#1 FreshBooks - $15 to $50/month
Starting off our countdown, we have another titan within the industry. FreshBooks has been in the business for just under 15 years, and has made a name for itself by providing modern, intuitive software, similar to Xero. They share many of the same features, as do plenty of others in the industry. But with these features, they’ve added their own improvements, including:
- Per-Project Organization: When you add expenses, create invoices, track time or communicate with clients, all of your information is sorted by client or project. This makes for seamless organization that allows you to know exactly where you’re at with each job.
- Customizable Invoices: Speaking of invoices, their customization capabilities are pretty impressive. The have templates available that you can edit and play with, so that each invoice works double time by containing all of the vital pieces of information along with reflecting your logo and brand.
- Reporting: An important part of accounting is knowing where you’ve been, as well as where you’re going. With FreshBooks reporting capabilities, you can see your sales and revenue from previous months as well as get estimates on how your business will fair in the near future.
In addition to having a number of impressive features, their pricing is pretty cost effective for most small businesses and startups. Their packages start at around $15 a month and can range from there to about $50, depending on the number of active clients you would list.
#2 QuickBooks - $10 to $50/month
Moving on to our number two, QuickBooks offers decades of experience in online accounting software. QuickBooks, and their parent company, Intuit have over 30 years of experience handling corporate finances, so you can feel confident in their capabilities. Some of our favorite tricks and tools that they’ve included are:
- Mileage Tracking: On the go between jobs, you can keep track of the time you spend in transit. Then, if it’s included in the total cost of a job, you can attach that time to an invoice.
- Tax Help: QuickBooks can be a huge help when it comes to maximizing your tax deductions. They send helpful reminders when it’s getting close to tax day, so you’ll never have to worry about being caught off guard.
- Inventory Tools: There are only a few companies in this industry that offer a full suite of inventory tools, so we’re glad to see the big dogs like Xero and QuickBooks maintaining those features. You can input items, track their status, and sort through your inventory for most popular or best-selling products.
Unlike FreshBooks, QuickBooks sorts their packaging by features instead of number of active clients, so you will end up paying more for more features. Their packages range from $10-$50 a month, but there are some discounts available. When you sign up, you can choose between two discount offers: a 30 day free trial or 50% off your monthly fees for the first six months.
#3 Wave - Free to $19/month
Rounding out our countdown, we’ve got a rather interesting new company. Wave is one of the only accounting software platforms that has done away with monthly fees and offers their base software completely free. Now, there are some things that cost a penny or two, but it’s quite a bit different from how the Xero, FreshBooks and QuickBooks have handled pricing.
- Pay-as-you-go Pricing: Though the base software is free, there are a few things that have smaller costs included, like payroll and credit card processing. Depending on how much you would need these two services, the more you would be expected to pay. But the flip side is also true. If you find you don’t need either, you could pay absolutely nothing.
- Lending Opportunities: This is definitely a unique feature that we’ve haven’t seen anywhere else. Wave has partnered with OnDeck, a lender for small businesses looking to expand. You can apply online through Wave and if you meet their qualifications, receive a small loan to help jumpstart your next project.
- Recurring Billing: This feature is brand new to Wave, so we’re excited to see the company expanding their services. With recurring billing, you can set up monthly invoices that go out automatically, which is great for things like web hosting fees. Set it up once, and Wave does the work for you.
You can try out Wave’s base software for as long as you like without receiving any subscription or monthly fees. If you find yourself wanting to incorporate things like credit card processing and payroll, you’ll start to receive a few separate charges. Credit card processing is 2.3% + 30 cents for every transaction, and payroll includes a base fee of $15 plus $2-4 per additional employee, so what you end up paying each month can vary quite a bit.
Ready to Jump In?
In all honesty, I think every single company on this list has some fantastic features and tools available for busy entrepreneurs. But, FreshBooks in this context still remains a personal favorite. If you’d like to learn more about what FreshBooks can do for you, click the link below to try it free. Cheers!