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.
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 more than 18,000 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 a small-business software vendor for your accounting software?
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), ease-of-use for newcomers (user-friendliness), and reliability.
The main dashboard in QuickBooks Online (Source)
And sure enough, QuickBooks Online is one of only nine products (out of more than 700 in our accounting software directory) to appear in the Top Performer section of our 2021 Capterra Shortlist for Accounting software, with a perfect 50/50 score for popularity based on search volume and web presence (read our full methodology here), and a 45/50 ratings score, based on authentic user reviews.
If you’re trying to choose accounting software for your business, though, you owe it to yourself to see what else is out there. These seven options below are all tools that were identified in user reviews as products considered at the same time as QuickBooks Online, and they each have their own unique strengths and differentiating factors to QuickBooks. Let’s take a look at these Quickbooks alternatives.
Deskera is a Singapore-based business app that aims to cover everything for small business growth, from numbers (accounting needs, finances, inventory) to people (CRM, payroll, HR) and more. Of course, no single software package can do everything, but Deskera is available as an “all-in-one” or separate modules, so you can just buy their Books app—which includes accounting, finances, inventory, and more—as a QuickBooks alternative.
The main dashboard in Deskera Books (Source)
Differentiating factor: While QuickBooks has a massive network of more than 600 integrations, Deskera has its own sales, inventory, HR, CRM, and more tools that were designed to work together and can be accessed through the same login. So if you try Deskera and really like the experience, you might be interested in using it as a package. But if you just want the accounting tool, Deskera Books is a little cheaper on a per-month basis compared to QuickBooks Online.
Pricing: Deskera All-In-One pricing plan starts at $35/user/month. Only administrators count as users; employees and teammates are included in the base price. The Books module, which includes accounting, finances, inventory, and more, starts at $11/user/month. There are discounts for an annual commitment.
To see what real users think of Deskera, with pros and cons, check out our reviews.
Toronto-based FreshBooks has been around for more than 15 years and is designed specifically for small businesses and the self-employed. So if you have 100+ employees, you may want to consider something else. But if your business is very small and you feel overlooked by the larger accounting software vendors, FreshBooks may be the answer you’re looking for.
Project management in FreshBooks (Source)
Differentiating factor: While QuickBooks Online is designed for small and midsize businesses, FreshBooks is designed specifically for small businesses, and even solopreneurs and freelancers that are just getting started. FreshBooks starts at about $10 less per month, and is a little more streamlined in its feature set, easier to use, and has more responsive customer support according to our reviews. That improved customer support can be a crucial factor for very small businesses that don’t have the resources to resolve technical issues on their own.
- FreshBooks Lite starts at $15/month for up to five billable clients.
- FreshBooks Plus is $25/month for up to 50 billable clients, and adds other features
- FreshBooks Premium is $50/month for unlimited billable clients and more additional features.
- There are discounts for the first six months and for an annual commitment.
To see what real users think of FreshBooks, with pros and cons, check out our reviews.
Patriot Accounting is an Ohio-based accounting needs software provider with more than three decades in business. They aim to serve small businesses, and also offer payroll services and software. Patriot’s payroll feature offers two options: a basic self-service option ($10/month + $4 per employee/contractor), which allows businesses to run their own payroll with Patriot’s payroll software but handle their own taxes, or a full-service option ($30/month + $4 per employee/contractor), where Patriot handles all of the payroll tax duties. Both options offer payroll setup and support, and they integrate with Patriot or QuickBooks accounting software.
The Profit & Loss statement screen in Patriot Accounting (Source)
Differentiating factor: Patriot aims to serve small businesses, and sure enough, our users give Patriot a significant edge over QuickBooks when it comes to ease of use and customer service, two factors that are crucial for small businesses lacking in resources. And if you want to use your accounting software to run your own payroll, you can save about $15 per month with Patriot compared to QuickBooks, or as much as $35 per month if you don’t mind doing your own payroll taxes.
Pricing: Patriot prides itself on simple software, and their pricing plan is also simple.
- Accounting Basic is $15/month.
- Accounting Premium, which adds account reconciliation, recurring invoices, and unlimited administrative users, is $25/month.
- Both plans include a 30-day free trial.
To see what real users think of Patriot Accounting, with pros and cons, check out our reviews.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting (formerly known as Sage One) is the online accounting product for small businesses offered by Sage, one of the biggest tech companies in the UK with more than 13,000 employees and millions of customers around the world. Similar to QuickBooks, Sage serves both small and midsize businesses.
The Sales overview chart in Sage Business Cloud Accounting (Source)
Differentiating factor: If you check the comparison chart at the beginning of this article, you’ll see that Sage Business Cloud Accounting has one of the most budget-friendly starting prices of any product on this list: $10/month. That plan is only meant for very small businesses, but if you are one of those businesses you’ll likely appreciate not having to pay for features and capacity that you don’t need.
- Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers a Start plan for the self-employed and very small businesses for $10/month.
- Their basic, small business plan is $25/month for unlimited users, and adds forecasting, quotes and estimates, and more.
- Each subscription plan includes a 30-day free trial.
To see what real users think of Sage Business Cloud Accounting, with pros and cons, check out our reviews.
Launched in 2009 in Toronto, Wave has become a very popular, free accounting app for small businesses. It has more than 3.5 million users around the globe. In July 2019, Wave was acquired by H&R Block for around $400 million.
While the accounting app really is free, payments and payroll are paid, optional features.
A view of recent transactions in Wave Accounting (Source)
Differentiating factor: Wave has set itself apart from almost every other QuickBooks alternative on the market by offering a truly free basic accounting tool. This is not a free trial—QuickBooks’ free trial offer is for 30 days—you can use Wave for free as long as you want. If you want to accept payments or run payroll there are fees involved, but with Wave you can send unlimited recurring invoices, generate financial statements and reports, scan receipts, track all income and expenses, and more for free.
- 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.
To see what real users think of Wave Accounting, with pros and cons, check out our reviews.
Australia’s answer to QuickBooks, Xero was launched in New Zealand in 2006, and now has more than two million customers around the world. Like QuickBooks, Xero was designed to be affordable and accessible for small businesses. To see how Xero compares to QuickBooks as an alternative, check out our complete breakdown.
To summarize, Xero makes paying bills easier by requiring less steps, includes inventory management and fixed assets management in all of its plans, and allows unlimited users.
Editing an invoice in Xero (Source)
Differentiating factor: If your business has physical inventory and/or needs to keep track of fixed assets (like equipment and vehicles, for example), Xero could be an attractive option for you because it includes inventory management and fixed assets management in all of its plans, even the $11/month Early plan. If you’re using QuickBooks, you’ll need to pay for the $70/month Plus plan to track inventory, and the fixed assets management module is an additional cost of $373 (or you can find a third-party integration). Another factor: Xero allows unlimited users in all of its plans, while QuickBooks caps the number between one and 25 depending on which plan you have.
- Xero pricing plan starts at $11/month for very small businesses with up to five bills and 20 invoices per month.
- For $32/month, growing businesses can add unlimited bills and invoices.
- The established plan, for $62/month, adds multiple currencies, project management, and expense tracking.
- Each subscription plan includes a 30-day free trial.
To see what real users think of Xero, with pros and cons, check out our reviews.
Founded in India way back in 1996, Zoho develops software solutions for small businesses, including everything from CRM to HR and many things in between. Their accounting tool, Zoho Books, is designed for small businesses and covers all the standard accounting needs and finance features.
Invoice management in Zoho Books (Source)
Differentiating factor: While the $5 difference in entry level plans between QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books may seem negligible, Zoho Books stands out when you compare the upgraded plans. QuickBooks Online’s Plus plan, at $70/month, is comparable to Zoho Books’ Professional plan, which is $50/month, and QuickBooks Online’s Advanced plan is $150/month, or $80/month more than Zoho Books’ Premium plan ($70/month). So if you have a growing business that can benefit from features like a vendor portal, purchasing management, customization, and more, Zoho Books could be an attractive option.
- The standard plan, at $20/month, allows three users and up to 5,000 invoices.
- The professional plan, for $50/month, allows five users and adds multiple features.
- The premium plan, for $70/month, allows 10 users and adds even more features.
- Additional users are $3/month, and Zoho offers a discount for an annual commitment.
To see what real users think of Zoho Books, with pros and cons, check out our reviews.
Still want more QuickBooks alternatives?
Capterra’s Shortlist of the best Accounting software solutions of 2021 includes QuickBooks and all of the alternatives on this list, plus a few more options that have been deemed the best of the best based on authentic user ratings and popularity on the web.
We also have an Accounting Software Buyers Guide to help you understand the benefits, features, and cost of accounting software.
Capterra’s Accounting Software Buyers Guide (Source)
Products featured in this list were identified in user reviews as other products considered at the same time as QuickBooks Online. They also had to meet the accounting software definition which included the following core features:
- General ledger
- Accounts payable
- Accounts receivable
- Bank reconciliation
- Financial reporting