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Accounting & Budgeting Software

Best Accounting & Budgeting Software

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Accounting & Budgeting 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

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 & Budgeting Products

Listings (76-100 of 129)

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Open Systems, Inc. provides adaptable ERP, accounting, and business software solutions for companies in a wide array of industries, including; manufacturing, distribution, not-for-profit, and many more. The TRAVERSE and OSAS software product lines from Open Systems offer customize-able solutions ...

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CYMA Accounting Software provides an automated accounting solution for growing mid-sized businesses through flexible user environments, a full suite ofaccounting software modules, robust reporting, security, and advanced customization options. Along with the basic general ledger, CYMA's acco...

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A Pioneer in Online Accounting e-conomic is a rapidly growing company, constantly on the lookout for the best employees within web application development, customer support, online marketing and much more. The company was founded in 2001 and currently employs a staff of more than 170, including a...

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Saasu online accounting leads innovation in the cloud accounting industry. Loved by customers in 50 countries, Saasu is transforming the way business owners and advisors interact with financial data. A multi award winner, Saasu was recently ranked the number one accounting system for small and me...

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Denali is a comprehensive business and nonprofit accounting software system that is provided by Cougar Mountain Software. It is integrated and customizable and can be used by small companies and business that require sophisticated solutions. Denali has internal controls that protect a business ag...

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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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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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BeansBooks is a simple cloud-based or local accounting from System76 in Denver. It is open code; the software can be downloaded, installed, and modified for free. It contains the basic features of accounting software.

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InvoiceBerry provides invoicing software targeted towards small businesses and freelancers.

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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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accountsIQ provides a Cloud Accounting Software solution for Accountancy Practices and Medium Sized Businesses offering:•Multi-currency accounting •Multi-location accounting •Group Consolidation •Enhanced Business Analysis Launched in 2008 after 80+ man-years of development and receiving ICAEW ac...

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HansaWorld is a leading software house providing a full suite of Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management products that delivers the flexibility required by today’s businesses.The group employs more than 300 staff with a strong network of subsidiary companies and distribu...

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FMIS Enterprise and Fixed Asset Management Software offers a comprehensive asset management solution ideal for medium to large organisations across a range of industries. FMIS solutions are trusted in over 40 countries worldwide and are backed up by 30 years experience in both the public and priv...

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Twinfield is cloud-based accounting software from Wolters Kluwer.

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inDinero is an accounting platform with integrated full-service payroll, from the company of the same name in San Francisco, California.

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Araize provides a seamlessly integrated SaaS (cloud) solution for nonprofit organizations called FundFund Online. It includes nonprofit-fund accounting, fund raising (CRM) and payroll in a single system. FastFund Online was designed by CPAs with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector specif...

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Performance Canvas by DSPanel delivers Financial Reporting, Planning, Budgeting, Performance Management and Consolidation in a way that will put your business into overdrive. Based on the ease-of-use of Microsoft Excel and the full power of Microsoft SQL Server we deliver Finance and Performance ...

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VersAccounts is a cloud ERP system designed for fast growing businesses, between $1-$50M in annual revenue, looking to upgrade business management solutions they currently have including entry-level accounting products or mid-tier legacy on-premise ERP systems. Built from the ground up on the la...

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TMW Systems is the leading Transportation Management Software (TMS) provider to for-hire and private fleets, brokerage and 3PL organizations. Founded in 1983, TMW has focused exclusively on providing mission-critical enterprise software to the transportation industry, including asset-based and no...

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FlexiInternational Software, Inc., based in Shelton, Connecticut, provides financial management software.