QuickBooks Alternative: 10 Tools For Startups And More
Money is serious business. And when QuickBooks just isn’t cutting it, it’s time to find the best QuickBooks alternative tools to handle invoicing, bookkeeping, and other money management challenges.
Well, you’ve come to the right post.
Today, I’m going to introduce you to powerful QuickBook alternatives to get your money sorted and make you feel more confident about how you handle bookkeeping.
Before we tell you about these QuickBooks alternatives, we’ve gotta dive into the tool we’re comparing against. This isn’t some small player in the bookkeeping space — QuickBooks is owned by Intuit, the umbrella company behind other popular money apps like TurboTax and Mint.com.
QuickBooks is known and used so widely that most CPAs, HRs, bookkeepers, and entrepreneurs have at least a cursory understanding of the tool and how to use it. They can quickly grasp what they don’t understand by following one of the numerous video tutorials and blogs across the web. It’s a powerhouse software with lots of free information to help you get started.
I mean, think about it: No one is writing “alternative” posts about small-time, never-heard-of-it-before software. To endure the pain of alternative posts being written about your product, you’ve first gotta be a leader in your industry.
QuickBooks is a bookkeeping tool that lets you do everything from sending invoices to paying employees and creating financial reports.
QuickBooks is also not just a single tool with one interface. It has multiple pricing plans focused on different types of businesses. QuickBooks Self-Employed, for example, is one of their lowest-cost plans and has stripped-down features tailored toward one-person businesses.
And, of course, it helps you prepare for tax season. In fact, since QuickBooks and TurboTax are cousins, they sync together pretty seamlessly, allowing you to track expenses and income throughout the year, and file taxes without a headache. Well… no more of a headache than tax season is on its own, anyway.
So, if it’s so tool-rich and well-known, why would anyone look for an alternative to QuickBooks?
*blushes* Thanks, I know.
The answer might be as unique as each person asking it. But I bet most QuickBook alternative searchers have one of these things in common. The negative user reviews around QuickBooks show themes around pricing, inflexible and un-customizable tools, poor customer support, and a complicated interface.
Okay, okay — what are your alternatives, then?
Let’s find out.
Top QuickBooks alternatives
1. Deskera [All-in-one]
QuickBooks Online has established its brand, but it’s a more expensive solution for startups and small businesses. It is more suitable for big companies that need advanced features and integrations.
However, due to inventory management features, Deskera Books is ideal for startups and small businesses. Here’s a comprehensive comparison between QuickBooks and Deskera.
With Deskera’s intuitive, user-friendly interface and excellent onboarding experience, you’ll start using the system in less time. Additionally, the Deskera dashboard and home screens for each function help businesses focused on day-to-day operations keep everything running smoothly.
Overall, Deskera Books is an excellent choice for less experienced accountants and small businesses. Deskera also offers CRM, HR, and payroll solutions, making it a robust all-in-one business software.
Cost: Deskera offers a 15-day free trial. Paid plans begin at $29/user per month when billed annually. Grab Deskera’s one-year deal for $149 (retail value: $1188) to access the all-in-one features your business needs.
2. FreshBooks [Small businesses]
No conversation of QuickBooks alternatives is complete without mentioning FreshBooks. If QuickBooks and TurboTax are cousins, then FreshBooks is QuickBooks’ archnemesis.
FreshBooks offers many of the tools offered in the QuickBooks tool suite. But it’s known for being simpler, and it’s built specifically for small businesses.
With a focus on small businesses, FreshBooks points more resources to what matters to entrepreneurs: Time tracking, invoicing, reporting, and more. But most importantly, FreshBooks tries to streamline the screen to make it easier to quickly do what you need, without getting lost in the weeds of dozens of tools.
If you’re looking for another name-brand bookkeeping tool, FreshBooks is a popular option for small business owners.
Cost: 30-day free trial available. FreshBooks often offers discounts for the first several months. But their non-discounted, recurring monthly subscription starts at $15.00/month.
3. Kashoo [Entrepreneurs]
Kashoo is built for small business owners and freelancers looking to simplify their bookkeeping. Kashoo offers a simple interface, making it easier to do daily financial tracking without feeling loaded down with unnecessary additional tools.
Kashoo helps you visualize your finances with its reporting feature. You can also use it to send invoices, track income and expenses, upload and track receipts, and accept credit card payments.
But the superpower of Kashoo is its machine learning capabilities.
You can use set-and-forget tools to make bookkeeping much simpler. As a client shares on its website: “In minutes, I was able to add my bank accounts and eliminated the majority of my manual accounting work. This makes getting stuck and getting fed up with bookkeeping non-existent.”
Kahoo sets ease of use as its North Star. That’s a pretty compelling idea for busy entrepreneurs.
Cost: Kashoo starts free for invoicing. Paid plans for its companion brand, TrulySmall, begin at $20/month with a 15-day free trial.
4. Fiskl [Mobile app]
Another powerful QuickBooks alternative, Fiskl is built for businesses looking to save time and money on bookkeeping and invoicing tools. It even has a free version, which is pretty rare in the business finance tracking space.
So what does Fiskl offer?
You get many of the tools you love with QuickBooks: Time and mile tracking, reports, invoicing, expense tracking, and much more. Fiskl also offers customizable invoices that you can design to be on-brand.
Fiskl is perfect for business owners who like to work from their phones. While it does have a desktop version, Fiskl is built for mobile (Android and Apple), providing the tools you need to run the financial side of your business from your pocket.
Cost: Fiskl starts free. The lowest-cost premium plan starts at $9/month when billed annually.
5. Xero [Great integration]
One consistent theme across this article is that QuickBooks can leave small business owners feeling overlooked. Fortunately, dozens of powerful small business bookkeeping tools have risen to help entrepreneurs stay ahead of their business finances.
One such company is Xero. Built for small businesses from freelancers to coffee shop owners, Xero helps you track expenses, conduct inventory management, access financial reports, and accept payments.
Xero also integrates with many popular tools (like MailChimp and HubSpot) to ensure you get all the functions you need, without throwing them all into one confusing interface.
Xero boasts a popular mobile accounting app. If you want to see how your business is doing on the go, it’s got your back.
Cost: Xero offers a 30-day free trial, with paid plans beginning at $11/month.
6. Wave Accounting [Beginner-friendly]
Source: Wave Accounting
The next QuickBooks alternative on our list is Wave Accounting.
This tool is built for entrepreneurs and small businesses. With a careful eye for intuitive design, Wave pushes against the often-complex nature of tools like QuickBooks Online. It’s a business app meant to simplify bookkeeping and payroll.
Wave lets you create and send invoices, collect credit card payments, and of course, track income and expenses. It also includes a mobile app for easy, real-time accounting on the go.
Plus, Wave offers payment reminders to let clients know they still need to pay your invoice. (“Come on, Simon — I’ve got 11 cats to feed!”)
Cost: Wave Accounting doesn’t charge a monthly fee for the tool. Instead, they collect 3.4% and $0.50 per transaction for credit cards. Payroll tools begin at a $20 base fee and $6 per active employee or contractor. A 30-day free trial is available. Note that Wave only offers payroll services in US- and Canada-based businesses.
7. Zoho Books [HR-focused]
Zoho Books is a user-friendly QuickBooks alternative that helps you track your business finances and handle payroll.
It helps you track income and expenses and provides you the tools you need to treat employees well (through pay, insurance, retirement investing options, etc.). Zoho Books is an HR system and business accounting tool rolled into one.
This tool has a fairly simple interface compared to QuickBooks Online and packs many of the same features. You can create and send invoices, track time, sync Zoho with your bank for automatic reporting — and more.
Cost: Zoho Books starts at $10/month annually.
8. Bonsai [Freelancers]
Another popular accounting software, Bonsai is made exclusively for freelancers and solopreneurs. So to be more specific: Bonsai is a QuickBooks Self-Employed alternative.
Bonsai understands that freelancers wear many hats, so it includes all the financial needs a freelancer has in one place. You can send invoices, track income and expenses, track your time, and even manage leads — yes, it’s a CRM, too. (I’m a freelancer. I’m allowed to geek out at least a little — this was made for me.)
But let’s stay focused. As a small business accounting software, Bonsai offers financial tools to handle almost all your day-to-day business tracking. From accepting payments to preparing for tax day, the Bonsai team tries to pack it all into this tool.
Cost: Bonsai offers a 14-day free trial, with paid plans starting from $19/month.
9. Sage Accounting [Advanced features]
Source: Sage Accounting
Like Wave Accounting, Sage combines payroll and many popular accounting features. It’s a popular QuickBooks alternative designed to help small businesses take charge of the financial side of their businesses.
Sage Business has invoicing, like other tools mentioned on this list. But it also provides quote tracking so you can visualize your proposal success rate in the same place you see your income, helping to pull more of your business data into one online accounting platform. Get a better idea of cash flow, income and expenses, and upcoming work — all in one place.
But don’t be fooled: Sage isn’t just in the online accounting software and payroll industries.
Sage provides dozens of software for small and big businesses (e.g., Sage 50cloud for small businesses and Sage 100cloud for bigger companies with advanced needs like wholesale distribution and audit tracking).
It’s a great tool if you want to use the same company for its CRM, accounting tools, supply chain management, and more.
Cost: Sage Accounting starts at $10/month. It also offers a 30-day free trial.
10. Bench [Cash accounting]
Looking for a simple and straightforward QuickBooks alternative? Bench is your go-to.
This online bookkeeping service pairs you up with a dedicated bookkeeper. Every month, a professional bookkeeper will import your business transactions and maintain your books, freeing up time to run your business.
Bench offers monthly financial statements, expense overviews, and tax advisory services. It also provides emergency support if you’re years behind in your bookkeeping.
Bench’s features are basic (e.g., you can break down expenses by categories such as shipping and inventory cost, but not by carrier and product SKU) than complete accounting solutions like Sage Accounting. Still, when it comes to cash accounting, it gets the job done.
Note that Bench is only available in US-based businesses.
Cost: Bench offers a 30-day free trial, with paid plans beginning at $159/month when billed annually.
Pick Your Favorite QuickBooks Alternative
You’ve seen the options. Now it’s time to act. Which QuickBooks alternative caught your attention? Tell us your favorite in the comments.
Also, if you didn’t see a clear winner, there’s always Excel. Just kidding.
Instead, pay attention to the AppSumo store. We frequently partner with powerful accounting tools to help entrepreneurs like you — and we discount those tools to help you get the absolute best deal on the software you need to run your business.