If you operate a small business, the bookkeeping process may be one of your most consequential day-to-day challenges. Accurate and current bookkeeping is a critical task, but one that many of us don’t enjoy and/or don’t feel wholly confident about completing without guidance. Thankfully, there is no shortage of options when it comes to online bookkeeping services and software designed to help small business owners keep track of their finances. Here are 10 of the best, listed in alphabetical order. Seven of the 10 are bookkeeping services, while three (QuickBooks, FreshBooks and Wave) serve as do-it-yourself online software.
Many small businesses make it a point to develop a relationship with a certified public accountant or other tax professional. However, it is rare that a CPA would engage in bookkeeping for a business on a day to day basis. This is where Bench comes in. Bench helps you keep your books online and has the ability to communicate directly with your chosen CPA to provide important tax information.
Bench offers five pricing tiers based on the average monthly expenses associated with your business. The most basic plan starts at just $139 per month. Unfortunately, Bench only provides services to cash-based companies, meaning that it cannot track inventory, accounts receivable or accounts payable.
This product is both well-reviewed and highly regarded. With two pricing tiers (Small Business and Small Business Plus), Bookkeeper.com can handle your payroll, bookkeeping and tax return-preparation needs. Unlike Bench (mentioned above), it also allows you to track accounts receivable and accounts payable.
You should know that payroll and tax preparation services are add-on features on both tiers. Still, with a starting price of just $285 per month, Bookkeeper.com provides perhaps the best balance of quality and price of the basic bookkeeping options relevant for most businesses.
If you are currently using Xero to keep your company’s books, switching to Bookkeeper 360 is an easy transition. The company’s bookkeeping and accounting specialists are Xero-certified. If you use this product, you will also have access to tax and payroll experts employed by the operator.
The four plans offered are diverse enough to meet the needs of most businesses and range from monthly bookkeeping services to weekly and daily services. This service even offers a plan that can help you get started and set up in Xero to do your own bookkeeping.
The notable downside to Bookkeeper360 is the price. The lowest recurring plan starts at $349 per month and goes up to $1,149 for the highest plan. The “Hourly & Project” plan, which helps you get set up in Xero, requires a $1,000 retainer to start.
Thankfully, there is bookkeeping software available to suit nearly every type of business. If your small business is based on a subscription model or regularly sends out recurring invoices, FreshBooks may be the accounting and invoicing solution you are looking for.
While it is not packed with as many features as you’ll find in other services noted on this list, it is very affordable for fledgling and growing businesses. It costs just $15 per month for up to five clients. For $50 a month, you can serve up to 500 clients. The price is low because you do most of the bookkeeping yourself (using the software).
If your small business sells products, inDinero was designed with your enterprise in mind. However, it can also serve as an option for service-based businesses, depending on your company’s particular needs. The three plans available (ranging from $310 to $1,300 per month) are based on the number of monthly transactions your business experiences (between 50 and 200). The top-tier plan includes features like revenue recognition and inventory accounting.
Intuit QuickBooks Online
Chances are good that you already knew about this option. QuickBooks is among the most widely used accounting software available. Plans range from $7 per month to $30 per month based on the number of users associated with the account. Why such a low price? This product is targeted to business owners conducting their own bookkeeping and is not a service, per se.
The basic services offered by KPMG Spark are similar to those offered by Bookkeeper.com. This service is ideal for businesses that do cash-basis accounting and have limited monthly expenses. The cash-basis plans range from $195 to $395 monthly, which makes them competitive with Bookkeeper.com. KPMG also offers accrual-basis accounting services, but the prices are significantly higher, ranging from $695 to $1,095 per month.
This online service is among the most affordable available and has the most straightforward billing. Unlike its competitors, Merritt Bookkeeping charges a flat fee of $190 per month, with no setup fees and no additional charges for engaging in a certain number of bank accounts or transactions per month.
The tradeoff with Merritt Bookkeeping is that it has limited services and features. Essentially, it offers basic bookkeeping and access to a dedicated team of bookkeepers at an affordable rate. Like Bookkeeper.com, Merritt relies on QuickBooks Online to do your bookkeeping.
Is your business a tech startup or a startup in general? Pilot may be the right bookkeeping service for you. There are two price tiers, including the Pilot Core (which is suited to small, service-based businesses without employees) and Pilot Plus (suited to product-based businesses with more than $200,000 per month in expenses and without any employees). The pricing actually ranges within each tier. Pilot Core starts at $195 per month and goes as high as $795 per month. Pilot Plus starts at $1,000 per month and goes up from there. In both cases, billing is based on the business’ monthly expenses.
This online software is probably the cheapest on the list (basic features are free). Wave is suited for businesses with just a few employees or for professionals who operate as freelancers. Free features including accounting, invoicing and receipt scanning. You’ll need to pay for features such as payroll and online payments.