15 Accounting Tools That Every Small Business Needs

More and more people are starting to realise just how great a suite of apps for making workflow and various work processes more efficient. A good app suite will improve your quality of life by simplifying the requirements of those tasks which are necessary and important to running a business, but which can ultimately take time away from the tasks which actually earn the money. Having the right software support becomes even more important when operating a small business, as you will likely find yourself managing a number of different business functions rather than specialising in a particular aspect of business operations.

Picking out the right kinds of tools can be hard, especially when you don’t have a place to start! With that in mind, we’ve prepared a useful list of accounting software to help you find the best accounting apps and finance tools for small businesses.

How We Chose the Best Accounting Software

When it comes to judging the value of accounting software, you’re looking at a few different criteria, and comparing the value provided by a given software tool in each area to give yourself an idea of the overall worth of the product compared to its competitors.

Usually the first thing to consider is the expense – will the service be worth the money you’ll pay for it? While price is an important consideration, it’s equally important not to get too focused on the price factor. What’s more important is to consider whether the software accomplishes what your business needs it to, and whether or not it will make a significant difference in improving your efficiency and accuracy when it comes to those all-important accounting tasks. You may even find the reporting data provided by some services to be so valuable that you end up saving money by using them!

Solet’s take a look, in no particular order, at a list of our picks for the best software tools for small businesses.


1-     FreshBooks

FreshBooks is a web-based software as a service accounting app which focuses mainly on providing the best service for small to medium sized businesses. The application is useable from either a computer or mobile device, allowing for on the go use of the product. Larger businesses will likely find more value out of a service better designed to cater to large teams.

2-     QuickBooks

QuickBooks is another accounting software package which is geared towards medium sized businesses, offering both a cloud-based service or on-site versions which can accept payments, operate payroll processes, and manage the organisation and payment of bills. QuickBooks is a fairly versatile and is particularly popular in the Americas.

3-     MinuteDock

MinuteDock is a different type of product from our previous entries in this list. A high-quality time tracking service for accountants is exactly what every small business needs to stay organised and keep on top of managing those valuable work hours. When it comes to small business, you’ll often find yourself managing various critical roles and tasks among a small number of team members, so being able to have an accurate time keeping record with a tool like MinuteDock can allow you to maximise your efficiency and make sure you are meeting all of your goals.

4-     Wave

Wave is a useful accounting software package which is free to use, covering all the basic accounting needs alongside free invoicing and credit card processing & payroll services. Wave is highly suitable for those looking for a package which doesn’t confuse the accounting process with extra frills and unnecessary additions, with the only cost being the small fee for processing payments.

5-     Xero

When it comes to accounting software, Xero is one of the heaviest hitters. Providing a complete accounting software package alongside a number of other useful business software apps and project managing solutions, Xero is king when it comes to flexibility and having a one stop shop for your accounting package needs.

6-     Excel

You can’t go past the old faithful – Microsoft’s Excel program provides a versatile spreadsheet software which will be highly familiar to most business operators, allowing great freedom for those who prefer a DIY approach to organising their accounting processes. A savvy Excel user will be able to extract great value out of this program and accomplish most of what a small business needs by manually entering their accounting data into Excel spreadsheets. While it doesn’t contain the streamlined and simplified services provided by more dedicated accounting software solutions, sometimes it can be best to stick to what you know.

7-     Google Sheets

Google Sheets works in a very similar fashion to Excel, providing a strong basic spreadsheet function which can be used to organise and manage accounting data. The main difference between Sheets and Excel is that Sheets is cloud based as part of Google Drive, and so needs to be logged into through a Google account, which can be done for free, whereas Excel is a paid product.

8-     OneUp

OneUp is an accounting service which synchronises with your bank account to automate many of your accounting requirements. Including inventory management, an in-built simple customer relationship management system, as well as covering general invoicing needs, OneUp is a generally well-liked service which covers a number of bases for small businesses.

9-     ZoHo Books

ZoHo Books is an online accounting platform which provides an end-to-end accounting service to cover and manage any small businesses general accounting need. As a part of an integrated platform, ZoHo provides additional apps for a variety of business needs in a similar way to the Xero community.

10-  AccountEdge Pro

AccountEdge Pro is a desktop software application which has provided small businesses with a full featured accounting service since before the turn on the millennium. This application caters to general double entry accounting and covers all of the main accounting needs of small businesses, from invoicing to payroll.

11-  AccountEdge Connect

AccountEdge Connect is the cloud-based version of AccountEdge Pro, as the service expands to cater to the ever-growing popularity of secure cloud-based services. Connect covers all of the same features as the original desktop app.

12-  Sage 50cloud Accounting

Coming out of the USA, Sage 50cloud Accounting seeks to make the automation of small businesses finances simple and easy, providing general accounting features such as expenses, payroll, and invoicing, as well as being a part of the Sage 50cloud family of apps, which cater to other business needs.

13-  ZipBooks

ZipBooks is another cloud-based accounting software app which covers the general accounting needs of small businesses. Alongside the standard balance sheets, general ledges and income statements, ZipBooks provides data reporting to help you judge the trajectory of your business and see where you could be handling your finances better.

14-  Kashoo

Kashoo markets itself as the ‘worlds simplest accounting software’, and really is designed with the needs of the smallest businesses in mind. If you are a freelancer or owner-operator conducting only a few hundred transactions in a year, then the simplicity and ease of use provided by Kashoo might just be a good fit for your team.

15-  MYOB

MYOB truly is the ‘old faithful’ when it comes to accounting software provision. Well known, widely used, and trusted, MYOB is a great pick for those looking for strong value and a comprehensive accounting suite. Generally well documented on how to use, MYOB is relatively easy to pick up as a new user and will likely be able to accomplish almost everything a small business is looking for.

Further reading:

·       The best 7 budget apps for2020

·       8 best budgeting and personal finance tools

·       The best tools for business consultants

Want to learn more about MinuteDock?

We've built the best easy to use time tracking software for individuals and teams.

Try for FreeLearn More

Other articles that might spark your interest...