QuickBooks is accounting software that enjoys a very high profile, thanks in part to extensive advertising in the media and on TV. If you’re on the lookout for a quality cloud-based accounting software package then QuickBooks looks like it fits the bill.
However, there are other options open to you even if some of them don't have quite the same advertising budgets in order to promote themselves.
In fact, when it comes to cloud-based accountancy software and tax filing packages too, there are all manner of variations on the theme. Our buying guides, some of which are listed below, should therefore be your first point of call to get an overview of the main packages worth considering.
Inside these guides we’ve selected the pick of the current crop, although many others feature in our reviews sections too.
- We've put together a list of the best accounting software for small business
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- Also check out the best bookkeeping software on the market
There’s no doubt that QuickBooks is a pretty excellent all-round accountancy package, but different things suit different people. You may already be using QuickBooks and might possibly have found that it provides more features and functions than you really need.
If you’re a sole proprietor or a freelancer, for example, it may be that you just need something super simple.
Keeping on top of your accounts is vital of course, but some accountancy software can be needlessly complicated. If you’re going to be filing annual returns and don't have a huge turnover then it seems pretty pointless to sign up for an accountancy bundle that does way more than you’ll get full value from.
So, what to look at if you’re bypassing QuickBooks? Xero is a great place to start as this is an accountancy software package that boasts similar features and functionality, but is more affordable. That’s mainly because it doesn't charge you based on the number of users it has.
Therefore, if you’ve got staff that need to access an accounts package this works out as a good alternative. Equally, the Xero Early package is ideally suited to very small businesses, so there’s a package to suit all.
Next up, Wave is an ideal option if you’re looking to do things on the cheap. It delivers a great user experience and sports loads of the same features found in the premium-level QuickBooks.
Best of all though, Wave is free and for that you also get the benefit of being able to add in multiple users. Considering you can get it for nothing this is a pretty impressive solution for anyone needing to tackle everyday accounts on a budget.
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If you’re a freelancer then chances are you’re needs will be a little more straightforward than a small business that has employees. Therefore, FreshBooks is a solid bet. This is an easy to use program that has a wealth of great tools built-in.
Pricing is very competitive and there are versions to suit all pockets. Pay a little more and the features and functionality increase to match, but even in its most basic guise FreshBooks is a winner.
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The popular Zoho Books is just one product in a whole portfolio of software tools from this publishing house. The benefit of that is you can get Zoho Books to work in unison with other software in the range. That means it’s pretty easy to ‘plug in’ expense accounting, billing and invoicing functionality into your standard accountancy tasks.
If you’re running a multi-faceted business with quite a lot of complex chores to complete then Zoho Books is well worth looking into. It comes in a range of affordable options too.
Not everyone enjoys tackling their bookkeeping and accountancy duties, so if you’re running a small business and fall into that category then ZipBooks is worthy of investigation. This is a robust alternative to QuickBooks and comes with a weighty collection of features and functions.
However, the added bonus with ZipBooks is that you can also opt to pay for handing everything over to a qualified bookkeeper instead. There is also provision to mix your own efforts with the help of an advisor, with prices to match.
If you’re a business that specialises in selling products rather than services you’ll want to check out Spendwise. This is a very practical solution that delivers lots of tools for managing inventory and tracking any type of product range.
While you’ll need to buy into the more advanced package to enjoy better accountancy-focused features, Spendwise is a powerful option. Product-focused businesses of any size might find this one a good alternative.
The appeal of FreeAgent is mainly due to its affordability factor, with a range of accounting tools on offer for just a few dollars a month. However, there are some limitations although it does possess a raft of cloud-based software essentials, including the ability to manage projects, send invoices, keep track of time as well as staying on top of your accounting tasks too.
If you’ve got pretty standard requirements and want an easy-to-use solution that won't break the bank then FreeAgent is another accountancy package that merits further investigation.
The simplicity of accounting package OneUp makes a lot of sense if you’re after a straightforward solution. This isn’t just an accounting package either, because while you can do your bookkeeping with OneUp, the software is also able to assist you with invoicing, inventory management and also CRM needs.
OneUp does boast a power-packed feature set, but it can also be quite complicated to use. Meanwhile, pricing comes in a tier-based arrangement and there’s a free trial too so you can see for yourself just how it ticks.
Last, but not least, is Sunrise, which was known previously as Billy. This is an accounting package aimed at small business owners who want the added benefit of being able to work with a professional bookkeeper.
Considering the extra weight that adds to the beefiness of the package, the pricing is still very appealing, with access to an advisors coming as part of a Starting package that is $99. There’s even a free self-service edition if you prefer a more do-it-yourself approach.
As you can see from our selection, there are quite a few options if you're looking for an alternative to using QuickBooks. While many people love QuickBooks, and it’s easy to see the appeal of this cloud-based software package, the other selections we’ve highlighted here might be more useful for more specific needs.
As is often the case, many accountancy packages come with the benefit of a free trial, so dip into our guides and reviews and, perhaps, check them out for yourself.
- Also take a look at our roundup of the best tax software for small businesses