8/15/2020

Small Business Advice

Five Great Bookkeeping Software Applications for Small Business Owners

Ready to move beyond the spreadsheet? Here are five affordable, comprehensive software applications that will help you keep invoices, payroll, expenses and tax deductions trackable and searchable.

Lauren Parker

Business Writer

The accounting side of business can be daunting. Whether you’re managing payroll or invoicing clients, good record tracking is important for navigating taxes, making sure your expenses are covered, and taking payments for orders. While a CPA (Certified Personal Accountant) or professional bookkeeper can be invaluable in this area, often worth far more than they charge, sometimes you just don’t have the scratch to hire a person to manage your business finances. In that instance, there are several bookkeeping applications that can be of service. Business software is tax deductible, practical, and can help your business run smoothly. It might not give all the advice of a CPA, but it’s a great start, especially if you’re new to bookkeeping and your business is young.

Here are 5 small business software applications that are solid investments for your business. 

Intuit QuickBooks Online

Quickbooks is a staple for bookkeeping software, allowing you to send unlimited invoices, track income and expenses, and look at tax deductions. It’s also compatible with Shopify, Paypal, and Square and provides 24/7 chat support for clients. Quickbooks is easy to use, and is considered a standard software in business accounting  for a good reason. Known for great customer service and a lot of expansion options, Quickbooks is pretty adaptable to all of your record keeping needs. 

Pricing: Simple version is $12 a month, which is ideal for sole proprietors or freelancers. (Plus, if you’re a Hatch cardholder, you get 50% off your first 6 months through the Hatch perks program)

FreshBooks

Freshbooks is a simpler answer to Quickbooks, and great for subscription model businesses or if you need to generate recurring invoices. There’s a mobile app, tracking to be sure clients receive and open your invoice, and the software even allows for personalized thank you emails. It’s not as robust as Quickbooks, but has been in operation since 2003, so it’s a company with longevity, great customer service, and is easy to use. 

Freshbook subscriptions starts at $6 a month for 5 billable clients. Additional users are $10 a month. 

Wave

Wave has the features of Quickbooks and Freshbooks, but with a simpler set up and application, so if you’re a little uncomfortable with the idea of learning new technology, Wave might be the least daunting. Wave offers invoicing capability (including reminders), unlimited receipt scanning, and the ability to accept foreign currency.  

The accounting portion of Wave is free, including unlimited income and expense tracking, receipt capture, and multiple business account management. There is a pay-per-use credit card processing fee for 2.9% of the transaction cost, and there’s a $35 base fee if you process  monthly payroll through the software. 

Xero

Xero is designed to grow with you, and offers flexible plans that allow for you to expand your team, your inventory, and client base, letting you pay for those expansions as needed. Like Freshbooks and Quickbooks, Xero offers digital invoicing and tracking (although they do not alert you when an invoice has been paid), mobile capabilities, and multi-currency transactions. While they don’t offer a 24/7 chat line like Quickbooks or Freshbooks, they have an email customer support contact and thorough online resources to help customers. 

Pricing is $9 a month to send 5 invoices and reconcile up the 20 bank transactions. 

GoDaddy Bookkeeping

GoDaddy Bookkeeping's direct integration with Amazon, eBay, Paypal, and Etsy make it a terrific tool for entrepreneurs who sell at those sites. Track essentials like mileage and accept payments through your mobile phone. It’s a great tool for simplifying taxes and pulling up business reports to track profits and losses. 

It’s hard to beat the price points, with the most simple plan costing $4.99 and the most expansive is $14.99. The downside is that there’s not a multi user function, and foreign currency cannot be processed. 


Whether you’re offering quotes, invoicing for time, or running an Etsy shop, there can be a lot of loose ends. Getting a record keeping software can take the edge off of the administrative side of your business and let you focus on your success. 


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