Top 5 Accounting Apps for Small Business Efficiency in 2024

best-accounting-apps-small-businesses-2024

Start with emphasizing the critical role accounting software plays in the operational efficiency of small businesses. Highlight how the right tools can streamline financial management, ensuring accuracy and saving precious time.

Why Small Businesses Need Dedicated Accounting Apps

Streamlining Financial Operations

Discuss the benefits of integrating accounting software into daily operations, such as automated invoicing, real-time expense tracking, and simplified tax preparation, which collectively contribute to smoother financial management.

Making Informed Business Decisions

Explain how access to real-time financial data enables small business owners to make more informed decisions, enhancing strategic planning and future forecasting.

Top 5 Accounting Apps for Small Business Efficiency in 2024

Criteria for Selecting the Best Accounting Apps

User-Friendliness and Integration

Detail the importance of selecting apps with an intuitive interface that can seamlessly integrate with other tools (e.g., payment gateways, e-commerce platforms), enhancing workflow efficiency.

Scalability and Security

Emphasize choosing software that can grow with the business and offer robust security features to protect sensitive financial data.

Top 5 Best Accounting Apps for Small Businesses in 2024

1. QuickBooks Online: best overall accounting app for small businesses

QuickBooks Online is the best accounting app for small business teams that need to manage all parts of their accounting and bookkeeping better—including income and expense tracking, financial reports, payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.

Why is QuickBooks Online the best overall accounting app? QuickBooks Online has a wider set of features than most accounting apps on the market and thousands of satisfied user reviews.

The app’s customizability makes it work for businesses with all levels of accounting experience. QuickBooks Online integrates with many e-commerce systems, CRM apps, payments software, and field service management software like Maidprofit.

Pros Cons
• Fast onboarding and migration from offline accounting software
• Invoice templates are easy to customize and send to customers
• Easy to add new vendors and customers
• Pricier than most small business accounting software
• Limited inventory management and project management features
• Lots of accounting features that can be overwhelming to newer small business owners

2. Wave: best free accounting app for small business owners

Wave is a free accounting app that’s ideal for small teams, startups, freelancers, and business owners with little to no accounting experience.

Integrated payroll and double-entry accounting support make it a potential option for small businesses with a few employees, though there are better choices for those companies. And because it has a simple, understandable user interface, even financial novices can use it.

Pros Cons
• Accounting reports are easy to create
• Free to add unlimited users
• Simple vocabulary that accounting amateurs can understand
• No automatic bank reconciliation
• No time tracking tools
• Limited reporting features compared to other paid options
• Customer support is only available via email

3. FreshBooks: best app for accounts receivable management

FreshBooks is great for teams that want to invoice customers easily from their accounting app and keep all accounts receivable activities in one place.

FreshBooks' good looks and simplicity are deceptive. It’s actually a full-featured, double-entry accounting system that happens to offer an exceptional user experience. For these reasons, it's an Editors' Choice winner and is one of the first accounting options a small business should consider. It's intuitive enough for novice bookkeepers to learn but supports all the elements that a larger business would need, including payroll. 

We recommend FreshBooks for sole proprietors and companies with perhaps an employee or two—though it's capable of handling more. Very small businesses can use it for basic money management, like sending invoices, monitoring financial accounts, accepting payments, and tracking income and expenses. More complex companies can add advanced tools that include projects and proposals, mileage and time tracking, and reports. It's especially good for service-based businesses.

Pros Cons
• Automatically calculate taxes on your invoices
• Simple and intuitive time tracking features
• Assign multiple email addresses to a single customer
• All features are available in the free trial version
• Limited reporting and analytics features
• Can’t apply discounts to specific line items on invoices
• No way to scan and attach existing invoices created outside FreshBooks

4. Zoho Books: best app for task automation

Zoho Books is the small business accounting element of Zoho's business software ecosystem. Your accounting data can be tightly integrated with numerous related apps and functions, like CRM, customer service, and email. Zoho Books' usability, flexibility, and depth in standard bookkeeping areas (sales and purchases, time and project tracking, and inventory management) equals and sometimes surpasses what's offered by competitors.

Zoho Books is surprisingly affordable, and it even has a free version. Overall, though, Zoho Books is best for businesses that use other Zoho applications, but its appeal isn't limited to such cases. We also recommend it to larger small businesses, growing businesses, and established businesses that want its customizability, depth, and usability. That said, the depth of its features might be overwhelming to very small businesses but welcomed by companies with more advanced needs.

Pros Cons
• Well-designed reporting dashboard
• Lots of help documentation for new users
• Easy Bank Reconciliation Statement (BRS) printing
• Assign expenses to specific employees and projects
• No deposit slip printing
• No payroll features
• Very basic time tracking functionality
• Many users complain about customer support

5. Sage Accounting: best for advanced accounting

Sage 50 Accounting—also sometimes known as Sage accounting or Sage business cloud accounting—is a massive small business accounting application that's designed for desktop use. It's the most comprehensive accounting program we review, and it does more than what many small businesses need. It costs a bit more as well. The software offers built-in online connections that support some remote work since it integrates with Microsoft 365 Business. Though it has a dated interface, doesn't have a mobile app, and requires you to install the software on a desktop or laptop computer, Sage 50 Accounting is still a powerful piece of software.

Sage 50 Accounting is especially appropriate for companies that need robust inventory-tracking capabilities. Additionally, it's best suited to companies that need more advanced accounting capabilities, customizability, and data capacity; who aren't averse to desktop software; and whose remote employees have their own installations of the software, though they can share company data through Sage's Remote Data Access.

Pros Cons
• Fast and easy to import transactions from your bank
• Easy tax return filing
• Reliable customer support staff
• No time tracking feature
• Mobile app is not as customizable as the desktop version
• Steep learning curve, and training resources can be hard to find

Implementing Accounting Apps: Steps for Small Businesses

Getting Started with Your Choice

Offer a step-by-step guide on implementing the chosen accounting software, from signing up and setting up accounts to importing existing financial data.

Maximizing the Benefits

Provide tips on utilizing all the features offered by the app, such as setting up automated reminders for invoices, utilizing dashboard analytics for financial insights, and customizing reports.

Implementing Accounting Apps: Steps for Small Businesses

Conclusion

Reiterate the importance of adopting the right accounting app to enhance financial management and operational efficiency. Encourage readers to evaluate the suggested apps based on their specific business needs and take the first step towards streamlined accounting.

Tags
Small Business Tools
Financial Software
Accounting Apps
Business Management
Financial Efficiency
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Chi Linh

Written by

Chi Linh

04.02.2024
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