The best QuickBooks alternatives have all the core bookkeeping capabilities that small businesses need but are often easier to use and more affordable. Whether you’re looking to switch from Quickbooks, looking for your business’s first accounting software, or looking for a free QuickBooks alternative, you’ll find a full review of the right accounting software here.
Best QuickBooks Alternative for Self Employed & Freelancers: FreshBooks
FreshBooks is the best QuickBooks alternative for the self employed and freelancers. Not only is it easy to set up and use, but it pairs a robust time/expense tracker with great invoicing capabilities. You create and send customized invoices, send payment reminders, and even charge late fees automatically. Plans start at $15 per month and you can try it for free for 30 days.
Best QuickBooks Alternatives 2018
|Xero||(Best Overall) Businesses that currently use QuickBooks Online or want QuickBooks-like capabilities||$9-$70 per month|
|Wave||Small- to medium-sized businesses that want a free accounting software packed with lots of features||Free|
|FreshBooks||Self-employed and freelancers who want an easy way to automate their invoicing & payment processes||$15-$50 per month|
|Billy||Small business owners who want access to a professional bookkeeper for a fraction of the cost||$15-$39 per month|
|Officewise||Small businesses that sell products and want the ability to track inventory||$0-$39.95 per month|
|Zoho Books||Existing Zoho users who can take advantage of integration with other Zoho apps||$9-$29 per month|
|ZipBooks||Businesses that would prefer to outsource all their bookkeeping duties||$0-$125 per month|
When to Use QuickBooks Online
Before I get any further, it is important to note that there is one major reason so many small business owners use QuickBooks Online. It’s because many accountants/bookkeepers are much more familiar with QuickBooks than any other accounting software (over 50,000 accountants/bookkeepers are certified QB ProAdvisors). It’s also the system that we use and love at Fit Small Business. Click here to receive up to 50% off QuickBooks Online.
How We Evaluated QuickBooks Alternatives
A number of small businesses look for an alternative to QuickBooks because they cost a lot less, they have unique business requirements that QuickBooks does not meet, and in some cases, these products may perform better than QuickBooks. We based our research on a set of five main criteria.
We took all seven products for a test run to see whether they met the following criteria:
- Manage Accounts Receivable – Ability to track open customer invoices that are coming due or past due.
- Manage Accounts Payable – Ability to track unpaid vendor bills that are coming due or past due.
- Accept Online Payments – Allow customers to pay their invoices directly online with debit/credit card.
- Multi-User Access – Invite other users, such as a bookkeeper or CPA, to access data.
- Produce Key Financial Statements – Able to produce a Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet and Statement of Cash Flows.
- Ease of Use – It’s easy enough to learn & use the accounting software without being a pro.
- Price – It’s an affordable (or free) alternative to QuickBooks that small businesses can actually afford.
Out of the seven QuickBooks competitors that we looked at, Xero is our top pick for the best QuickBooks alternative. Xero includes all of the features that QuickBooks Online has to offer. In addition, Xero takes it one step further by including payroll processing at no additional charge.
Here are the seven best alternatives to QuickBooks:
Xero: Best Overall QuickBooks Alternative
Xero is the best alternative to QuickBooks Online because it includes all of the features that QuickBooks offers plus the ability to process full cycle payroll for up to five employees at no additional charge. Check out our article on How to Convert from QuickBooks to Xero for help with making a smooth transition.
Xero Pricing & Features
Xero has three pricing plans between $9 and $70 per month. Each plan includes an unlimited number of users, the ability to track income and expenses, connect bank/credit card accounts, and manage accounts receivable and accounts payable. The Standard & Premium plans both include payroll processing at no additional cost. Unlike its competitors, Xero is the only accounting software that includes payroll processing.
Xero Tiered Pricing & Features Table
|Number of Users Included|
|Payroll Processing Included|
|Track Income and Expenses|
|Connect Bank/Credit Card Accounts|
|Manage Accounts Receivable|
|Manage Accounts Payable|
Similar to the Zoho Books Basic plan, the Xero Starter plan is just $9 per month and is able to do most bookkeeping tasks, such as track accounts receivable, income and expenses and run financial reports. However, its accounts payable capabilities are very limited. You are only able to track and pay up to five bills per month. In addition, you are only allowed up to 20 banking transactions per month for both credit/debit card accounts combined.
Xero Starter is ideal for a micro business that does not have many expenses to keep track of and no employees to pay. Once you have more than five bills to pay and/or 20 bank/credit card transactions to download, you will have to upgrade to Xero Standard.
Xero Standard is the middle tier plan that will run you $30 per month vs. the $9 Starter plan. However, you get a lot more features for the additional $21 per month. With Xero Standard, you have unlimited accounts payable and bank/credit card transactions. In addition, you also get the inventory tracking feature. This plan also includes payroll processing for up to five employees, at no additional cost.
Xero Standard is ideal for any small business that sells products or services and needs the ability to share their data with a bookkeeper or tax preparer. In addition, if you have employees, you can process payroll for up to five employees at no additional cost. Once your business becomes global and/or you hire a sixth employee, you will need to upgrade to the Xero Premium plan.
Xero Premium is the top tier plan at $70 per month, which is more than double the cost of the Standard plan ($30 per month) and more than seven times the cost of the Starter plan ($9 per month). For the additional cost, you can process payroll for 10 employees vs. five for Xero Standard and zero for the Starter plan. In addition, Xero Premium also includes a multi-currency feature, which means that you can manage bank/credit card accounts in multiple currencies. In addition, you can bill customers in their native currency and accept payments in a foreign currency as well.
What Xero Is Missing
When it comes to features, Xero is about as close as you can get to an alternative to QuickBooks. However, one of the disadvantages of Xero is that it does not have the large ecosystem that QuickBooks has. Unfortunately, there are not as many accountants or bookkeepers who are familiar with the product, which could make it challenging to find a local Xero expert to help you.
What Users Think About Xero
Xero customers like how user-friendly the program is and the number of features it includes, like unlimited users and payroll processing at no additional cost. However, customers are not satisfied that there is no live telephone support and they have to wait for an email response from the support team when they run into an issue.
For more information, check out our Xero review page.
Where to Find Xero
You can take Xero for a free 30-day test drive to see if it’s right for your business before you buy it. Similar to its competitors, there is no credit card required; simply provide some basic contact information and you get access to all of the great features we have discussed.
Wave: Best Free QuickBooks Alternative
If you’re looking for a free QuickBooks alternative that has about 85 percent of the features available in QuickBooks, Wave is the best solution. Wave offers many features that are not generally included in most paid plans, like unlimited users and unlimited businesses. It’s ten times better than using Excel spreadsheets and it does all of the calculations for you, no formulas required.
There is only one edition of Wave, and it is completely free. When it comes to price, none of its competitors can beat it. While ZipBooks and Officewise do offer a free edition of their products, they do not offer as many features as Wave does. Wave does not charge you to add multiple users and you can track income and expenses for all of your businesses under the same account—free of charge.
Wave is the most feature-rich accounting software for the cost—free. On top of being able to track income and expenses and your accounts receivable, you can add as many users as you like—free of charge. If you’ve got more than one business that you need to manage the books for, you can create an unlimited number of businesses under the same account. Again, this is free of charge, and the best part is you can access them all with just one Wave account.
Listed below are just some of the features that Wave has to offer:
Manage Accounts Receivable
Wave allows you to manage full cycle accounts receivable, which means that you can create professional invoices, email invoices to customers, and accept online payments. Stay on top of your open invoices by running an accounts receivable aging report.
Manage Accounts Payable
Wave allows you to enter your bills and run reports to manage your due dates. However, you cannot print checks from Wave; instead, you must manually write a check and then enter the details of the payment into Wave to mark the bill as paid. As a result, your outstanding accounts payable balances will not always be up to date.
Connect Bank/Credit Card Accounts
Wave allows you to connect all of your bank and credit card accounts so that you can easily download transactions into your Wave account. The one drawback of this feature is that only the administrative user has access to the bank account details, which means that your bookkeeper would not be able to reconcile the bank/credit card accounts.
Wave includes two out of the three primary financial reports—you can run a Profit and Loss and a Balance Sheet report in Wave. However, similar to every competitor we looked at with the exception of Xero, it does not have the capability to run a Statement of Cash Flows.
Manage Multiple Businesses with One Account
Wave allows you to manage multiple businesses under the same account. This means that you just have to sign into Wave once and then toggle between businesses as you need to! Best of all, you can set up multiple businesses for the same price as the first one—absolutely free!
Unlimited Number of Users
Wave allows you to invite an unlimited number of users to view and/or edit your data. This varies drastically with all of the competitors that we looked at. The only plan that allows you to add an unlimited number of users at no additional cost is the ZipBooks Starter plan and all Xero plans; all other products charge a fee for each additional user that you add over what is included in the pricing plan.
What Wave Is Missing
One area where Wave fell short is the inability to print checks to pay bills. While it would be great to have this feature, this does not take away from the fact that it is the best free QuickBooks alternative. Wave offers many more features at the best price ever: zero.
What Users Think About Wave
Wave customers like the fact that they can use an accounting software to manage their income and expenses without having to pay for it. They also like how user friendly the system is for non-accountants. On the negative side, customers do not like the fact that there is no live telephone support. In addition, when they do email the support team for help, response time is slow.
For more information, check out our Wave review page.
Where to Find Wave
Unlike its competitors, Wave does not put a limit on how long you can use the product before you have to buy it. Since it costs nothing to use, you can visit the website to sign up by entering basic contact information and start using every feature we have discussed at no cost to you. If you decide it’s not for you, there’s no subscription to cancel.
FreshBooks: Best QuickBooks Alternative for Self-Employed & Freelancers
FreshBooks is the best QuickBooks alternative for freelancers. FreshBooks has a simple, user-friendly interface with simple language. It also includes a very robust time tracking tool that allows you to keep track of hours worked by yourself or other team members. Once you are ready to bill a client for hours completed, it takes just a few clicks to transfer those hours to an invoice and email it with a payment link so that customers can make online payments.
FreshBooks Pricing & Features
Similar to most of its competitors, FreshBooks offers three pricing levels between $15 and $50 per month. Each plan includes one user, and additional users can be added for $10 per month per user. The primary differences between the three plans are the number of customers you can have; the Lite plan includes five and the Premium plan includes 500.
The other key difference in the plans is the Plus and the Premium plans include features like automatic payment reminders and auto-late charge fee for past due invoices; the Lite plan does not include these features. Check out our article on Time Tracking and Billing Guide for Freelancers to learn more about the features FreshBooks has to offer.
FreshBooks Tiered Pricing & Features Table
|Number of Users Included|
|Time & Expense Tracking|
|Accept Online Payments|
|Automatic Payment Reminders|
|Charge Late Fees for Overdue Invoices|
FreshBooks Lite is the most budget-friendly plan at $15 per month. This plan comes with one user and a maximum of five customers that you can create invoices for. It includes a robust time and expense tracking feature, which allows you to easily track time for every team member by project. FreshBooks Lite is ideal for a start-up business that doesn’t need to keep track of sales by customer or has fewer than five clients for which they need to send invoices.
FreshBooks Plus is the mid-tier plan that runs $25 per month. This is $10 per month more than the FreshBooks Lite plan, and will cost you a total of $300 per year (vs. $180 for the Lite Plan). For this additional cost, you can track 50 customers versus only five customers with the Lite plan.
In addition, you can easily set up automatic late charge fees on overdue invoices and recurring invoices for those customers who regularly pay you a set amount at different intervals (i.e., weekly, monthly, quarterly). FreshBooks Plus is ideal for businesses that do a lot of invoicing and need a way to automate the accounts receivable process.
FreshBooks Premium is the top tier plan; it costs $50 per month for a total of $600 per year. That’s double the cost of the Plus plan ($300) and more than triple the cost of the Lite plan ($180). The only difference between the Plus vs. the Premium plans is that FreshBooks Premium comes with 10 times the number of customers that are included in the Plus plan (500 is the maximum for this plan).
Similar to the Plus plan, the Premium plan is ideal if you have more than 50 customers and need to automate your accounts receivable process so that you can automatically send payment reminders, apply late fees to overdue invoices, and send recurring invoices out.
What FreshBooks Is Missing
There are a couple of downsides to FreshBooks. First, you cannot manage your unpaid bills (accounts payable) in FreshBooks, which means that you cannot enter bills or pay bills through FreshBooks. However, you can download payment information directly from your bank or credit card accounts. If you sell products, then FreshBooks is not ideal because it does not have the ability to track inventory costs and quantities.
What Users Think About FreshBooks
Customers who use FreshBooks like the automated invoicing features, such as recurring bills and the automatic payment reminders that can be sent before and after an invoice is past the due date. On the flip side, customers don’t like the fact that FreshBooks is not able to manage accounts payable or reconcile bank/credit card accounts like most accounting software systems can.
For more information, check out our FreshBooks review page.
Where to Find FreshBooks
FreshBooks allows you to try their product before you buy it; you can sign up for a free 30-day trial, no credit card required. At the end of the trial, you will need to convert to a paid subscription in order to continue using the product.
Billy: Best QuickBooks Alternative with a Monthly Bookkeeping Consultation
Billy works great for businesses that want access to a professional bookkeeper but can’t afford to hire one. With the exception of ZipBooks, Billy is the only product that has a pricing tier that includes monthly access to a professional bookkeeper. The primary difference between the ZipBooks and Billy bookkeeping services plan is you do your own bookkeeping with the Billy plan and meet monthly with a bookkeeper who can look over your books and answer questions.
Billy Pricing & Features
Billy has three pricing plans that run between $15 and $39 per month. All plans include unlimited users, unlimited invoices and customers, and a mobile app to import receipts into your account. The primary difference between the Silver and the Gold plans is the Gold plan allows you to accept online payments from your customers and the Silver plan does not. The top tier plan, Platinum, includes a monthly consultation with a professional bookkeeper and priority email and chat support.
Billy Tiered Pricing & Features Table
|Unlimited branded invoices|
|Automatic bank account syncing|
|Mobile app for importing receipts|
|Customizable Business Reports|
|Quotes and Estimates|
|Manage Multiple Businesses|
|Accept Online Payments|
|Monthly 30-minute call with a bookkeeper|
|Access to exclusive online training videos|
|Prioritized Chat and Email Support|
|Discounts with Bookkeeping Community|
The Silver plan is the most budget friendly out of the three plans, at $15 per month. Like all Billy plans, it comes with unlimited users, invoices, and customers, and you can connect all of your bank/credit card accounts. You can put your invoicing on autopilot by setting up recurring billing and you can create and send quotes directly to your customers and receive a notification when the quote has been approved. In just a couple clicks, you can turn that quote into an invoice and bill your customer right away.
Billy Silver is ideal for self-employed and sole proprietors looking for an affordable accounting solution. It will work best for service-based businesses, since inventory tracking is manual.
The Gold plan is the middle pricing tier at $19 per month. Similar to Billy Silver and Platinum, you can invite an unlimited number of users to access your data. For the additional $4 per month ($48 per year), you can accept online payments from your customers. Unlike the Silver plan, the Gold plan allows you to add a payment link to all customer invoices. Credit card processing is provided by Stripe and additional fees will apply.
Billy Gold is ideal for any business owner who provides services and would like to give customers the option to pay their invoices online with a debit/credit card.
The Billy Platinum plan is the top tier plan at $39 per month. This is a whopping $20 per month more than the Gold plan ($19/month) and more than twice the cost of the Silver plan ($15/month). For the steep cost, you do get some additional perks. Each month you can schedule a 30-minute call with a bookkeeper who will answer any questions that you have and discuss your books with you (this alone is worth far more than the additional $20/month).
In addition, you get access to an exclusive online training video library and priority support via chat or email, which guarantees a response within two hours during business hours. If you need to hire someone to help you with your bookkeeping, you will receive a discount on the services if you select someone from the Billy bookkeeping directory.
Billy Platinum is ideal for business owners who are doing their own books and can’t afford to hire a bookkeeper to manage their books. This plan will allow them to have access to a professional bookkeeper every month at the fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time bookkeeper.
What Billy Is Missing
Similar to most of the products we have discussed (except for Xero), Billy does not have the ability to produce a Statement of Cash Flows. In addition, the inventory management is manual and tedious. It’s really no better than using an Excel spreadsheet, which will at least do the calculations for you. Therefore, if you sell products, I would not recommend that you use Billy as your accounting solution.
What Users Think About Billy
Customers who use Billy like how user friendly the program is and how easy it is to customize. They also like how affordable it is for all of the features included. The one area that customers feel needs improvement is that connecting bank accounts can be challenging. They also said that adding PayPal as a payment option for customers would be nice.
Where to Find Billy
Like most of its competitors, you can take Billy for a test drive before you buy it. To learn more about this software, I signed up for a 14-day free trial by simply entering my name, email address and company name; there is no credit card required. At the end of the 14-day trial, you must sign up for a paid subscription to continue using the product.
Officewise: Best QuickBooks Alternative for Inventory Management
With the exception of Xero and Zoho Books Professional, Officewise is the only product that we looked at that allows you to automatically track product purchases and sales. Create and email quotes to customers and Officewise will notify you when the quote has been approved; create a sales order for customer orders and send purchase orders to suppliers to order products. Once products are received, you can receive them against the purchase order and Officewise will automatically update your inventory quantities and costs. Officewise is ideal for any size business that sells products.
Officewise Pricing & Features
Officewise offers four plans that cost between $0 and $39.95 per month. All Officewise plans include the following core features:
- Invoicing and Quotes
- Purchasing and Receiving
- Bills and Expense Tracking
- Inventory Tracking
- Sales Orders and Shipments
The primary differences between each plan are centered around seven key areas: users included, monthly transactions, user roles, custom dashboards, reporting/exports, search/filter capabilities, and groups. Refer to the pricing table and the detailed features in each plan below.
Officewise Tiered Pricing & Features Table
|Transactions Per Month|
The Free plan includes all of the basic features we discussed previously plus one user. Like the paid plans, this plan allows for unlimited users but unlike the other plans, you do not have to pay for additional users with the Free plan. You can create three transactions per month and there are three standard user roles included in this plan.
The Officewise Free plan is ideal for an independent consultant or freelancer who invoices no more than one or two clients each month and has few to no expenses. However, if you have more than three invoices and/or expenses to record each month, you will need to upgrade to one of the paid plans.
Similar to the Free plan, the Officewise Basic plan includes one user, but you can add additional users for $7.95 per month per user (whereas additional users don’t cost anything in the free plan). Basic allows you to record more than three times the number of transactions allowed in the Free plan (10 transactions vs. three transactions). Basic also allows you to customize your dashboard, and it includes reports and the ability to export data in PDF format.
Officewise Basic is ideal for a solopreneur who invoices no more than three or four clients monthly and has minimal expenses to record. However, if you need to create invoices and record expenses that combined exceed the 10-transaction threshold, you will need to go with the Standard plan.
Like the Free and Basic plans, the Standard plan includes all of the basic features included in all Officewise plans. In addition, it includes three users vs. the one user in the Free and Basic plans, and you can record unlimited transactions (unlike the Free and Basic plans). Like the Basic plan, it includes a custom dashboard, reports and the ability to export data to Excel or PDF format, and it also includes groups. Groups allow you to segment data by location or department.
Officewise Standard is ideal for a business that has more than one location it needs to track income and expenses for. It is also ideal for a company that needs to share data with an accountant or bookkeeper.
Officewise Professional is the top of the line plan at $39.95 per month. This plan includes five users plus the option to purchase additional users at $7.95 per month per person, like the Basic and Standard plans. It also includes unlimited transactions, unlimited custom user roles, reports and exports to Excel or PDF, search/filter options, groups and tags. Tags are typically used on the expense side for project cost tracking; on the income side, they are typically used for sales channel tracking.
What Officewise Is Missing
There are a couple areas where Officewise fell short. For one, it does not include the ability to run a Statement of Cash Flows. While Officewise does allow you to accept online customer payments, it is limited to PayPal. Customers can pay using a credit/debit card or bank account. Last but not least, Officewise does not have a mobile app. However, the customer support representative I spoke with said that their website is mobile friendly enough for customers to view their data from any mobile device with a web browser.
What Users Think About Officewise
We looked at customer reviews posted on GetApp.com and found that Officewise customers like that the software is easy to use. They also like the many features included at such an affordable price. Many customers agreed that they don’t even utilize all of the features that are included. Officewise has such rave reviews that I had to do a little digging to find what customers didn’t like about the product. However, I was able to find a couple of negative reviews: one reader said that more step-by-step tutorials would be great and another reader said that you can’t revise a quote without losing the original quote.
Where to Find Officewise
While Officewise is not a free QuickBooks alternative, they do allow you to try their product, free of charge for 30 days—risk free. To get familiar with the product, I signed up for a free trial and I did not have to enter a credit card. At the end of the free trial, you will need to convert to a paid plan to continue to use the product.
Zoho Books: Best QuickBooks Alternative for Existing Zoho Users
If you currently use one or more products in the Zoho suite, then Zoho Books is a great solution because it will integrate with other Zoho apps such as Zoho CRM and Zoho Expense. Having a group of products that work together is an ideal solution that none of its competitors (including QuickBooks) offers.
Zoho Books Pricing & Features
Zoho Books offers three pricing plans between $9 and $29 per month. The primary difference between the plans is the number of users and the number of clients included. The Basic plan does not include the ability to manage accounts payable whereas both the Standard and Professional plans do.
Zoho Books Tiered Pricing & Features Table
|Number of Users Included|
|Number of Clients Included|
|Track Income and Expenses|
|Bank/Credit Card Connections|
|Manage Accounts Receivable|
|Project Tracking & Timesheets|
|Reconcile Bank/Credit Card Accounts|
|Limited Accounts Payable|
Zoho Books Basic
Zoho Books Basic is the most inexpensive plan out of all three tiers at $9 per month (like the Xero Starter plan). It includes many of the basic bookkeeping features to track income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, manage accounts receivable, and run key financial statements. However, it does not allow you to track unpaid bills (accounts payable), create purchase orders or sales orders, or track inventory.
Zoho Books Basic is ideal for a service-based business that pays all of their bills directly through online banking or with a credit card. Keep in mind that you can only invite one other user to access your data and you are limited to 50 clients. If you need more than one user or the ability to bill more than 50 clients, then you will need to upgrade to the Zoho Books Standard plan.
Zoho Books Standard
Zoho Books Standard is the middle tier plan at $19 per month, like the Billy Gold plan. On top of the features included in the Basic plan, Zoho Books Standard includes limited accounts payable functionality, which means you can enter bills into Zoho Books but you will have to manually enter the bill payments. The Standard plan includes three users vs. the two that come with the Basic plan, and you get ten times the number of clients—500 vs. the 50 included in the Basic plan.
Zoho Books is ideal for a service-based business that has more than 50 clients and needs to give more than one user access to their data. If you sell products, you will need to go with the Zoho Books Professional plan, which allows you to track inventory.
Zoho Books Professional
Zoho Books Professional is the elite plan at $29 per month. In addition to the features included in the Zoho Books Standard plan, Zoho Books Professional includes the ability to track customer orders from start to finish. This includes creating sales orders and purchase orders, and automatically tracking inventory quantities and cost. Out all the products that made our final cut, Zoho Books, Xero and Officewise are the only products that offer automatic inventory tracking.
Zoho Books Professional is ideal for a product-based business that needs to keep track of inventory quantities and cost. Unlike Wave and Billy, which involve manual tracking of inventory quantities and cost, Zoho Books Professional automatically keeps track of all inventory movement.
What Zoho Books Is Missing
Zoho Books does not have the ability to pay bills via check. With the Standard and Professional plans, you can enter a bill, but you will have to pay it outside of Zoho Books and then manually mark it paid. In addition, Zoho Books does not have the ability to accept online payments from customers. However, you can take a look at their app store to see if you can find a payment app that integrates with Zoho Books. Keep in mind that additional fees may apply.
What Users Think About Zoho Books
Zoho Books has mixed reviews. What customers like about Zoho Books is how much time they save with the integrations to other Zoho apps like Zoho CRM, Zoho Inventory, and Zoho Reports. In addition, Zoho Books is one of the few products we’ve looked at that offers live customer support. However, this is one of the biggest drawbacks; since the support team is located outside of the U.S., customers claim there tends to be a language barrier.
For more information, check out our Zoho Books review page.
Where to Find Zoho Books
Like most of its competitors, Zoho Books comes with a 14-day free trial. There is no need to provide a credit card—just your name, email address and company name are required to get started. At the end of the trial period, you will have to upgrade to a paid plan to continue to use the product.
ZipBooks: Best QuickBooks Alternative for Outsourcing Bookkeeping
ZipBooks is the best QuickBooks alternative for businesses that prefer to outsource their bookkeeping duties. While ZipBooks Starter is a free QuickBooks alternative, their virtual bookkeeping via ZipBooks Services starts at $125 per month. It’s ideal for a business that does not want to manage its books but can’t afford to hire a full-time bookkeeper. ZipBooks will assign a dedicated bookkeeper to you to manage all of your income and expenses in ZipBooks. Unlike some outsourced bookkeeping services, you can still access your data 24/7/365 in ZipBooks.
ZipBooks Pricing & Features
Similar to Officewise, ZipBooks has four pricing plans starting between $0 and $125 per month. All plans include unlimited users at no additional cost, a business health and invoice quality score, and the ability to connect bank/credit cards. The higher tier plans allow you to send unlimited recurring invoices and time tracking features. The top tier plan, Services, includes a dedicated bookkeeper who will manage your books for you.
ZipBooks Tiered Pricing & Features
|Number of Users Included|
|Bank/Credit Card Connections|
|Business Health & Invoice Quality Score*|
|Unlimited Recurring Invoices with Auto-bill|
|Auto import Time & Expenses into Invoices|
|Smart tagging to track by location, project|
|Secure document sharing|
|Assigned to a Personal Bookkeeper (ZipBooks Scholar)|
|Tax Savings Analysis & Recommendations|
The ZipBooks Starter plan will fit any budget since it is absolutely free. This plan comes with access for one user, unlimited tracking of customer and vendor contacts, and unlimited invoicing. However, you can only connect one bank/credit card account and it doesn’t include the bells and whistles that the other three plans have.
ZipBooks Starter is ideal for freelancers and solopreneurs who want to upgrade from Excel spreadsheets to a more sophisticated bookkeeping system. Unfortunately, you can quickly outgrow this tier and be required to upgrade to a paid plan.
ZipBooks Smarter is the next level up from the Starter plan. It will run you $15 per month and unlike the Starter plan, you can give an unlimited number of users access to your data. With the ZipBooks Smarter plan, you can create recurring invoices and have them automatically sent out. You can also track hours worked by contractors and employees and easily transfer those hours to a customer invoice so that you can get paid.
ZipBooks Smarter is ideal for a small business with heavy invoicing that wants to automate its customer billing process and needs a good system to keep track of billable hours.
ZipBooks Sophisticated is the third pricing plan, right after ZipBooks Smarter. It costs $35 per month and includes all of the features that the Smarter plan has and more. ZipBooks Sophisticated allows you to track income and expenses by location and project. You can also create bank reconciliations to ensure your books match your bank statements, and it includes advanced reporting and intelligence features that you won’t find in ZipBooks Smarter and Starter plans.
ZipBooks Sophisticated is ideal for small businesses that need project tracking and/or have multiple locations for which they need comprehensive tracking and reporting of income and expenses.
ZipBooks Services is the elite plan of the four. At a starting price of $125 per month, you get a dedicated bookkeeper who will categorize all transactions, reconcile all bank and credit card accounts, and prepare monthly financial statements. This is a service that none of the other competitors offer and is right for a business that wants to outsource their bookkeeping.
What ZipBooks Is Missing
Unfortunately, ZipBooks fell short in three areas: it does not allow tracking of the outstanding balances owed to suppliers (accounts payable), you cannot generate a Statement of Cash Flows, and you cannot track inventory cost and quantities.
What Users Think About ZipBooks
ZipBooks customers like the ability to track their income and expenses at no cost with the ZipBooks Starter plan. However, customers are not pleased that there is no live customer support available, not to mention that the response time to email support is not very good.
For more information, check out our ZipBooks review page.
Where to Find ZipBooks
If you want to take ZipBooks for a test drive, you can sign up for the free plan, which you can use to manage your books. However, if you need something with more functionality, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial of the ZipBooks Smarter or Sophisticated plans. There is no credit card required—just provide your name and email address to get started. At the end of the trial, you will need to convert to a paid subscription or sign up for a free ZipBooks Starter plan to continue to use the product.
Other Paid & Free QuickBooks Alternatives
|QuickBooks Alternatives||Best For|
|AccountEdge Pro||Small to medium-sized businesses|
|Intacct||Accounts payable and receivable|
|QuickBooks Desktop||Small to medium-sized businesses|
|QuickBooks Self-Employed||Solo entrepreneurs and freelancers|
|Sage 50||Small to medium-sized businesses with an experienced bookkeeper or accountant on staff|
|Sage One||Small businesses new to accounting and bookkeeping|
Before you read this article, you probably didn’t realize how many QuickBooks alternatives there are to choose from. Whether you are a freelancer who needs to track hours by project or a sole proprietor with employees, there is an accounting software that will meet your business needs. Now comes the hard part—picking one out of seven.
If you are a freelancer who doesn’t need all of the bells and whistles that Xero has to offer, we recommend that you try FreshBooks. FreshBooks will allow you to automate your customer billing process, which will save you time and allow you to get back to what you enjoy doing most. Visit their website to sign up for a free 30-day trial.