Customer relationship management (CRM) software for accounting professionals is designed to help accountants, certified public accountants, and bookkeepers manage work tasks like invoicing and billing. Using a CRM to manage both clients and their billing needs in a single platform that’s accessible to sales and marketing teams as well as the accounting department offers increased efficiency and overall cost savings.
(Best Overall) Accountants needing a comprehensive CRM with built-in accounting tools, including invoicing and time tracking
Businesses wanting a free CRM with accounting app integration
Accountants wanting a visual representation of accounts and deal stages
Bookkeepers who want a CRM with a built-in phone system
Teams needing an easy-to-use CRM with a simple interface
Accounting professionals wanting a CRM that unifies sales, marketing, and service teams
Evaluating the Best CRM for Accountants & Bookkeepers
The best CRM software for accounting professionals combines the best features of a customer relationship management platform with quote tools, invoicing options, and other capabilities accountants need to manage their activities.
There are two main types of CRMs on the market today: self-hosted on local servers and cloud-based. The former typically requires advanced technical skills to set up and maintain, while the latter is managed by the CRM software provider. However, a recent survey by the CPA Firm Management Association revealed 69% of respondents believe “the majority of CPA firms will run entirely in the cloud with no local servers” in 10 years or less.
Therefore, we evaluated general use and industry-specific CRM systems for bookkeepers, accountants, and certified public accountants (CPAs) based on criteria that includes:
- Cloud-based hosting
- Customer payment management
- Product catalogs
- Price books
- Sales quotes
- Bulk email management
- Integration with popular accounting systems
Bitrix24: Best Overall CRM for Accountants
What it is: Bitrix24 is a comprehensive CRM solution with a free plan for unlimited users and paid service plans from $15.36 per month. It includes collaboration, project management, and reporting tools, and can be hosted on-premise or in the cloud.
Why it’s great for accountants and bookkeepers: Bitrix24 offers a wealth of free tools for CPAs, accountants, and bookkeeping professionals, including invoicing, quotes, and time tracking. The free and basic service plans support only one and two sales pipelines, respectively, making this solution a good choice for freelancers, consultants, and solo business owners needing a free CRM with built-in bookkeeping features.
Variety of plan choices to suit most business needs
Unlimited user plan is more expensive than comparable CRM solutions
Schedule appointments directly inside the CRM
Most paid plans have user limits
Create invoices from quotes in one click
Limited online storage
- Free: Supports unlimited users
- Start+: Supports two users for $15.36 per month*
- CRM+: Supports six users for $44.16 per month*
- Project+: Supports 24 users for $44.16 per month*
- Standard: Supports 50 users for $63.36 per month
- Professional: Supports unlimited users for $127.36 per month
- Free trial of paid plans: 30 days
* Limited-time pricing
- Scheduling and reminders: Sync Bitrix24 calendars with Outlook or Google calendars to remind you of important billing dates and to schedule recurring tasks.
- Robust contact information management: Store payment details like bank accounts, routing numbers, and tax IDs with each contact for easier billing and payment transactions.
- Client portals: Allow customers and clients limited access to view or download documents like contracts and invoices stored within your Bitrix24 software.
- Free Xero integration: Create invoice in Xero without leaving the Bitrix24 environment.
- Automated workflows: Bitrix24 comes pre-populated with five business processes, including expense reports and purchase requests. Users can also create custom workflows to support specific accounting needs.
Where to learn more: 2020 Bitrix24 Review
HubSpot CRM: Best Free CRM for Accountants
What it is: HubSpot CRM is a forever-free customer relationship management solution for unlimited users, with support for 1 million contacts. It includes tools for sales, marketing, and service teams, which offers managers and business owners greater interdepartmental insight and oversight of customer touchpoints.
Why it’s great for accountants and bookkeepers: HubSpot CRM offers a wide range of integrations for popular accounting and bookkeeping applications like Xero, QuickBooks Online, and Sage Accounting. HubSpot is best suited for teams and solo entrepreneurs needing a CRM that seamlessly integrates with existing bookkeeping software.
Free email integration with Gmail, G Suite, and Outlook
Some integrations require an additional monthly fee
Plan upgrade fees only apply to users needing access to paid features
Software support limited to HubSpot Community message board
Includes free invoice template generator
Service plan upgrades can be expensive
- Free: Supports unlimited users
- Sales Hub and Marketing Hub add-ons: $50 per month to $800 per month depending on the features selected
- Custom form fields: Gather the exact billing information you need.
- Personalized mass email: Send invoices or payment reminders in bulk.
- Document library: Store contracts and account statements online.
- Universal inbox: Collect and manage customer interactions via email and live chat in a single shared inbox.
- Canned snippets: Create a database of answers to frequently asked questions for quick email and chat responses.
Where to learn more: 2020 HubSpot CRM Review
Pipedrive: CRM With the Best Prioritization Tools
What it is: Pipedrive is a CRM that features a detailed visual pipeline that clearly indicates which stage each deal is in at the moment. Teams can tell at a glance which accounts to prioritize while simultaneously making sure no leads or prospects slip through the cracks.
Why it’s great for accountants and bookkeepers: Pipedrive integrates with several popular finance management tools, including QuickBooks and Xero. It also features a tool that allows users to create and send invoices directly to both invoicing apps without leaving the Pipedrive platform. Upper-level service plans also include a recurring revenue feature to manage billing plans and payment schedules.
24/7 customer support via live chat
Limited phone support
Basic service plan is affordably priced
Lacks free plan
Built-in customer invoicing tool
Invoicing integration limited to Xero and QuickBooks
- Essential: $12.50 per user, per month
- Advanced: $24.90 per user, per month
- Professional: $49.90 per user, per month
- Free trial: 14 days
- Customizable reports: Create custom fields and filters for detailed reports on revenue, deals, activities, and leads.
- Product catalogs: Design custom catalogs to house pricing information, product duration, and notes.
- Automated workflows: Use the workflow automation tool to send Slack notifications, trigger emails, and create templated workflows for reuse.
- Email tracking: Learn when an email has been received, opened, and read.
Where to learn more: 2020 Pipedrive Review
Freshsales: Best CRM With In-app Calling
What it is: Freshsales is a powerful CRM with a built-in phone system on paid plans that includes call logs, call metrics, and call recording.
Why it’s great for accountants and bookkeepers: The combination of Freshsales’ integrated phone and accounting apps paired with a comprehensive CRM gives users the ability to track and document all client communications, including emails, in-person meetings, and phone calls in a single location.
Feature-rich, built-in phone
Calling features not available with Free plan
Per-user limit on file storage
Role-based access available on all plans
Trusted-IP whitelisting only available in Forest plan
- Free: Supports unlimited users
- Blossom: $12 per user, per month
- Garden: $25 per user, per month
- Estate: $49 per user, per month
- Forest: $79 per user, per month
- Free trial of paid plans: 21 days
- Multicurrency support: Freshsales auto-converts the exchange rates for over 150 currencies so bookkeepers and accountants don’t need to do it manually.
- Intelligent workflows: Automate complex business processes, including email triggers, instant notifications, and user behavior tracking.
- Advanced reporting: Build and share reports on every aspect of your business, including sales metrics, territory reports, and pipeline progress. Users can even preview reports before they’re run to see how the data is represented.
- Web forms: Offer a variety of forms on your website so visitors can let you know exactly what they need. Options include quote and consultation requests, contact, and subscription forms.
- Collaboration tools: Make sure your entire team is in the loop with collaboration features like document sharing, team inbox, and instant messaging.
Where to learn more: 2020 Freshsales CRM Review
Capsule: Best No-frills CRM for Accountants
What it is: Capsule is a no-frills CRM with accounting app integrations and a free plan that supports up to two users.
Why it’s great for accountants and bookkeepers: Capsule’s sales pipeline plus integration with accounting apps and several popular email clients give you a 360-degree look at your customer interactions. It’s easy to set up and has a simple interface, making it a good choice for teams that are new to using a CRM.
Basic paid service plan includes premium accounting integrations
Limited service plans available
Strict user permissions protect accounts
User restrictions not available with basic paid plan
Limited product support
- Free: Supports two users
- Professional: $18 per user, per month
- Teams: $36 per user, per month
- Free trial of paid plans: 30 days
- Contact enrichment: Invoice and payment history data is available right in the contact card when Capsule is integrated with your accounting app.
- Good entry-level CRM: This solution is easy to use regardless of technical abilities.
- Strong records protection: Private records are only accessible to certain users or teams, and security tools allow admins to restore records that are accidentally deleted.
- Scalable: Although the Free plan only supports two users, Capsule is designed to grow with your business by offering affordable paid service plans.
- Task management tools: Get reminded of upcoming tasks via email so you never miss a deadline.
Where to learn more: 2020 Capsule CRM Review
Really Simple Systems: Best CRM for Cross-team Collaboration
What it is: Really Simple Systems is a robust CRM with tools for sales, marketing, and service teams.
Why it’s great for accountants and bookkeepers: Really Simple Systems’ integration with several popular business applications makes it easy for accounting teams to manage tasks and activities across multiple teams without leaving the platform.
Really Simple Systems Pros
Really Simple Systems Cons
Includes accounting software integration
Sage Accounting and KashFlow integration only available in the U.K.
Designed to unify cross-team communication
Lacks a mobile app
Free product support with all plans
Self-service hub documentation is limited
Really Simple Systems Pricing
- Free: Supports up to two users
- Starter: $14 per user, per month
- Professional: $30 per user, per month
- Free trial of paid plans: 14 days
Really Simple Systems Features
- Sales quotation tools: Generate quotes from inside the sales pipeline, send it to a client, download it to your file storage, and save it to the client’s account so it’s visible to all teams for reference.
- Marketing campaign integration: Sales activity and customer communication is available across teams, making it easier for marketers to set up campaigns and track return on investment (ROI) to optimize spend.
- Integrated service department software: Access service level agreements and case records, and connect accounting software including Xero and QuickBooks for improved customer service at every level.
- HIPAA-compliant: Really Simple Systems is built to be compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that secures medical patient information, which includes medical billing.
- Native mass email functionality: Bulk send emails, invoices, and payment reminders without requiring a third-party email client.
Where to learn more: 2020 Really Simple Systems Review