What is accounting software?
Depending on how you utilize accounting software, it can accomplish a variety of jobs. For example, if you are an accountant or bookkeeper, it will help you keep track of your client’s financial records and process their transactions.
If you are an entrepreneur, it will help you manage your finances, generate documents, invoices and reports, manage payroll, etc. These tools make managing your daily financial tasks and operating a business easier.
There are numerous types of accounting software options available today. Some companies offer cloud-based solutions, while others provide on-premise solutions that must be installed on your computer or server.
List of top 10 accounting software
- Oracle Netsuite
- Sage Business Cloud Accounting
10 Best accounting software in India – Comparative table
|Accounting software||Best suited for||Starting price||Free trial period||Multi-currency support||Structure||Mobile applications||Integration options||Billing option|
|Oracle Netsuite||Large businesses||Custom quotes||N/A||Yes||Cloud-based||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|QuickBooks||Small businesses||$15 per month||30 days||Yes||Cloud-based||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|FreshBooks||Small and growing businesses||$4.50 per month||30 days||Yes||Cloud-based||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Xero||Small and growing businesses||$22.00 per month||30 days||Yes||Cloud-based||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Zoho||Microbusinesses||$10.00 per month||30 days||Yes||Cloud-based||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|TallyPrime||Small to midsize businesses||$7.50 per month||7 days||Yes||Cloud-based/Desktop-based||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Acumatica||Small to midsize businesses||Custom quotes||N/A||Yes||Cloud-based||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sage Business Cloud Accounting||Freelancers/self-employed||$10.00 per month||30 days||Yes||Cloud-based||Yes||Yes||Yes|
10 Best accounting software for small business
1. Oracle Netsuite
Netsuite is a powerful cloud-based program that aids businesses in their financial management. They prioritize automating accounting and business operations, providing firms more control over their resources. Netsuite is appropriate for midsize to large businesses with complex needs.
- ERP tools – Netsuite has plenty of ERP tools that help streamline business processes. NetSuite ERP offers firms enhanced data visibility and corporate control. It combines all the tools required for accounting, order processing, inventory management, production, supply chain, and warehousing into one unit.
- Global account management – Netsuite support all currencies and exchange rates which will be wildly helpful in international sales. The software’s multilingual user interfaces can aid users in overcoming communication or linguistic barriers.
- Automation – You can avoid tedious or repetitive manual activities by automating them in Netsuite. This makes sending invoices, making payments, etc. easier.
- Integrations – Netsuite offers easy integration with a lot of third-party software. It also offers seamless integration with all ERP modules like accounting, inventory management, CRM, payroll management software, etc. available on the platform.
- Business owners can also use Netsuite’s revenue recognition management solution to adhere to accounting requirements and submit financial results on schedule.
- They assist businesses with their financial future planning through their budgeting and planning features. NetSuite can anticipate revenue, generate what-if scenarios, and create budgets by analyzing your financial and operational data
- Warehouse management – Netsuite allows you to manage and track your inventory in terms of quantity, location, etc.
Why Choose Netsuite?
Netsuite has extensive customization and automation capabilities making it a worthy option for businesses with complex requirements. It has a plethora of features that make it scalable alongside your growing business. It is one of India’s best accounting software for huge organizations.
Pros of Netsuite
- Netsuite is cloud-based which means it can be accessed through an active internet connection. You won’t need to install any software on your systems.
- You can easily access real-time data across the organization.
- NetSuite has an app available on both IOS and Android devices.
- Netsuite is easy to use and very adaptable.
- Netsuite makes collaboration between your business’s various departments and systems easy.
Cons of Netsuite
- Small businesses or individuals may find the price high. Netsuite can be expensive, even for its basic feature package.
- Customer service is less than satisfactory.
- Unless you are familiar with accounting, the user will need several training sessions to use it optimally.
Quick Read: 10 Best Expense Management Software
Intuit’s QuickBooks products and services will no longer be available in India as of 30th April 2023.
QuickBooks is one of the most popular choices among businesses and the most comprehensive accounting software. It is affordable accounting software for small businesses. You can create invoices, generate reports, integrate bank accounts, track income and expenses, and more.
- You can create custom and professional-looking invoices, and receipts in minutes.
- Create customized accounts reports and dashboards which will help you see your business. performance in real-time. QuickBooks has built-in reports- saves you from creating financial reports from scratch.
- QuickBooks Online integrates with several third-party business apps like Salesforce, HubSpot, Amazon, and Shopify.
- Get Paid Upfront is a useful invoice program for small businesses. Small business owners can choose to receive a cash advance when they submit an invoice.
- Spreadsheet Sync makes manual data entry and CSV imports less prone to error. Users can connect their QuickBooks data to Excel to continue working on it.
- Inventory management – QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced allow you to track inventory and cost of goods, and set up low stock notifications.
- Cash Flow management – Use QuickBooks to schedule recurring payments to save time.
- QuickBooks has a 30-day free trial and four paid plans starting at $15 per month.
Why Choose QuickBooks?
QuickBooks is scalable and affordable accounting software. So, if you are a growing business, you can go for this. As a business grows, the monthly subscription can be upgraded.
Pros of QuickBooks
- QuickBooks’ main plus points are its affordability, ease of use, and effectiveness
- It is cloud-based, so you do not have to worry about updating the software
- They also provide mobile apps, so you can access your data from anywhere to track everything
- There are countless online training resources and blogs where you can find support when you need it.
Cons of Quickbooks
- If you are unfamiliar with the basics of accounting, there can be a learning curve
- Their subscription plans are based on the number of account users. They limit account users with each plan
- Simple Start: 1 user and 2 accounting firms
- Essentials: 3 users and 2 accounting firms
- Plus: 5 users and 2 accounting firms
- Advanced: 25 users and 3 accounting firms
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FreshBooks provides quality accounting and invoicing software for small businesses. You can automate sending reminders, use time tracking tools, manage user permissions, and more.
- Pay through invoice – Clients can directly pay through the invoice. This feature helps you get paid faster.
- Reminders – FreshBooks lets you send polite alerts to customers regarding late payments. You can keep track of when customers receive and open invoices.
- Integration – FreshBooks interfaces with more than 80 well-known business tools to give you a better picture of your enterprise.
- Automatic checks and balances guarantee that debit and credit amounts are equal, considerably lowering the possibility of errors when you file your taxes.
- You can automate your finances to a good extent using FreshBooks, sending reminders, or safely charging your customers’ credit cards.
- Create your reports and dashboards – FreshBooks monitors every dollar in business so you can run reports, and view payments and profitability.
- FreshBooks has a 30-day free trial and four options for subscription plans starting at $4.5 per month. Each plan has a different limit on the number of clients billed in a month. In the Lite plan, up to five clients can be billed per month and it gives you unlimited expense tracking.
Why Choose FreshBooks?
FreshBooks has very effective invoicing tools. The capabilities and affordability of FreshBooks will appeal to freelancers and businesses with a project-based business model. It has subscription plans that can be useful for businesses of any scale.
Pros of Freshbooks
- FreshBooks is incredibly easy to use
- It is one of the most affordable options on the market right now
- They also provide mobile apps, so you can access your data at any time. You can send invoices, track expenses, and check on projects all on the go with the FreshBooks mobile app.
Cons of Freshbooks
- If you need to increase the number of team members, the cost may go up
- It is better suited for small businesses than large businesses with complex needs
- The app does not let you access reports on the go.
Also, Read: 12 Best Invoicing Software for Your Business
Xero is a web-based online accounting software best suited for micro-businesses as well as small and growing businesses. You can pay bills, track cash flow, generate reports, manage inventory, send invoices, and more.
- Integration – You can easily connect with over 700 useful third-party tools with Xero.
- Inventory management – Handle your inventory and track them in real-time in Xero. This comprehensive accounting software lets you spot trends in your sales.
- Automatic data entry – Xero can reduce data entry by obtaining sales and spending information directly from bank transactions, invoicing apps, POS systems, e-commerce websites, and receipt scanners.
- Interactive dashboard – On the dashboard, you can see all notifications and account-related information, such as due dates for bills and outstanding invoices.
- You can connect your business bank accounts to Xero, allowing for direct bank feeds to Xero.
- Xero lets you accept payments online by connecting to Stripe, GoCardless, and others.
- Sales tax – Xero can automatically calculate sales tax on transactions.
- Multi-currency accounting – You can send and receive payments in over 160 currencies with multi-currency accounting using Xero.
Why Choose Xero?
Xero is a robust and simple cloud accounting solution that is easy to use. You can automate and customize your processes according to your needs. If you have a growing business, Xero’s subscription plans are invaluable. They provide support to unlimited users.
Pros of Xero
- Xero is a cloud-based software. So, you can access your data from anywhere with a good internet connection
- All of Xero’s plans feature access for unlimited users, making it a good choice for expanding businesses.
Xero offers three monthly subscription options starting at $12 per month. The Early plan limits usage and only allows entry for 20 invoices or quotes and five bills/month. The Growing and Established plans offer unlimited invoices and bills.
Cons of Xero
- Xero has limited reporting capabilities compared to other competitors. The reports can benefit from more customization options.
Quick Read: 11 Best Billing Software for Small Business
Zoho is a web-based accounting software suite having an intuitive interface and plenty of time-saving features. It is a fully customizable CRM solution for growing businesses.
- Easy to use – Zoho can be easily navigated. It has a modern and sleek interface.
- You can handle your books and invoices on the go using Zoho’s mobile apps.
- Automation – Automate your business processes using Zoho. This feature is a time-saver.
- Manage repetitive tasks – Create recurring invoices for your regular customers and set up credit cards so they can pay securely.
- You can accept payments via invoices by linking your payment processor with Zoho Books.
- Zoho has a client portal. This is a website your customers can use to view invoices, comment, and make payments.
- GST compliance – Know your tax liability and pay your taxes using Zoho Books.
Why Choose Zoho?
Zoho belongs to an Indian-based company. It is a robust and easy-to-use option in the market right now. It has over 45+ integrated apps to help you run your business seamlessly.
Pros of Zoho
- It also has a Zapier integration, which allows you to connect to more than 1,000 third-party apps
- You do not have to worry about GST compliance. Zoho Books takes care of that for you
- Using Zoho’s multi-currency pricing, you can get paid or pay in over 60+ currencies.
Cons of Zoho
- The user interface can use more updates.
- Weak in automation as compared to its competitors.
- Their customer service needs some work. They take too long to process and solve support tickets.
Must Read: Zoho Expense Alternatives and Competitors
Tally is a simple and powerful accounting management solution for small to medium-sized businesses. You can set up multiple price lists for products, multiple addresses, and discount rates in Tally. It helps you streamline sales and purchase processes.
TallyPrime has a host of features-
- Cost control and cost analysis
- Cash flow management,
- Payroll management, and more
- Multi-currency Support – You can record invoices and orders, accept payments, bills, etc., in foreign currency using TallyPrime.
- Multi-language support – Tally supports multiple languages, which helps in overcoming communication barriers.
- You can maintain multiple mailing addresses for your company and ledgers in TallyPrime.
- TallyPrime supports multiple invoice formats to suit your business needs.
- There are over 400 business reports in Tally that can be accessed easily by their powerful search bar.
- Tally has 2 plans. One-time cost of 18,000 + GST 18% for Single user and 54,000 + GST 18% for a Multi-User License.
Why Choose TallyPrime?
TallyPrime is an intuitive business management tool. It can automate all essential business procedures, making it easier to complete tasks faster and providing you with better control over your company.
Pros of TallyPrime
- Easy to learn.
- Tally is in line with accounting standards and rules, which gives easier compliance.
- Save time- You can pre-set certain features in Tally ledgers to reduce repetitive data entry.
Cons of TallyPrime
- Tally tends to hang a lot.
- It is less suitable for large organizations.
- It has limited automation.
Quick read: 10 Best Accounts Payable (AP) Software
Acumatica Cloud ERP is web-based accounting software for growing small and midsize organizations. It is an integrated suite of business management applications, from Payrolls, Invoicing, and Inventory Management to CRM.
- Cash Management
- Accounting Integration
- Bank Reconciliation
- Accounts Payable
- Billing & Invoicing
- Contract/License Management
- CRM and many more
- Easily scalable – Acumatica provides plans and features that allow resources to scale seamlessly.
- Customizable Dashboards – Tailor the Dashboards in Acumatica to suit your personal needs. The sales team, for instance, will create their dashboard so they can view sales figures, graphs, and details about their clients and sales procedures. Executives, on the other hand, will design their dashboards so they can see the data they need to make business choices.
- Acumatica is constructed with scalability, usability, and quick integrations in focus.
- Acumatica can be installed on-premise, hosted on a virtual server, or on a cloud computing environment.
- Data Security – In addition to the best security practices, Acumatica lets you customize the role-based permissions that ensure you can safely collaborate within and outside your organization.
Why Choose Acumatica?
Acumatica is an exceptional choice for small and midsize enterprises. It has a strong user community which can be helpful. You can scale your business without having to worry about upgrading existing plans.
Pros of Acumatica
- The huge plus point of Acumatica is that its cost model comes with unlimited users. So your business can grow in size without changing the plan.
- Acumatica has mobile apps, which means you can work from anywhere.
- Acumatica has a treasure of online documentation and training that can help you. They provide 24/7 online/phone, Email/Help desk support.
- Its UI is easy to navigate.
Cons of Acumatica
- Acumatica has a lot of features that can make the implementation process difficult.
- According to many reviews, Acumatica’s Importing, Transportation, and Logistics were weak.
Quick Read: What is Invoice Management?
Looking for a free invoicing tool? Melio is your best bet. If you just need to send invoices and receive payments, you can consider Melio.
With this free accounting software, you can –
- Make and accept payments
- Manage bills
- Integrate with QuickBooks for free
- Melio’s integration with QuickBooks makes it a favorite among entrepreneurs and small businesses.
- Make and accept payments from bank accounts at no charge. Melio charges a 2.9% fee for credit card transactions.
- Melio has a dashboard that gives you a consolidated view of your payments and alerts.
- You can set authorization rules for your transactions. This feature will help you control your cash flow and avoid unauthorized transactions.
- You can sync Melio with QuickBooks, FreshBooks & Business Central.
- Melio handles all check mailing and ACH processing on your behalf.
- It also facilitates batch payments to save on time.
- Do multiple payments at once to save on time.
- You can customize your invoices and make mobile payments as well.
Why Choose Melio?
Small businesses whose concern is finding a way to streamline the invoicing process, should give Melio is try. It is free and easy to learn and use. Melio is a boon for small business owners.
Pros of Melio
- Melio has amazing customer service.
- It has a user-friendly dashboard.
- Melio lets you pay any vendor with a credit card or using a bank transaction. If the vendor is only accepting a check, then Melio will mail them a check on your behalf.
- Melio is also easy to use and has a minimal learning curve.
- You can manage access permissions to your accounts payable and receivables.
- Using Melio, you can plan and keep track of payments.
Cons of Melio
- Melio is not suited for large businesses that need a lot of complex accounting features.
- It is currently limited to US currency only.
Suggested Read: What Is Accrual Accounting?
9. Sage Business Cloud Accounting
Sage is easy-to-use accounting software for small businesses. With Sage, you can-
- Create and send invoices
- Automate bank reconciliations
- Track payments and more.
- Sage is easy to implement and user-friendly. It has an intuitive interface.
- Scalable – Sage has exceptional integrations and features that allow scaling it alongside your business.
- Repetitive and manual accounting processes like late payment alerts, invoice delivery, etc., can be automated by Sage.
- Sage’s customer service is quick to respond and helpful, which is valuable for individuals lacking accounting knowledge.
- Pay now option – You can add a Stripe Pay Now button to your sales invoices. Customers can click it and pay immediately.
- Create and print personalized sales invoices for customers in seconds so that you can build your brand and optimize sales.
- Sage’s ERP tools help better define the needs and goals of your business.
Why Choose Sage?
Sage ERP is one of the best accounting software in India. It is better suited for freelancers as it is affordable yet comprehensive accounting software. For larger businesses, Sage X3 is a better solution.
Pros of Sage
- Sage is an inexpensive option. You can create and send invoices, track payments, and automatically reconcile bank entries with a basic plan
- Sage offers a free 30-day trial
- It has an intuitive interface
- t is easy to implement Sage on your device
Cons of Sage
- Report capabilities can be improved in Sage X3.
- With customizations, the program can get glitchy.
Quick Read: 6 Steps to Setup Petty Cash Accounting
Who needs accounting software?
A business utilizes accounting software to gather, manage, process, and report it’s financial data so that people may use it.
- Business analysts
- Tax agencies etc.
It helps you streamline your day-to-day business activities. Every business and freelancer can benefit from using accounting software. If your business is growing and the data volume is increasing, hopping onto accounting software will be helpful. It will help you make decisions on updated data and automate most tasks.
Benefits of accounting software
- Automates most processes, so saves your time.
- Avoids human errors due to repetitive tasks or manual data entries.
- Centralizes all business data, so you can access data from anywhere and anytime.
- Reduces manual processing and tasks.
- Ease of scaling.
- Simplifies and automates the process of payroll and invoicing.
- Makes it easier to collaborate with a team.
- All your financial statements will be standardized and accurate, making it easier for your tax accountant to file your return.
- Keeps track of your inventory quantity, location, delivery, etc.
- Generate professional-looking reports and financial statements.
Suggested Read: Decentralized and Centralized Purchasing: Which is Better For Your Business?
Types of accounting software
Based on the implementation structure, There are 2 types of Accounting Software:
- Cloud-Based accounting software
- Desktop-Based accounting software
Based on capabilities, we have the following types:
A small business with low transaction volumes can handle its accounts using an Excel sheet in its most basic form.
2. Commercially-available software
These are usually simple programs that are easy to use. They may have different price plans, providing more functionality for additional fees. The two types are desktop-based and cloud-based. They can have single or multiple modules to aid with the businesses’ day-to-day tasks.
A few such modules are:
- Billing and invoicing systems – All the daily tasks such as creating and printing invoices, sending reminders for payments, etc. can be handled by these systems.
- Payroll management systems – This module can be used to calculate employee payroll, make deductions, create tax forms and pay stubs, and more.
- Time and expense management systems – This system helps in preserving the billing cycle and prevents late payments.
3. Enterprise resource planning software (ERP)
Large companies need a centralized database system to deal with their accounts. ERP software does exactly that. It is comparatively expensive and heavier on features. It combines all systems used for invoicing, purchasing, inventory management, tracking, accounting, marketing, finance, etc.
4. Custom accounting software
This software is designed specifically for an organization.
Suggested Read: Definition and Types of Expense Accounting
How to choose the best accounting software?
1. Data security
Choose software with quality security measures to avoid data loss or breach.
2. Ease of use
Not everyone using the software will be tech-savvy, so an easy and intuitive UI would be a boon.
The software has to be flexible enough to meet the demands of your expanding company.
4. Invoice processing
Creating and sending customized invoices with auto-filled data can be a huge time saver and expedite human errors.
5. Useful integrations
Your chosen accounting software should integrate easily with your existing systems or any third-party apps, so you don’t have to keep copying data.
The accounting software should be able to create, customize and share financial reports.
7. Inventory auditing and tracking
Make sure to pick a solution having inventory tracking capabilities, such as monitoring the supply on hand, adjusting the inventory, and notifying your team when something is running low.
8. Multi-currency support
Businesses can collect payments, generate quotes, and issue invoices in currencies other than their own if the software has the multi-currency support function.
Suggested Read: Differences Between Bookkeeping and Accounting
Challenges with accounting software
Most accounting software are paid services having an initial fee along with the cost of customization, training, upkeep, and hardware. At the time of renewals, you might incur a price hike. This may not be desirable for certain small businesses.
2. Data security breaches
Make sure your chosen software has top security measures in place. Financial data is sensitive, so plugging that information into any software warrants strict security measures.
3. System use and training
Accounting systems tend to be daunting to someone completely new to the scene. So, it helps if the software focuses on having plenty of training resources and an intuitive UI.
Most software companies have dedicated personnel who can help you implement and set up the software.
5. Reliance on the network
A power failure or computer breakdown could cause a data loss or disruption. So, information has to be backed up periodically.
The best small business accounting software depends on your needs. QuickBooks is the favored software for small businesses looking for a comprehensive accounting solution. If you are on a budget and need help only with invoicing and making payments, then Melio is a worthy choice.
You can find accounting software solutions ranging from free to customized quotes for your small business. Melio offers free services, while FreshBooks, QuickBooks, and Xero are small business accounting tools that offer affordable plans that can suit your needs.
Accounting solutions provide accountants or business owners with crucial financial insights and information, which can help them make business decisions.
This software generally includes the following duties:
1. Record every transaction
2. Generate financial statements and reports
3. Create and send invoices
4. Manage customer information and payments
5. Share reports and financial information with an accountant
6. File business taxes
The threats of data breach or loss will always exist, but with the right cloud solutions, you will have sufficient protection. The accounting software keeps updating its security measures and tends to be secure to a large extent.
Maintain the physical security of your machines by updating passwords, locks, etc.
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