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Best Accounting Software

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Accounting Software Overview

What is Business Accounting Software?

Accounting Software records and processes accounting transactions and serves as an accounting information system from which decision makers or company accountants can monitor business processes and generate financial reports.

Their essential feature is an interactive financial dashboard with a general ledger for handling double-entry bookkeeping. Common features to this class of software are as follows:

  • Means of tracking company inventory and purchase orders
  • Sales tracking
  • Automated invoicing
  • Receipt capture via document or image processing
  • Timekeeping
  • Analytics for budgeting and revenue tracking
  • Financial reporting
  • Accounts payable/accounts receivable functions.
These features are either contained intrinsically (within the accounting software) or managed via integration with third-party software that performs these functions in a modular fashion (e.g. dedicated AR or AP software, Expense Management Software, Image Capture Software, etc.).

An automated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system contains all of these functions (or supports integration with the requisite modules), thus these products appear in this category as well. However ERPs are often industry specific or scaled to the needs of larger companies and may represent overkill for seekers of pure and simplified accounting solutions for their business.

Some vendors offer specialized accounting software dedicated to handling the regulatory and reporting needs specific to some industries, like construction or manufacturing. Either an all-in-one solution or a package bundled with smaller, dedicated integratable modules could be the best approach, depending on business needs.

Small Business Accounting Software

Accounting & Budgeting Software offerings vary a great deal in complexity. Simple, inexpensive or free platforms are available for entrepreneurs and smaller companies, while medium-sized or larger companies may find use for more complex software possessing a greater breadth of features or deeper processing capacity and higher usage limit caps (like unlimited invoicing or the ability of a larger number of users to access the system).

QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Wave Accounting are some of the leading products suited to small business. QuickBooks requires training for new users, but it is convenient to use with an accountant and other financial services, because most providers in the space are already familiar with it. FreshBooks is a bit simpler and requires less training; Wave Accounting is free and aimed at businesses with fewer than 10 employees. When evaluating accounting tools, small businesses may want to pay particular attention to these areas:
  • Cost
  • Usability and training requirements
  • Efficiency
  • Scalability and limitations, including number of customers/invoices/users/transactions per month
  • Customer support
  • Reporting
  • Mobile functionality
  • CPA access (unless you manage your own finances)
  • Credit card processing, tax preparation, and payroll services
  • Integrations to third-party tools

Cloud Accounting Software

Traditionally, accounting software products were installed locally on servers located in the firm's location (on-premises or desktop software), and this kind of accounting software is still widely used today. Following the dominant trend in the broader software market though, many newer products are offered as cloud products, delivered over the Internet and accessed with a web browser.

Older, on-premise-based installed products are sometimes offered in “hosted” deployments, but this is not the same thing. “Cloud” usually means Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) where the vendor manages the software application and the entire hosting infrastructure on behalf of all customers. The product is designed to be deployed in this one-to-many model and customers access the product through a simple web browser.

Xero, Wave, Intacct (acquired by Sage), and NetSuite are examples of cloud accounting vendors. On-premise vendors such as QuickBooks and Sage now offer cloud products as well. Read more about cloud vs. on-premise trend in Accounting software.

Accounting & Budgeting Features & Capabilities

General ledger features make up the core of most accounting & budgeting platforms. Inventory, order, and payroll management features may be included as modules within the platform, or may be handled by third-party plug-ins; some of these features are industry specific.

Accounting & Budgeting tools also include reporting and customization/integration features (like dashboards and an API for custom integrations) that are common across many software categories. Additional capabilities are relevant for accounting firms who manage finances for multiple businesses.

General Ledger Features

The general ledger is a record of transactions and balances. These features comprise the basic bookkeeping functionality of the software:
  • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Cash management
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Expense management
  • Time tracking
  • Fixed asset management
  • Multi-currency and multi-division support
  • Regulations compliance
  • Electronic tax filing
  • Self-service portal

Inventory Management Features

These features give businesses the ability to track and manage the flow of goods or materials into and out of an inventory. They are relevant to industries with physical inventories, like retailers and suppliers. Inventory management functionality addresses:
  • Inventory tracking
  • Automatic reordering
  • Location management
  • Manufacturing module

Order Management Features

This feature set gives businesses the ability to process orders and track them from quote to cash. Order management is relevant to businesses that deal in services or goods and materials. For example, eCommerce retail vendors need to manage product orders and pool maintenance companies need to manage work orders. Basic order management features are:
  • Pricing
  • Order entry
  • Credit card processing
  • Calculating cost of goods sold

Payroll Management Features

Payroll management features are relevant for handling the costs and money flow associated with a company's workforce. These may be more or less sophisticated depending on the scale of the business and the type of employees (e.g. full time, part time, contractors, etc). Payroll management features include:
  • Pay calculation
  • Benefit plan administration
  • Direct deposit files
  • Salary revision and increment management
  • Reimbursement management

Accounting Firm BPO Features

BPO stands for Business Process Outsourcing. These features are relevant to accounting firms using the product on behalf of clients:
  • Branded dashboards, with a unique view for each client with the accounting form name and logo displayed
  • Client roll-up capabilities that allow users to aggregate data for multiple entities within one client (e.g. data for all convenience stores within a certain zip code)
  • Data consolidation across clients within a vertical market to provide a benchmark for performance measurement/comparison
  • Configurable alerts for overdue forms and materials
  • Billing bypass options (software vendor bills firm; firm bills clients)
  • Client template cloning for setup, report format, and dashboards
  • Single sign-on for access to all customer accounts
  • Configurable client onboarding questions
  • Cross-client workflow management
  • Industry-specific versioning
  • Legacy system data migration

Accounting Software Comparison

To compare different accounting platforms, consider what unique tools pertaining to accounting you will need to utilize. Most accounting solutions will include standard accounting capabilities like General Ledger (GL), Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable (AP/AR), bank reconciliation, fixed asset management, expense tracking, invoicing capabilities, and financial reporting capabilities. Some businesses will need additional features like inventory management, payroll capabilities, dedicated budgeting features, and cash flow analysis.


Some companies may require a comprehensive ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, rather than a solution that focuses exclusively on accounting. ERP systems are broader resource management systems,and have a wider range of capabilities including things like procurement, order management, CRM, supply chain management, inventory management, logistics and human resource management functionality. Even though many businesses have a unique set of functionality requirements, there are a few accounting ‘must-have’ criteria that a majority of buyers agree on.


Other important features also include these attributes such as:

  1. Intuitive, easy-to-use UI:

  2. Third-party integrations

  3. Robust reporting capabilities

  4. Cloud-based software

  5. Invoicing capabilities

Pricing Information

Accounting software is most frequently offered on a subscription or perpetual license basis. For very small use cases, some software is offered on a 1-purchase basis. For small businesses, subscriptions are available for less than $100/month. however, pricing can increase and vary more as buyers' accounting needs scale in size and complexity. Products for larger organizations may be priced by the modules selected within the product, required integrations, or number of transactions or users.

For large businesses and enterprises, accounting capabilities are frequently included with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) products. These platforms can be much more expensive than standalone accounting software. ERPs can also provide additional capabilities that may be more efficient to bundle with accounting processes if a businesses needs both products.

More Resources

Accounting Products

Listings (101-123 of 123)

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TRAVERSE Accounting and Business Software (Enterprise Resource Planning - ERP) is a business accounting software suite for small- to medium-sized businesses using the Microsoft Windows operating system from Open Systems, Inc. Traverse can be hosted on-premises or in the cloud, or in a hybrid fashion…

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NumberCruncher is an inventory management software offering from NumberCruncher.com, Inc. It includes features such as granular inventory visibility and reducing recall loss with serial and lot.

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InvoiceBerry offers a simple and secure online invoicing software for freelancers and small businesses. InvoiceBerry users can choose between 15 different invoice template designs when setting up their account. Once set up, businesses can add their company items and services as well as their custome…

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Billfaster is an online invoicing, cash management and expense tracking system with automated accounting for start-ups and small businesses.

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FMIS Asset Management is a full lifecycle asset management solution. The system is ideally suited to medium or large companies across a range of sectors including Oil & Gas, Commercial, Manufacturing, Engineering, Healthcare and Government. FMIS Fixed Assets is designed to give finance teams th…

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Performance Canvas' pcLegal targets mid-sized to large organizations that want a more unified and Excel-based approach to financial budgeting and planning, modeling, dashboards, profitability analysis, KPI setting, performance reporting, and advanced consolidation. It supports both on premise, host…

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TruckMate from TMW Systems is accounting, dispatch, and operations software for the trucking industry.

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The Questica suite of products are part of a comprehensive web-based budgeting preparation, performance, management and data visualization solution that enables public sector and non-profit organizations to improve and shorten their budgeting cycles. Questica Budget is a fully featured, multi-user …

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Questica Performance captures key measures and provides dynamic analytic tools to evaluate and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of programs and services. It integrates with Questica Budget, and can be deployed as a web-based tool, on-premise, or cloud. The Questica suite of products are part…

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Questica OpenBook is a transparency and data visualization tool that enables organizations to share and communicate their financials and other data, when and where they need to. Additionally, OpenBook Project Explorer for Capital Budgets allows organizations to display on an interactive map every in…

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Scipio ERP is an open source enterprise resource planning (ERP) and eCommerce system. Compared to its direct competitors, the software can be seen as a very modern, yet inexpensive alternative. Scipio ERP comes bundled with rich business applications and is best suited for mid- to large size compani…

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idu-Concept promises to automate and streamline the manual process of spreadsheet-based budgeting, forecasting and reporting. idu-Concept provides budgeting, forecasting and reporting tools with easy-to-use modules. It is available both on premise and as a cloud solution. The main value proposition…

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NetYield is a complete accounting and inventory management solution for the seafood industry, available for deployment on your server or in the cloud. The product works for small operations as well as enterprises. With over 30 years of seafood industry experience, the vendor says its advisers can h…

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LivaBudget is a ready-to-use CPM System. The vendor promises big know-how for most sectors. Users are able to generate Solo and Consolidated budgets in accordance with COA, IFRS, GAAP etc standards. The goal of these solutions is to allow users to run budgeting process faster, make them more accurat…

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Plannuh headquartered in Boston offers a cloud-based marketing budgeting, collaborative planning, and goal setting platform.

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Catalyst from EBM Software in Minneapolis is a cloud-based business performance application suite, designed to provide an environment and workflow for understanding business profitability.

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Microsoft invites users to automate and modernize global financial operations with Dynamics 365 Finance. With it, users can monitor performance in real time, predict future outcomes, and make data-driven decisions to drive business growth. It replaces the finance capability of the former Microsoft D…

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FUTRLI (formerly CrunchBoards) is financial reporting tool that pulls accounting data from Xero and produces reports such as P&L, cashflow, forecasting and alerts. The company is based in Brighton and was founded in 2014.

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According to the vendor, AccountancyManager is an award winning CRM & practice management software; built by accountants for accountants and bookkeepers, with every pain point in mind. AccountancyManager provides users with features from on-boarding clients and managing workflow, to automated em…

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Budget Maestro aims to help financial executives to transition away from error-prone, disparate spreadsheets to an automated system that provides comprehensive budgeting, forecasting, consolidation and reporting tools. The vendor says small to medium businesses looking to move forward to a more flex…

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2019

2019 Top Rated Accounting Software

There are plenty of options out there, but here's our shortlist of the best Accounting Software. These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. To qualify, a product must have 10 or more recent reviews and a trScore of 7.5 or higher, indicating above-average satisfaction for business technology. The products with the highest trScores appear first on the list. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.