When you are looking for finance/accounting software options, you need to look beyond the basic functions. Keep an eye out for other elements like possible integrations, supported mobile devices, the quality of support and the price, of course.

Accounting Software as a Service (SaaS) typically offers small businesses and enterprises flexibility such as price scalability, integration of third-party apps and customization of relevant accounting and finance processes. The advantage of SaaS software is that there is no lengthy installation phase as most of the customization is done online.

Xero is one of the market leaders in this space but it is certainly not the only one, and it is useful to consider other options to find one that will suit you best. In this post, we will look at some other options that are as reliable, their pricing plans, features, and other capabilities such as security, integration, compatibility, and user-interface.

Bonus: One of the software alternatives to Xero included in this comparison is available free of charge, and another is backed by an accounting firm. (You’re welcome.)

Quickbooks Online

Intuit has been dominating the accounting software market with Quickbooks Online since 2004, and it has also released an on-premise ‘Pro’ version that you can download locally if SaaS does not work for you.

QuickBooks Online’s monthly subscriptions start from $12.95 and go up to $39.95, depending on the size of your company. It has a great range of features to offer but some of the main features include:

  • Integrated payroll
  • Online collaboration tools
  • Integration with over 80 partner apps (such as inventory management tools etc.)
  • Efficient timesheet data entry
  • More than 20 reporting options, including customizations
  • Several batch-processing options
  • Costing and project accounting capabilities
  • Automated billing
  • Customer support by telephone
  • Crozdesk intelligence rates user satisfaction 61/100 (Croz score is 59) [Scores retrieved 15 June 2017]

Zoho Books

Zoho Books are a robust, all-in-one, accounting software that was launched in 2011 and designed to fulfill the needs of small businesses. Its subscriptions range from $9 to $29 a month and it has a very interactive interface, especially the dashboard. The reports are quite powerful as well.

Zoho Books helps to streamline business processes allowing users to create custom workflows paving the way for automation. The best thing about Zoho Books is its invoicing features that allow users to create, manage and deliver invoices to customers. It can also be used to accept payments online, which is very useful. However, there are some features available in other platforms that seem to be missing, such as an integrated payroll, full job costing, and support for Apple computers. Other features include:

  • Efficient data entry interface for timesheets
  • Invoicing for retainers
  • Vendor management and automated billing
  • Banking integration and expense tracking
  • Support for mobile platforms including Windows
  • More than 40 reporting options
  • Exclusive editions available for the US, UK and Canada, in addition to the global edition
  • Crozdesk intelligence rates user satisfaction 64/100 (Croz score is 64) [Scores retrieved 15 June 2017]

FreeAgent

In 2006, FreeAgent was launched for independent contractors and freelancers, or ‘agents’. Even though it was initially designed to help freelancers, it quickly proved to be useful for small businesses as well.

As a cloud-based software with a flat subscription price of $24 a month, it has many features that make it fairly simple to conduct day-to-day accounting activities, such as invoicing.

Apart from the pretty layouts for invoices, estimates, and proposals, the dashboard is designed to make it simple for users to operate, even if they don’t have an accounting background. Some other features include:

  • Automated invoice reminders with thank you notes
  • Automated import of transactions from bank feeds for cashflow management
  • Expense and time tracking
  • Croz score is 72 (and a free double trial is available through our FreeAgent listing!)

Boox

Unlike all the other apps in this listing, Boox is unique in the sense that their service includes access to actual chartered accountants, since Boox is essentially an accounting firm. So their offering has many of the same features that support invoicing activities, expense claims, cashflow management and tax reports, etc. But clients have the option to reach out to their dedicated accountant for advice on financial management as well.

At £79 plus VAT, the essential service includes:

  • Real-time management of business accounts
  • Service covers the full accounting year, with free company incorporation
  • Personalized service from a dedicated accountant
  • Guidance on taxes and returns
  • Invoicing and expense tracking

Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting is designed for startups and small businesses. But for freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners, it helps that there is a piece of accounting software that can support their need for invoicing, expense tracking and reporting without incurring any cost or monthly fee.

Its interface is straightforward in terms of navigation and it provides honest double-entry accounting while packing a number of nifty features that are designed to save time such as reminders for late payments, and text recognition from photographed receipts. Other features worth noting:

  • Ability to use the same software for both personal and business accounts
  • Simple interface with good navigation
  • No subscription cost

Conclusion

There is no doubt that after all the KPIs have been tracked, the most significant impact on your business is measured through accounting. In this light, it is perhaps the most crucial function. However, your needs could range from the basic to the most complex, and depending on the size and needs of your company, there is a good chance that one of the options listed above will make the most sense to you.

In the end, whether it’s management of taxes or finances, tracking of expenses or time, you can be sure that whatever software solution you choose, you will not have to worry about manual invoicing anytime soon!

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