It’s the past, present, and future of your business. Without a properly functioning accounting department, employees don’t get paid, invoices don’t get processed, and business is anything but good. Even a well-intentioned accountant can make mistakes that cost you money. Thankfully, the risk of human error is trending downwards, thanks in large part to the advent of accounting software.

These days, businesses lean on bookkeeping software to track their finances in real time. The easy to use programs dramatically boost efficiency by automating much of the bookkeeping process. Stop devoting excess energy and hours to invoicing, payroll, and taxes. Instead, discover 5 accounting software options that automate bookkeeping for businesses all over the world.

FreshBooks

The popular cloud-based accounting software is a favorite among small business owners. That’s because it’s easy to use, and scales remarkably well. FreshBooks is capable too. It can handle basic bookkeeping tasks like invoicing and money management, but it also has tools designed to handle time tracking, reports, and more.

FreshBooks subscriptions are available in three tiers, with the Lite version starting at $19 a month and the Premium one costing $60 a month. Discounted memberships are available throughout the year, and paying for the year up front will save you 10 percent. FreshBooks even offers what they call a Select tier, which caters to large businesses that require customization.1

Sage

Sage Accounting is near the top of most rankings lists for a number of reasons. This easy to use platform can be accessed across all devices and it seamlessly integrates with Stripe Payments and Microsoft Office 365. The platform is incredibly customizable too.

Curious business owners can try it out for free for 30-days, and are subject to saving a lot on sign-up. Sage is offering new members six months free on sign up right now, but they offer incentives year round too. Small businesses can sign up to the basic tier for just $10 a month, or upgrade to one of the more comprehensive packages available starting at $25 a month.2

QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the most commonly used accounting software in the country, and second place isn’t even really close. With 29 million small business clients, QuickBooks holds over 80% of the accounting software market.3 That’s not an accident either. Using it is effortless, and customizing it to fit your needs is just as easy.

QuickBooks subscriptions are tier based too. The Simple Start tier is $30 a month and can help you tackle tax deductions, monitor cash flow, income and more. Larger businesses can upgrade to the Advanced tier for $200 a month to unlock extra features including premium apps, on-demand training, and data restoration.4

Xero

Xero is a great option for those looking for alternatives to Quickbooks and FreshBooks. The cloud-based accounting platform boasts a user-friendly interface capable of handling bills, tracking expenses, and inventory. It’s a great option for small business owners, in large part because it’s so easy to use.

It’s easy on the pocket book too. The most affordable tier allows you to enter bills, reconcile bank transactions, and send quotes and invoices for just $13 a month, with the option to add payroll for an extra $40. Xero accounting software grows with you, by offering what they call their Established tier, which expands the platform’s capabilities substantially.5

Wave

Wave is a great option for micro businesses, entrepreneurs just beginning to branch out, and those without a budget. Wave is one of the only accounting programs that can be used for free. Sure, Wave hides a lot of the platform’s advanced features behind a paywall, but the free version is fully capable of handling most invoicing, accounting, and banking requests.

Business owners can upgrade to the premium plan to add payroll, add bookkeeping support, and even sign up for accounting and payroll coaching for customized advice and guidance for those new to payroll. All told, Wave is a great, low-risk place to start one’s accounting software journey for free.6

Everything Adds Up

Even the most hands-on entrepreneur can see the obvious benefits of accounting software. It saves time all year, and provides you with practical tools that make it easier to digest your finances and quickly assess the health of your business.

Not all accounting software is the same though. As you’ve no doubt learned, the segment offers a lot of variety for businesses of all sizes. So keep searching online, using all that you know about your business, to ensure that you end up with the perfect accounting software fit.

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