Accounting Software for Small Businesses 2021
There are a couple of different ways to put accounting software to work for you. The traditional method is to have it installed on one or more computers at your place of business. Like any other software, information is stored on your machine and doesn’t have to be connected to the internet. In recent years, however, the ever-increasing popularity of mobile devices like laptops, tablets, and cell phones has created a demand for cloud-based bookkeeping solutions. The “cloud” is a term that refers to the idea of a software vendor making a single installation on their server and allowing clients to access it over the internet. There are pros and cons to each method. The trade-off for working in the cloud would be an increased perception of the risk of data breach, while working from a home office install limits accessibility when you’re away.
Small Business Accounting Software List
Best Accounting Software for Small Business: Tally
Possibly the most used accounting software in India today, Tally has enjoyed a prominent position in the hearts, minds, and computers of users for more than two decades. If popularity means anything, and it does, a business could do worse than to pick up a copy. While Tally has incorporated all the necessary features one would expect for any size business, we think it might be the best accounting software for small business.
Tally does offers Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions for any size of company, but it seems that the upper end features don’t compare favorably to what some competitors are doing. The basics are well-addressed: financial accounting, inventory management, POS, integrated banking, and payroll/HR management. However, if your needs run more towards a robust vertical integration that incorporates far-flung warehouses, scattered inventory sites, and multiple office locations, another software choice might be better.
But let’s not forget that more than a million users have chosen Tally already. That counts for a lot. Price is a one-time fee ranging from $360 to $1,080 USD, depending upon your particular need of features, with various monthly subscription add-on services. Small business owners and individual accountants love Tally and that, more than anything else, will make it hard for another company to unseat the king.
Best Online Accounting Software : QuickBooks
For years, QuickBooks has been the de facto bookkeeping software in the United States and other western countries, but now it sits poised to take on the Indian market. With more than three decades experience creating personal and business accounting software, there’s a good chance this company is poised to make some noise in India as well.
What does Quickbooks do well? A lot of things, it turns out, but Intuit (the parent company) has focused developing a top notch mobile and cloud experience that allows a user to do anything on the go they could do sitting at a desk behind a computer. Need easy invoicing and receivables tracking? Check. How about the ability to send receipts online, or automatically download and reconcile bank entries, with them already in the proper categories? Check.
While not on the cutting edge of ERP solutions yet, at least in the Indian market, Quickbooks is a whiz at day-to-day transactions and financial accounting tailored to the specific needs of India-based consumers. Not sure if you want to make the switch to QuickBooks? Take a free 30-day test drive of a fully-functional version of the software before you make the decision.
Best Cloud Accounting Software : Profitbooks
If you’re a small business in the mood for good cloud accounting software, Profitbooks might be your choice. Available only as an online solution, the creators remain concerned with providing complete accounting for small to medium-sized companies. Though it probably could be configured to work with a sprawling major corporation, more modest operations are definitely the market they target.
So what can Profitbooks do for your company? Here is a list of major features:
Invoicing and billing
Perhaps the most appealing part of Profitbooks, especially to small business owners on a budget, is the price. Available for only $9.99 per month or $90.89 if you pay for a year at once, there’s no denying it serves as a low-cost option to implementing a full ERP strategy. Non-accountants love Profitbooks because it’s simple and easy to learn. Strangely, actual accountants love it for the same reasons. If public opinion matters, it’s difficult to find any detractors online, and the software has been favorably featured in PC Mag and The Telegraph’s Indian version. Definitely a contender for the solution to your search for the best accounting software for small business.
For two decades, Marg Compusoft has been a well-known name to small and medium sized India-based companies when it comes to bookkeeping software and more. A lot more, in fact. Forward-thinking companies that seek to vertically integrate their entire information flow have turned to Marg’s ERP offerings in large numbers. Judging from online opinion, ours included, this company has proven itself efficient at trimming disparate vendor relations and creating a single point of contact.
A sampling of Marg’s features: financial accounting and inventory management, quality control, sales and distribution tracking, e-commerce (online store), inventory management, payroll and HR services, warehouse management, credit card processing, and invoicing and work orders.
Clients who choose this accounting software can pick and choose which level of features and service they need, with prices starting at $109 for a basic solution up to premium level at $545. Unlike some vendors, and in what may be seen as a downside, those prices are incurred annually rather than a one-time expense. Considering the time and hassle savings from being able to implement a one-stop data flow and accounting solution, an annual charge is not surprising.
Keep in mind that Marg does not offer online accounting software, due to security concerns. To those who can’t imagine not working in the cloud or from a mobile device, you probably should focus your search elsewhere.
If you’re one who finds comfort in the cocoon of a Windows-based ecosystem, you’re in luck. HD Accounts & Billing Software (HDPOS) serves small, medium, and large clients through a familiar portal. This full ERP solution offers a main product, which can be easily tailored to suit a variety of accounting and billing needs, or choose from several pre-configured options that have been designed for a specific business type like a restaurant, school, or salon. This company’s focus is on providing an intuitive interface that allows customers to get up and running quickly.
This fully featured accounting software contains everything needed for your financial accounting, billing, inventory and customer management, personalized barcode printing, as well as the option to open a feature-rich e-commerce web store. HDPOS is intended to be installed to a local machine but also offers strong cloud accounting software for those who like the option to work from a mobile device.
Accounting systems from HDPOS are generally sold for a one-time charge. The basic system intended for use with a single cash register goes for $270, with increasingly higher charges for additional extra users and access points. Additional modules, like the one that runs an e-commerce store, are available for a monthly subscription.
This appropriately named business accounting software claims 1.5 million downloads and counting. That number alone makes it a serious player in the accounting software field. While Busy has all the standard features – which we’ll get to shortly – one area where it stands out is the robustness of its built-in inventory management feature.
Regardless of the size of your business, Busy has a product designed with you in mind, a philosophy reflected in the Basic, Standard, and Enterprise versions. Basic is intended for a single-user and costs $112. Standard ($210) and Enterprise ($308) versions can be configured for single user, multi-user, or installed on a client server. Free 30-day trials are available during which a prospective client can try out a full-fledged Busy solution.
All Busy versions have all the standard accounting and bookkeeping features that a business needs. Higher price points tend to incorporate those related to multiple locations and product lines and currencies. This company’s long, stable history should reassure any buyer that they will get a quality, usable product.
Rather than disappearing after the sale, Busy offers follow-up service if there are any problems. The software comes with a one-time fee, though you can purchase an annual service contract after the initial warranty expires, if desired.
While this online accounting software is perfectly suited for either the products or services sector, the Saral website itself mentions that it perhaps targets the latter more precisely. Currently, this particular software is configured only for a Windows computing environment and does not have the capability to access data from a mobile device. If you use a Mac or need to get at your data from anywhere, Saral probably is not the system for you.
However, if you can do all your accounting and business information management from a home-based install, this easy-to-use, frequently upgraded solution might be the one for you. The current Saral focus is also on providing a complete accounting solution to any size of business, which means you might not find all the ERP bells and whistles available through other vendors.
The bottom line is, if you need rock-solid accounting and inventory features that make it easy for even a new client to download, install, and begin taking care of business matters, the company would love your consideration.
The monthly cost for a Saral software solution begins at $75 per month for a single user and goes up to $233 for the corporate edition. As we mentioned, this software is probably more suitable for small to medium-sized companies and has not ventured into the complete ERP field yet.
If you believe the May 2015 review of Wave software by PC Mag – and we have no reason not to – your search for the best accounting mobile app for small business might end here. As this industry, like so many others, continues to migrate away from installation solutions and towards cloud-based options, it won’t be too many years before mobile access will be a client demand for all accounting software packages.
For Wave, the future is now, especially if you run a small or medium-sized business. One thing that probably accounts for Wave’s increasing popularity is that it is free to use. You read right. The only charges you will run into are in the payments and payroll area, or if you choose to have premium level support for issues that arise. The trade-off for free, as you might expect, is the presence of ads on the right side of the screen.
Though Wave lacks some of the features users have come to expect from professional level software (Quickbooks or Freshbooks), a small business with basic accounting needs might feel right at home with this solution. It’s great for freelancers, sole proprietors, and businesses with up to about nine employees. If you’re bigger than that, you probably should look elsewhere.
While this accounting software targets primarily small and medium-sized businesses, it has developed a loyal following for the way it bundles all business operations into a single, easy-to-use package. In addition to accounting functions, clients can access modules related to inventory management, invoicing, sales tracking, barcodes, and customer tracking, and more through a single interface.
One benefit to Reach is that, as a cloud-based service, it serves as accounting software for Mac or Windows. In a world where it is sometimes difficult to find options for Macintosh users, Reach is a welcome option. The fact that everything runs in the cloud, obviously, makes it accessible via mobile device and is in the running for best accounting mobile app for small business. In a world where feature differences between accounting software vendors is often small, sometimes it comes down to something as simple (and crucial) as being able to access your business data from anywhere.
Unlike some companies which prefer to charge a one-time fee, the use of Reach incurs a monthly expense that starts at $15 for a basic package with a single user and goes all the way up to $3,000 for a corporate version.
The Bottom Line
It is apparent from the preceding list that an Indian-based company seeking an accounting solution has many options – and our list isn’t even an exhaustive one. Your best advice is to not get in a hurry. Before you contact a single software vendor, sit down and figure out exactly what functions you need accounting software to be able to perform.
Some software targets small businesses and some go after the corporate market. Know what you are and tailor your search accordingly. If you’re a small freelancer it makes no sense to pay the extra money to integrate a full ERP solution. That’s just extra expense and complications you don’t need.
Likewise, a major corporation with offices and warehouses scattered around the world need a vendor who specializes in something larger than a mom-and-pop operation. Our last bit of advice would be to take advantage of the free trial offered by most accounting software vendors. It’s difficult to get a true feel for whether or not it will be an appropriate solution until you’ve taken it for a test drive.