A strong, compact, and robust accounting foundation is the secret to growing an organization. This includes nurturing proper accounting and financial ethics and groundwork. Moreover, it also means to establish this all through the right tool today, not in the future.  

The upcoming years will bring forth more multifaceted situations – more consumers, more employees, a larger budget for operations all alongside more enormous headaches in balancing your sheet. However, this isn’t our concern now, the most important thing today is as you swirl the ideas of growth, you should be availing the best and the right accounting software that will help your business down this lane. As a small business, you can start with a cheap one but rise with more innovative tools. 

In this article, I will be presenting to you the best four accounting software that exists for small businesses. These are all determined by our experts who have provided an outlook on the features, prices, benefits, and a whole other range of factors. A lot of the characteristics in these five softwares are similar to each other such as payment processing, invoicing, standard features as the general ledger management.  

However, it is the small unnoticeable things that we have discussed which will aid you in picking the best option for your business. For instance, we have paid exclusive attention to reliability, support, and scalability of the five different software. 

Here are the best four accounting software: 

Xero 

If you’re a small business that’s operating in the market, then Xero is your go-to accounting software. It gives users complete control at the touch of a button, making the finances part of running your business a stress-free process. Here’s why you should, and everyone else, should choose Xero: 

User Experience 

As far as the usability of this software is concerned, the software applies to the entire user experience – things play out just as planned. Xero aims to deliver on three parts of the user experience; functional, emotional, and aspirational. While the first two are easy enough to achieve it is the aspirational experience that really sets Xero apart as it provides people with precisely what they desire to use. 

xero accounting quotes

To provide the ultimate user experience, Xero continually undergoes updates to keep its system’s adaptability in line with evolving consumer demands. Most recently, Xero has updated its User Permissions page. By doing this, Xero has allowed its users greater control, particularly over Xero Projects.  

Xero Projects now has three separate levels of user access, namely projects admin, projects standard and projects limited each with increasingly restricted access to information.  

In all, Xero’s usability is pretty great, perhaps that is why they define themselves not as a software company but as a user experience company.  

We’d safely say that Xero would get a 4.5-star rating in this department. 

Functionality 

Xero lets you work from anywhere, communicating with your employees and advisors at ease. All you need to do is take advantage of the many functions that it has to offer. Some of Xero’s best features are its online invoicing software, its mobile application, and its different checks for categories such as inventory and expenses. These features aim to make your business more efficient by providing your required services by asking for less input.  

One of Xero’s most notable features is its security measures. With multiple layers of preventives protecting your data, Xero fully encrypts all the information that it stores, making sure that it’s secure and available for when needed.  

Once again, Xero bags an impressive five stars in the functionality rank. 

Cost 

When it comes to finances, Xero offers three different plans: the starter, the standard, and the premium. Starting at $20 a month, Xero plans see increments of $10 a program. Oh, and this cost does not include Xero Projects or Xero Expenses, both of which will add $7 and $4 per user to your bill, respectively.  

Although the starting prices may not seem that high, the plan itself is pretty limited, especially when you survey the market. With only five invoices, quotes and bills, and 20 bank transactions, it fails to impress.  

Xero dips in the cost section and only manages to rack up 3.75 stars. 

Third Party Applications 

At Xero, it aims to provide quality service in every way. This is why it is linked to several applications to make your experience all the better. Connected apps facilitate the transfer of data between Xero and third-party software, all of which can be seen in the Xero App Marketplace.  

These applications cover virtually any feature, including inventory, payroll, invoicing and time tracking, to name a few. With over 200 applications working alongside Xero, it ensures a smoother business experience. 

Xero regains itself by grabbing five stars for its connected applications! 

Customer Service 

Xero has its very own support system, the Xero Central. Here, you’ll be able to find detailed step-by-step instructions, troubleshooting articles, and explanations of Xerox tools. Xero also has a 24/7 support team available for one on one assistance.  

All in all, it’s a safely reliable system, which is why Xero’s customer service gets a full five stars. 

QuickBooks 

Up next on our list of the best accounting software for small businesses is QuickBooks. This is a software that is specifically designed for small and medium-sized enterprises, so they know what to cater to. Offering both on-premises and cloud services, let’s see why QuickBooks is hailed as the second-best accounting software in an industry with such fierce competition.  

User Experience 

QuickBooks was designed by keeping the goal of the best possible user experience in mind. They say that the company takes several factors into account when thinking about their usability, including the user interface, the content, the timing as well as the behaviour of the software itself.  

The last major update that QuickBooks’ user interface saw was back in 2014 with the introduction of their ‘harmony’ setting. What this entailed was improved navigational elements, better integration, and quicker speed. While all of this is beneficial for the user, the interface update failed to bring about any significant new functions. And now, in 2019, the system can even appear a bit outdated. However, despite all this, the QuickBooks user experience is still one of the most reliable and robust of the lot. 

QuickBooks picks up a respectable 3.5 stars for their usability. 

Functionality 

QuickBooks essentially provides eight primary services: 

  • Managing Sales and Income 
  • Tracking Bills and Expenses 
  • Business Reports (Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow) 
  • Payroll 
  • Inventory 
  • Taxes 
  • Online Payments 
  • Scans Receipts 

All of these features run at top-notch speed and can be set according to your customized needs. At the heart of its functionality, QuickBooks is a bookkeeping interface that deals with all of your accounting needs through an online software, adding ease and efficiency to your business operations. And the best part is that your QuickBooks accountant can be connected to your online banking software in order to reflect any changes made in real time without any extra work from you.  

For its functionality and features, we’ll give QuickBooks a solid four stars. 

Cost 

Without a doubt, QuickBooks’ pricing is exceptional. They offer three different plans; the ‘simple start,’ ‘essentials’ and ‘plus’ each priced at $15, $23 and $31 respectively. This isn’t the reason why their pricing is exceptional, though.  

QuickBooks offers an exclusive 50% off for the first six months, bringing plan prices down to $7.50, $11.50 and $15.50 each. Users also have the choice of opting out of this offer and claiming a 30-day free trial instead. This gives users the opportunity to choose which option suits them best.  

While the more expensive plans do carry more magnificent amenities, even the ‘simple start’ and ‘essentials’ option is well versed in an excellent accounting experience.  

And QuickBooks bags its first 5-star rating with its phenomenal pricing options! 

Third Party Applications 

 There are a number of intermediary applications that go along with QuickBooks accounting software, pushing to improve its operations for the user. The QuickBooks Desktop Marketplace covers virtually every corner of running a business that there is, from managing human resources to sending invoices to tracking inventory and time, QuickBooks has got it all covered.  

Each application is displayed with a short description, a rating out of five stars and a basic rundown of its pricing, reviews, and functioning. Such thorough insight increases the margin of efficiency in the users’ business, making for happier and more satisfied customers. 

QuickBooks’ third-party applications will earn them an excellent 4-star ranking. 

Customer Service 

QuickBooks has divided its customer service arena into three categories: their Online International Support, their Online Support, and their Online FAQ. Each of these offers varying levels of support, with different time parameters and expertise. 

The Online International Support service allows users to reach out for advice and help from the vast QuickBooks global online community. Although this option is fast, the information offered will not be that of a professional.  

The QuickBooks Online Support option, on the other hand, will provide the best solutions via a group of trained experts. This will, however, take up to two business days to be processed.  

And lastly, the QuickBooks Online FAQ is a database of answered queries and troubleshooting solutions that users have experienced in the past. This is a go to the referential point in the meantime, while your request is being processed. 

While QuickBooks does have a sound customer service centre, each option seems to have a setback, albeit minor. That’s why for customer service they get 3.5 stars. 

FreeAgent  

The third software on our list of top five accounting software is FreeAgent. It is also a cloud-based accounting software that is targeted at small businesses and their accountants. It is generated explicitly for freelancers and companies. The online accounting software brings forth everything together, from managing the expenses to the invoices, project management, and sales tax. 

User Experience 

It was launched in the year 2007 and currently has been bought by Royal Bank of Scotland. It provides applications for your desktop, IOS, and Android. It also allows you to snap a picture and upload all your expenses simply! Secondly, they offer a time tracking machine; this engages you in an inbuilt stopwatch and smart timesheets. It is an easy to use platform as it is exceptionally creative. They gained a user experience of 93% based on surveys. It is also easy to navigate as the seller’s provision of multiple support resources, make it easy even for beginner users.  

In addition to this, FreeAgent is using a super secure, 256-bit secure socket layer connection to secure each user’s data. As of now, FreeAgent has more than 60,000 small businesses as customers worldwide who have labelled it as a simple and secure, efficient system to manage their books and invoices. It is also significant to know that as straightforward as they seem, FreeAgent keeps experts and professionals who are leading the cash flow, they have also automated a vast ground for their payment operations and guides them in understanding all the outcomes of their business dealings. 

FreeAgent gets a complete 4.5 out of 5 in their usability. 

Functionality  

 FreeAgent provides its consumers with a lot of helpful services. Among these are: 

  • Invoices that will send and follow up themselves – FreeAgent allows you to send invoices themselves automatically! As for those late-paying clients, you won’t have to send those reminder messages yourself, FreeAgent does it for you. It’s hand free, invoicing!
  • Complete hassle-free expense tracking – This is the snap a picture option! Upload your picture on the app and your expenses will automatically update! You can also customize a detailed list of various expense categories to build accurate accounts.  
  • A dashboard view of your projects – Everything becomes smoother when it all becomes easy to manage. From invoices, estimates, tasks, time, and expenses. You get to see a birds eye’s view of all your projects in one place.  
  • Programmed Bank Feeds – Once you connect your FreeAgent to your bank account, the app will automatically import all your transactions directly into your accounts with your Bank Feeds. They provide you with a live view of your business cash flow. 
  • Facilitated Payments – Clients can pay directly through PayPal, Stripe, or GoCardless. The system also lets you pay through any credit card provider and organizes bank transfers from more than 80 countries worldwide. 

Cost 

FreeAgent asks for no contract or set up values and even offers opportunities to save even more. You can pay initially and get your first 12 months at the price of 5! After this, you’ll get 12 months at the expense of 10. 

We can rate their pricing an overall of 4 out of 5. 

Third Party Applications 

You can integrate FreeAgent with the apps you use every day! You can connect to up to 1500 plus applications. 

Customer Service 

FreeAgent offers excellent customer service! It receives a 4.5 out of 5 for their customer support as not only are they timely but solve the problem occurred to the full extent. They also provide a complete one on one guidance for all customers. 

Sage 

Sage is another software which is apt and best for your accounting software needs. It gives help in billing and invoices, security and reporting, industrial solutions for a variety of businesses, and inventory management. 

User Experience 

It is easy to use even if you don’t have more than basic knowledge regarding the accounting of companies. It allows one to easily convert data and generate reports which will enable one to be always updated with the financial status of the organization. It is easily accessible and allows you to control who can edit what. It can also be connected to your bank accounts, which thus enables time to be saved, as data is uploaded automatically. Users can also easily file for VAT and send directly to HMRC. 

It will receive an overall rating of 4 out of 5. 

Functionality 

This software, Sage, has data checks that are already installed that show common accounting mistakes or any shady transaction. They also provide audit and security features which let customers track who is adding or changing data. They also give forecasting ideas and statistics which can be made into a spreadsheet. 

Consumers can also track their inventory and use different ways to mark and categorize them, from colour, style, size, or anything else. The system generates a purchase order automatically when the inventory is running low. 

A rating of 4 out of 5. 

Cost 

It is cost effective and competitively priced, not garnering much different than other software listed. Hence, it will receive a 4 out of 5 rating for its value. 

Final Word 

Rate out of 5 Xero QuickBooks FreeAgent Sage 
User Experience 4.5 3.5 4.5 
Functionality 
Cost 3.75 
Third Party Applications 3.5 3.5 
Customer Service 3.5 4.5 

Nevertheless, it can be agreed that these top four accounting software are the best ones you can choose for your accounting needs! We hope our guide has been helpful for you and aids you in deciding which software is best for your business. Remember all of them are best based for small companies as not only are the pricing plans apt for such sized companies, but the software themselves are prompt for this kind of network.  

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We hope we have been of assistance to you.