This article is part of a larger series on CRM.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software for accountants and bookkeepers provides an all-in-one solution for client and lead management at an affordable cost. They come with account management modules, built-in collaboration features, task management tools, and integrate with popular accounting systems like QuickBooks and Xero. Based on an in-depth evaluation of dozens of CRM tools, our seven picks for the best CRM for accountants include:
- Best CRM with free accounting integrations: HubSpot CRM
- Excellent for proposal management: Pipedrive
- Best free CRM software for accounting firms: Freshsales
- Great for managing client services: Bitrix24
- Best option to tailor for accounting operations: Zoho CRM
- Solid CRM with project management tools: Insightly
- Simplest accounting CRM system: monday.com Sales CRM
Best CRM for Accountants Compared
*Based on annual billing. Monthly billing is also available for slightly higher rates.
HubSpot CRM: Best Option for Free Accounting Integrations
- Paid plans get expensive after upgrading
- Lacks robust project management tools to oversee long-term client accounting projects
- Expensive e-signature tools
- You need free accounting integrations: HubSpot has a great free plan that includes unlimited users, mass email, quote generation, meeting scheduling, and documents. It’s also unique in that third-party CRM integrations, including Xero and QuickBooks, are also free. This lets users handle invoicing for clients from the CRM, which data syncs to the accounting system to update financial statements.
- You want to leverage content marketing: Accountants utilize content, such as blog articles or videos, to explain complex bookkeeping and tax preparation topics. The HubSpot Suite includes a CRM system, marketing platform, and content management system (CMS) in one product. Teams can host a blog, receive search engine optimization (SEO) insights, and manage an on-demand video library from one interface for lead generation.
- You provide auditing services: Some accounting firms, specifically certified public accountants (CPAs), offer auditing as part of their services. These long, tedious processes require major oversight, where a built-in project management module would be valuable. HubSpot, unfortunately, limits its project capabilities to marketing campaigns and basic task tracking.
- Alternative: Insightly and Bitrix24 are better alternative CRM products with built-in, robust project management tools to collaborate and manage audit service projects.
- You want more affordable e-signature capabilities: Because of the vast compliance requirements involved in accounting and tax preparation services, accountants often need several signatures to get legal permission to provide a service or approve a filing. Built-in e-signature tools for obtaining digital signatures from a CRM are expensive on HubSpot’s plan as they don’t until the Professional plan for $1,600 per month for the CRM Suite or $450 per month for the Sales Hub.
- Alternative: As built-in e-signature features are expensive for most CRMs, Pipedrive has the most cost-effective option that starts at $49.90 per user monthly. You can also elect to integrate with a third-party e-signature tool. monday.com Sales CRM allows integrations with PandaDoc and DocuSign for $14 per user monthly.
HubSpot CRM Pricing Plan & Overview*
*Pricing is based on annual billing on a per-month breakdown. Monthly billing is available for a higher cost. Each plan offers a 14-day free trial.
**Pricing uses the monthly Sales Hub costs for individuals and small teams. The provider also offers enterprise-level products for large sales teams–and the CRM Suite which includes sales, marketing, customer service, content management system (CMS), and operations software in one product for a higher price.
Our Expert Opinion
HubSpot CRM is the best CRM for accounting firms because of standout product attributes like quote generation, email marketing, and document storage. It has one of the best free-forever plans with a no-cost integration to accounting systems like QuickBooks and Xero, as well as all-in-one free sales, marketing, service, and content management modules. Bookkeepers also love the product’s usability as it’s one of the top picks for the most simple CRM system.
Check out our HubSpot CRM review for the complete evaluation of product features, integrations, and best-for use cases.
Pipedrive: Best CRM for Bookkeepers Who Need Proposal Tools
- No free plan and relatively expensive meeting scheduler tools
- Account and client management tools limited to activity tracking on contact or company records and file attachments
- Lacks built-in project management
- You want to streamline your proposal process: Pipedrive is a sales CRM with solid lead management features. As part of that arsenal, it has excellent proposal tools useful for accountants who send service contracts constantly to new and current clientele. There are tools for auto-creating business proposals, tracking whether they’ve been opened, and obtaining digital signatures―all in the same system.
- You provide multiple account services: Accountants often deliver various solutions, including bookkeeping, personal and business tax preparation, payroll, auditing, and fractional chief financial officer (CFO) services. As each of those will require its own unique sales process, it’s nice to have a CRM like Pipedrive that can customize deal stages and support multiple pipelines, even on the lowest-tiered plan.
- You need a free accounting CRM: Arguably, the biggest downside of Pipedrive is that it lacks a freemium plan which is particularly convenient for startup accountants or teams that want to try the CRM at zero risk before upgrading.
- Alternative: HubSpot CRM is our favorite free product for marketing capabilities, while Freshsales has top-notch sales features like account management modules and a built-in phone for free. Bitrix24 is another good option if you need project management at no cost.
- You want project management tools built into your CRM: Project management tools let bookkeepers, auditors, and tax preparers track progress on client services from the same system they’re storing their account information. Pipedrive, unfortunately, lacks these features.
- Alternative: Insightly and Bitrix24 are the best CRMs for tax preparers and accountants, including built-in project management.
Pipedrive Pricing Plan & Overview*
*Pricing is based on annual billing on a per-user monthly breakdown. Monthly billing is available for a higher cost. Paid plans include a 14-day free trial.
Our Expert Opinion
Pipedrive gives accountants a leg up during the sales process through its deal, lead, and proposal management features. While there isn’t a free plan, the product is relatively cost-friendly for the advanced capabilities you get. These include AI insights, multiple pipelines, and deal-rotting indicators, all on the Essentials plan for $14.90 per user monthly.
Pipedrive is a robust sales management tool with excellent features for tracking deal progress, generating proposals, and monitoring lead activity. Use our Pipedrive review to get complete insights on the CRM to see if it’s right for your team.
Freshsales: Best Free CRM for Bookkeepers
- Multiple sales pipelines require the Pro plan
- Expensive to customize CRM modules to meet unique accounting and bookkeeping needs
- Customer service and advanced marketing tools require native integrations
- You need a solid free CRM for a small accounting firm: Freshsales is our pick for best free CRM for bookkeepers. The Growth plan comes with all the essentials for an accountant, like a built-in phone system, email management from the CRM, and appointment scheduling. There’s also a robust account management module to track client activity and free integrations with Xero and QuickBooks.
- You want to support clients on an omnichannel basis: As accountants are often deeply involved in a business’s day-to-day financial situation, it’s nice to have multiple channels for client support. With Freshsales, accounting firms can engage leads and address client inquiries via telephone, email, text, live chat, and an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot.
- You need built-in ticketing tools: Ticketing tools are useful when clients have issues with a bookkeeping platform administered by the accounting firm to submit receipts, invoices, and other transaction documents. If they have trouble, they can submit an inquiry to the firm, which can be managed as a service ticket. Freshsales, unfortunately, doesn’t have built-in ticketing and requires integration with the native Freshdesk system for an additional subscription cost.
- Alternative: HubSpot CRM and Zoho CRM each have ticket or case management modules in their main platform.
- You want an affordable way to manage multiple sales processes: Freshsales isn’t ideal for multiservice accounting firms on a tight budget that offer bookkeeping, tax preparation, audit, payroll, and fractional CFO services. The multi-pipeline option isn’t available until the Pro plan for $39 per user monthly.
- Alternative: Pipedrive is a great alternative for managing deals and leads—allowing multiple pipelines for $14.90 per user, per month.
Freshsales Pricing Plan & Overview*
*Pricing is based on annual billing on a per-user monthly breakdown. Monthly billing is available for a higher cost. Freshsales offers a 21-day free trial and optional paid add-ons for additional workflow automations and phone credits starting at $5.
Our Expert Opinion
Freshsales is the perfect small accounting firm CRM for those on a tight budget. Its free and low-tiered options includes all of the essentials an accountant needs to organize contact data, track client activity, store documents, and communicate with clients. The system is intuitive to operate and sets itself apart with a wide range of communication options through phone, text, email, live chat, chatbot, and third-party messaging tools.
Don’t forget to read our in-depth Freshsales review to learn about everything it has to offer a small business accounting team.
Bitrix24: Best for Overseeing Client Services
- All-around poor product usability ratings
- Multiple sales pipelines require the Basic plan
- Document storage in CRM records not available for free
- You want to manage clients and deliverables: Bitrix24 has built-in project management for users to oversee deliverables and long-term service projects, which is great for tracking progress on tax filings and audits for each client. Teams can also store client profiles to track activity and keep all relevant records in one place, as well as plan activities, participate in and manage tasks, and schedule Zoom calls with clients.
- You need free accounting firm CRM software: Bitrix24 is one of the better free CRM systems on this list that allows unlimited user access. On the free plan are notable capabilities like video conferencing, unlimited contacts and deals, project management, and a products or service catalog. Teams can also message clients through Facebook, store client profiles, plan activities, and collaborate with clients from the system.
- You need a simpler accounting CRM: Bitrix24 has many capabilities which make the interface tough to set up and navigate. The tools are also relatively difficult to operate, especially if you’re a bookkeeper new to the CRM world.
- Alternative: HubSpot CRM and monday.com Sales CRM are known for their product usability and are top picks for best simple CRM systems.
- You want a free solution to store client documents: One key issue for Bitrix24, particularly for accountants who need to organize files for a paper trail, is that the Free plan does not let you store client documents within contact records. This feature requires the Basic plan and above.
- Alternative: Freshsales is a comparable option that comes with document storage and file attachment capabilities on its free-forever plan.
Bitrix24 Pricing Plan & Overview*
*Pricing is based on annual billing on a per-month breakdown. Monthly billing is available for a higher cost. Bitrix24 offers a 30-day free trial on paid plans.
Our Expert Opinion
Bitrix24 is one of the closest products you’ll find to an industry-specific CRM for accountants. This is primarily due to its robust client management system where you can store contact data and documents, plan activities and calls with clients, and manage client tasks from the record. Bitrix24’s project management module is also great for tracking progress on various accounting service deliverables like tax filings, financial audits, and periodic financial statement generation.
Use our in-depth Bitrix24 review for comprehensive pricing and feature insights for this robust CRM platform.
Zoho CRM: Best Customizable CRM for Accounting Firms
- Poor experience and usability ratings for operating some of the tools
- Inventory management for sending quotes and invoices requires the Professional plan
- Third-party integrations not included for free
- You want a highly customizable CRM and accounting system: Zoho stands out for its CRM customization. Accounting teams can alter their data fields, navigation tabs, layouts, workflow automations, and entire modules to support their unique operation. Additionally, Zoho offers thousands of relevant third-party integrations, including Quickbooks and Xero, as well as native options like the Zoho Finance Suite.
- You need a scalable CRM solution: Another great attribute of Zoho is its affordability. There is a free plan available for three users and each of the paid plans is cost-friendly. The highest tier, for instance, costs $52 per user monthly, which is relatively inexpensive compared to other products on this list.
- You need free accounting integrations: Zoho has thousands of integration options available. However, the CRM provider does not allow users to begin connecting with third-party tools, such as Quickbooks and Xero, until they purchase a paid plan.
- Alternative: HubSpot CRM allows integrations on its free plan.
- You want a more affordable invoicing solution: As bookkeepers and tax preparers frequently work with account-based clients, they need a solution to send invoices periodically or after services are rendered. While Zoho includes quoting and invoicing in its inventory management module, these features are unavailable until the Professional plan for $23 per user monthly.
- Alternative: Freshsales includes its invoice generation on its free-forever plan.
Zoho CRM Pricing Plan & Overview*
*Pricing is based on annual billing on a per-user monthly breakdown. Monthly billing is available for a higher cost. Zoho CRM comes with a 15-day free trial for the paid plans.
Our Expert Opinion
Zoho CRM sets itself apart with its all-around affordability. We also like the customization options of the platform—something essential when tailoring a CRM to meet industry-specific needs like accounting services. Teams can ensure their modules meet their information and process requirements. There are also integrations with systems like Quickbooks, Xero, and Zoho Finance Suite to manage sales and clients as well as accounting operations in one interface.
Read our Zoho CRM review for details on the features, pricing, and use cases to see if it’s right for your needs.
Insightly: Best for Handling Accounting Projects
- Marketing and customer service tools require separate native software for an additional cost
- No longer offers a free-forever option; relatively expensive
- Quotes and price books tools require the Enterprise plan
- You need project management features: Insightly is an excellent CRM option if your accounting firm needs to oversee longer-term projects—something common for audits, or complex tax filings. With the built-in project management tools, teams can monitor progress and manage tasks for these initiatives in the same system as their other CRM features like lead and deal management.
- You want to track entity relationships: A useful feature for accountants is the ability to monitor entity relationships. These include parent-child organizations, hierarchy structures, or connections a contact has to an organization through owning a business or working for one. This is a unique capability offered by Insightly through its relationship linking tools where CRM records can have links between other records indicating a connection.
- You need a more affordable CRM option: Insightly no longer offers a free-forever plan and its first-tier subscription starts at a whopping $29 per user, per month—relatively expensive compared to other CRM accounting software on this list.
- Alternative: Zoho CRM and Freshsales are the two most affordable CRMs with free options and paid plans starting at $14 and $15 per user monthly, respectively.
- You want marketing and customer service features built-in: Insightly does not have any sort of built-in customer service tools and the marketing capabilities are limited to mass email.
- Alternative: HubSpot CRM is the best all-in-one option for handling sales, marketing, and service in one system.
Insightly Pricing Plan & Overview*
*Pricing is based on annual billing on a per-user monthly breakdown. Monthly billing is available for a higher cost. Insightly offers a 14-day free trial on paid plans.
Our Expert Opinion
Insightly isn’t necessarily the most affordable or user-friendly CRM for accountants. It does, however, come with unique capabilities that most CRMs don’t offer—ones especially useful to bookkeepers, tax preparers, and audit specialists. The project management module is an excellent solution to overseeing client deliverables while the relationship-linking tools help accountants be better informed on their prospects and clients.
Be sure to check out our Insightly CRM review for a complete evaluation of this CRM system.
monday.com: Best Simple Accounting CRM
- Misleading pricing; paid plans require a minimum number of three users
- No longer offers a free option
- Does not have direct integration to Xero or Quickbooks; requires third-party connector tool
- You need a highly intuitive CRM system: monday.com is known for its product simplicity. Creating boards is simple and the CRM data entry process uses a spreadsheet format where users can edit records, then view their data on various board views. Additionally, setting up workflow automatons is done through no-code functionality on premade processes where you simply select items, triggers, and actions to include.
- You want built-in account and client management tools: While it does require the Enterprise plan, monday.com Sales CRM is equipped with post-sales management tools to assist clients after the deal is closed. It includes an account management module for tracking client activity, supporting onboarding tasks, and managing renewals and client project management to oversee and collaborate on service deliverables.
- You need a free accounting CRM: Unfortunately, monday.com Sales CRM no longer offers a free-forever plan.
- Alternative: Freshsales is our favorite CRM for accounting firms that offers a free-forever option and includes a phone system, account management, invoice generation, and deal tracking tools.
- You need a more seamless integration process for accounting tools: Accountants would be pleased to hear that monday.com does integrate with Quickbooks and Xero, which allows them to track client transactions and balances from the CRM. However, these connections are not direct and must be made through a third-party integrator.
- Alternative: We recommend HubSpot as the CRM that offers the best integrations with accounting tools. Not only can it make the connections and data sync directly, but users are allowed to integrate with third-party tools for free.
monday.com Sales CRM Pricing Plan & Overview*
*Pricing is based on annual billing on a monthly per-user breakdown. Monthly billing is available for a higher cost. There is a 14-day free trial for the paid plans.
Our Expert Opinion
monday.com is a great option for accountants new to the CRM world. The entire platform is built around product simplicity and providing the user with a great experience. Between creating the CRM boards, adding and editing records, and developing workflow automations, monday.com Sales CRM is the best simple solution. It also has great features relevant to accountants like client project management, onboarding task tracking, and renewal management.
Use our expert monday.com review for details on everything you need to know about the product features, integrations, and use cases.
How We Evaluated the Best CRM and Accounting Software
To determine the best CRM and accounting software, we evaluated the features relevant to an accountant for managing sales and clients. For instance, document storage, appointment scheduling, and project management are all useful for providing solid professional services. We also looked at other product attributes, including affordability, customer support availability, and integration options with accounting systems such as Xero and Quickbooks.
The tabs below offer insight into our evaluation process of the best CRM for accountants:
35% of Overall Score
Niche and advanced features were the most heavily weighted criteria. These took into account expanded capabilities that set accounting CRMs apart such as integration with Xero and Quickbooks systems and internal chat tools to collaborate with team members. Additionally, features like appointment scheduling, project management, a built-in phone system, and invoicing are also useful features for accounting businesses.
20% of Overall Score
Pricing considered free-forever plan availability and affordable scalable options businesses available for purchase. We also looked at billing flexibility for a subscriber to either pay monthly or save by paying annually. Finally, we looked at the costs specifically for the features applicable to accountants, like access to integrations, invoice generation, and proposal management.
20% of Overall Score
We looked at general features we feel are crucial to any CRM system, regardless of its primary industry or use case. For instance, a mobile app would let bookkeepers manage their sales and clients while on the go. We also wanted to see the product offer reporting and analytics tools and a high degree of system customization to tailor for accounting operations.
15% of Overall Score
In addition to our first-hand experience with these CRM systems, we assessed what actual users say about each product according to online reviews. These help us better understand the product’s ease of use and how users feel about the CRM features. It also allows us to evaluate the perceived value subscribers obtain in terms of product return on investment (ROI).
10% of Overall Score
Extensive support helps prevent poor user experiences while investing and adopting any of these accounting CRM systems. This was evaluated in terms of service hour availability and the support channel options via phone, live chat, and email. We also wanted each provider to offer a knowledge base or community forum for self-service options.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A CRM for accounting refers to software that lets bookkeepers, tax preparers, and auditors oversee their sales and client management operations. It will contain useful modules, such as lead, account, and project management, as well as tools particularly valuable to accountants like meeting scheduling, invoice generation, document storage, and a built-in phone to engage clients. It will also integrate with popular accounting systems such as Quickbooks and Xero.
The short answer is no. Quickbooks is a financial management platform that lets businesses send invoices, collect payments, pay expenses, track account balances, and generate financial statements. That said, due to its invoicing capabilities, businesses could use it to store contact data which is a key CRM feature. Nevertheless, most CRMs integrate with Quickbooks to send invoices and sync data between the CRM and accounting system.
CRMs for accountants are equipped with lead management features as well as tools useful to bookkeeping and tax preparation businesses such as document storage and appointment scheduling. They’ll also integrate with popular accounting systems like Xero and Quickbooks to synchronize data and manage invoices from both systems. While HubSpot is our pick for the best overall CRM for accountants, other platforms could be a better fit depending on feature needs.