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Top Ten QuickBooks Alternatives for Small Business Accounting

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Update 31 May 2017. We’ve updated this post with some new facts and figures. This top 10 is drawn from Capterra’s Most User-Friendly and Most Affordable Accounting Software rankings.

When we started Capterra in 1999, the very first business software purchase we made was QuickBooks. Spreadsheets were good enough to track our revenue and expenses in the early years (we hardly had any of the former), so the main reason we needed QuickBooks was for invoicing.

According to legend, Mike Ortner walked into Staples and purchased a copy right off the shelf. No research, no comparisons, just following the trend – and what a trend it is. Twenty years after that fateful day and QuickBooks still has something approaching 80% of the accounting software market, making it far and away the most popular choice.

Its popularity doesn’t mean it’s always the right solution, though. Competitors like Xero and Wave are changing the way accounting software is designed and valued. FreshBooks and Billy are making software specifically for small businesses. Even QuickBooks has changed, taking more users into the cloud than ever before.

Before the alternatives, a QuickBooks overview

QuickBooks now has offerings for most businesses sizes. Between its online version and its desktop offerings, you can manage just about any business. Recently, it’s made a strong push for more integrations to extend its feature set, and the app store now features over 450 apps.

Despite some backlash for being the popular option, QuickBooks is still highly rated, with 4.5/5 stars on Capterra from over 2,200 reviews. If it were on this list, it would rank a respectable 8th.

People look for alternatives because they need more focused software or a different feature set or just because they’ve had a bad QuickBooks experience in the past. There is no one-size-fits-all accounting software.

To help you make the right choice for your small business, we’ve pulled together ten QuickBooks alternatives. This list is pulled from a combination of our Most User-Friendly and Most Affordable Accounting Software rankings. I gave out points for placement (20 for 1st, 19 for 2nd, 18 for 3rd,  etc.), combined the lists, and then ranked the results.

The options are presented here in their ranked order. QuickBooks came in 11th, by the way.

1. Zoho Books

Zoho Books is Zoho’s accounting offering. The company also makes popular CRM, service desk, and email software. Books uses automation tools to give small businesses as much time back as possible.

Zoho Books has a great dashboard, which acts as a sort of command center for your business finances. It includes all sorts of reports that give you a view into your cash flow, receivables, and payables.

If you’re already using another Zoho product or you like the idea of getting deep into your financials, this is a great option. If you’re looking for something with only a few buttons to press, you might check some of the other options.


Some of the standout features include a client portal, which allows your clients to log in and view recent or pending payments; customer management tools built right into the system; and inventory tracking that ties right into purchase orders, keeping your whole business running smoothly.

You also get classics like automatic bank reconciliations, reporting tools, and recurring billing.

Selected User Reviews

“Very good feature set, ease of use, and excellent support.”

“[Customer] service is really really fast, you have a problem or a questions they will get to you within minutes.”

“I love that our bank account(s) are linked with Zoho and sync automatically to ensure our books are almost always up to date.”

“Inventory support for Books is a bit primitive.”


Prices start at $9 per month, with access for two users and most of the basics. At the top end, you’ll pay $29 per month and be able to use the system’s inventory and purchase order management tools.

2. Billy

Billy accounting is a solution specifically for small businesses and, like FreshBooks, is focused on getting you paid. Invoices, which are the way you get paid, take center stage in Billy. Getting paid is a small business’s biggest hurdle, and any tool that helps you bring is cash is a welcome addition.

While invoices are the real focus, Billy also walks you through the entire quote-to-cash process. If you were attracted to QuickBooks for its wide range of integrations, Billy might not be your first choice, but if you want something that works right out of the box, it’s an excellent option.


We’ve touched on invoices, which you need to get that sweet cash, but Billy also has tools for issuing recurring invoices, accepting credit cards, tracking your finances through reports, and easily processing discounts. The recurring billing and discounts are great tools for smaller businesses.

Of course, the reconciliation and tax time prep are here. You can even invite your accountant to come in and view your books when the time comes.

Selected User Reviews

“I love that I am able to add images to the invoices.”

“The ability to invoice customers and give them options on paying their invoices [has] made this process easy. We do not need to sign up with a merchant account service.”

“I have to say the customer service is exceptional and they helped make the transition from [QuickBooks] to Billy seamless.”

“Customer management has incredibly limited options.”


The Basic plan runs $11 per month and includes the basics. For $15 you get recurring invoices and quotes. At the top end, you’ll pay $19 per month and you can accept credit cards for payment.

3. Xero

Xero is one of the more popular cloud-based accounting options. Based out of New Zealand, Xero has been making inroads in the US for the last few years and now has 92,000 Stateside subscribers.

Xero’s capabilities mirror QuickBooks in many places, making it a solid QuickBooks Online alternative. If you’re looking for simplicity and handholding, Xero might be a little intimidating, but if you want to get stuck into the numbers, it’s a great choice.


No matter what price plan you opt for, Xero comes with reporting tools, invoicing, bank reconciliation, quotes, and mobile apps. Xero has also focused on building a strong app community to extend its basic functions, giving you access to all sorts of third-party add-ons.

You can also manage payroll for your employees in over 35 states, at the higher pricing tiers.

Selected User Reviews

“This software is the real deal that has whole package. [Truly] feel in control of your business with easy to use features from invoicing, reconciling, payroll, leave management, time sheets.”

“The accounting processes are so simple and easy to follow, it has saved me a huge amount of time.”

“It seriously cover [360 degrees] of accounting there is nothing that they did not cover.”

“As it does a lot, there is a lot that you need to know before you are using it properly.”


Xero starts at $9 per month, giving you five invoices per month, five bills, and just 20 automatically reconciled bank transactions. Fine for a small, small business, but a little limiting for anyone else. For $30, you get all the caps on invoices, bills, and reconciliation removed, and you’ll get five employees on payroll.

For $70+ per month, you can run payroll for 10 employees. At that level, you’ll also have access to multi-currency functionality.

4. Wave

Wave is a free, cloud-based accounting solution for small businesses. The company actually offers a few separate pieces of financial software, including receipt management, invoicing, and payroll. Payroll is the only one with a fee.

Wave’s accounting app has all of the basic functionality a small business needs, with a few of the more useful bells and whistles. If you need something that can be extended to cover inventory or other more power-user rolls, Wave might not be the perfect fit. For everyone else, it’s a great option.


Wave offers invoicing, receipt tracking, expense management, and reconciliation all for free. As with many of these options, there’s a big focus on getting your business paid, so you can easily find out who owes you what on Wave’s dashboard.

If you want to accept payments through Wave or add on payroll, that’s a simple process and th only time you’ll spend anything with the company.

Selected User Reviews

“This tool is incredibly simple but effective.”

“The most highly rated part of Wave for me is the ability to set up and manage recurring billing.”

“Wave is fairly user friendly and it’s features work for many basic small businesses.”

“Couldn’t connect to my Business bank account because it’s a smaller branch of bank.”


Wave is free. If you decide to add payroll to your business, it’s a flat fee of $15 per month plus $4 per user, per month.

5. SlickPie

SlickPie is another free option for small businesses. While you can pay for access to more automated receipt entry, all of the software’s other features are available for free. There are a lot of features, by the way.

If you’re looking for a system that can manage a small business and you want it free, this is a great option. There aren’t many integrations and payroll is missing from the feature line-up, so if those are important to you, keep looking.


Apart from payroll and integrations, SlickPie has most of the features you’ll need. Inventory support, invoicing, reporting – though some users would like a more robust set of tools here – sales tax, recurring invoices, and payment processing (fees apply).

The only feature you really pay for is SlickPie’s MagicBot, which is an automated receipt entry system. Even then, the free version comes with 100 receipts per month. If you’re not fussed by the lack of payroll, it’s unlikely you employ enough folks to care about a limit on the receipt entry feature.

Selected User Reviews

“The best thing about this app is the attaching source documents feature. It makes my company saves a lot of papers and it is very helpful for my customer to see their payment.”

“It is just nuts the amount of features offered for a free app. At least in my case there are more features than I even need.”

“The tutorial video is very helpful at the beginning to help me start up my business system.”

“It needs more charts.”


$0 gets you all the features and 100 MagicBot receipts each month. $10 per month gets you unlimited receipts.


ONE UP is focused. It’s a streamlined accounting system that invoices and reconciles. There’s some additional focus on small retailers, with tools for inventory management, sales tax calculations, and a CRM, but that’s it.

If your business is straightforward, your books as basic, and you just hate the monotony of accounting and reconciliation, ONE UP is a nice choice. If you were considering QuickBooks for any of its more advanced features, this might be too narrowly focused for you.


Bank reconciliation, profit and loss reporting, inventory management, and sales tax calculations. That’s basically the program. The real trick is ONE UP’s algorithm that learns from your bank entry categorizations.

After you do it a few times, it figures things out and just automagically categorizes entries.

Selected User Reviews

NB: At the time of writing, ONE UP has only one review and it has no details.


ONE UP starts at $9 per month for one user and no support. At $19 per month, you get two users and support. The price then goes up from there until you hit $169 per month for unlimited users.

7. FreeAgent

FreeAgent bills itself as being for freelancers and small businesses. To make that claim a reality, the software is centered on the generation of cash. It focuses on invoicing, time tracking, and project reporting so you can figure out which clients are making and costing you money.

FreeAgent is an excellent option for those small businesses that run on a time-and-materials billing system. If you were looking at QuickBooks for its integrations or its incredibly broad reporting package, FreeAgent might feel too thin.


FreeAgent comes with invoicing tools to help you track the money you’re owed. Sent invoices automatically roll up into an invoice timeline, which allows you to see how much is currently out to be collected.

The software also offers project reporting tools so you can track profitability by project. Time tracking makes it easy to record and bill for the time you put into a project. All of these features can then be reviewed in FreeAgent’s dashboards.

Selected User Reviews

“[FreeAgent] has transformed our business from cumbersome spreadsheet accounts and Word invoices to a really convenient and efficient system.”

“Live bank feeds, easy to use, perfect for invoicing, accounting for small businesses, keeping the accountant and bank manager happy with the efficiency!”

“All and all the software works well, it just needs some enhancements… to make it easier to use.”


FreeAgent has one plan and one plan only – $24 per month. That gets you everything FreeAgent has to offer.

8. Officewise

Officewise offers an accounting solution for small businesses as part of its suite of small business products. The system brings together features found in larger systems with a clean look and feel found in some of the newer, smaller offerings.

If you’re managing a business that includes inventory management, shipping, or purchasing, Officewise is a nice way to get those features. If you’re a freelancer or you’re looking for something project-based, this might not fit the bill. Ha.


As mentioned, Officewise has inventory management capabilities as part of its basic package. That can be a huge deal for businesses that rely on having the right items in stock. While the tools are going to be as robust as a standalone inventory management system, you can get a lot of what you’ll need.

Every pricing tier gets invoicing, quoting, and expense management, and all the paid versions have access to reporting tools. At the higher-priced tiers, Officewise also offers some budgeting and forecasting tools normally seen in bigger systems.

Selected User Reviews

“The simplicity and pleasant GUI make doing my job easy.”

“It’s easy to use, I get email notifications when I have an invoice to approve, I can clearly see what the invoice is for.”

“The approval hierarchy is great.”

“The reporting could be easier to filter or add vendors, etc. I can’t really create a report that works for my needs and often find myself looking through everything one by one.”


Officewise has a pricing structure that adds features and users as you go up the chain, so check the website to make sure you know exactly what your needs are going to cost. That said, the price starts at $0 for a limited feature option and runs up to $40 per month for five users, all the bells and whistles, and custom user roles.

9. Manager

Manager is like Ragu Old World Style – robust. This is one of the first software options I’d point to for a medium business perusing the list. Manager offers a lot of control, allowing you to download a single-user version (free, by the way), run an instance hosted in the cloud, or install one on your local servers.

If you’re worried QuickBooks might not be customizable enough or big enough for your growing business, you might have luck with Manager.


Unlike Ragu, Manager has a massively long list of ingredients. Accounts receivable and payable management, inventory, sales tax, payable and receivable aging, reporting, recurring billing, accrual or cash accounting – an option you almost never see anymore – payroll management, quotes, and the list goes on.

Every version gets the same set of features, too. So if you just need one login and want a local installation, that’s all free.

Selected User Reviews

“I have been using it for the last three years. No problems at all, [what’s] beautiful is that you [don’t] need internet.”

“Easy to use and intuitive. Much simpler than others I’ve tried.”

“I tried to back up my data then the program shut down on me. Otherwise very easy to use.”


There are three options for Manager. You can get a locally installed copy with one user for free, which is also $0 or nothing. You can use a cloud installation for $29 per month and get unlimited users and businesses. Finally, you can host your own installation on a local server for a one time $299 payment, also with unlimited everything – upgrades free for a year.

10. Kashoo

Kashoo is a cloud-based accounting solution along the lines of QuickBooks Online or Xero. If you’re familiar with any sort of online accounting, Kashoo will be a familiar face and should cover all of your needs.

Kashoo has integrations to help you extend its features, but there are fewer than you’ll find with QBO or Xero. That’s not a horrible thing, as the integrations it does offer are well-chosen, but it might be an issue for your business. If it’s not, I love the straightforward pricing and excellent UI Kashoo offers.


Kashoo comes with everything most small businesses will need, including invoicing, reporting, expense management, and payment acceptance (transactional fees apply). It also sports some well-regarded mobile apps and the usual bank reconciliation features.

One of Kashoo’s defining features is its support system. You call and talk to a real person, which reviewers love. [Segue]

Selected User Reviews

“I love Kashoo, because the support is great and they understand Canadian needs.”

“The charm of this web app is that it is simple, easy and yet versatile enough that you can make complex transactions clean while still keeping people accountable.”

“Very simple and does almost everything the giant products on the market do.”

“ I like everything about it, but encourage further development of the mobile capture services.”


Kashoo is one price fits all – $20 per month.

Parting words of wisdom

I’ll finish off with an extended quote from the original version of this article from Capterra’s founder, Mike Ortner.

“That’s ten solid alternatives to QuickBooks, and there really are many more, particularly if you’re in an industry such as construction or nonprofit that has unique accounting needs. All ten have a reputation for being user friendly, relatively inexpensive and geared toward small business.

Some of these only cater to very small businesses with one or a few employees, while others will grow with you as you hire dozens or even hundreds of employees. In most circumstances, you won’t need to consider a more robust accounting solution such as NetSuite or Intacct until you reach a much larger size. And then Oracle Financials and SAP are ready and waiting for when you’ve taken over the world!  

In the meantime, enjoy having relatively easy financials to deal with…as well as many great accounting software alternatives.”

If you have any favorites not listed here, drop a line in the comments to let the world know.

Looking for Accounting software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Accounting software solutions.

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About the Author

Andrew Marder

Andrew Marder is a writer for Capterra. His background is in retail management, banking, and financial writing. When he’s not working, Andrew enjoys spending time with his son and playing board games of all stripes.


Thanks for the nod, Michael! For what it’s worth, we’re gung-ho about mobile: anytime, anywhere accounting… especially via the iPad. Give a shout if you ever want to give the Kashoo iPad app a spin.

thanks for mentioning Xero Michael … anywhere, any device and proudly Kiwi made

Great list. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for sharing your post! Its really a nice and knowledgeable blog. I’m sure the content of your blog is so helpful to those of the business people.


Mmm nice piece of Intuit marketing.

Quickbooks is bloated software & has so many errors that it is difficult to list them all here. The only reason that Intuit dominates the market is that it seems to put all real competitors out of business. In my opinion & lots of people agree it is also very poor buggy software.

Would love to see a comparison table for major features like inventory tracking, payroll, sales tax. Small businesses generally fall into several categories: service, manufacturing, wholesale and retail. At least three of these need inventory tracking and POs, even if it’s a single person business. In other words, I think it would help this article to include a comparison on major features most small businesses needs. (Last time I checked, very few QB alternatives had inventory tracking.)

These are all on line providers, not actual accounting software. Not really an alternative to QuickBooks. Switching between accounting systems is a big deal to a growing company. That is something these online people can really take advantage of. QuickBooks was a good deal in the beginning too. Now it is a scam of forced obsolescence, forced upgrades at increasing prices, features like payroll are now separate, additional costs that exceed what the entire program used to cost. They make the lower versions limited now to only handle ridiculously small files to force you into premier versions at 400% of the cost. They really need a competitor, just not sure one scan is better than another, just because they are newer to the game.

[…] what is out there to use.  Here are a few great resources, of other quickbooks alternatives (Capterra – Top 10 QuickBooks alternatives for small business  | Exact […]

Thanks for this recap. Do any of those programs have the ability to carry inventory? That wasn’t a feature mentioned in the recap and that’s the only reason my company is tied to quick books. Thanks!

Shoshanna – Sage 50 has fairly advanced inventory functionality and Xero has basic inventory functionality. As far as I know, all of the others do not but they make it pretty easy to integrate with great inventory products such as Tradegecko.

I agree. Thanks for sharing those list. It’s really informative and it can really help lots of business owners to know some quickbook alternatives for small business accounting.

What would be useful heer is to know what could hosting firms allow one to import from QB? I have encountered numerous that do not import! Part of the issue is that we all need historical data, and just doing another financial package “going forward” is a non-starter…

Most (if not all) of these products allow you to import from QuickBooks. Each one differs so be sure to check out the vendor websites for more details.

[…] further. If you would like information on some other good low-cost accounting solutions out there, this article will […]

That’s really nice, like the alternate sites will gonna use it definitely.

Nice article Michael! Thanks for mention sage5o here.

Informative post, i think xero and sage are the best accounting software. Thanks for sharing such an great list of quickbooks alternatives…

Michael, your readers should also be aware that Quickbooks will not let switch between an existing subscription and a cheaper 1-year subscription you may have purchased at a Best Buy. I’m on the phone as I type this and they make it impossible to do, Quickbooks Online (in Canada) has no facility for exporting your transactions.

I’ve been told I would need to manually re-enter all transactions to switch over. As I’m trying to switch from a monthly sub of Quickbooks Essentials ($21/month) to a 1-year Quickbooks Essentials ($50 on sale), I suggested that since they’ve made it near impossible to switch, then simply reduce the fee I pay monthly to match the Best Buy offer … not possible is what I’m told.

Before my company grows any more and we end up even further down this dead-end road, I’m using my extensive time on hold to locate a competing product! Thanks for highlighting the options for me.

I cannot urge folks enough not to even start down the road with Intuit on ANY product. Online is most definitely the future of accounting software but do not be suckered into QB Online. Intuit has run unchallenged for the most part for so long that they have gotten very accustomed to bait and switch tactics and a very deep rooted and HORRENDOUS customer service reputation that has been going on for years and years. A absolutely terrible company to start a relationship with especially one that is such a pain to change once you figure out it isn’t what you want to be doing with your accounting.

I also tried e-conomic and I can highly recommend it.

[…] of QuickBooks or a software package like FreshBooks or Xero or LessAccounting or Outright or others  is not altogether appealing either. I would rather spend the extra cash on something else – […]

One of the most perplexing challenges we face as a service based small business, is the single most tied to value that keeps us with Freshbooks. Somehow, the other software companies didn’t get the memo! It’s about collaboration with your clients!

Freshbooks allows us to have clients actually log into the software and see their invoices, estimates, tickets and history with us. right in the software! NOT through email or snail mail with cheesy links that easily get broken, but right there online. Our clients get things like creating their own ticket, closing them, re-ordering from an old invoice, adding notes to the estimates, etc.

Why these other software companies have not created this has absolutely left me dumbfounded with confusion as to where they think online software is heading?? And more importantly, shouldn’t the super quick rise to fame in Freshbooks make other software companies say… Hmmmm, we might want to incorporate some of these values!!

Now the dirt! What Freshbooks lacks, and what we’ve been complaining about for ages with them is things like inventory management, distributors, suppliers, etc. Freshbooks has a VERY weak inventory management system and very limited financial system.

This is what keeps Freshbooks from totally wiping out Quickbooks all together in the small business market. If Freshbooks doesn’t close the gap soon, another company will capture the values which makes Freshbooks unique and close that niche which Freshbooks has enjoyed up until now.

Thank you for sharing all this wonderfully useful information! I do have a question for you… I need a free or inexpensive program for tracking inventory (around 150 items).
I only need to track my inventory, nothing more. Do you have any suggestions? I appreciate your help!

I work for a kitchen and bath showroom and we use Quickbooks Enterprise. I wish I could say that it is a great program for us, but I cannot. We have so many problems with the software. We are looking for other alternatives with the same features. Thank you for some help towards that direction.

Indeed sounds promising. There’s another accounting tool for small business, isn’t free but having lots of functionality. that is

Thanks for sharing the alternative list. I have used Sage 50 and FreshBooks.

[…] Capterra rates Sage 50 No. 1 as a popular alternative to Quickbooks. Sage has a range of accounting products including Sage 50 Pro, Sage 50 Premium and Sage 5 Quantum. Sage offers tutorials that navigates you through the program and demonstrates what you can do in Sage 50 and how you can get it done. Sage products, formally known as Peachtree Accounting, this company offers a community forum, a Sage adviser and a resource center to assist the bookkeeper or accountant with their software needs and questions. This is a Windows compatible product and integrates with Microsoft products, Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader. […]

Another alternative to all these software mentioned above is Invoiceberry. Amazing online invoicing software for simplified accounting. Small businesses can use forever free account to send invoicing, track expenses, create various reports & way much more.

Try it yourself:

Quickbooks Enterprise, they’re, um, uncertain

From my Facebook messaging

4 Hours ago
Me: We just purchased Quickbooks Enterprise 2015. Moved up from Premiere 2013. We told the salesperson that we needed a Sales Rep report *with* cost. We were told, “Oh, that’s no problem. You just need Advanced Reports.” Sadly, the first troubleshooter on Friday said, “Well, we do not support Advanced Reports.” The second could not find a way (at least this one logged in to our system). He went so far as to say that Advanced Reports is so new, he had not yet been trained and that there is not even an Advanced Reports team yet. Now I will probably have to write something in Access. Even Magic Johnson could not have scored without support

Hi Duiane,
We replied to your post and I will respond here with the answer in a few for us.


2 hours ago
Hi Duaine,
I just wanted to let you know I am still working on that report setup. I just wanted to let you know we are working on it and didn’t forgot about you.

Me: Much appreciated

16 minutes ago
OK Duaine,
I have tracked this question as high as it goes.
The answer that we were provided is that the advanced reporting function is an add-on service that allows you more detailed reporting however if you are unsure of how to setup a specific report that you should contact a local ProAdvisor to help customize that report to your needs.
We can help guide you to pre-populated reports but that to customize a report to get more definitive results that you are looking for we currently do not have support for that other than to refer you again a local ProAdvisor.
Just in case I have provided a link to the ProAdvisor search.
Hopefully this gets us on the right track to getting that report that you wanted to run.

Just a moment ago
Mark, It took four hours for you to tell me what I already knew. I really do appreciate the effort. So, I have access to Advanced reporting, but no instructions. That, Sir, is just plain wrong. I pay thousands of dollars for a package that does not do exactly what your sales staff claimed that it would do. So, perhaps, I can pay some individual outside of QuickBooks staff *more* money, and perhaps they can get it to work, inside of your product, as I had initially requested. Not an Excel export either. Wow, really? SMH. Again, and sincerely, thank you for your efforts. Really?

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Thank you. This has helped me a lot in my research Michael.

Nice share. This is very helpful tips for small business owner.

Thanks for the article Michael.

I’ve recently moved from QuickBooks onto FreshBooks and am loving it so far.

But the few other ones that you reviewed look pretty good too. Will need to have a deeper look.

I have a small business in Texas and have been using QuickBooks, but I recently discovered that QuickBooks Online in Australia is just $4 a month which is significantly cheaper that what I have been paying for past 3 years. Why is there so much of cost difference between the product which is online.

Does anyone have experience with time tracking and billing software that is $10/month or less?

Just signed up for Wave and it’s really easy to use. This is going to help me so much when it comes time to pay uncle sam next year.

Has anyone checked out accountsight?

ttp:// is not free. I tried it. It looks nice and simple but they say you can only invoice one person!!! what kind of business wold this be?
Thank you. Any other 100% free please

Wave is the best

I’m a freelancer and I can’t speak highly enough about SideShark. I haven’t seen anything else like it. It is designed specifically for solo businesses, does everything from accounting to contact management, is super simple to use, and is an app rather than a cloud service (no recurring fees). I run it on my MacBook, but they have a Windows version as well.

I’ve actually done a full review of QuickBooks myself:

What “Noah” failed to disclose is that the entire purpose of his review is to lead you to click on an affiliate link that sends you to Freshbooks.

You can defeat this by deleting the cookie for from your browser.

I need a small business online software that offers PO capability. Any suggestions?

Small business is really good and not expensive so it is very good post about that. Thanks for sharing.

It has been over a year since you shared your information about alternatives to QuickBooks and I am so happy to have found it. I was part of a automotive reconditioning franchise that incorporated QuickBooks. At about the same month your article appeared, the franchise folded and three other operators and myself took over the reins. We have felt hamstrung to continue with the software, but I have been so fed up with their inadequate customer service, overpriced product and inability to correct even the smallest problems. As an owner/operator, I need something that caters to my unique business. Most operators in our group are the same size, or have one or two employees.The biggest roadblock, that you addressed in a follow-up message, was the ability of other packages to import QuickBooks data. I have 7 1/2 years of history that I can’t afford to lose…. I’ll be researching those alternatives today.
Thanks for the information.

We are an accounting firm with many thousands of clients accross Canada. Presently looking for a web based solution that we can run on our cloud server to replace Quickbooks/Sage/Accountedge. Options include liciencing, puchasing, and co-developing. We have looked at Freshbooks & Wave and found both not suitable.

When choosing the best solution for accounting and collaboration, your clients must choose the solution that works best for their own specific set of conditions including;

1. Necessary functions
2. Cost
3. Local internet speed
4. PC capabilities
5. File size
6. Security concerns
7. Personal preference
8. Number of shared users
9. Need for simultaneous access

Once this evaluation takes place, an accountant/bookkeeper can then help the client determine what resource best suits their needs.

In some cases, that solution may be a hosted product like QBO or alike. In other cases, they may want to keep the desktop look and feel but require a hosted solution to achieve their objectives. If they prefer to work entirely in their local environment but experience the best attributes of the cloud, they can look at sharing solutions like Qbox.

The bottom line is, “One size does not fit all” and we can all best meet the needs of our clients/prospects when we are willing to consider their situation first and then apply the most appropriate solution. This simple business philosophy will lead to an increase in new clients and a greater retention of the clients you already have.

Wishing you success in your business.

It’s a very informative and helpful blog. Thanks for sharing.

I used some of the software But no one will provide in depth review.

Just tried WAVE. It looks great but NO 1099’s. We are a service based business and that’s all we have are subcontractors. I will keep going down the list. Thank you for all this great info., its making my search much easier. Thank you

[…] before it’s deposited.Get printed bank statements with originals or copies of checks.Use accounting software like Quick Books which is user friendly and every tax accountant knows the best way to put it to use to prepare your […]

Your analysis does not cover the most important consideration these days – Privacy!

I have been a Quicken/Quickbooks user since 1987 and recently came to understand that Intuit no longer offers Quicken users any means of phone support. They say that they offer “chat” support but their chat channel is down with no announcement as to when it might be back online. My issue is not covered in their Knowledge Base so I am – essentially – stuck. I use Quicken for my personal bookkeeping and Quickbooks for my business. I believe that Intuit has become an onerous oligarch who believes that their market share entitles them to reduce services by deleting technical support for the products they sell.

Because of the forgoing, I have decided to move away from Intuit products as a personal reaction to their arrogance. Indeed, the world needs alternatives to oligarchs. My search has revealed that there are a new crop of competitors out there such as “Freshbooks” but their “model” is based upon cloud computing. Google has taught us that, when one transmits personal information to the web, that information becomes “public domain”. Although Freshbooks’ privacy policy does not specifically say that they will share your private accounting data with 3rd parties, these policies are periodically updated and the terms change against the customer in favor of the vendor as that vendor assumes marketshare and customer dependance upon its services. So, if it does not already, I assume that the “business model” of Freshbooks is to get users dependent upon their services and that they will eventually make their money – as Google does – by selling your private financial information to whomever wants to pay for it. I spoke with someone in their customer service department at Freshbooks, (while a dog was barking in the background), and came to understand that Freshbooks does not offer any non-cloud solutions. This would support my assumption that their business model is predicated upon access to private financial data. So, if you use Freshbooks, it is conceivable that they would be in the business of selling your client list to your competitors. Now that sounds profitable!

Accordingly, your review of competitors to Intuit products should be evaluated in light of customer support and privacy.

I use Clarity 365 for my time tracking and billing and its under $10 a month. I contacted them because I couldn’t see their USD prices and they were really helpful. It comes with a free app which you can use to record time when your out of the office.

I am an attorney in Austin, Texas. I do not need inventory tracking. And, I use a separate program for invoicing (Timeslips). I do need check register, payroll services (including automatically applying tax tables), and integration with my CPA’s tax software (Intuit). The part that kills me with Quickbooks is the payroll service, which is a very expensive yearly subscription (I have only 2 employees). Is there a less expensive option than Quickbooks for payroll, “accounting” (check register) & record keeping for taxes?

Lots of payroll software options – – out there. Payroll Mate is one of the cheapest I have seen at $100/year –

very informative do check out

I am in the Home Health business. I am a private contractor to a larger company. I was wondering if any of these programs have the option of tax program integration like QB with Turbo tax. I don’t do inventory, I just care for one patient and need to keep track of my job expenses, miles, and taxes paid. Which one is recommended for myself?
Gena C.

Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic information. Much thanks again. Fantastic

I’ve tried a few of the programs listed here. Although they have their strengths, as a one-person show, I found them to be overkill for my accounting needs. I also wanted ad-free software without monthly fees (I have more than enough recurring bills already).

I found my holy grail in an app called SideShark ( It does everything I need (invoices, quotes, expense tracking, contact management), runs on my Mac (they have a Windows version too), and I knew what I was doing the first day. Can’t beat the price either: it ranges from free to dirt cheap.

Just my two cents and a plug for a well-deserved software.

Be it a small business or a multinational corpus, invoice generation is one of the most essential business requirement for every business. In order to break the ice and to keep things going without delay, CloudBooks Billing Invoicing Software can be used which leaves no stone unturned when it comes to on-time bill generation, helping the business to focus on main areas of interest.

Thank you so much for your article. I appreciate your time and effort to share this information. As a small, multiple-business owner, I wanted to know what other options are out there. Your post has helped me!

Great post, Thanks for useful information.

Hi, I am using CloudBooks Small Business Billing Software for my business and 2 other businesses I am helping with. It’s a fantastic product that I use on my laptop, a tablet and phone. I do my invoicing and expenses (sometimes from my office, sometimes on the go) and would highly recommend it to any small business. You cannot ask for better than that! Not sure why it’s not on that list.

Nice one Michael. Would be cool to see how captera or sales programs integrate with the accounting software using zapier say.

[…] for years and years. But there are a lot of alternatives these days. Here’s an article on the Top Ten QuickBooks Alternatives. I won’t rehash all of these, but can say that I’ve heard others talk […]

Are there any accounting packages that will help with subscription revenue and deferred revenue. Using QBs right now is getting more and more difficult managing Revenue through excel and then updating QBs using journal entries.

Does any of Quickbooks products with inventory provide for at least 50 different inventory sites? Does Enterprise?

Great list. I’d add ZipBooks ( It has all the great features but it is completely free. It works as a great alternative for me.

A number of accounting solutions exist in the market that cater to small business needs. You have covered almost all the accounting tools that are currently used by SMBs. Have you considered Microsoft Dynamics GP? That’s also a great product by Microsoft that integrates beautifully with Dynamics CRM. Businesses are not only able to track their finances but are also able to strengthen relationships with their customers.

I am a very small service provider. I DON”T/WON”T use intuit products. Run my shop on spreadsheets. (yes, that small).

Several times a year I will hear from clients I do computer support work for that they really want to get away from Intuit products but feel trapped. All I can do is tell them they are in good company and we all hope SOMEONE comes up with a real competitor to Intuit soon.

First one to do it wins…big!

I started with a couple of employees and now have 10 and the monthly fee for payroll is adding up quickly. Do you have any recommendations for a program that has a set price to buy. I use quickbooks because my accountant gave me a copy for free at the end of last year.
Your system will not let me enter my web site it wants me to add .com and I don’t have that.

Michael, great list thank you for showing the alternatives. I know FreshBooks and it’s a really cool app. On my current project we work with Its key features are invoicing and time tracking. It’s just takes you a few minutes to create a professional invoice and an estimate. If you’re using the Apple/Android app you can easily add receipts to your projects just by taking a picture of them. If your working with a team you can invite them and manage the tasks and roles very easy. MoneyPenny makes my work as a freelancer more joyful. I hope it makes it into your list sometime in the future.

Definitely need to add to the list. 🙂

What no one here has noticed is that when you move from a local app to a cloud hosted accounts system it is akin to walking into an unlocked prison cell, asking the jailer for the key, locking yourself up and throwing away the keys.

All the providers are wanting to switch you and me into cash cows to be milked. Migrating your data set is all but impossible

When your provider changes the subscription rates , tough. If they get bought-out and the new owner wants to do XYZ, tough. If they go out of business, tough. I saw that one accountancy firm wanted to become a provider – a good model for them as it makes it almost impossible for their customers to leave.

Security is a far bigger issue for an online system than it is for a locally hosted application. They are a bigger target for those so inclined, and if they go offline your helpless until they fix there problem.

With an app, at least your accounting system is safe until such time as your hardware is unsupported – so from buying an app based system you’ve probably got 5 or 6 years.

I’m looking for accounting software that is NOT online. I don’t want to pay a monthly fee and I don’t want it online. I want it on my computer only. I’ve been using QB since it’s release, but I’m changing from Windows to Mac, so I need to replace it. I don’t need all the bells and whistles. Just want a nice, easy accounting software solution. Any suggestions? Thanks.

You can hire an accountant with her own software for $10 day. Why get software at all?
The major issues with Quackbooks is the spiraling cost and required updating of versions. Quackbooks 2002 was one of the better releases. Many of the subsequent versions offered nothing of substance to small businesses except profit to Intuit. Now Intuit wants all users to be subscribers to their server embedded version. You pay and pay and retain nothing of substance. When you miss a monthly payment, you have nothing. I have ten old versions on several machines. And the install disks. It will be a cold day in Hell, Michigan before I’ll subscribe to a program that is generally unlikable with support that is almost impossible to contact.
One thing the subscription does fr me is that it eliminates the forced updating to versions. I simply won’t buy QuackBooks again. Excuse me. Me and my eight corporations won’t buy QuackBooks again. I’ll transfer info by paper before I’ll buy an imaginary subscription to their server.

I’ve been software hunting for about 6 months now and I’m having a hard time finding decent, full featured software that is NOT cloud based. I own a mobile golf cart repair business and online accounting/invoicing is an absolute negative! Not only is my on-site repair service seasonal (May-Sept), I’ve entered areas where I have no service and no internet connection whatsoever and not being able to access my company file has turned me off to cloud accounting, period. I would much rather own the software with a one time payment that is locally installed and I can run it no matter what than spend money every month. No thank you to cloud accounting. I’ve see so many people pushing for cloud accounting and I don’t five ANY of those companies any consideration. They will not get my money. If you can offer me a solution that is Windows and/or multiplatform-based, locally installed, allows LOCAL network access, invoicing, inventory control, UNLIMTED users, UNLIMITED products, UNLIMITED customers, UNLIMITED invoices and other tracking and accounting needs with an easy to use yet feature-rich environment, I will happily pay for it (within reason of course). Until then, no cloud-based accounting software will ever be run in my company.

Check out this comparison!

I want a basic accounting program. No invoicing, payroll, inventory. But I’ve been using QB pro 2004 and I want to upgrade (which seems to be very difficult with no easy solution from QB) or go to a completely new package. Is there any way of loading my QB data onto another program.

What about backups? As far as I can tell, none of the online bookkeeping software has a backup function. If you or an employee make a mess of your file, you can’t recover an earlier version. That seems like it would be a deal breaker for most businesses.

I’d really appreciate any advice. I’m after a simple, basic, home accounting package for Australia. Preferably I’d like to buy it, so I’m not paying monthly or annual fees. I’d like to have the account entries in front of me as I enter them like you do in Reckon – none of this one at a time single entry stuff. I want to see the whole thing as I enter each one. Then all I need is the ability to do monthly account entries for around 6 bank accounts, a few credit cards and the ability to reconcile. If there is the ability to do a few reports, then that would be a bonus. It would need to be usable on a Mac 0X10. Do you have any ideas of what you would recommend?

I’d say the best alternative to QBO is Xero since it offers similar complexity, and the best free and simpler alternative is SlickPie. I liked the list despite that.

We have Quickbooks Online and I am not a fan. It doesn’t resemble any accounting software I have ever used and I find it ironic that is calls itself just that. It is so quirky in that it allows you to DELETE transactions. DELETING ANYTHING is the biggest NO-NO in accounting, so it amazes me that Quickbooks hasn’t caught on yet that their package is the portal to accounting fraud. I’m looking for something similar to what Great Plains was but for a small business with fewer than 5 users. Any suggestions? Preferably a REAL accounting package that doesn’t allow DELETING!!

Slickpie is the best alternate for Quickbooks. Slickpie has all the advanced invoicing features, like late fee, invoice scheduling, recurring invoices, auto billing, template customization, and currency option, multiple payment gateways and many more.

Great list of alternatives Michael.
I believe that for startup and small Businesses with non-sufficient financial resources for notching up and managing the hardware and software quickbooks hosting works the best. There are others listed in the “QuickBooks Hosting: Who Needs It?” section of this link: quickbooks-hosting check it out..i will recommend anyone falling under this category to go for quickbooks.

Improvement for my previous comment (Providing reference)
There are others listed in the “QuickBooks Hosting: Who Needs It?” section of this link: quickbooks-hosting check it out..i will recommend anyone falling under this category to go for quickbooks.

[…] old standby, but it can be confusing for those without an accounting background. There are lots of alternatives, ranging from free to expensive, and all with different strengths. No matter which you choose, make […]

My experience, SlickPie is the best accounting option for small business. Because it covers all the features which I need in my business. It is completely free accounting software. It is extremely easy to use and helps us keep track of income and expenses in a clear and intuitive.

Great post Michael. Here are some other good alternative worth mentioning;

Thank you for this! Quickbooks has been nothing but frustrating to me. Is there something you recommend for 2 businesses that need expense tracking ONLY? Thank you!

I had a terrible experience with Quickbooks online and would never recommend them again to any of my clients. They have issues identifying who they are talking too and let someone unauthorized have access to an online account I set up. They then locked me out of the account that I set up. When the fraudulent charges were then put on the account , they could not locate unauthorized person that pretended to be me and sent me a bill from collections.

It makes sense a great post for Quickbooks alternative tips for small business.I have been following all for my business according to the post info.

As with many of you I only start really gripping about QuickBooks when they do something to wreck my day for no reason.

I’ll start by saying that I have been running my business on QuickBooks for many years from the very early days of trying to run a business using Quicken.

I share the horror stories that many of you have with Falling prey to the QuickBooks online product. My CPA went Bananas and begged me to switch back to QuickBooks Premier – however when I did – Support tells me that it is not possible to go back – it took Quick Books 5-weeks to rebuild my company file for me – and there were many errors after that.

Now for today – QuickBooks Pro “Plus” 2016 – you know the one with the annual support subscription. Today was classic – in the middle of my busy business day, my employees came running in telling me that our subscription Lapsed. Funny – that is an annual billing in March – my next billing is in March of 2018.

Called into Intuit Support – the answer I received was that the credit card on file had expired. Now to reiterate – there are no charges monthly or any other billing that I am paying to Intuit. So one might expect that maybe nearing to March 2018 – I might get a notice about this as an issue. But NO they shut me down today – This took more than one call to get solved – of course I provided the new credit card information, but now my multi-user system did not update all the computers – Intuit tells me it could take a couple of days. They told me to wait it out …

For this and many other reasons – I have been seeking a replacement for QuickBooks.

I officially joined the pack of QuickBooks Replacement Seekers – we should start a club..
This article was well done, and of course could not delve into the many differences that each of our businesses have, but it gave me a starting spot.

Thank you, Andrew, for compiling so much information. Could you clarify which programs are offline? We do not want any information stored away from the local computer.

You are presenting a good blog and software list, but I think you are missing some Best application which is Sage, Quickbooks, Drake, and Act. You have to add these applications to your blog.
The SageNext provide Cloud hosting services for SMBs application as like this application software.

I own a small alarm company and bill quarterly. All I need is to be able to print and email invoices and add my logo to that invoice. Also need to do estimates. I keep my books simple. What goes into the bank is profit and what is charged on the atm card is expenses. I don’t trust putting my customer list online in the cloud. I am not computer savvy so need something simple. My quickbooks is insane and they force me to upgrade when I don’t need to. I can’t even send invoices by email anymore. What do I buy that’s easy to use and has some customer service?

We chose Xero as the best QuickBooks competitor because Xero beats QuickBooks when it comes to the amount of features for the price, and the number of users included in the account. All Xero pricing plans include an unlimited number of users, and the Standard and Premium editions also include payroll processing at no additional cost.

A lot of these commenters don’t understand that “invoicing” software is not the same as “accounting” software. My personal side business has been using Quickbooks 98 since 2001 (I paid extra to get an old, better version).

The current company I work for uses QB Enterprise and QB POS. And I wholeheartedly agree, it’s terrible software. Intuit made us rebuy all our licenses ($9000 worth) even through we bought them from one of their partners.

We sell online on multiple sales channesl and have two B&M/warehouse locations and the way the stores’ POS sync to Quickbooks is absolutely a disaster. Not only that, but it never gives us an accurate inventory valuation. It literally thinks $29.95 x 10 items is $60,000.

In any case, we’ve been looking for a replacement. The bottom line is, (and as a programmer) it’s hard making good accounting software. Our situation, we have two locations, require inventory tracking for each location and a POS system. As COO, my opinion is I don’t want to be at the mercy of an online system and it must have an API that we can integrate with our other systems.

I tired from this list as it had some sort of API (though completely undocumented), was self hosted, one time license fee, and inventory location tracking. Many of the features I am looking for, but the workflow was terrible and the biggest dealbreaker is that it assumed inventory item prices had sales tax included with no way to change it.

The search continues. I swear I’m just going to write my own. At this point, it might actually be quicker.. heh

First of all, even CA’s use software like Simply Accounting, etc.I know a local accountant who even uses a powerful corporate income tax program. CA’s no longer just do bookkeeping. They provide financial advice, and consulting. They aid businesses to buy software packages. They do personal, business, and corporate income tax.

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