Best Accounting Software For Small Business

Small business owners need to know which features an accounting software package has before making a purchase.

Accounting packages can cost anywhere from $0 (if you make do with an Excel spreadsheet and Google Docs) to $2,000 or more (for the high-end packages that integrate multiple modules.)  

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This article provides an overview of small business accounting software and lists common features for accountants and businesses.

Although growing in popularity, cloud-based accounting software is not yet mainstream enough for most SMBs.

The leading accounting software companies such as Intuit, Sage and QuickBooks still offer traditional desktop solutions, very few smaller players offer cloud-based solutions other than Xero.

Desktop Software

Desktop software requires the installer CD to be inserted into your computer. However, you can still access and update your data via the Internet or a mobile app. Some benefits of desktop software are that it is fast, secure, accessible offline and customizable.

The downside is that it has to be installed on each user’s computer who needs access to the information. Since it is not web-based, updates have to be manually installed on all computers.

Desktop software may not comply with industry regulations if audited because it relies on being physically present at the time of login.

Also, using an outdated version of the program poses security risks as vulnerabilities cannot easily be patched without upgraded versions. 

Cloud-based Accounting Software

Cloud-based accounting software stores your company’s data on a central server accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection. You can access your information, add transactions and update reports from home, a branch office or the road.

Cloud-based software is more secure than desktop-based because it requires additional authentication credentials before entering sensitive data. Updates occur automatically so there is little chance of being left behind with out-of-date versions.

Compliance regulations are easy to adhere to when using cloud-based systems since you have 24/7 access to your company’s data online – no matter where in the world you are physically located.

However, cloud-based systems may result in a higher total cost of ownership due to subscription fees for maintenance plans, infrastructure costs and potential hidden costs such as hardware upgrades and staff training.

Some developers offer a hybrid model where certain modules are hosted on the Cloud while others are installed locally.

This gives users the best of both worlds, allowing them to have offline access to some functions while higher availability comes from other modules that are only available online.

Every small business owner is looking for the best accounting software to keep track of their day-to-day financials. But there are so many options out there, how do you choose?

Different factors can make one product stand out over another. The most important ones are listed below

  • Scheduling or billing feature
  • Ease of use
  • Mobile application availability
  • Upgradeability and support
  • Budgeting and forecasting tools
  • Security/encryption protection
  • Customization ability

Small businesses need the highest quality in terms of security, encryption, ease of use, scheduling feature, budgeting tools etc. 


QuickBooks is the #1 best selling product among all of its competitors. The reason for this is because it offers the most features in one package, while still being very easy to use.

It can handle any type of small business from a little bakery to a technology company to an insurance agency. Yet, unlike other products, it comes with few limitations and upgradeability options which make it even more amazing!


The many products on the market today are available either as downloadable software or web-based applications.

Quickbooks falls into the former category – you have to download it onto your desktop – but don’t let that put you off because there are loads of portable devices that offer full functionality without compromising security measures.

My favourite example is iPads, which offer the perfect solution for on-the-go small business owners.

Some of you might be saying, “hehe it’s not secure” or “it doesn’t come with an automatic billing feature”.

Not true! QuickBooks is one of the safest and most secure products around – it keeps data encrypted and backed up regularly – and we’ve all seen how technology has advanced in the last few years: automatic billing features ARE available (if you don’t want to set them up yourself).

Plus, you can always upgrade if these features aren’t enough for your business needs.

Quickbooks offers great support as well as some amazing budgeting tools that will help any small business owner find his way through tough economic times as well as plan for the future.

If you’re still unsure, just check out all of the features QuickBooks offers and compare them with other products on the market – I’m sure you’ll come to the same conclusion as millions of small businesses owners worldwide: QuickBooks is a must-have for your small business!