Accounting is one of the pillars of every business, big or small, regardless of the trade or industry. In the past, accounting involved hours and hours of tedious work of an experienced professional, piles of paper, folders, and binders, and any mistakes would have serious implications. In this day and age, we have the technology to carry out most of our complicated and tedious tasks for us, and accounting is the perfect example.

What is accounting software and what are its benefits for small businesses?

Accounting software is a computer program that helps bookkeepers, accountants, business owners, and others record, manage, and report their firm’s financial transactions. This way, they can understand the profitability of their businesses and prepare for the tax season.

There are many advantages to using accounting software for a small business:

  • It makes accounting calculations easier to execute, interpret, and analyze. 
  • It requires less office space as it removes the necessity of using physical data, leading to lower rent costs. 
  • It also simplifies the process of retrieving old accounting data, which is tremendously useful in internal and external audits.
  • You don’t need to have any accounting knowledge to use it.

Larger companies may decide to go for a customized, complex accounting solution that can process a massive amount of data pouring from different departments. On the other hand, small businesses may not require complex accounting functionalities which in their case may even be redundant. Hence, they fare better with simpler accounting solutions.

What functionalities should a simple accounting software provide?

A small business doesn’t need much from an accounting software product, but there are certain features such a solution needs to provide in order to qualify as useful. These include:

  • Accounting functionality and/or third-party integrations: Whichever software you decide to go for, it needs to offer basic accounting options or be able to integrate with popular third-party accounting solutions such as QuickBooks or Zapier.
  • Invoicing and reporting: An accounting software is no good if it doesn’t allow you to invoice your clients and easily create reports on the number of paid and unpaid invoices.
  • Payment processing: If your accounting solution allows you to take payments from clients, it can integrate this information directly for your accounting purposes.
  • Scalability: If you feel like adding new features and functionalities to your business, the accounting software you choose has to allow this so it can keep up with the growth of your business.

What is the typical price range/pricing model for simple accounting software?

Different simple accounting software providers vary in terms of their pricing models. As the basis, they may take indicators such as:

  • size of your team
  • included features
  • number of transactions
  • type of industry

Depending on the above factors, opting for such a platform would cost you anywhere between $0 to $499 per month. Some of these platforms allow you to test out their solutions during a free trial period. Others only let you get a glimpse by signing up for a demonstration.

Which are the best simple accounting software solutions for small businesses?

Focusing on the above features and functionalities, we scoured the market and narrowed it down to the seven best simple accounting software products you should consider for your small business.

1. vcita

Features: vcita’s versatile all-in-one business management platform is suitable for a wide range of small and medium businesses and covers all areas needed for their smooth running, with functionalities and features including:

  • billing and invoicing
  • integrations with third-party accounting software (Zapier, QuickBooks, etc.)
  • payment processing
  • multi-currency support
  • reminders and notifications
  • data import/export
  • workflow management
  • customized reporting and statistics
  • mobile support
  • templates
  • invoice tracking
  • client portal
  • CRM

Price: Depending on offered functionalities and the size of your team, vcita has multiple pricing options. A one-person team that only requires basic features can acquire this solution for only $19/month, but bigger teams can only take one of the upgraded options (with a lot more features) that begin at $45/month (for two users). Whichever option interests you, you’ll be able to test it out for free during a 14-day trial.

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Customer support: Users requiring assistance can find it across the website, with the brunt of it available in the large searchable help center. For those who believe that someone on the team might help them better, there is a phone number to call for sales inquiries or direct assistance from the Customer Success Team for any technical issues.

User reviews: vcita generally has very positive reviews across different reviewing platforms. This is mostly due to its versatility, customization options, flawless calendar syncing, ease of use, customer support, feature-rich live site, and other built-in functionalities. Some of the less satisfied reviewers said they encountered a lack of quick response from the support and some missing features.

Best for: vcita’s platform caters to small and medium businesses, as well as freelancers across many industries and trades, including (but not limited to):

  • healthcare and counseling
  • mental health and life coaching
  • beauty and fashion
  • sales and marketing
  • tutoring businesses
  • maid service
  • handyman service
  • massage therapy
  • carpet cleaning
  • entertainment and arts
  • legal and finance

2. Sage 50cloud Accounting

Features: Sage provides a range of different products for different business needs (accounting, payroll, and payment processing) for various business types. Its 50cloud Accounting product features:

  • standard and essential accounting
  • billing invoicing
  • payment processing
  • inventory management
  • payroll
  • reporting
  • integrations with Sage Marketplace apps
  • project management
  • customer management

Price: Sage 50cloud Accounting bases its pricing on the number of users and included features. It starts at $340/year ($28.33/month) for one user during the first year ($567/year or $47.25/month afterward). There’s a free demonstration and a 30-day test drive available to anyone who’d like to get to know the platform a bit better.

Customer support: Users can reach Sage’s customer support through live chat, email, or telephone. There’s also plenty of useful material on the provider’s website, including a knowledgebase, support center, blog, and forums.

User reviews: Most of the user reviews for Sage are positive, primarily in terms of specific members of the customer support team. However, a small number of reviewers had a bone to pick with the platform’s technical problems, sluggish and unhelpful customer support, lack of information and migration assistance, as well as the difficult cancelation process.

Best for: Sage 50cloud is useful to small and growing businesses across different trades, suitable for various roles including bookkeepers, accountants, and financial managers.

3. Kashoo

Features: Kashoo provides simple accounting apps with features that include:

  • accounting
  • invoicing and billing
  • invoice tracking
  • reminders
  • payment collection
  • payment tracking
  • income and expense tracking
  • reporting
  • customization
  • mobile app
  • payroll integration

Price: Although the minimal invoicing solution starts free, its basic accounting, called “trulysmall.accounting” isn’t available unless you pay $20/month, regardless of the number of users. The advanced accounting option under the name “Kashoo” costs $30/month. A 14-day free trial is on the table for anyone who wants to take the platform out for a spin.

Customer support: Kashoo provides direct user assistance via chat, phone, and email. On top of that, a lot of information about the platform is available on the website, the health center, and in the form of FAQs, but there’s also a blog with some interesting posts related to various topics.

User reviews: Users who had experience with Kashoo’s accounting platform are generally satisfied with it. As its best features, they listed ease of use, features, and customer support. Those that gave it a lower rating weren’t happy with the inadequate selection of (poorly looking) templates, as well as poor customer billing and manual adjustment tools.

Best for: Kashoo specializes in accounting apps suitable for:

  • small business owners
  • freelancers
  • developers
  • designers

4. Sunrise

Features: Sunrise by Lendio is a provider of bookkeeping solutions whose features include:

  • invoicing
  • payment processing
  • invoice templates
  • bookkeeping
  • reporting
  • expense tracking
  • integration with Gusto for payroll tracking
  • quotes and estimates
  • sales tax support

Price: A skeleton platform with only a few basic features is available for free. If you need more advanced features, you can get them in one of the paid packages, which are priced according to the number of your transactions per month. Its cheapest package, which supports up to 120 transactions per month, costs $149/month. The prices increase with the number of monthly transactions.

Customer support: For users that require the help of its customer support, Sunrise has provided a telephone number, chat option, and web form. There are also resources on the website that teach about bookkeeping, along with a blog with interesting industry-related reading material.

User reviews: Those users who gave Sunrise the best marks said in their reviews that they liked its simplicity, design, user interface, built-in functions, and accessibility. Those who gave it poorer reviews had trouble with lack of support for migration, misunderstandings over lifetime offers expiring after the company (formerly known as Billy) was acquired and renamed, as well as the lack of customer support.

Best for: Sunrise specializes in bookkeeping for small and growing businesses across different trades and its free software is suitable for experienced bookkeepers. However, the more expensive plans that come with a professional bookkeeping service can be used by small business owners and staff without any bookkeeping knowledge.

5. Deskera

Features: Deskera is an all-in-one financial management solution that offers:

  • accounting
  • billing and invoicing
  • payment processing
  • expense tracking
  • payroll
  • multi-currency support
  • inventory management
  • CRM
  • reporting
  • multiple third-party integrations
  • templates
  • mobile support

Price: Depending on the users’ needs, Deskera has divided its platform into several pricing plans that start at $29/month per user. If you only require its accounting software, it starts at $9/month per user. All the pricing plans except the enterprise-level one are accompanied by a 15-day free trial.

Customer support: Information is available at the provider’s help center and Deskera Academy on the website. Users can also send email inquiries, fill out a web form, or call customer support over the telephone.

User reviews: Reviews for Deskera are generally high. Users like its CRM syncing, custom templates, user support, friendly interface, pricing, the ability to send payment links in emails, integrations, and other features. Some issues exist, such as software bugs and incomplete features, but these don’t seem to be large enough to warrant a poor rating.

Best for: Deskera is usable across different trades, mainly focusing on:

  • small and midsize organizations
  • bookkeepers
  • accountants

6. Plooto

Features: Plooto is a software platform for business financial management whose built-in features include:

  • accounts payable and receivable processes
  • support for international payments
  • ACH/EFT payments
  • integration with QuickBooks and Xero
  • invoice importing and tracking
  • CRA payments
  • support for traditional checks

Price: Plooto’s pricing is very simple. There’s only one pricing plan, regardless of the number of users, customers, bank connections, suppliers, and approvers. This plan starts at $25/month and includes 10 free domestic payments per month. Additional flat rate fees include:

  • $0.50 per domestic transaction beyond 10 free payments
  • $9.99 per international transaction
  • $1.99 per check payment
  • $3 CRA payments (in Canada)

There’s also a 30-day free trial for anyone who’d like to test the platform out before committing.

Customer support: The company provides customer support via chat, telephone, email, and web form. Users can also find useful information in its FAQ section, help center, blog, and product updates.

User reviews: Reviewers typically had positive experiences with the platform, mostly because of its features, speed, integrations, support for accounts payable and receivable, and flexibility it provides in receiving payments from clients. A few of them had problems when dealing with foreign banks through the platform, as well as with difficulty of use, sluggish customer support, and the lack of certain functionalities.

Best for: Plooto’s user base consists of:

  • small and medium businesses
  • business owners and CEOs
  • accountants
  • bookkeepers
  • finance teams

7. FreeAgent

Features: FreeAgent is a simple small business management and accounting tool that provides its clients with:

  • sales tax reporting
  • invoicing
  • multi-currency support
  • time tracking
  • customer management
  • weekly agenda summary

Price: FreeAgent keeps things simple in terms of its pricing. There’s only one pricing plan and it starts at $12/month for the first six months, after which the price increases to $24/month. The price is fixed, regardless of the number of users, clients, and projects you need covered. There’s also a 30-day free trial available upon signing up.

Customer support: Information is available in the provider’s knowledge base and blog on the website. Those who prefer direct contact can make use of email, telephone, or a chatbot on the website.

User reviews: Reviewers were mainly generous to FreeAgent, praising its billing and invoicing capabilities, weekly email summary functionality, sales tax assistance, time tracking, and the multi-factor authentication. However, others were unhappy with some of the features they considered clunky and/or difficult to use, such as not being able to search for a specific client’s name when creating an invoice.

Best for: FreeAgent may be used by a wide array of businesses, but it’s best suited for:

  • small businesses
  • freelancers
  • accountants
  • bookkeepers