Updated 8/15/17: We’ve updated this post with new options and current info for all your Mac-based accounting needs.
I’ve spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 hours in my local coffee shop. In that time, I’ve seen about a million MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBooks Airs. I have yet to see a single person finish their work and giddily dig out a Lenovo to start doing their accounting.
Accounting software for Mac users isn’t as plentiful as its PC cousins, but there are still plenty of options. Here’s a list of Mac options from Capterra’s accounting software directory to keep your Apple-loving finances in line, presented in alphabetical order.
Besides sounding like the name of a sword in Lord of the Spreadsheets, AccountEdge is a long-running Mac standard. The original business was run by a company called MYOB, based out of Australia. In 2005, some of MYOB’s American management team bought out the U.S. operation, which now produces AccountEdge for the American market.
The software features an inventory system, commission tracking, cloud syncing (fee required), and tax preparation, among all the standard features of an accounting system. It also plays nicely with Shopify, for customers who run online businesses.
With add-ons, you can process credit cards, run payroll, and print checks, if you’re the sort of business that still needs to print checks. Sorry.
Price: AccountEdge Basic, which doesn’t include payroll features, inventory, or purchase management, will set you back $99. AccountEdge Pro runs $399 for a single-user license. Additional workstation licenses can be added for $249 each, or you can get a five pack for $999.
AcctVantage describes itself as “Macintosh native, PC friendly.” That’s a pretty rare thing, in the business world. The brand has endeavored to make its accounting software simple and clean—just the way Mac users like it.
As an ERP (enterprise resource planning) software solution, AcctVantage offers more than just accounting. The product revolves around finance, but it can also manage sales, customers, and warehouses, if need be. ERPs also have more robust reporting tools than standalone accounting packages, so you can get a clear view of your business from the ground all the way up to 50,000 feet.
If your business makes or sells an actual product—which is to say, not just a service— AcctVantage can bring a lot of functionality to your day-to-day.
Price: AcctVantage doesn’t publish pricing, so get in touch with the company directly if you’re interested in a quote. If you need more information, the company offers a free trial, so you can get a sense of what you’re buying before you dive in.
We’ve talked about GnuCash before because it’s a) free, b) open source, and c) very good. The project has been running for almost two decades, with updates coming out every three months, or so. The open source accounting tool has versions available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
While anyone can use GnuCash, I usually think of it as being geared toward power users. The learning curve is a little steeper than other programs, but the reward is meaningful. GnuCash wears its accounting credentials on its sleeve. While many Mac-friendly accounting software options focus on clean and crisp, GnuCash focuses on functionality.
That means some of the working bits—double entry ledgers, charts of accounts, and the like—are exposed to the user. If you’re not familiar with those pieces, it can seem confusing at first. The tradeoff is more control over every aspect of your accounting life.
Luckily, most of the stuff that you need to do on a daily basis is presented in GnuCash’s ever improving interface. If you’re okay putting in a little time to learn the interface with the goal of eventually getting right down in the thick of your books, GnuCash is a great choice.
MoneyWorks is a great option for companies that are actually multiple companies, or that operate in multiple currencies. MoneyWorks also provides free copies to certified accountants, so you can get the support from your accountant that you need.
The unlimited entities setup allows business with growing reach to easily extend themselves without having to worry about running into new fees or issues. If you own a bakery and think you might open a separate cafe in the future, MoneyWorks has you covered. If you’re importing or exporting and have to work in multiple currencies on a regular basis, MoneyWorks can manage.
Finally, MoneyWorks has a nice growth pattern. It offers four distinct versions—plus a cloud version of its Gold offering—for different sized businesses, but the interface across them doesn’t meaningfully change. That means no learning curve as you grow. You can also download a PC version at no additional cost, if you switch platforms down the road.
Price: MoneyWorks Express or Gold should cover most small businesses. They cost $249 and $499, respectively.
The old favorite. QuickBooks still dominates the American market, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. The company produces a Mac version of QuickBooks that integrates with iCal to help you keep your contact information up to date and lets you export to Numbers, if you can’t stomach Excel.
Apart from these tweaks, QuickBooks is QuickBooks. Your accountant will love you for not forcing them having to learn another program., you’ll You’ll find the interface familiar even if you’ve never used it, and though you might get a little frustrated with its attempts to be all things to all people.
Price: QuickBooks for Mac runs $300, but it’s perennially on sale, so expect to pay closer to $200.
xTuple is an open source, ERP software. Like AcctVantage, this means businesses will have the option to do much more than just accounting, if they dive into the full setup. If you’re not sure you need the whole ERP experience, xTuple makes PostBooks, a smaller ERP perfect for small businesses.
PostBooks includes accounting, inventory, CRM, and sales functions. If you need more than that, you can upgrade to one of the company’s more full-featured offerings. PostBooks is an online system, though it’s not exclusively cloud-based.
You can install PostBooks—for free—on your own server or you can have someone host it for you. Mac and PC interfaces then talk to the host and keep all your information current and shared.
Like GnuCash, there’s a lot to see here. PostBooks is a great option for businesses that have some IT staff in place or that are interested in growing into something a smaller, non-ERP system would struggle to track.
One of my all-time favorite Mac accounting programs is relatively new, but it’s getting easier to find. It’s Any Cloud-Based Accounting Brand—good old ACBAB. Brands like Xero, Sage, Wave, and even QuickBooks have ACBAB offerings that simply do not care if you use a Mac. Many of them don’t even care if you’re using a desktop. Jump on a tablet, break out the phone, tap in some Morse code—maybe not that last one.
I’m a big proponent of cloud-based accounting for the simple reason that it keeps small business finance managers closer to the numbers at all times. You can enter receipts on the road, check your accounts with your banker, and integrate with your other online systems seamlessly.
If you want even more options, check out Capterra’s accounting software directory for all the accounting you could ever hope for.
Looking for Accounting software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Accounting software solutions.