4 Best QuickBooks Alternatives for Your Business Accounting

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QuickBooks might be the most popular business software in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for every business.



If you were creating a “small-business owner” Halloween costume, it would probably include a button-down shirt with rolled-up sleeves, a travel coffee mug, laptop computer covered in stickers, and a copy of QuickBooks Online accounting software.

Back in 1999, QuickBooks was the first business software that Capterra founder Mike Ortner ever purchased for the company, walking into Staples and picking up the boxed software right off the shelf.

With millions and millions of users around the world, an ad campaign featuring Danny DeVito, and its own conference, Intuit QuickBooks might be the most popular small-business software—let alone accounting software—in the world. QuickBooks is also highly rated, with a 4.5 out of 5-star rating from over 14,000 user reviews on Capterra.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the perfect fit for every small business.

QuickBooks’ many versions and integrations make it adaptable to almost any situation, but what if you need a streamlined tool that you can use right out of the box? What if QuickBooks’ most basic plan is still over your budget? Or what if you’re a small-business owner that prefers to work with other small businesses?

This article looks at four highly rated QuickBooks alternatives. See the full list of QuickBooks alternatives here.

Why you should consider QuickBooks alternatives

QuickBooks got to where it is through a combination of name recognition and marketing muscle (popularity), an accessible entry-level price point (affordability), and reliability and ease-of-use for newcomers (user-friendliness).

A screenshot of the banking interface in QuickBooks Online showing checking, savings, and credit card balances, along with recent transactions

The banking interface in QuickBooks (Source)

And sure enough, QuickBooks is one of only eight products to appear on our Top 20 accounting software lists for most popular (#1), most affordable (#17), and most user-friendly (#12).

(Note: These lists were updated in February 2019. We’ve recently implemented a streamlined approach that will result in a single, consolidated Top 20 report, coming in 2020.)

QuickBooks Online’s average ranking on those three lists (#10) is respectable, but there are four accounting tools that have a higher average ranking, and those are the tools we’ll look at in this article:

chart showing the best 4 QuickBooks alternatives

Some popular accounting tools—such as Xero (5th popular, 8th user-friendly), SlickPie (8th affordable, 2nd user-friendly), and FreshBooks (6th popular, 13th user-friendly)—have very strong merits but didn’t make the cut for this list because they qualified for only two of the three criteria outlined above.

Other solid options—such as Zoho Books, FreeAgent, and Manager—appear on all three of our Top 20 lists but have a lower average ranking than QuickBooks. All of these tools are worth checking out, though.

But for now, let’s take a look at the four best QuickBooks alternatives for small-business accounting. Products are listed in order of their average ranking on Capterra’s Top 20 lists, starting with the highest-ranked product.

1. Wave Accounting is the free small-business accounting app

wave logo
Capterra User Rating: (4.5/5)
Reviews: 760+

Most popular: #2 | Affordable: #1 | User-friendly: #7 | Average: 3.33

Launched in 2009 in Toronto, Wave has become a wildly popular, free accounting app for small businesses. It has more than 3.5 million users around the globe and is a great choice for small-business leaders who want to get started with an easy-to-use accounting app without spending a dime. In July 2019, Wave was acquired by H&R Block for around $400 million.

Users love that Wave Accounting is free, fully functional accounting software with no limits on transactions or users. They also like its slick, intuitive interface.

A few things to consider: Payments and payroll are paid, optional features, and Wave lacks an audit trail feature, which leaves it vulnerable to fraudulent employees. If that’s a deal-breaker, check out these budget-friendly Wave alternatives with audit trail.

Pricing

  • Wave’s basic accounting software with multicurrency support, unlimited invoices, collaborators, and receipt scanning is free.
  • Payments are 2.9% + 30 cents per credit transaction, or 1% per bank transaction.
  • Payroll starts at $20 per month plus $4 per employee.
  • Wave also offers dedicated bookkeeping service starting at $49 per month and 30 days of accounting coaching for a one-time fee of $49.

A screenshot showing recent transactions in Wave Accounting

A view of recent transactions in Wave Accounting (Source)

2. Sage Business Cloud Accounting is the most user-friendly accounting software

sage logo
Capterra User Rating: (4.0/5)
Reviews: 140+

Most popular: #3 | Affordable: #9 | User-friendly: #1 | Average: 4.33

Sage Business Cloud Accounting (formerly known as Sage One) was built specifically for small businesses and is a great choice for less tech-savvy business owners since it has earned the top spot in our user-friendliness report for the past three years.

With roots dating back to 1981 in England, Sage is one of the few accounting products that can claim seniority to QuickBooks. Sage’s interface hasn’t changed all that drastically over the years, though, so it may seem a little dated. And if you want full invoicing, which is pretty much essential for any business, expect to pay at least $25 per month.

Pricing

  • Sage Business Cloud Accounting Start (for one user) starts at $10 per month.
  • Sage Business Cloud Accounting adds unlimited users, reports, purchase invoices, and more for $25 per month.

A month-by-month budget report in Sage Business Cloud Accounting showing sales, cost of sales, gross profit, other income, and expenses

A budget report in Sage Business Cloud Accounting (Source)

3. Kashoo has a funny name and free customer support

kashoo logo
Capterra User Rating: (4.5/5)
Reviews: 100+

Most popular: #8 | Affordable: #6 | User-friendly: #10 | Average: 8

If you’re looking for an accounting system you can just pick up and start using right away, Kashoo is worthy of your attention. It might have a funny name, but it’s a really solid accounting tool from a team in Vancouver that prides itself on making simple yet comprehensive tools to grow with your business. Kashoo also has free phone and web support for subscribers, which sets it apart from every other product on this list.

Though Kashoo has a nice integration with Square payments, it lacks the variety of integrations that some of the more established products have built. So if you’re looking for a tool that will seamlessly hook up with other business apps, you’d probably be better off with QuickBooks or Xero.

Pricing

  • Kashoo costs $19.95 per month or $199 for a full year (which comes out to $16.58 per month) with all features (expense management, invoicing, reports, payments) included.

A screenshot of filing sales tax using the tax management interface in Kashoo

The tax management interface in Kashoo (Source)

4. Odoo is the a la carte software with an open source accounting option

Odoo logo
Capterra User Rating: (4.0/5)
Reviews: 240+

Most popular: #7 | Affordable: #2 | User-friendly: #18 | Average: 9

Odoo launched in 2005 in Belgium and has been rapidly expanding around the globe ever since, with more than 1,500 developers working on its open source code and 3.7 million users. It rivals Wave in affordability, with its free, open source option, and is highly customizable, thanks to its suite of other business modules to add on.

With everything from website management to marketing automation, think of Odoo as an a la carte approach to your business software. Take what you need, leave what you don’t. By that same token, though, if you’re not ready for some hands-on customization and tinkering to find the right mix, you may want to try something else.

Pricing

  • Odoo Community, the open source version, is totally free, but you have to host it and configure it yourself. If you’re not comfortable getting under the hood, you’d be better off with the enterprise version.
  • Odoo’s paid options depend on which apps you want (for example, accounting, invoicing, purchase, expenses, and sales would cost $92 per month).

A screenshot of the accounting dashboard in Odoo Accounting, showing Customer Invoice, Bank Reconciliation, Vendor Bills, and Cash reports

The main accounting dashboard in Odoo (Source)

What do you think is the best QuickBooks alternative?

I mentioned several other QuickBooks alternatives in the introduction to this article in addition to the four outlined above, but there are still lots of other small-business accounting software options out there to talk about.

If you have a favorite that you want to recommend, please mention it in the comments along with a few things that make it so great.

For more tips on how to keep the accounting and finance side of your small business running smoothly, follow our accounting blog. Here are a few recent articles to start with:

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

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About the Author

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Andrew Conrad

Andrew is a content writer for Capterra, specializing in church management and project management software. When he’s not striving for the perfect balance of information and entertainment, Andrew enjoys the great outdoors and the wide world of sports. Follow him on Twitter @CapterraAC.

Comments

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Quickbooks software is one of the best software for small-sized business. But if we are talking about alternative then Sage 50 is a great option. Sage 50 is a reliable, powerful, and affordable tool. it has been designed in such a way that it can serve major accounting and organizational management needs.
Sage 50 not only used by CPAs, Accountants, and bookkeepers but it is also used by non-CPAs and non-accountants such as owners of startups, small and mid-sized businesses. There are many top features in Sage 50 Software such as Basic Accounting, manage cash flow, 24*7 sage adviser, Terminal Services, Multi-User up to five licensed named users and many more.

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Anyone have any experience with Autobooks? This is the system offered through my credit union. We are starting a business and are in the decision making process so this post is super helpful. Thank you.

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I’m having big problems with Quickbooks Online after a recent migration from desktop version that has made my accounts indecipherable and am looking for a viable alternative. However, NONE of the above offerings is on the UK Government list of approved software providers for making tax digital!

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Perfect blog for beginnners

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We are a nonprofit organization, we bought multi user QB “premier” 2017, we have had nothing but problems with exporting to excel 2016, I have called them a dozen times, they make suggestions, or get into my system to “fix” it, but to no avail. The second to last time I called, they wanted me to pay them $60 to “fix” it, but without any guarantee that they would be able to. The last time I called, they put the blame on Microsoft saying that excel was not installed “properly”, I asked them how can I install it properly, they could not tell me!!! One of them promised to take this to level 2 tech support, the next time I called to find out what happened, I was told there was no notes that my problem was elevated to level 2!!! They lie too.

From what I have seen so far, this company had turned into a 600lb gorilla, and it can do anything it wants to, because it can.

Avoid them as much as possible.

I would heed the advise given by John Schimenti on February 11, 2015, NEVER put your private data online, you can be sure your competition will be able to get hold of it, when and if they really want to.

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Amazing Article. I love Quickbooks. Now I am using quickbooks 2018. It is very good..

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