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The 4 Best Accounting Software Packages For Small Business

By Garrett Spence   |    June 29, 2016   |    10:50 AM

Try These Accounting Software Packages for Small Business

Relying on a print-based accounting system is an outdated concept. Small businesses have moved more towards electronically based accounting software. What are the top accounting software packages available for small business?

1. QuickBooks Pro

Quickbooks Pro is a solution you can download online. According to experts QuickBooks small business accounting software has shown itself to be superior to its peers. QuickBooks Pro boasts multiple solutions but its entry-level offering provides all the basic accounting services small businesses need for $299.99.  The software is intuitive, providing everything from billing to business insights. Thanks to step-by-step setup plus new-user video tutorials it is easy to immediately understand how to use this software. An added extra is that a streamlined dashboard allows users to be reminded of crucial tasks. Other fantastic features include easy billing, invoicing, and integration with third-party applications.

2. Sage 50

Sage 50 is a downloadable solution. Comparing Sage 50 to QuickBooks Pro, you mostly get apples-for-apples on the core features. Sage 50's plan starts at $180 per year. Sage 50 differentiates itself with a customizable dashboard that allows users to create shortcuts for the functions most used. Sage might be said to be superior in terms of its powerful inventory management tools. In terms of customer service, Sage beats QuickBooks Pro thanks to their one-click chat plus 24/7 phone support. Yet some experts argue that installation of the software is not as straightforward as with Quickbooks. Furthermore, for neophyte small business owners, without previous knowledge of accounting or bookkeeping experience, Sage 50 is not as user-friendly as QuickBooks Pro.

3. Xero

Xero is a popular cloud-based software. Xero provides the best software solution for service-based small businesses. It boasts many of the same winning features as QuickBooks. Xero's user interface is easy to navigate. The software seamlessly integrates with your bank and a wide range of third-party apps that handle a plethora of tasks from time tracking to payroll. Xero also provides mobile apps, a very convenient way to deal with business even when on the go. Customer service, like with Sage 50, is free and available 24/7. The software's shortcoming is that it is not as efficient as Quickbooks when it comes to quotes and inventory support.  Xero's basic plan, with access to limited features, is affordable at $20 a month. The mid-level plan, offering full access to billing and invoicing features whilst allowing you to add payroll for five employees, is $30. The Premium plan costs $40 per month, allows payroll for 10 employees plus a superior  tax functionality.

4. Wave

If you have a very small business with under nine employees Wave could be a solution for you. Wave advertises, so that means the software is free for you to use, although some services involve a fee such as payroll. The software allows you to conduct invoicing, expense tracking, receipt scanning, and integration with bank accounts and online platforms such as PayPal for free. Even for beginners the software is easy-to-use although given this is a free solution it is not as polished and you can expect to experience occasional problems such as bugs in the system plus sporadic slow-running of the system, unreliable customer service and no way to see accounts and balances at a glance.