand online training, and dedicated account manager.

The Self-Employed package will cost you $12.5/month for the first term ($25/month afterward), and cover tracking income and expenses, capturing and organizing receipts, quarterly tax estimates, invoicing and accepting payments, tracking miles, and running basic reports.

QuickBooks Desktop, on the other hand, allows you to calculate and rebill job costs, create professional invoices, automatically schedule and send invoices, supports one-click sales and tax reports, tracking of sales and expenses, tracking miles, managing payable accounts, real-time collaboration with accountants, integration with 650+ cloud apps, and more.

The Live Bookkeeping collection includes Low-volume at $200/month for businesses with up to $25,000 in monthly expenses, Medium volume at $400 for businesses with up to $150,000 in monthly expenses, and High-volume at $600 for businesses with over $150,000 in monthly expenses.

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3. Xero

Three capable accounting plans

Reasons to buy
+30-day free trial +Very affordable +Quality Android and iOS apps 
Reasons to avoid
-Basic plan severely limited 

Xero’s cheapest package called Early will only cost you $11/month ($5.5/month for the first two months) but it is severely limited - covering the sending of only five invoices and quotes, entering five bills, reconciling of 20 bank transactions, and Hubdoc.

At $32/month ($16/month for the first two months), the Growing plan removes limitations on invoices, quotes, bills, and bank transactions. The most expensive, Established option costs $62/month ($31/month for the first two months), but adds multi-currency accounting support, expenses - capturing and managing claims, as well as projects - tracking project time and costs. There’s a free trial available, allowing you to test the platform and see if it’s the right fit.

The company offers apps for Android and iOS, to take the platform with you wherever you go, and there’s also a ‘convert your QuickBooks files’ option for a faster start.

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4. Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Keeps things simple

Reasons to buy
+Reasonable pricing +30-day trial +Very user-friendly 
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t include time tracking 

A product of the company with over 35 years of experience, Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers some handy options for your business’ accounting and you can use it on all major devices, including PCs, Macs, iOS, and Android. Through the Sage Marketplace, it supports integrations with many popular services like Stripe, Zynk, Collbox, epages, and Flashnode.

The entry-level package, called Accounting Start, costs only $10/month and is ideal for small businesses who just want to manage their cash flow, as it facilitates creating sales invoices, tracking what you’re owed, and connecting to your bank.

However, you’ll get the most out of it if you opt to pay $25/month ($7.5/month for the first 6 months) for the full Accounting plan, which expands the Start with real-time reports, generating quotes and estimates, recording purchase invoices, multi-user support, and inventory.

The vendor gives you 30 days to test out the service and see if you like it. There’s no need to even leave your credit card details.

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5. Kashoo

One solution, plenty of power

Reasons to buy
+Intuitive and simple interface +Very inexpensive +14-day free trial 
Reasons to avoid
-No Android app 

Kashoo’s services are available in one comprehensive package you can pay $19.95 on a monthly basis, or $199 annually, which is the equivalent of $16.65/month. Of course, you can try it out before making the final decision, during the 14-day free trial, no credit card required.

The platform stands out for its superior advantages that include clean and intuitive dashboard, multi-currency support, and credit card transactions at only 2.9% plus ¢30 for all major carriers, including Visa, Amex, and Mastercard.

There’s also support for categorization with machine learning, hassle-free income and expense tracking, smart invoicing, OCR receipt matching, sales and sales tax tracking, one-click financial reports, unlimited users and clients, as well as automatic backups and notifications.

Kashoo also features unlimited invoices and connections to 5,000+ financial institutions for reconciling accounts online, as well as outstanding customer support via live chat, phone, email, social media channels, and even letters. It even allows exporting to QuickBooks.

That said, there is no app for Android users, even though there is one for iOS.

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6. Zoho Books

Extensive platform suitable for all users

Reasons to buy
+User-friendly +Packed with various features +Low-cost 
Reasons to avoid
-No payroll support 

Zoho Books is a cloud-based accounting platform that offers its services on both desktop and mobile devices, under a range of quite acceptably priced packages, which you can try out during a 14-day free trial.

The cheapest is Basic at $9/month/organization (or $90 per year under annual subscription) and will get you support for up to two users, 50 clients, and five automated workflows. The features included in this option cover bank reconciliation, custom invoices, expense tracking, project and timesheets, recurring transactions, sales approval, budgeting, and integration with Zoho products like Sign, CRM, Inventory, Expense, Subscriptions, Projects, and Analytics.

At $19/month (or $190/year), the Standard plan supports up to three users, 500 clients, and 10 automated workflows per module. It covers everything from the Basic package plus bills, vendor credits, reporting tags, purchase approval, and integration with Twilio (cloud communications platform). 

If you’re willing to pay a still reasonable $29/month (or $290/year), you can get your hands-on support for 10 users, 500+ clients, and 10 automated workflows per module. It expands the Standard solution with purchase orders, sales orders, inventory, and a custom domain.

If you need to add more users, you can do so by paying $2/month or $20/year per additional user. Besides, you can get yourself 25 auto-scans per month if you pay $15.

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7. KashFlow

Payroll support when you need it

Reasons to buy
+Payroll option available +Useful VAT support for UK clients 
Reasons to avoid
-Charges you for watching tutorials 

KashFlow is another fully-equipped cloud-based accounting helper that delivers its service under three options.

The Starter package at £8/month ($10.04) or £56/year ($70.25) + VAT under annual subscription, is an ideal solution for sole traders contractors, and small businesses as it supports a single user, sending unlimited quotes and up to 10 invoices, reconciliation for up to 25 bank transactions, managing and submitting VAT online, bank feeds, mobile app, access to 50+ reports, customizable dashboard, managing purchases and expenses, tracking mileage, as well as KashFlow payments integration.

At £16.50/month ($20.70), or £121/year ($151.79) + VAT, the multi-user Business package is great for growing businesses and limited companies. It supports sending unlimited invoices and bank transactions, multi-currency, and repeat invoices and purchases. 

Finally, paying £22.50/month ($28.23) or £160/year ($200.71) + VAT for the Business + Payroll plan will secure you everything from the Business package plus payroll for up to five employees. All the plans can be tested for free thanks to a 14-day trial.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.