FreshBooks is the second most popular accounting software on the market, according to Capterra’s accounting infographic. The sheer number of people using the software says something positive about the system, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a perfect fit for everyone.
Here are five FreshBooks alternatives, presented in alphabetical order.
Kashoo is a $30 per month – cheaper if you pay for a year upfront – cloud-based accounting software. It supports the usual range of basic features, but tacks on some nice additions. For instance, Kashoo has a nice financial dashboard, where you can see your income and expenses all in one simple place. Many accounting options now come with these sorts of reports, but Kashoo’s version has an especially nice look to it.
If you’re sold on FreshBooks for its invoicing, Kashoo also plays well with a number of invoicing providers, integrating to give you more options – including FreshBooks invoicing. The system also supports mobile invoicing, receipt entry, and report viewing.
One of my absolute favorite Kashoo features is summed up in a line from their marketing department. “With Kashoo, your data is forever yours; not ours.” Being able to move your data without having to jump through a series of backbreaking hoops – or simply never having full access to your data in the first place – is a huge plus.
This is the one time in your life you’ll see QuickBooks as an alternative instead of the thing you’re looking for an alternative to. I love QuickBooks. As I’ve said before, QuickBooks often tries to be all things to all people and that can be a daunting proposition. The beauty of that system is that once you’re comfortable with the software, you can do just about anything.
Excel has the same bad rap. People who don’t have the time or desire to dive into the system end up with a mishmash of good features and stuff they can’t sort out. Once you spend some time with it, it’s a beautiful thing.
QuickBooks Online does almost everything you’d want it to do. At its mid-point, QuickBooks Online Essentials — $27 per month – gives you invoicing, bill management and payment tools, bank account syncing, and some solid reports. There’s also a $13 option without the reports or bill management. Then at the $40 level, you get a koozie. Just kidding, but you do get inventory and 1099 management tools.
Maybe you’re the type of person who doesn’t want anything to do with AnynameBooks. If you still want most of the features those solutions offer, Sage One might be the best choice for you. Sage One is the online version of Sage, aimed at small businesses who need basic accounting tools.
Sage also sports a nice dashboard, with plenty of at-a-glance information. You can see what invoices are outstanding, what’s overdue, how much you’ve made, and which customers are bringing in the most business for you.
Sage One runs $10 per month and comes in just one flavor. Simples.
Wave is unique on this list, by virtue of being free. Not freemium or free for a while or for a few things – free.
It’s free because the software – in classic Facebook- or Google-style – advertises to you based on your accounting history. Advertisers can say, “We want to show ads to people with over $X in savings, Y transactions per month, and who live in New England.” If you fit the bill, you’ll see the ad.
For your trouble, you get a solid accounting package, with bank reconciliation, expense tracking, invoicing, bill reminders, and the usual bucket of accounting software features. For a fee, you can also tie into Wave Payroll.
I like Wave a lot for its ease of use, low cost, and solid expense tracking functions – you can take pictures of receipts, for instance.
Xero is a great cloud-first option for small businesses. While QuickBooks and Sage began their lives as desktop apps – Sage’s history is a little more nuanced than that, but we’re going to run with it – Xero is all the cloud, all the time.
Xero comes in three versions, running from $9 to $70 per month. At the basic level, you get five invoices, five bills, and 20 bank transactions to reconcile. This is a small setup for a very small business. At the middle, $30 level, all those restrictions are lifted and we’re looking at something more robust.
You can pay five employees, get purchase orders, manage direct deposits, and file federal and state taxes. At all levels, you’ll have access to mobile apps, bank feeds, W2 and 1099 preparation, and the ability to let your small business accountant – you have a small business accountant, right – have access to your books.
There are plenty of other options for small business accounting, if none of these options fit your bill. In fact – ta da – Capterra has an entire accounting software directory with over 260 options – don’t worry, you can filter. If you’re looking for more small businesses finance tips and insights, check out Capterra’s finance blog.