7 Best Accounting Software for Startups in 2024

Top 7 business accounting software tools review image.

Choosing the right accounting software is crucial for any business. With limited resources and staff, entrepreneurs need startup accounting systems that are affordable, easy to use, and provide the necessary features to manage their finances. 

In this review, we will look at the best accounting software for startups and small businesses. Whether you’re just starting out or have been operating for a couple of years, read on to find the best accounting solution for your company’s unique needs and budget.

Get a Free Tax Consultation With 1-800Accountant

Hiring an accountant can save your company thousands of dollars in taxes each year.

Get Started

Top Accounting Tools for Startups


four point eight out of five


Visit Site

Best Accounting Software Overall

  • Integrates with payroll, ecommerce, and other software
  • Reasonably priced compared to competitors
  • Customizable reports to track financial information


four point six out of five


Visit Site

Best for Service-Based Startups

  • Automates a wide variety of accounting tasks
  • Excellent customer support and resources
  • Cloud data accessible from any internet-connected device

Zoho Books

four point six out of five


Visit Site
  • Mobile app allows accessing data and workflows on the go
  • Easy setup and user-friendly interface


four point five out of five


Visit Site

  • Syncs with bank accounts for real-time transaction updates
  • Supports multiple currencies

Wave Accounting

four point four out of five


Visit Site

  • Free with unlimited transactions, invoicing, and receipt tracking
  • Access your account from anywhere through a mobile app


four point three out of five


Visit Site

  • Can be scaled up or down to match the needs of your business
  • Integrates with QuickBooks, Salesforce, and other third-party apps


four point two out of five


Visit Site

  • Utilizes bank-level encryption to ensure data security
  • Straightforward and easy to use

In this best accounting software for small business guide, we’ll examine our 7 of our favorite options to help you decide which one’s right for you:

  1. QuickBooks Online – Best Accounting Software Overall
  2. FreshBooks – Best for Service-Based Startups
  3. Zoho Books – Ideal for Small- to Medium-Sized Businesses
  4. Xero – Ideal for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses
  5. Wave Accounting – Best Free Accounting Software
  6. Sage Business Cloud Accounting – Ideal for Solopreneurs
  7. LessAccounting – Best for Freelancers and Sole Proprietors

Note that most of the small business accounting tools in this guide offer a free trial of up to 30 days. If you have two favorites but aren’t sure which to choose, consider signing-up for both and deciding which you prefer. Feel free to dive into our reviews for more information or visit their websites directly.

Best Accounting Tool: QuickBooks

Manage invoices, pay bills, track expenses easily –  sign up for QuickBooks today and get 50% off for 3 months.

Start Now

Continue reading our full review of the best accounting solutions below. You’ll find additional information about each software, including cost, accessibility, and more. By the end of our comparison, you’ll be able to choose which one is right for your venture.

1. QuickBooks Online – $20–$200/month

Image of the company logo.

We picked QuickBooks as our top choice because of its longevity in the marketplace and its accountant-friendly features. The main reason you might consider buying QuickBooks Online is that most accountants are familiar with how it works. So using it makes sense if you’re hiring an accountant to do your books. 

QuickBooks has been around a long time, and the software has only gotten better over the years. The online version is easy enough to navigate intuitively, but it would behoove you to take advantage of the online support or, at the very least, watch some YouTube videos where users demo the software for you using screencasting software.


  • Perfect for those familiar with QuickBooks Desktop
  • Popular accounting software for small businesses (over 4 million customers)
  • Integrates with hundreds of third-party apps
  • Cloud-based so you can use it anywhere
  • Accountant-friendly software


  • The online version is not as robust as the QuickBooks Desktop version
  • Customer support is lacking with long wait times
  • Necessary add-ons and integrations (e.g., payroll, etc.) are expensive, making the software seem overpriced when compared to other small business accounting software

Pricing & Notable Features

Each pricing tier is available for 50% off for three months if you purchase a plan without a 30-day trial.

  • Self-Employed ($20 per month)
    • Import and sort transactions
    • Ability to take photos of receipts with the mobile app
    • Quarterly tax estimation
    • Basic profit and loss, expense, and balance sheet reports
    • Mileage tracking with smartphone GPS

  • Simple Start ($30 per month)
    • Tracking for invoice statuses and payment reminders
    • Dashboard to track cash flow and reporting
    • Cash flow management up to 90 days in advance of transactions
    • Credit card payments with mobile card reader or other apps
    • Syncs with Amazon, Shopify, and eBay
    • 1099 contractor management, including preparation and filing

  • Essentials ($60 per month)
    • User-access levels and separate sign-ins for three users
    • Bill management and online payment options
    • Time-tracking for employee time and billable client hours
    • Integration with QuickBooks Time

  • Plus ($90 per month)
    • User-access levels and separate sign-ins for five users
    • Inventory tracking, payments, and vendor management
    • Syncs with all available sales channels, including Etsy
    • Project profitability tracking

  • Advanced ($200 per month)
    • User-access levels and separate sign-ins for 25 users
    • KPI tracking and analysis tools from Fathom
    • Ability to create presentation reports and track individual performances
    • Integration with LeanLaw, HubSpot, DocuSign, Bill.com, and Salesforce
    • Workflow automation
    • Company data restoration
    • Automated revenue recognition tracking 
    • Batch-production of invoices and expense reports
    • Employee submission of expenses
    • 24/7 support

Who It’s Right For

QuickBooks Online is great for small business owners who need premium business accounting software. If you’ve already used QuickBooks in the past, say the desktop version of QuickBooks, you may want to upgrade to the online version. The online version gives you access from anywhere, plus you get access to the faster loading Android and iOS mobile apps.

2. FreshBooks – $8.50–$27.50/month

Image of the company logo.

FreshBooks is a leading small business accounting software firm that offers an assortment of invoicing and bookkeeping tools. FreshBooks’ accounting software accounts for every business transaction, whether online or offline. FreshBooks offers four premium plans with monthly fees starting at just $15 per month.

With FreshBooks, you will have the tools needed to manage and control your time, finances, and transactions better. With its well-organized platform and visual dashboards, you can keep track of all of your money in real-time, all the time.

FreshBooks makes managing your cash flow easier than most other small business accounting software solutions we reviewed, mainly because they offer a dedicated support team that customizes FreshBooks to suit your business. You also get a free 30-day trial to try the software, which means no financial risk for you.


  • Full service and support right out of the gate
  • Deep business analytics and insights (measure and track your success)
  • Real-time inventory tracking (unlimited inventory tracking and invoicing)
  • Cloud-based (manage your financials entirely online)
  • Highly praised Android and iOS apps (great for checking financials on the go)


  • FreshBooks requires talking with a support specialist first before purchasing because they want to help you even before you become a customer (no wonder they’re the best overall accounting software).

Pricing & Notable Features

  • Lite ($8.50 per month)
    • Unlimited customized invoices for five billable clients
    • Unlimited expenses tracking, estimates, and time-tracking
    • Client profiles and account statements
    • Scheduled late fees and late payment reminders
    • Online credit card payments and ACH transfers
    • Business health reports, tax reports, and performance dashboards
    • Mobile mileage tracking

  • Plus ($15 per month)
    • Unlimited customized invoices for 50 billable clients
    • Ability to accept e-signatures
    • Double-entry accounting reports (including general ledger, trial balance, and chart of accounts)
    • Bank reconciliation
    • Accountant access features

  • Premium ($27.50 per month)
    • Unlimited customized invoices for unlimited billable clients
    • Customized email templates and signatures
    • Automated dynamic client emails
    • Accounts payable management
    • Project profitability management

  • Select (Varies)
    • Removal of FreshBooks branding in client emails
    • Lower credit card transaction fees
    • Capped ACH fees
    • Subscription-based payments – a combo of recurring billing and automation
    • Over-the-phone credit card payments
    • Secure Card Storage for client profiles
    • Account manager
    • Data migration services

Who It’s Right For

When it comes to expenses, most small businesses are overwhelmed by the amount of information they need to keep track of. It’s easy to end up duplicating your receipts, and manually entering your payments and other data causes even more confusion and frustration. FreshBooks business accounting software eliminates these problems instantly.

FreshBooks has a clean, user-friendly interface that allows users to easily enter their information and track multiple expense streams. Whether you’re paying for employees, supplies, materials, equipment, or space, Freshbooks has you covered with professional and convenient tracking features. You can even use its advanced expense tracking functionality to set up recurring payments (e.g., retainer payments) and easily track your time, sales, and expenses throughout the year.

Basically, everything that an accountant would need to make sure you’re getting the most deductions against your income, so you end up paying the least amount in taxes — that’s all tracked within the FreshBooks platform.

3. Zoho Books – $0–$240/Month

Image of the company logo.

Zoho Books is a cloud-based accounting software within the Zoho product line that is built for small to medium-sized businesses. With six different plans to choose from, businesses of all sizes can likely find a package that is right for them. 

Zoho Books equips businesses with features such as multilingual invoice processing, sales tax monitoring, billing and timesheet administration, customer and vendor portal access, inventory integration, forecasting, and customizable reporting. 

Higher-priced tiers unlock more advanced analytics, real-time data, additional user accounts, increased usage limits, and expanded integration options. Overall, Zoho Books aims to deliver an affordable, full-featured accounting solution tailored for growing small and mid-market companies.


  • Free plan available 
  • Works within the Zoho product suite 
  • Wide range of use cases for different businesses 
  • Several plan options to choose from 
  • Email, voice, and chat customer support for all paid plans


  • Not ideal for large companies 
  • Only 15 maximum users with the highest-cost plan 

Pricing & Notable Features

Zoho Books offers a wide range of plan options totaling six, including their free plan. The plans increase in features and amount of users able to utilize the platform. 

Note that the pricing listed below is per month, billed annually. Prices will increase if you opt for monthly billing. 

  • Free
    • One user and one account can use the platform
    • Manage up to 1,000 invoices per year
    • Client management features
    • Ability to add multiple bank and credit card accounts
    • 1099-contractor management
  • Standard ($15)
    • Up to three users
    • Manage up to 5,000 invoices per year
    • Predefined user roles
    • Up to 10 custom reports
    • Custom financial report generator
  • Professional ($40)
    • Up to five users
    • Task management features
    • Project profitability tracking
    • Automatic exchange rates
    • Up to 25 custom reports
  • Premium ($60)
    • Up to 10 users
    • Custom domain included
    • Reports for cash flow forecasting
    • Budgeting features
    • Up to 60 custom reports
  • Elite ($120)
    • Up to 10 users
    • Unlimited custom reports
    • Advanced multicurrency handling
    • Integrate up to two Shopify stores
    • Batch and shipment tracking
  • Ultimate ($240)
    • Up to 15 users
    • Reporting and dashboards updated in real-time
    • Collaborate with team members of analytics and more
    • 25 custom modules included
    • Includes features from all other plans

Who It’s Right For

We recommend Zoho Books for small- to medium-sized businesses based on their features, user limits, and pricing. Especially online and ecommerce businesses looking to merge their Shopify stores with their accounting software. 

4. Xero – $13–$70/month

Image of the company logo.

Xero is best if you need a complete startup accounting software solution to manage your books but prefer a more minimalistic and simplistic accounting software for small business. Xero handles income and expenses, inventory management, A/R and A/P, bank and credit card tracking, and other accounting tasks that small business owners need, but with fewer reports and other less necessary features.

We like Xero as our fourth choice for the best accounting software for small business because of its simplicity and ease of use. Xero’s cloud-based accounting software does what you would expect, like record transitions, calculate tax, and track both inventory and financial data. Plus, you can easily integrate with Gusto Payroll for an additional fee.


  • Easy to use bookkeeping software
  • Run basic reports and analytics to measure the health of your small business
  • Record products and services in the business ledger
  • Good software for self-employed persons
  • Easy to use mobile app


  • Fewer reports than FreshBooks and Intuit QuickBooks
  • Inventory management is quite basic
  • Xero charges for ACH transactions

Pricing & Notable Features

  • Early ($13 per month)
    • Ability to send quotes and up to 20 invoices online
    • Tracking for up to five bills
    • Data capture with Hubdoc
    • Connection with banks
    • Inventory management
    • Sales tax management
  • Growing ($37 per month)
    • Ability to send unlimited quotes and invoices online
    • Unlimited bill tracking
    • Bulk transaction reconciliation
  • Established ($70 per month)
    • All features in the Early and Growing packages
    • Multi-currency capabilities
    • Project tracking
    • Ability to take photos of receipts
    • Expense monitoring

Who It’s Right For

Xero is best suited for less complex businesses, more like your mom and pop shops, one-off restaurants, even Etsy stores, think self-employed individuals. It is great for small business owners needing fewer accounting features.

5. Wave Accounting – Free, with à la carte extras

Image of the company logo.

You don’t have to buy Wave Accounting as it’s a free accounting and invoicing software platform. However, you’ll likely want to buy the à la carte extras, including Wave’s payroll processing ($35 per month) and Wave’s payments (2.9%-3.4% plus $0.30 credit card processing; 1% ACH fees).

If you operate a small service company, Wave Accounting will probably work for your business needs.

We like Wave Accounting because it’s free while letting you track your income and expenses and lets you do other very basic finance functions.

Obviously, being a truly free, 100% cloud-based product has its limitations. Still, for those who don’t need a large variety of advanced features, there’s no sense in paying for functions you won’t use.


  • Free software for small businesses
  • Send unlimited free invoices
  • Great for a small service business for income and expense tracking


  • Unlikely to scale with your business
  • Very basic features
  • Extras are more costly than other options

Pricing & Notable Features

  • Reports for overdue invoices and bills, profit and loss, and cash flow
  • Unlimited bank account and credit card connections
  • Ability to run multiple businesses on a single account
  • Recurring billing with automated reminders
  • Credit card and ACH payments (additional processing fees)
  • Payroll services (additional monthly fee)

Who It’s Right For

Wave Accounting is best suited for small service businesses, more like home cleaning businesses, window washing, etc. It is great for small business owners needing very few features.

6. Sage – $10/month–$1,610/year

Image of the company logo.

Sage is a world-leading business applications and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software development company. The applications are designed to meet all your business accounting needs. Some of Sage’s comprehensive features consist of balanced scorecards, manufacturing modules, front-line control, project accounting, and lots more.

Sage also offers small business solutions, which consist of accounting, invoicing, and payment processing through various integration partners and offers a variety of other endless possibilities for helping you manage and track your business’s financials with complete accuracy.

Sage made our small business accounting list mainly because it offers several great accounting solutions for small businesses. The pricing for these solutions starts low and runs higher depending on the solution you choose.


  • Completely cloud-based to easily manage income and expenses
  • Real-time banking integration
  • Accountant friendly reports


  • Not so great for nonprofits, doesn’t handle grant management
  • Doesn’t currently have a payroll integration (not even an integration partner)
  • Does not have a true budgeting module
  • Doesn’t do well for job costing or project management

Pricing & Notable Features

Sage Accounting is really good for startups, small businesses, solopreneurs, retail service spaces, where you aren’t really doing a lot of in-depth inventory management.

  • Sage Accounting Start ($10 per month)
    • Invoice creation and delivery
    • Finance tracking
    • Automatic bank reconciliation
  • Sage Accounting ($25 per month)
    • Unlimited user support
    • Estimate creation and delivery
    • Purchase invoice management
    • Three-month trial of AutoEntry

Sage 50cloud Pros and Cons


  • More robust and feature-rich than Sage Accounting
  • Run loads of insightful reports


  • Expensive compared to other better solutions
  • No automatic or real-time updates are possible when linking a business bank account

Sage 50cloud Pricing & Notable Features

Sage 50cloud is desktop-based with a cloud-based hybrid functionality. Sage 50cloud used to be called Peach Tree. It is truly a desktop application, but you use the cloud to back it up to store and save your data.

Sage 50cloud is more robust than Sage Accounting, meaning it has more features.

  • Pro ($595 per year for one user)
    • Expense and revenue management
    • Automatic bank reconciliation
    • Inventory tracking and management
    • Sage Security Shield protection
    • Unlimited phone and online chat support
  • Premium ($970 per year for one user)
    • All features in the Pro package
    • Detailed job costing management
    • Audit trails
    • Advanced budgeting tools
    • Role-based security
  • Quantum ($1,610 per year for one user)
    • All features in the Pro and Premium packages
    • Ability to manage multiple companies at once

Who It’s Right For

Sage is suitable for any size and any type of business. For small businesses, though, Sage offers two cloud-based programs, namely, the basic Sage Accounting software and the more robust cloud-based desktop hybrid accounting Sage 50cloud software.

The advanced accounting tools in Sage provide financial and accounting information and insights to management and executives. Besides businesses, Sage’s software solutions are used widely by financial service firms and global manufacturing companies.

7. LessAccounting – $24/month

Image of the company logo.

If you don’t need fancy apps or complex software to manage your business, LessAccounting could be what you’re looking for. With LessAccounting, you log in to your account through their website and record your business transactions.

We like LessAccounting because it is so simple to use. There are no apps to download or software to learn. You simply plug your financials into the LessAccounting website and generate the reports you need.

LessAccounting also offers a four-tier bookkeeping service option as well. They’ll keep the books for you. You pay based on your monthly expenses, and come tax time, you’re ready to pass them off to your accountant.


  • Simple accounting solution for the solopreneur or freelancer
  • Great for business owners with basic accounting needs


  • Can’t handle complex accounting situations
  • Expensive compared to other options

Pricing & Notable Features

  • Lite ($24 per month)
    • Unlimited customer invoices, expense entries, estimates, and team members
    • Automated bank imports
    • Payment acceptance
    • Budget creation
    • Tax reports

Honorable Mentions

With so many startup accounting software options available, it is difficult to stop at only seven recommendations. These are a few other accounting solutions that didn’t quite make our list of favorites to consider for your business: 


NetSuite offers a cloud-based accounting solution used by big names like Groupon and Philz Coffee. On the platform, you can take advantage of billing management, financial planning, and revenue recognition management features. 


For accounting, invoicing, and expenses, Kashoo offers simple software designed to save entrepreneurs time. With a list of features, including automatic bank transaction imports and multiple account connection capabilities, Kashoo offers a variety of helpful business accounting tools. However, this is geared towards small businesses and may not be the best choice for fast-scaling companies. 


Striven is a cloud-based accounting solution built for growing businesses. The platform boasts high-level reporting and visibility for entrepreneurs seeking a comprehensive view of their business’s finances. 

Business Accounting Software Pros and Cons

Business Accounting Software Pros

  • With accounting software, the chance of human error is less likely. All accounting software tools are extremely accurate (provided you enter the right information).
  • By using business accounting software, you’ll be able to save countless hours over the lifetime of your business. Your financial reports are totally automated.
  • If your business needs to invoice customers, you can customize and send them out with your accounting software. This’ll help you get paid faster!
  • No more calculating on your own because most accounting software automatically calculates your financials for you.
  • With the built-in expense tracking, accounting software is extremely useful for keeping an eye on where your money’s going.

Business Accounting Software Cons

  • Since many of the accounting software tools are web-based, an internet connection is required. Even the ones that aren’t cloud-based need web access from time to time for syncing purposes.
  • Accounting software most likely won’t be the ‘end-all’ for keeping finances in check. It’s likely that you’ll still need an accountant depending on the nature of your business.

How to Choose the Right Accounting Software

Every startup is different. Choosing the right accounting software for your startup comes down to knowing your business’s unique needs, how much you can spend, and how it will factor into your current workflow. Here’s a breakdown of what to consider when selecting the right software for your startup.


With a range of pricing options available for accounting solutions, it is important to find a service that won’t break the bank while providing you with the functionality you need to manage and grow your business. 


The features and functionality of any software are a major factor in whether it will serve the right purpose for your business. Be sure to select software that checks most, if not all, of your boxes to ensure you have a solution that works for your startup. 


Startups are all about scale, and their accounting software should be, too. Before choosing a service, ensure that there are plans available to grow alongside your business as you reach your goals. 


There are a few accounting software options that live within a suite of products created by one company. If you are looking to streamline your processes, it is important to consider accounting software that will integrate seamlessly with your current tech stack.

Which Is the Best Accounting Software?

There are a lot of different accounting software options in the marketplace. The best accounting software is the one that serves your business needs best. Based on our hundreds of hours of research reviewing all of these companies, this list we’ve put together for you above should give you a good idea of which small business accounting software will be best for your particular business. If you want to get a more complete picture of the tools that interest you, read our full reviews or sign up for free trials to the ones that interest you.

In general, we prefer QuickBooks due to their easy to use software and great customer support. They’re one of the best accounting software tools available for entrepreneurs in most fields. It’s flexible, powerful and affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is accounting important for startups?

Accounting is crucial for startups to track their finances, manage cash flow, and make sound business decisions. Not to mention, bookkeeping and financial reporting help startups control costs, maximize profits, and position themselves for growth and funding opportunities.

What is accounting software?

Accounting software helps businesses track financial transactions, generate financial statements, manage accounts payable and receivable, process payroll, and complete other tasks. 

What accounting software do most startups use?

A few popular accounting software used by startups are QuickBooks, Freshbooks, and Xero.

What is the easiest accounting software for startups?

The easiest accounting software is dependent largely on your experience and how it is being used. However, we like QuickBooks for their easy-to-use suite of solutions for accounting and more.

What is the best accounting software for small business?

The best accounting software for small business offers you the most features, the best price, and is one that scales with your business. Do not purchase based on promotional offers. Purchase software you can learn easily that you’ll use for years.

Is Zoho accounting software free?

Zoho accounting software, called Zoho Books, is free with revenues less than $50,000 per year. Then prices rise to $15 per month for a Zoho Books Standard Account, $40 per month for a Zoho Books Professional Account, and $60 per month for a Zoho Books Premium Account. Zoho Books is free.

What is the best small business accounting app?

Here are the best small business accounting apps:

  • FreshBooks Accounting Mobile App: Best Overall
  • QuickBooks Accounting Mobile App: Best for Accountants
  • Xero Accounting Mobile App: Best for Simplicity
  • Wave Accounting Mobile App: Best for Service Businesses
  • Sage Accounting Mobile App: Best for Freelancers
  • 1-800Accountant Mobile App: Best for Self Employed

What is the best accounting software for self-employed?

The best accounting software for self-employed professionals is 1-800Accountant. 1-800Accountant handles all bookkeeping and accounting for busy on-the-go self-employed professionals. With 1-800Accountant, you don’t have to worry about the stress of keeping your own books.

Is free accounting software really free?

Yes, there is free accounting software that is really free. Free accounting software is basic at best, and not everything free is worth using, especially when it comes to business bookkeeping. Also, a free trial for online accounting software is something different than free accounting software.

Does FreshBooks track mileage?

Yes, track mileage by opening the FreshBooks app on your smartphone and it will automatically track all the miles (or kilometers) that you drive and automatically import this data into your FreshBooks account. 2021 standard mileage deduction is $0.56 per mile that you can write off on your taxes.

Explore Accounting Service Reviews