Accounting Software: How to Choose the Best Option

best accounting software option

For those of us with little to no expertise, getting our finances in order, keeping track and maintaining an account can be a confusing endeavour.

For those who are freelancers, or small business owners, it can be even harder. In the absence of a personal accountant, we turn to software solutions.

And luckily, programmers and accountants are hard at work to bring the best possible apps and programs to our computers and phones.

To help you choose which one suits your accounting needs best, we’ve provided the list below.

For Personal Use

·         Wave

Wave is a helpful resource for those who can’t afford expensive plans, or don’t want to commit to paying a monthly fee. For a free piece of software, it boasts the same number of features as paid ones. However, the downside is that some of the features are not as detailed and precise as you would get with others.

But, if you need software for functionality and no bells and whistles, then Wave is perfect for you.

·         Buxfer

Buxfer is less of a software solution, and more of an online service. Its sleek, professional design makes its interface intuitive and easy to follow. The bonus lies in giving the users a choice whether or not they want to provide their exact banking details, if privacy security is their concern.

However, their encryption is top-notch and your data will be safe. It is a paid service, yet much cheaper than most.

·         Quicken

Aside from regular accounting features, Quicken gives you the ability to track your budget, investments, savings, and even your 401k. You can also track smaller, daily expenses to see how much you spend on a daily basis. It’s a good choice to consider, given how it also has a desktop and a mobile app version.

For Freelancers

free lance writer at the airport

·         Zoho Books

Solo contractors, freelancers and those who have a job or two on the side will get the most value out of Zoho Books. You get regular accounting tools, like tracking expenses, invoicing, time tracking, recurring transactions, and so on.

It also lets you add colleagues and even your accountant to help with viewing reports and managing any and all accounting. Its yearly plan stands on a slightly pricier side for accounting software, but is far from a luxury purchase.

·         GoDaddy Bookkeeping

GoDaddy bought off a bookkeeping software and added it to their list of numerous useful software for entrepreneurs and small businesses alike. What sets it apart from others is enabling its users to overview and follow quarterly estimated taxes. As such, it is great for online sellers. Even more so because of its integration with Amazon, eBay and Etsy.

·         17Hats

As their slogan says, 17Hats is “the all-in-one for your business of one”. The software covers a range of features for individuals who are more than just freelancers or small business owners. If you need access to everything, from syncing client contacts, to managing projects and invoices, workflows, accounting records and even more – then 17Hats is the right tool for you.

For Business Owners

Business owners

·         Adminsoft Accounts

Adminsoft Accounts is a great, affordable tool for small businesses, made by an entrepreneur, for entrepreneurs. Disregarding the fact that its interface looks like it came from the 90s, the software has every function you will ever need. Just some of them include payroll, HR, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, and even modules for businesses like cafes and retail. Not to mention that the software is free.

·         Xero

Xero is one of the most lauded tools for business owners everywhere. It covers all of your bookkeeping needs – double-entry accounting, invoices, payroll, inventory and the rest. It has over 700 integrations from every industry niche imaginable. Time tracking, HQ apps, CRM, e-commerce, you name it. However, it does come with a monthly fee, and you will still need to have an accountant by your side for sorting out taxes.

·         Quickbooks

Intuit’s Quickbooks often goes neck-and-neck with Xero on most top lists of accounting software. And it’s for a good reason as it set the standards for what an accounting program should be able to do. The biggest bonus is that it works for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and even big businesses. It offers everything your business might need and more, at a reasonable starting price.

How to Decide?

It all comes down to the type of business you own, how much you and what kind of bookkeeping you need. If you’re looking for an all-in-one tool, then something like 17Hats is just you need. But if you’re looking into personal financing, then a simple freeware solution like Wave will be more than enough.

And if you still find yourself undecided, consult your accountant. They should be able to look over your current financial status and business needs and give advice on the kind of program you’ll need.