Best Accounting Software 2021 - Overview

  • Overview
  • Buyer's Guide
  • Resources

Accounting software provides the tools that companies or accountants need to successfully track accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger income and expenses, payroll, billing, invoices, and navigate tax compliance, deductions, and filing each year, all in a centralized system.

Efficient, accurate accounting practices are very important for a profitably run business. In recent years, accounting software vendors have been working to improve their systems with more helpful accounting tools, interfaces, and automations to streamline all the work that goes into business accounting practices. Many of these new tools and automations are a result of accounting systems moving to the cloud, where they’re affordable, accessible, and feature-packed for companies of all types and sizes. 

Using this technology can help save a lot of time and boost productivity by streamlining processes and eliminating manual, error-prone work. You can use cloud accounting software to automate your accounts payable and receivable, track invoices, store data and receipts, and more – all in one centralized system. 

While your business needs, users, and budget will all work together to help you choose the best system for your business, there are a list of core features offered by most Accounting Software providers that you will want to make sure are included in whichever option you choose.

Features of Accounting software include but are not limited to:

  • Invoicing and billing
  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • Income & Expense Reporting
  • Payroll management
  • Tax calculation, compliance, & filing
  • Stock and inventory management
  • Sales and purchase orders
  • General ledger
  • Financial reporting & analytics

The benefits of using Accounting Software are:

  • Time and cost-savings
  • Efficiency & productivity gains
  • Instant access to financial tools and reporting
  • Consolidated, synced financial data across all aspects of an organization
  • Data accuracy, privacy, and security
  • Simplified accounting processes such as invoicing, billing, and payroll
  • Business insights via in-depth and real-time reporting
  • Streamlined financial processes

Integrating your accounting software with other departmental automation systems such as human resources, customer relations, marketing, etc. can help you gauge the profitability ratios of your company – both independently as business units or as a whole.

Ultimately, your company’s bottom line matters the most, and making your Accounting Software be part of a fully-fledged ERP system will help you learn about various financial aspects pertaining to your company, all from different angles.

While cloud accounting software offers many automations on its own, you can increase your efficiencies even further with Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools that can help with tracking spending and sales, and help you plan and prepare for the future with predictive analytic tools. 

Accounting software can vastly improve the manner in which money, assets and other financial aspects are managed in a business. Fortunately, there are many Accounting Software programs offering an array of powerful, effective tools to support your business. Selecting or switching to the perfect accounting software system for your company involves deep business examination and thoughtful research and analysis of the features and system capabilities that will best suit your business now and scale with you as you grow.

Top 10 Accounting Software
  • Freshbooks
  • Zoho Books
  • QuickBooks
  • Harpoon
  • Xero
  • ZipBooks
  • Patriot
  • Deskera
  • FINSYNC
  • FreeAgent
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Product Name
Wheelhouse Score
Rating
Features
Pricing
Select product
Freshbooks

By Freshbooks

Wheelhouse Score
4.25/5
Excellent
Rating
4.00/5
Above Average
Features
3.83/5
Above Average
Pricing
Economy

FreshBooks is the cloud accounting software for non-accountants, featuring easy-to-use, cloud-based tools that provide small companies with everything needed to properly and accurately manage accounting duties.

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Zoho Books

By Zoho Corporation Pvt. Ltd.

Wheelhouse Score
4.14/5
Excellent
Rating
4.25/5
Excellent
Features
3.19/5
Above Average
Pricing
Economy

Zoho Books is online accounting software that can be customized to your unique business and accounting needs. This system helps your company manage finances, automate business workflows, and work more collectively across departments.

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QuickBooks

By Intuit Inc.

Wheelhouse Score
4.08/5
Excellent
Rating
4.52/5
Excellent
Features
3.72/5
Above Average
Pricing
Economy

QuickBooks, powered by Intuit, is an accounting software that is designed to fit the accounting needs of small and mid-sized companies. QuickBooks offers an array of tools and features that can be customized to fit the exact needs of your business.

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Harpoon

By Harpoon, LLC.

Wheelhouse Score
4.00/5
Above Average
Rating
3.00/5
Above Average
Features
4.04/5
Excellent
Pricing
Economy

Harpoon is an accounting management solution that focuses on all the key financial areas that are important to any business. Forecast revenue and project budgets well before time, so you can always stay aligned to your business goals.

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Xero

By Xero

Wheelhouse Score
4.00/5
Above Average
Rating
4.50/5
Excellent
Features
3.51/5
Above Average
Pricing
Economy

Xero is a cloud-based accounting software solution that is designed and priced to serve small and medium businesses with over 700+ tools for accounting, inventory, invoicing, reporting, and more. Xero is dedicated to creating "beautiful business" by offering comapnies robust, user-friendly...

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ZipBooks

By ZipBooks

Wheelhouse Score
3.89/5
Above Average
Rating
3.00/5
Above Average
Features
4.68/5
Excellent
Pricing
Economy

ZipBooks is a scalable and feature-rich accounting platform that takes care of the needs of any business, regardless of size.

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Patriot

By Patriot Software LLC

Wheelhouse Score
3.73/5
Above Average
Rating
5.00/5
Excellent
Features
3.19/5
Above Average
Pricing
Lower-Cost

Patriot Software is a trusted name in the HR, Payroll, and Accounting industry and they're top notch business software is well regarded and heavily adopted across companies of all types and sizes in the US. Patriot Accounting offers an accounting solution to help American businesses manage thei...

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Deskera

By Deskera

Wheelhouse Score
3.49/5
Above Average
Rating
4.00/5
Above Average
Features
1.81/5
Average
Pricing
Economy

Especially suited to SMBs, Deskera features all the necessary tools to run efficient accounting processes and maintain accurate books. Track employee time-off and run payroll from the same system, so you don’t need to depend on multiple applications to manage your business’s finances.

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FINSYNC

By FINSYNC

Wheelhouse Score
3.48/5
Above Average
Rating
5.00/5
Excellent
Features
2.45/5
Average
Pricing
Lower-Cost

FINSYNC is an all-in-one financial management system that is designed to help small to midsize businesses grow and succeed.

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FreeAgent

By FreeAgent Central Ltd

Wheelhouse Score
3.43/5
Above Average
Rating
4.00/5
Above Average
Features
3.30/5
Above Average
Pricing
Lower-Cost

FreeAgent is an accounting solution that’s specially designed for the needs of small businesses. Whether it’s automatically scanning photographs of receipts, or keeping track of daily cash flow, FreeAgent ensures consistency and accuracy for robust financial management.

Learn more about Accounting Software

What is Accounting Software?

Accounting software is a system that captures, records, tracks, and processes business financial activities and transactions across a series of modules including:

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • General Ledger
  • Payroll
  • Trial Balances
  • Income & Expense Statements
  • Tax Calculation and Filing

What is Accounting Software Used For?

Accounting software is used financial teams, individuals, or contractors to track, process, and report on financial processes such as invoicing, accounts payable and receivable, tax calculation & compliance, general ledger, income & expenses, payroll, and cash flow reporting & analytics. 

What are the Types of Accounting Software?

The main types of accounting software include:

  • Payroll Processing & Management
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable
  • Tax & Compliance
  • ERP software 

Is Excel an Accounting Software?

Microsoft Office Excel can be used to calculate certain accounting functions such as balance sheets, budgets, and statements, but the function of Excel is more for organizing data and performing calculations than for performing financial transactions and activities necessary to run a business. 

What are the Common Features of Accounting Software?

The most common accounting software features include:

  • Invoicing and billing
  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • Income & Expense Reporting
  • Payroll management
  • Tax calculation, compliance, & filing
  • Stock and inventory management
  • Sales and purchase orders
  • General ledger
  • Financial reporting & analytics

What are the Benefits of Using Accounting Software?

The benefits of using accounting software include:

  • Time and Cost Savings
  • Instant access to financial tools and reporting
  • Consolidated, synced financial data across all aspects of an organization
  • Data accuracy, privacy, and security
  • Simplified accounting processes such as invoicing, billing, and payroll
  • Business insights via in-depth and real-time reporting
  • Streamlined financial processes

Who Uses Accounting Software?

Accounting software is often used by companies, individual accountants, consultants, business analysts, CFOs, auditors, and tax agencies to prepare financial reports, process payroll, and remit taxes. 

What are the Types of Accounting Systems?

The main types of accounting systems are cash-based accounting and accrual based accounting. Accounting software can be customized to the accounting method(s) used in an organization to provide all the tools needed. 

What are the Disadvantages of Accounting Software?

While accounting software can provide companies with many advantages, there are some drawbacks to be aware of and plan for, including:

  • Data Loss and Service Interruptions
  • Incorrect Data or Financial Information
  • Costs
  • Security and Privacy
  • System Integrations

Which Companies Should Buy Accounting Software?

Accounting software is most beneficial for small, growing companies and large corporations as well. Any company that is quickly growing and adding more customers and employees can save time and money by buying and implementing accounting software to automate and manage key financial and reporting activities in the business. 

How Much Does an Accounting Software Cost?

Accounting software is available in a wide range of pricing plans, which can start at less than $10 a month per user. Depending on the complexity and size of the business, a more robust accounting software may be needed which can drive the price up to anywhere between $300 - $999 per user each month, plus annual licensing fees.

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