Top 10 Free Accounting Software for Small Business 2024

TechPeza

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The Top 10 Best Free Accounting Software for Small Business Review

If you’re a business person like me, you’ll agree that proper record keeping can be seamless even with free accounting software for small business. You definitely must have come across various adverts by brands claiming they are the best free accounting software for small businesses, right?

Running a small business involves juggling numerous responsibilities, and managing your finances is one of the most critical tasks. Fortunately, there are many free accounting software options available to help you streamline your financial operations without breaking the bank. 

What this means is that Small businesses that often operate on tight budgets, can make it essential to find cost-effective tools to manage their finances. Accounting software can streamline financial operations and help business owners keep track of income, expenses, and more. 

From time to time, we reviewed the best apps and platforms. For example, we’ve review the top 10 best apps to save money in Nigeria.

In this article, we will be exploring the top 10 free accounting software options for small businesses, I have used to manage my finances as a small business owner. 

The Top 10 Free Accounting software for small business

The following are the top 10 free accounting software for small business:

  • Wave Accounting
  • QuickBoks Online
  • Zoho Invoice
  • Square Invoice
  • Zoho Books
  • Profit Books
  • Manager
  • SlickPie
  • GNUCash
  • NCH Express Accounts

1. Wave

best free accounting software for small business - Wave Accounting

On the list, one of the top best free accounting software for small businesses is Wave Accounting. Wave is an excellent choice for small businesses. It offers features like invoicing, expense tracking, and bank reconciliation, all for free. It’s user-friendly and has a mobile app for on-the-go accounting.

As a small business owners Choosing the appropriate accounting software for your small business can alleviate the challenges of managing your company’s finances, distinguishing between personal and business expenses, and preparing for tax season.

Wave’s accounting tool is completely free – no trials or sneaky charges. It comes packed with all the essential features to keep your financial records in check and your business running smoothly. The best part? It’s already trusted by more than 2 million small business owners.

But that’s not all! With Wave, you get access to a whole suite of money management tools. You can send invoices to your clients, get paid online, handle payroll, and keep your books up-to-date, all within one convenient platform. Wave is the ultimate all-in-one money management solution for small business owners just like you!

With the wave  accounting software at your disposal, you can do more than merely maintain basic financial records. You can efficiently assess your business’s financial well-being, discover strategies to increase profits, and advance your business objectives.

However, one problem I noticed when using the Wave accounting software is that the advanced features  require payment.

Pros

  • Offers invoicing, expense tracking, and bank reconciliations.
  • User-friendly interface.

Cons

  • Advanced features may require paid add-ons.

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2. QuickBooks Online

free accounting software for small business - Quick Books Online

QuickBooks Online is a user-friendly accounting software designed for small businesses, enabling easy tracking of receipts, income statements, and bank transactions. Its functionalities encompass expense management, customized reporting, and tax deduction calculations.

Additionally, the platform offers a 30-day free trial for all paid subscription plans. QuickBooks Online impresses with its ability to efficiently and securely handle a business’s accounting needs from any web-enabled device or computer. This adaptability ensures maximum convenience, allowing users to complete tasks whether they’re at home or on the go, as long as they have an internet connection

However, one of the prominent shortcomings of QuickBooks I noticed is its inconsistent approach to training its support staff. This inconsistency becomes problematic when issues disrupt one’s workflow, and the support team is unable to provide the required assistance. Users might encounter highly knowledgeable representatives at times, while at other times, they might find more support through a simple internet search.

As one of the free accounting software for small business, QuickBooks’ support forums can also contain conflicting solutions or offer only partial help. This irregularity in support is a major drawback of QuickBooks Online, and it has been a source of frustration for experienced bookkeepers and CPA firms.

Pros

  • Exceptionally thorough accounting capabilities
  • Outstanding tax classification

Cons

  • Limitations for users based on their chosen plan

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3. Zoho Invoice

record keeping software for small businesses - Zoho Invoice

Don’t let the name Zoho Invoice mislead you; this software offers much more than just invoice generation, although its invoicing features are exceptional, making it our top choice for billing and invoicing software.

While it may not be as feature-rich as Zoho Books, Zoho Invoice provides a robust set of features, and the best part is that they are entirely free for professional and customizable invoices with support for multiple currencies and languages. Automatic recurring invoicing and reminders for customer payments. Easily convertible estimates into invoices.

It can also carry out Expense tracking, receipt scanning, and time tracking. It is no doubt one of the best free accounting software for small business owners.

Zoho Invoice is particularly well-suited for freelancers who frequently collaborate with clients, thanks to its built-in time tracking, seamless estimate-to-invoice conversion, and a client portal for efficient collaboration.

It’s also a great choice for freelancers on the move, offering superb and free bookkeeping and invoicing. However, one set back I noticed while using this accounting software is the expansive layout necessitates scrolling and certain functions demand developer expertise.

Pros

  • Offers an attractive and easy-to-grasp visual design.
  • Provides extensive customization options.

Cons

  • Lacks integration with Zoho Inventory.

Related: Top 10 Best International Money Transfer Apps

4. Square invoice

square invoice

Square Invoice’s real strength lies in its compatibility with other Square products. It works seamlessly with Square POS, allowing you to effortlessly manage your business payments in one place and automatically generate invoices for in-person transactions. 

With Square Invoices, you get a handful of basic accounting features for free for instance, unlimited users can send invoices, you can send invoices and digital receipts via email or text, set up recurring invoices and automatic payment reminders, and access reporting and cash flow management tools. You can also easily add e-signatures to documents.

Its user-friendly interface is perfect for first-time business owners with limited financial expertise. If you’re a fan of Square’s user-friendly approach but need more features, their paid plans start at $20 and offer increased customization for invoices, project organization, and the ability to send batch invoicee. 

Although square Invoice excels in what it does,  there are certain drawback I observed while using this software. One problem I noticed is that it does not allow clients to edit quantities or choose add-ons directly from the invoice, also keeping track of payments become difficult due to deposit collection. 

Pros

  • Excellent layout and user interface both for clients and our team.
  • Replicat previous invoices is a straightforward process.

Cons

  • Tracking money collection becomes challenging due to deposit collection.

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5. Zoho Books

automate business workflow with smart accounting system - zoho books

Zoho Books is no doubt one of the best free accounting software for small business. It provides a user-friendly platform with features such as invoicing, expense tracking, and inventory management. The free plan is suitable for very small businesses.

Zoho Books is a well-known accounting software designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It operates in the cloud and is compatible with both desktop and mobile platforms, including Android and iOS devices.

Zoho Books is a comprehensive software solution that offers a wide range of features, including expense and payment tracking, making it a versatile choice.

While Zoho Books doesn’t offer a free version, they do provide a free trial. The pricing varies, ranging from 900 to 10,000 Rs depending on the subscription plan you choose.

It’s important to note that the cost of the software can become quite high, which might be a concern for small businesses. Keep this in mind when considering this particular software.

If you require more extensive accounting features, Zoho Books has a free plan for businesses with annual revenue under $50,000 USD. If your business falls into this category, we strongly recommend integrating Zoho Books with your Zoho Invoice plan.

With the unending goodness of Zoho invoice, i experience some restrictions while using this free accounting software, one problem is that it is only limited to small businesses, and does not have the scalability to accomplish for larger businesses.

Pros

  • User-friendly and intuitive.
  • Free plan suitable for very small businesses.

Cons

  • Limited scalability for larger enterprises.

Also Read: Top 10 Best Apps to Get Loans Online in Nigeria

6. ProfitBooks

Profit books - online record keeping platform

ProfitBooks is another top accounting software tailored for small businesses in India. It offers features like invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting in its free version.

Lately, ProfitBooks has been gaining popularity as a fantastic alternative to Wave accounting, especially for those who might not be experts in managing their business finances.

The beauty of ProfitBooks lies in its simplicity and speed. It makes tasks like tracking payments, creating elegant invoices, and managing inventory a breeze. It smoothly handles various business processes, from simplifying the purchase workflow to tracking manufacturing and keeping tabs on inventory.

You’ll also love how ProfitBooks neatly compiles all your records into up-to-date reports. It’s hassle-free and offers straightforward accounting for your business.

What sets it apart is its strong focus on the ‘Sales’ aspect of your business, making it more like a Sales Accounting software. And the cherry on top is that ProfitBooks provides free mobile apps for both iOS and Android platforms. It’s all about making your accounting tasks easy and efficient.

However, one drawback of this software is that it has limited international support and is solely focused on specific markets.

Pros

  • Designed for small businesses in India.
  • Invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting.

Cons

  • Focused on a specific market.

Related:

7. Manager

free accounting software for small businesses - Manager

While you’re here, let me introduce you to Manager. Manager is a desktop-based accounting software with a free version that covers many accounting needs, including invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting.

This top accounting software for small businesses is a fully featured accounting software that’s entirely free to use. It’s a desktop-based application, which means you can access all your data offline.

With Manager, you have unlimited access to features, time, and data records, so you can use it without worrying about any restrictions. The software is one of the free accounting software for small business. It is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac, and you can easily transfer your database between different operating systems. It offers a seamless experience for your work and management tasks.

Unfortunately, one disadvantage in experience while exploring this software is that Manager being desktop-based has certain limitations. You can’t use it on multiple devices, and your data isn’t encrypted. 

Pros

  • Robust accounting features.
  • Desktop-based, allowing offline use.

Cons

  • Steeper learning curve for beginners.

8. SlickPie

Slickpie

SlickPie is an intuitive accounting software  that offers unlimited invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting in its free plan. It’s a great choice for freelancers and small businesses

It is a great choice for small businesses looking to effortlessly manage and keep track of their everyday expenses. It empowers you to handle various tasks like online invoices, bills, live bank feeds, generating reports, and managing data like a pro. It even allows you to create quotes and estimates that can easily be converted into invoices.

When you talk about small business accounting, here’s the cool part: you can use a single account for up to 10 different companies with SlickPie. They aim to make your experience delightful through MagicBot, which is an automated receipt data tool, simplifying expense management and presenting your data in a clean and minimalistic way.

However, when it comes to in-depth insights, SlickPie might have some limitations, so that’s something to keep in mind. I noticed that the free version contained Ads which were very disturbing. Also this accounting software has limited financial reporting.

Pros

  • Unlimited invoicing and expense tracking.
  • User-friendly and accessible from anywhere.

Cons

  • Limited financial reporting.

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9. GnuCash

top accounting software for business owners - GNUCash

Another top free accounting software for small business is GnuCash. This software is an open-source accounting software designed for personal and small business use. It’s a robust option that supports double-entry accounting, making it suitable for those with accounting knowledge.

The great thing about it is that it’s user-friendly, flexible, and a powerful tool. You can use it to track expenses, income, manage bank accounts, keep an eye on customers and vendors, and even handle stocks. Just head to their website, hit the download button, and you’re good to go!

With GNUCash, you can rest assured that your books will be balanced, and it generates accurate, error-free reports. They make your financial data more understandable by using visuals like graphs and tables, so you can dive into the details. Plus, it’s lightning-fast when it comes to financial calculations.

The only potential drawbacks i observed while exploring GNUCash are the somewhat outdated dashboard (if you’re picky about appearances) and the fact that GNUCash is an open-source project.

Although It’s a fantastic starting point for newcomers to accounting software, it might not be the best long-term solution. Keep in mind that while it’s free, it lacks some security features, and if the website crashes, you could lose your data. So, it’s wise to consider these aspects when using the software.

Pros

  • Open-source, double-entry accounting.
  • Highly customizable for specific business needs.

Cons

  • Limited automation compared to cloud-based options.
  • Not so interesting user interface

10. NCH Express Accounts

NCH express accounts

NCH Express Accounts is desktop accounting software with a free version that covers essential accounting needs. It’s suitable for small businesses that prefer desktop software.If your small business employs fewer than five people, you have the option to use the free version of NCH as your accounting software. 

NCH’s free accounting software for small business is ideal if you’re looking to generate various financial reports.You can create financial statements such as income statements, balance sheets, profit and loss (P&L) statements, and sales analyses by item, customer, and salesperson. Plus, it’s compatible with both Mac and PC.

Although the free version is suitable for small businesses, it lacks some of the advanced features suitable for larger enterprises. Additionally, only paid users receive priority support and I found it difficult to connect to my bank. 

Pros 

  • Free for businesses with fewer than five employees
  • Includes over 20 financial reports

Cons 

  • Lacks bank connection feature

Also Read: Top 10 Online Shopping Apps in South Africa

Benefits of Using Accounting Software In Your Business

  • Save time and money: Accounting software can automate several time-consuming accounting operations, including invoicing, bill payment, and payroll. This allows you to devote more time to other elements of your organization, such as sales and marketing. Accounting software can also help you save money by discovering cost-cutting opportunities. For example, adopting accounting software to manage your costs and deductions may allow you to save money on your taxes.
  • Improve accuracy and efficiency: Accounting software can assist you in increasing the accuracy and efficiency of your accounting processes. Accounting software decreases the possibility of human error by using algorithms to perform computations and provide reports. Furthermore, accounting software can assist you in automating many of the repetitive procedures associated with accounting, saving you time and improving your productivity.
  • Get real-time insights: You may get instantaneous insights into your company’s financial health with accounting software. When it comes to making wise business decisions, this information can be really helpful. For instance, you can monitor your sales, expenses, and cash flow with accounting software. You may use this information to spot patterns, pinpoint areas for improvement, and decide wisely where to spend your resources.
  • Comply with tax regulations: By automating many of the processes involved in tax preparation and filing, accounting software can assist you in adhering to tax requirements. You can avoid costly errors and save time by doing this. Accounting software can also assist you in keeping track of your tax credits and deductions, which can lower your overall tax liability.

Which Is the Best Free Accounting software for Small Business?

These free accounting software options can be incredibly valuable for small businesses looking to keep their financial records in order without incurring additional costs.

However, it’s essential to choose the one that best suits your specific business needs and level of accounting expertise.

Therefore, Wave Accounting is our top pick for the top best accounting software for small businesses.  Wave accounting software allows access to unlimited connected accounts, income tracking and invoicing.so if you’re starting your small business, then you certainly need Waves as your accounting software. 

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TechPeza
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