3 popular online accounting software options for your small business

You’ve heard about online accounting software and want to know more about it. Is it right for your small business? What are your options? A recent post provided some advantages to using online accounting software (check it out here ) and below you will find an overview of three online accounting software options. While there are more choices such as Kashoo, Sage and Xero, these represent the software that’s popular with our clients.


The basic software is free and includes invoicing, receipt scanning, accounting and reports. Wave also offers functions such as payroll, enhanced support and credit card payments, but you pay for these.  The software is easy to use and designed for service-based business owners who want to do their own bookkeeping; it’s best for businesses that are just starting out or plan to grow to a maximum of 9 employees.  Wave has a user friendly interface with simple, non-technical jargon and includes the fundamental tasks and reports.  It’s main shortfalls are lack of customization and options.  That said, Wave is planning software enhancements in 2016 so stay tuned to find out what changes they make.


Freshbooks offers four software options with a wide range in price/features. Like Wave, it is easy to use, has an intuitive interface and is geared towards freelancers and small, service-based businesses.  Freshbooks’ main strengths are time tracking and creating invoices.   Invoices can be customized and, if you use the build-in time tracker, all of your time can be exported to an invoice automatically which means it’s quick and easy to send professional looking invoices. You can also tell when your invoices are viewed and if they’ve been paid.

Wave and Freshbooks are not full traditional accounting packages; they are invoicing solutions with basic bookkeeping features.  For example, the expense features are geared towards importing payments you’ve made via bank, PayPal or credit card accounts, so that you can keep track and run reports.  They aren’t really designed to let you enter expenses directly in them, track payables, or record other advanced entries such as prepaids, accruals, depreciation. These are considered single-entry systems, and do not have a traditional general ledger.

QuickBooks Online

Considered to be the #1 accounting software in Canada for small businesses, it offers extensive customization and is scalable with feature-rich versions and add-ons. There are three online versions and although they don’t have all of the options and features of the desktop software, they are easy to use. The interface is simple, information is well-organized, and many of the more complex features are tucked away so you don’t have to worry about them if you don’t want to.

If you’re intrigued and want to check out the software, sign-up for a free trial; you’ll quickly get an idea of the differences. The online options are not as robust as desktop software so, before deciding on one for your small business, make sure it does everything you need now as well as in the foreseeable future.  If you’d like to chat about your needs and help deciding on the right one for you, get in touch.


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