best accounting software for small business in canada

Developed in Canada, Intuit's QuickBooks is the leading accounting software for small businesses including online merchants, restaurants, and shop owners. GAAP is integrated into QuickBooks accounting processes. ASPE: In Canada, businesses follow a set of standards called Accounting Standards for. The best accounting software that is also free. Millions of small businesses use Wave's award-winning accounting and bookkeeping software by Wave.

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The 10 Best Small-Business Accounting Software of 2021

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Last Updated: 3 weeks ago

QuickBooks Online recently increased pricing for all of its plans except its cheapest one: QuickBooks Simple Start still costs $25 a month. Otherwise, none of our top accounting software picks have changed their plans or pricing recently, and we're happy to stick with our current software recommendations. 

Updated: 3 months ago

We recently reviewed this page to make sure none of our top brands had changed their plans or pricing. None have, and we're happy to stand by our current rankings.

Updated: 6 months ago

We recently updated this page to include changes to Zoho Books’s and Kashoo’s pricing. We also updated the information on this page to give consumers a more direct comparison between each accounting brand’s key features.

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The bottom line: Xero is our favorite accounting service for small businesses. With free unlimited users, it's an excellent pick for collaborative businesses like multi-partner LLCs. Its low starting price and excellent app also make it a prime fit for freelancers, contractors, and other sole proprietors.

Not interested in Xero? FreshBooks is a good alternative for business owners who want unlimited invoices. QuickBooks Online works well for business owners who value solid reporting and tax tracking, and Zoho Books affordably automates key tasks that can suck up business owners’ time. Finally, Wave Accounting is a good free accounting option for budget-cautious freelancers and small-business owners.

Best financial software for small businesses

Compare the year's best accounting software


Starting cost

Price for additional users

Free trial

Standout features

Learn more




Unlimited users

30 days

Unlimited users, inventory tracking, third-party app integration (800+ apps)

View Plans
Fresh Books



$10.00/additional user/mo.

30 days

Unlimited invoicing, automatic expense tracking, team project management

View Plans

QuickBooks Online


Up to 25 users (limited by plan)

30 days*

Comprehensive reports and features, low learning curve, stellar mobile app

View Plans

Zoho Books


$2.50/additional user/mo.

14 days

Inventory management, client portal for easy collaboration, automated workflows

View Plans



Unlimited users


Receipt scanning, online payment acceptance, affordable payroll add-ons

View Plans

Data as of 11/5/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*30-day free trial or 50% off first three months
**When billed annually

Xero: Best overall accounting software



4.2 out of 5 stars


  • Starting at $11.00/mo.

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    Low starting price

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    Unlimited users with each plan

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    Inventory management with each plan

Data as of 11/5/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

We love Xero for its robust features and low starting price. For just $11 a month, Xero lets you send custom invoices, reconcile bank transactions, capture receipts for easier record keeping, and track inventory.

But as a small-business accounting tool, Xero really stands out on the collaboration front. Unlike nearly every other accounting solution (including QuickBooks and FreshBooks), all of Xero's accounting and inventory software plans include unlimited users. You don't have to pay extra to delegate responsibilities like bank reconciliation or expense tracking to another team member: time-saving collaboration is built into your price.

However, Xero's $11 a month plan limits you to entering only five bills and sending only 20 invoices a month. You can send unlimited invoices and quotes with only the Growing and Established plans, which start at $32 and $62 a month, respectively. Plus, you can only track expenses with the priciest plan—both QuickBooks and FreshBooks offer small-business expense tracking up front.

FreshBooks: Best invoicing

Fresh Books


4.1 out of 5 stars


  • Starting at $15.00/mo.

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    Middle-of-the-road starting price

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    $10.00/mo./additional user

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    Expense and time tracking with each plan

Data as of 11/5/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

FreshBooks’s combination of stellar features, customizable invoices, and well-reviewed mobile apps make it pretty much perfect—especially for freelancers. Unlike Xero, FreshBooks lets you send an unlimited number of invoices and estimates with every plan. Each plan also includes time tracking for easier, more accurate client billing. FreshBooks’s built-in small-business expense tracking helps you maintain a balanced budget. And, like QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks includes built-in mileage tracking—a must for freelancers who plan to claim mileage expenses on their year-end tax forms.


Price check: FreshBooks' discounts

FreshBooks starts at $15 a month, but the company’s frequent discounts make its financial software even more affordable. As of November 2021, FreshBooks is offering new customers 60% off for six months—which knocks your starting price to $4.50 a month. Plus, paying annually takes 10% off your monthly price. (If you sign up for a new annual subscription during this current promo, you’ll lock in 70% off for the first six months.)

But while FreshBooks doesn’t limit your invoices, it does limit the number of customers you can bill each month. You can send your customers an unlimited amount of invoices, but the cheapest plan limits that client number to just five. Additionally, FreshBooks doesn’t include bank reconciliation with its cheapest plan. Since bank reconciliation is an absolutely foundational accounting task, we can only recommend FreshBooks’s cheapest plan to freelancers or brand-new startups with just a few transactions a month.

QuickBooks Online: Most user-friendly software


QuickBooks Online

3.9 out of 5 stars


  • Starting at $25.00/mo.

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    Extensive accounting features and reporting

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    Up to 25 users (depending on the plan)

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    Unlimited expense and sales tax tracking with each plan

Data as of 11/5/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

QuickBooks is easily one of the most popular financial, tax, and accounting software options in the world. And while QuickBooks Desktop is still an option for those who prefer desktops to laptops, QuickBooks Online is Intuit’s cloud-accounting software solution. The basic QuickBooks Online plan includes typical features like invoicing, billing, and receipt scanning along with more comprehensive tracking than many competitors:

  • Mileage tracking
  • Sales tax tracking
  • Automatic tax deduction categorization
  • 1099 contractor payment tracking

QuickBooks also has the absolute best mobile accounting app you can find. The app can do basically everything the software can (a rarity for any software provider, no matter the industry). If you work on the go, QuickBooks's app, which includes mobile mileage tracking, might make it a good fit.

QuickBooks's stellar reporting and tracking features come at a price, though: its cheapest small-business plan starts at $25 a month and restricts you to one user plus an accountant. The priciest plan, which includes 25 users, starts at $180 a month.

At $15 a month, QuickBooks Self-Employed is a cheaper option. However, QuickBooks Self-Employed is geared specifically towards freelancers with just a few clients and limited expenses, and it's primarily an invoicing, mileage-tracking, and tax-tracking plan. It helps sole proprietors who file Schedule C forms maximize their tax returns, but it's not a fully featured bookkeeping or accounting app.

Zoho Books: Best automation


Zoho Books

3.9 out of 5 stars


  • Starting at $15.00/mo.*

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    Middle-of-the-road starting price

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    Additional users for $2.50/user/mo.

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    Automatic recurring invoicing

Data as of 11/5/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*When billed annually.

Zoho Books automates the most common (and, let's face it, boring) bookkeeping tasks—which means you can dedicate more time to your business and customers and less time to the tedious task of data entry. Most notably, it lets you set automatic customer payment reminders, create recurring expense profiles, and manage 1099 contractors.

Plus, Zoho Books is just one piece of software in the larger suite of Zoho products. Each Zoho product integrates easily with the rest, which means that along with accounting, you can use Zoho for project management, inventory management, and customer relationship management (CRM)—just for a start.

Plus, if you make under $50K a year, you can take advantage of Zoho Books' free plan. Otherwise, Zoho Books starts at $15 a month if you pay annually or $20 if you pay month to month. The cheapest plan includes three users, but you can also pay an extra $2.50 per month for each additional user. That’s a standout bargain, especially compared to FreshBooks' extra $10 per user per month.

Unfortunately, even though it’s a solid accounting tool, Zoho Books has one huge flaw: Zoho doesn't offer a payroll plan integration unless you live in California, Texas, or India. And it doesn't integrate with third-party payroll providers either. Instead, you have to manually update the payroll-related aspects of your books—which detracts from Zoho's primary perk of automation in a big way.

Similarly, Zoho Books’s cheapest plan doesn’t include automatic journal entry creation. Instead, whenever you debit or credit an account, you’ll have to manually create an entry. If you log more than a few transactions a month, the lack of automation adds major time and hassle—you’ll want the $40 a month (or $50, billed monthly) Professional plan instead.


Wave Accounting

3.6 out of 5 stars


  • Free

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    Free-for-life accounting software

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    Unlimited users

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    Income and expense tracking

Data as of 11/5/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

For exactly $0, Wave presents you with a slick, user-friendly dashboard and a slew of features that rival those of its paid competitors. For instance, Wave Accounting includes multi-currency support, expense tracking, unlimited invoicing, and double-entry accounting—a more accurate method of accounting that FreshBooks' basic business accounting plan notably lacks.

Wave also lets you juggle multiple businesses with the same account. If you're an Amazon or eBay seller who also manages a small team of contractors, you can track both sets of finances without paying anything.

Even though Wave has a useful payroll tool, its accounting software isn't necessarily right for businesses with dozens of employees. Since Wave offers just one accounting plan, businesses can't scale up to plans with more features as they grow. And Wave's lack of inventory tracking makes it better matched to service-based solopreneurs and freelancers who don't need both accounting and inventory software.

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Accounting software honorable mentions

Not sold on our top picks? Here are five more small-business accounting software options that could work better for you.

Top feature comparison: Accounting software honorable mentions

Brand name

Starting price

Price for additional users

Free trial

Standout features

Get started



$10.00/mo.Limited by plan30 daysBank reconciliation, cash flow forecasting (pricier plan only)View Plans

What does the free plan offer?


See the full history of your transactions with your business contacts in one place. Keep your customers and vendors centrally organised and simplify communication.


Create, send, and manage invoices with ease. Generate invoices that suit your brand, email them to customers, and collect payments online.


Get a clear understanding of your business expenses and track where your money is going. Automate expense creation and categorize your expenses to track every dollar you spend.

Online payments

Make online payments easy for you and your customers. Zoho Books integrates with various payment gateways to let you collect payments online, hassle-free.


Import your bank feeds, categorize your transactions, and match them with the transactions recorded in Zoho Books to reconcile your accounts in no time.


Make business decisions based on accurate real-time data with insightful financial reports. Schedule reports, have them emailed to you, and share your progress with your team.


More features to make accounting easier

Recurring invoices

Create recurring profiles for sales that happen at regular intervals.


Capture every detail of your sales and set the right expectations with clear-cut estimates.

Mobile apps

Make your accounting data portable with iOS and Android mobile apps.

Client portal

Empower your customers to access and manage all their transactions from one central place.

Multi-lingual invoices

Create invoices in your customer's language for effective communication.


Add the items and services you offer to your inventory, and the details will be auto-populated when you create a transaction.

Accountant module

Manage all your accounts from income to expenses, and record manual journals when you need to make account adjustments.

Multi-user collaboration

Keep control of your data with well-defined user roles in Zoho Books. Share data effortlessly with your accountant by adding them to your organization.

Payment reminders

Automate your payment reminders so your customers always know their payment due dates and are more likely to pay on time.

Mileage tracking

Record distances travelled, bill based on your mileage rates, and claim your mileage expenses during tax time.

Credit notes

Handle your customer refunds and returns by recording credit notes and applying them to invoices.

Template customization

Customize the templates offered by Zoho Books to enhance the look and feel of your documents.

Integrated platform

Manage your entire back office operations with tight-knit apps from Zoho.

Free customer support

Reach our support team via email if you need assistance with anything.

Try the Best Free Bookkeeping Software for Small Businesses in Canada



7 Best Accounting Software for Medium Sized Businesses

What is the best accounting software?

The best accounting software is Freshbooks, a popular solution that can streamline many financial-related processes including client invoicing, time tracking, and expense reporting. It’s created with small and growing businesses in mind which is why it’s easy-to-use, cost-effective, and does not add complexities to finance management.

Depending on what you’re looking for, you may find yourself overwhelmed with promising and well-priced accounting software. Some will focus on data legibility and invoicing efficiency while others will perform complex debtor analytics and pull off free reports. On the other hand, the most advanced among these tools can even figure out taxation issues and GST/VAT returns on your behalf.

That said, discovering what is the best accounting software for medium-sized businesses is not an easy task. In light of this, we’ve listed the top 7 performers in this category to make the selection process easier for you. All products mentioned here are equipped with features that accountants value most in accounting software. We also highlight some of the features that make them suited to your business’s scale. The price range of each product is included as well to ensure that you’re looking at software that’s within your budget.

accounting solutions for medium sized companies

Our in-depth analysis of accounting software indicates that the times when computed accounting was reserved for the largest companies are way behind us. Now, most finance management operations are performed in the cloud, accountants from small and medium-sized companies can get a grasp of digitized accounting’s benefits, and do so without installing expensive programs or undergoing cumbersome training.

This development is not going anywhere soon since it’s one of the accounting trends we can expect to dominate this new decade. To start with, off-the-shelf and cloud-hosted accounting software systems cost considerably less than they did a decade ago, carry out all regular functions, and pull off just the same balances and reports.

What is even more impressive to accountants is the degree of customization they allow, and which resembles quite closely the legacy accounting systems of the top accounting organizations in the world. The Big Four accounting/audit firms globally, which had a combined revenue exceeding 157 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, are innovative users of sophisticated accounting solutions.

This adaptation of accounting tools to leverage modern technology is projected to continue. By 2026, the estimated global market value of accounting software is $20.4 billion.

Sources: EY, KPMG, PwC, & Deloitte (2021)

However, keep in mind that this list is catered toward medium-sized businesses. For startups and smaller companies, check out this article listing the best accounting software for small businesses instead.

1. FreshBooks

Freshbooks dashboard

FreshBooks is a fast and robust accounting solution that can make complex financial management more enjoyable without compromising accuracy and compliance. This means that tasks such as the creation of professional-looking invoices can be done even without prior accounting experience since it’s only a few clicks away. There are online payment features as well that will help you and your team get paid faster. Moreover, its seamless integration with a series of external applications means that you can enjoy not only the system’s core functionalities but the extended ones as well.


An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

Try out FreshBooks with their free trial


Why is FreshBooks suitable for medium-sized businesses?

It has a host of accounting functions. FreshBooks is equipped with more than enough accounting functions for mid-sized businesses. This includes time tracking, billing history, invoice-to-payment, automated billing, and reporting capabilities.

Its pricing plan is SMB-friendly. One look at its pricing scheme and it’s quite obvious that FreshBooks targets small and mid-sized businesses. Packages offered are flexible, full-featured, and only differ in the number of clients. Plus, they have a 30-day free trial that will allow you to thoroughly test the system’s compatibility with your business.

It offers rich integration support. FreshBooks can integrate with a myriad of third-party solutions for a more streamlined workflow. This includes payment solutions, CRM systems, and live chat applications. This lessens the chance of needing to switch to other solutions that the system can work well with.

It’s available on mobile. The system’s mobile app for iOS and Android will ensure that you can do your finance-related activities even on the go. This means that even if you’re away, you can still communicate with your clients or personnel, be on the loop of important things, manage expenses, and more.

It’s easy to deploy and rebrand. The system won’t demand a dedicated IT team to be set up properly as it’s an easy-to-deploy solution that even freelancers can handle. It also allows you to modify various aspects of its design including the colors and logos so that the app could truly reflect your brand.

How much does FreshBooks cost?

FreshBooks is available in three pricing schemes that start at $15 per month. Each plan provides an identical range of functionalities with the main difference being the number of active clients to bill. There’s a free trial included as well.

2. NetSuite ERP

NetSuite ERP dashboard

NetSuite ERP is the leading app on our list of best accounting software for medium-sized businesses, and the current frontrunner of this category. It’s an all-in-one enterprise resource planning solution that offers value to businesses of all sizes. Finance-wise, it provides a plethora of tools including order management, fixed assets, revenue management, and billing. It also gives all users reports and KPIs that are specifically tailored to their role in the company.

NetSuite ERP

NetSuite ERP

Try out NetSuite ERP with their free trial

Why is NetSuite ERP suitable for medium-sized businesses?

It offers a host of ERP management functionality. This application offers a host of features that support the needs of various departments, including operations, sales, HR, finance, etc. It also helps improve employee productivity through automation and cross-departmental system.

More efficient financial workflows. NetSuite removes the need for the slow and error-prone manual data input. Instead, through its order and billing management tool, you can streamline operations such as fulfillment, finance, and sales. This results in a more accurate quoting process and fewer billing mistakes.

It helps reduce the instances of time- and money-consuming errors. NetSuite ERP is equipped with a series of tools that increase the accuracy of data operations in order to prevent, if not eliminate, the incurrence of hefty penalties. For instance, the platform centralizes shipping, invoice, order, and customer information to ensure that all details are accurate and up-to-date.

It helps with financial planning. The system aids your company in achieving your goals through its robust financial planning module. This tool allows you to easily execute advanced project accounting thanks to its powerful database capabilities. Customizable reports and templates also provide real-time access to data needed for budgeting, forecasting, and others.

It will scale with your company’s growth. As a mid-sized business, your company has a lot of room for improvement and growth. With its fully expandable and customizable functionality, you can tweak the system to adapt to your changing requirements. This will also remove the need for you to switch software or invest in other third-party applications in order to support your growth.

How much does NetSuite ERP cost?

To avail of NetSuite ERP’s service, you can contact the vendor to get a quote that’s ideal for your company’s size and requirements.

3. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online dashboard

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting solution created for small businesses, independent firms, and freelancers. By combining all essential accounting tools in a single platform, this application helps small businesses simplify tedious and time-consuming accounting and financial management routines, thus saving more time to prioritize more urgent tasks. Its features include automated data collection, tax calculations, invoice management, expense tracking, balance sheet reporting, sales monitoring, bill management, and more. Quickbooks Online is also available in multiple devices, which allows for more mobility.

QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online

Try out QuickBooks Online with their free trial

Why is QuickBooks Online suitable for medium-sized businesses?

All-in-one platform. QuickBooks Online is designed to offer all essential accounting tools in a single platform, including profit and loss reporting, invoice customization, bill payments, and more.

Automated data collection. This accounting solution allows you to automate your data collection process, which ensures that your financial information is always up to date.

Auto-sync with your devices. QuickBooks Online supports multiple devices and is equipped with automatic data synchronization capabilities, which allows you to access your accounting and finance related data, tasks, reports, and more from your preferred device.

Customized reporting. This application allows you to generate reports based on your preferred data visualizations in order to make it easier for you to get insights into your financial data.

Enhanced data protection. With QuickBooks Online, all confidential data that enters your accounting system on a daily basis will be protected by your choice of intuitive data security feature.

How much does QuickBooks Online cost?

Built for small businesses, QuickBooks Online offers affordable pricing plans, which starts at $10.00/month.

4. Tipalti

Tipalti dashboard

Tipalti is a unified, cloud-based payment automation and management software that challenges the way how money flows for businesses, from onboarding to tax and regulatory compliance requirements. Tipalti helps businesses stay ahead of their game in strategy by streamlining back-office operations. It offers tools for forecasting, cash flow analysis, business productivity, and growing its ventures down the line.

By streamlining the entire AP process, earlier payments are secured and you hit revenue targets more efficiently. Tipalti also has built-in global compliance and regulatory requirements. With integrated audit logs and workflow approvals, you lessen the risk of financial decline, putting your business in a favorable position. The solution gives nuanced reports of payouts and transactions through its integrated ERP system, synchronizing payment procedures, currencies, locations, and other variables. Other than its powerful integrations, the product also offers a comprehensive suite of tools for accounts payable, process enhancement, automation, and risk management.



Try out Tipalti with their free trial

Why is Tipalti suitable for medium-sized businesses?

Streamlined workflows. Tipalti features a comprehensive suite of tools for streamlining the entire AP process. As such, it helps streamline more than 50% of all manual, global, and mass payment transactions in more than 190 countries. With such powerful AP tools at your disposal, you can cut 80% of the manual grunt work.

Maximum scalability. Regardless of your business size, you can effortlessly scale your AP operations with Tipalti. You no longer waste more resources rebuilding another wheel as Tipalti adapts to your requirements as your business thrives – in the number of customers, your human resources, the bulk of payment procedures, expansion, and other factors.

Maximum revenue generation. By streamlining the entire AP process, you are able to increase revenue margins by facilitating earlier payment transactions. Tipalti has a vast, reliable partner base that can help your business facilitate earlier payments to your suppliers. Your supplier gains better cash flow, and so do you. Everyone leverages this opportunity to generate more growth.

Mitigated risks.  Tipalti has built-in audit logs and regulatory and financial compliance requirements embedded in its operations. You get access to a wide array of tools for mitigating financial risks, including digitized tax form collections, updated database of global financial and regulatory requirements, TIN matching, workflow approvals, audit logs, and more. Tipalti has your best interest in mind to ensure that your business does not suffer from heavy losses from risks.

How much does Tipalti cost?

Tipalti services its tools on a quote-based plan. Contact the vendor directly for custom pricing.

5. AvidXchange

AvidXchange dashboard

Invoice management and accounts payable automation software AvidXchange is a solution that is worth considering for a medium-sized business. It not only streamlines transactions but also allows you to accelerate processes with its workflow automation, bank reconciliation, and spend management functionalities. It also has a built-in supplier portal that will allow you to pay your vendors faster.



Try out AvidXchange with their free trial

Why is AvidXchange suitable for medium-sized businesses?

Invoice management. With AvidXchange, businesses can make sure that no invoice falls through the cracks.

Fraud detection. The solution comes with security and fraud detection features to ensure your business’ financial security.

Purchase order automation. The platform can ensure that you never run out of materials for your operations by automating purchase orders according to your company policies.

Approval workflow automation. The process of reviewing and approving new transactions is easier with AvidXchange as it automates the whole process according to your unique rules.

Automated payments. AvidXchange comes equipped with pay services so you can easily pay bills from within the platform.

How much does AvidXchange cost?

AvidXchange is only available by quote. If you are interested, you can contact the vendor for more details.

6. Rossum

Rossum dashboard

Rossum is an accounts payable platform designed to automate document management for businesses. It has an intelligent inbox that automatically collects transactions in a curated feed. From here, you can easily filter documents as well as discard duplicates. It also has an AI-powered engine that allows users to automate data capture.

The platform also comes equipped with a communication feature so that all team members can accelerate the management of inquiries and approvals. Alongside this feature is its built-in usage reporting dashboard. With this, users can get a comprehensive overview of all document queues as well as critical metrics on usage and time per document.

In addition to the abovementioned, Rossum also comes with analytics and reporting tools. This gives you access to audit trails as well as real-time workflow status.



Try out Rossum with their free trial

Why is Rossum suitable for medium-sized businesses?

You get mobility and flexibility. Rossum is completely web-based so you can easily store and access your financial data anytime, anywhere.

It offers AI-powered data capture. It comes equipped with self-learning AI technology that can automate data capture. This accelerates data entry processes as well as reduces the risk of human error.

It is compliant with data security standards.Rossum is compliant with HIPAA as well as other data security standards. This way, you can protect your confidential company and customer data at all times.

It can integrate with popular apps. The platform comes equipped with ready-made integrations. It can easily connect with ERP and RPA platforms as well as other document management systems so you can be sure that it will mesh well with your existing software systems.

It lets you efficiently manage stock and inventory.Rossum’s interface can be configured to reinforce accounts payable processes, logistics workflows, and the like. Plus, thanks to its unified repository, users have a single source of truth for all their transactions.

How much does Rossum cost?

Rossum is only available by quote so be sure to get in touch with the vendor for more information.

7. BigTime

BigTime is a feature-rich billing software designed to streamline not only the billing cycle but also the processes surrounding it such as budgeting and resource management. Made for businesses of all scales, the platform offers specific solutions for industries like accounting, legal, IT services, and government contracting. Besides billing and invoicing, its notable features include time tracking, reporting, resource allocation, and project management. As such, users like accounting and marketing firms can streamline their workflows and receive real-time insights.

Furthermore, BigTime integrates with many widely-used applications. This means data can easily be migrated and processed from one software to another, thus simplifying and speeding up work. It integrates with sales and accounting platforms like Quickbooks, Sage Intacct, Jira, and Salesforce.

Why is BigTime suitable for medium-sized businesses?

Efficient billing. BigTime turns what used to be a cumbersome process into a convenient one with its wide range of billing features. It lets you apply flexible billing rates, provides customizable forms, incorporates various billing formats, and has a work-in-progress management tool that helps you manage your office’s unbilled time. It also automates the calculation of rates, hours, and expenses.

Intuitive time tracking. The platform is equipped with a built-in time tracker that lets you monitor the duration of projects, tasks, pay items, and labor code entries. Applying changes to entries is easy since the timesheets are customizable. Searching for entries is likewise convenient with its smart lookup fields that automatically populate possible results.

Convenient invoicing. BigTime provides a variety of customizable templates so you can design them according to your company’s and clientele’s preferences. You can also choose the items featured by invoices as required by your industry and nature of work. Moreover, the calculations are automated, reducing the risk of human error.

Effective project management. Tasks and budgets can be promptly monitored through BigTime’s project management tools. The platform lets you assign rates per task, which account for various budget entries, due dates, and the estimated times of completion. What’s more, BigTime lets you leverage Gantt charts so you can visualize project timelines and find areas in which productivity can be increased.

Superb resource allocation. Besides helping managers delegate tasks, BigTime ensures that each task is assigned to the right people and those who are currently available. With its utilization dashboard, you can track the utilization of your staff and see if more people are needed to take on a project.

How much does BigTime cost?

BigTime comes with three reasonably priced packages, starting with the Express plan which costs $10/user/month and contains basic functionalities. The highest tiered plan (Premier), on the other hand, charges users $40/user/month and includes all the features and premium support.

Honorable Mention: Zoho Books

Zoho Books dashboard

Zoho Books is a reputed member of the company’s ultra-successful productivity suite, exclusively designed to meet the needs of growing businesses. Generally, it can be described as an intuitive accounting solution designed for small businesses to handle their finances and to remain on top of their cash flow. It is very simple, easy-to-use, and able to help you make intelligent data-based decisions. It is also the pioneer accounting product of a reputed software provider, which eliminates all worries related to uptime, support, or security. Other highlights of this system are its numerous integrations, and the lowest pricing scheme discussed on this list.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books

Try out Zoho Books with their free trial

Why is Zoho Books suitable for medium-sized businesses?

It automates bank feeds to save time and money. The distinctive advantage of Zoho Books is how it eliminates data entry, and allows you to import all bank and credit card transactions, and categorize those according to your bank’s rules. This possibility doesn’t only save time, but makes sure you’re working safely, and in line with all compliance standards.

It helps you bring more customers on board. Zoho Books enables end users to access their estimates and invoices, and make direct payments using the robust online client portal. Another handy possibility for your clients is to accept/decline their estimates, and to comment on them. In this way, the company will benefit from a more credible service and better reputation.

It facilitates and accelerates payment reconciliation. Zoho Books is tightly integrated with Stripe in order to reconcile each type of transaction, looking at the full picture of how money are moving in and out of the clearing account, and which processing fees are going to apply for it.

It eliminates all collaboration obstacles between sales and accounting teams. Thanks to the fact that Zoho Books is integrated with Zoho CRM, you can also use it to follow the credit statuses of your customers, create new orders, access product pricing information, and much more.

It operates in several languages. Growing businesses looking to expand their operations in other countries should also consider Zoho Books, as the system is available in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Chinese, Brazilian, and Japanese.

How much does Zoho Books cost?

Zoho Books is predominantly designed for small and medium businesses, which is why it offers one of the lowest and most flexible pricing schemes. The lowest plan is the Basic one ($10/month for 1 user and 25 contacts), while the highest is the Professional Plan ($29/month for unlimited contacts, users, and inventory management).

Don’t Base Your Accounting Software Choice Purely on Budget

Since this selection of products is handpicked for medium-sized businesses, you can be quite certain that the packages they offer are tailored for your scale. Therefore, it’s advisable to base your search on features that are most suited to your company’s needs and specs instead.

Zoho Books, for instance, provides excellent insights to assist you with your business decisions. If you want to streamline accounting processes, NetSuite ERP can be an excellent choice, while Tipalti has global compliance and regulatory requirements that help prevent issues with regulatory rules.

And of course our top pick, Freshbooks is a very comprehensive solution that can cover more than just you’re accounting needs. We recommend that you give it a go if you still haven’t decided on which software to choose. After all, it offers a no-risk free trial that you can immediately give a try.

By Daniel Epstein

Daniel Epstein is a senior financial research analyst at FinancesOnline and the architect behind our Fintech and ERP content division. His main areas of expertise are blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies, and the use of biometrics in fintech solutions. His work has been frequently quoted by such publications as Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur, and LA Times. With more than 1,800 solutions scrutinized in the last 5 years spent on our team he always prioritized offering readers an unbiased perspective on modern financial technologies.



FreeAgent screengrab (best free accounting software)

  • Powerful cloud-based accounting software with a huge range of features
  • Free for Natwest/Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) business banking customers
  • Dedicated phone and email assistance from UK-based support accountants
  • Cloud-based – works on web browser, mobile and tablet

What is FreeAgent?

Set up in 2007, FreeAgent is now used by over 90,000 small businesses across the UK, who use it to keep track of their finances, expenses, invoices, estimates, and more. It boasts some great advanced features, like automatically generated VAT returns, corporation tax forecasts, and self-assessment tools that automatically fill in up to 90% of the self employment tax return form. It has also won awards (it was named the Small Business Accounting Software of the Year at the 2018 Accounting Excellence Awards, for example), and has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 (from nearly 1,000 reviews) on Trustpilot.

For most users, though, all this comes at a cost (see the “why is FreeAgent free” section for full details). The reason FreeAgent is being discussed here is that it was bought by RBS in March 2018 for £53m, and it is now being offered for free to RBS/Natwest business banking customers.

This equates to a saving of at least £150 a year, and so is very tempting for small business owners. However, the small print makes it clear that taking up this option means your bank will be able to see exactly what’s going on with your accounts, so carefully consider whether you want to give them access to your detailed financial data in return.

What can FreeAgent do?

FreeAgent’s huge range of features includes:

  • Tools to create and send professional estimates and invoices
  • Time tracking tools so you can easily create smart timesheets
  • Powerful HMRC integration that makes doing your tax return a doddle
  • Automatic creation of VAT returns
  • Corporation tax forecasting
  • A dashboard that lets you easily monitor your cash flow
  • Automatic importation of bank transactions
  • A projects view that clearly shows the income, time, and expenses associated with each project, and whether it’s making a profit or loss
  • A fully featured mobile app that allows you to snap receipts, create invoices, track time, manage payments, and see your accounts on the go

Why is FreeAgent free?

As stated above, FreeAgent is only free for RBS/Natwest business banking customers.

For everyone else, the standard pricing is as follows:

  • Sole trader – £19+VAT per month – includes self-assessment filing tool
  • Partnership/LLP – £24+VAT per month – includes profit share calculation tool
  • Limited company – £29+VAT per month – includes self-assessment filing, dividend vouchers, and corporation tax forecasting tools

All plans have a 30-day free trial.

If you are an RBS/Natwest business banking customer, then you can get FreeAgent for free. However, remember that you are giving up something valuable in exchange – your financial data. Quite what your bank intends to do with this is not yet clear, but make sure you consider how this might affect you before signing up, and discuss this decision with your accountant if you have one.

What support does FreeAgent offer?

FreeAgent offers excellent customer service, with help available from UK-based support accountants via phone and email during business hours (9am-5pm Monday to Friday). The website also has lots of resources that explain things like expenses, invoices, and VAT filing.


Best small business accounting software in 2021


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By Rob Clymo last updated

Make managing your business finances easy

The best small business accounting software makes it simple and easy to manage financial records for all costs and profit.

Having the right package is non-negotiable if you're trying to run your own small business business, and the sooner you deploy one of the best accounting bundles the better.

While there are standalone platforms for invoicing software and tax software for small businesses, generally your accounting platforms will be more comprehensive.

While there are some very good paid-for accounting programs around, there are also a strong number of free accounting software solutions currently available, as well as bookkeeping software. While some of these are simply free tiers for paid software, others are freeware programs you can download and use without charge to help with budgeting. There are also time management apps that can integrate for consultants or freelancers who need to charge by hour.

This can be very helpful for start-ups who want to keep their accounts organized without committing to a solution, while also reducing initial costs. Other businesses might simply prefer them because they often allow for a greater control of your data, by running on your own machines rather than on third-party clouds.

The best accounting solution will also integrate with any ecommerce software you're running, regardless of the theme installed. 

Here we'll feature the best accounting software currently available on the market, and also include further options to consider, as you can opt for specific expense tracker apps or even customer accounts.

The best accounting software for small business in 2021

FreshBooks is a popular cloud-based accounting service designed specifically for small business owners.

The package has plenty of features – invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, a host of business reports, even an option to take credit card payments – and a straightforward interface aimed at non-accountants ensures you'll be up-and-running right away.

Despite the simplicity, there's real depth here. You can bill in any currency, save time by setting up recurring invoices, allow customers to pay via credit card by checking a box, and even automatically bill their credit card to keep life simple for everyone.

If you need more power, the system integrates with many other services, including PayPal, MailChimp, Basecamp, WordPress, Gusto, Zendesk and more. 

Management hassles are kept to a minimum. You're able to access and use the system from your desktop or its free iOS and Android apps, and because it's a cloud-based system there's no need to worry about backups.

If this sounds appealing, you can try FreshBooks for 30 days without using a credit card.

Read our FreshBooks review.

QuickBooks is an instantly recognizable name in the world of accountancy and bookkeeping. It’s owned by Intuit, which also has other options for small business and large ones too, with a diverse portfolio that includes Turbotax, Mint and Proconnect. QuickBooks also comes in numerous different varieties, from desktop editions through to the hugely popular Online edition.

Depending on your requirements, you can choose from QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Self-Employed, QuickBooks Online Advanced, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Enterprise. However, it is possible to create a custom package using the help of the QuickBooks team if you need a more bespoke option.

Due to the sheer expanse of QuickBooks-based products it’s best to check out the website in order to get the latest update on pricing, versions available and also any deals that Intuit has on this vast range of accounting solutions.

Read our full QuickBooks review.

Xero might grab your attention with its low-cost Early plan account but look closely and limitations soon become apparent – like being restricted to sending a maximum of five invoices, entering five bills, or reconciling only 20 bank transactions.

Still, if you can live with those restrictions there are some pluses here. The service offers smart expense tracking and management, optionally on your mobile with Xero's excellent app for Android and iOS. There are dozens of configurable reports, simple budgeting, and no limits at all on additional users or the accountants you might want to access the data.

If the invoice, bank or billing issues are a problem then the Xero Growing plan looks like a better deal. It's a lot more money, but you can issue as many invoices and enter as many bills as you like.

Xero offers plenty of functionality for any small business, including a handy "convert your QuickBooks files" service to help you get started, and it's certainly easy to use. But if you don't quite need all that power, there's better value to be had elsewhere.

Read our full Xero review.

4. Sage Accounting

Best small business accounting solution for multiple users


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Advanced Accounting Features

As midsize companies become larger, advanced accounting features become more important to continue growing. Some advanced features include:

Business IntelligenceRun historical reports and predictive analysis on finances, business operations, personnel, and more.
Budgeting and ForecastingCreate detailed financial plans that estimate the future revenue and expenses of your company.
Currency ExchangeManage currency exchange rates for international orders. Report on multi-currency orders in a consolidated single-currency value.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)Store customer contact information, purchase histories, saved/wishlist items, and more to guide sales and marketing efforts.
Bank ReconciliationImport bank records in real-time to ensure bank records and accounting records match.

Read our full Xero review.

4. Sage Accounting

Best small business accounting solution for multiple users


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