5 Best Alternatives to QuickBooks 2021

| Read Time: 6 minutes
Share This Post

QuickBooks continues to be a popular software choice for business owners everywhere. After all, QuickBooks is easy to use, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it includes a wealth of useful tools that are designed to simplify your operations. Be that as it may, maybe QuickBooks just isn’t for you. Whatever your reasoning is for not wanting to use it, you shouldn’t feel as if you don’t have other options. In fact, you have plenty of alternatives to QuickBooks to choose from. If you’re a new startup with minimal working capital , it’s understandable that you would want to save money anywhere you can. Although QuickBooks is considered to be reasonably priced, many of the options we’re looking at today are indeed lower-cost solutions. So with that, let’s proceed to the first alternative to QuickBooks.

Best Alternatives to QuickBooks


Xero is a full accounting suite that functions via the cloud. If you’re unsure as to whether Xero is a worthy contender, it currently ranks as the number one accounting software in New Zealand (where it is based) as well as Australia and many other European countries. One of the first things that you are likely to notice about Xero is that it is very well-designed. It’s sleek and stylish, yet simplistic in its interface. Navigating around the software is a breeze, as there are no convoluted menus or frustrating jargon to throw you off. Everything is purposefully designed to be easy to understand and operate. The language implemented into the programming of Xero really does make a significant impact on usability throughout. As such, even novices will learn the ropes quickly. If you struggle to clearly understand how to manage your transactions in other accounting software, you’re going to love Xero. It breaks every step down into concise commands and guides you along the way to ensure that you get the most from the software. One area in particular that stands out in Xero is its on-the-go reconciliation. Although accountants are likely to prefer that reconciling be done separately, small business owners often appreciate this approach. Pricing for Xero is most accessible. For just $9 a month, the Starter plan is designed for businesses that are especially small. This is an excellent option if you are just starting out and don’t have a lot of capital or employees to manage. As you grow, however, you will likely need to upgrade to Xero’s Standard plan. At $30 a month, you will be able to easily manage your finances on a larger scale. And for companies that have grown to become complex in their operations, the Premium plan lets you deal in different currencies, manage larger payroll, and much more. The Premium plan starts at just $70 a month, which is considerably less than much of the competition.


Sage is another complete accounting program that lets you easily manage a balance sheet and bank reconciliations. If your budget is tight, but you need accounting software that can hang with the competition, Sage is definitely worth a look. With packages that start at just $10 a month, you can get a handle on your small business’s accounting needs without breaking the bank. Sage Accounting Start gives you the tools your business needs to complete basic accounting tasks. For more complex functions, Sage Accounting includes estimates, quotes, vendor account tracking, cash flow predictions and management, unlimited collaboration, and even an option to choose between accrual and cash accounting. Need more tools? Sage Accounting also gives you access to HR resources, point-of-sale integration, sales and marketing, and eCommerce. As you can see, Sage levels the playing field by providing you with a wealth of beneficial and useful tools. It can help you grow your business and even gives you an accountant to partner with. This allows you to set up conferences for collaboration that can assist you in different areas of your business.


The aptly named FreshBooks offers a fresh take on your business accounting needs. FreshBooks began as a simple program that helped manage time tracking and invoices. Since its inception, however, FreshBooks has grown into a powerful resource for managing your business. With this software at your side, you can create invoices, collaborate with subcontractors, collect payments, and track your business expenses. What’s more, FreshBooks works with a variety of add-ons that are designed to let you customize your business accounting needs. Moreover, you can look forward to helpful customer service and support for software-related inquiries. This negates the need to concern yourself with online guides and countless pages of technical configurations. FreshBooks’ support delivers fast replies to its customers, ensuring that your questions are answered in a timely manner. As a business owner, you don’t have time to wait around for a response. The FreshBooks team understands this and works to reply to its customers within one hour. The only area where FreshBooks seems to be lacking is a balance sheet. As such, you’ll need to reach out to an accountant for this need. You can always get a template from FreshBooks to create your own, but you’re better served by letting a professional handle your balance sheet. If your business doesn’t require a balance sheet, FreshBooks will likely serve you well. But if you do need a balance sheet, you will want to seek out another software solution. Price-wise, FreshBooks starts out costing $15 a month. Options are admittedly limited on this plan, so there’s a good chance you will need to start out with at least the $25 a month plan. This package offers a greater deal of tools and resources to implement into your business operations. If you require the most robust plan available through FreshBooks, the Premium package gives you plenty to work with in managing your accounting needs. This plan costs $50 a month, which is still considerably less than much of the competition. If you’re unsure whether this is the right software for your needs, FreshBooks has a free trial that you test-drive for 30 days.


YNAB is used by many small business owners to manage their company finances. At its core, YNAB isn’t actually accounting software. But business owners discovered that it could be used as such, thus making it a viable option that is incredibly budget-friendly. Since it isn’t technically an accounting program, YNAB is limited in what it can do. You won’t find a balance sheet or payroll, for example. Nor can you use it for invoicing. But what it can do is track your business expenses, set goals, and manage your debts. It also manages reports really well and can sync up with your bank. If you need help with using YNAB for your small business, there’s an active community of members who regularly assist one another in getting the most from this software. Perhaps best of all, YNAB costs a meager $6.99 a month when you sign up for annual service. That comes out to less than $85 a year.

Zoho Books

Last in our guide to the best alternatives to QuickBooks is Zoho Books. This web-based tool excels in its ability to let users access their business accounts remotely. Available for both Android and iOS, Zoho Books includes tools that let you manage business reports, human resources help, customer relationship management, and more. You have three options to choose from when you sign up to use Zoho Books. The Basic package costs only $9 a month. Functionality is limited, but it’s a good starting point for small businesses just getting off the ground. The Standard package costs slightly more at $19 a month, while the Premium package is $29 a month. Each plan lets you manage contacts, workflows, users, and more. The best plan for your needs depends on the size of your business. Regardless of which one you choose, though, you will have access to invoicing, integrated bank accounts, estimates, business expense tracking, reports, taxes, and Zoho software integration. If you use a payment solution like Square, for example, Zoho will work seamlessly with it. This comprehensive management ensures that your accounting needs are more easily met.


QuickBooks isn’t the be-all-end-all of accounting software, and these five alternatives prove that. Regardless of your reasons for not wanting to use QuickBooks, you can find plenty of options that provide many of the same features. What’s most important is that you choose an alternative that can accommodate your business’s accounting needs. You may not necessarily have to invest in the most robust option, especially if you’re a new startup with limited cash flow. As your company grows, however, you will likely need to advance to a more capable program. Fortunately, you have many options to help you transition to better software. If you found this guide helpful, we invite you to check out our many other business and finances articles . We’re sure that our Seek Capital team has something there that will benefit you as you strive for success. Sources https://www.xero.com/us/ https://www.sage.com/en-us/ https://www.freshbooks.com/

Did You Know?
We've funded over $400 million for small business owners since 2015