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Last Updated: Mar 2024

The Best Invoicing Software of 2024
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We find the 10 best options, so you can make informed decisions on tons of products and services.

What is Bookkeeping Software?

Bookkeeping software automatically calculates payroll amounts in a timely and accurate manner, tracks sales tax on the go, and provides insightful reports about cash flow, revenues, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. You can also use it to build and send invoices and receipts to clients. 

These back-office functions can be done manually, but that takes time and effort and increases the odds of human error. With bookkeeping software, bookkeeping for small business becomes largely automated, freeing up your time so you can focus on running your business.

Good bookkeeping software can stay with your business forever, scaling as your needs grow and maintaining a record of tax and payroll documents that go back to the founding of your business. Since information is stored in the cloud, you can use it as an unlimited digital filing cabinet on top of all its other useful functions.

If you are a freelancer or own or manage a small business, a bookkeeping program should be able to keep up with all of your accounting needs. However, large enterprise users might find that bookkeeping programs are lacking, especially if you have a lot of customization needs. That said, bookkeeping software is quite feature-rich and should be enough to handle most of your needs. Let’s look at some of the features you should expect from a good bookkeeping service.

What Features Should You Look For in Your Bookkeeping Software?

While no two bookkeeping programs are the same, all good bookkeeping software should have at least some functions in the following areas:

Tax Integrations

Bookkeeping software will enable you to track sales tax daily, including state discounts and refunds. It should also enable you to file tax returns with all commonly used forms. 

Payroll Management

Payroll tools accurately calculate employee pay and ensure that workers get paid on time. The system should help navigate new hires, mergers, and other events that complicate payroll, saving your business many hours of operational time.

Business Insights

Since bookkeeping software for small businesses keeps track of all your critical financial data, it has all the information needed to generate insightful reports on revenue, accounts receivable, cash flow, and more.

Custom Invoices and Receipts

You should be able to build your own invoices and receipts, formatted as you desire and featuring your business letterhead.

Multi-User Access

Multi-user access is an expensive but essential feature for some teams. Decide whether or not you need it based on the size of your team and which team members need access.

Support for Mobile

Ideally, your bookkeeping program should be accessible on any mobile or desktop platform. This will provide convenient access on the go, saving you time.

Unlimited Cloud Storage

You never know when you might need old tax statements or payroll documents. Simply store away your files and access them if needed. There’s no need to worry about running out of space.

Free Support

You are already paying for your bookkeeping program. Ideally, customer support should be free and available 24/7. Note the type of support available, whether it is self-service support, phone support, online chat, or email.


Your bookkeeping software should scale as your business grows. Consider whether your bookkeeping software will be able to keep up in terms of the number of users allowed, the types of forms it can file, and the level of support you receive as your business gets larger.

User Friendliness

The best way to tell if a bookkeeping program is user-friendly is to try it yourself. Most bookkeeping software providers offer a free trial between 30 and 90 days. Download the trial version and play around with it to see if the interface works for you.

How Much Does Bookkeeping Software Cost?

Bookkeeping software ranges in price from around $10 to $60 per month, depending on your plan. Some programs even offer a limited free plan.

Free programs frequently limit the amount of revenue you can make before upgrading to a paid tier.

Plans under $20 per month typically offer tax forms, invoicing, and manual payroll access. Mid-range plans starting at $20 include automatic sales tax and payroll calculation. Starting at around $40 per month, the most expensive plans offer advanced features like employee time tracking and automated workflows.

Another factor to consider is the number of users you require. Some providers will limit the number of users you can have, with more users requiring a higher monthly subscription. To pick the best plan for your company, consider how many employees will need access. Will it just be you, or does your accountant also need access? Will your employees need access to the time tracking and payroll tools, or can you handle that on their behalf? 

Once you determine the number of users you need, consider what you need automated. Do you need help with payroll? What about sales tax? Once you have come to a conclusion, calculate the approximate price range from the ranges above, and choose a program from our top 10 list that suits your needs.


How can bookkeeping software help my small business?

Bookkeeping software is great for tracking sales tax, compiling tax forms, managing payroll, and generating reports about the financial health of your business. While it is possible to do all of these things manually, bookkeeping software automatically handles many calculations and repetitive processes. This eliminates human error and frees up time for you and your team to address other, more pressing tasks.

Who in my business should have access to our bookkeeping software?

Apart from yourself, your accountant or accounting team should have full access to the bookkeeping program. Other employees should have some access to relevant areas. For example, all employees should have access to a record of their paystubs. Since different team members require different access levels, most bookkeeping programs enable you to control access to various program areas by employee role.

Should I keep separate records outside of our bookkeeping software?

Good online bookkeeping software keeps a backup of all documents in an unlimited cloud storage file. You should be alright keeping all of your documents on the cloud, but it is always prudent to keep a physical backup, at least for some time. The IRS requires that you maintain records for at least 6 years, so keep a physical backup of your tax forms just in case until the 6-year mark elapses.

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