• Best Overall
    ZipBooks-logo

    ZipBooks

      ZipBooks is a cloud-based accounting software designed for small businesses. It helps them manage their finances.
  • Versatile

    Wave Accounting

      Wave Accounting is a free online accounting software designed for freelancers, self-employed individuals, and small businesses.
  • Cost-effective

    ProfitBooks

      ProfitBooks is a cloud-based accounting software solution geared towards small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Constant development, innovation, and creativity keep most business owners and entrepreneurs busy. The growing demand would increase pressure on accounting. However, it should be the last of your worries. 

Choosing free accounting software for small business to handle your business's financial issues would prove highly beneficial in the long run. They will only take up a little of your attention while providing excellent results. 

You will find numerous accounting tools if you plan to outsource your accounting needs. To streamline your accounting system, you can choose the right package for the needs of small businesses

When it comes to accounting tools, there are both free and premium options. Although I will share the best online accounting software for small businesses, remember that some also have premium versions. 

I will discuss them in detail and help you choose the right one for your business. Without further ado, let’s get started. 

Best Free Accounting Software

Bookkeeping is one of the most important factors to consider whether you're running a small or medium-sized business. 

Accounting software may prove expensive. This is why you must try the top free accounting version before investing in one. 

1. ZipBooks

ZipBooks is cloud-based accounting software with solid features. The company provides a free plan known as Starter. This option has basic bookkeeping capabilities and profit-loss balance and sheet reporting

Your business's financial software development teams will find the platform user-friendly. This aspect will allow companies to personalize and enhance their financial capabilities. 

ZipBooks

  • Accounts receivable
  • Auto-categorization
  • Project accounting
  • Balance sheet
  • Income statement

The ZipBooks Starter covers specific quote-related bases and invoicing. Additionally, it will allow your business to accept PayPal or card payments. While it’s an easy and robust solution, your business will outgrow the free plan. 

The free plan lets you link just one bank account to view the basic reports. If you want to exceed, upgrade to a premium plan. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of ZipBooks.

Pros

  • You can generate unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited vendor management
  • Can manage unlimited customers
  • Accepts digital payments via Paypal and Square

Cons

  • Only one bank account connection

I also found that you can only view the basic reports with ZipBooks. This is frustrating, especially when you pay for the premium plans. Nevertheless, if you're happy with the basic yet helpful reports, you should not have any problem.

ZipBooks Pricing Plan

  • Strater: $0

  • Smarter: $15/month

  • Sophisticated: $35/month

  • Accountant: Custom plan

The Starter pack is free, and you need to pay a monthly price for the other plans. Whether you choose the Smarter or the Sophisticated pack, you will get a 30-day free trial. This is best to test out the features and services.

? Why use ZipBooks?
  • ZipBooks offers a variety of reports to help you track your finances and gain insights into your business performance. You can access reports on income, expenses, profitability, and more.

Even though the premium plans are cost-effective, they are not for someone looking only for free plans. The solution is good, but choose other accounting software if you want to use a free plan for a long time. 

2. Zoho Books

Zoho Books is another small business accounting software. The free plan is restricted to businesses generating less than $50,000 in revenue annually. Zoho Books will cover many essential features if your business falls under this threshold. 

This platform's end-to-end accounting resources will handle all the monotonous accounting aspects of your business, including raising sales orders and invoicing

Zoho Books

  • End-to-end accounting
  • Integrated business platform
  • Automatic tax calculations
  • Tax compliance
  • Zoho integrations

If you want to connect with your customers or clients seamlessly, you can use the client portal. This way, you don’t need to visit any other third-party provider. Let's take a look at the demo account.

With a robust mobile accounting app and user-friendly interface, Zoho Books is one of the most accessible solutions in the market. Here are the pros and cons of Zoho Books.

Pros

  • The end-to-end accounting feature will cover most bases
  • Accessible interface
  • The mobile application is solid
  • HubSpot CRM integration

Cons

  • Lack of payroll management resources

However, Zoho Books lacks payroll software management. Additionally, the free plan provides email support but not voice or chat support. 

Zoho Books Pricing Plan

  • Free: $0

  • Standard: $15/month

  • Professional: $40/month

  • Premium: $60/month

  • Elite: $120/month

  • Ultimate: $240/month

When you purchase a paid plan, you will get a 14-day free trial. This is undoubtedly helpful in assessing the effectiveness of the accounting software.

? Why use Zoho Books?
  • Zoho Books is known for its user-friendly interface and intuitive design, making it a good option for businesses of all sizes, even those without prior accounting experience.

Apart from the minor issues, Zoho Books is a great option. The features will ensure your organization fulfills the revenue requirements. 

3. Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting is one of the best and free accounting software options on my list. This free accounting software for small business has an intuitive and accessible interface. You don’t require any training to understand its functionalities. 

The entire feature is available without any extra charges. The free plan includes unlimited expense and income tracking. You can run your business from one single account with unlimited credit cards and bank connections

Wave Accounting

  • Run payroll in minutes
  • 100% guaranteed accuracy
  • No hidden fees
  • Simple and easy accounting
  • Easy cashflow management

I was impressed when I discovered Wave Accounting's features. However, I also found some flaws, and I realized that the issues were moderate. 

For instance, you cannot track the accounts payable with Wave Accounting. Many medical businesses relying on A/R reports may not find Wave Accounting beneficial. 

Pros

  • The core accounting features free and highly effective
  • User-friendly interface
  • Reporting and accurate financial insights
  • Mobile application to track reports anywhere

Cons

  • Limited scalability and integrations

I also tried testing out the free account of Wave Accounting, but I failed. This is because Wave Accounting is available only in the United States and Canada. They were asking me to redirect to Zoho Books, their trusted partner.

Wave Accounting Pricing Plan

  • Starter: $0

  • Pro: $16/month

Furthermore, Wave Accounting doesn’t offer a mobile application. So, you need to rely on the website to track the accounting features. 

? Why use Wave Accounting?
  • Wave Accounting is a solid option for freelancers, solopreneurs, and small businesses with basic accounting needs who are on a tight budget.

Still, I rank Wave Accounting higher for its robustness and availability. Its scalability is perfect for small and medium businesses. This free accounting software for small business can accommodate freelancers, contractors, entrepreneurs, and consultants

4. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is a free accounting software for small business and large businesses. It has basic features such as expense tracker, invoice software, online payments, project management, reporting dashboards, etc

Thanks to the free trial, you can test the software's compatibility. Businesses that are skeptical about its features can try it before committing financially. 

FreshBooks

  • Professional invoice
  • Balance sheet
  • Accounts payable
  • Accountant access
  • General ledger

Now that you know the features, let's take a look at the dashboard. Fortunately, FreshBooks will allow you to create an account without giving any credit card or payment information.

FreshBooks is undoubtedly one of the best accounting software products for freelancers. The time-tracking feature provides details about the time you have spent on any project. 

Pros

  • Accessible for users with limited accounting experience
  • Capture and categorize expenses quickly
  • Create, send, and track invoices efficiently
  • Manage your finances and track time on the go

Cons

  • Limited inventory and payroll
  • Higher-tier plans can be expensive

Now that you know the pros and cons, you will be able to make more data-driven decisions. But let's discuss the pricing as it will also influence your purchasing decision.

FreshBooks Pricing Plan

  • Lite: $19/month

  • Plus: $33/month

  • Premium: $60/month

Whether you choose the Lite plan or the Plus plan, you can try each paid plan for free. Make sure you create an account and answer a few relevant questions, and you're good to go. You can also choose to skip the trial period.

FreshBooks can help you create invoices that showcase your professionalism. It can also help you create an expense report for yourself. 

? Why use FreshBooks?
  • Generate various reports to gain insights into your finances, including income, expenses, taxes, and project profitability. This information can help you make informed business decisions.

The easy-to-use interface will make your accounting look very professional. You don’t need to worry about unmanaged A/R. 

5. ProfitBooks

ProfitBooks has established a name in the industry as a great alternative to Wave Accounting. For people who are unfamiliar with business finances, ProfitBooks is the most suitable and beneficial option

Unlike many accounting software for small businesses, ProfitBooks is a simple accounting tool. Its features include tracking expenses, managing inventory, and creating invoices

ProfitBooks

  • Unlimited invoice creation and contact management
  • Online payment collection
  • No hidden fees
  • Track business expenses
  • Export data

ProfitBooks can simplify the purchase workflow, allowing business processes to be completed smoothly. Apart from tracking the manufacturing process, it will also let you track inventory. 

This is the dashboard of ProfitBooks. I must admit it looks extremely simple yet informative. Non-technical users will find this dashboard more accessible than the others. Let's discuss the pros and cons of ProfitBooks.

Pros

  • The paid plans are more budget-friendly
  • It has inventory management features
  • Availability of basic reporting
  • Cloud-based system

Cons

  • Limitations with customer support

Updated and neat reports will be generated in one place. With all accurate records, you don’t need to worry about anything. 

ProfitBooks Pricing Plan

  • Startup: $0

  • SMB: $15/month

But what makes ProfitBooks unique? I would say it's free and straightforward service. Remember that ProfitBooks is more focused on your company's sales aspects.

? Why use ProfitBooks?
  • ProfitBook can be a good option for small and micro businesses, especially those in India seeking affordable accounting software with basic features and GST compliance support.

ProfitBooks has a mobile application. You can download it from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. 

6. CloudBooks

CloudBooks, a free accounting solution, is undoubtedly one of the most popular additions to my list. Tailored for freelancers and small businesses, CloudBooks has a user base of 2 million subscribers. 

Unlike many other accounting software options, CloudBooks will let you create an account without any credit card information. Small businesses and freelancers will get to try the features without any financial commitment.

CloudBooks

  • Professional invoice creation
  • Convert estimates to invoices
  • Create recurring expenses
  • Attach expense receipts
  • Track project progress

It comes with numerous capabilities that cover time-tracking, invoicing, payment, reporting needs, etc. I created a free account on CloudBooks and this is what the dashboard looks like.

If you're looking for an invoice management solution, CloudBooks should be your top choice. However, depending on your needs, this can be a drawback or a benefit. 

Pros

  • Allows unlimited users
  • Free cloud data storage for extra protection
  • Email support to resolve your queries
  • Paid plans are priced reasonably

Cons

  • Lacks chat or phone support

While CloudBooks’s features extend beyond these capabilities, the invoicing feature is its best selling point. This means that CloudBooks is not as refined as other tools in terms of accounting programs. 

CloudBooks Pricing Plan

  • Startup: $0

  • Lifetime: $999

  • Team: $9.99/month

  • Agency: $19.99/month

If you like the features of CloudBooks, you can purchase the one-time subscription. This is the best way to avoid the hassle of monthly payments.

? Why use CloudBooks?
  • CloudBooks automates many tasks, like creating and sending invoices, tracking expenses, and reconciling bank statements, which can save you time and effort.

So, if you want excellent invoice management and creation software, don’t forget to check CloudBooks. But if you’re looking for a more robust solution focused purely on accounting, consider looking elsewhere. 

7. GnuCash

GnuCash is one of the best open-source accounting software. It is one of the very few tools available as an application. You can download the Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X applications. 

This accounting software offers a free double-entry accounting resource, customizable visual reporting, and schedules transactions. 

GnuCash

  • Double-entry accounting
  • Scheduled transactions
  • Small business accounting
  • Financial calculations
  • Transaction matching

Make sure you don’t back off after seeing the website. I know it looks old-fashioned, but the application is visually appealing and highly functional. 

Pros

  • GnuCash is completely free to use and modify
  • Available on cross-platforms
  • Stores data in plain text files
  • Doesn't collect your personal information

Cons

  • A less user-friendly interface

If you’re willing to go through the tricky installation process and are not looking for any pretty accounting solution, you should choose GnuCash. 

GnuCash Pricing Plan

  • Free: $0

GnuCash is a solid application that will cover most essential features for free. When you use the software properly, its astonishing features will benefit you. 

? Why use GnuCash?
  • Overall, GnuCash is a powerful and valuable accounting tool, especially for those who prioritize cost, security, and data ownership.

That said, GnuCash is not a long-term solution for businesses looking for growth opportunities. This accounting software for freelancers can also accommodate small businesses and sole proprietors. 

8. Lendio

Lendio is another free bookkeeping and accounting software for small business. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can use this platform to search and shortlist business expenses, receive recurring payments, and send customized invoices

The self-service free plan provides a decent suite of accounting features to businesses. The flexibility is also top-notch in terms of bookkeeping. This plan allows you to generate unlimited transactions and invoices

Lendio

  • Quote and contact management
  • Financial reporting
  • Bank statement import
  • Expenses management
  • Discount and refund processing

Lendio stands apart from other accounting software with its dedicated bookkeeping services. However, it would come with expensive price tags. 

As I have mentioned before, the free plan is self-service. It will work flawlessly for a small business but may not prove sustainable when your company expands

Pros

  • Can help small businesses grow
  • Less downtime
  • Easy-to-understand user interface
  • Great customer support

Cons

  • Less transparency

In short, Lendio is an effective and straightforward bookkeeping software businesses can use. The free plan will undoubtedly suit the needs of numerous startups and small businesses

Lendio Pricing Plan

  • Premium: $19.99/month

Lendio provides a 14-day free trial. Make sure you test the features to assess if this platform is correct for your business needs.

? Why use Lendio?
  • Instead of researching and applying to multiple lenders individually, Lendio offers a single platform to connect with numerous lenders (over 75) across various loan types.

If you’re looking for the best free yet short-term bookkeeping software with cost-effective upgrade fees, check out Lendio today. 

9. SlickPie

SlickPie is another free accounting software for small business. It’s also suitable for freelancers. This easy to use and free software can manage online invoicing, financial reporting, automated data entry, and live banking. 

The best thing about SlickPie is that you can integrate this software as a free Chrome extension. This will make your job easier. 

SlickPie

  • Accounting & billing
  • CRM online software
  • Integrated invoicing app
  • Banking integration
  • Affordable pricing

The free solution has numerous features, such as a Magic Bot, an automated data entry tool. Businesses can use SlickPie to streamline their expense tracking. It can also extract information from receipts by converting it into digital data. 

Pros

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • Numerous workflow features
  • Supports multiple languages

Cons

  • Free plan has limited features

With the intuitive and simple interface, you can use this platform easily. The mobile version also has an elegant design and interface. 

SlickPie Pricing Plan

  • Starter: $0

  • Pro: $39.95/month

The premium plan will give you access to call and chat customer support. You can also track your sales tax effortlessly.

? Why use SlickPie?
  • Compared to some competitors, SlickPie's paid plans are generally more affordable, making it a cost-effective option for growing businesses.

The installation process is also easy. You only need an internet connection and a device to access your SlickPie account. 

10. Brightbook

Brightbook is an accounting software tailored to freelancers, independent contractors, and small business owners. However, it works better for the latter two. 

The program is designed in such a way that it can solve all your accounting needs. Not only the basic but also a few premium features are available on the free plan

Brightbook

  • Invoicing
  • Import transactions
  • Multi-currency
  • Bills and expenses
  • Multiple users

The free package includes services like financial reporting, invoice resourcing, financial drafting, better cash flow visibility, etc. You can also use some paid features with one-time payment. 

While the features are eye-catching, the mobile support disappointed me. This free accounting software for small business has a below-average mobile application. You cannot even access it through a mobile web browser

Pros

  • A user-friendly interface and straightforward navigation
  • Secure data storage and industry-standard practices
  • Available for iOS and Android
  • Email support is available

Cons

  • Pricing information is unavailable

To simplify things, the mobile application itself isn’t quite as sophisticated as other available options. Let's take a look at the pricing of brightbook.

Brightbook Pricing Plan

  • Free: $0

I would still recommend Brightbook to independent contractors and freelancers, especially creative professionals. It offers many basic features without breaking the bank. 

? Why use Brightbook?
  • If you don't have enough technical or accounting knowledge but want to leverage the best benefits of an accounting software, Brightbook can prove the best option for you.

If you’re looking for a versatile and comprehensive account solution and are willing to accept a backdated program, consider Brightbook. 

11. Manager

Manager is completely free software with packed features to satisfy your business’s accounting needs. This free desktop accounting software for small business can store all your data offline. 

The data record and time access features are limitless. Hence, you can use the platform as much as you want without any software hurdles

Manager

  • Tax management
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Cash management
  • Project accounting

Manager is supported on Linux, Windows and Mac. If you have your data on a Mac, you can easily transfer it to other operating systems

The Manager works on advanced software that will help you easily manage and work. The customer support is also super helpful. 

Pros

  • Free access and modification of the software without licensing fees
  • Works seamlessly on Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Stores data locally on your machine
  • Manager doesn't collect your personal information

Cons

  • Less user-friendly interface

However, this desktop-specific platform may pose numerous problems for multitaskers, as they can only use it on one device. 

Manager Pricing Plan

  • Cloud Edition: $59/month

The data is not encrypted. I found this highly disappointing because securing the data items from piracy or online threats is paramount

? Why use Manager?
  • Being entirely free and open-source eliminates ongoing licensing fees, making it ideal for budget-conscious individuals and small businesses.

If you do want to use Manager accounting software, don’t forget to consider all your options. Focus on the benefits and drawbacks to make an informed decision. 

12. Akaunting

If you’re looking for open-source and free accounting software for small business, Akaunting is perfect. This easy accounting software for small business has a global reach and an extensive user base

The full suite of accounting features is free, making it one of the best small business accounting software solutions. Entrepreneurs can also use this online accounting software. This best software can help their business expand. 

One of the best things about Akaunting is that the platform is completely online. This means you can access it from any tablet, desktop, or mobile device

Akaunting

  • Expense tracking
  • Transaction categories
  • Customer summary
  • Unlimited attachments
  • Open source accounting

The resources provided by Akaunting can help you track expenses, manage cash flows, categorize transactions, and deal with invoices

Akaunting also has a client portal, allowing you to share invoices and transactions with your clients. This feature will allow you to accept bulk payments easily. 

Pros

  • No licensing fees
  • Choose between cloud-based accessibility or self-hosting
  • Available in multiple languages
  • Integrates with various third-party apps

Cons

  • The learning curve is steep

With an over 270,000-user base and availability in 50+ languages, Akaunting is one of the most popular and widely used solutions on my list. 

Akaunting Pricing Plan

  • Standard Cloud: $8/month

  • Premium Cloud: $24/month

  • Elite Cloud: $56/month

  • Ultimate Cloud: $145/month

Except for the Standard Plan, the others will come with a 7-day free trial. This feature is beneficial for businesses determining the effectiveness of Akaunting.

However, some users showcased their dissatisfaction with the customer service department. The application is also less effective compared to other options. 

? Why use Akaunting?
  • Despite being free, Akaunting offers a surprising depth of features compared to other free options. Invoicing, expense tracking, bank reconciliation, reporting, and even inventory management are available.

But if you’re looking for a free and comprehensive option, you can use Akaunting. The pros will make you outweigh the cons. 

13. Xero

With Xero accounting software, you can perform different types of activities. Xero helps businesses track expenses, manage important contacts, store data online, and many invoices from one platform

The software lets you create quotations based on client approvals from your phones or desktops. Xero is affiliated with the Stripe payment gateway and accepts payments in 160+ currencies

Xero

  • Bilk reconcile bank transactions
  • Payment scheduling
  • Monitor employee spending
  • Record time and cost
  • Easy project tracking

Even though Xero is free to use, the free version lasts only four months. After that, you need to purchase a subscription

Here are the pros and cons of Xero.

Pros

  • You can access your financial data from anywhere
  • Xero is designed to be easy to use
  • Xero automatically downloads your bank transactions and matches them to your invoices and expenses
  • Xero integrates with a wide range of third-party applications

Cons

  • Xero does not offer payroll functionality in all countries

The free version allows users to create up to 20 invoices and quotes. This is why the free plan is ideal for small businesses and freelancers. 

Xero Pricing Plan

  • Starter: $29/month

  • Standard: $46/month

  • Premium: $62/month

You can use all of Xero's features for free of cost for 30 days. Then you can decide if you should keep investing in this accounting software.

? Why use Xero?
  • Xero is known for its clean and intuitive interface, making it accessible even for those without accounting expertise. This can save you time and frustration compared to more complex software.

Thanks to its robust functionality, Xero can simplify your business's invoicing and inventory management processes. The interface is user-friendly for both beginners and professionals

14. Striven

Whether your business needs standard accounting or complicated bookkeeping, Striven can help you in many situations. With Striven, you can communicate with your suppliers and monitor positive and negative cash flows

Unlike other software options, Striven provides an accounting-specific dashboard and other valuable business services. This makes Striven a one-stop solution for your business's accounting needs. 

Striven

  • Customer and vendor portals
  • Document management
  • Payroll exports
  • Project management
  • Advanced accounting + ERP

As Striven is a versatile application, it can aid different types of organizations, from government entities to non-profit organizations to businesses

Whether you have a small startup or a large enterprise, you will never go wrong with Striven. As long as you’re transparent with your outcome, you will face no bookkeeping problems. 

Pros

  • Striven covers a wide range of functionalities
  • The user interface is generally considered intuitive
  • Striven can be considered cost-effective
  • Access up-to-date information

Cons

  • Some users find the initial learning curve steeper

Now that you know the pros and cons of Striven, let's take a look at the pricing structure.

Striven Pricing Plan

  • Standard: $35/month

  • Enterprise: $70/month

Striven can also generate accurate reports flawlessly and quickly. It will provide you with tools to communicate with the clients and customers. Furthermore, you can connect with your vendors from your accounting portal

? Why use Striven?
  • Striven combines features for accounting, CRM, project management, inventory, HR, and even e-commerce into a single platform. This eliminates the need for multiple software subscriptions and simplifies data management.

Striven can be integrated with popular platforms such as Microsoft Calendar, Google Calendar, Gmail, etc. 

15. TurboCash

Another open-source and best free accounting software for small businesses is TurboCash. While this software is great for satisfying accounting needs, it requires slight technical knowledge

If you’re tech-savvy, you can accomplish numerous things with this software. However, like other open-source solutions, the learning curve may be steep. 

TurboCash

  • Comprehensive inventory management
  • Robust reporting capabilities
  • Seamless software integration
  • Improved stock control
  • Maximized financial control

TurboCash may not look as simple and sleek as other accounting tools, but the features provided by TurboCash are surprisingly great. 

Pros

  • Manage finances in multiple currencies and languages
  • Easy to learn and navigate
  • Efficiently import and export large volumes of data
  • Customize reports, invoices, and workflows

Cons

  • Lacks a dedicated mobile app

Once you learn how the software works, you can use TurboCash without any problem. Thanks to the blogs and tutorials, you can learn the operations within a few days

TurboCash Pricing Plan

  • TurboCASH 5 Business Class: $60/year

  • TurboCASH 5 Multi User: $200/month

One of TurboCash's most eye-catching features is its support for numerous accounting standards. It can also be used for customer tracking and invoicing. 

? Why use TurboCash?
  • As your business grows, TurboCash can scale with you. They offer different plans and modules to accommodate your evolving needs, ensuring you have the features you need at each stage.

TurboCash has multi-language support, making it a great option for businesses of any size. With TurboCash, you will never face language barriers

Ready to choose Free Accounting Software for Small Business?

Free accounting software is best for the initial days as it is a more affordable option for small businesses and freelancers. But you need to upgrade to a premium version as your service-based businesses grow

Upgrading to a paid accounting plan will give you access to better storage and more powerful accounting features. If you dig deep, you will find accounting software for small business free easily.

In conclusion, there isn’t any best accounting business software for small businesses in the market. Each software has its perks and drawbacks. Understanding your business and its core accounting needs will help you choose the right one. 

Frequently Asked Questions

GnuCash is financial-accounting software designed for personal and small-business use. It's freely licensed under the GNU GPL and can be utilized on various operating systems including Mac, GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, and Microsoft Windows.

Cost-free accounting software aids small businesses in monitoring their income sources and expenses.

Simplify finances and accounting with Google Workspace. FreshBooks offers the quickest solution for invoicing clients, managing expenses, and tracking time on the fly.