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What's the best bookkeeping software for small businesses?

I am planning on buying QuickBooks but wondering if anyone has suggestions for something that might be better or easier.

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Completely agree with Joe Faris. QuickBooks is the best in my eyes. Like Joe, I do not like the Online or Industry versions of the software. But would suggest you look into some of the new QuickBooks hosting sites that allow you to purchase or lease your QB software and host it in the Cloud (like RightNetworks or Cloud9). My clients who have had issues with QuickBooks are generally the ones who forget to make backups and then suffer a hardware failure. So I am a fan of full versions of QB software in the Cloud.


With out a doubt it's Outright.com. I've used QB online for year but that still requires you do do most of the work. Outright syncs your financial accounts-banking, credit cares, expense and paypal- and puts then on one page with a simple green or ed graphic. It doesn't get easier. Tax time, forgetabout it! So easy. Nope, I'm not associated with them. Just returning the love.


The best solution is one that the small business can and will actually use. There are a number of cloud based accounting solutions, but each tends to be popular with certain types of small business owner.

Some of the more popular ones are:
http://www.xero.com Very popular in Europe and Australia markets, but definitely gaining ground in the US market now that they integrate with more US banks. A very good product that is relatively easy to use.
http://www.waveaccounting.com True double entry accounting and it's free. I think it is easy to use, but I am a CPA and not everyone agrees with me on that. It is free so all it costs is some time to check it out.
http://www.quickbooks.com In my opinion one of the more complicated applications, but they have HUGE market share and obviously work for a lot of small businesses, plus there is a whole secondary market built around supporting small business owners on Quickbooks.
http://www.indinero.com Not true double entry accounting, but their hook is it is very simple for the non-accountant to use.
http://www.outright.com Also not true double entry accounting, but again it is very easy to use and to set up. Works great for sole proprietors/freelance workers who want to spend minimal time on bookkeeping. That is definitely their niche.
There are numerous others, but these are the ones I run into most often. Most of them have a free trial option, and are pretty easy to set up and test out. I usually suggest my clients narrow the list to two that look appealing and play around with them to see which works best for their unique situation or talk to your CPA and see which one he recommends.

Here is a fairly comprehensive list of current cloud based SMB accounting software



I have found that Quickbooks works well for most of my clients. It's actually fairly easy to use, particularly if you do not have much accounting expertise. Some CPAs prefer Peachtree because it is more difficult to reverse entries and better fro an internal control standpoint. However for early stage companies your main focus should be creating a basic accounting system and you can do that with Quickbooks.

Depending on your industry you might look into one of the industry-specific versions or you can go with the basic Quickbooks Pro or the online version.


I have been using Handdy Jotbook, instead of Quickbooks, as Jotbook holds the features of Quickbooks and even more advanced, and easier options too.

Handdy seems to be quite convenient and it lets us to manage our accounting easier from wherever we are. Also the additional feature would be that, it can be used in MAC, PC and other upgrades.

I feel its quite flexible to handle my accounts in minutes rather scratching the head or on hiring an accountant, to whom we want to go behind to know the financial status.

You'd have a better try with Handdy Jotbook and I'm sure you can make up your business management effective, as I do.


another vote for Quickbooks, it works nicely with bank accounts and with Turbotax ...truly seamless.

Anonymous User

It depends on what you are looking for in an accounting system. If you are looking for the best consider Intacct. If you are looking for the least expensive, maybe Quickbooks.

Over the last 18 years, I have worked with many accounting systems for small to large businesses. In my humble opinion by far the best accounting software is Intacct.

It has functionality that some large ERPs do not offer and integrates easily with many other systems. It is cloud based and we can do accounting for clients anytime and from anywhere with ease. It is user friendly and has quick at-a-glance dashboards that can be customized for each user, allowing them to see exactly when they need in real-time. It is highly scalable to keep up with small to large businesses.


Small Business Accounting needs to be simple and quick. Lets face it with today's economic environment small business owners cannot afford to spend hours pouring over their books, they need to be out their getting more work... Pouring over old money wont make you new money, accounting for the most part involves old money..

No matter what accounting product is being used it needs to be easy and simple enough to empower the user, but far to often I see clients trying to use software that does the opposite.

If your a small business owner and your software is giving your grief then take to time and look around for another product...



It depends on your requirements and budget. Many business owners seem to gravitate toward FreshBooks. It's a web-based service that does accounting, time tracking, invoicing, etc. The next step up in terms of complexity and capabilities would be QuickBooks which is a very popular package for small businesses. I suggest looking at FreshBooks first, especially since you are a sole proprietor.


Quickbooks has recently invested more time and energy on improving their platform and services and this is a good investment for small business.

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