QuickBooks Alternatives for Bookkeeping & Accounting
Bookkeeping & accounting has come a long way in just a few years. Most of the big changes in small business bookkeeping were started by QuickBooks. There is a reason why they are near ubiquitous in the world of American (an increasingly global) small business. But possibly the biggest change in the past few years has not been features – but the flowering of new bookkeeping choices.
But what if you want an alternative to QuickBooks? Just because QuickBooks is the name-brand does not mean it’s the right fit for your business. The best accounting / bookkeeping software is the one that makes sense to you & your budget – and then helps you get back to running your business.
I’ve been able to work with a lot of small businesses over the course of my career. I’ve also been able to come in contact with & try lots of different software. I thought it’d be useful to document some of the bookkeeping / accounting software that I’ve checked out or have seen my clients use to help readers at least find a starting point when searching for a QuickBooks alternative.
Here’s a brief summary along with an extended explanation below.
Summary of Best QuickBooks Alternatives
|Name||Best if you want…||Visit!|
|Xero||…full-featured, user-friendly web-app competitor to QuickBooks.||Visit!|
|FreshBooks||…user-friendly bookkeeping solution for freelancers & solopreneurs.||Visit!|
|GoDaddy Bookkeeping||…formerly OutRight, this solution is now integrated w/ GoDaddy.||Visit!|
|Sage||…fast-growing full featured web-based competitor.||Visit!|
Disclosure – I receive customer referral fees from companies listed on this website. All data & opinion is based on my professional experience as a customer or consultant to a customer.
Guide to QuickBooks Alternatives
Here’s an extended guide to each, along with other QuickBooks alternatives for specific use cases.
Xero is web-based accounting software. Unlike other QuickBooks alternatives, Xero brings QuickBooks in-depth features and makes them more accessible on the web. They aim for seamless user experience with no maddening software updates or patches.
FreshBooks advertises itself as “cloud accounting” but it’s really an advanced bookkeeping service. But what FreshBooks does well is focus exclusively on freelancers and professional services (ie, little inventory). I’ve been using FreshBooks for 8 years now. It’s simple, accessible and useful.
GoDaddy started out as a domain registrar, but has been rapidly expanding throughout the small business services industry. They recently bought web-based OutRight Bookkeeping and integrated it with their other online services.
Like Xero, Sage strives to be a full-featured but web-based accounting software for both small and growing mid-size businesses.
Other QuickBooks Alternatives
There are, of course, tons of other alternatives including options that either have a specific use case, I haven’t used enough to fully judge or don’t quite have features/benefits that the alternatives listed above already cover.
There is also an entire world of billing & invoicing apps that I don’t include. The bookkeeping & accounting tools mentioned all do invoicing, but invoicing apps usually don’t do bookkeeping.
That said, I’ve had readers looking to compile a list for internal evaluation. Here’s the list that I usually provide.
- Kashoo – a small, simple upstart that does web-based accounting on a simplified user experience.
- WaveApps – a freemium suite of business software.
- Zoho – a suite of cloud-based business software that includes bookkeeping.
I’ve written a lot about business & marketing – and have been able to consult with a variety of clients from small shops to household brands. Here’s related resources that I’ve written.
All the best on your project!