Business owner works on financials
From managing bank accounts and cash flow to sending out invoices, these accounting tools are both helpful and cost-effective. — Getty Images/dpVUE.images

As a small business owner, you know how quickly expenses can add up. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice quality to find affordable accounting software. Here are 10 free accounting tools you can try in your small business.

[Read more: A Guide to Small Business Accounting]

Wave

Wave is one of the best options available for sole proprietors, freelancers and small businesses. It’s a simple and straightforward option for managing cash flow and keeping your finances in order.

You can connect Wave to an unlimited number of bank accounts and credit cards to track your expenses. Wave also makes it easy to create customizable invoices. And Wave partners with OnDeck to provide small business financing options.

ZipBooks

ZipBooks Starter is one of the best options for anyone new to accounting. The software is completely free and is a good option for businesses with limited accounting needs. You’ll receive essential bookkeeping tools, and you can manage unlimited customers and vendors.

With ZipBooks, you can send as many invoices as you want and receive payments through PayPal or Square. However, the free plan comes with limited integrations and only allows you to connect to one bank account.

NCH Express Accounts

NCH Express Accounts is free desktop accounting software for businesses with five employees or fewer. You can use the software to generate quotes, send invoices and track expenses.

And the software lets you generate over 20 different financial reports so you can monitor how your business is performing financially. You can also break down your sales by customer, team member or item.

Zoho Invoice

Zoho Invoice is one of the best options available when it comes to automating your invoicing workflow. The free version allows you to invoice up to five customers and create five different invoicing workflows.

You can use the software to create customized invoice templates, set up recurring invoices and set automatic payment reminders. But the free version is only available for one user, so it’s a better option for small businesses with limited bookkeeping needs.

If you’re looking for free accounting software that can grow with your business, Odoo is one of the best options on this list.

Akaunting

Akaunting provides free online accounting software for small businesses with no strings attached. There’s no limited trial or premium version for you to upgrade to; the software is always completely free.

The software comes with a variety of features, including open source accounting, secure deposits and transfers, vendor management and powerful reporting; however, to access many of the advanced features, you’ll have to download multiple third-party apps, which may not be free.

GnuCash

GnuCash is free desktop accounting software, and to get started, all you have to do is download the app from the company’s website. With GnuCash, you can manage your bank accounts, cash flow and monthly expenses.

The software is actually designed for personal and business use, but it contains many beneficial features for small businesses. For instance, you can track customers and vendors, send invoices and even manage your employee payroll.

AND CO

AND CO was designed with freelancers and independent contractors in mind. It’s owned by the freelancing platform Fiverr, but you can use the software whether you’re a Fiverr user or not.

With AND CO, you can send invoices, and the software will let you know when your client views the invoice. You can accept credit cards and ACH payments directly from your invoices. And the software offers many other features that are useful to freelancers, like time tracking, expense management and recurring payments.

Cloud Books

Cloud Books is free invoicing and accounting software for freelancers and small businesses. You can use the software to send estimates and invoices, accept payments and track expenses.

Keep in mind, however, that the free version only lets you send five invoices per month to one customer. If you choose to upgrade to unlimited invoices, the paid version is just $10 per month.

[Read more: 17 Accounting Terms to Know (Even if You Have an Accountant)]

Odoo

Odoo makes it easy to send professional invoices and receive online payments. Once you’ve sent your invoice, you can monitor its progress and send automated reminders to customers. You can also use Odoo to monitor your point of sale transactions, expenses and inventory.

Odoo Accounting is free for a single user, but if you need to add additional users, you’ll have to pay to upgrade. If you’re looking for free accounting software that can grow with your business, Odoo is one of the best options on this list.

Sunrise

Sunrise is free bookkeeping software for small businesses. You can automatically import your transactions and monitor your income and expenses. And you can use the app to create invoices and accept online and mobile payments.

If you choose to upgrade your account at some point, Sunrise also offers professional bookkeeping support. You’ll receive monthly financial reports and be well-prepared come tax season.

[Read more: Starting a Business? How to Set Up Your Accounting Right From Day One]


CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published February 22, 2021