June 23, 2022

12 Best Free Quickbooks Alternative

12 Best Free QuickBooks Alternative Options

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What is QuickBooks?

QuickBooks is one of the most popular accounting and invoicing software available on the market. Since it was first developed in 1983, the software has been a firm favorite for many small and medium-sized businesses for their accounting needs. 

It offers a variety of features and accounting applications that can manage and pay your bills, accept business payments, and perform payroll functions. 

However useful it is, QuickBooks may not be suitable for all businesses. Although it is fully-featured accounting software, you might find it expensive to use if you are a small business owner. 

But there is no reason to worry. Many QuickBooks alternatives can fulfill all your bookkeeping needs without breaking the bank. Whether you are looking for the least costly option or are frustrated with your current QuickBooks subscription, there are many alternatives that you can choose.  

Best Quickbooks Alternatives 

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The best QuickBooks alternatives come with useful features you may need as a small business owner. More importantly, many accounting softwares are available for free online, each with its own set of unique tools and features. Some software may even offer features that are not available in QuickBooks Online. 

Rest assured, there are various options available for small to mid-sized businesses to choose from.

Here is a list of the 12 best free QuickBooks alternatives that you should look into:

  1. Freshbooks

Freshbooks is a popular QuickBooks alternative that enjoys a remarkable record among small business owners. It is a simple and intuitive cloud-based accounting application that can be accessed through multiple devices. The software offers great functionality, which is ideal for service-based small businesses. 

Freshbooks can give you easier and quicker bill management. It has an automated payment reminder so you don’t miss out on any bills and automatically sends out recurring invoices. It can also help in project management and expense tracking. The software is affordably priced and has several invoicing features that are easy and simple.

Moreover, you can also add over 80 apps and integrations for Freshbooks if you want to add more features or connect the program to other software which you use for your business. 

On the other hand, Freshbooks does not have inventory tracking features and has limited clients on its low-priced plans. But since it does not limit the number of invoices you can send, even the low-tier plan is a good option.

Freshbooks plans range from $15 to $50 per month. You can also register for a free trial of Freshbooks to experience the software before purchasing a plan.

  1. Zoho Books

ZohoBooks is an online accounting software that helps you manage your finances, automate business processes, and work collectively across different departments. It has a user-friendly interface, which is ideal for accounting and bookkeeping activities for small businesses. 

Zoho Books is one of the best QuickBooks alternatives as it helps provide your customers with professionally designed invoices that can be customized according to your requirements. It is easy to set up and comes with project accounting software which contains all the tools you require for project management. 

Moreover, Zoho Books has a mobile app that is simple to navigate and is compatible with different devices. It has the tools to create professional custom invoices, track time and expenses, and create up to 5 automated workflows. 

Zoho Books has SSL encryption and clear and comprehensive reporting tools. You can also set automated payment reminders. You can avail these features in its free version to check whether they suit your business needs for up to 5 customers. After that, you will be asked to purchase a plan to add any more users or perform additional auto-scans. 

Zoho Books is a great free QuickBooks alternative to try if you want an easy-to-use software that fulfills your accounting needs. 

  1. Quicken

If you have a real estate business and want a software that will help you manage and track your tenants, Quicken may be the best choice. Managing rental payments is not possible with QuickBooks online, which is why Quicken is a great alternative that lets you record rental payments online.

Quicken is a full-fledged bookkeeping software that keeps things simple by focusing on income and expenses instead of tracking assets and liabilities. It can manage your rental units and personal finances and even has customer support available in all of its plans. 

It offers tenant management, including personal information, lease terms, and rent collection. It also provides a market value tracker to analyze your portfolio of mutual funds using its integrated X-Ray tool. Moreover, with Quicken, you can make rent collection easier by adding a PayPal payment link. 

However, to access more of its features, you will have to purchase its Home & Business edition, which costs approximately $103.99 per year. It is not a complete accounting software which may be a slight disadvantage. 

  1. Sunrise

Another great QuickBooks alternative is Sunrise. It is ideal for freelancers and small business owners as it has a great free plan in which you can access most of its features. It allows you to manage invoices by classifying them as paid or unpaid. You can also view your top customers and track invoice status. A/R management is one of the best features of Sunrise.

Secondly, you can record any unpaid bills, manage vendors, check past dues, and track income using this user-friendly software. Sunrise also provides a convenient method to track sales tax. 

Although you can track sales tax, there is no in-app feature for paying and filing taxes, it accumulates collected taxes in its liability account. You can also purchase a paid plan of Sunrise to upgrade for multiple users or companies for only $19.99 per month. 

Sunrise is a great free online QuickBooks alternative that you should consider with excellent mobile app functionality and great invoicing features. The only downside of this software is that there is no check printing feature, and Sunrise cannot track inventory or reconcile bank accounts or their transactions.

  1. Wave Accounting

Wave is a free accounting software where users can integrate their accounting activities and create professional invoices. It also provides its users with free financial estimates, bank connections, and expense receipts, allowing for online payments. 

Wave Accounting is a good QuickBooks alternative as it is much more user-friendly and can be accessed for free. Some of its best features include recurring invoices, credit card processing with only a 1% fee, receipt scanning, and auto-categorization of your transactions. 

Wave accounting has some great accounting features and requires minimum information about your company to start your account. Its desktop software is compatible with both Apple and Windows and provides a great user experience. 

However, Wave accounting also does not provide inventory management or stock tracking tools and does not automatically convert expenses into invoices. But, with its seamless functionality and affordable plans, Wave is one of the best QuickBooks alternatives you can find. 

  1. Xero

Xero is an excellent accounting software designed specifically to cater to the accounting needs of small businesses. It connects small businesses with trusted advisors and provides business owners with visibility of their financial position, an active client portal, and an accountant partner program. This cloud-based solution can be accessed through several devices with an active internet connection. You can also track income in multiple currencies.

Xero is a robust bookkeeping software that allows companies to view their cash flows, account details, financial reports, and bank transactions anywhere. All bank accounts and their transactions on the platform are automatically imported and coded. 

Xero also keeps track of online payments and expenses to help business owners stay on top of their bills and manage vendors. It offers unlimited user support and integration with several systems such as ADP and Bill.com. 

You can try Xero’s features in a free trial period of 30 days for product testing. 

  1. Sage 50 Cloud

Sage 50 Cloud is another comprehensive desktop platform that caters to all major business accounting needs of a small business. It provides A/R and A/P functionality, combined with financial reporting and customer management. 

It is an excellent QuickBooks alternative with premium features such as cash flow forecasting, profitability tracking, and custom reporting. It enhances user experience with convenient cloud-based solutions such as online payments, expense tracking, digital invoicing, etc.

The accounting software also has built-in accounting and compliance controls that maintain accuracy. It also allows data backup to the cloud or locally. 

Another great feature of the Sage 50 cloud is its inventory management and tracking. With its intuitive user interface, you can also keep track of recurring invoices and manage vendors. Advanced features in the program are tailored to different industries such as construction, manufacturing, distribution etc. 

  1. Bonsai

If you are a freelancer and require an all-in-one product suite with built-in accounting features, then Bonsai may be the right QuickBooks alternative. 

With Bonsai, you can keep track of your accounts payable and billable expenses, assign them to projects, and attach them to invoices. You can also create bank connections to import your expenses.

Moreover, Bonsai can generate expense reports and analytics to help you understand your expenses over time. It also allows you to manage recurring payments and pay bills through credit card, PayPal, or even Bitcoin. Other unique tools include time tracking, reporting functions, and invoice templates.

Unlimited clients and projects

Bonsai’s workflow plan includes unlimited clients and projects, project management tools, proposals, and contracts. This accounting solution is effective and affordable for all self-employed people, costing only $19 per month. You can even invite additional users for $9 per month each. 

  1. AccountEdge Pro

AccountEdge Pro is the ideal QuickBooks alternative for tech-savvy small business owners searching for a robust accounting software. This desktop software provides many features, making it a perfect choice for small to mid-sized businesses. Although it is a desktop application, you can still access the app remotely to perform several functions.

AccountEdge Pro offers the following features: inventory tracking, purchasing, complete account management, banking, sales, and time billing. It also includes a payroll function with both self-service and full-service alternatives. 

Moreover, the software has unique features such as a customer portal and the ability to accept online payments. It also has incredible reporting features which are fully customizable. The software also has the ability to track time and bill your customers. 

The only drawback of AccountEdge Pro is that it is an on-premises application. However, there is no doubt that this is an excellent alternative to QuickBooks for those who can afford it. 

  1. Invoice Ninja

Small businesses looking for free accounting solutions to help run their service-based business should consider Invoice Ninja. Its features are mostly related to billing and invoicing. However, it also offers project management tools, time tracking, and custom invoices.

Although Invoice Ninja is not a complete accounting software, it is a good QuickBooks alternative that can be useful for your business. It offers a forever-free plan which includes many helpful features such as billable hours, tracking projects, expenses, and invoices. But this version limits you to 50 clients.

Upgrading to a paid plan will get you unlimited clients and loads of other features like project management tools, subscription billing, and client segmentation. It also offers a cloud-based version so you can choose what will work the best for you. 

  1. Zipbooks

Zipbooks is a great QuickBooks alternative that was developed keeping in mind small business owners and their needs. It provides a streamlined interface with more intuitive reporting and visually appealing workflows. It is simple to use and capable of accounting for high-revenue businesses. 

Zipbooks has a free plan for those just starting out. It has invoicing, contact management, generating simple reports, and much more features. All these features can be used completely free. 

Many more powerful tools in Zipbooks can become accessible by purchasing one of its premium plans. This cloud-based solution can be accessed through multiple devices and keeps your data in sync. 

In-app chat support

Zipbooks also has an in-app chat support system which can be easily accessed if you need any help. Overall, the software has been designed so that even beginners can use it. 

  1. Square Invoices

Square Invoices is another affordable QuickBooks alternative that you should consider for your business. It provides you with a free add-on management app for time tracking and invoicing. It is cloud-based, which means that you can run your business wherever you want.

With the paid plan of Square Invoices, you can create custom invoices and gain access to invoice templates, making your work much easier. The software lets you create invoices for milestone payments which are processed according to the schedule you create for them. 

Unlimited invoices

One of the significant advantages of using Square Invoices is that you can send unlimited invoices to as many users in the system as you need. If you are working with a team, this app can track their billable hours for invoicing purposes.

Square Invoices is an excellent choice for small businesses, freelancers, and small teams that need to track their work hours. 

How to decide between QuickBooks and QuickBooks alternatives?

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If you are not sure whether you can afford a QuickBooks plan but are also hesitant in selecting a QuickBooks alternative accounting software, you need to ask some focused questions to help you choose the best software for your business’s accounting needs.

What accounting functions do you need to handle?

First, you must figure out what are your business’s accounting needs are, such as the following:

  • Creating invoices for your clients or customers to receive payments later
  • Tracking bills and accounts payable
  • Tracking and managing equipment or other business assets
  • Tracking income and expenses by project, customer, job etc.
  • Collecting sales taxes
  • Managing the payrolls for your team and yourself

How often will you use your software to make business decisions?

You must also consider how often you will use your software or its reports. For example, will you require your financial reports regularly? If so, you should invest in an accounting solution that is able to print out financial reports. Or maybe, you just want to keep track of your income and expenses for tax purposes.

You must also decide whether you want an accounting system that can be accessed from mobile apps and remote locations to help you keep track of your business’s performance. 

What do you envision for the future of your business?

As a business owner, you may have some hopes regarding the future of your business. Before deciding, you should ask yourself if you want to keep your business small and privately held, or will you eventually go public? You also need to decide whether your accounting processes will be done in-house or can be outsourced to some provider. 

Moreover, you need to identify whether you aim to be completely debt-free or will consider financing from other sources in the future. 

These questions can help you make the right choice and pick software suited to your business needs, simplifies your accounting processes, and is affordable. 

Is QuickBooks Desktop being phased out?

Any business currently using the desktop version of QuickBooks Online will need to find an alternative solution as Intuit, the company that owns QuickBooks, announced plans to discontinue the older versions of QuickBooks Desktop on May 31, 2021. Moreover, QuickBooks Desktop will be completely discontinued at midnight on January 31, 2023. 

Additionally, some other Intuit products are being phased out. Access to QuickBooks Desktop payroll services, online backup, live support, online banking, and other services related to the QuickBooks Desktop 2019 software will be discontinued after May 31, 2022. You will not receive critical security updates and patches starting from June 1, 2022. 

Intuit will also discontinue all access to add-on services on its desktop version, including older versions of the accounting platform such as the Pro, Premier, and Enterprise Solutions of QuickBooks Desktop 2018.

Products Affected by Service Discontinuation After May 31ST, 2022

  • QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2019
  • QuickBooks Desktop Premier 2019 (General Business, Contractor, Manufacturing & Wholesale, Nonprofit, Professional Services, and Retail)
  • QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 19
  • QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition 2019
  • QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant 19
  • QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2019

What is the cheapest version of QuickBooks?

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The least expensive version of QuickBooks is the QuickBooks Self-Employed (QBSE). This version of QuickBooks targets self-employed individuals or entrepreneurs with small and simple business structures with no employees or contractors, such as freelancers, realtors, Uber and Lyft drivers, and independent consultants.

This inexpensive version of QuickBooks starts at only $7.50 per month and has all the necessary features which make it suitable for users who have less time to spend on accounting. 

The QuickBooks Self-Employed has a simple and intuitive user interface and can perform all essential accounting functions such as keeping track of transactions and sending invoices to customers. It also offers some advanced, powerful features such as categorizing business incomes, creating expense reports, snapping pictures of bills, and tracking mileage for Schedule C reports.

Is there a simple version of QuickBooks?

QuickBooks has several versions which cater to different needs. Its most basic version is the QuickBooks Simple Start. It is the most basic level of QuickBooks Online and is ideal for start-up businesses to those in the growing phase with only one user. 

It has all the essential bookkeeping features that may be required by such small business owners, such as the following:

  • Creating unlimited numbers of customers and suppliers
  • Creating and managing quotes and invoices
  • Managing payrolls of up to four employees
  • Unlimited bank connections and credit cards for online payments for quick use and in sync with banking feeds
  • Access to over 20 different reports

Simple Start is recommended for those start-up businesses that need to send out invoices and manage their expenses. It is also an excellent alternative for sole traders or people on the go who need to work from remote locations. Some industries where Simple Start is commonly used include new start tradies, consultants, hairdressers, and natural therapies. 

It is important to note that Simple Start will not track accounts payable and does not have an ABA payment function. 

Google and QuickBooks

The most popular tools used by small businesses are QuickBooks Online and Google Cloud’s G Suite. According to Intuit, 56% of QuickBooks Online users also use Google Calendar to manage and book their appointments, while the other half of its users are frequent users of Gmail to communicate with their customers.

However, when it's time to send bills to their clients, most small business owners have to manually transfer data from G Suite to QuickBooks Online, which can be tedious and waste hours of your time. To get rid of this inefficient way of doing things, Intuit has launched Pay My Bills with G Suite. It is an integration with Google Calendar. Moreover, it also introduced a Gmail invoicing add-on widget for QuickBooks Online users.

Create invoices

These integrations will allow small business owners to directly and conveniently create invoices from Google Calendar or Gmail by clicking on the QuickBooks online icon. Users can also see the status of all their invoices from within the G Suite. 

New Features

These new features are simple to navigate and user-friendly. It has enabled a seamless flow of data that has simplified the process of how businesses send invoices and bill their clients. These integrations between QuickBooks Online and G Suite ensure that small business owners become more efficient in running their business by minimizing manual typing errors and speeding up the overall process.

The Take-Away

There is no doubt that QuickBooks is a useful application that can perform hundreds of functions for your business. It is a handy tool to keep you on top of your business’s financial performance, customers, and even your team members. However, not all small business owners can afford to purchase a QuickBooks plan. Moreover, the software has several functions that are not easy to learn.

If you do not have the time to enroll in a QuickBooks course or spend additional money to purchase a QuickBooks plan, you can choose the best QuickBooks alternative that is suited to your business needs and caters to all your accounting needs.

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