5 Top Accounting Software for SMBs in 2023 & Beyond

top accounting software

Accounting is built into the operations of every small and medium-sized business. The top accounting software for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) helps you keep detailed, accurate books. Specifically, these programs generate useful reports, provide live support, integrate with your business apps and can accommodate growth. 

There are many accounting software with different features, but here are SMB Services’ picks for the best accounting software for SMB’s.

Top Accounting Software for Small Businesses 

Best Overall Accounting Software: Intuit QuickBooks Online Software

A popular favorite for meeting SMB accounting requirements, QuickBooks Online offers online training resources and customer support forums. It is cloud-based software that can be accessed via web browser or a mobile application, presenting all its accounting features in one convenient dashboard. Customizations are possible, especially in how payments are received, reports are reviewed or business progress  is tracked.

QuickBooks Online offers an enhanced onboarding experience with improved dashboards and a well-designed user interface and navigation. The platform provides many customizable reports to choose from and is flexible, extensible and available to a wide variety of users. Their features include tracking expenses in one place, scanning and attaching receipts to invoices, exporting and sharing documents and tracking miles with data from mobile GPS. QuickBooks Online fully integrates with QuickBooks Payroll for seamless service provision. All payment plans allow for third-party integrations with Stripe, PayPal, Square, Shopify, and any other QuickBooks applications. However, users are encountering issues when working with multicurrency options on the software.

Intuit QuickBooks is a leading choice for SMBs as it is a tried and tested option, praised for its functionality and reliability. Potentially, Quickbooks stands out as one of the best accounting software solutions for your business. They have over 80% market share and have a diverse product range suited to help small businesses.

Best Free Accounting Software: Wave

For a small business that does not need payroll or complicated invoices, Wave is the ideal platform for bookkeeping, invoicing and reporting. Ideal for freelancers and service-based businesses, this free accounting software offers functions like a double-entry system, data-backing for security, income and expense tracking, financial reporting, invoicing, and scanning receipts. For premium services like customer payment processing and payroll, there is an additional cost.

Wave has a smart selection of features, intelligent invoice and transaction management, and multicurrency support. It does not impose limits on transactions and billing, or on the number of business accounts or users that can be added. Wave offers simple record templates, no dedicated time-tracking feature and no comprehensive mobile application. This platform can be accessed via a mobile application but is limited by its lack of third-party integration.

This software is rated best for businesses with just a few employees, and those hoping to use free invoice and transaction management services. With ease of use and synchroneity prioritized, Wave is a powerful accounting solution for SMBs starting out.

Best Accounting Software for Service-based Businesses: FreshBooks

A service-based accounting software business requires invoicing as a matter of urgency. FreshBooks as a software offers more related functions and customizations than others. With intuitive navigation tools, it aids small and medium-sized business owners to send, receive, print, and pay invoices, track time spent on projects and handle basic bookkeeping needs. Described by Forbes as one of the easiest accounting software to use, FreshBooks (accessed via iPhone, iPad or Android devices) is designed for small business owners without accounting backgrounds.

FreshBooks is cloud-based and user-friendly, and popular as an affordable option for budget-tight projects. Their software has context-sensitive settings, team collaboration and time-tracking tools, and automatic mileage tracking on mobile applications. The invoices can be stylized and personalized according to the user’s preferences . More features include multicurrency and language billing, remembered vendors, recurring invoices with customizable options and payment reminders. This software integrates with third-party applications like Shopify, Gusto, Stripe, and G Suite.

SMBs should be aware that they do not offer payroll services but do offer excellent integration with a partner company called Gusto.

FreshBooks works best for businesses that need to send recurring invoices or that offer subscription models. With affordable plans and geo-tracking of invoices, this is software worth considering!

Best Accounting Software for Growing Small Businesses: Xero

This software is a good choice for small businesses that are looking forward to or are already growing. They need solutions with payroll capabilities that can also track projects. Xero has a cost-effective Starter plan, effective mobile applications and expandable capabilities. They also offer features like expense and inventory tracking and management for mobile applications, estimates, configurable reports, recurrent invoicing and simple budgeting options. Xero accounting software allows functionality with useful options to convert QuickBooks files, etc. This coupled with their 24/7 email and live chat support, makes for a user-friendly experience.

Unlike other accounting software on the market, Xero’s subscription plans support unlimited users. As your small business grows, more employees and users can be added without additional cost. A notable feature is Xero’s Executive Summary report that offers great flexibility in terms of date ranges, comparative periods and commentary text ability. This can then be passed on as a PDF, Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet.

Xero touts more than 700 application integrations, with seamless access via iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. For $39 per month, Xero offers the Payroll with Gusto as an add-on. However, their initial plans have limitations like a five invoice and twenty bank transaction reconciliation restriction.

Xero’s mobile experience is a leading characteristic, ideal for busy business people on the go.

Best Accounting Software for Medium Businesses Anticipating Rapid Growth: Oracle NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

NetSuite is a cloud-based accounting software that provides intuitive financial management solutions. Designed to expedite a business’s financial transactions, monitoring accounts receivable and payable, NetSuite keeps track of SMBs compliance obligations. This software streamlines business operations with their full product suite that allows for real-time reporting and timely action.

Features offered include financial process and operations management, billing, financial planning and reporting, global account management and consolidation, and government risk and compliance. In addition to this, NetSuite also includes warehouse management, inventory auditing and multiple location management. By principle of being an ERP platform, NetSuite offers integrations with all accounting, inventory management, CRM and capital management modules. They also have a dedicated implementation team, available for an additional fee.

NetSuite is a top accounting software; however, it can be expensive for startups or small businesses. It is ideal for high growth small businesses and medium-sized businesses, for whom this integrated ecosystem saves time and money. This unified platform software works best when the available modules are used in conjunction.

Comparison of Top Accounting Software

Free TrialYesNoYesYesYes
Basic Plan$25$20$6$12$999 Lincence Fee
Custom PlansYesYesYesYesYes
Mobile AccessYesYesYesYesYes
Time TrackingYesNoYesYesYes
Customer and Vendor PortalsNoNoYesYesYes
Inventory TrackingYesNoYesYesYes
Training AvailableYesYesYesYesYes
CRM IntegrationYesYesYesYesYes
24/7 Live SupportYesNoNoYesYes

Source: SAAS worthy 

To conclude, when it comes to accounting software options for small businesses, the choices can be overwhelming. However, in this blog, we’ve highlighted the most poductive, top accounting software solutions specifically designed to cater to the diverse needs of small businesses. These finance-related tools offer a multitude of benefits and can significantly enhance your business’s overall finances.

Blog Author
Husnain Kazmi

Husnain Kazmi

Husnain is the Chief Operating Officer at SMB Services, and he has an impressive career in Financial Accounting and Reporting that spans over 20 years. He has gained valuable experience working with well-known accounting firms like EY. With his strong technical skills and professional expertise, Husnain's advice is essential for small and medium-sized businesses looking to succeed in their operations.