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Adding Value: 10 Bookkeeping Systems Small Business Owners Can Use

By Scott Gerber, writer
Mar 12, 2019
Image Credit: lovelyday12/Shutterstock
> Finance
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Here are some tools to consider when looking for good ways to keep track of your finances.

Deciding on the right bookkeeping software or systems for your business is all about knowing what your organization needs and what each program can offer. 

There's a lot of bells and whistles out there, though, with each approach offering its own advantages. Some firms focus on ease of scaling, for instance, while others want quick access via the cloud, or prefer a system that embraces elements like inventory management or website integrations. 

So what kinds of systems should you be paying attention to in order to help your business grow? To find out, we asked entrepreneurs from YEC to weigh in on what they think are the best bookkeeping programs or approaches for small business owners. Here's what they said.

Editor's note: Looking for the right accounting software for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.


1. Bonsai

"Bonsai is a great tool for small businesses just starting out and not wanting to invest in expensive bookkeeping software. It integrates seamlessly with your website, allowing you to create different packages on your site and tying it directly with your bookkeeping software in the back end. They also have an iPhone app so you can access your financial documents from anywhere." – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

2. FreshBooks

"FreshBooks is a great cloud-based accounting software for small business. It's affordable, so it's a good option for businesses that are just starting out. You can send invoices, track time, accept credit cards, and manage receipts and expenses. Plus, it's super easy to use, and since it's cloud-based, you can access it on the go." – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

3. QuickBooks

"QuickBooks may not be the sexiest or latest-and-greatest option, but it is tried and true. In addition, it's the easiest to scale. Being able to pass off something to an in-house or outsourced accountant that they know well makes life so much easier, as opposed to having them learn a new software." – Ryan O'Connell, LaunchKC

4. Sage 50cloud

"Sage 50cloud is a great online accounting solution for small businesses. It's designed for small businesses in mind: The pricing is affordable, and it's easy to use. You don't need to be a bookkeeping pro to use this software easily and efficiently. It has everything you need to manage your finances, plus some extra features such as HR and payroll, credit card processing, and more." – Blair Williams, MemberPress

5. Wave

"I'm a huge fan of automation in business – but even more so in accounting! I currently use Wave, which has very capable free versions as well as paid versions. Wave actually imports all of our financial data automatically and makes accounting much faster and easier. For automated invoicing, I'm a big fan of Invoice Ninja, whose capability is great for client invoicing, and also has free features." – Ali Mahvan, Sharebert

6. ZipBooks

"Bookkeeping has long been discussed as an industry ripe for automation and disruption by AI. A VC-backed company called ZipBooks is leading the pack in this space. Our business uses ZipBooks, and each month our transactions are auto-categorized and a confidence interval is displayed so that we know which entries to manually verify. This saves us hours of work every month." – Colton Gardner, Neighbor

7. QuickBooks Online

"While QuickBooks has been the staple for many small businesses, the desktop version had limited integration capabilities. The updated QuickBooks Online solves many of these shortcomings. With multiple 'apps' that can be bolted on to the main software, it allows owners to customize the software to their needs. Additionally, the integrations can happen seamlessly while you sleep instead of manually." – Matthew Boersen, Straight Path Wealth Management

8. Zoho Books

"Zoho Books is a great option for small businesses. It's an online accounting software that's easy to use and accessible from your desktop, tablet or mobile. Pricing is very affordable, so it's a great solution to help grow your business on a budget while staying on top of your finances." – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

9. What the client knows

"It depends on what the client and accountant agree upon. As a CPA, I think most software is similar, and although we do like QuickBooks and Xero, I tend to side with whatever the client is currently using unless we are not familiar with it at all. I always feel that the bookkeeper is responsible for learning the books while the client runs the business, so I don't want to burden the client with change." – Vincenzo Villamena, Online Taxman

10. The one that fits your business needs

"There is no 'best' bookkeeping software for all small business owners. Every business is different. Some businesses need inventory management, while others need professional time tracking and invoicing. Cloud software is nice, but it often lacks advanced features that desktop versions have. Identify your business's needs and find a solution with the features and automation to make your job easier." – Shaun Conrad, My Accounting Course

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Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber
See Scott Gerber's Profile
Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Gerber is also a serial entrepreneur, regular TV commentator and author of the book Never Get a “Real” Job.
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