This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
The best QuickBooks alternatives have all the necessary bookkeeping features small businesses need but are often easier to use and come at a lower cost. Whether you’ve become frustrated with your current QuickBooks subscription, or you’re looking for accounting software for your new business, there are plenty of software programs for you to consider, including some free QuickBooks alternatives:
- Zoho Books: Best overall QuickBooks alternative with an outstanding mobile app
- Xero: Best for unlimited users
- FreshBooks: Best for excellent customer service
- Sage 50cloud: Best alternative to QuickBooks Desktop for keeping the books of multiple companies
- Quicken: Best alternative for individuals with rental property
- Sunrise: Best free QuickBooks alternative
- Sage 100 Contractor: Best alternative for construction accounting software
- Buildium: Best alternative for property management companies
Best QuickBooks Alternatives Compared
Number of Users
9.10 out of 10 points
$0 to $70 per month
One to 10 and additional $3 per added user
8.64 out of 10 points
$12 to $65 per month
6.18 out of 10 points
$15 to $50 per month or custom priced
One only (additional $10 per added user)
7.30 out of 10 points
$56.08 to $389.67 per month
One to 10 users
Receipt Capture app only
$35.99 to $103.99 per year
Unlimited but accessible only for one user at a time
5.59 out of 10 points
Free or $19.99 per month
One or Unlimited for Sunrise Plus
Time Tracking Only
$50 to $460 per month
*Zoho Payroll is only available in California, Texas, New York, Florida, Washington, Illinois, Tennessee, Kansas, and North Carolina.
**Industry-specific software and software programs that aren’t complete bookkeeping systems weren’t evaluated as part of Fit Small Business’s accounting software case study. However, these are quality software applications that meet the needs of certain businesses.
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Zoho Books: Best Overall QuickBooks Alternative With an Outstanding Mobile App
As your business grows, Zoho Books integrates with Zoho’s other apps, providing a complete solution for your unique needs. Zoho Books is our best small business accounting software for use on a mobile app. Its mobile app can perform advanced features like entering bills and generating reports. They offer a free plan and paid subscriptions with prices that start at $12 per month. You can try the paid plans for free for 14 days.
If you’re a freelancer or a small business needing a full-featured accounting app, Zoho Books is a great alternative to QuickBooks Online. It serves most types of businesses, offering features like expense tracking, invoicing, and online payments.
- Invoice and estimates: Create and send invoices and estimates in seconds and send them in any currency. Zoho Books’ accounts receivable (A/R) management module is also exemplary, with robust features like issuing credit memos, viewing customer accounts, and accepting short payments.
- Expense tracking: Sort your expenses into groups, and scan receipts on your mobile device for an additional fee. Zoho Books works well and integrates with Zoho Expense, Zoho’s dedicated expense tracking app. Read our Zoho Expense review to find out more.
- Inventory management: Capture product details, including product costs, product details, and stock on hand. Zoho Books also keeps track of the COGS and computes ending inventories.
- Mobile app: Zoho Books’ mobile app offers a wide range of features that QuickBooks Online’s app doesn’t offer. With the mobile app, you can enter bills, generate reports, and even track time. The Zoho Books mobile app can also do basic features like recording expenses and receiving payments.
Our Expert Opinion
As our choice for the best overall QuickBooks alternative, Zoho Books delivers an experience similar to QuickBooks Online in terms of robust inventory, A/R, and accounts payable (A/P) features. You can read our Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online review to see how these two compare and contrast.
We recommend choosing Zoho Books if you’re looking for accounting software that is similar to QuickBooks Online but has great customer support. Its mobile app is also outstanding and can perform nearly every function available in the web-based software.
Xero: Best for Unlimited Users
Xero is one of our best small business accounting software that has similar features to QuickBooks but is priced lower while allowing unlimited users. If your primary complaint about QuickBooks is the price or the limited number of users, then Xero is likely your best choice for alternative software.
Xero includes many of the same features you’ll find in QuickBooks like solid invoicing capability, bank reconciliation, and expense management. Budget-conscious startups and small businesses will find Xero to be more affordable than QuickBooks, but with similar features.
- Bank reconciliation: Xero imports your bank statements automatically, eliminating the need for manual data entry. Its reconciliation interface makes it easy to spot unrecorded bank debits and credits on the books.
- Expense tracking: Scan and track expense receipts with the Xero mobile app.
- Invoicing: Create, customize, and send invoices and estimates.
- Integrated payroll: Xero integrates with Gusto to run your payroll duties.
- Inventory management: Track simple and complex inventory items and create reports on what products are trending. Xero separates the cost of your purchases into your cost of goods sold (COGS) and your cost of ending inventory automatically.
- Fixed asset management: Xero is the only cloud-based accounting software service that we’ve reviewed with a dedicated fixed asset manager. If your business uses a lot of fixed assets, Xero’s can keep fixed asset records and manage depreciation.
- Mobile app: Xero’s mobile app is basic. You can only send invoices, receive payments, and capture receipts.
Our Expert Opinion
While Xero has comparable features to QuickBooks Online, it has a lower price and includes an unlimited number of users with any subscription. As such, it’s a great accounting software choice if you have a large accounting team and is our choice for budget-conscious small businesses. The major drawback of Xero compared to QuickBooks Online is that it’ll be much harder to find a bookkeeper to help you with Xero than with QuickBooks. Check out our Xero vs QuickBooks review to see the similarities and differences between the two software.
FreshBooks: Best for Excellent Customer Service
FreshBooks is a complete bookkeeping system that emphasizes great-looking invoices and provides outstanding customer support. Like QuickBooks, FreshBooks allows you to track hours and expenses and add them to invoices automatically. For a complete comparison with QuickBooks, read our FreshBooks vs QuickBooks comparison.
FreshBooks is good for ecommerce businesses with integrations for Squarespace, Shopify, eBay, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. New subscribers have the choice between a 30-day free trial and 50% off for three months.
While FreshBooks is affordably priced and contains many typical accounting features, its strong automation and customization features in terms of invoicing make it stand out. If you need to send a lot of invoices, FreshBooks is a good QuickBooks Online alternative.
- Invoicing: Create professional invoices in seconds, even on the go with its mobile app. The invoice creation features of FreshBooks give the user creative freedom as to color, template, and font.
- Time tracking: Track time spent on projects and record it in FreshBooks for invoicing.
- Outstanding customer support: FreshBooks offers many ways to contact them for assistance. You can call them, or you can ask them to call you. There are chatbots ready to assist with frequently asked questions (FAQs) or quick help. Alternatively, you can email them for inquiries or visit their help page for informative guides.
- Mobile app: Freelancers and solopreneurs will like FreshBooks’s mobile app because it can perform basic and advanced features like sending invoices, entering bills, capturing receipts, tracking time, and assigning time worked to projects.
Our Expert Opinion
Unlike QuickBooks, FreshBooks’ customer support is available by calling its toll-free number. Beyond good customer service, FreshBooks is known for its terrific-looking invoices and has an impressive array of integrations with ecommerce platforms. If you need multiple users, FreshBooks isn’t a great choice, since all users in excess of the one included with each plan are $10 per month.
Sage 50cloud: Best Alternative To QuickBooks Desktop for Keeping the Books of Multiple Companies
Sage 50cloud is great accounting software if you need to keep the books of multiple companies. QuickBooks Online requires separate subscriptions for each company, which can become very expensive. While QuickBooks Desktop does allow unlimited companies, the data cannot be accessed remotely without paying for an expensive QuickBooks cloud hosting service.
Not only can Sage 50cloud account for multiple companies, but it can consolidate the companies into a single entity and prepare consolidated financial statements, which QuickBooks Desktop cannot. You can evaluate Sage 50cloud by clicking “Take a test drive” on its website, which will allow you to access a hosted version of it with sample data.
QuickBooks Online users with multiple businesses must purchase a separate QuickBooks Online subscription for each business. With Sage 50cloud, you can manage all your businesses on a single platform. Its highest plan includes advanced budgeting tools and multi-company support that allows you to create consolidated financial statements for multiple entities.
- Domestic consolidation: Consolidate reports for subsidiaries that are in the same base currency. Sage 50cloud will reconcile intercompany transactions and accounts automatically.
- Global consolidation: Manage multiple currencies for customer or supplier accounts across the globe.
- Multidimensional consolidation: Use multiple dimensions, such as customer, supplier, or project, to consolidate your reports.
- ASC 830/FAS-52 compliance: This feature is useful for companies operating in foreign countries.
- Mobile app: Sage 50cloud’s mobile app can only perform receipt capture. It has no other features like entering invoices and bills.
Our Expert Opinion
Despite its name, Sage 50cloud is desktop software that allows some functions to be performed online with a subsequent synchronization with the desktop file. Sage 50cloud isn’t a cloud-based app per se. You still need to download and install the desktop version to utilize cloud features.
Looking at the features, Sage 50cloud won’t disappoint. However, we can’t recommend Sage 50cloud to DIY business owners and non-accountants because it’s difficult to use. But if you have an in-house bookkeeper, Sage 50cloud is a great app for your small business. Read our Sage 50cloud vs QuickBooks review to see how these two products compare.
Quicken: Best QuickBooks Alternative for Individuals With Rental Property
Quicken allows you to manage and track tenants, which isn’t possible with QuickBooks Online. That’s why individuals owning rental properties might be better served with Quicken when compared to QuickBooks.
Unlike double-entry bookkeeping software, Quicken keeps things simple by focusing on only your income and expenses instead of tracking assets and liabilities. Quicken can also be used to track your personal finances, including your retirement accounts, which provides a lot of value beyond simply accounting for rental income. You’ll need the Home & Business edition, which costs $103.99 per year, to manage your rental property.
While most of Quicken’s features are for personal finance tracking, its most expensive edition, Quicken Home & Business, includes specialized features to manage rental properties. Quicken Home and Business includes the following features:
- Tenant management: Track tenants’ details like personal information, rent collection, and lease terms.
- Rental dashboard: Monitor the status of your properties, occupants, and rents in one place.
- Market value tracker: Analyze your portfolio of mutual funds using its integrated Morningstar’s X-Ray tool (Windows only).
- PayPal payment: Collect rental payment easily by adding a PayPal payment link to your email.
- Mobile app: Quicken’s mobile app focuses more on personal finance. You can still enter expenses, capture receipts, and view your investments. However, it’s not ideal for business use.
Our Expert Opinion
Despite their similar names, Quicken and QuickBooks are entirely different products owned by different companies. Individuals needing to track income and expenses for a personally-owned rental property will find that Quicken does a great job while also providing a lot of value by also tracking personal finances. In addition, it’ll help you manage your rental activity by creating invoices, accepting online payments, and managing lease terms, rental rates, and security deposits.
Quicken’s biggest downside is that it cannot produce a balance sheet, so it’s not appropriate if your rental activity requires you to file a business return like Form 1120, Form 1120S, or Form 1065. Although it’s specialized software for leasing, it doesn’t have strong accounting features. If you have a large number of rental properties, we recommend Buildium, discussed later.
Sunrise: Best Free Alternative To QuickBooks
Sunrise, by Lendio, offers users free accounting software as well as a paid plan for $19.99 per month. In the free plan, a single user can access most features of Sunrise making it ideal for freelancers and solopreneurs.
You can get most of Sunrise’s features in the free plan. The self-service plan of Sunrise includes the essential accounting features you need.
- Excellent A/R management: You can manage invoices using statuses or filter them according to customer. AR management is Sunrise’s biggest strength, making it easy to manage invoices and send reminders to clients.
- Unlimited bank accounts: You can add multiple bank accounts and credit cards used in your business. These connections can simplify and speed up the recording of expenses and deposits.
- Sales tax tracking: Sunrise offers a convenient way to track sales tax. Although Sunrise doesn’t have an in-app feature for paying and filing taxes, it does add sale tax items to invoices and accumulates taxes collected in liability accounts.
- Managing bills: A/P management in Sunrise is also capable, although not as robust as other accounting software. However, for a free service, we think that the AP features you get with Sunrise are very good. You can record unpaid bills, manage vendors, check past due accounts, and track bill status.
- Mobile app: Sunrise’s mobile app contains basic features like sending invoices, entering bills, capturing receipts, entering payments, and categorizing bank feed transactions.
Our Expert Opinion
Sunrise offers a free basic plan for businesses that want free accounting software. With the free Sunrise plan, you get most features you need for freelance or small business accounting. However, you’ll need to upgrade to Sunrise Plus if you need multiple users or to manage multiple companies.
Sage 100 Contractor: Best for Construction Accounting Software
Sage 100 Contractor is a sophisticated accounting system designed for contractors to perform bookkeeping and project management and was awarded our best construction accounting software. The program takes time to learn but will provide you with the information needed to manage your construction business, even if you can’t personally oversee every project. It’s more expensive than QuickBooks Online and will work best if you have an experienced bookkeeper. Visit the Sage website to take a test drive of Sage 100 Contractor.
QuickBooks Online can be customized to fit the needs of a construction company, but Sage 100 Contractor is a more suitable fit for larger firms. It has a more extensive list of construction management and automation features compared to QuickBooks Online. The following are some of its core features:
- Job costing: Track job cost information, including job cost journals, job cost summaries, and labor totals.
- Estimates: Sage 100 Contractor allows you to export estimates, budgets, subcontracts, and purchase orders (POs) easily.
- Project management: Manage the different aspects of your projects, such as tasks, operation status, and daily field reports.
- Equipment management: Manage your machinery, heavy equipment, and other construction assets.
- Mobile app: The mobile app is intended for time tracking only. It has no other features that can help in accounting,
Our Expert Opinion
Sage 100 Contractor is a sophisticated ERP system for contractors, but not so sophisticated that it takes a team of analysts to run or a hefty bank account to finance. It’s more of an entry-level ERP system that’s ideal for contractors that have grown beyond personally supervising each project. However, it’ll still take some time to learn, and everyone on the team, including salespeople, estimators, project managers, and forepersons, will need to be dedicated to doing so. Read our Sage 100 Contractor vs QuickBooks review to see how these two products compare to each other.
Buildium: Best QuickBooks Alternative for Property Management Companies
Buildium is a much better fit for property managers than QuickBooks. In addition to standard bookkeeping features, it helps manage your tenants with tenant screening, electronic leases, and a resident portal where tenants can pay their rent and submit maintenance requests. The price starts at just $50 per month for up to 20 units after your free 15-day trial.
Property management companies can benefit from special industry-specific features not offered by QuickBooks. Buildium has the features you need to reconcile bank transactions, collect payments from tenants, file 1099 tax forms, and track maintenance:
- Leasing management: Manage lease applications, maintenance issues, and payment information.
- Tenant screening: Evaluate potential renters with TransUnion, a consumer credit reporting agency.
- 1099 e-filing: File 1099 forms, and then email them to owners and vendors for tracking.
- Financial reporting: Create reports on balance sheets, cash flow statements, rental owner ending balances, and more.
- Board communication portal: Communicate with board members and homeowners through mail, email, or text.
- Mobile app: Buildium’s app focuses more on property management rather than accounting. You can manage tasks, receive payments, view tenant information, and manage property information.
Our Expert Opinion
Buildium is a reasonably priced solution for small companies that want help managing tenants and service calls while also tracking their profit and loss by property. Larger companies can upgrade to Growth or Premium to unlock even more features, such as additional performance analytics and an open application programming interface (API). If you’re a real estate professional but not sure that Buildium is right for you, read our best real estate accounting software guide.
How We Evaluated QuickBooks Alternatives
We rated the accounting software products in this list based on their capabilities to be a substitute for QuickBooks. Moreover, we included the insights we gathered from our case study to show you what we think about these products based on the case study criteria. We also didn’t apply our case study to some software products in this list because we intend to use our case study for general accounting software products only.
10% of Overall Score
Considering that QuickBooks can be expensive for some small businesses, we considered pricing as a factor in our decision. However, we didn’t give it much weight since we wanted to focus more on similar features that alternative software products can provide.
40% of Overall Score
For general features, we further divided this section into six categories that can also be found in our case study:
- General features (20%): Here, we focused on the difficulty of setting up accounting software, including setting up a chart of accounts, recording fiscal year-end, user restrictions, and much more.
- Banking features (20%): For banking, we wanted to primarily see if it allows bank feed connections and bank reconciliation.
- A/P features (20%): We considered how easy it is for users to manage bills, keep track of vendors, and pay bills conveniently.
- A/R features (20%): We considered invoicing, customer account management, and customer payment options in this section.
- Tax features (10%): Since most accounting softwareーincluding QuickBooksーdoesn’t have e-filing and e-payment for taxes, we devoted more attention to the software’s ability to add sales tax items and sales tax tracking in the ledger.
- Reporting features (10%): We enumerated in our case study a list of fundamental reports that an accounting software program should have.
15% of Overall Score
QuickBooks is one of the accounting software services today with robust inventory management. That’s why we’re giving this feature more emphasis than those mentioned above. We considered especially the software’s capability to track the cost of ending inventory and COGS.
15% of Overall Score
We considered project accounting because this criterion focuses more on service-oriented companies. We wanted to see if QuickBooks alternatives can provide the same functionality as QuickBooks provides in its project accounting features.
15% of Overall Score
QuickBooks Online is one of the most user-friendly accounting software interfaces available today. Even small business owners without an accounting background can learn and use the software in no time, so we wanted to recommend alternatives to QuickBooks with similar ease of use.
We further divided this section into three subcriteria:
- Customer service (30%): We wanted to see if the software company has multiple communication channels open to end users, such as contact numbers, live chat person, chatbots, self-help information, and email support.
- Support network (50%): QuickBooks has a great support network of independent QuickBooks ProAdvisors, so we also wanted to give this subcriteria emphasis since most small businesses prefer DIY accounting.
- Expert opinion (20%): This part is based on our expert’s subjective opinion of the software’s ease of use.
5% of Overall Score
We only gave the mobile app a small weight because it’s not a major focus in our evaluation. But considering that QuickBooks also has a great mobile app, we also took this into consideration, checking to see if the alternatives have mobile apps that can do what QuickBooks can (or do it better).
When To Use a QuickBooks Alternative
QuickBooks Online is a great bookkeeping application that dominates the market for small business accounting software. However, there are three instances in which you might consider using a bookkeeping program other than QuickBooks.
1. QuickBooks Is Too Expensive
QuickBooks Online Plus is the most popular version of QuickBooks and costs $80 per month, which seems pretty high for many very small businesses. However, we encourage you to look at how much value you receive from QuickBooks before deciding that you can’t afford it. It’s a powerful software and, if you’re using a majority of its features, is probably worth the price. However, as discussed next, QuickBooks sometimes offers far more features than you need.
2. QuickBooks Has Unnecessary Features
To make QuickBooks worth the cost, you need to use a majority of its features. For example, QuickBooks allows you to track inventory costs, allocate income and expenses to both classes and locations, create custom tags to group transactions in any way imaginable, and determine sales tax rates automatically based on customer addresses. If you only want to issue invoices and pay bills, there are far cheaper and simpler bookkeeping options available.
3. Companies in Specialized Industries
QuickBooks is incredibly flexible and can be adapted to the accounting needs of virtually any industry. However, some industries are unique, and it can be helpful to have specialized software that does the accounting and helps manage the company and meet other regulatory requirements. Examples of some specialized industries where QuickBooks might not be the best option are churches, nonprofits, trucking, restaurants, and law firms.
QuickBooks dominates the market for small business accounting—but it isn’t always the best answer, and there are many alternatives to QuickBooks to consider. Depending on your budget, features desired, and industry, you might find an alternative software program that will meet your needs better.