Accounting Software Review

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Why use an Online Accounting Service?

Online accounting software helps you get away from your desktop and out conducting the more enjoyable and advantageous parts of running your business. Using cloud-accounting services you can easily create professional invoices, manage client contact information and oversee projects from anywhere, even via your mobile device. For the most part, these are not “full-service” bookkeeping software such as QuickBooks Pro or Sage 50, but these applications can easily manage basic business functions that freelancers, contract workers and sole-proprietors require. However, if you are looking for full-service accounting software see our reviews for small-business accounting software.

There are many advantages to using an online solution over traditional software. The most attractive are added mobility, easy data backup features and time-saving tools. Since these solutions are browser-based, you can access your account from anywhere regardless of the platform used. Additionally, the service backs up your data so you don’t have to manage your own backup. Time-saving features include automated recurrent billing, tax calculations and reporting. Most services also work with credit card processing services.

To discover more about these accounting services, see our articles on online accounting software. If you are ready to start invoicing today, check out our top choice, Freshbooks which is affordably priced and simple to use. For more reporting options and comprehensive cloud accounting, see QuickBooks Online. On the other hand, if you are interested in a service that can track projects see Sage One.

Online Accounting Software: What to Look For

The best accounting software for your company depends on the needs of your company. Do you need to manage employees or inventory? Do you work with other freelancers? Are you looking for mobile expense and time tracking? We compared the most popular and affordably priced online accounting solutions designed to help you invoice, bill and track projects from anywhere.

When comparing top accounting software, TopTenREVIEWS considered the following:

Accounting & Business Features
We looked at the major business functions the online accounting service offers to help you run your small business. You will want an accounting solution that offers the tools your specific business requires. If you need to manage items, you will want to make sure the service you choose has that capability. All services should provide basic accounting tools to manage your estimates, invoices, billing, expenses and customer information. If you manage inventory, you will also want one that can manage vendors and purchase orders. We also looked at additional business services such as the ability to manage projects, back up data, process payroll and track time.

Time-Saving Features
If the software cannot help you become more efficient and save you time, you may as well keep doing what you are doing. Online accounting services should provide numerous automated and convenient features to help you become more efficient. Features we looked for include the ability to import bank feeds, automated billing features, preconfigured reporting options and online time sheets. Some even provide online portals where customers can view their account information and pay bills, greatly decreasing the time required to manage simple customer requests.

Remote Access & Mobile
While all the reviewed products are browser-based and online, the extent of their mobile services vary. Most mobile accounting tools offer apps for iPads, Android phones and Android tablets. Some also provide apps for Windows-based mobile phones. The mobile tools provided also vary. Most online accounting services provide mobile tools for creating invoices and tracking expenses, but some provide more advanced tools such as electronic signature gathering, receipt capturing and basic customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

Additional Business Services
Other services exist that make your accounting solution more functional. Most require an additional fee or subscription. The most sought-after service is credit card processing so small-business owners can process credit and debit cards. Other popular services include integration with eCommerce sites, payroll processing (including subscriptions configuring tax deductions), access rights for their accountant or CPA, and inventory management. The most adaptive online accounting services provide integrations for a wide range of products so you can add to the business solution as your company evolves.

The best accounting software should help you become more efficient and less burdened with tedious tasks. Most small-business owners and freelancers report that these services reduce the amount of time they spend performing accounting tasks to just a few hours per month. More free time means that you can spend more time growing your business.

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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
FreshBooks QuickBooks Online Sage One Zoho Xero AccountEdge Less Accounting WorkingPoint FreeAgent Yendo
FreshBooks QuickBooks Online Sage One Zoho Xero AccountEdge Less Accounting WorkingPoint FreeAgent Yendo
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Lowest Price
Visit FreshBooks Seedling
Visit QuickBooks Online Simple Start
Visit Sage One Invoicing
Visit Zoho Books
Visit Xero Starter
Visit AccountEdge Cloud
Visit Less Accounting
Visit WorkingPoint
Visit FreeAgent
Visit Yendo Solo
Ratings
9.45
9.23
8.88
8.88
8.50
8.20
7.82
7.63
7.43
6.95
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
9.38
10.00
7.50
8.75
10.00
9.38
8.75
10.00
8.75
6.25
8.75
10.00
8.75
8.75
6.25
10.00
6.25
8.75
8.75
8.75
9.38
5.00
7.50
8.75
8.75
6.25
5.00
8.75
7.50
8.75
3.75
8.75
7.50
6.25
5.00
7.50
7.50
6.25
5.00
 
Basic Account Details
Introductory Price Per Month $19.95 $12.95 $9.00 $24.00 $9.00 $10.00 $36.00 $9.00 $24.00 $19.00
# of Users 2-Unlimited 1-5 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1-50 Unlimited 1-Unlimited Unlimited 1-Unlimited
Unlimited # of Clients 25-Unlimited
Unlimited Invoicing
5-Unlimited
10-Unlimited
Accounting & Business Features
Performs Basic Accounting Tasks
Secure Online Accounts
Creates Customized Invoices
Tax Preparation Assistance
Tracks Expenses
Tracks Time
Creates Estimates (or Quotes)
 
Manages and Pays Bills
 
Manages Vendors and Purchase Orders
 
Manages Items
 
 
Manages Projects
 
 
 
 
Snail Mail Invoices
  
  
  
Time-Saving Features
Data Backup
Generates Reports
Imports Bank Transactions
Supports Multiple Tax Rates
Automatic Billing (Recurring)
Converts Estimates to Invoices
 
Multi-Currency Billing
 
Employee & Contractor Access to Time Sheets
 
  
 
Prints Checks  
  
   
Prepares and Prints 1099s  
 
 
 
Provides Online Client Portal
  
     
Remote Access & Mobile
Multi-Platform Browser Access
Sends Invoices by Mobile
Mobile Expense Tracking
Mobile Receipt Image Capture
 
Mobile Time Tracking
 
 
View & Edit Customer Data by Mobile View Only
  
iOS App
 
 
  
Android App
 
  
  
Windows Mobile App    
     
Additional Business Services
Credit Card Processing
 
 
Payroll Processing
 
 
  
eCommerce & POS
 
  
Accountant or CPA Access
 
Accepts Electronic Signatures
 
   
Advanced Inventory Management  
 
   
Full-Service Accounting Versions  
 
    
Document Management  
 
 
  
Salesforce Integration  
      
Google Apps Integration
 
   
Lead Management