6 Best Accounting Software For The Self-Employed
Accounting software is a solution used to process accounting transactions and management accounting professionals, accounts by bookkeepers, and business owners.
The process of recording, analyzing, and interpreting financial transactions and information is known as business accounting. It is the method by which a company keeps track of its operations. Keeping track of these operations can be difficult at times, which is where accounting software comes in.
What is the significance of accounting software in business accounting?
Accounting for businesses entails a wide range of activities to capture a company's entire financial picture. It's a complex and time-consuming task when done manually. On the other hand, accounting software has aided in the simplification of these processes, giving business owners more time to focus on the administration and execution of their strategies.
1. Task automation
A good accounting system requires entering information only once and automatically extracting your data when creating a transaction. Manual data entry is time-consuming and prone to mistakes. Accounting software, through automation, reduces the need for manual data entry and increases efficiency.
2. Tax simplification
For businesses, tax season is exhausting. Accounting software simplifies the process by centralizing everything you need. Keep track of all your transactions, calculate how much you owe, and file your returns by hand. Your return reports are generated automatically, and you can file returns directly from your accounting system without the need for a third-party app.
3. Making data available
Accounting software makes it simple to access your financial data. A cloud accounting solution enables you to access your numbers from any location at any time. All you need is a compatible device, internet access, and a web browser.
4. Connect to other business apps
With time, business data becomes increasingly complex. Integrations allow you to access and work with your data from a single location using two or more different applications. Accounting software can be integrated with online payment gateways, CRM solutions, reporting applications, and information management systems to enhance your accounting with sales and business management functions.
5. Cut down on data loss.
Backing up your documents and books is a difficult task, and most people are unwilling to copy their accounts manually. However, if you do not back them up, you risk losing important documents. Accounting software organizes and stores data in ways that make it easy to retrieve your records when you need them. Regular backups are also performed on cloud accounting systems to prevent data loss.
6. Critical features for accounting software
Accounting software offers many features that help simplify accounting tasks, ranging from basic features that keep track of money coming in and out of your business to advanced features that give you more control. Accounting software features can differ depending on the vendor.
7. Processing of invoices
Invoicing is a fundamental requirement for all businesses. You should be able to keep track of who owes you money, how much they owe, and when the payment is due using your accounting software. It should also include features such as automatic invoicing, payment reminders, and the automatic conversion of estimates to invoices.
8. Payments via the internet
Payment collection is an essential part of running a business, so your accounting software should make it simple for you. Payment gateway integrations are available in good accounting software, allowing you to collect payments online for a more convenient experience for both you and the customer.
9. Accounts receivable
Keeping track of your expenses and debts is critical for your business. Your accounting software should include features such as purchase orders, bills, vendor credits, and costs to make the payables side of your business operations as smooth as possible.
Every accounting software should include a connection to your bank, allowing you to make payments and import bank statements into your accounting system. Some software goes beyond these fundamental functions to have automatic bank feeds, transaction matching, and banking reconciliation.
Accounting software, in general, generates financial reports that can be used to analyse data and make future business decisions. Accounting is useless unless the numbers are interpreted. A few accounting software options go even further, supporting features such as report sharing, scheduling, and customization.
Inventory tracking is critical for businesses that sell goods. Accounting software with inventory tracking can help streamline your business operations by tracking stock on hand, sending notifications when you run out of stock, and making inventory adjustments.
13. Time tracking
A time tracking feature is essential for service-based businesses that charge customers for the time spent on a project or task. Accounting software should ideally allow enterprises to track projects and hours spent and work timers within the app and convert hours directly into invoices. The best accounting software also provides role-based access, allowing business owners to collaborate with contractors and employees while maintaining data security.
How to Choose the Best Accounting Software for Your Company?
When selecting accounting software for your business, you must first understand your company's needs and the required features. Here are a few features to look for in your accounting software:
1. Trial period
Your accounting software should provide you with a free trial period so that you can evaluate your options. You should enter a few test transactions to ensure that the reports are accurate and easy to use.
Accounting can be a complicated process, and the last thing you need is a difficult-to-understand accounting system. Choose a program that has an easy-to-use interface and isn't bloated with extraneous features.
3. Access for multiple users
Most accounting systems allow businesses to add multiple users to their accounts to ensure controlled data access. Some plans paid will enable you to add and invite users for free. You should be able to ask users easily and collaborate with the accounting software you choose.
Automation in accounting software can assist with sending out recurring invoices and payment reminders, giving you more time to focus on the big picture of your financial health. Look for a program with features that will save you time and reduce the need for manual intervention.
5. Online assistance
You must first decide whether you want an offline or online accounting program when selecting an accounting tool. Your preference may be determined by the nature and model of your business. Because of its advantages over traditional accounting software, an increasing number of companies are turning to online accounting software.
6. Data safety
One of the most important considerations when selecting an online accounting solution is data security. Inquire with the provider about how and where their data is stored. You should also find out when the data is backed up and ensure that it is done regularly enough for your needs.
The majority of businesses make the mistake of selecting an accounting program that meets their needs at the time. However, as a business grows, owners frequently discover that their accounting program falls short of their requirements, necessitating switching to another solution. Choose a system that can grow with your company.
Accounting software should provide you with all of the accounting features you require at an affordable price. Some accounting applications charge for updates and support separately, require you to purchase add-ons, or charge extra for maintenance. Choose accounting software that does not have any hidden fees.
9. Technical assistance
The accounting system you choose should be simple to use, but it should also be capable of assisting if necessary. You should plan on requiring technical support at some point and look for an accounting tool that provides it via email or phone.
Best accounting software
Accounting software benefits business owners by allowing them to track accounts receivable and payable, gain a clear understanding of their profitability, and prepare for tax season. A business in the world of accounting software is one that can use out-of-the-box software without requiring extensive customizations. As a company grows, its accounting requirements become more complex, necessitating the use of a customized enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Accounting software for small businesses comes in a variety of flavors, each with its own set of capabilities and price tags. In general, the type of industry and the number of employees are two factors that can assist a small business owner in selecting appropriate accounting software. A freelancer, for example, does not require the same accounting software features as a restaurant owner.
ZarMoney is a cloud accounting solution for businesses of all sizes. While it includes all of the tools you'd expect from an accounting software solution, ZarMoney also includes a feature set that allows you to handle other office tasks. Indeed, the software goes far beyond basic bookkeeping, with the ability to handle billing and invoicing, inventory management, and the creation of comprehensive reports, among other things.
The costs of becoming a user of ZarMoney appear to be very competitive, with the option to try it for free first if you'd like to sample the appeal of this accounts package first. ZarMoney's Entrepreneur edition, which starts at $5 per month, provides entry-level access. You get a single-user account, unlimited transactions, and access to customer support in exchange.
You get a little more when you upgrade to Small Business, all for just $7 per user per month. This has a minimum 2-user requirement, but it includes unlimited transactions and the same LA-based support structure.
Meanwhile, the Enterprise package starts at $350 per month, is a full-fledged solution for more significant business operations. It can handle 30+ users, has an implementation service, and offers additional personal training tailored to your needs.
A dedicated account representative, as well as access to priority support, add value. If you believe this is what your company requires, you can request a demo.
While ZarMoney may only be for accounting tasks, the cloud-based software is much more than basic bookkeeping. Indeed, it packs a powerful punch when handling a wide range of office administration tasks. Professional-level invoicing capability lets you quickly manage your bills, control inventory management, and online process payments.
The bank connection option is straightforward to set up, and it allows transactions to be automatically updated in the system for more efficient bookkeeping. You can also quickly generate quotes and estimates, create custom purchase orders, and keep track of sales orders.
ZarMoney makes sales tax calculations a breeze, and we've been impressed with the reporting features. Because of the bank reconciliation and multiple user access, the package is equally effective when employees from various departments.
Expect nothing less than the solid performance from any cloud-based package, and ZarMoney appears to be as dependable as any other in the accounting industry. However, the mobile use of this application may be the weakest link in the performance equation.
While ZarMoney can be integrated with other software packages, it falls short for mobile device login. However, if you stick to the desktop dashboard, you should find it to be generally impressive. However, an excellent accompanying app could be the icing on the cake in the future.
ZarMoney gives the impression that it was designed for people who don't want a steep learning curve. The interface is well-designed, logical, and does not overwhelm novice users with a plethora of menus and command options.
Take a look around the main dashboard area, and you'll notice that the styling is sensible, and the menu options are all laid out in logical terms. The top of the page features options for Sales, Purchases, Items & Services, Banking, Company, and Reports. Meanwhile, the graphically-driven main workflow area is pleasing to the eye and even easier to learn. ZarMoney should appeal to business owners looking for simplicity.
This is another accounting solution that follows the support hub model in order to assist users with the common questions that we all have when learning a new system. The hub is extremely helpful in delving into some of the more complex areas of the cloud-based software, and much of the written documentation is supplemented by a series of videos.
Naturally, the company provides email and phone support to subscribers, with representatives available during regular business hours. These prove to be highly beneficial and are enthusiastically delivered by ZarMoney staff members. We also enjoyed the ZarMoney Academy, which is another area of the support structure that provides excellent assistance and covers a wide range of topics.
Do you want to try ZarMoney?
ZarMoney can also be used to track expenses, and it integrates well with other software applications such as Shopify, Stripe, Zapier, Gusto, Mailchimp, and others. That means you get a multifaceted cloud-based package that can help you save a significant amount of time on your employees' workflow, even if they work in different departments.
ZarMoney is a cloud-based accounting package that deserves your attention, especially if you value dependability. This package's feature set goes far beyond basic bookkeeping, with a plethora of other tools that allow you to combine a variety of daily tasks into a single workflow.
QuickBooks is well-known accounting software that is an appealing option for small businesses or start-up companies that do not have extensive finance departments or a large staff. The software can improve the efficiency of any small business, primarily by reducing costs and saving time.
QuickBooks has been hailed as the best accounting software in many QuickBooks online reviews. It allows small businesses to perform their accounting duties from anywhere using its QuickBooks online version. Switching to the QuickBooks online plan allows small businesses to perform numerous administrative tasks, such as creating invoices; users can also work from any smartphone, MAC, or PC at any time. This feature allows up to five users access to the account.
QuickBooks also demonstrates flexibility by streamlining teamwork by allowing users to:
- Multiple files can be securely synced in real-time and worked on at the same time.
- Sync their data from other popular apps like Square and TSheets.
- Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, contact Canada-based customer service.
Because this feature works on any device, it also saves work across all devices, eliminating the need for the user to be concerned about saving work to an external device such as a USB. The feature of syncing data from apps is significant because it keeps countless hours that would otherwise be spent manually entering this data or converting it into different file formats to keep it.
More accessible inventory and money management
QuickBooks accounting software makes it easier for small business owners to keep track of their expenses, revenue, and employee payroll information. Users can also do the following with QuickBooks:
- Keep track of bill due dates.
- Enter payment information for accounts that are paid on a regular basis.
- Directly print checks from QuickBooks.
Small business owners can easily connect their bank accounts to QuickBooks, allowing them to view all financial records simultaneously. Small business owners will inevitably incur many expenses during their day-to-day operations, which is when the following features come in handy:
- The ability to bill clients for expenses like mileage and meals.
- The ability to keep track of inventory purchases and sales
QuickBooks is automatically updated whenever inventory changes occur, ensuring that small businesses know exactly what is going where and how much is spent.
Create quickly financial reports and invoices templates
Some of the advantages of using QuickBooks to generate financial reports and invoices are as follows:
- You will have access to a variety of report and invoice templates.
- Reports and invoices can be easily downloaded and shared.
QuickBooks streamlines the process of creating financial reports by allowing users to generate yearly income reports and economic forecast reports with the click of a button; these reports can then be easily transferred to Excel for keeping records or sharing via email or print. These financial reports are helpful for small businesses because they are constantly trying to grow. They can help them identify gaps in customer service, document trends, increase sales, and tailor new marketing strategies to customers.
Eliminating the need for paper records and manual data entry
Small businesses that want to be more environmentally friendly and find a way to manage receipts should use the following QuickBooks features:
- Automatic receipt and invoice generation online
- Accepting debit/credit card payments
- Checks are being deposited into the software.
The QuickBooks Pro version enables small businesses to generate receipts and invoices automatically by clicking a button; these receipts can then be emailed to clients individually or in groups. This function is ideal for small businesses, which frequently bill multiple clients for the same service or product.
Furthermore, users can receive credit or debit charges and scan and deposit checks directly into QuickBooks (depending on the type of subscription), eliminating the need for numerous paper receipts and manually entering large amounts of data.
User-friendly experience that is easy and simple to use
QuickBooks is highly user-friendly accounting software that includes the following features:
- The simple language
- Simple to use interface
- A selection of tutorial videos as well as a virtual orientation
The lack of jargon in the software ensures that small business owners with no or limited accounting experience and knowledge and accounting professionals can reap the benefits mentioned above.
The detailed tutorial videos demonstrate how to perform everyday tasks such as creating sales receipts; some of these instructional videos are available here. The majority of the functions commonly performed by small businesses can be completed with the click of a button.
These videos are meaningful and appealing to small business owners because they are brief and to the point, avoiding the need to read lengthy manuals or troubleshoot. Because these instructional videos are written in plain English, they can train all employees, regardless of their accounting experience.
Xero is a New Zealand-based cloud-based accounting software giving QuickBooks a run for its money since 2006. Xero is a robust accounting solution with sophisticated accounting features, many reports, 800+ integrations, and unlimited users. Unlike QuickBooks Desktop, Xero has the mobility and modern user interface of cloud-based software.
Over 2,000,000 people use the software, and it is the primary accounting solution for over 16,000 accounting firms. The company recently added a project management feature, which was previously one of the most significant drawbacks.
However, Xero's most recent enhancements have come at a high cost, and customer complaints have increased. Xero recently raised its prices, and its plans no longer include built-in payroll. In addition, the company has restricted expense claims, projects, and multi-currency support to the most expensive plan. Xero's customer support has also deteriorated since our last review.
Xero is an excellent value for small businesses. Estimates accounts payable and inventory management tools, frequently only available in top-tier plans, are included in nearly all plans. However, three features are available only in the top tier: expenses, multicurrency support, and project tracking. Each plan allows for unlimited users, which is advantageous because many accounting applications charge based on the number of users you add to your plan.
Xero provides a 30-day free trial so that you and your employees can test the software before purchasing it. If you don't want to import your data, you can use a demo company. This is an excellent option for small business owners who are undecided about which software solution will benefit their company. Here's more information on Xero's subscription plans:
- The Early plan is $9 per month and allows you to send five invoices, five bills and make 20 bank transactions per month.
- The Growing plan is $30 per month and allows for an unlimited number of invoices, bills, and bank transactions.
- The Established plan costs $60 per month, allows for unlimited invoices, bills, and bank transactions. This is the only plan that includes expenses and projects and the ability to handle multiple currencies.
Xero saves you time by streamlining processes and providing you with the tools you need to complete financial tasks more quickly. Here are a few of the ways Xero makes accounting easier.
Invoices can be emailed directly from the software, and Xero integrates with PayPal, Stripe, Square, and other payment processors to allow you to accept payments online.
- With a few clicks, you can convert a quote to an invoice.
- Invoices have drag-and-drop lines that make reordering items on an invoice simple.
- You can set the end date, frequency, and end date for recurring invoices (also known as repeating invoices).
- Automatic payment reminders encourage customers to pay on time, saving you the time of manually following up on outstanding invoices. You can instruct the software to send reminders either before or after the payment is due. You can also configure the system to email receipts to your customers after you receive and record payments.
- Files, such as a document or a photograph of the work you completed can be attached to invoices.
Purchase Ordering and Inventory Tracking
Advanced inventory integrations are available through the app marketplace for complex inventory needs, such as stocking more than 4,000 items. Invoices can see how many of each item you have in stock as you create quotes and invoices, and if you enter more than this number, a red popup box alerts you. You can easily create and send purchase orders if you need to reorder inventory. The purchase order can then be converted into bills for payment or invoices for your customers.
This feature streamlines the reconciliation process by comparing bank transactions to those entered into the software. It employs machine learning to predict more accurate matches as you use this feature more frequently. It also has bank rules and cash-coding features to help with the reconciliation process.
Capabilities for Mobility
You can complete accounting tasks on the go with the Xero Accounting & Invoices mobile app. The app for iPhone and iPad allows you to view cash flow, access customer and vendor contacts, reconcile transactions, and create invoices. The Apple Watch app displays account balances as well as the number of new trades. The Xero Expenses and Xero Projects apps, which come with the Established plan, let you take photos of expenses, submit expense reports, track time, and attach billable costs and time to projects.
The ability to use the online accounting software on mobile is a bonus, and we've discovered that mobile apps are a standard feature of some of the best accounting solutions on the market.
A complete list of features is available on the company's website. If Xero lacks a part you require, or if you want to connect it to other business systems and services you already use, you can most likely find an add-on in its app marketplace, which has over 700 integrations.
Fixed Asset Management (FAM)
Within Xero, you can manage fixed assets and create depreciation schedules. There are several depreciation schedules to choose from (fixed-rate, declining balance, a declining balance of 150 per cent, etc.). You can enter information such as the serial number of the asset and the warranty expiration date.
Xero provides the following notable features
- The History & Notes activity report, located at the bottom of each transaction screen, allows you to track information about the document, such as whether or not the invoice was copied from a quote, who created and approved the invoice, and when. If you send an automatic payment reminder for an invoice, the email address, date, and time of the reminder appear on this screen as well. You can include information such as the expected payment date.
- Bills, including recurring invoices, can be tracked using Xero. You can also copy and edit existing accounts rather than create new ones from scratch.
- In Xero, you can manage fixed assets and print checks.
Xero integrates with your bank and credit card accounts and imports data daily. It uses bank-grade encryption to protect your data, and you can enable two-factor authentication to make your login more secure. When you add employees to your account, you can control the data they have access to by setting user permissions.
One of the best things about Xero is how simple it is to set up. It assigns you several initial tasks to help you become acquainted with the online accounting solution, such as connecting your business bank account, adding a customer, and creating your first invoice. Many of the pages include how-to videos and links to step-by-step guides in case you need more assistance. The interface is well-designed and simple to use. The dropdown menus across the top of the screen and the cards on the dashboard make it simple to access features.
The interactive dashboard displays graphs and charts for crucial information such as invoices due, bills to pay, and a history of your bank account balance, with a button indicating how many items need to be reconciled. The data is displayed on movable cards, which allow you to customise the layout of the dashboard. The cards also include quick buttons for tasks such as creating an invoice or creating a new bill.
Another advantage of the software is that it can generate over 50 different reports, including profit and loss, aged receivables, and a general ledger. Many reports are fully customizable, allowing you to change the title, rearrange the columns, display a chart, specify a date range, and apply filters. Reports can be archived or exported as PDF, Excel, or Google Sheets files in addition to being printed.
We also like how you can manage and organise customers and suppliers into groups. Profiles, in addition to contact information, show activity history, such as how many invoices are open and the average remittance time. Connecting to Gmail allows you to add email correspondence to profiles.
While there is a lot to like about Xero, there are some things to think about before deciding on this accounting software for your company, such as:
- The Early plan is minimal invoices, allowing only five invoices, quotes, and bills per month, as well as 20 bank transactions. Even small businesses will almost certainly need to sign up for the Growing plan. Furthermore, expenses are not included in the midlevel plan, so you must either subscribe to the top tier or connect to third-party integration if you require that capability.
- Invoice customization isn't as simple as it is in competing programmes with customizable templates. You can create and edit "branding themes" within the programme by adding your logo, changing the font, setting margins, toggling fields on and off, and renaming labels. Still, if you want to make aesthetic changes, such as changing colours or borders, you'll need Microsoft Word.
- Because most accountants aren't as familiar with Xero as with QuickBooks, you may need to export your data into QuickBooks if you work with an outsourced accounting firm. If you haven't chosen an accountant yet, you can find one familiar with the software by searching Xero's accountant database.
Although it is not a perfect solution, Xero is one of the best options on the market, particularly for growing businesses.
Although phone support is not available on the website, you can contact the company for assistance via email or live chat. We emailed Xero posing as a small business owner interested in the software. Rather than simply responding to all of our questions via email, we were able to speak with the representative over the phone. The representative we spoke with was extremely helpful and provided a detailed explanation of Xero and its features.
In addition to contacting live support, you can gain access to valuable online support resources such as videos, a blog, podcasts, small business guides, and training courses.
The precise size of business
Xero is best suited for medium-to-large businesses. The software is well-designed and provides robust accounting as well as a plethora of features, reports, and integrations. In addition, Xero supports unlimited users for all plans, which is almost unheard of in the accounting software world. You can control feature access and set multiple levels of user permissions. Small businesses, particularly those that require unlimited users, may benefit from the Growing plan. However, if your company involves project management or multicurrency support, Xero is not cheap. In addition, the Early plan restricts users to only 20 invoices.
Business owners who own multiple companies will need to purchase a subscription for each one. The primary markets for Xero are the United States (the focus of this review), the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia, but the software is available in over 180 countries.
Easy UI experience
Xero has an appealing, modern user interface. The software is well-organized, but it has a steep learning curve (not as steep as QuickBooks, but it is more challenging to learn than other cloud-based options). It takes some time to explore all of the features available, but once you're familiar with the software, Xero is pretty simple to use.
Xero makes an effort to throw you as many bones as possible by including a video or help article at the top of every page you open. If you need help finding features or understanding the software, Xero also has a help centre.
Xero has a reputation for having some of the most robust cloud security available. Data encryption, two-step authentication, and 24/7 monitoring at multiple locations are among the security measures in place. Data is backed up daily across various servers, and security audits are performed on a regular basis. Xero also has an impressive uptime record of 99.97 per cent.
Sage, like QuickBooks, offers a number of accounting solutions, each designed to assist businesses in automating and optimising their financial processes. Sage, like QuickBooks, provides accounting software in both desktop and web-based formats.
Sage One was the previous name for the web-based Sage accounting software products, which are now known as Sage Business Cloud Accounting.
Sage accounting software provides a desktop suite of products known as Sage 50cloud, which was previously known as Peachtree Accounting Software.
Having said that, the two product suites most relevant to small business owners are Sage Business Cloud Accounting (formerly Sage One) and Sage 50cloud (formerly Peachtree Accounting Software). Although Sage accounting offers additional business solutions, these systems are intended for larger businesses with enterprise-level requirements.
Sage Cloud Accounting for Business
Sage Business Cloud Accounting systems are those within Sage accounting software offerings that are specifically designed for the needs of small businesses.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting Start and Sage Business Cloud Accounting are the two plans available within the Sage Business Cloud Accounting suite.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting products are web-based so that you can access them from anywhere you have internet access. They are also available for use with a tablet or smartphone. Both Sage Business Cloud Accounting solutions include bank-level security, the ability to connect to the Sage App Marketplace tools, and phone, chat, and email customer support. No credit card is required to try either of these Sage plans for free for 30 days.
Begin Sage Business Cloud Accounting
According to the Sage website, Sage Business Cloud Accounting Start is an entry-level accounting software ideal for sole proprietors and micro-businesses.
This plan will teach you the fundamentals of bookkeeping and accounting, including:
- Make sales invoices.
- Organize your invoices
- Incorporate a logo into your invoices.
- Create customers and suppliers, as well as credit limits, bank information, and notes for contacts.
- Make reoccurring statements
- Connect several bank accounts
- Join bank feeds
- Make use of bank transfers, a cash account, and bank deposits.
- Reconciliation of transactions
- Create checks
- View the journals and the chart of accounts
- Gain access to the basic Sage accounting dashboard.
- Use the Sage accounting app on your mobile device.
- Reports, listings, and invoices can be exported to PDF or CSV.
- Create reports such as the profit and loss statement, balance sheet, general ledger, cash flow statement, and others.
Sage Cloud Accounting for Business
Sage Business Cloud Accounting, the second Sage Business Cloud plan, costs $25 per month and is ideal for small businesses that need to manage invoicing and cash flow.
This Sage plan, in addition to the features included in the Accounting Start plan, provides functionality such as:
- Choose between cash and accrual accounting.
- Unrestricted user collaboration
- Make cash flow projections.
- Make estimates and quotes.
- Make purchase invoices.
- Manually change the sales tax rates.
- Additional invoice customization options
- Produce customer statements.
- Produce goods and services
- Make stock products.
- Inventory and stock management
- Make recurring payments.
- Make a foreign currency invoice.
- You can gain access to a detailed dashboard as well as advanced reports.
Accounting with Sage 50cloud
Sage 50cloud, formerly known as Peachtree Accounting Software, is the following type of Sage accounting software.
Unlike the Sage Business Cloud Accounting products we've just discussed, Sage 50cloud is a desktop product, which means it's hosted locally on a single computer. Nonetheless, Sage 50cloud includes some remote access capabilities.
Sage 50cloud is available in three versions and is available on an annual subscription basis. Furthermore, you can add multiple users to the two higher-level Sage 50cloud plans, but this comes at an extra cost.
This Sage accounting desktop product, like QuickBooks Desktop, is more powerful (but also more expensive) than its web-based counterpart. As a result, these Sage accounting software alternatives are best suited for larger businesses that require more functionality from their accounting platform and those who prefer a local solution.
Let's get into the details.
Sage 50cloud Professional
Sage 50cloud Pro is the first plan in the Sage 50cloud suite. You will have single-user access for one company with this product. Sage 50cloud Pro will have the following features:
- Keep track of your income and expenses.
- Pay bills and send invoices to customers
- Inventory tracking and management
- Bank feeds that are automated
- Staff and accountants can access data remotely.
- Microsoft Office 365 integration is an option.
- Updates that are delivered automatically
- Phone support in North America is unrestricted.
- Online chat with customer service representatives
- Sage City's online community and knowledgebase
Premium Sage 50cloud
Sage 50cloud Premium is the next level up. You'll be able to access more advanced accounting features and add more users with this version of Sage 50cloud.
This Sage accounting software product gives you access to all of the Pro plan's features, as well as:
- Using audit trails, you can trace transactions and find errors.
- Job costing by phase and cost level
- Tools for advanced budgeting
- Inventory that is serialised
Quantum Sage 50cloud
The Sage 50cloud Quantum plan provides the highest level of access.
The Quantum plan will be the most expensive but also the most advanced version of Sage accounting software. This product is best suited as accounting software for medium-sized businesses, with access for up to 40 users.
The Quantum plan will include, in addition to the features of the previous two Sage 50cloud plans:
- Capability to manage multiple businesses
- Security based on roles
- Functionality tailored to the construction, manufacturing, distribution, and nonprofit industries
- Capabilities for stock and reporting
- Automation of work processes
- Personalised dashboards
- Processing time is reduced.
Other Sage Accounting Software Products
As you can see, the various Sage 50cloud versions are pretty advanced. As a result, these Sage accounting software options will be ideal for businesses that require enterprise-level accounting capabilities and can afford this type of solution.
It’s also worth noting that, while not designed for small businesses, Sage does offer other accounting software products, such as Sage Intacct. These Sage accounting software options are all available on a quote basis, and you can learn more about them by contacting Sage directly.
Accounting and financial management software is cloud-based and designed for larger businesses to manage wealth and assets.
Sage 100cloud: A desktop-based solution for managing accounting, financial, and supply chain processes in manufacturing, distribution, and service businesses.
Sage 300cloud: A desktop-based platform for managing accounting, inventory, operations, distribution, finances, and other business functions across multiple languages, currencies, and locations.
Sage 500cloud: The most advanced Sage desktop solution, with accounting, finance, distribution and supply chain management, manufacturing, and advanced accounts payable and credit card processing tools.
The Price of Sage Accounting Software
Now that we've gone over the various types of Sage accounting software features let’s talk about pricing. As you might expect, the cost of Sage accounting software will vary depending on the solution you select—and for pricing information on any of the more advanced Sage versions, such as Sage Intacct and Sage 500cloud, you'll need to contact Sage.
Pros of sage
Keeping in mind all of the specifics about Sage accounting software and the various options available, let's go over the most notable advantages and disadvantages of these accounting solutions.
Here are two advantages to think about:
Possibilities for Customization
One of the most notable advantages of Sage accounting software is the ability to customise it. With two distinct web-based solutions and multiple versions of Sage 50cloud, you can investigate various Sage accounting products—each with its own set of features and pricing—to find the platform that will work best for your company.
More specifically, in addition to simply choosing between web and desktop solutions, each of these suites offers different plans based on your needs, and—in the case of Sage 50—you can choose between monthly and annual subscription prices.
With one of the most robust product catalogues, Sage accounting gives you an impressive ability to find and customize the solution that will best accommodate your business bookkeeping and accounting needs.
The following highlight is, in reality, linked to Sage's customization options. Sage delivers some extremely powerful capabilities inside its many accounting systems, particularly the Sage 50cloud solutions, with advanced features that rival QuickBooks Desktop.
Even though the Sage 50cloud alternatives are among the most expensive accounting software plans available, they may provide budgeting, job costing, auditing, and automated workflows, as well as industry-specific features.
As a result, if you have a more significant or rapidly developing firm and want more comprehensive accounting software, Sage Accounting offers a choice of tools that may be useful to you.
Cons Of Sage
Let's look at the disadvantages of Sage accounting software now that we've covered the benefits. Although each of Sage Accounting Business Cloud and Sage 50cloud has its own set of drawbacks, the Sage accounting suite's overall disadvantages can be summarised as follows:
Costly and Designed for Large Corporations
Although the complex features of Sage 50cloud may be appealing to some, the Sage accounting tools are unquestionably expensive and tailored toward larger enterprises.
With all of the platforms Sage offers, there are only two accounting software plans suited for small businesses: the Sage Business Cloud Accounting suite and the Sage Business Cloud Accounting.
With all of the various solutions Sage accounting offers, including Sage 50cloud, Sage Intacct, and more, larger firms that can afford an expensive, enterprise-level solution have a lot more options.
Furthermore, the two Sage Business Cloud Accounting plans are both relatively simple—and while their basic accounting capabilities may be adequate for small firms, there's nothing to tell that another provider's solution isn't comparable or preferable, as we'll examine below.
If you're not sure if Sage accounting software is suitable for your company's accounting needs based on the features and pricing we've looked at, you can seek up customer reviews to see what other business owners have to say about their experiences with this supplier.
With that in mind, let's take a look at what Sage Business Cloud Accounting and Sage 50cloud users have to say about them.
Reviews of Sage Business Cloud Accounting
To begin, you'll notice that Sage Business Cloud Accounting is well-reviewed on popular review sites, with most sites giving it at least four out of five stars.
As a result, below is a list of the most prevalent positives and disadvantages found in Sage accounting software reviews:
- Features that are crucial for accounting
- Outstanding reporting
- It's ideal for automating operations and working with a variety of file types.
- It's straightforward to use, especially if you have any accounting experience.
- When compared to other systems on the market, it's pretty pricey.
- Issues with connectivity and synchronisation are possible.
- Customer service is lacking.
Review of Sage 50cloud
Sage 50cloud isn't as well-liked as Sage Business Cloud, according to internet review sites. Sage 50cloud tends to slip below four stars, averaging from 3.5 to 3.7 stars, but Sage Business Cloud typically averages four out of five stars or higher.
As a result, below are some of the most common points raised in Sage 50cloud reviews:
- A wide variety of features
- Suitable for a variety of industries
- Workflow automation that is flexible, configurable, and effective.
- Appropriate for accountants in the commercial world.
- If you are unfamiliar with accounting software, there will be a learning curve.
- The customer service is poor.
- When compared to other possibilities, it's quite pricey.
- Backups, data files, and cloud connectivity issues
prettyThe ease with which we can design and send professional invoices is one of the many reasons we chose FreshBooks as the finest invoicing software for small businesses. With its feature-rich invoicing tools, FreshBooks eliminates many of the issues of accounting. You can create recurring invoices, set up automatic payment reminders, and take credit and debit card payments for your invoices with FreshBooks.
FreshBooks tracks the status of invoices once they've been sent, letting you know when they've been received and viewed. It keeps track of billable time and expenses so you can include them in invoices. This makes it an excellent choice for freelancers and self-employed professionals, and professional services organisations and firms.
How do FreshBooks works?
FreshBooks offers a 30-day free trial to new users to let them get a feel for the platform and decide if it's right for them.
You can choose from one of four FreshBooks plans after a free trial; the ideal solution depends on the size and complexity of your business. The software comes with a setup page that includes video webinars covering the software’s basics and bookkeeping capabilities.
Charts that highlight your bills, profit and loss, revenue streams, and spending can be found on your main dashboard. FreshBooks also provides a mobile app for iOS and Android that allows users to access the software's essential functions and track miles and time.
FreshBooks is reasonably priced and comes in four tiers, each determined by the number of clients you work with. You can save 10% if you pay for FreshBooks annually rather than month to month. FreshBooks is now providing a 60% discount for six months. You may also use the 30-day free trial to try out the features before committing to a subscription.
The following is a breakdown of each strategy. The prices are adjusted to reflect the current discounts.
- For up to five billable clients, the Lite plan costs $4.50 per month. You can send an unlimited amount of estimates and invoices (though you are restricted to five clients), and you get free access to the FreshBooks iOS and Android mobile apps. You may link the software to your bank account, manage time, and take payments for invoices via the internet.
- The Plus Plan is the most popular among FreshBooks' customers, according to the company. For up to 50 clients, the Plus plan is $7.50 per month. You may collect late fees and send periodic bills, payment reminders, and proposals with this plan. You can generate financial reports for your general ledger, trial balance, and chart of accounts, including double-entry accounting reports. You can ask your accountant to participate in this plan without incurring an additional user charge if you have the Plus plan.
- The Premium plan, which costs $15 per month and covers up to 500 clients, is the most expensive. This subscription offers everything in the Plus plan plus additional reporting and client monitoring features.
- The Select plan is appropriate for organisations with at least $150,000 in annual revenue or more than 500 clients. Because pricing is unique, you'll need to connect with a sales representative who can provide you with a price based on your specific requirements. FreshBooks provides you with a dedicated account manager in addition to all of the Premium plan's features.
- Each additional user is $10 per month. This holds for any business partners, contractors, or workers you add to your account.
- FreshBooks Payments costs 2.9 per cent + 30 cents for each transaction and allows you to accept payments online. You can also use the system to connect your Stripe account.
- Advanced Payments has a monthly fee of $20 plus a 3.5 per cent fee and a transaction fee of 30 cents. This add-on service provides you with a virtual terminal so you may accept payments over the phone and in person. When you have this add-on, your customers can authorise recurring payments.
Features that help you save time
FreshBooks provides several features that can help you complete your accounting responsibilities more quickly and easily. The following is a list of those features:
- You can instantly change the appearance of your invoices to reflect your company's identity. After that, you select a template, font, and accent colour. With just a few clicks, you can also personalise your payment conditions, add a note to your customer, request a deposit, and create a payment schedule right on your invoice.
- FreshBooks allows you to convert estimates and proposals into invoices in only two clicks. Instead of writing new invoices from scratch, it's far easier to clone and alter existing ones.
- It's simple to add to an invoice any time you track a project as billable. Billable expenses can also be readily added to invoices.
- You may send invoices via email and get notifications when your clients read and pay them. Your clients can pay an invoice by clicking a button on the invoice if you set up FreshBooks Payments or connect the programme to your Stripe account. This eliminates the time it takes for paper invoices to arrive in the mail.
- You may plan recurring invoices to be issued weekly, monthly, annually, or as often as you want with the software.
- To encourage consumers to pay their bills on time, you can send automatic payment reminders before or beyond the due date. You can also programme the software to automatically apply late fees to past-due invoices, either as a percentage or a flat fee.
- You may create invoices right after meeting with a client using FreshBooks' mobile app, available for iOS and Android. You may also use the app to take pictures of receipts, connect with customers, and track the status of your invoices.
Like other popular accounting software, FreshBooks connects to your business bank and credit card accounts and inserts your costs automatically each day. There is also the option of bank reconciliation.
FreshBooks also allows you to perform the following:
- You can handle projects and bill by the hour or by the fixed rate. A time budget shows how much time is left on a project, how much of your tracked time is unbilled, and how many days are left till the project is due. You may keep track of how many hours your team members spend on each project, share files with them, and have discussions with them.
- Among the available reports are profit and loss reports, sales tax summaries, accounts ageing and expense reports, invoice details, payment collected, and time-entry information. You can email, print, or export reports to Excel after they've been run.
- FreshBooks has over 80 applications and connectors, allowing you to link your accounting software to various other company services and systems.
- FreshBooks allows you to invite business partners, employees, contractors, and accountants to your account. Their user role determines the information they can access. Except for integrations, everything is accessible to your business partners. Employees get access to their projects, as well as time and expenditure tracking. Contractors can only see the tasks you've assigned them, and they can log their time spent on those projects. Accountants have access to your dashboard, reports, expenses, and invoices, but they cannot generate invoices.
Pros of FreshBooks
FreshBooks is known for its ease of use. The procedure of creating an account is simple and only requires a few steps. The software is simple to use, well-organized, and everything is labelled correctly. Before purchasing the software, we recommend trying it out with the trial version. There's no better way to see if a solution will benefit your small business than to try it out for free.
Another advantage of FreshBooks is that when you invite customers to projects, they may create a client account to leave comments on documents like proposals and estimates. You can respond to their remarks and send them files and links. They can also save their credit cards on file, making paying new invoices a breeze.
We particularly appreciate the fact that invoices may be formatted in a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, and Swedish. Multicurrency billing is also supported; you can accept payments in foreign currencies using FreshBooks Payments. If you have international clients, these are helpful features.
Cons of FreshBooks
FreshBooks is powerful accounting software that makes invoicing simple, but there are a few things to consider before deciding whether it's the ideal accounting solution for your company.
- Inventory tracking and vendor management are both lacking. It does, however, provide time-tracking and project management capabilities.
- There are no batch-invoicing shortcuts, which would be beneficial if you were billing numerous clients at the same time for the same service.
- You can't access reports on the mobile app, even though most functionalities are available. You'll have to utilise a browser to access your account if you need to study a report while away from your computer, which is inconvenient.
6. Zoho books
Zoho Books is an online application that can be accessed from any browser. It provides time-saving features like recurring invoicing and automatic payment reminders and client portals that make it simple to follow up with customers on quotations and payments. It's also scalable, which means you may use it as your company expands or even launch a second one.
Zoho Books is one of the most cost-effective accounting software programmes available, especially when considering, its various capabilities, such as inventory monitoring, project management, and billable time and expense tools.
Standard, Professional, and Premium service subscriptions are offered for the software. For a bit of cost, you can add a few extra features to your account. You can choose between month-to-month and annual plans with Zoho. If you sign up for a yearly plan, you'll save money.
- The Standard package is $15 per month and includes three users: you, your accountant, and another person. It can be used to produce invoices and projects, track spending, and reconcile accounts, among other things. Up to 5,000 invoices can be managed. Mile monitoring, recurring billing, and automatic bank feeds are all included.
- The Professional plan, which costs $40 per month and supports five users, is the most expensive. This subscription includes buying ordering and inventory monitoring capabilities, as well as the ability to create sales orders and support for multiple currencies, in addition to the features found in the Standard plan.
- The Premium plan, which costs $60 a month and supports ten users, is the most expensive. You get everything included in the other two versions, plus a custom domain, access to a vendor portal, and Zoho Sign and Twilio integration.
- The cost of additional users is $2.50 per month. This feature is available on all plans, not just the top-tier ones.
- Auto scans are $8 per month for a total of 50 scans. When you upload documents to Zoho Books, such as vendor invoices or receipts, it automatically scans them and extracts the data to create new transactions for you, saving you time.
Overall, Zoho's pricing is reasonable. The three designs are all well within most microbusinesses' budgets.
Zoho Books provides several features that might assist you in completing your accounting responsibilities fast. With just a few clicks, you can turn an estimate or sales order into an invoice, retainer, or recurring invoice. The software allows you to email your invoices right away, schedule them to be delivered later, or have them printed and mailed for you via the company's snail mail service.
Here are some more time-saving features:
- You can set up payment email reminders in advance and send multiple messages at different times. You may, for example, send a payment reminder email a week before the invoice is due, a second email on the scheduled day, and a third email if no payment is received a week after the due date.
- You can accept invoice payments online if you connect your account to a payment processor. PayPal, Braintree, Stripe, and Square are examples of payment gateways that are compatible.
Pros of Zoho
Beyond its price, Zoho Books stands out as a suitable alternative for microbusinesses because of its ability to automate various accounting procedures. Estimates and sales orders can be turned into a retainer or regular bills in a matter of minutes. You may set up billing schedules for your customers and send payment reminders. This allows you to concentrate on what you do best: operating your company.
Zoho's client portal is another notable feature that business owners will love. It allows you and your clients to collaborate more effectively. You can use the portal to provide estimates, communicate with clients, and receive payment.
Cons of Zoho
Small businesses can get a lot of capability for a low price with Zoho Books, but there are a few things to consider before signing up.
Larger small enterprises should be advised that the highest plan has a monthly transaction limit of 5,000 transactions. Even if this is sufficient for most small firms, it is a limit to knowing if your company is rapidly expanding.
Furthermore, while the programme can handle several enterprises under a single account, each must pay a separate membership cost.
Accounting software allows users to sync their business bank accounts and credit cards with the software, which reduces the amount of time spent on data entry. Transactions will flow into the accounting software after syncing, where they can be classified into various accounts. While most accounting software is simple to use, a basic understanding of accounting principles is required to ensure that financial reports are correctly prepared. As a result, many businesses hire bookkeepers or accountants to keep and review their books.