With so many finance and accounting software options on the market, which can you trust as a new business?
What software will properly categorize your business transactions for your financial statements, reporting and tax returns?
Which will track and manage the cash flowing in and out of your business?
And, which will automate the basic bookkeeping tasks that frequently fall through the cracks?
Fortunately, selecting the right accounting platform for your new business doesn’t need to be as difficult as you may think.
If you’re ready to ditch manual spreadsheets, take a look at the top six new business accounting platforms available to founders.
As a pioneer in the accounting software space, Inuit’s Quickbooks first hit the stage in 1992. Today, it has evolved into QuickBooks Online, which boasts more than 3 million users — so new founders can trust they’re in good company. QuickBooks includes in-depth accounting features, financial reports, and payroll management capabilities, which leverages automation to ensure employees are paid on time.
Automated payroll features calculate, file, and pay federal and state payroll taxes to help avoid any steep tax implications and penalties at the end of the year. To further prevent the mismanagement of expenses, Quickbooks expense and transaction management solutions link to business accounts to monitor all company transactions.
Likewise, Snapshot features also allow new founders to save photos of their receipts to more efficiently track company costs. Pricing for QuickBooks Online begins at $7.50/month for the Simple Start Plan for one user and $15/month for the Essentials Plan for three users. For those looking to incorporate additional payroll services, full-service features begin at $22.50/month.
Founded in New Zealand by Rob Drury and Hamish Edwards in 2006, Xero has become one of the most popular accounting solutions for start-ups and small businesses, even earning the title of World’s Most Innovative Growth Company from Forbes in 2014 and 2015. No matter what type of accounting tasks you may be struggling with, Xero’s all-in-one accounting platform has a solution.
With more than 1,000 third-party app integrations, new founders can effortlessly sync Xero accounting features with countless platforms, from Shopify for e-commerce to Stripe for service-based businesses collecting payment in the field. This data is automatically uploaded into Xero’s accounting platform to allow easy access to all company financial data in one place.
As a business owner, the last thing you want to worry about is overdue bills. Xero’s bill pay management helps owners track and automate bill pay and provides an accurate understanding of cash flow and accounts payable. Xero’s pricing starts at $12/month for their Early Plan, which is best suited for sole traders and new businesses. The Growing Plan starts at $34/month, which is more suitable for growing small businesses looking for more in-depth accounting capabilities.
Wave started in 2010 as a small team of eight and has since exploded into an accounting powerhouse with more than 250 employees worldwide and a global user ecosystem of over 4 million. Wave features robust invoicing capabilities, design tools, and templates that allow start-up founders to create high-quality, branded invoices that can be sent digitally for quick payment.
Invoicing data is captured in one central dashboard where users can set up recurring billing for customers, automate overdue customer reminders, and seamlessly manage company accounts receivable. Income statements display a business’s net profit and summarize revenues and expenses in a set time period. Cash flow displays reveal how much cash the business has on hand to remain in the green.
Even better? For new business owners on a budget, Wave’s accounting and invoicing solutions are completely free and only charge a per-use fee for payments. Fees for credit card payments start at 2.9% + 30¢ and fees for bank payments (ACH transfers) are 1% per transaction.
Like Wave, Freshbooks began in 2003 with just a four-person team. Today, the company has more than 500 employees who serve upwards of 24 million users worldwide. FreshBooks’ extensive list of accounting tools helps new businesses manage dozens of accounting tasks without the hassle. For instance, FreshBooks boasts extensive financial reporting capabilities to construct profit and loss reports, sales tax summary reports, and expense reports at a moment’s notice.
For those who run a service-based start-up, such as a marketing agency, FreshBooks also offers time tracking features to ensure accurate billing for customer hours. The system uses a built-in mobile and desktop timer to easily track the entire team and the projects they’re working on. This data can then be translated by the FreshBooks system to automatically bill clients for the tracked hours.
Pricing for FreshBooks is available in tiers, starting with a Lite version that is $15.00/month. A Plus version is available for $25.00/month and a Premium version for $50.00 a month, both of which include additional features for an increased number of users. If you’re not too sure which option is best for you, FreshBooks allows you to try their solutions for free, no credit card required.
Zoho has launched several applications since the early 2000s, the arguably most popular of which was Zoho Books in 2011. Zoho Books is an online accounting solution that allows new founders to manage finances and stay on top of cash flow. With general accounting features that help founders manage accounts receivable and payable, automate tax payments, and construct financial reports, Zoho Books also provides inventory management capabilities.
Mismanaged inventory is one of the easiest ways to induce accounting complications for founders who operate a product-based business. Zoho Books’ inventory management software tracks inventory levels at all times and allows users to set reorder points to help replenish stock on time. Inventory costs are then synced with the accounting platform to ensure purchase orders are documented and included in company financial records.
Zoho Books also offers a client portal that allows owners to share transactions and estimates with customers, record customer feedback, and request payment. All payment records are synced with your accounting efforts to further ensure accurate financial recording. Zoho Books is free for a single user account, and pricing starts at $20.00/month for the standard version.
Founded in 2015 by Tim Chaves, ZipBooks is a simple and intuitive accounting solution that boasts a click-minimizing design to offer a great selection of accounting tools without the need to navigate an overly-detailed platform.
The ZipBooks dashboard features a very minimal learning curve that makes it very user-friendly for founders who are not particularly financially savvy. From bank connect to expense categorization, ZipBooks’ automation grabs critical financial data from multiple accounts to organize them in one place without any additional efforts.
ZipBook additionally leverages a machine learning system that continuously works to make accounting tasks easier. System intelligence will import all banking transactions and automatically categorize them into various expense types to help streamline accounting needs and boost efficiency around tax time. ZipBooks offers a free version for those just getting started, a Smarter version that’s $15/month, and a Sophisticated version at $35/month.
From painstakingly detailed spreadsheets to accountants who are everything but detailed, several factors can negatively impact the finances of small businesses or startups. Navigate around these challenges with a reliable accounting solution.
And don’t forget, you also need to be monitoring cash flow and ensuring you’re making the right decisions for your business. PocketCFO is designed to make your startup financials intuitive. It integrates with accounting software, like Quickbooks, to make cash flow management and forecasting easy.
Pricing starts at $37 per month, and we offer a 34-day free trial.
We’re also a Public Benefit Corporation on a mission to democratize access to financial intelligence by partnering with underrepresented business owners.