Skip to content

Bookkeeping software can save your small business valuable money and time. It can streamline processes and reduce the hours you spend working on receipts, payroll, invoicing and more. The best bookkeeping software lets you set up automated entries, bill payment, financial reports and more. Newer systems also allow you to connect with the cloud and sync with bank accounts and point of sale systems so that almost every financial aspect of the business is automated. All of which leaves you free to get on with your business.

However, as well as offering all the above, bookkeeping software also needs to be easy to use and affordable. You need to be able to get up to speed quickly, train staff to use the system and not break the bank in setting it up. With all this in mind, here are our top picks for the best bookkeeping software for small businesses in 2018.

Intuit Quickbooks

This offers a range of features for small businesses and is also suitable for freelancers, consultants, online shops, service providers and more. Whether you are just setting off on your business journey or already have experience as an established business, Quickbooks is easily scaled to your needs. It is packed with basic and advanced features to meet all your accounting needs.

There are various plans you can sign up for, each with different features and pricing points, so you can choose the package that is most suitable for your needs. The dashboard feels simple and easy to use and the side menu makes it quick to find what you’re looking for. There are plenty of time-saving features such as automation of tasks, built-in reports, electronic invoicing and more. There is also a mobile app that lets you view your business finances on the go.


Xero’s cloud-based accounting software is available for both PC and Mac and never compromises on features. It’s a great time saver, offering automated accounting tasks and integrating with more than 600 apps. There is also 24/7 email and live chat support so if you ever get stuck, help is never far away and is available at no extra cost.

Xero is also very cost-effective and payable on a monthly subscription so there are no lengthy contracts and you can cancel at any time. There are three packages to choose from, starter, standard and premium, and all plans accommodate an unlimited number of users.

Many of Xero’s pages have video guides which help you get started quickly and easily. The dashboard uses a simple drop-down menu navigation system so it’s always easy to find what you are looking for, with ‘at a glance’ options for quick looks at balances and outstanding invoices.

Xero allows you to quickly send electronic invoices and connect to your bank account online. It automatically imports credit card transactions and with the mobile app you can do all the above and more on the go.

Xero also takes the headache out of financial reporting with a comprehensive range of options including a general ledger and balance sheet. You can also customise your reporting to tell you exactly what you want to find out.


If you are a really small business and need a basic accounting system then Zoho might be the best choice for you. It features all the tools that your start up or one man band operation might need, as well as some more advanced features that you can begin to incorporate as you grow. And all this comes at the most competitive price on the market right now.

As with most other bookkeeping software, there are several plans to choose from, including the basic, standard and professional options. Setting up and using an account is very easy and the dashboard is uncluttered and simple. There are quick view options to let you look at the most important information as and when you need it, with widgets for receivables and payables amongst others. You can also set up keyboard shortcuts to help you save even more time.

One of Zoho’s big selling points is its customer service. There is 24 hour live chat and email support five days a week in the UK, and a wealth of customer forums to answer any other questions you may have.


Of all the accounting software with invoicing options, Freshbooks must be the easiest to use. The format is very intuitive and if you don’t see it on the screen, you don’t need to worry about it. With just a few clicks you can add billable time, expenses and more, and it’s easy to set up recurring payments and reminders. It can connect to your bank and tracks your finances in real time so you’re never left in the dark about how things are going.

The Lite Plan is their most basic package and is more than suitable for very small businesses but there are other more substantial plans available too, including the Plus and Premium plans. Each plan lets you bill a certain number of clients each month. You can add further employees to the system at an additional cost but contractors are free. The mobile app comes at no extra cost.

The home screen has a really clean lay out making it easy to use and the top bar outlines your outstanding balance, so you don’t have to go looking for it. The easy to use ‘create new’ button lets you make new invoices and estimates quickly and with minimal fuss.

If you are struggling with your finances or invoicing takes up too much time at the end of every month, then accounting software is exactly what you need to make your business run smoothly. All the above are suitable for small businesses but you might find that one suits your working methods better than the rest. Sign up for a free trial and see how much time you could save.




As the owner and founder of the business, I am responsible for overseeing a range of key activities. These include managing client relationships, spearheading new business development, and crafting the company's development and strategic plans.

Share this


3,710 trees and 11 projects funded

Follow us
Institute Of Financial Accountants
Freeagent Partner
Quickbooks Platinum Pro Advisor