Add Your VPN Review

Disclosure: Privacy Australia is community-supported. We may earn a commission when you buy a VPN through one of our links. Learn more.

11 Best Small Business Accounting Software in Australia

By Will Ellis
Last Updated on April 8, 2024

Accounting software helps businesses control and track financial accounts, keep a close eye on income and expenses, record information for tax purposes and generally oversee anything finance-related within a business.

As a small business owner, you’ll have enough to do with growing your business, attracting clients and taking care of employees; you can lighten the load with accounting software.

In this article, I’ve put together a list of the best small business accounting software and the pros and cons of using it.

Table of Contents:

What Is Online Accounting Software? ➡️

Accounting software keeps your accounting data in one place so you can oversee your online financial accounts. Accounting software performs accounting tasks such as inventory management, invoicing services, managing cash flow, bookkeeping and account management.

The accounting software you use and what features it offers will determine which accounting tasks it will aid you in.

Accounting software digitised the overall accounting process, ensuring a digital record of all your financial accounts and transactions.

Most accounting software is accessible even to those who don’t have a lot of accounting knowledge.

There are different types of accounting software, such as:

  • On-premises accounting software: Software you can install on your business’s servers. On-premises accounting software can be time-consuming to set up, sometimes challenging to maintain, and usually more expensive than other accounting software.
  • Cloud-based accounting software: Software hosted on the provider’s servers, and you can use the Internet. All data is in the cloud and offers access anytime from any compatible device. Cloud-based accounting software is usually more affordable than on-premises accounting software.
  • Small business accounting software: Accounting software designed with simple accounting needs to suit new or small businesses. The software is less expensive than other types of software and has fewer features.
  • Enterprise accounting software: Software designed for larger-sized businesses with complex accounting needs. Enterprise accounting software is usually more expensive than other types of accounting software and has more extensive features and customisation options.
  • ERP accounting software: Software designed for integration with other business tools such as e-commerce platforms and CRM. ERP accounting software can be more expensive than others and has a more complex set-up process.
  • Open-source accounting software: Free accounting software is usually more customisable than others. Open-source accounting software can be challenging to set up.

The type of accounting software you need will depend on your preferences and how you want to oversee your accounting process from now on.

Accounting Software Pros and Cons

If you’re a small business and unsure if accounting software is a necessary purchase or worth your time, you may be on the fence about adding it to your business tools. However, you will find more benefits than drawbacks, which we’ve listed below.

Pros ✅️

  • Simple data entry: When starting any new accounting system, you must enter data. However, this process is usually more straightforward and less time-consuming when using online accounting software.
  • Speedy processing: With most accounting software, many processes become automated, and there are fewer delays between sales and invoicing, and the process is usually quicker.
  • Digital record: Having a digital record of all your finances and financial-related documents will keep them safe should anything happen to your paper documents. Also, storing your records online will make sharing information more efficient when paying taxes or dealing with HR.
  • Integration possibilities: Depending on your accounting software, you can integrate it with your current accounts and systems like your online banking, invoicing and e-filling.
  • Automated tasks: With accounting software, you will no longer have to manually calculate pay, produce payslips, calculate and submit VAT and tax information. Most accounting software comes with payroll software and tax software included. You will save time on expense management and creating financial reports.
  • Easily accessible: Access Accounting software from a desktop, laptop computer or mobile phone so you can check your accounts whenever necessary. Some providers may even offer a smartphone app to check your accounts.

Cons ❌️

  • The price: Although free accounting software options exist, more advanced software can cost you. You will likely benefit from advanced accounting capabilities when you pay for the software. Accounting software is usually an ongoing cost, and the plans become more expensive with more features you need or want.
  • Support upon set-up: When you initially use accounting software, you may need help using the software and getting used to it. However, support teams are usually on hand to help guide you if needed.
  • Training required: If you or your employees haven’t used the new accounting software before, training will be necessary so everyone can learn and use the software. If you’re used to manually dealing with accounting, switching to a new system may be challenging.
  • Internet-dependent: If you have no or poor internet connection and use a cloud-based accounting software, you will struggle to access your records and see live data.

Best Small Business Accounting Software in 2024

We’ve compiled a list of Australia’s best small-business accounting software, which we’ve tried and tested.

1. FreshBooks: Invoicing and Accounting Software for Any Sized Business

  • Starting price: From $12 per month.
  • Free trial: 30 days.
  • Key features: Unlimited invoices and unlimited expense tracking.

FreshBooks has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not feeling the software after a month, you can get your money back. There is also the option to try out a 30-day trial with no payment required. The software offers easy-to-use accounting and bookkeeping features such as invoicing, payments, expenses, reporting, project accounting, and time tracking. You can control your accounting with FreshBooks’ handy mobile app on iOS and Android.

Whether you’re a business with employees or a company with contractors, Freshbooks offers invoicing and accounting tools for any sized Australian business. Freshbooks is one of the most accessible accounting software out there, as it’s designed for small business owners who don’t have much accounting knowledge.

The software allows you to create and send invoices, manage projects and clients, track unlimited expenses and view reports. You can create unlimited estimates, and several automation options are available. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from the small business accounting software. However, the software doesn’t offer document management, training or payroll. As there are client limits, it may not be ideal if you’ve got many clients.

You can choose from three plans: Lite, Plus and Premium. Authentically, you can talk to a specialist about an additional option that offers everything in Premium and more at a custom price.

The three main plans range from $12.00 up to $25.00 per month, with FreshBooks’ New Year savings offer of 50% off for three months. Without the offer, the price range increases to $24.00 up to $50.00. Most of the plans allow you to invite your accountant. You can connect the software with other business apps you’re using, as over 100 app integrations are available.

2. Xero: Extensive Accounting Features With Various Plans to Choose From

  • Starting price: Without an offer from $32 and with the February offer from $4.80 per month.
  • Free trial: 30-day trial available.
  • Key features: Bank reconciliation and creation of quotes and invoices.

Create simple and customisable reports with Xero to help you control invoices and bills to stay on top of your business’s cash flow. With intelligent online invoicing, you can customise them to your company and set automatic reminders so you don’t need to chase payments yourself. Xero’s cloud-based accounting software keeps everything in one place with tidy online bookkeeping records. You can pay bills, claim expenses, create bank connections with bank feeds and automated reconciliation, accept payments using your Xero invoice, track projects and more.

Xero is feature-rich with features like online file storage, finance reporting, inventory management, data capturing, estimation and quotes creation, purchase orders, and analytics, all on an accounting dashboard for you to access.

If you’re a global business, you must apply for the highest-tiered plan to deal in multiple currencies. You can run your small business from the Xero accounting app. The software even has time tracking and rostering, so your employees can time track and see their work schedule and request personal time off.

There are four plans to choose from: Starter, Standard, Premium, and Ultimate. Until the 29th of February, you can take advantage of an 85% off plan offer. With the offer, the plans range from $4.80 up to $17.25 per month. Without the offer, the pricing ranges from $32 up to $115. Xero offers a 30-day trial for new users to see if it works for your business before you commit to a plan.

3. Zoho Books: Free and Paid Plans Available

  • Starting price: Free.
  • Free trial: 14-day free trial.
  • Key features: Extensive report options and invoicing.

If you’re looking for end-to-end accounting, Zoho Books handles accounting tasks. You can focus on other business areas, from deal negotiation to raising sales orders and creating and sending invoices. With accessible collaboration features like role-based access, you can add your employees and accounting to your organisation to log time, manage accounts and view reports. Zoho offers an integrated platform that grows with your business; you can add over 50 Zoho apps to help you manage your business.

Zoho Books offers feature-rich accounting software, taking control of invoicing, quotes, customer portal, expenses, bills, banking, projects, inventory management, sales orders, purchase orders, tax, online payments, creating business reports, automation, documents, and you can empower your vendors to self manage transactions with the vendor portal. You can conduct your accounting duties on the go with the mobile happy for iOS, Android and Windows devices.

Zoho offers a forever free plan that allows you to have one user plus one accountant, manage clients, manage 1,000 invoices a year, and give you access to the customer portal, offline and online payments, and more. Zoho Books is one of the best free accounting software for small businesses.

If you choose one of Zoho Books’ payment plans ranging from $16.50 up to $319 per year, you will gain access to even more features with higher limits on invoicing. Payroll services cost extra on top of payment plans.

4. Intuit QuickBooks Online: Maximise Tax Deductions

  • Starting price: From $6.25 per month.
  • Free trial: 30 days.
  • Key features: Maximise tax deductions and mileage tracking.

When you start a plan with Intuit QuickBooks Online, you receive a free guided set-up and unlimited support, and you can cancel anytime. You can try the software free for 30 days. Intuit QuickBooks is popular amongst freelancers and small businesses with its comprehensive accounting software that helps with filing taxes, tracking sales and sales tax, tracking income and expenses, capturing and organising receipts, tracking miles, managing cash flow, and more.

Intuit QuickBooks’ accounting software offers in-depth contact records and transaction management. The software supports project accounting, payroll and many add-ons, with over 500 app integrations available. All business plans come with a free mobile accounting app, secure cloud storage and data migration from your current accounting software, and you can invite your accountant or bookkeeper to share your books.

Intuit Quickbooks’s small business accounting software protects your data with advanced security safeguards such as encryption technology, firewall-protected servers, password-protected login, and multi-factor authentication. All data is stored securely in the cloud and automatically backed up so you can use it anytime from any device.

Intuit QuickBooks have the offer to save 75% for six months, making pricing plans range from $6.25 up to $77 a month. After six months, the price range changes from $25 to $110. Payroll features cost extra on top of the subscription plans, and the platform lacks e-commerce features. With all plans, you can cancel anytime with no locked-in contract.

5. MYOB Accounting Software: Supports Multiple Currencies

  • Starting price: From $5 per month.
  • Free trial: 30 Days on the Plus, Premier, and Payroll Only plans.
  • Key features: Unlimited invoices and support for multiple currencies.

With MYOB’s accounting software, you can simplify your business sales process from quote to invoice. You can create custom templates and receive online payments with ease.

Track expenses, set reminders, and automate payment notifications to keep your cash flow growing. The software helps manage taxes, pay employees, track performance, manage stock and help your business scale up.

If you’re a business that offers services worldwide, you’ll appreciate how MYOB supports multiple currencies so you can keep all your finances and transactions in one place regardless of where they’re coming from. The software is intuitive, user-friendly and cloud-based, which is excellent for small businesses. MYOB offers expert support seven days a week, and you can cancel anytime.

MYOB offers multiple product tiers: Lite, Pro, Plus, Premier, and Payroll Only. The range of plans allows you to only pay for what you want to use, so if you’re looking for accounting software to handle all your processes or just your payroll, then the option is there.

There is a reduced plan offer for the first six months, so plans range from $5 to $85 per month. After the introductory period ends, the plan prices range from $30 up to $170 per month. The Payroll Only package plan is $10 per month.

6. NetSuite: Various Compliance Features

  • Starting price: Customised prices for your business.
  • Free trial: No free trial available.
  • Key features: Various compliance features.

Transform your general ledger with NetSuite’s Cloud Accounting Software. The software simplifies recording transactions, managing payables and receivables, collecting taxes and closing the books and gives you accurate reporting. Gain greater control of your financial assets with real-time access to financial data.

With NetSuite’s accounting software, you can streamline accounting, inventory, order processing, production, supply chain, and warehouse operations. The software will help you stay compliant with the consistent application of appropriate rules and schedules to revenue recognition, depreciation, prepaid and deferred expenses and other financial obligations.

NetSuite’s software offers intuitive navigation and is easy to use even with its in-depth and complex features. Learning the system is simple; you can quickly learn and use the tools to enhance your business processes. You can manage cash flow, tax, fixed assets, payments and more on a user-friendly interface.

With the software, you can increase your accounting accuracy by eliminating duplicate data entry and inefficient spreadsheets. Long gone will be the days of manual processes; you can simplify and automate manual accounting processing, saving time and resources.

The pricing isn’t transparent, which can be off-putting. However, NetSuite gives each business a customised price that meets their accounting needs. Although there is no free trial, NetSuite offers a free product tour and demo to see the platform and features before signing any contracts.

7. Sage Intacct Business Cloud Accounting: Automatic Bank Reconciliation

  • Starting price: Customised to business.
  • Free trial: 30 days.
  • Key features: Track accounts receivable and automatic bank reconciliation.

If you’re looking for cloud finance software that grows with you, Sage Intacct may be the answer. Sage Intacct offers deep insights into business performance with user-friendly dashboards and reporting with real-time invisibility.

Product capabilities include an intelligent general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable and multi-entity insights.

There is a good variety of available integrations, and the software supports multiple currencies, which is ideal if you’re a company that operates globally or is considering an international expansion. If you’re looking for industry-specific accounting software, Safe Intacct can be a customer of your industry’s specific needs.

For example, you can adapt your dashboard to suit your needs if you work in financial services, healthcare, hospitality, Software-as-Service, professional services, or Not-for-profit. Sage Intacct can be tailored for all industries.

If you already have accounting software but want to switch to Sage Intacct, the provider can help you seamlessly switch. Before you sign up, you can download Sage’s global research report to see how you can use Sage Intacct to help harness the power of financial foresight.

You can also watch the Sage Intacct Coffee Break Demo to see how the platform works and can help increase your finances and team productivity. The pricing isn’t transparent; you must request a callback to determine the cost. Payroll isn’t usually included in prices, so you may have to pay an additional fee to add it to your package.

8. Reckon: Affordable Accounting Software

  • Starting price: From $12 a month.
  • Free trial: 30 days.
  • Key features: Cash flow insights on the essential plan.

Reckon software plans start from $12 monthly if a small business is looking for budget-friendly accounting software. Three plans are available: Accounting Essential, Accounting Plus, and Accounting Premium. The pricing of the plans ranges from $12 up to $35 per month. There is a 50% off for three months with Reckon, so as of now (February 2024), you can get plans starting from $6 up to $17.50 per month.

With Reckon, you can simplify your accounting duties with features such as p

With Reckon, you can simplify your accounting duties with features such as payroll management, creating and sending professional online invoices, and tracking and monitoring your business performance with insights. With the Payroll management feature, you can oversee wages, leave, super pay employees, see timesheets and more. You can manage payroll on the go with the Reckon Payroll App. There is also an app specifically for invoices.

The Accounting Essentials plan is for small businesses managing cash flow; you’ll gain access to features like entering payment and expenses, tracking and reporting GST for BAS, seeing cash flow in real-time, creating budgets, and accessing ports via phone and chat. Most software providers market cash flow insights as an advanced feature, whereas Reckon makes cash flow insights available for the lowest plan, making the feature more accessible for all businesses.

Accounting Plus is suited more for small businesses scaling up with access to all the features of Essential Plus, including creating and sending invoices, access to the invoice companion app, accepting card payments, free data migration and free onboarding sessions.

The Accounting Premium plan is ideal for larger businesses looking for insights; you will get all the features from the other plans, plus unlimited project management, track timesheets, and advanced reporting. All plans allow unlimited users.

9. Saasu: Bank Feeds With All Plans

  • Starting price: From $20 per month.
  • Free trial: 30 Days.
  • Key features: Bank feeds and recurring credit card billing.

Sassu is designed and made in Australia for Aussie small businesses. Sassu offers browser and mobile online accounting for Apple or Android devices. With Saasu, your business can benefit from features like multi-currency, cash flow forecasts and budgets, customer invoice portal, recurring credit card billing, Single Touch Payroll and more, regardless of which plan you pay for.

You can connect your other accounts with integration add-ons such as Shopify, MailChimp, Zapier, eWay, PayPal and more. Customise your Saasu intuitive dashboard to provide you with a summary of your business’s financial status in one go. Intuitive features include sales reports, profit, cash flow, loss summaries, balance sheets and more displayed on dynamic graphs and flowcharts.

Every transaction recorded on the software tax is simultaneously calculated, which you’ll see in a detailed report. With Single Touch Payroll and Business Activity Statements, you’ll have all you need when filing with the Australian Tax Office.

Four plans are available with Saasu: Small, Medium, Large and X-large. The pricing of plans ranges from $20 to $250 per month. With the Small plan, you get three bank fees, 1,000 transactions per year, access for one employee and 2 GB attachments.

These amounts increase the higher the plan you pay for. For example, paying for the Large plan will give you access to 10 bank feeds, 40,000 transactions yearly, 40 employees, and 10 GB attachments.

10. Wave: Manage Cash Flow and Customers on One Dashboard

  • Starting price: Free plan available.
  • Free trial: No, but you can use the free plan.
  • Key features: Manage cash flow and customers on one dashboard.

If you want to cover your basic accounting needs, Wave has a Starter plan that allows you to create unlimited estimates, invoices, bills and bookkeeping records. Wave offers money management tools to help you keep your records right and cash flowing.

The software is user-friendly with cash flow, and customers are on one dashboard, so you don’t have to switch between pages and can look at your necessary data in one place. The dashboard is built for you, not your accountant, meaning that data and information are accessible so you know your business’s health at any time.

Two plans are available with Wave: the Starter Plan, which is free, and the Pro Plan, which is $16 a month. The Starter plan allows you to accept online payments and handle invoices on the go via the Wave app, as well as your usual cash flow and customer management. With the Pro Plan, you get everything from the starter plan plus more.

You’ll gain access to accepting online payments at a discounted rate, auto-import bank transactions, automate late payment reminders, auto-merge, and categorise bank transactions. You have to pay for add-ons like running payroll. You do have the option to hire a bookkeeper through Wave for $149.

If you want to expand your accounting knowledge, Wave has an in-house payroll, bookkeeping, and accounting coach team to help you. If you need advice, you can reach out for support or have 1:1 sessions with advisors.

11. Manager: Free Accounting Software You Can Download

  • Starting price: Free version available.
  • Free trial: Free trial for Cloud Edition.
  • Key features: Free program available as well as paid cloud version.

You can download Manager’s Free Accounting Software to your Windows, Mac or Linux computer. Manager data is cross-compatible across all operating systems, and you can make a backup and restore it on another computer or laptop. When you upgrade the programme to the latest version, your data will be automatically rolled over.

The free software offers full-featured accounting that you’d expect from an accounting package. You can keep the program for as long as you like on as many computers or laptops as you need. You can work offline without worrying about losing access to the program or your data if an internet connection is unavailable.

The manager offers a paid plan as well as a free programme. The Cloud Edition is $95 per month, and you can use it from any device; there is nothing to install as you can gain remote access for you and other users.

The Cloud Edition enables user permissions, automatic backups and automatic updates. Cloud Edition is ideal if you’d prefer to access your accounting data from anywhere instead of just a desktop or laptop, as the free program limits you to.

Manager offers a wealth of knowledge on their website with guides on growing as a business, using their platforms and more. The website can also help connect you with accountants and bookkeepers in your area, which is handy if you don’t have one. You can see information regarding updates to the program on the website, too, with a clear description of changes and improvements.

How to Choose Accounting Software 🔎️

Consider what you need when choosing the best accounting software for your business. You can get software that will manage most of your accounting operations or only some, depending on how hands-on you want to be.

To help you decide on the most suitable accounting software, we’ve compiled a list of factors to consider when looking:

  • Business size: Accounting software for small businesses may look different to software for larger enterprises. Accounting software can make the accounting aspect of owning a business much more streamlined for small businesses, leaving you time to focus on other areas of your business. As your business grows, you will need to consider scalability and if the software will continue to serve you in this growth.
  • Cost: You can get free accounting software. However, as mentioned previously, you may have to pay for more advanced accounting features. Most providers will offer a pricing plan for you to look at beforehand, and you’ll be able to see what the plan includes.
  • Accounting features: Consider the needs of your business; if you’re looking for software to take over invoicing needs, reporting, and other elements, you should consider getting software that covers everything you need.
  • Usability: If you’re not tech-savvy, it will be a wrong decision to use software that is complicated and not accessible. Consider how challenging the platform is for you and your employees should they need it. Complex systems require training and can be difficult to navigate, so you may spend many more hours than essential to learn software. Look for software that is accessible and has an intuitive interface.
  • Security: Security is an essential factor to consider; you will need reliable software that prioritises the security of its users and the data the software holds. Ensure the provider you choose has multiple security measures to protect you, such as regular backups, data encryption and two-factor authentication.
  • Customer Support: You should consider how good the provider’s customer support team is. You want to be able to communicate with them effectively should you need any help at all when using the software. You can read user reviews to see if there is any positive or negative feedback regarding customer support. Consider support hours and how you can contact them, such as by email, telephone or live chat, you can access.

Free Vs. Paid Accounting Software

Free accounting software is great if you’re on a budget and only require basic features and accounting needs. However, as your business scales, it may be limiting. You could have to pay for additional features or change to another accounting software. Whereas, if you start with paid accounting software, you will have access to a wider variety of features, and you should be able to use it as your business grows without having to change or learn a whole new system.

You may need free software; you may find that the features offered are precisely what you’re looking for. As long as the software works the best for your business, that’s all that counts. It could be a trial and error approach; the best way to see if a software is right for you is to see if it meets your needs, read other users’ reviews, and if companies offer a free trial period, you should take advantage of them before committing to a provider.

Leading Accounting Software for Small Businesses: The Verdict 💡️

We can’t tell you which accounting software is best for your business, but with our tried and tested 11 best accounting software for small businesses, you have plenty of options to explore. Remember your business needs and how the software can improve your accounting processes. Accounting software should lighten the load of your accounting needs, not make them heavier.

If you’re still unsure about which accounting software to implement within your business, try contacting your current bookkeeper and accountant if you have one. They have a more suitable recommendation as they should know your business’s health and financial accounts.

Frequently Asked Questions 📢️

What Is the Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses?

The accounting software for small businesses ranked number one on our best list is FreshBooks, as it’s considered one of the most accessible accounting software. FreshBooks is for small business owners who don’t have much accounting knowledge. Plans start from $12 per month, and you can benefit from a 30-day free trial. FreshBooks’ best features are unlimited invoices and unlimited expense tracking.

What Are the Benefits of Using Accounting Software?

There are several benefits of using accounting software, such as the process is usually more straightforward and less time-consuming when doing data entry with online accounting software. With most accounting software, many processes become automated, and there are fewer delays between sales and invoicing, and the process is usually quicker. Storing your records will make sharing information more efficient when paying taxes or dealing with HR.

Depending on your accounting software, you can integrate it with your current accounts and systems like your online banking, invoicing and e-filling. With accounting software, you will no longer have to manually calculate pay, produce payslips, and calculate and submit VAT and tax information.

What Are the Drawbacks of Accounting Software?

There are a few drawbacks to using accounting software. For example, software pricing can be expensive if you’re looking for advanced accounting capabilities. When you initially use accounting software, you may need help using the software and getting used to it.

However, support teams are usually on hand to help guide you if needed. If you or your employees haven’t used the new accounting software before, training will be required so everyone can learn and use the software.

What Should I Look Out for When Choosing Software

Consider what you need when choosing the best accounting software for your business. Consider business size, cost, accounting features, usability, security and customer support. If you’re scaling your business, you need accounting software to work with you. Think of your accounting needs and look for software that covers those needs.

What Is the Simplest Type of Accounting Software?

Small business accounting software that is closed base is the simplest type of accounting software as it’s designed with simple accounting needs to suit new or small businesses. The software is less expensive than other types of software and has fewer features. Cloud-based software stores all data in the cloud and offers access anytime from any compatible device.

What Is Cloud-Based Accounting Software?

Cloud-based accounting software is hosted on the provider’s servers, and you can use the Internet. All data is in the cloud and offers access anytime from any compatible device. Cloud-based accounting software is usually more affordable than on-premises accounting software.

You Might Also Like:

Related posts