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Accounting software

You need to manage your finances but you’re a small business owner, not an accountant. How do you handle invoices, bookkeeping and expenses? With accounting software. Online accounting makes it easier to stay on top of essential financial admin and it is designed for non-accountants to use.

See also:

• What to look for

Accounting software comparison chart for 2024

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
QuickBooks Online
Sage One
Zoho Books
NCH Express Accounts
Five stars means excellent
Very good
Four stars means very good
Three stars means good
Two stars means average /
One star means poor
Freshbooks has been awarded best buy Product image of freshbooks Product image of quickbooks online Product image of sage one Product image of xero Product image of zoho books Product image of nch express accounts Product image of lessaccounting
freshbooks has a rating of five  overall quickbooks online has a rating of five  overall sage one has a rating of four  overall zoho books has a rating of four  overall nch express accounts has a rating of three  overall lessaccounting  has a rating of three  overall
Project tracking
freshbooks has a rating of five  project tracking quickbooks online has a rating of four  project tracking sage one has a rating of one  project tracking zoho books has a rating of one  project tracking nch express accounts has a rating of one  project tracking lessaccounting  has a rating of one  project tracking
Invoicing & billing
freshbooks has a rating of four  invoicing & billing quickbooks online has a rating of four  invoicing & billing sage one has a rating of one  invoicing & billing zoho books has a rating of one  invoicing & billing nch express accounts has a rating of one  invoicing & billing lessaccounting  has a rating of one  invoicing & billing
freshbooks has a rating of five  mobility quickbooks online has a rating of three  mobility sage one has a rating of one  mobility zoho books has a rating of one  mobility nch express accounts has a rating of one  mobility lessaccounting  has a rating of one  mobility
freshbooks has a rating of five  features quickbooks online has a rating of four  features sage one has a rating of one  features zoho books has a rating of one  features nch express accounts has a rating of one  features lessaccounting  has a rating of one  features
Ease of use
freshbooks has a rating of four  ease of use quickbooks online has a rating of four  ease of use sage one has a rating of one  ease of use zoho books has a rating of one  ease of use nch express accounts has a rating of one  ease of use lessaccounting  has a rating of one  ease of use
Help & support
freshbooks has a rating of four  help & support quickbooks online has a rating of four  help & support sage one has a rating of one  help & support zoho books has a rating of one  help & support nch express accounts has a rating of one  help & support lessaccounting  has a rating of one  help & support
Project tracking
Project overviews
freshbooks  project overviews quickbooks online  project overviews sage one  project overviews zoho books  project overviews nch express accounts  project overviews lessaccounting   project overviews
Manage stock levels
freshbooks  manage stock levels quickbooks online  manage stock levels sage one  manage stock levels zoho books  manage stock levels nch express accounts  manage stock levels lessaccounting   manage stock levels
Expense report filters
freshbooks  expense report filters quickbooks online  expense report filters sage one  expense report filters zoho books  expense report filters nch express accounts  expense report filters lessaccounting   expense report filters
Analyse sales patterns and trends
freshbooks  analyse sales patterns and trends quickbooks online  analyse sales patterns and trends sage one  analyse sales patterns and trends zoho books  analyse sales patterns and trends nch express accounts  analyse sales patterns and trends lessaccounting   analyse sales patterns and trends
Tracks budget
freshbooks  tracks budget quickbooks online  tracks budget sage one  tracks budget zoho books  tracks budget nch express accounts  tracks budget lessaccounting   tracks budget
Tracks time
freshbooks  tracks time quickbooks online  tracks time sage one  tracks time zoho books  tracks time nch express accounts  tracks time lessaccounting   tracks time
Team timesheet
freshbooks  team timesheet quickbooks online  team timesheet sage one  team timesheet zoho books  team timesheet nch express accounts  team timesheet lessaccounting   team timesheet
Emails task assignments
freshbooks  emails task assignments quickbooks online  emails task assignments sage one  emails task assignments zoho books  emails task assignments nch express accounts  emails task assignments lessaccounting   emails task assignments
Invoicing & billing
Track account balances
freshbooks  track account balances quickbooks online  track account balances sage one  track account balances zoho books  track account balances nch express accounts  track account balances lessaccounting   track account balances
Attach receipts
freshbooks  attach receipts quickbooks online  attach receipts sage one  attach receipts zoho books  attach receipts nch express accounts  attach receipts lessaccounting   attach receipts
Sends invoices by email
freshbooks  sends invoices by email quickbooks online  sends invoices by email sage one  sends invoices by email zoho books  sends invoices by email nch express accounts  sends invoices by email lessaccounting   sends invoices by email
Calculates sales tax
freshbooks  calculates sales tax quickbooks online  calculates sales tax sage one  calculates sales tax zoho books  calculates sales tax nch express accounts  calculates sales tax lessaccounting   calculates sales tax
Payment processing
freshbooks  payment processing quickbooks online  payment processing sage one  payment processing zoho books  payment processing nch express accounts  payment processing lessaccounting   payment processing
Automatically fill out cheques
freshbooks  automatically fill out cheques quickbooks online  automatically fill out cheques sage one  automatically fill out cheques zoho books  automatically fill out cheques nch express accounts  automatically fill out cheques lessaccounting   automatically fill out cheques
Accept PayPal payments
freshbooks  accept paypal payments quickbooks online  accept paypal payments sage one  accept paypal payments zoho books  accept paypal payments nch express accounts  accept paypal payments lessaccounting   accept paypal payments
Track invoice views
freshbooks  track invoice views quickbooks online  track invoice views sage one  track invoice views zoho books  track invoice views nch express accounts  track invoice views lessaccounting   track invoice views
Late payment reminders
freshbooks  late payment reminders quickbooks online  late payment reminders sage one  late payment reminders zoho books  late payment reminders nch express accounts  late payment reminders lessaccounting   late payment reminders
Up to 2 users & install over network
freshbooks  up to 2 users & install over network quickbooks online  up to 2 users & install over network sage one  up to 2 users & install over network zoho books  up to 2 users & install over network nch express accounts  up to 2 users & install over network lessaccounting   up to 2 users & install over network
Track time at your desk
freshbooks  track time at your desk quickbooks online  track time at your desk sage one  track time at your desk zoho books  track time at your desk nch express accounts  track time at your desk lessaccounting   track time at your desk
Client interaction
freshbooks  client interaction quickbooks online  client interaction sage one  client interaction zoho books  client interaction nch express accounts  client interaction lessaccounting   client interaction
Automatic secure backups
freshbooks  automatic secure backups quickbooks online  automatic secure backups sage one  automatic secure backups zoho books  automatic secure backups nch express accounts  automatic secure backups lessaccounting   automatic secure backups
Work anywhere
freshbooks  work anywhere quickbooks online  work anywhere sage one  work anywhere zoho books  work anywhere nch express accounts  work anywhere lessaccounting   work anywhere
Help & support
Free trial
freshbooks  free trial quickbooks online  free trial sage one  free trial zoho books  free trial nch express accounts  free trial lessaccounting   free trial
Set-up wizard
freshbooks  set-up wizard quickbooks online  set-up wizard sage one  set-up wizard zoho books  set-up wizard nch express accounts  set-up wizard lessaccounting   set-up wizard
Telephone support
freshbooks  telephone support quickbooks online  telephone support sage one  telephone support zoho books  telephone support nch express accounts  telephone support lessaccounting   telephone support
Email support
freshbooks  email support quickbooks online  email support sage one  email support zoho books  email support nch express accounts  email support lessaccounting   email support
Knowledge base
freshbooks  knowledge base quickbooks online  knowledge base sage one  knowledge base zoho books  knowledge base nch express accounts  knowledge base lessaccounting   knowledge base
freshbooks  tutorials quickbooks online  tutorials sage one  tutorials zoho books  tutorials nch express accounts  tutorials lessaccounting   tutorials
freshbooks  faqs quickbooks online  faqs sage one  faqs zoho books  faqs nch express accounts  faqs lessaccounting   faqs
Operating systems
Windows 11
freshbooks  windows 11 quickbooks online  windows 11 sage one  windows 11 zoho books  windows 11 nch express accounts  windows 11 lessaccounting   windows 11
Windows 10
freshbooks  windows 10 quickbooks online  windows 10 sage one  windows 10 xero  windows 10 zoho books  windows 10 nch express accounts  windows 10 lessaccounting   windows 10
Windows 8
freshbooks  windows 8 quickbooks online  windows 8 sage one  windows 8 zoho books  windows 8 nch express accounts  windows 8 lessaccounting   windows 8
Windows 7
freshbooks  windows 7 quickbooks online  windows 7 sage one  windows 7 zoho books  windows 7 nch express accounts  windows 7 lessaccounting   windows 7

Accounting software explained

Unless you’re running an accounting business, chances are you’re not going to be too excited by the financial and accounting tasks you need to complete on a regular basis. Invoicing, bill payments, tax calculations and financial reporting are necessary tasks but they probably take up more time and attention than you’d like. Doing your accounts stops you focusing on the essential aspects of your business. But while it’s important to keep a track of your business income and expenses, traditional accounting methods can be complex and time consuming. Keeping shoe boxes of receipts with your expenditure in an excel spreadsheet is also not ideal.

Accounting software is for start-ups, freelancers, small- and medium-sized businesses. Online accounting is designed to help you make smarter financial decisions based on real financial data. You keep your finances in check and always know exactly where you are with unpaid invoices, expenditure, and expenses. Using accounting software with automated processes and quick task management saves time, and it makes your life easier. Plus, the online software you use gives your business a more professional look. And it has been proven that businesses using accounting software for their invoicing get paid faster.


There are many benefits of accounting software packages. From the basic invoice creation and distribution to the more complex financial goal setting, accounts software for small businesses helps you understand and manage all the financial aspects of your business. You can create customized and professional-looking invoices, track your invoices, and chase automatically for late payment. You can monitor your cash flow and keep track of your expenses for billing to clients. And you can put together financial forecasts based on reports that show you the true health of your company. Once you’ve done all this you can focus more easily on the day-to-day running of your company.

What to look for in accounting software

Accounting software helps you to keep accurate financial records, which is necessary for working out tax as well as calculating the financial health of your business. Online accounting differs from traditional accounting packages and procedures as it cuts the amount of time you spend on your accounts – and it cuts the jargon associated with the task. Your ideal accounting software is simple to use, time-saving, and jargon-free. It makes you more efficient and organized. Many people use Excel or paper-based filing to handle their accounts but online accounting cuts the risk of mistakes and is easier and less stressful to manage.

Good quality accounting software lets you track your income and expenses, control estimates and invoices, and provide year-end financial information. Excellent online accounting packages also add the following features:


Create professional-looking invoices with your own logo and branding. Personalize invoices with a message to clients, and manage your invoices in an organized fashion. Accounting software categorizes invoices into sent, paid, unpaid, and overdue, and you can set rules to chase invoices that are unpaid after a period of time. You can also, with many accounts packages, set recurring invoices to be sent automatically. Also look for the facility to immediately turn estimates into invoices once they have been approved.


Billing can be difficult to handle. Accounting software puts all the information in the same place and gives you streamlined billing solutions to handle all the money coming into your business.

Bank reconciliation

It is a good idea to choose online accounts that integrates your bank account with your accounts package. Transactions are automatically synched between the two places so you don’t have to manually input data every day. This saves time and cuts the risk of making mistakes.


Many accounting software packages also have a payroll system integrated within the program, or available as an add-on. Payroll features allow you to pay members of staff in an efficient manner, on time, while managing the logistics of tax contributions.


As you probably work a lot of the time on the road or in different locations, an accounting software package with integrated mobile apps is a good choice. Log onto the system from wherever you are and check your invoices, claim expenses, and keep accurate financial records.


Send professional quotes to clients and customers. With online accounting these people can approve or make changes to the quote, which are automatically included in the system. When the quote is approved it can be converted into an invoice for payment when the job is completed.


Monitoring expenses can be tough – accounts software helps you manage expense claims and ensures you don’t lose items that you could make a claim on. Good accounting software allows you to take snapshots of your paper receipts and attach them to bills, as well as helps you categorize expenses for easy financial management.


Accounting software gives you different financial report options for an overview of your business as well as detail into the specifics of your financial information. Choose an accounts package with a good number of reports that you can customize and run when you like. You can also send copies of reports to your accountant. PAYMENTS Record payments and keep accurate records of where your money is going.


Some accounts packages also have integrated time tracking features where you can record the time you spend on different projects, tasks, and clients. This helps you see where you could be more efficient, and makes it easier to accurately bill clients.


Above all, accounts software should be secure so you can work in the cloud without worrying about the loss of financial and sensitive data. Choose software that uses bank-level security to protect your accounts.



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