Accounting software helps businesses manage receivables and payables.
Gone are the days when businesses used to manage their finances on spreadsheets. Growing businesses can no longer work with financial data on spreadsheets and paper invoices as the process is tedious and error-prone. This is where accounting software can come to your rescue.
Accounting software helps business owners manage their receivables and payables. It can help you automate financial functions and transactions. With integrated applications, you can get a real-time analysis of your company’s financial status.
This article looks at the six best free accounting tools listed alphabetically that you can choose from without spending money on paid tools.
Flowlu: Track data for multiple businesses
Flowlu offers a CRM which allows you to add a to-do list for every customer so that you know at what stage customers are in the sales process. As you make any sale, Flowlu analyzes your sales and funnel data and lets you know the efficiency of different stages of the funnel process.
You can use the invoice feature to bill customers and segregate them based on paid and unpaid invoices. The software’s accounting program also offers custom bank account tracking to audit money flowing in and out of your company.
With Flowlu, you can handle cash flow by recording company expenses and receiving payments. The bookkeeping software also allows you to add notes to your records.
There is a mobile application for iOS and Android devices. To get in touch with the support team, you can connect via email and chat.
- Budget management
- Content management
- Cost-to-completion tracking
- Customizable templates
- Decision support
$29 per month
ProfitBooks: Create invoices in multiple currencies
ProfitBooks is a billing software solution that helps you create professional invoices and manage financial accounting. The free version lets you create up to 50 invoices, and one user can access the account.
The accounting solution allows you to manage unlimited customers, suppliers, products, contacts, and sales orders. You can also convert purchase orders to purchases with just one click.
The software’s purchase order management system automates your workflow and accelerates purchase requisitions. You can also connect with accounts payable, cash management, and inventory so that your information is stored in one centralized database and thus, avoid entering information repeatedly.
You can get in touch with ProfitBook’s support via chat. There is a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
- Bank reconciliation
- Billing and invoicing
- Contact database
- Expense tracking
- Inventory tracking
- Manufacturing inventory management
$15 per month
Sunrise: Helps monitor cash flow
Sunrise is a bookkeeping tool that helps businesses manage their expenses. To help you understand the financial aspects of your business, Sunrise offers financial reports including profit, loss, tax summary, customer statements, and accounts receivable.
You can create quotes and estimates to send to customers. These quotes can be approved online and converted to a professional invoice. You can also link your bank accounts and credit cards to the tool. This helps in categorizing your expenses and income. With your financial reports, your accountant can easily do your taxes and provide you with a tax summary.
All the data that you enter in Sunrise is encrypted and backed up to multiple data centers. You can also easily export your data.
Sunrise offers a mobile application for iOS and Android devices. You can get in touch with the support using the AI-powered chat or fill out the contact form.
- Audit trail
- Bank reconciliation
- Expense tracking
- General ledger
- Hourly billing
- Mobile payments
$19.99 per month
Wave Accounting: Automatic sales tax calculation
The bookkeeping and invoicing solution, Wave Accounting, helps you manage your income and expenses. The free software is accessible to unlimited users. You can connect your accounting system to payroll, payments, and invoicing. The accounting solution allows you to share your Wave account privileges with your employees, accountants, and bookkeepers by making them a collaborator.
With Wave Accounting, you can add sales tax to unlimited invoices, bills, income, and expense transactions. The accounting software follows two types for tax calculations: exclusive of tax, wherein the tax is calculated on the base amount, and inclusive of tax which includes tax applied on every single item at the time of online payment.
Wave Accounting offers a chatbot called Mave and email support. There is a mobile application for iOS and Android devices.
- Income and balance sheet
- Payroll management
- Expense tracking
- Online invoicing
- Revenue recognition
- Spend management
Zoho Books: Customize your invoices as per your brand requirements
The online accounting software, Zoho Books, offers a client portal wherein you can access recent transactions, estimate approval processes, check feedback, and allow your clients to make bulk payments. The client portal serves as a centralized source that displays the financial aspects of your business.
Zoho Books also allows you to manage and process sales orders. You can customize sales orders with brand logo, font type, and color to match your brand requirements. The bookkeeping software allows you to convert approved estimates into sales orders which can further be converted into invoices with a single click.
The business accounting software supports multi-lingual invoicing and offers integration with popular Zoho applications such as Zoho CRM, Zoho People, Zoho Analytics, Zoho Projects, and more to expand your software’s functionality.
Zoho Books only offers email support to users with the free version of the software. The Zoho Books accounting app is available on Apple and Google Play Store.
- Electronic payments
- Expense tracking
- Requisition management
- Spend management
- Supplier management
- Invoice management
$15 per organization, per month
Zoho Expense: Enables travel and expense management
The accounting software, Zoho Expense, allows you to upload bulk receipts even in offline mode via the mobile app. You can also add multi-currency expenses to your invoices, and the tool performs automatic exchange rate conversions. You can create customized expenses, reports, and trip requests for employees.
Zoho Expense offers GST tracking and mileage tracking via GPS. The tool enables automated expense reminders so that you stay updated on the expenses made. In the free version, the business accounting software auto-scans up to 20 receipts. The storage limit for receipts is 5GB.
You can connect your personal card with the tool and upload bank statements. The tool also allows you to enter manual reimbursements for any expense made.
iOS, Android, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch app for Zoho Expense is available for all users. You can get in touch with the support via email.
- Approval process control
- Receipt management
- Reimbursement management
- Workflow management
- Spend control
$5 per user, per month
Here are some considerations to keep in mind while selecting the best accounting software:
- Multi-currency transactions: Since business between overseas clients is common even among small businesses, your accounting software should be equipped to handle multi-currency transactions. You should be able to check transactions in your base currency, foreign currency exchange rates, and conversions.
- Data security: It’s important for your accounting software to secure your information because you cannot risk losing the financial data of your clients and customers. To ensure that your accounting software is safe, you need to read the data protection policies, check the server it is hosted on, and the login security it offers.
- Make a note of your financial needs: Your business might have specific financial needs with respect to the banks it supports, integration with other business software, payment gateways, among other things. Therefore, you must make a list of all the features your business requires.
Choosing the best accounting program isn’t easy, but it is important to ask the right questions to make a final decision:
What are the limitations of the free version?
As you make a list of all the features your business requires, it is advisable to check if all the requirements are met in the free software you intend to use. You can also note down your future requirements since your business will grow and the software should be equipped to handle your growing needs.
What type of customer support is available?
Since accounting software is a crucial part of your business, you must check for all the support options available. Priority support might only be available to users subscribed to the paid version of the software. In case of a technical issue, you should be able to receive quick support.
Are there any hidden costs associated with the services?
Your software vendor might charge you for specific integrations, online payment processing fees, and customized features. Therefore, you must check for all the hidden costs related to the accounting features you intend to use.
To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people like you.
In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.
At Capterra, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.
To be considered for this list, products have to:
- Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Capterra within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher. We selected the 6 products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.
- Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software—not a trial version where you have to purchase after a certain amount of time to get the full experience.
- Meet our definition of the accounting software market: “Accounting software helps users manage and automate an organization's financial functions and transactions with modules including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, billing, and general ledger. Integrated applications for accounting programs allow for comprehensive, real-time analysis of an organization's financial status, including cash flow and expense management. Accounting software is also known as bookkeeping software.”
Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of Capterra.
The “best functionality” tool is identified based on the highest user ratings a vendor receives for functionality based on publicly available reviews.
The “most affordable” tool is identified based on the lowest pricing a vendor offered on their website in terms of cost to upgrade on Jan. 24, 2022.
Product research for this article was contributed by Himanshi Arora.