This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
The best accounting software for Mac is easy to use, has good customer support, and offers enhanced accounting features, like the ability to compare actual and budgeted project costs, manage and track inventory, and perform basic accounting tasks from a mobile device. Some even include a few Mac-specific features, such as iCloud document sharing and iMessage and Apple Watch integrations.
Here are the five accounting software programs that we recommend for Mac users:
- QuickBooks Online: Best overall small business accounting software for Mac users (8.77 out of 10)
- QuickBooks Desktop for Mac: Best desktop accounting software designed specifically to run on Mac (8.44 out of 10)
- Zoho Books: Best for Mac users who want an excellent mobile app (8.75 out of 10)
- FreshBooks: Best project accounting software for Mac users (6.34 out of 10)
- Sunrise: Best free accounting software for Mac users (5.81 out of 10)
Comparison of Best Accounting Software for Mac
Number of Users
Rubric Score (Out of 10 Points)
$30 to $200 monthly
1 to 25
$349.99 to $749.99 annually
1 to 3
$0 to $70 monthly
1 to 12
$15 to $50 monthly or custom priced
$0 or $19.99 monthly
1 or unlimited
QuickBooks Online: Best Overall Accounting Software for Mac
QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting solution that caters to small businesses and individual accountants. It’s praised consistently for its flexibility, ease of use, and robust set of features. We rank it as the best small business accounting software due to its project, class, and location tracking features. While it has no industry-specific features, it’s versatile enough as it can be customized to meet the needs of various industries, including restaurants, nonprofits, and churches.
- Accounts receivable (A/R) and accounts payable (A/P) management: QuickBooks Online features an excellent A/R and A/P system that fits small business needs perfectly. You can manage invoices, convert expenses into bills, add billable items to customer invoices, and record payments.
- Banking and bank reconciliations: Connecting your bank accounts and credit cards is easy and seamless in QuickBooks Online. You can also import transactions from your bank accounts for reconciliation. If you don’t want to connect your bank account, you can still perform bank reconciliation by entering the ending bank statement balance and matching transactions manually.
- Assisted bookkeeping options: QuickBooks Online users can get bookkeeping help through QuickBooks Live. For a separate charge, you can get a dedicated bookkeeper to help with classifying transactions, fixing your records, and analyzing your month-end financial statements.
Our Expert Opinion
QuickBooks Online offers many features that are beneficial for small businesses. It’s ideal if you have five or fewer users needing access to the accounting books yet have complex transactions. If you’re a sole proprietor looking for a smaller-scale program, QuickBooks is still a good fit.
The various price levels allow you to add features as your business grows, and the powerful mobile app is great for businesses on the go. You can check out our QuickBooks Online comparison to find out which version is right for you.
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac: Best Desktop Accounting Software for Mac
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac is a desktop-based application that allows users to create custom invoices, sync bank and credit card accounts, track expenses, manage bills, process payroll, monitor cash flow, and more. QuickBooks for Mac is similar to the Windows OS version of QuickBooks Desktop Pro, except for a few Mac-only features.
- Mac-specific features: You can connect QuickBooks to iCalendar to set payment reminders automatically. Moreover, you can sync iCloud contacts with QuickBooks to access customer or vendor contact information.
- Unlimited customer support: With the new QuickBooks Mac Plus 2022 subscription-based plan, all users will enjoy free and unlimited customer support. In the old licensed version, users would have to purchase a QuickBooks Care plan to receive customer support.
- Inventory tracking: Although QuickBooks Online has outstanding inventory features, QuickBooks for Mac has the best inventory tracking because it can handle inventory assembly for manufacturing companies.
Our Expert Opinion
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac has a few Mac-specific features, which makes it an attractive option for Mac users who prefer desktop software. For example, iCloud document sharing lets you share your files between Macs connected through iCloud. However, QuickBooks for Mac has fewer features than QuickBooks Premier for PC and doesn’t integrate with as many third-party applications.
Zoho Books: Best for Mac Users Wanting an Excellent Mobile App
Zoho Books stands out with its powerful mobile accounting app, which is beneficial for businesses and freelancers who want to record transactions through their iOS mobile devices. Its app, our top-recommended mobile accounting app, lets you perform almost any basic accounting task, such as sending invoices, recording bills and payments, and accepting payments online. Similar accounting software also has mobile applications, but they are often limited to sending invoices and recording bills.
- Mobile app: Zoho Books offers a fully functional iOS app that outshines even QuickBooks. It lets you capture receipts, classify bank transactions, record time worked, and assign time worked to a customer or project. It even allows you to send invoices, estimates, and account statements to customers within iMessage. GPS and Apple Maps will track mileage and turn it into an expense, and Siri can be used for reminders about transactions. If you have an Apple Watch, then you can even take advantage of the Zoho Books app.
- Customer support: Zoho Books offers more customer support options than any other software in this guide. You can call them directly or even ask them to call you by phone. There’s also a chatbot for immediate assistance and a live chat person for personalized support. Otherwise, you can email them or read self-help information on the Help & Support page.
- Online inventory tracking and integration: Zoho Books has an outstanding inventory system that rivals QuickBooks Online. It can track inventory levels, compute the cost of goods sold (COGS), and determine the cost of ending inventory. If you need advanced inventory management features, you can integrate Zoho Books with Zoho Inventory, allowing you to perform advanced tracking of purchase orders (POs), goods on hand, and shipments.
Our Expert Opinion
Zoho Books is a great choice for modern business owners who are always on the go. Its mobile app makes it easy for them to conduct business and enter transactions through their mobile device wherever they are. On top of its leading mobile accounting app, Zoho Books also excels in other areas, like project management and inventory management.
Check out our Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online comparison to see how each program performs side-by-side.
FreshBooks: Best Project Accounting Software for Mac Users
FreshBooks has a comprehensive invoicing system comparable to QuickBooks Online, and both are our leading invoicing software. Just like QuickBooks Online, it lets you create and customize invoices, choose your preferred currency, and issue invoices using your mobile device. However, we recommend FreshBooks for project-based business because of its ability to compare estimated costs against actual costs—something QuickBooks Online can’t do. Its invoicing feature is directly connected to its project management and time-tracking software, allowing you to directly create invoices from time entries.
- Project accounting and management: Project accounting is FreshBooks’ strongest feature, making it a perfect fit for freelancers and project-based small businesses. It enables you to create timelines, manage workflows, set project estimates, and compare actual and budgeted costs.
- Invoicing features: FreshBooks offers more than just unlimited invoicing capabilities. You can personalize invoices by adding a logo and a personal message below the invoice. If you invoice clients monthly, you can set up recurring invoices to save you time.
- Easy to use for non-accountants: FreshBooks is an application made especially for individuals without bookkeeping or accounting experience, so it’s easy to use. If you don’t want to do the bookkeeping yourself, you can invite an accountant who uses FreshBooks to do it for you.
Our Expert Opinion
FreshBooks isn’t as robust as QuickBooks Online and may lack some important features, like inventory management and cost tracking. However, its powerful invoicing and project accounting features make it worth considering. If your priority is to create professional-looking invoices while having the ability to track time and compare estimated to actual costs for budget planning, then FreshBooks won’t disappoint.
See how FreshBooks stacks up against QuickBooks Online in terms of invoicing and other accounting features in our FreshBooks vs QuickBooks Online comparison.
Sunrise: Best Free Accounting Software for Mac Users
If you want a free option that offers essential accounting features, then you might want to give Sunrise a try. While its Free Self Service plan is limited to a single user, Sunrise’s extensive list of free accounting features stands out, making it our best free accounting software. It lets you create and send invoices and manage income and expenses and lacks only automatic classification of transactions, payment discounts, and integrations.
- Free forever tier: Sunrise offers most of its accounting and invoicing features for free with no hidden fees or ads. This makes it ideal for freelancers and solopreneurs who need to send invoices and track their income and expenses.
- Invoicing: Sunrise’s strongest feature is invoicing. It lets you create recurring invoices, collect and track sales tax by jurisdictions, and accept short payments from customers.
- Mobile app: The Sunrise mobile accounting app is available in the free version and lets you perform many accounting tasks, such as creating and sending invoices and entering bill payments on the go.
Our Expert Opinion
If you don’t need inventory management, payroll, and time tracking, then Sunrise is an ideal solution. Its extensive list of free accounting features makes it ideal for sole proprietors, freelancers, and very small businesses wanting an online accounting service that allows room for growth.
No matter how often you use it and how many invoices you send, you don’t pay anything. However, if you want a full-featured accounting system, then you might need to look for premium software, like QuickBooks Online.
How We Evaluated Accounting Software for Mac
Each accounting application in this article has been evaluated using our internally developed case study. We put each accounting program to the test across 11 key areas that are important in accounting software used by small businesses. Furthermore, we used what we learned in the case study to find the most suitable use of each accounting software for Mac users.
In our evaluation, we used the following criteria:
5% of Overall Score
We looked at the cost of the software compared to the available features and whether it offers a free trial or introductory discount. However, we gave price a small weight because we don’t believe it should be a major factor in your choice. All of the software in this article is very affordable, and it’s much more important to choose software that fits your needs than to save a few dollars per month on the cost.
40% of Overall Score
The most important general feature we considered was Mac compatibility. However, most of the software in this list is web-based, so we instead applied our case study to break this down into several sub-criteria:
- General accounting features (20%)
- Banking (20%)
- Accounts payable (20%)
- Accounts receivable (20%)
- Tax (10%)
- Reporting (10%)
10% of Overall Score
Inventory accounting is an important feature for merchandising and manufacturing companies. We considered the software’s ability to track inventory units, details, and cost. Moreover, we put major emphasis on the software’s ability to compute cost of goods sold and determine the cost of ending inventory.
10% of Overall Score
Since some small businesses are service-based or a mix of products and services, we also considered project accounting in our evaluation. We prioritized cost estimation, project cost allocation, and project management. However, we put heavy emphasis on the software’s ability to compare actual project costs with estimated costs.
30% of Overall Score
An accounting software application must be easy to use and intuitive for small business or do-it-yourself (DIY) accounting. For ease of use, we evaluated navigation flows, interface design, and subjective ease of use to assess if users can use the accounting software with or without accounting experience.
5% of Overall Score
The mobile app adds flexibility and enhances the productivity of users. With the ability to manage the books through smartphones and tablets, users who are mostly using mobile devices must be able to conduct basic to advanced functions without worry. Moreover, we considered whether or not the app has additional iOS-only features, like Apple Watch integration.
The best accounting software for your business is the one that is easy to use and provides the features that you need at a price you can afford. If budget isn’t a concern and you need a comprehensive accounting software program, you can choose from premium accounting programs like QuickBooks Online, Zoho Books, and FreshBooks. If you prefer to work on your desktop computer without needing an internet connection, QuickBooks for Mac is a good choice. If you’re a solopreneur or are just starting a business, Sunrise can help you handle your invoice and income and expense tracking needs.