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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of small businesses fail before they complete their second year. Among the many potential challenges for this widespread demise is the lack of effective money management and accounting.

Small business accounting software can do a lot to prevent your business from falling into this trap, keeping you on the right side of that grim statistic.

If you’re a small business owner on-the-go, having access to your accounting software wherever you are can be particularly important. Although many top accounting platforms are web-based, meaning you can use them anywhere you have internet access, you may want a system that offers greater mobility—like an accounting app.

With a business accounting app, you can access your financial data and accounting tools on your mobile device, thereby maximizing your ability to manage your operations, regardless of location.

This being said, however, not all accounting platforms offer an app, and moreover, not every app out there will be the right fit for your business.

Therefore, when you’re considering your different accounting software options, you’ll want to ensure that the system you choose includes a well-designed, highly capable mobile app.

So, which systems offer the best accounting apps as part of their service? Let’s find out.

  • What is the Best Small Business Accounting App?
  • Is there any free Accounting software?
  • How to Manage Your Small Business Accounting

What is the Best Small Business Accounting App?

What should you look for in a small business accounting app?

In addition to determining whether or not any given accounting software actually offers an app, you’ll also want to ensure that the app will work for your business.

Read Also: Save your Business by Outsourcing your Accounting Needs

Therefore, in exploring the best accounting apps on our list, you’ll want to consider how each may or may not meet your needs. To this end, we’ll evaluate each app in terms of user experience, capabilities, as well as cost.

1. QuickBooks Accounting App

As one of the most popular accounting software options on the market, it should be no surprise that QuickBooks offers a mobile accounting app as part of their service. How does the QuickBooks mobile accounting app accommodate the system’s top-of-the-line features? Let’s find out.

Overall User Experience

Generally speaking, the QuickBooks app offers one of the most user-friendly experiences on the market.

The QuickBooks app can be used on a smartphone or tablet (iOS and Android) and syncs your data automatically across your devices, allowing you to maintain your accounting information quickly and easily.

Plus, this small business app has great reviews on the Apple App Store—4.7 out of 5 stars and number 65 of all business apps on the platform, making it one of the best business accounting apps for iPad as well as iPhone.

Mobile Capabilities

Which of the QuickBooks capabilities will you be able to access through their accounting app?

Although you won’t be able to access all of QuickBooks’ features through the app, you’ll still receive access to significant capabilities while you’re on-the-go including:

  • Reconcile bank statements
  • Create and send professional invoices
  • Capture receipts
  • Attach receipts to expenses
  • Track and categorize expenses
  • Access and email profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and over 50 other reports
  • Create professional estimates
  • Take and process mobile payments and record the respective transaction


Finally, the QuickBooks’ mobile app will be free with your QuickBooks subscription. In other words, this app will be free to download, but you’ll need a QuickBooks account and login in order to actually use it.

QuickBooks offers numerous software options, as well as specific plans, ranging in price from as little as $10 per month to over $100 per month.

With the various versions of QuickBooks, therefore, you can choose the system and plan that works best for your business and after you’ve signed up, you’ll be able to download and utilize their mobile app.

2. Xero Accounting App

Although QuickBooks is one of the most popular solutions out there, you may be interested in trying a top QuickBooks competitor, like Xero.

Xero too offers a small business accounting app with their software—making Xero another great option for business owners who want access to their business finances wherever they go.

This being said, let’s see exactly what the Xero app can offer your business.

Overall User Experience

Like QuickBooks, you can download the Xero accounting app on both iOS and Android devices. Overall, the Xero app does offer notable features that will make your finances easy to manage on-the-go, it isn’t as highly reviewed with regard to user experience.

In the Apple app store, the Xero app only has 2.6 out of 5 stars and doesn’t rank among the top business apps. Although Xero offers many of the same features as QuickBooks, user reviews report that there are numerous issues with the app’s features and functionality.

Therefore, you may have access to substantial Xero features with their small business accounting app, but it might be more difficult for you to actually use them.

Mobile Capabilities

So, what specific features does the Xero accounting app have to offer?

With this mobile tool, you’ll be able to:

  • Reconcile bank statements
  • Approve expenses
  • Send professional invoices
  • Capture receipts
  • Attach receipts to expenses
  • Access, add and edit customer contacts
  • Give employees access to Xero mobile and control their permissions


Just like the QuickBooks app, Xero’s app is free to download but requires a Xero account and login.

Xero offers three plans, ranging in price from $9 per month to $60 per month. Each plan has increased functionality, so the right one for you will depend on the specific accounting tasks you need to perform.

This being said, however, with each plan, you will be able to access the Xero mobile features through their app.

3. FreshBooks Accounting App

As an accounting software known for its intuitive platform and user-friendliness, it should come as no surprise that FreshBooks has a spot on our best accounting app list.

In fact, FreshBooks not only offers an accounting app, but all of their platforms are accessible via mobile browsers as well. Therefore, if you want to manage your business finances from your smartphone or tablet, you might consider FreshBooks.

For a limited time only, FreshBooks is offering 50% off for the first three months when new users skip the 30-day free trial period.

Overall User Experience

Just like the first two apps on our list, FreshBooks gives you the ability to access their app on both iOS and Android devices. FreshBooks also automatically syncs your data between desktop and mobile so you know that your information is always up to date.

Although FreshBooks doesn’t fall on the Apple App Store best business app rankings, it is nevertheless very highly reviewed, with an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Additionally, though many users report that they like the FreshBooks software, as well as their app, many CPAs—especially American CPAs—aren’t huge fans of the reports that FreshBooks produces.

Therefore, if you’re considering using this software and their corresponding small business accounting app, you might want to consult your certified public accountant first.

Mobile Capabilities

With the FreshBooks app, you’ll be able to access a significant amount of the features that FreshBooks includes with their web-based software.

The FreshBooks mobile app allows you to:

  • Track your billable hours
  • Reconcile bank statements
  • Create and send professional invoices
  • In-time updates on invoices
  • Manage expenses
  • Capture receipts
  • Attach receipts to expenses
  • Chat with clients


Just like the other small business accounting apps we’ve discussed thus far, the FreshBooks mobile app is free to download—as long as you have a FreshBooks account. You can choose from three different FreshBooks plans which cost $15, $25, and $50 per month respectively.

The FreshBooks plans are largely differentiated based on the number of billable clients you can have, however, all plans grant you the same access to the mobile app.

4. Sage Accounting App

The next option in our list of the best apps for business accounting is the Sage mobile app.

Although Sage software may not have the same recognition as QuickBooks or Xero, Sage still offers some of the best small business tools available—including their accounting software and mobile app.

Let’s look at what Sage has to offer for managing your accounting via smartphone or tablet.

Overall User Experience

Although the Sage accounting app doesn’t have nearly as many reviews as some of the other apps we’ve discussed, it nevertheless has a 4.4 rating on the Apple App Store. Therefore, it seems that most reviewers are satisfied with the usability of the Sage app.

Additionally, Sage offers a unique user-friendly mobile tool that other provides don’t: a chat feature that you can text to manage your accounting transactions. This chat feature, known as the digital assistant, “Pegg,” can help you photograph receipts, log a payment, check your balance, or enable account notifications.

Even though this functionality isn’t technically part of Sage’s app, it certainly adds to your ability to manage your business accounting from your mobile device.

Mobile Capabilities

Beyond this smart digital assistant feature that Sage accounting offers, their small business accounting app offers relatively straightforward features.

With the Sage accounting app, you’ll be able to:

  • Reconcile bank statements
  • Create and send professional invoices
  • Track and log income and expenses
  • Capture receipts
  • Attach receipts to expenses
  • Access account information
  • Track and manage unpaid and overdue invoices
  • Update business contacts


Just like all of the previous small business accounting apps we’ve covered so far, the Sage app will be free to download, but certainly not free to use.

With Sage, you’ll have to choose from two different plan options in order to gain access to their app capabilities. The first plan costs $10 per month and the second, $25 per month.

Unlike some other solutions, the Sage plans are not priced based on clients or number of invoices—the more expensive plan simply offers features, like cash flow statements and quotes and estimates, that the basic plan does not.

5. Wave Accounting: Receipts by Wave

Wave accounting is one of only true free accounting software options on the market. There is no monthly fee to use Wave, and yet, Wave offers impressive accounting capabilities.

However, unlike the apps on our list thus far, Wave does not offer one mobile app that provides core accounting functions. Instead, Wave offers two apps that correspond with their free add-ons, Receipts and Invoicing.

Both of these apps can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet and sync automatically with your Wave account. However, they’re inherently different than the other accounting apps on our list. Let’s explore Receipts by Wave first.

Overall Experience

Although Receipts by Wave is designed specifically for scanning and tracking receipts, like the other apps on our list, it can be utilized on both Android and iOS mobile devices. This Wave accounting app has a decent rating on the Apple App Store—4.2 out of 5 stars, meaning users seem to be satisfied with its usability.

Additionally, one of the unique components of this small business accounting app is that it can be used in offline mode—after you’ve scanned a receipt offline, Wave will sync the information automatically as soon as connect to the internet.

Mobile Capabilities

As we mentioned, this Wave accounting app is designed specifically for receipt capture—and not any other accounting functions. With this app, however, you can scan paper receipts, review the information, and sync with your Wave account.


Just like our other best accounting apps, the Receipts by Wave app is free to download. However, unlike our other options, you do not need to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the capabilities of this mobile app—Wave accounting is completely free.

6. Wave Accounting: Invoice by Wave

The second app that Wave offers is Wave invoicing on mobile. Just as the Receipts by Wave app is designed specifically for receipt capture, this app is specific to invoicing.

Once again, however, this Wave app is free and connects directly to your Wave account. Let’s dive into the details.

Overall Experience

Wave invoicing can be downloaded for iOS or Android and used on both smartphones and tablets. Interestingly enough, however, this Wave accounting app has a slightly higher Apple App Store rating than the Receipts by Wave app.

The Wave invoicing app has 4.6 out of 5 stars. On the whole, this Wave app offers greater functionality than its Receipt-specific counterpart—plus, it seems to experience fewer bugs than Receipts by Wave.

Mobile Capabilities

With this small business accounting app, you’ll have access to multiple invoicing capabilities, including:

  • Create, customize, and send invoices
  • Receive instant invoice notifications
  • Send automatic payment reminders
  • Mark invoices as paid


Once again, both of Wave’s apps are completely free to download and use. However, they will not allow you to perform many of the accounting tasks that you can with an app from Xero or QuickBooks.

7. Zoho Books Accounting App

The next application on our list of the best apps for small business accounting is Zoho Books—an accounting software designed for smaller businesses.

The Zoho Books accounting app allows you to manage your business finances on-the-go, with unique features for iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

Overall User Experience

The general consensus on the Zoho Books small business accounting app is that it seems to be pretty reliable, with a 4.7 out of 5-star rating on the Apple App Store.

In fact, with capabilities specific to your mobile devices’ operating system, the Zoho Books app seems to be truly designed with the user in mind. For example, the iOS version of this app works directly with iMessage, Apple Maps, and Siri—certainly making it one of the best apps for iPad.

Moreover, Zoho Books offers their app on both Apple and Android watches.

Mobile Capabilities

Regardless of your operating system, however, the Zoho Books accounting app offers solid accounting functionality. With this tool, you’ll be able to:

  • Track billable hours
  • Attach automatic bank feeds
  • Create and send invoices, estimates, and account statements
  • Access detailed reports in seconds
  • Communicate with customers
  • Manage expenses
  • Set notifications


Much like most other small business accounting apps, the Zoho Books’ app will be free to download but will require a Zoho Books account. Unlike Wave, Zoho Books is priced on a subscription basis, ranging from $9 to $29 per month.

As an accounting software for smaller businesses, Zoho Books is one of the more affordable systems we’ve discussed—however, the plans also include fewer features and limit you based on your amount of contacts, users, and workflows.

8. GoDaddy Bookkeeping App

The last of our best accounting apps is GoDaddy Bookkeeping.

As you may imagine based on the name, this accounting software focuses first and foremost on bookkeeping tasks—however, nevertheless, the GoDaddy app offers many of the same accounting features we’ve seen so far.

Let’s explore the details.

Overall Experience

Like each of the other apps on our list, the GoDaddy Bookkeeping app is compatible with iOS and Android devices including both smartphone and tablets. However, with only 3 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store, this accounting app has the lowest reviews of all of the apps we’ve discussed.

Unfortunately, it seems that many reviewers are less than satisfied with the way the GoDaddy accounting app functions.

Mobile Capabilities

Although the reviews aren’t great, the GoDaddy Bookkeeping app does include a number of features. With this accounting app, you’ll have access to the following capabilities:

  • Capture receipts
  • Attach receipts to expenses
  • Attach accounts for daily data imports
  • Create and send invoices and estimates
  • Accept payments
  • Add expenses, income, and mileage to your account
  • View your sales, account balances, and other data

Like the other apps on our list, GoDaddy’s bookkeeping app automatically syncs your information between your online account and mobile device.


Finally, like most other small business accounting apps (with Wave being the exception), you can download the GoDaddy Bookkeeping app for free—however, you’ll still have to pay for a subscription to be able to actually use the app’s capabilities.

This being said, GoDaddy Bookkeeping is available in three different plans, ranging in price from $5 per month to $15 per month.

With the bookkeeping focus of this software, these plans are more affordable—but offer less of the functionality we’ve seen from other accounting software options.

Is there any free Accounting software?

Some of the accounting software mentioned above are free while others are paid, however, as a small business, spending money on an accounting software might prove to be too expensive for you. To help you with this, we have provided some free accounting software for you to take advantage of.

Of course, most of these options will include versions and add-ons that will cost you, but their most basic versions will be completely free:

1. Wave

A top free accounting software to consider from the start of your search is Wave accounting software. Through this option, you’ll be able to connect unlimited bank and credit card accounts to your books. You’ll also be able to add unlimited income tracking, expense tracking, and guest collaborators for free. Plus, you’ll be able to invoice and scan receipts for free as well.

Be sure to note, though: If you want your invoiced customers to be able to pay online directly through the invoice, you’ll need to pay for that. Wave will charge 2.9% + $0.30 for each credit card payment and 1% (with a minimum of $1) for each ACH payment.

You’ll also need to pay for payroll through Wave. Depending on where you do business, you’ll pay a monthly base fee of either $35 or $20, plus $4 per employee and contractor on your payroll.

2. ZipBooks

Another top software, that is free, for small businesses to consider is ZipBooks. ZipBooks offers all the crucial features of accounting software—reports, bank syncing, billing, expense management, and invoicing—all in one free account.

If you want to offer online payments to your invoiced customers via ZipBooks, you’ll need to do so via Square or PayPal. You’ll pay the standard PayPal rates and Square rates for those transactions.

ZipBooks offers an integrated payroll add-on option with Gusto. Gusto starts at $39 per month, plus $6 per person per month. For a limited time, you can get the Core plan for a discounted price of a monthly $19 base cost for the first 6 months. Gusto also has a new option for contractor-only employers, who simply pay the $6/employee rate and no base price.  

3. Akaunting

You should also consider a free accounting software called Akaunting. This option offers many of the most necessary features that a small business accounting software should. Within this technology, you’ll be able to invoice, sync accounts, track expenses, set up recurring bills, manage customers, and manage vendors.

However, to access more advanced features like online payments, for example, you’ll have to download third-party apps that will cost you a yearly fee on top of whatever fees you have to pay for this third-party account.

Long story short, creating an Akaunting account won’t cost you anything, but as you navigate this software, you’ll realize that all the capabilities that you might expect to be ready-to-use will rely on your purchasing these third-party apps.

4. SlickPie

The free accounting software SlickPie is also worth looking into for your small business finances. The free version of this accounting software allows for unlimited automated receipt entries, 10 different companies on one account, and email support. It also allows you to create quotes and estimates that can easily become professional invoices.

SlickPie also allows you to connect your PayPal and Stripe accounts for free. That means customers will be able to fulfill their invoices with card or PayPal payments online—and you’ll simply have to pay the standard transaction fees that PayPal and Stripe charge.

One feature that this free accounting software seems to be lacking is reports—the SlickPie website doesn’t highlight any built-in reporting capabilities. If you’re hoping to extract valuable, high-level insights from your accounting software, then you might want to consider options other than SlickPie.

5. GnuCash

If you’re looking for a free desktop accounting software for your small business, then GnuCash is a solid contender. To access this free accounting software option, all you have to do is go to the GnuCash site and download it for free—simple as that. Though GnuCash doubles as a personal and small business accounting software, it offers small business-specific features customer and vendor tracking, job costing, and invoicing.

6. CloudBooks

With the free version of CloudBooks accounting software, you’ll be able to add unlimited users, invoice, create projects, perform integrated time tracking, track expenses, and provide estimates.

That said, you’ll have to upgrade from the free version—and pay at least $10 a month—to be able to send more than five invoices per month, brand your invoices, and offer online payments on your invoices.

7. Zoho Invoice

If you’re looking for the best free accounting software to automate your invoicing workflows, then Zoho Invoice will be a top option. With the free version of Zoho Invoice, you’ll be able to invoice up to five customers and automate five workflows through a single account.

You’ll also be able to customize and brand invoice templates, track expenses and interact with customers through a client portal. Not to mention, you can run integrated time tracking for yourself and employees for project billing.

And if you need to add users, you won’t necessarily need to jump up to the next tier of Zoho Invoice, which would cost you $9 per month. You can simply add another user for $2 a month or $20 a year.

8. NCH Express Accounts

Another free desktop accounting software option to consider is NCH Express Accounts. The free version of this accounting software can support the accounting needs of small businesses with fewer than five employees. Through this free accounting software for small businesses, you’ll be able to access and generate 20 crucial financial reports and analyze revenues by customer, team member, or item.

You’ll also be able to manage accounts receivable and payable easily through this software. That said, in order to access your books online, you’ll have to purchase the cloud version of Express Accounts, which isn’t free and currently starts at $59.95.

How to Manage Your Small Business Accounting

If you are starting a business, you’re going to need to do accounting at some level. What I’m going to talk to you about are three components that every business needs: the Process, the Systems, and the People.

Managing Process Accounting

The processes that we’re talking about here are broken down into several different categories. The first for example would be order to cash. From the time that you actually receive an order from a customer, all the way through until the time that you get paid, there are several steps along the way.

Document Each Step of Your Payment Paths

You want to make sure that every step is documented along the way, because anybody that you hire internally to actually do this work for you will need to follow this process for auditing purposes.

For example, when you get an audit to be able present to an acquirer at some point down the road, having an established process is really one of the things that they look at to ensure that there is no fraud, for example, or that you have given enough thought into how the business actually manages the money.

Managing Systems Accounting

The next piece is systems. When we talk about systems, what we’re really talking about is software. There’s an abundance of software that tackles a specific problem at any given business; for example, accounting software will certainly help you with the accounting in the business.

General Ledger Software Handles Basic Accounting

You’ll need a basic accounting software, sometimes called GL, or General Ledger Software, or what most people would refer to as QuickBooks. But there are other solutions that exist as well. Depending on the type of business, you may have a need for a special billing software. Or, if you have employees that need to be reimbursed for expenses, you’ll want another system for that.

Billing, Payroll, Reimbursement

Certainly, payroll is a system in and of itself that want to have implemented at your business. What really the best practice is to be able to integrate all of the systems together to help you automate the processes that we had already spoken about.

Managing Your Personal Accountant(s)

The last thing that you want to consider is the people. Who is actually going to do the work? Well, depending on the size, stage, and complexity of your business, that’s going to depend on whether you need a full-time resource or part-time resource.

Chief Financial Officer Provides Strategic Vision

CFO for example; at a very early stage you probably wouldn’t need one of those. This is somebody that is responsible for the strategic vision & the forward-looking part of the business. They can help you establish pricing models and fundraising strategies so you can actually achieve the growth that you expect.

Read Also: Internal controls: Good or bad for Employees of Accounting Firms?

But keep in mind, a part-time CFO usually my costs more than $200 an hour depending on the city that you live in. And while a CFO is generally responsible for everything financial at a business, you certainly don’t want to be paying a CFO his or her rates to simply perform duties that could easily be performed by a bookkeeper or by a piece of software.

A Controller Ensures Best Practices and Compliance

A level down from a CFO would be a Controller. This is the person that is actually responsible for making sure that all of your finance and accounting activity as reported on in generally accepted accounting principles or GAP. If you need to report financials to an investor or a bank, for example, making sure that those financial statements are true and accurate and in compliance with GAP are going to be something that’s critical for for the business.

A Bookkeeper Manages the Data

A lot of folks would probably consider just hiring a bookkeeper. A bookkeeper is really just responsible for manually entering in data into your accounting systems, following the processes that you’ve established. Some of the systems that are in place actually decrease the need for a bookkeeper these days.


Now that we’ve reviewed the best apps for small business accounting, it’s up to you to decide which option is right for you. Of course, you’ll want to ensure that the accounting software you choose not only has a business accounting app but that it also meets your specific needs and budget requirements.

After all, most of the apps we’ve discussed offer similar, if not the same, features. Therefore, it may be much more important to compare the full capabilities of your accounting software options, as well as their costs.

Moreover, although you may be interested in an accounting software system without a mobile app, choosing one with an accounting app will certainly be beneficial to your business. With your app, you’ll be able to more quickly and frequently access your accounting software, and therefore, you’ll be able to keep your books up to date and optimize the whole of your accounting and bookkeeping operations.

This being said, it’s worth looking into the app providers we’ve discussed as you search for your accounting software—there’s no doubt that any of these applications can serve your business well.

About Author


MegaIncomeStream is a global resource for Business Owners, Marketers, Bloggers, Investors, Personal Finance Experts, Entrepreneurs, Financial and Tax Pundits, available online. egaIncomeStream has attracted millions of visits since 2012 when it started publishing its resources online through their seasoned editorial team. The Megaincomestream is arguably a potential Pulitzer Prize-winning source of breaking news, videos, features, and information, as well as a highly engaged global community for updates and niche conversation. The platform has diverse visitors, ranging from, bloggers, webmasters, students and internet marketers to web designers, entrepreneur and search engine experts.