Best Free Accounting Software: 2021 Reviews & Ratings

Having the right business accounting software is very important for automating and optimizing your financial processes. With so many business accounting software being established, there has been increased competition in the cost for the value offered by various services. Even better, some business accounting software is now offering free services!

These types of accounting software are crafted with an aim of covering business owners who are tight on budget. For that reason, they are great deals for someone who is just starting a business, small business owners, or entrepreneurs who are tight on budget. That said, if you are exploring providers that offer the best free accounting software, we are here for you.

best options Accounting Software in 2021

  • Wave – Editor’s Choice
  • ZipBooks – Best for invoicing
  • Odoo – Best customized
  • AND CO – Best for the freelancer
  • NCH Software – Best scalable
  • GnuCash – Best community support
  • SlickPie – Best for multiple businesses
  • Akaunting – Best multi-language

Benefits of Accounting Software

  • Reduced manual error due to automation of the process
  • Save time & cost of manual accounting
  • Secure storage of your business data 
  • Allows scalability as your organization grows
  • Guarantee simple and data entry process
  • Enables you to create an in-depth financial report for better decision making

In A Hurry? Here’s The Winner

Editor’s Choice

Wave

Wave

Why is it better?

  • It is free
  • User-friendly interface
  • Invoicing template

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The Lineup At A Glance

Best for invoicing

  • Customers service
  • Straightforward interface
  • Unlimited invoicing

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Best customized

  • Scalability
  • Shipping integration
  • Customization

Best for freelancer

  • Straight interface
  • Strong mobile app
  • Customer service

Best scalable

  • Multiple users
  • Straightforward interface
  • Multiple businesses

Best community support

  • Business and personal finance tracking
  • Reporting capability
  • Ease of set up

Best for multiple businesses

  • Multiple accounts integration
  • No learning curve
  • Straightforward interface

Best multi-language

  • Easy to use interface
  • Multilingual
  • Customer service

Best Free Accounting Software for 2021

Wave

Wave

If you are looking for the best functionality out of a free software platform, look no further than Wave software.

  • It is free forever. 
  • This provider is simple and easy to use. 
  • No limitation on features
  • Limited integration
  • Doesn’t support multiple users

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Wave is a top small business accounting software free of charge[1]; no setup fee, no monthly charges, no hidden fee. Surprisingly, the free plan includes banking, sales, purchasing, and incoming and outgoing cash flow reports. 

Another big win for this service is the customer service and easy-to-use interface. The company includes email support in its free plan as opposed to most of its free competitors where you will have to purchase a paid plan to access email support. 

However, wave charges a fee for accepting debit and credit card payment for online invoicing, professional bookkeeping & adding payroll. Even more, it doesn’t allow you to track accounts payable.

ZipBook

ZipBooks

For beginners looking for free accounting software with great customer support, ZipBook is a great deal.

  • ZipBooks has custom invoicing capability
  • The time tracker integrates well with the invoicing 
  • ZipBooks has a great customer service
  • Limited integration
  • No Android app available

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ZipBooks free plan[2] is a single user and includes the following services:

  • Basic report
  • Unlimited invoicing
  • Unlimited vendor and customer management
  • Bank connectivity – only one account.

To access more advanced features such as recurring invoices, the ability to connect an unlimited number of bank accounts, automatic payment reminders, and expense tracking features, you will have to upgrade to their paid plan. 

ZipBooks also offers you an option to add a business logo and accent colors to create professional invoices and make a template for an invoice you created that you can use to create future invoices. Even more, it offers users an easy way to pay online using a credit card or PayPal. 

 Odoo

Odoo

For a small business looking for free software that enables business growth, Odoo is a great deal.

  • Odoo is highly customizable
  • It is scalable
  • Shipping integration available
  • Has limited invoicing features
  • Overcomplicated pricing plan

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Odoo is a cloud-based platform that offers over 40 business applications, among them is the Odoo accounting system. For the purpose of this article, we will stick to that, and be more specific, their free version that offers accounting features. 

The free plan comes with features you would expect from accounting software such as accounts payable, and basic management inventory. However, to access more advanced features such as product management and expense tracking, you will have to buy an additional Odoo app. 

Besides, there is no customer support available with the free plan. With that said, a free version is a good option for users who want just accounting. So far, over 5 million [3] people have used their service. 

AND CO

AND CO

An independent contractor or a freelancer looking for a service with great invoicing and expense tracking services looks no further than this.

  • Easy to use
  • Strong mobile apps
  • Great customer `service
  • Limited integration
  • The free plan is limited to one client

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AND CO can be a great alternative to Wave for someone looking for small business accounting software with great functionality. They offer invoicing and integration features. It also boasts an easy to use interface that can simplify accounting and bookkeeping work for freelancers. 

However, the free plan allows you to bill only a single client. You will have to upgrade to a paid version if you want to invoice more users. AND CO free plan offers only a handful of integration and lacks transparency surrounding the security. 

NCH Software

nch software

If you are looking for an easy-to-use free accounting desktop that will enable you to add more than a user with their free plan, NCH is a great deal.

  • NCH is free for companies with fewer than 5 employees.
  • NCH is an easy to use accounting software
  • Can run multiple businesses with a single installation

  • No mobile app
  • No time tracking or payroll.

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NCH’s free version is offered to small businesses with fewer than five employees. While this sounds too limiting, it is much better than single-user services. If you will be sending more than five invoices to users, however, you may consider other free bookkeeping programs. 

The key features offered by this provider are accounts payable, accounts receivable, financial analysis, sales, and reports. Their biggest win out of the free accounting software we reviewed is the bank reconciliation feature. You can reconcile your transaction by uploading comma-separated values (CSV) or do it manually. 

GnuCash

Looking for a service that offers the ability to track personal and business finances for free doesn’t look further than GnuCash.

  • Ability to track both personal and business finances
  • Excellent reporting capability
  • Easy to set up

  • The free plan is a single user
  • Only available as an app from the GnuCash website

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GnuCash is an open-source desktop software that offers free basic accounting services, making it an excellent small business accounting option. With their free plan, you can track expenses, income, and stock. 

However, their free plan is a single user, so you will not be able to add additional users. For that reason, it would not be a good fit for businesses expecting to grow. To use this free software, you will have to download the app from their website. 

 SlickPie

SlickPie

Looking for free software for a small business with no learning curve, you may give SlickPie a try.

  • Its learning curve is null
  • Offers recurring invoices
  • Easy to use interface

  • No inbuilt reporting capability
  • Limited invoice template

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SlickPie is among the top free accounting software options a small business owner may consider. Their free accounting version will allow you to create quotes that can become professional invoices. It also allows 10 different companies in one account, unlimited automated receipt entries, and connection to your Stripe or PayPal account for free. That means you will be able to fulfill your invoice with credit card or PayPal payment with only PayPal or Stripe standard charges to be paid. 

In short, SlickPie is one of the easiest to use free accounting software options you will come across in the market. It features some automation such as recurring invoices and payment reminders that play a lot of roles in its convenient use. 

On the downside, we realized that SlickPie’s website doesn’t highlight any inbuilt reporting capability. 

Akaunting

akaunting-software

Looking for a multilingual service, Akaunting offers several languages to choose from.

  • Straightforward interface
  • Multilingual admin & clients panel
  • Easy to use interface

  • Lack enough online reviews
  • Most of the vital features are included in the third party app

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This is an upcoming accounting software option for small businesses. The service is promising with a better and easy-to-use interface than GnuCash despite being fairly small.

Their free plan allows for invoicing, expense tracking, sync account, setting up a recurring bill, managing customers and vendors. 

However, to navigate more features such as online invoicing, you will have to purchase their third-party app. The third-party app account will cost you some fee, including downloading fees but carry most of the vital features.

However, Akaunting is a growing service with very few reviews online among users. But if they maintain their development pace, it is going to be a great contender soon. 

Tips to Choosing the Best Accounting Software for Your Small Business

Here are the characteristics of accounting software that you should consider:

User-friendly software: The ease of use is an important factor to consider for a small business owner. The software should simplify your bookkeeping and accounting. 

 Web-based application: Every business owner now prefers using online business accounting. Web-based accounting enables you to get in touch with your financial data on the go or email invoices to the customer from wherever you are.

Multi-currency transaction: Today, even small businesses serve overseas clients thanks to online accounting. If you have overseas clients, make sure that the accounting software you are planning to use facilitates multi-currency transactions. 

Pricing of accounting software: Price is an important factor to consider. For small business owners who are tight on budget, the free accounting software options are the way to go. But if you want advanced features, you will have to spend. Thankfully, most accounting software services are pocket-book-friendly. 

Customer support: Have it in mind that you and your staff are going to need support from an expert. The level of support is a very important factor to consider and we would recommend services that offer both email and phone support. 

Secure Data: The heyday of desktop-based software is fast fading. Online accounting software data can be saved on the external server. Cloud-based accounting is very secure from physical hazards. 

Integration with other business software: Choose accounting software that will integrate with your suite of other software like bank accounts. Buying software that is flexible and easy to integrate increases the efficiency of your business. 

Conclusion

Now that you have successfully read through our top 8 best free accounting software options, the next step is to try them in case you have decided to stick with free accounting software options. 

The free versions are ideal for small businesses or new business owners who are tight on budget. For more advanced services, you may have to upgrade to paid versions.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Wave Accounting actually free?

Wave free plan is free forever and you can use it as much as you want without paying a cent. The best part, there are no limitations or hidden fees.

What is the best free accounting software?

There are quite a several easy-to-use to cover free accounting software options out there, but the best will depend on your business needs. To help you pick the best, we recommend Wave because it is free yet offers no limitations.

What is the easiest accounting software for small businesses?

Every free accounting software we have reviewed in this article is easy to use. For the best ease of use with great customer service, I would recommend QuickBook.

Does QuickBooks Online have a free version?

QuickBooks Online includes offers such as 30 days free trial and a discounted 3 months of service. With that said, QuickBooks Online may have a cheap starter plan, free trial, but no free package. If you want a free version, there are better QuickBooks Online alternatives.

Which is a better deal: ZipBook or QuickBook Online?

ZipBook has a higher user satisfaction rating than QuickBook. Besides, ZipBook offers a free plan compared to QuickBook free trials and discounted 3 monthly services.

Should I use free accounting software?

If you don’t need a bookkeeper to work with your cloud accounting program, you may try free accounting software. That means you should prepare for more work such as supplying your tax agent with a spreadsheet indicating your expenses and income.

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