What’s The Best Accounting Software for Your Business?
Choosing the best accounting software for your business is a tough and often an all too confusing process. It’s tough especially because there is no such thing as an absolute “best accounting software” – there is only the accounting software that is right for you considering all the tradeoffs.
Here’s a quiz that helps you balance all the usual tradeoffs to figure out what is the best accounting software (updated for 2017 / 2018) for your business based on your preferences (or skip to the summary of choices).
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Disclosure: I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this site, including the ones mentioned in this quiz. My recommendations are based on my experiences as an independent paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Based on my experience exploring different business & productivity software, there are a few that are a good fit for most people. Here’s a summary of the companies included in the quiz.
Best Accounting Software Summary
|Name||Best if you want…||Features!|
|QuickBooks||…a well-known brand w/ integrations & complete suite of products.||See Features.|
|Xero||…full-featured, user-friendly web-app competitor to QuickBooks.||See Features.|
|GoDaddy Bookkeeping||…formerly OutRight, this solution is now integrated w/ GoDaddy.||See Features.|
|FreshBooks||…user-friendly bookkeeping solution for freelancers & solopreneurs.||See Features.|
Considerations for the Best Accounting Software
Here are the considerations included on the quiz –
Everyone wants a good deal. But defining your budget helps narrow down your choices. Think about when you go to buy a car – setting a price of $20,000 will rule out the Ferrari.
Most accounting software bases price on users or clients – though some base it on features available.
What kind of features are you looking for in your accounting software? Although you may call it “accounting software” – you may only need basic bookkeeping. On the flipside, you may need all the functions of full fledged accounting software like payroll, inventory, etc – but the “accounting software” provider may not actually offer those features.
Ease of Use
Some people just want a clean, smooth, user-friendly backend. Some don’t care about the design – they just want everything to be there and to function. And still others really don’t care about the backend – they want all technical options open for professionals (either a hired accountant or customer support) to use as needed.
Type of Company
What type of company do you run? Are you an independent professional that bills time? Or are you a retailer that sells inventory? It’s useful to think about exactly what you’re looking for in software – and try to find a product that fits your exact needs.
QuickBooks is the brand name. And yes, they are included in the quiz. But here’s the thing – some people can’t stand QuickBooks for a variety of reasons – even if, on paper, QuickBooks might be the “best” fit for them. If you are that person, make sure you rule that out.