What Is The Best Business Accounting Software ?

March 13th, 2016

QuickBooksJerry in South Carolina asks:

What accounting software are real estate photographers using and why?

Back in 2011 we discussed this subject. The comments on that post indicated what people were using back then but it’s clearly time for an update. As of January of this year here is the results of a study the most popular small business accounting software done by

  1. Best Small Business overall: QuickBooks Online
  2. Best for Mobile Devices: FreshBooks
  3. Best Free Accounting Software: Wave Accounting
  4. Best for Really Small Businesses: Zoho Books

There is also a non-cloud version QuickBooks available. My wife (my accountant) uses the non-cloud version of Quickbooks. She likes it because she’s used it for years, it’s easy, and she’s not comfortable using cloud-based accounting software.

What accounting software are you using these days and why?

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13 Responses to “What Is The Best Business Accounting Software ?”

  • I use AccountEdge (MYOB). I’ve used it for years and it’s feature set is similar to Quickbooks.

    I much prefer a non-cloud/non-online accounting package. I don’t like to be at the mercy of my internet connection, their internet connection and their ability to remain in business. Once somebody else owns my data or the ability to use it, they can raise their prices and I would have no choice but to pay it. With a purchased package, I also have the ability to keep a version on hand along with previous years’ data without having to pay a maintenance fee.

    I’ve looked at less complex accounting packages, but they always seem to lack a feature or two that I use frequently. It’s better to run a more capable accounting program in a “simple” mode, ignoring the more advanced features, but having them there to grow into or for use of an accountant that may need them.

    I do all of my accounting at my office and don’t need (or want) the data online. I send clients a copy of their invoice along with links to their finished photos. I’ve never had anybody want me to produce an invoice at the job site.

  • I use 17hats (photographer specialized) for dealing with my clients/invoicing and Quickbooks dealing with accounting. If anyone would like to try 17hats free here is a link

  • I have been using Freshbooks for about a year and a half. I can attest that their mobile app is awesome, taking pictures of receipts and uploading is super easy and fast and actually makes bookkeeping fun, coming from a creative guy like me really says a lot!

    It has also made me money, for example I have been contacted while traveling to provide an estimate for a job or image license and since I can respond with an estimate that can later be converted into an invoice the client was able to make a quick decisions and make an order or move ahead with a project.

    I am happy to answer any questions those have regarding Freshbooks.



  • Since it first came out many many years ago (not to date myself) we have been using Quickbooks. Just recently, ASMP offered a free subscription for one year to SAGE One (you may know it as Peachtree Accounting also from years ago!). In any case, since we are on a Mac and I’m not in love with the Quickbooks on the cloud or in the box, we decided to try Sage One. So far, so good.
    They have excellent telephone support, which as many of you may know – is my number one criteria for choosing any product!

  • I vote for Quickbooks online. I was a Quickbooks desktop user for about 15 years and it worked very well. I migrated to QB Online a year ago. Overall, I like it lot. There are a couple things I might tweak here and there, but overall it works really well. 50% of it is the fact that it is web based. If your computer or local network goes down, you can access it from any computer that has an internet connection. And while I back up my system on a regular basis, QB backs up their system multiple times a day, probably hourly. And since QB has a large (if not #1) market share, finding someone who is familiar with the program is always easy.

  • I’ve used the non-cloud version QuickBooks for 15+ years now.

  • I use excell, debits on the left, credits on the right, and double entry accounting, pretty simple.

  • If you want simplicity, clarity and a cloud based system I use, and strongly recommend Xero. Check our

  • The fact is that no matter which product you use, if you don’t have it set up right, you are looking at trouble down the line. I would suggest spending a few bucks and have an CPA check how you have them set up and correct any issues before they go on for too long.

    The old saying “Garbage in …. Garbage out” holds a lot of water here

  • Anyone know of a package that would allow me to keep a record of my jobs – my client, their client’s address, value of job to me, + a couple of other entries… then create invoices from this list of jobs? Quickbooks wont, Wave won’t, and I’m not paying $29/month for 17hats!

  • I have been looking myself. I have been using Quicken since it first came out and recently found that they have issued an update to 2007 that will work on Yosemite, at least it does for me. It is simple and easy for an accounting/bookkeeping dunce. Everything I read about Quicken’s actual new versions turns me off so I will be exploring the recommendations on this edition quite assiduously. What I do need is something that can import my Quicken files. With new editions of software only opening more recent files and new OS’s not supporting older software, I need something that will not only be handy in creating invoices and keeping track of a cash based book keeping system but be able to reach back a couple of decades and give access to early files.

    So, I use Quicken 2007+ at the moment but consider it on its last legs.

  • So I was comparing QuickBooks to Xero. Xero apparently is a lot more expensive. You are forced to sign up with the standard package which costs 21 a month. That is the only way you can really send out invoice and bills. The starter only allows 5 times, which isn’t practical. It costs 10 dollars for Quick Books to do all that, so what are the pros and cons of both based on all your experiences? I am very very new to having my own business so I have zero experience with this. Any advice will help. 🙂

  • I have been using SlickPie accounting software. Over time I have used it for more and more businesses. It only takes a couple of minutes to set up a company and send an invoice. The software works fine and it’s pretty simple to use. The document upload feature is really handy.

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