Cloud Based Small Business Accounting Software

Cloud Based Small Business Accounting Software

The Best Cloud Based Small Business Accounting Software

There are many different types of accounting software available for small businesses, with varying capabilities and price tags. Generally, the type of industry and number of employees are two factors that can help a small business owner begin to choose the accounting software that is appropriate.

1. QuickBooks Online

ProsQuickBooks Online is the best overall accounting software for small businesses of those reviewed. Not only do the majority of small business accounting professionals use QuickBooks Online, but there are also endless online training resources and forums to get support when needed. All accounting features can be conveniently accessed on one main dashboard, making bookkeeping more fluid and efficient.

  • Pros

  • Scalable

  • Commonly used by accounting professionals

  • Integration with third-party applications

  • Cloud-based

  • Mobile app

Cons
  • Upgrade required for more users

  • Occasional syncing problems with banks and credit cards

Intuit’s QuickBooks Online has been the most common accounting software used by small businesses and their bookkeeping and tax professionals. The software is cloud-based and can be accessed through a web browser or through a mobile app.

After the 30-day free trial, the four options for subscription plans include Simple Start at $25 per month, Essentials at $40 per month, Plus at $70 per month, and Advanced at $150 per month. Typically there is a significant discount offered for the first few months, and some accountants are able to offer wholesale pricing to small businesses, as well. 

The monthly subscription for this software can be upgraded as a business grows, and there are many customization options with the mobile app that can be used to receive payments, review reports, capture an image of a receipt, and track business mileage. For businesses looking for a payroll solution, QuickBooks Payroll fully integrates with QuickBooks Online.

Each plan offers more advanced features like inventory management, time tracking, additional users, and budgeting. Most service-based small businesses will find that Simple Start meets all of their needs. For product-based small businesses, Essentials or Plus will have more options for inventory and customizations. The Advanced subscription is a new offering and provides robust financial reporting that is powered by Fathom. Fathom is an elite online financial report analysis tool used by many large companies all over the world.

All plans allow integration with third-party apps such as Stripe or PayPal. QuickBooks Online’s app store breaks down all of their apps by function and provides helpful examples of the benefits of each app.

2. Xero


Pros 
Xero is the best in our review for micro-businesses that are looking for very simple accounting software. This software has a clean interface and also fully integrates with a third-party payroll service. Businesses can collect payment online from customers through Xero’s integration with Stripe and GoCardless.

  • Pros

  • Cloud-based

  • Mobile app

  • Payroll integration with Gusto

  • Third-party app marketplace

  • Simple inventory management

Cons
  • Limited reporting

  • Fees charged for ACH payments

  • Limited customer service

Xero was founded in 2006 in New Zealand and now has over 2.7 million users worldwide. This accounting software is popular in New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Xero has over 3,500 employees and is growing rapidly in the U.S., as well.

Xero offers three monthly subscription options and a full-service payroll add-on: Early at $11 per month, Growing at $32 per month, and Established at $62 per month. The full-service payroll option is offered through Gusto and is an additional $39 per month, plus $6 per employee. The company offers a 30-day free trial and a promotion of 50% off for two months. 

The Early plan limits usage and only allows entry for five invoices or quotes, five bills, and reconciliation of 20 bank transactions per month. This limited plan may be suitable for a micro-business with high-ticket transactions, but only a few per month, such as a consulting or small service provider. Both the Growing and Established plans offer unlimited invoices, bills, and transactions. The only difference between the two is that the Established plan has additional features like multi-currency, expense management, and project costing. All three plans offer Hubdoc, a bill and receipt capture solution.

3. FreshBooks


Pros
The most crucial accounting need for most service-based businesses is invoicing. FreshBooks offers more customizations for invoicing compared to other accounting software. Its primary function is to send, receive, print, and pay invoices, but it can also take care of a business’ basic bookkeeping needs as well. This accounting software makes it easier for service-based businesses to send proposals and invoices, request deposits, collect client retainers, track time on projects, and receive payments.

  • Pros

  • Cloud-based

  • User-friendly interface

  • Third-party app integration

  • Affordable

  • Advanced invoicing features

Cons
  • No inventory management

  • No payroll service

  • The mobile app has limitations

Founded in 2003 in Toronto, FreshBooks started as just an invoicing software. Over time, more features have been added and FreshBooks now has over 500 employees. There are four different plans, and businesses can get a 10% discount if they choose to pay yearly, rather than monthly. Additionally, FreshBooks offers a 60% off discount per month for six months. The four plans are Lite at $6 per month, Plus at $10 per month, Premium at $20 per month, and Select, which is a custom service with custom pricing.

The main difference between the four plans is the number of different clients that are allowed to be billed per month. In the Lite plan, up to five clients can be billed per month. In the Plus plan, up to 50 clients can be billed per month. In the Premium plan, unlimited clients can be billed per month. The Select plan also does not have a limitation on the number of clients that can be billed per month but adds unique features. It costs an additional $10 per month for multiple team members to use the accounting software and it costs an additional $20 per month for the advanced payment feature, which allows users to charge a credit card in real-time or set up a recurring credit card charge for a client.

There are many third-party app integrations available, such as Shopify, Gusto, Stripe, G Suite, and more. A unique feature of FreshBooks is that invoices can be highly stylized and customized for a professional look and feel. FreshBooks is a great tool for budgeting out projects, sending estimates or proposals, and collecting customer payments.

4. Wave


Wave is an ideal accounting software platform for a service-based small business that sends simple invoices and doesn’t need to track inventory or run payroll. For many freelancers or service-based businesses, Wave’s free features will cover all of their accounting needs and are the best free software in our review. At year-end, accountants can pull the necessary reports from Wave to prepare a business’ tax return.

  • Pros

  • Free accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning

  • No transaction or billing limits

  • Run multiple businesses in one account

  • Unlimited number of users

  • Mobile app

Cons
  • Limited third-party app integrations

  • Higher fees for credit cards and ACH payments

  • Full-service payroll is limited to only 14 states

  • No inventory management

The wave was founded in 2010 and is based in Toronto. The company has over 250 employees and was purchased by H&R Block in 2019. The foundational accounting features that most small businesses need, such as income and expense tracking, financial reporting, invoicing, and scanning receipts, are all included with this free software. These features can be accessed online or on the mobile app. Customer payment processing and payroll are considered premium services that cost extra, but all of the bookkeeping, invoicing and reporting features are completely free.

Wave makes its money on its payment gateway. To process payment from a customer, Wave charges 2.9% plus 30¢ per transaction for Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, and 3.4% plus 30¢ per transaction for American Express. These fees are slightly higher than other accounting software. Additionally, to process an ACH payment, rather than a credit card, Wave charges 1% per transaction with a $1 minimum fee. This is unique to Wave, as the majority of accounting software does not charge a fee for ACH payment processing. 

Wave offers two payroll plans as an add-on service. The first plan is $20 per month plus $6 per employee or contractor. In this plan, Wave will process payroll and prepare payroll tax calculations, but the user is responsible for manually completing payroll tax forms and submitting tax payments. The second plan is $35 per month plus $6 per employee or contractor. In this plan, payroll is full-service, which means that all tax filings and payments are completely managed by Wave. This full-service payroll option is only available in 14 states.




Created & Posted by (Twinkle Jha)

Account Executive at TAXAJ

 

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