Best Accounting Software for Startups

The purchase of accounting software is a popular decision among business owners. Having this type of program ensures that you will have the best tools available to manage your finances and other aspects of your company, saving time and money.

There are many benefits to purchasing this type of software, which is why it’s important to research before making a final decision about what you want to buy. This article will help you find the right accounting software for your business needs by exploring several different things that it offers.

Our Top 5 The Best Accounting Software

  • Quickbooks
  • Freshbooks
  • Xero
  • Sage 50cloud
  • Wave


QuickBooks, the best-selling accounting software in North America for more than 20 years, helps more than 5 million small businesses across 190 countries track their finances easily and accurately. 

With just one login, you can access everything you need to run and grow your business – from managing inventory, tracking sales tax rates, calculating payroll, invoicing customers (and collecting payments), paying bills online, and much more – so you can focus on what matters most: running your business. In addition, QuickBooks Online is backed by the industry’s best service and support, so you can feel confident doing your accounting on the cloud.

QuickBooks Features

  • See all your data in one place: payroll, invoices, bills, payments, and more —all in real-time.
  • Automatically track sales tax for all the states and counties you do business in and get instant access to rate updates.
  • Get a 360⁰ view of your business with a customer, vendor, employee, and item cards so you can see a complete picture of everything that matters to your bottom line.
  • Save time with intelligent automation, including automatic notifications about important events or reminders to pay bills on time.


Many businesses today need to rely on the accounting software to keep their books in order. In recent years, accounting software has become more advanced and easy to use. Freshbooks is one of the leading accounting software companies that offer great features for busy entrepreneurs.

Freshbooks is a cloud-based software that comes with several features to help the user manage his bookkeeping and accounting. The software allows you to track both your business and personal expenses. In addition, it offers advanced features that allow you to generate reports on any aspect of your business quickly.

Freshbooks Features

  • Easy payments and bank integration. Setting up bank account integration and online credit card payments are just a few clicks away from your account set up in Freshbooks. In addition, the software can integrate with leading bank accounts which makes it easy to keep track of all transactions without having to update spreadsheets or other applications manually. Each of these features is very easy to set up.
  • Multi-user support. Freshbooks is a website that can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously. As long as you have permission from the user who created the account, it is possible to access the account from a different location to track its transactions, view reports, and other features.
  • Easy to use accessing. The application is effortless through a computer or mobile device with an internet connection at all times during business hours. You only need to input your login information, and it will automatically open for you, allowing you access on the go as needed. In addition, the system remembers what you have entered in previous sessions, so logging in every time will not be necessary after a few months.
  • Convenient features. The application also comes with several features that help streamline your business and personal accounts. For example, it offers a trip log, invoice templates, expense tracking, invoicing, and time tracking, among others. All of these features are designed to make it easy for you to keep track of your finances without the hassle of going through manual recordkeeping that can be less organized if not appropriately managed.
  • Mobile accessibility. Freshbooks is the only accounting software company that offers mobile applications through its website. This feature is very convenient when you need to access your account on the go without calling on a desktop computer or laptop.


Xero is accounting software that's designed to make financial management easier. It helps businesses manage their finances, pay employees and bills, and collect money owed to them by customers. With Xero, you can monitor your business' finances in real-time and generate reports for increased visibility into your business operations.

Xero is available on the web, Android, and iOS platforms, and it also works with Windows. It's free to download and set up, but you'll need a company account to get started. Xero does not offer monthly or quarterly fees; the company only charges for renewals, so once you've signed up, you're good to go.

Xero Features And Specifications

  • Online accounting software.
  • Attractive, easy-to-use interface.
  • A cloud-based financial management system that works on any device with an internet connection.
  • Works with Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS platforms; available as an online app
  • Free to set up and use; you'll need a company account to get started
  • Reviewing and approving expenses made easy with expense reports that include all the details you need to verify an expense and approve payment for it. Approved reports can be automatically sent via email from your Xero account.
  • Shopping cart integration with major online shopping destinations allows you to quickly receive payments through Xero’s merchant network. You can even take orders from mobile devices; simply scan the bar code of the items, and they are added directly to your customer's invoice in Xero.

Sage 50cloud

The Sage 50cloud accounting software is a multi-user accounting package that efficiently manages both your business and personal tax return. You can use the app to submit your tax return by scanning or manually inputting information. 

The program automatically calculates and guides you with different calculation options, including withholding, payroll, HRA, and more. You can even import filed returns if you import an excel file or upload bank statements online from your account at Chase Quickpay. 

Sage 50cloud easily documents transactions in customizable depreciation schedules for all of your assets. Sage 50cloud also includes built-in Quickbooks integration so that you can easily transfer data into this popular accounting software and any other major software of choice. 

Sage 50cloud Key Features 

  • A U.S.-based customer support team provides support for Sage 50cloud. 
  • The program supports both Mac and PC users. 
  • Sage 50cloud is compatible with Quickbooks and Quickbooks Enterprise, plus Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook). In addition, the app allows customized reports to be created with different options and reports for each client account. 
  • You can export data from the app to files in an excel file format if you want to transfer the information to your accounting software of choice. This allows you to easily import the data into Quickbooks or other major accounting software platforms for processing and reporting results.


Wave accounting software is easy-to-use and powerful accounting software. Functionality and rich features make this a reliable choice for both small businesses and large companies. 

Providing comprehensive financial tracking, consistent reporting tools, streamlined processes, and customizable dashboards manages the entire budget for any size company. Wave is also effortless to install and use. 

Its intuitive interface, built-in payroll, integrated customer management features, and powerful reporting tools mean less time managing your finances, so you can focus on taking care of your customers. In addition, with Wave accounting software, you can access your data from anywhere with an Internet connection. 

All you need is an internet browser and an Internet connection. You can also connect to other applications that allow you to send emails, manage timesheets, use checklists, and more.

Wave Key Features

Wave is simple but powerful accounting software. It provides comprehensive financial tracking so you can view your expenses, cut expenses and manage the budget for your entire business. 

You can track inventory costs right into your accounting ledger. Categorize sales by customer (enterprise, public sector, educational institutions), product type, and date range, then create customized reports on any part of the process or in any section of your company. 

Wave has a timesheet feature, so you don't have to worry about keeping records of different time systems, like labor hours or billable time.

What Is Accounting Software?

Accounting software automates specific invoicing and expenses tracking tasks while maintaining an accurate history of all transactions in an electronic format. The hardcopy version of this program is only necessary when you need to reference an older report. In addition, you can use accounting software to keep track of your revenue and expenses, which derives its name.

The best accounting software programs are user-friendly, so you don’t have to be an expert to use the program. In addition, you can customize these software programs to fit your needs by changing the fonts, colors, and even the look and feel of the program.

Types Of Accounting Software

There are several different types of accounting software that you can purchase for your business. The most popular type is a complete package that includes a full suite of modules and offices for invoicing, expense tracking, management reporting, and more. 

The other three types include budgeting, integrated office suites, and individual modules. Budgeting software is available for small businesses looking to keep track of their income and expenses. Integrated office suites are ideal for larger companies that need to manage multiple modules such as payroll, sales order processing, and inventory tracking in one location.

Benefits Of Accounting Software

There are many benefits to purchasing accounting software. The most common benefit is that it is a complete package of modules that can’t be configured or changed once you buy it.

The other benefits of accounting software include the speed at which you can upload reports, the convenience of accessing these reports from any computer, and the fact that you can easily compare different company’s financial records. It also helps you keep track of employees and purchases so your business will run more effectively.

The three most essential benefits are increased efficiency, accuracy, and security. Accounting software helps your business run more efficiently by allowing you to store information electronically instead of having to keep physical copies of documents such as checks and invoices that can become misplaced or damaged. 

The accuracy of accounting software is an excellent benefit because it helps you avoid making mistakes in financial reports by using the program’s built-in functions and formulas to perform certain calculations. Ensuring your data is secure when using computing programs is another benefit because you don’t have to worry about anyone gaining access to it on a computer that doesn’t have proper security set up.

What Businesses Use Accounting Software

Any business owner who needs to keep track of their employees and finances will benefit from accounting software. Both small businesses use accounting software and large corporations to keep track of their daily activity. The types of businesses that use accounting software are manufacturers, wholesalers, banks, retailers, professional service companies, nonprofits, and franchise owners.

Common Accounting Software Features

There are several standard features that all accounting software has. The first feature is the ability to upload invoices and purchase orders. Uploading documents allows you to use special formatting for these items, such as categories, so that you can keep track of them easily.

The second feature is the ability to calculate income and expenses, allowing you to easily create reports that will show your business’s financial activity for a specific period. The third feature is the ability to organize your data by using tags for each piece of information to manage it effectively and efficiently.

You can also access your accounting data online via a network server. This allows you to update the program remotely. This feature is excellent when you need to update financial records in your business for some reason or another; instead of manually updating your data.

If you are looking for sound accounting software, you should consider the features that the software offers. Take a look at this list before making a final decision:

  • Online billing features allow you to send invoices and generate reports online. This saves time and helps keep paper costs so your company will be able to take advantage of tax season rather than having to run all over town.
  • Built-in payroll feature lets your employees submit their time cards directly from their computer through an easy process so your business stays on top of its compliance deadlines and can avoid fines or penalties.
  • Invoicing will become more efficient with online payment features. For example, you can process credit card payments as well as e-check payments. This saves you the need to print large batches of invoices and hopes that they are paid on time.
  • Payroll management from your phone is a huge benefit to business owners who might not always be in their office. With payroll management, you can add or edit employee information and enter paystubs even when you are at home or out to dinner with your family.
  • Online backup features allow you to keep track of important data at all times. For example, most accounting software systems automatically back up your accounting data daily and can restore data to its original location if needed.
  • Billing automation features are very valuable if you have clients with automatic payment plans. You can log in and see when payments are due, get email notifications about payments and track what invoices have come in or have been paid for the day to ensure that you stay on top of your money.
  • Workflow automation features help you stay organized even when you have a lot going on in your business. For example, you can see which jobs are assigned to which employees at any time during the day, so there is never any miscommunication about who is doing what.
  • Expense reports are offered, which show users how much money they have spent during the day. The expense report will allow you to see who is spending how much and for what purpose so there is no confusion over who is responsible for paying for what.

Advantages Of Using Accounting Software For Different Businesses

Manufacturing companies that use accounting software will benefit from the ability to streamline inventory control. In accounting software, you can create a database for your products and record how many different items you have in stock. This is beneficial because it allows you to easily track your inventory and see what’s selling the most based on sales history.

The same is true for service companies also benefit from this type of software because they can keep track of their time and expenses by using the expense tracking feature. They can also easily create invoices with our expense reports to track their revenue without manually entering information into the program’s invoice module.

Also, franchise owners benefit from this type of software because they can easily create a database for all of their franchises and track teaching franchise’s growth and losses.

How To Choose Accounting Software

Choosing accounting software that is right for your company can be a difficult decision. First, you want to make sure you select a compatible program with your computer and have the modules you need to run your business.

The first step in choosing a program is to evaluate the requirements of your business. For example, if you only need to keep track of one aspect of your finances, such as inventory, you have more options than if you had to manage all aspects of financial activity at your company.

Choose a program that will easily view your financial activity; a good program will have great graphical features that will help you understand your company’s economic activity. Also, you want to choose a program with an easy-to-use interface that is simple and doesn’t include many functions.

After choosing the software, there are many other factors to consider, such as price, features, and customer support. In addition, some programs allow you to use programs from other sources to be more cost-conscious when using accounting software.


Which Softwares Are Used For Accounting?

Some software used for accounting is QuickBooks Online, LivePlan, PeopleSoft, and Oracle. This software is an excellent way to keep track of money and transactional data professionally. Some of this software also offers payroll for small companies.

Which Is Better Quicken Or Quickbooks?

QuickBooks is better than Quicken because it has a simpler user interface and it offers greater flexibility. QuickBooks also has many different features that manage your day-to-day activities, such as inventory management, sales and payroll reviews, and process automation.

However, while QuickBooks is more flexible than Quicken, the latter does have a greater variety of plugins. And for accounting purposes specifically focused on small businesses instead of large corporations, I recommend using Quicken, which can be downloaded for free.

Is Quickbooks Worth The Money?

Quickbooks is the all-in-one accounting software you need for your small business. It is used by some of the biggest brands in the world, like Nike and McDonald's. However, many small businesses fail to use it because they could not afford this expensive software. Quickbooks have many features that may be helpful to your business, but they can also be confusing and overwhelming if you do not know how or when to use them.

My name is Alex Iskold and I am a Founder and Managing Partner at 2048 Ventures – a first-check venture firm. I am an investor in over 100 early stage companies.  Startup Hacks is a collection of the blog posts that I’ve written over the years for the founders.

This page is organized as a simple index by topic so that you can scroll through. If you are looking for the archive instead, visit Recent Posts.

I hope you find this page, and the topics helpful. Please feel free to drop me a note with feedback at alex @ 2048 dot vc, and let me know what other startup topics you’d like me to write about.