QuickBooks is one of the most popular accounting tools for businesses everywhere. More than 3 million people use QuickBooks Online for their business accounting needs. That should give you a pretty good idea as to how useful QuickBooks is.
But as popular as the software is, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best fit for your business. So, what are you to do when QuickBooks isn’t quite fulfilling your needs? Where can you turn for qualified business accounting software?
Fortunately, you have some strong contenders that may prove to be the key to your accounting woes.
Features to Look For
Before you set out to find an alternative to QuickBooks, it’s a good idea to first consider the features you want. You should also think about what QuickBooks is lacking that you’d like to see in alternative software.
We’ve provided some key elements below to get you started. Even if you can’t think of any particular feature, the ones here should be at the top of your list.
A program can have the best features in the world, but if it lacks accessibility, you won’t be able to enjoy them as intended. In fact, accessibility can make or break accounting software. You therefore want to make sure that the software you are considering rates highly in the accessibility department.
If possible, download a free trial, so you can get a first-hand account of its usability. Sometimes, though, trials are missing essential features. That’s why it pays to read user reviews. In doing so, you can see what other people are saying.
If a program works well and is easy to navigate, you can bet your bottom dollar that people are going to praise it. This is one area that doesn’t get overlooked due to its importance.
If you’re just starting out in the small business world, your finances may understandably be limited. As such, it can be tempting to buy the lowest level package offered in accounting software.
Before you do this, consider what you could be missing out on. Starter plans are often very limited, lacking essential features that are only accessible by upgrading to a more robust option. Stay within your budget as best you can, but don’t shoot yourself in the foot by opting for the lowest plan available just because it’s cheap.
One of the most overlooked aspects of accounting software is customer service and support. You might think you can just browse online forums or sift through pages of technical documentation. But doing so can take up time that you don’t have.
When you invest in a program that comes with excellent customer support, you have a professional resource to fall back on when you get stumped or confused. Oftentimes, you will be provided with expert care from teams that work with the software day in, day out.
This feature alone can prove to be invaluable. As such, be sure that you research each software’s technical support to see if it offers help when you need it.
Best QuickBooks Alternatives
As a small business owner, you may rely on spreadsheets for much of your accounting needs. But if you’ve been doing this for any length of time, you know how tiring it can be. FreshBooks offers an excellent alternative to trying to balance finances on your own.
When you first download FreshBooks, you will appreciate how little is required of you. The software handles set up largely on its own. As such, you can look forward to using FreshBooks almost immediately.
Once it’s ready to go, you will find a wealth of accounting resources for your business needs. Let’s take a moment to observe some of the features that are available to you.
- Double-entry accounting
- Expense management
- Customer payments
- Flat-rate projects
- Client estimates
- Hourly projects
- Client invoicing
- Rapid invoicing
- Time tracking
- Live support
The support for FreshBooks ensures that you will always have help to guide you through its operations. There are also plenty of self-help resources available, email support, and a toll-free customer service number.
Although FreshBooks isn’t ideal for businesses in retail, it is an excellent accounting solution for freelancers. Businesses that sell a lot of inventory may want to look elsewhere for accounting software, as there are some features missing here that you may need depending on your line of work.
Still, you can’t argue that FreshBooks is a more-than-capable platform for a wide range of needs. And thanks to its highly-intuitive user interface, even the most novice users will quickly learn the ropes.
FreshBooks is available in either a self-employed or team plan, so you can opt to get the version that best suits your business. When it comes to creating proposals and providing estimates to clients, FreshBooks is a heavyweight contender that shouldn’t be overlooked.
The pricing structure for this software starts at just $13.50 a month. For even more features and benefits, FreshBooks’ Plus plan costs only slightly more at $22.50 a month. With FreshBooks’ low pricing, keeping your books in order is affordable and easy.
If your budget is tight, but you still require capable accounting software, Wave Accounting may just be the perfect solution for your needs. Unlike a lot of other alternatives to QuickBooks, Wave Accounting is free.
Using a cloud-based platform, you can quickly and efficiently manage your small business’s accounting needs from virtually anywhere. As long as you have access to cellular data or Wi-Fi, you can access Wave Accounting on-the-go.
Best suited for freelancers or sole proprietors, Wave Accounting offers a variety of services that are sure to benefit you. Let’s take a look at some of the features you can expect from this versatile software.
- Online payment acceptance (w/ fee)
- Double-entry accounting
- Customer management
- Payroll options (w/ fee)
- Invoice creation
You’ll notice that features such as inventory management are missing. As such, Wave Accounting isn’t the most ideal accounting software for sales. But for freelancers who create their own products or services for clients, Wave Accounting is certainly a viable and capable option.
Wave really shines in its invoice creation capabilities, making it a must-have for anyone who relies heavily on invoices. You can get as creative as you like in the creation process. Wave lets you add logos and other pertinent details about your business, ensuring that your invoices look professional and unique.
Sadly, Wave Accounting lacks customer support, so you may need to turn to online forums and communities for assistance. That said, subscribing to Online Payment Acceptance and Payroll gives you access to voice chat, so you do have some options.
So while Wave Accounting is indeed free, the above two features will cost you a fee. Online Payment Acceptance charges you 2.9% of the transaction, plus an additional $.30 for each transaction performed.
For Payroll, it’s a flat rate of $35 a month for full-service or $20 a month for self-service. This is a small price to pay considering all the free features included with the base accounting software.
Sage 50cloud Accounting
Last on our list is Sage 50cloud Accounting. This software is a hybrid that offers both desktop and remote access options. It needs to be said that Sage 50cloud Accounting is a better fit for users who are technologically-inclined.
If you suffer from any amount of tech-fright, you’ll want to steer clear of this accounting solution. If you are capable of managing advanced software, though, Sage 50cloud Accounting has a lot to offer. It’s ideal for business owners who are growing their business and want to expand.
This scalable software comes packed with a good amount of features and benefits, including:
- Customer management
- Inventory management
- Customizable reports
- Automatic bank feeds
- Vendor payments
- Purchase orders
- Sales tracking
- Tech support
There are three plans to choose from when you sign up for Sage 50cloud Accounting. The Pro Accounting plan is built for single users and costs $340 a year. The Premium Accounting plan supports up to 10 companies and five users and costs $510 a year.
And lastly, Quantum Accounting supports up to 40 users and costs $842 a year. As you can see, Sage 50cloud Accounting can get a bit pricey the more extensive your business is. But it has enough tools to ensure robust accounting management.
Thanks to alternatives like the ones above, you have viable solutions to turn to for your business accounting needs.
For more business-related content, be sure to check out our blog section.
And as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Seek Capital experts if you have any questions about your small business. Our specialists are always here should you need guidance and professional direction in your business ventures.