The Top Alternatives to QuickBooks for Small Businesses and Growing Companies
Top QuickBooks Alternatives for Small Business Accounting Software
We begin by describing QuickBooks accounting software features as a point of comparison.
QuickBooks Accounting Software
QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop are accounting software products from Intuit used by small businesses (including small business owners) with limited users. Other accounting systems compete with QuickBooks as alternatives for small businesses. ERP systems provide an upgrade path for companies outgrowing QuickBooks.
QuickBooks Online Accountant and QuickBooks Accountant Desktop are software products that allow CPAs and bookkeepers to set up links for each client’s books and apply accounting tools.
Although QuickBooks is used in many industries, QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise also offers specialized Industry Editions. Some industry-specific features are included with QuickBooks Desktop Pro and Enterprise products. QuickBooks provides project management and time tracking to bill clients with Plus or higher-level QuickBooks Online pricing plans.
Intuit Merchant Services lets approved sellers, including eCommerce merchants, use QuickBooks Payments to process customer credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Invoice pay now links, Apple Pay, and ACH electronic bank transfer payments.
QuickBooks Online accounting software is cloud-based. QuickBooks Desktop is on-premises, with an optional hosting upgrade for remote access. QuickBooks Online integrates with LivePlan software to import actual accounting data for creating business plans and budgeting.
QuickBooks Accounting mobile app is for Apple iPhones (iOS), iPad tablets (iPadOS or iOS), and Google Android phones and tablets. QuickBooks also offers other mobile apps for Self-Employed (mileage and expense tracker), Payroll, GoPayment POS, and Desktop Expenses (expense management to snap and upload receipt photos to QuickBooks Desktop and store/organize expense receipts).
The QuickBooks Accounting app for mobile devices includes customer invoicing, accepting customer payments, setting up sales tax rates, viewing bank feed transactions and reconciling bank accounts, taking and attaching receipt photos to expenses, and bookkeeping. Expense tracking is a mobile app feature limited to QBO Plus and Advanced users with Apple devices.
QuickBooks adds functionality and streamlines many business processes through third-party add-on integrations. Add-on business apps include Salesforce CRM for customer resource management and Tipalti AP automation software that manages end-to-end payables workflow and generates global mass payments. (Third-party software integrations are also available for most alternatives to QuickBooks.)
QuickBooks offers customer support through extensive online documentation and by chat, email, and phone.
QuickBooks Alternatives Software Comparison Method
We compare the best QuickBooks alternatives based on software features, pricing, and ease of use. We analyze accounting software options for small businesses and ERP management software for growing companies seeking an upgrade from QuickBooks in separate sections. The QuickBooks alternatives aren’t ranked because every organization has different business needs.
Accounting and ERP software comparison features:
- Cloud-based (available from anywhere, any device, at any time)
- Financial reports
- Real-time dashboards
- Inventory tracking and inventory management
- Recurring transactions
- Sales quotes/sales orders
- Purchase requisitions and purchase orders
- Status lookup and notifications (customer orders, backorders, and shipments)
- Payables and payments
Feature Comparisons – Top QuickBooks Alternatives for Small Businesses
|Price||Features||Accounting Software or ERP System||Multi- Industry or Specialty Software||Cloud|
|Xero||$(unlimited users)||Accounting solution with reports, multi-currency, recurring transactions, sales quotes, invoicing, purchase orders, supplier bills, and cash flow management; real-time dashboard; accountant tools; LivePlan integration; inventory management and project management upgrades; receipt scanning app that uploads photos, intuitive UI||Accounting software||Multi-industry||✅|
|Sage 50cloud Accounting (part of Sage Business Cloud)||$||Small business accounting, inventory, and payments offering an upgrade for integration with Microsoft Office 365 (including Excel); includes cash flow & invoicing, payments & banking, advanced inventory management, job costing, payroll, and reporting||Accounting software||Multi-Industrywith some industry-specific features in the Quantum plan||✅|
|Sage Intacct (part of Sage Business Cloud)||$$||Core financials; additional modules include fixed assets, inventory management, revenue recognition, expense and spend management, and project accounting; offers multiple levels of customer support plans, user-friendly, award-winning& AICPA endorsed software||Accounting software with core financials or ERP with extra modules.||Multi-industry|
|ZarMoney||$||Small business accounting software with many features, including status notifications, purchase orders, advanced real-time inventory tracking & inventory management, including multiple warehouse locations, pick lists, recurring transactions, quotes & estimates, sales orders, invoicing, customer statements, and customization of dashboards||Accounting software||Multi-industry||✅|
|FreshBooks||$||Software for freelancers, self-employed, and small businesses. Features include accounting, invoicing, expenses, project collaboration, accepting customer payments, reporting, and dashboards||Accounting software||Business with clients||✅|
|Odoo||$||Accounting, CRM, marketing automation, manufacturing, eCommerce, web site builder, and more||ERP system built using business apps integration||Multi-Industrywith some industry-specific features from apps||✅|
|Wave||$0||Accounting, invoicing, receipts, customer payments, and payroll suites||Accounting software||Multi-Industry||Web-browser|
|Zoho Books||$||Accounting,budgeting invoices, estimates, expenses, banking, inventory, documents management, projects & timesheets; bills in Standard or higher plan; sales orders, purchase orders, and stock tracking in Professional plan||Accounting software||Multi-Industry||✅|
|FreeAgent||Accounting, estimates, time tracking, expense tracking with receipts photos, project management, bank feeds to import transactions, recurring customer invoices, multi-currency invoicing, sales tax reporting, dashboard, and cash flow management||Accounting software||Multi-Industry, including freelance and serviceindustry||✅|
|SAP Business One||$-$$||Accounting, recurring entries, reporting, business intelligence, analytics, dashboards, cash flow management, purchasing, inventory management, fixed assets, CRM, and marketing automation||ERP system, including accounting software||Multi-Industry, with some Industry-Specific features||✅|
10 Alternatives to QuickBooks for Small Business Accounting Software
Xero is cloud accounting software competing with QuickBooks Online, used by startups and small businesses. Xero provides most of the accounting features you’d look for, including an online accounting dashboard.
Xero offers inventory management and inventory tracking software as an upgrade and integrates with third-party add-on apps for transfers between multiple locations, tracking product components inventory, and integrating inventory with a point of sale (POS) system.
Xero pricing plans include Early ($9/month), Growing ($30/month), and Established ($60/month). The Early plan is limited to only 20 invoices and quotes and five bills per month.
- Real-time dashboards and financial reporting
- LivePlan integration (like QuickBooks Online) for business plans and budgets
- Multi-currency in Established plan
- Sales quotes and invoicing
- Ease of use
#2) Sage Intacct
Sage Intacct is scalable, award-winning SaaS software that’s endorsed by the AICPA.
Sage provides customized quotes for Intacct pricing that depend on the modules selected, including core financials and the number of users.
Sage Intacct Strengths
- Intuitive user interface
- Real-time dashboards
- Enhances productivity
- Handles GAAP revenue recognition well (with the added module)
- Scalable for small and mid-market companies with up to about 1,000 employees
- Award-winning tech support
#3) Sage 50cloud Accounting
Sage 50cloud small business accounting software has some advanced features and optionally integrates with Microsoft Office 365 software (that includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).
SaaS pricing plans for Sage 50cloud are either monthly or annual subscriptions based on the number of users. At times, Sage offers substantial first-year discounts (up to 40%) off the standard yearly plan rate. Sage 50cloud subscription rates are:
|Pricing Plan||Per Month||Annual Standard Rate|
|Pro Accounting (only 1 user)||$56.08||$567.00|
|Premium Accounting (1 – 5 users)||$84.58 – $194.75 depending on the number of users||$850.00 – $1,947.00 depending on the number of users|
|Quantum Accounting(1 – 11+ users)||$139.58 – $356.83 for 1 -10 users; for 11+ users call to request a quote||$1,404 to $3,583 for 1 -10 users; for 11+ users call to request a quote|
|Optional Office 365 Integration – annual for all pricing plans||NA||$150.00|
Sage 50 cloud Accounting Strengths
- Advanced inventory management and job costing
- Optional Microsoft Office 365 integration
- Some industry-specific features in the Quantum Accounting SaaS plan
ZarMoney is full-featured cloud-based small business accounting software with a low subscription entry point. ZarMoney Enterprise handles more users than QuickBooks limits.
ZarMoney offers three SaaS subscription pricing plans:
- Entrepreneur – 1 user for $5 per month
- Small Business – minimum 2 users for $7 per month
- Enterprise – 30+ users, starting at $350 per month, including training and priority customer support
- Robust real-time inventory tracking and management, including transfers between warehouse locations
- Custom fields
- Order status and communications
- Quotes and estimates, sales orders, and purchase orders
- Order status and communications, including backorder management
FreshBooks provides a solution to freelancers, self-employed professionals, and small businesses with clients.
FreshBooks offers four pricing plans with increasing features (and some discount rates):
- Lite – 5 billable clients for $135 per year
- Plus – 50 billable clients for $225 per year
- Premium – 500 billable clients for $450 per year
- Select – over 500 billable clients – custom price quote
- Sending unlimited estimates and proposals with Plus plan or higher
- Getting paid with credit cards and bank transfers
- Setting up recurring billing and client retainers (and subscriptions with Select plan)
Odoo becomes an ERP system, CRM for customer relationship management, Website Builder, eCommerce, and Marketing Automation software by choosing several business apps adding functionality. Odoo is open-source software that’s available either on the cloud and on-premises. Odoo has online customer support and indicates that customers may experience temporary delays in responding to support tickets.
Odoo SaaS pricing starts with an Odoo per-user cost of about $28 per month plus a monthly cost for each Odoo app selected, ranging from $12 to $72 per month (with many at a $24 per month price). These costs can add up, making Odoo more expensive than many QuickBooks software plans. Odoo offers a free Community version but limits the features.
- Choose from a wide variety of functional business apps
- Easy-to-use interface
- Open source, free Community version
Wave is financial software comprised of accounting software suites or products.
Free software except for financial services for payroll and (inbound customer) payments.
- Free accounting software (with some financial services exceptions)
- Live chat and email customer support
- Accessible through a web browser
- Mobile apps for iOS and Android invoicing and receipt scanning
#8) Zoho Books
Zoho Books is
Zoho Books has three SaaS pricing plans with either monthly or yearly pricing.
Zoho Books monthly pricing is:
- Basic (2 users/50 contacts/5 automated workflows) for $9/organization per month
- Standard (3 users/500 contacts/10 automated workflows/module) for $19/organization per month
- Professional (10 users/over 500 contacts/10 automated workflows/module) for $29/organization per month
Zoho Books annual pricing is:
- Basic $90/organization per year
- Standard $190/organization per year
- Professional $290/organization per year
Zoho Books Strengths
- Stock tracking inventory features, sales orders, and purchase orders in Professional plan
- Standard plan includes Twilio integration for automated customer communications
- Low cost with no per-user fees
FreeAgent is cloud accounting software for small businesses, including freelancers and service businesses. Accounting firms can use FreeAgent software for both internal accounting and accessing their clients’ accounting records.
FreeAgent SaaS pricing for U.S. Businesses is $24 per month. FreeAgent may offer a discount of up to 50% for the first six months.
- Low cost
- Unlimited users
- Estimates, time tracking, and project management
- Multi-currency invoicing
- Real-time dashboard
- Customer support accountants available to answer questions
SAP Business One is an ERP system for small businesses and subsidiaries of larger companies. SAP Business One can either be deployed in the cloud or on-premises. SAP acquired the software and rebranded it as Business One. Industry-specific features are for consumer products, retail, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, and professional services.
For pricing, SAP provides custom quotes based on the number of users and modules selected.
SAP Business One Strengths
- Complete ERP system, CRM software, and marketing automation software
- Customized reports with visualizations, using data from multiple sources
- Purchasing and inventory control
- Analytics and pre-defined KPIs
8 Alternatives to QuickBooks Accounting Software for Growing Businesses
At some point, fast-growing companies outgrow the user limits and limited features offered by QuickBooks. The next step is choosing the right scalable mid-range ERP solution to meet your changing business needs as the best alternative to QuickBooks. The list is not ranked.
This comparison excludes the expensive, top-tier ERP systems, Oracle ERP, Workday, and SAP S/4HANA, which companies usually don’t choose as their second software system. If fast growth continues and you need more capabilities, consider those ERP solutions too as a final upgrade.
NetSuite, owned by Oracle, calls its software the #1 cloud ERP system. NetSuite is a very comprehensive, true cloud ERP system that handles many business processes and functions in a broad range of industries.
Although NetSuite offers a SuiteSuccess Starter Edition for venture capital-funded startups, companies can use QuickBooks instead at early stages, then upgrade to its ERP software. NetSuite customers include some Fortune 100 companies.
Request a custom quote based on the software modules (suites) you need and the number of users.
- Scalable for growth
- Incorporates best practices
- Financial planning
- Real-time analytics and business intelligence
- OneWorld for global businesses
- Supply chain and procurement
- Inventory management
- Ease of use
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the newest cloud-based ERP and CRM system in the Dynamics product line. Dynamics 365 is integrated with many other Microsoft Office 365 software products(including Excel and Power BI for business intelligence visualizations) and tools via apps.
With Microsoft Dynamics 365, businesses have access to the Microsoft Teams platform for collaboration, communication, and file-sharing.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 also integrates with third-party business apps, including Salesforce CRM and Tipalti AP automation software.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 pricing is per user/month or per tenant per month for some business apps. Pricing is different for the first Microsoft Dynamics 365 app purchased and subsequent apps purchased.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Strengths
- Scalable for growth
- Choose only the business apps that you need
- Integrates with many familiar Microsoft products and tools
#3) Sage 100cloud and Sage 300cloud (and Sage Intacct)
Besides Sage 100cloud and Sage 300cloud, consider AICPA-endorsed, modern cloud-based Sage Intacct (acquired in 2017) for your small and lower-end mid-sized company. (Sage Intacct is Sage analyzed in the small business section of this software review article). In 2019, highly-rated Sage Intacct had the highest growth rate in the Sage Business Cloud product group.
Sage 100cloud and Sage 300cloud are older desktop products that are migrated to the cloud. Sage 500 ERP isn’t evaluated because it may be an end-of-life product with five years or less remaining in its life.
Sage 100cloud is ERP software for manufacturing, wholesale distribution, and professional services companies.
Sage 300cloud is multi-industry, multi-entity, and multi-currency software, including accounting, finance, operations, inventory, and distribution. Sage 300cloud features include accounting and finance, intercompany transactions, inventory tools, sales orders, purchase orders, and automatic trace to timestamp & track users for internal control.
Sage 100cloud has three pricing plans, depending on the level of features selected. Request a quote.
Sage 300cloud is “priced lower than an ERP system,” according to the Sage 300cloud webpage. Request a quote.
Sage 100cloud Strengths
- Industry-specific solutions
- Handles compliance
Sage 300cloud Strengths
- Intercompany transactions
- Project and job costing
- Automatic trace for internal control
Infor CloudSuite is a feature-rich, modular, industry-specific ERP system for many industries. Infor is scalable for growing companies.
SyteLine ERP software is part of the Infor CloudSuite Industrial product line. SyteLine is used by discrete and process manufacturing companies of all sizes.
Infor pricing is based on selected modules and the number of users. Request a quote.
- Industry-specific ERP solutions using best practices
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence (Coleman)
- Advanced analytics with Birst
- Strong manufacturing SyteLine software
Acumatica is a cloud-based ERP system for small and mid-sized companies. Besides its General Business Edition, Acumatica offers industry-specific Editions, including Distribution, Manufacturing, Construction, Commerce (retail and eCommerce), and Field Service. Acumatica used in many other industries, including services, agriculture & farming, property management, and healthcare.
Acumatica pricing isn’t based on the number of users. Instead, users pay:
- only for the business applications they select,
- type of license (SaaS subscription, private cloud subscription, or private perpetual license), and
- Acumatica usage, based on the volume of business transactions and data storage.
- Unlimited users
- Industry-specific solutions
- Modern cloud technology
SYSPRO is ERP software for manufacturing companies of all sizes. SYSPRO also offers CRM software for customer relationship management and a Smart Manufacturing product using artificial intelligence and IoT technologies.
Request a quote.
- Handles many manufacturing methods and mixed-mode
- Lot traceability
- Manufacturing execution system (MES) for manufacturing operations management
- SYSPRO Analytics – business intelligence
SAP ByDesign is a scalable cloud ERP system for growing mid-market companies in many industries. ByDesign uses real-time analytics in every business process and incorporates best practices. ByDesign includes finance, CRM, human resources, project management, procurement, and supply chain management. Finance includes financial and managerial accounting and cash flow management.
Request a quote for the complete SAP ByDesign ERP system. Pricing plans include three extensive plans and a minimal self-service option for tasks like time and expense reporting, purchasing, and travel management. The base package and advanced user plans include all categories of features, including built-in analytics. The core user plan doesn’t include built-in analytics and has lighter versions of product lifecycle management (PLM), management support, and supply chain management.
SAP Business ByDesign Strengths
- Two ERP pricing plans are comprehensive
- Built-in analytics for every business process
- Includes human resources
- Incorporates best practices
Deltek software products fit companies of all sizes in specific industries. Users can choose software deployment on Deltek Cloud that uses Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Deltek ERP and professional services automation (PSA) products include:
- Costpoint for government contractors (project management)
- Costpoint for manufacturing (project management for manufacturers)
- Maconomy (ERP for project management in professional service firms)
- Vantagepoint for A&E (architecture and engineering) and consulting firms
- Ajera (for small A&E firms)
- ComputerEase for construction (finance and project management)
- WorkBook for agencies (finance and project management)
Deltek also offers software for:
- Information management and collaboration
- Business development (including GovWin federal, state, and local government contract intelligence)
- Project & portfolio management
- Human capital management
- Talent management
- Human resources management
- Costpoint time and expense for government contractors
Request a quote for the software products that meet your business needs.
- Project management, including project-based ERP software
- Government contracting software that provides information, helps to bid for contracts, and tracks time and expenses for government contract compliance
- Industry-specific solutions
- Expertise in core markets
QuickBooks Alternatives – In Summary
Small businesses can select lower-priced software that competes directly with QuickBooks, then upgrade to a different system as they grow. Or fast-growing venture capital-backed companies can start at a higher level with scalable ERP software that handles GAAP financial reporting, streamlines business processes, and will continue to meet their business needs as they grow.
When these fast-growing companies consider going public, their mid-market (and high-end) software should let them meet audit, internal control, and SEC reporting requirements, including using prior year financials.
In your software decisions, consider including add-on third-party software to enhance functionality and business process automation.