FreshBooks accounting software has become a favorite among small business owners, sole proprietors and freelancers. It has a strong reputation as a top accounting and invoicing solution.
While there’s no debating the software’s popularity, is it the best option for every small business? Shopping around is a great idea, but sometimes the endless options can seem overwhelming. That’s why we did the research for you. We reviewed a few alternatives that might be a better fit for your small business’s needs.
QuickBooks Online has over 3 million subscribers, and there’s a reason for that. If your main focus is on getting your accounting software up and running as quickly as possible, QuickBooks Online is a great option. With its easy setup and opportunities to skip steps in the setup process, QuickBooks Online is perfect for saving time on accounting software.
QuickBooks Online’s features depend on the plan you select. All plans come with abilities like sales tax tracking, invoicing, payment acceptance, estimates and receipt capture. Advanced plans also include business analytics, time tracking and inventory management. If your business works with an accountant, there is also a “My Accountant” option, which allows them to access financial information for your business. The Banking feature provides an overview of each connected bank account and allows users to quickly categorize expenses.
There are four QuickBooks Online plans, beginning with Simple Start, the plan for single users that costs $12 per month. Next is Essentials, which supports up to three users for $20 per month. For five users, select the Plus plan, which costs $35 per month. Lastly, the Advanced plan costs $75 per month and supports up to 25 users.
QuickBooks Online pros and cons
|QuickBooks Online pros||QuickBooks Online cons|
|Supports up to 25 users||Slow response during peak hours|
|CPA admin options||In-app support only|
|Compatible with hundreds of apps||Some features not on dashboard|
Did you know? QuickBooks Online makes it easy to integrate other apps. Learn more in our QuickBooks Online review.
If your main focus is free or low-cost software, Wave Accounting is a great alternative to FreshBooks. It’s an especially good option for freelancers. Regardless of how many users you have, this software offers all the same features as FreshBooks, free of charge.
Tracking expenses in Wave is a lot easier than with many other accounting applications, because it allows you to upload receipts with your phone. Wave also allows you to customize your invoices, but provides a number of invoice templates if you’d rather skip customization. You also have the option to accept payments directly through your invoice to speed up the payment process. If you’re interested in a personal coach, monthly bookkeeping or tax services, sign up for Wave Plus.
Wave Accounting only charges fees if you use its services to process payments or disburse payroll to your employees. Wave charges 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction, or a 1% fee for ACH payments. Full-service payroll processing comes with a starting fee of $35, plus $4 per employee, while a monthly $20 fee covers self-service payroll. Note that full-service payroll is only available in select states.
Wave Accounting pros and cons
|Wave pros||Wave cons|
|Free accounting plan||Limited reports|
|Double-entry accounting||No budgeting|
|Free chat support for beginners||Not suitable for large businesses|
FYI: If you aren’t located in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia or Washington, Wave Accounting software may not be the best option for your business. Full-service payroll is not available outside of these states.
If you’re a small business owner who doesn’t want to search for a new app as your business expands, AccountEdge Pro may be just the software for you. If your business is still very small, you can start with the basic version of the software. As your business grows, you can seamlessly upgrade to the top version designed for large businesses, Priority ERP, rather than switching software because you’ve outgrown the application.
With AccountEdge software, you can use the application on the cloud, on business premises or on both. This works especially well if you own a small brick-and-mortar location. If you own an e-commerce business, you may enjoy the AccountEdge Shopify connector, UPS shipping integration and customer portal.
AccountEdge offers two plans for onsite use, both of which come with a one-time fee: Basic for $149 and Pro for $399. Cloud user fees are assessed monthly: Priority Zoom costs $50 per month, and Priority ERP costs a custom monthly fee.
AccountEdge pros and cons
|AccountEdge pros||AccountEdge cons|
|Great scalability||Dashboards for large businesses only|
|One time free options||No mobile app for Android|
|Great for small and large businesses||Fees for phone support|
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.
If the long-term plan for your business is to remain a sole proprietorship, Kashoo may be a good FreshBooks alternative for your business. With an all-inclusive plan and flat rate, it’s a great fit for contractors, freelancers and anyone else who runs a solo business. Very small businesses might consider Kashoo as well, but you may need to select a different option for accounting as your business grows.
You can use Kashoo to create custom invoices and track your income and expenses without the need to connect your bank account. You’ll also be able to take credit card payments on each invoice. While Kashoo’s integration options are more limited than those of many other accounting applications, this may not be an issue for sole proprietors.
The cost to use Kashoo is $199 per year, making it more budget-friendly than its main competitors.
Kashoo pros and cons
|Kashoo pros||Kashoo cons|
|Flat rate||Limited reporting|
|Freelancer-friendly||No mobile app for Android|
|Live phone support||Limited integration options|
Tip: If you’d like to know even more about Kashoo, check out our Kashoo review for more details.
If your main business focus is providing consultations, you probably know what it’s like to purchase accounting software and leave most of the features untouched. Most of the feature accounting apps offer aren’t necessary for you. If that’s your case, try ZipBooks. While it’s not as popular as other applications on the market, it’s developed with consultants in mind.
ZipBooks has a built-in timer on the dashboard, so it’s easy to keep track of the time you spend on client projects. You can even assign specific timers to different projects, and start and stop them as needed. ZipBooks also allows you to create custom quotes and estimates. Other features include unlimited invoices and the option to accept digital payments.
For beginner consultants on a budget, ZipBooks does offer a free plan. As your business grows, you can upgrade to the Smarter plan for $15 per month, or the Sophisticated plan for $35 per month. ZipBooks offers the Accountant plan for much larger businesses; prices for this plan vary.
ZipBooks pros and cons
|ZipBooks pros||ZipBooks cons|
|Free option||No Android app|
|Built-in timer||No phone support|
|Custom invoicing||No inventory management|
Whatever the size of your business, you have plenty of accounting software options. The most popular options are well known for a reason, but don’t let their reputations deter you from considering lesser-known applications. One of them might be your perfect match.