How Much Should You Spend On Accounting Software?
There are accounting services available for every budget, from free to thousands of dollars a month. Whether you are a sole proprietor, a small business owner, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 enterprise, there is an accounting software out there that is perfectly suited to you. The question most businesses are asking is where they fall on the spectrum of accounting software cost and features. This blog post will look at some of the factors that influence cost, to help business owners and executives determine the best accounting systems to suit their financial reporting needs.
The Factors That Affect Cost
There are reasons that pricing for accounting software varies so much from one service to the next. Even the same accounting software can carry different price points depending on the number of people who will be accessing and using the software.
In addition to user numbers, other factors that can influence the cost of accounting systems include desired features and add-on services. Cheaper options are often either designed to be simplistic and basic or have feature limitations that you wouldn’t have with a more expensive tier. Accounting and bookkeeping vary in complexity depending on the size of the business, the industry they are operating in, and other factors. More advanced, feature-rich options are often available for an extra cost.
As for add-on services, extra customer service perks—such as tailored software installation and training services, or dedicated account representatives—will always add cost.
Software Pricing Tiers
Below, we have separated the accounting software market into four price tiers: free; inexpensive; moderate, and expensive.
- Free: Popular examples of free accounting software include Wave and Sage One. As mentioned above, the software in this tier often has account limitations that you can only eliminate with paid tiers. Also, as with other types of freeware, software in this tier is often ad-supported. Alternatively, the software might be free because of a free trial, but only temporarily. In most cases, freeware options are only workable for sole proprietorships or very small business bookkeeping. Free packages often count on small business to grow in time, needing more advanced systems and already being used to current system, avoiding anothe system's learning curve. Sometimes free packages even make it harder to switch to another provider over time with having unique features, own export and import format not supported by other providers or right away only limited ability to move all you have to a new provider.
Learn more about Sage One here.
Learn more about Wave accounting software here.
- Inexpensive: Inexpensive accounting software platforms such as FreshBooks (starting at $15/month) and Xero (starting at $11/month) tend to be the most popular options for the small business owner or growing business entity. These programs might still have some account limitations, such as a limited number of users or invoices, but you can at least count on software in this tier offering a simple start and being ad-free.
Learn more about Xero pricing here.
Learn more about FreshBooks accounting software pricing here.
- Moderate: The most popular of all accounting and bookkeeping software, QuickBooks (starting at $20/month), falls into the Moderate price tier. Software in this price range is suited to most mid-sized businesses. The actual out-of-pocket expense will vary a bit depending on the number of additional users but is never terribly expensive. Best of all, software in this tier comes with next-to-no limitations on features. You get the full extent of what the software can do.
Learn more about QuickBooks pricing here.
- Expensive: This priciest tier of accounting software brings tons of features that you won’t get on more basic bookkeeping programs, such as tools for financial management, inventory management, contract management, HR operations, payroll, advanced profit and loss reporting, business analytics, and other real-time tools to manage accounting. These robust and fully-featured software programs—with examples including Microsoft Dynamics (starting at $70/month/user) and Oracle Financials (starting at $175/month/user) —are mostly intended for large enterprises.
Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics accounting software for small business pricing here.
Learn more about Oracle Financials Accounting software pricing here.
Where does ZarMoney fit on the price spectrum of pricing for accounting software? The answer varies depending on your business needs. It offers three separate tiers to its customers: Entrepreneur, Small Business, and Enterprise. These tiers match with the Free, Inexpensive, and Moderate price ranges discussed above, except that we try to stand apart from the crowd in each case. Here’s how:
- Entrepreneur will start you off at a low $1.99 per month, for one user, with no feature restrictions, unlimited transactions, and no credit card required.
- Small Business is $7 per user/month, unlimited users.
- Enterprise is $350 for 30 users and includes implementation service, personal custom training, a dedicated account rep, and more.
Simply put, we have accounting software that can suit businesses of any size, and that is easily scalable. Whether you are looking for a small business accounting tool or an enterprise accounting suite, we can help.
But don't trust our word and rather check this back-to-back in-depth comparison of ZarMoney and Quickbooks Intuit.
Still not sure? We understand. We also understand that trying it out is worth a thousand articles, so ZarMoney offers a free trial, no credit card details required.