Top Accounting Tools for SMEs

Accounting Tools

Small and medium enterprises have a major role in shaping the global economy and creating jobs. For their growth and sustainability, it is essential that their finances are managed well and tracked across the business processes. Accounting is the most basic but critical process for organizations to align well with their finance goals. It makes the organization accountable for every expense it incurs to run the business successfully and identify new business opportunities. Accounting tools make the accounting process transparent, reliable, and accurate.

However, no one size fits all; finding the right accounting tool is the key to streamlining the accounting process for SMEs.

There are tons of accounting tools available in the market, and here is the list of top accounting tools for SMEs.

Some Top Accounting Tools for SMEs

1. Xero

Accounting Software – Do Beautiful Business

Xero is rated as one of the popular accounting tools and helps small businesses with various types of accounting activities. It covers all the features required by SMEs to streamline the accounting process. The software offers a free trial and is easy to set up. The cloud-based accounting software facilitates easy scaling up of the software and can be adjusted as per the business needs. The software also delivers a superior customer experience by constantly updating it with the latest features and providing 24/7 customer support. Many of the top accounting software vendors offer flexible pricing options.

2. Intuit Quickbooks

Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses - QuickBooks
Quickbooks is a holistic accounting tool that simplifies everything from filing taxes to generating financial reports and payroll processing. Whether it is a sole trader, a limited company, a bookkeeper, an accountant or a startup, Quickbooks helps with every aspect of accounting. The prices are pretty nominal and categorized with respect to all business owners. Quickbooks support a wide range of third-party tool integration and are loaded with features. It saves accountants a lot of time by automating various tasks such as importing bank transactions, making payments, generating invoices, tracking employees’ time, and automating the workflow. The tool allows inviting accountants to handle the accounting process through its “self-employed” feature. It means if an organization or individual has hired a third-party accountant, they can give access to the accounting tool to manage their accounts.

3. Freshbooks

Simple Double-Entry Accounting For Your Business - FreshBooks
Freshbooks is another exceptional cloud-based accounting tool that envelops almost all types of companies. The accounting software supports features such as automated payments, real-time reporting, customizable invoices, tracking expenses, etc. The software facilitates smooth cash flow by keeping track of past and current invoices. Unpaid payments can be extracted quickly and the users can even track details such as overdue payments or whether the client has checked the invoice. It enables users to share financial reports with accountants quickly, regardless of their format. The tool’s support for a wide range of third-party apps optimizes its usability. It is budget-friendly software, and users can have the option to choose a software plan from lite to premium based on their requirements. Freshbooks comes with a free trial.

4. Zoho books

Business Accounting System – Zoho Books
Zoho books is an end-to-end cloud-based accounting tool for businesses of all sizes. The tool has covered almost all the core accounting features, and some of its vital areas are excellent customer support, financial reporting, automated invoicing, time tracking, bank reconciliation, and quick online payments. The software offers some out of box features such as setting partial payment against invoice, including multiple expenses into the invoice, invoicing in foreign currency, audit trail, etc. Besides that, Zoho provides complete control over the accounts payable and keeps track of purchase orders, bills, vendor credits, and expenses. The software pricing is relatively reasonable and even offers a free version for small businesses with a single user. It has a flexible cancellation policy, so users can cancel the plan at any time. Money is fully refundable and can be claimed under the company’s policy. The software simplifies the tax-filing process by allowing users to file returns directly from the accounting system. The cloud solution allows accessing data from anywhere, supported by strong security measures like double-factor authentication and data encryption.

5. Sage business cloud accounting

Sage accounting tool is a powerful cloud accounting software for small businesses. The software helps SMEs to save time and costs by automating administrative tasks such as invoicing, payment tracking, and cash flow management. The software offers a free trial and a heavy discount on the paid subscription for the first 6 months. The software setup is simple and can be accessed from anywhere and from any device. The software is wired with the Stripe payment system for quick and trusted payment. The software can be integrated with the bank securely to track expenses automatically. An intuitive dashboard allows users to understand the company’s financial status and manage the cash flow more efficiently. Some notable features driving users towards Sage business cloud accounting are strong customer support, free bank feeds, audit trails, unlimited users, and unlimited transactions.

6. Odoo

Odoo is accounting software that can be deployed on the cloud as well as on-premise. It is designed to help SMEs to manage daily accounting activities with ease and simplicity. The software can be accessed on any device and operating system. It offers a 15-day free trial, and customers can purchase various modules (invoicing, accounting, CRM, etc.) as per their needs. It allows SMEs to stay within budget and only pay for the modules that are essential for the business. Whether it is bank reconciliation, performance reports, or paying multiple invoices, Odoo makes the accounting process seamless and super fast.


NetSuite Cloud Accounting Software
Oracle Netsuite cloud accounting software supports seamless integration with netsuite order management, CRM, e-commerce platform, and inventory management, which matches well with the framework of modern businesses. Real-time metrics and role-based dashboards offer maximum transparency and visibility into the accounting process. Besides that, real-time bank integration, rules-based transaction matching, and auto-posting of journal entries are some exclusive features that make the accounting process effortless. Users can subscribe to Netsuite for an annual license fee, which can vary based on the number of users and the optional modules users choose. To help users with all the technical glitches, the vendors offer 24/7 customer support through phone, e-mail, and chatbot. It is an incredible tool for all businesses, from SMEs to large enterprises.

8. Kashoo

Advanced Accounting - Kashoo
Kashoo is one more cloud-based accounting software that helps SMEs to simplify the bookkeeping process. The software is easy to set up and fully customizable. The software is backed with advanced features such as OCR and receipt matching. It helps to speed up the recording of financial transactions and does not miss capturing the transaction. The software connects with more than 5000+ banks and credit unions. The platform uses machine learning technology to automatically categorize and reconcile expenses for banks. The software is known for its customer service and user-friendly interface. The software offers a basic version for free and a 14-day free trial for advanced features.

How to Choose Accounting Tools for SMEs?

1. Ease of use

Accounting software simplifies the accounting process, but if the software interface is not user-friendly, it will make it more complex. So while selecting accounting software, users should ensure that the software has a user-friendly interface.

2. Features aligned with business needs

Different businesses have different accounting needs. For instance, some businesses need a dedicated sales tax module for filing taxes, while others may not need it. SMEs must find accounting tools that cater business specific needs to derive maximum ROI.

3. Scalable

Scalability is an essential aspect of accounting software. Most SMEs need to expand business operations over the period and expect that accounting tools scale up along with it. It is not wise to switch to new accounting software as the business grows and set up the entire accounting process from scratch.

4. Flexible pricing

Unlike large enterprises, SMEs have different challenges; one of their biggest challenges is budget constraints. Accounting tools that offer flexible pricing or pay-as-you-go pricing models are more likely to get SMEs’ attention than software with rigid pricing plans. It enables organizations to leverage the accounting tool benefits without exceeding their budget. Most cloud-based accounting tools come with a flexible-pricing plan and help users to save money. In addition to that, some software vendors offer a free trial or free version for basic features, which is the best way to check software usability before investing in it.

5. Third-party tool integration

Third-party tools can extend the features of accounting tools and help to make the accounting process more efficient. Some popular third-party integration with accounting tools includes point-of-sale systems, ERP tools, inventory management tools, CRM, payment processing tools, etc.

6. Multiple-user access

Business owners sometimes prefer outsourcing accounting work and need multiple users’ access to accounting data. Some accounting software vendors provide free access to multiple users, while others charge extra to add more users to the system.

7. Robust customer support

Accounting tools often require technical assistance from vendors to resolve technical glitches or issues while performing various activities, such as third-party tool integration, software customization, or updating the software. It is essential that accounting software is backed with robust customer support for its hassle-free usage. Some software vendors may charge for exclusive customer support services, and the business owner must clarify it with vendors while purchasing the software.

8. Strong security measures

Accounting tools handle business owners’ confidential data, and exposing this data to someone with malicious intent can be catastrophic. Before enrolling in any accounting tools, it is a must for business owners to check the security measures that vendors provide for the tools. It should be protected with the latest security features such as double-factor authorization, high level of encryption, user-based access, etc.

Top Features SMEs Should Look for In Accounting Tools

  • Automatic tax calculation
  • Import financial data
  • Data analytics and reporting
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Online payments
  • Track bills and schedule payments
  • Workflow automation
  • Payroll processing
  • Support major payment gateways
  • Robust security
  • Customer support
  • Cloud computing
  • On-demand training
  • Multiple-device access
  • Record and track account receivables/ payables
  • Audit trail tracking

How Effective Are Accounting Tools for SMEs?

For SMEs saving time and resources is a top priority. Manual methods are not helpful, especially while managing the accounting process. It involves many details, and any small error could lead to financial loss. Switching to accounting software is ideal for modern organizations to make the accounting process more accurate and reliable. Accounting software automates the accounting process and minimizes the costs associated with it. It performs multiple accounting activities without human intervention, and business owners can gain centralized control over it. Further, it provides detailed insights into every aspect of accounting and helps business owners make business decisions. Cloud-based accounting further enhances the SME’s capabilities in handling the accounting process. SMEs can access financial information on the go without worrying about managing it since providers manage everything.

But despite all these benefits, many SMEs envision accounting software as additional costs and see the least value in it. One of the reasons for SMEs to become reluctant towards accounting software is the high cost of accounting software; another reason is inability to identify the right accounting software. It is essential to derive maximum advantage from the accounting software business organization and align their needs with the accounting software. Secondly, tons of accounting software solutions with various price plans are available in the market; finding software meeting all business requirements without exceeding the budget is a tricky job. There are various ways business owners can find the best accounting software for their business, such as visiting software review and rating sites, joining community forums, connecting with peers and experts, etc.


As per one of the surveys, the global accounting software valued at $11.9 billion in 2020 is expected to reach $70.2 billion by 2030. Accounting is an integral part of business, and when done correctly, it helps business organizations achieve great results. Business organizations can control operating costs and monitor the cash flow of the organization. Financial transactions, expenses, assets, liabilities, and there are myriads of other things that the accounting process keeps records for the smooth execution of business. However, the accounting practices of large enterprises and SMEs differ as their goals are different.

Investing in the best accounting tool can assist SMEs in maintaining accurate records of financial transactions and fill the gaps of the manual accounting process.

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