Top 5 Accounting Tools for Professionals & Small Businesses
If you dread doing the bookkeeping for your small business, you’re not alone. Half of all small business owners cite accounting as being what they dread the most. Whether it’s disdain for the tedium of accounting or aversion to math, avoiding your bookkeeping can be detrimental or even catastrophic.
Accounting is how you stay abreast of your expenses, taxes, payroll, a small business loan, and other points of financial data. Further, unless you consider yourself a math and business finance prodigy, these vast swaths of data aren’t the sorts of things you can track in your head. That’s where a great accounting tool comes into the equation.
Instead of keeping track of your business finances by hand, a great accounting tool can streamline all your financial data while minimizing mistakes. If you want real staying power as a professional in your industry, getting a firm grasp on your business bookkeeping is essential, and using a great accounting tool is how you can do it.
Here are five accounting tools that are particularly great for professionals, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.
Since it was overhauled in 2017, FreshBooks has been commended by both critics and users. In fact, FreshBooks was recently awarded an Editor’s Choice award by PC Magazine with the review citing the outstanding user interface, robust collaboration tools, and contextual awareness as a few of the program’s strengths.
FreshBooks excels at invoicing and managing subscriptions, making it as valuable for freelancers as professionals and small business owners. However, FreshBooks isn’t viable for larger companies with diverse product offerings or lots of SKUs on file because it lacks any real inventory-tracking system or product records.
Starting at $15 per month for the FreshBooks Lite plan, FreshBooks continues to be a popular option for smaller-scale operations needing a capable, user-friendly accounting tool.
Intuit — which also manages TurboTax — has put over three decades of wisdom to good use: QuickBooks Online exhibits a deep understanding of what users want, especially with a polished, aesthetically-pleasing user interface. Additionally, there’s an array of useful integrations with software and services you probably already use. These integrations include first-party applications made by Intuit and such third-party applications as PayPal, Bill.com, Zoho Expense, Veem, and Shopify.
QuickBooks Online also offers some of the most extensive reporting options in the industry. Again, over three decades of experience in business accounting means QuickBooks Online knows what users want and need.
The main drawback to QuickBooks Online is that you might pay a bit more for their expertise. The basic QuickBooks Online plan — called Simple Start — costs $10 per month. But it only offers access to basic features that may not be enough for a small business. If you need integrated payroll, inventory tracking, multiple users, project tracking, or integrated tax preparation, you’ll have to either pay for add-on features or upgrade your plan.