Top-Rated Free Accounting Software In 2021

Fact-checked

[Tested & Compared]

We live in an age when there is software for everything, right? Well, accounting is no different. If you are still paying a person for tax assistance and cash flow monitoring, perhaps you should consider the possibilities that accounting software offers.

On this list, you will find dedicated reviews, methodology of evaluation, how to choose the best free accounting software, and its benefits.

Hope you find what you need and enjoy reading.

Show more

1. BookKeeper360

If you are looking for accounting software that keeps up with trends, Bookkeeper360 is the one for you. It equips you with the latest features, which will make your life significantly more manageable (not to mention creative). It offers you the integration with cloud-based technology embedded in Xero Platinum. Full Review

  • Integration with Xero Platinum, Gusto, or Quickbooks
  • Exciting additional tools
  • Available as an app
Visit Website

Show More

If you are looking for accounting software that keeps up with trends, Bookkeeper360 is the one for you. It equips you with the latest features, which will make your life significantly more manageable (not to mention creative). It offers you the integration with cloud-based technology embedded in Xero Platinum. Full Review

Free Features

N/A

Advanced Features

★★★★★ 5/5

Usability

★★★★★ 5/5

Integrations

★★★★☆ 4/5

Customer Support

★★★★☆ 4/5

2. ZipBooks

Here we have one of the excellent free accounting software for freelancers - ZipBooks. It provides unlimited invoicing and increased security while allowing integrations with popular services such as PayPal or Square. If any of this sounds like something you are missing in your accounting software, consider switching to ZipBooks. Full Review

  • Live chat support
  • Unlimited invoicing
  • Great integrations
Visit Website

Show More

Here we have one of the excellent free accounting software for freelancers - ZipBooks. It provides unlimited invoicing and increased security while allowing integrations with popular services such as PayPal or Square. If any of this sounds like something you are missing in your accounting software, consider switching to ZipBooks. Full Review

Free Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Advanced Features

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Usability

★★★★★ 5/5

Integrations

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Customer Support

★★★★☆ 4/5

3. Wave

For all your basic accounting needs, and beyond - here is Wave. Wave is quite honestly the most complete free accounting software app. It offers numerous solutions included in its free versions and the paid options are reasonably priced. Full Review

  • Great customer support options
  • Free iOS and Android apps
  • Reasonable price for paid services
Visit Website

Show More

For all your basic accounting needs, and beyond - here is Wave. Wave is quite honestly the most complete free accounting software app. It offers numerous solutions included in its free versions and the paid options are reasonably priced. Full Review

Free Features

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Advanced Features

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Usability

★★★★★ 5/5

Integrations

★★★★☆ 4/5

Customer Support

★★★★☆ 4/5

4. SlickPie

If you are looking to run accounts on several different companies, but do not want to invest in several different bookkeeping agents or software, then SlickPie is what you’re looking for. Easy to use and with a straightforward interface, SlickPie allows you to connect up to 10 companies with your account for free. Full Review

  • Integrations with PayPal and Stripe
  • Allows up to 10 companies
  • Great for new business owners
Visit Website

Show More

If you are looking to run accounts on several different companies, but do not want to invest in several different bookkeeping agents or software, then SlickPie is what you’re looking for. Easy to use and with a straightforward interface, SlickPie allows you to connect up to 10 companies with your account for free. Full Review

Free Features

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Advanced Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Usability

★★★★☆ 4/5

Integrations

★★★★★ 5/5

Customer Support

★★★★☆ 4/5

5. NCH Express Accounts

Here we have software designed for all the freelancers and small business owners who are looking to simply keep their books in check. With a variety of bookkeeping features and great report generation, Express Accounts by NCH might be just what you need to take your bookkeeping headaches away. Full Review

  • Up to 20 reports available instantly
  • Multiple users
  • Easy to use
Visit Website

Show More

Here we have software designed for all the freelancers and small business owners who are looking to simply keep their books in check. With a variety of bookkeeping features and great report generation, Express Accounts by NCH might be just what you need to take your bookkeeping headaches away. Full Review

Free Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Advanced Features

★★★★★ 5/5

Usability

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Integrations

★★★★☆ 4/5

Customer Support

★★★★★ 5/5

6. Akaunting

Akaunting is another great option in the realm of free accounting software programs. It provides you with an amazing choice of features, a modern and sleek interface, and the ability to track your finances on the go through its app. And all of that absolutely free of charge. If you are looking for a free accounting solution for your business, Akaunting may just be it. Full Review

  • Visual reports (graphs)
  • Modern design
  • Ease of use
Visit Website

Show More

Akaunting is another great option in the realm of free accounting software programs. It provides you with an amazing choice of features, a modern and sleek interface, and the ability to track your finances on the go through its app. And all of that absolutely free of charge. If you are looking for a free accounting solution for your business, Akaunting may just be it. Full Review

Free Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Advanced Features

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Usability

★★★★☆ 4/5

Integrations

★★★★★ 5/5

Customer Support

★★★★☆ 4/5

7. TurboCASH

TurboCASH comes in as a global player in the game of free accounting software. You can now operate from 80 countries thanks to TurboCASH’s international access. Its free version comes packed with all the features you need to get your business started. Full Review

  • Customer care
  • Invoicing
  • Ledger
Visit Website

Show More

TurboCASH comes in as a global player in the game of free accounting software. You can now operate from 80 countries thanks to TurboCASH’s international access. Its free version comes packed with all the features you need to get your business started. Full Review

Free Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Advanced Features

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Usability

★★★★☆ 4/5

Integrations

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Customer Support

★★★★★ 5/5

8. CloudBooks

CloudBooks is the perfect tool for freelance accountants serving a single client. It is quick and easy to master, and its free time tracking feature will make charging for your services easier than ever. Its cloud-based hosting solution gives you additional peace of mind, knowing that you can access your data anywhere at any time. Full Review

  • Free email support
  • PayPal and 2CO integrations
  • Time tracking
Visit Website

Show More

CloudBooks is the perfect tool for freelance accountants serving a single client. It is quick and easy to master, and its free time tracking feature will make charging for your services easier than ever. Its cloud-based hosting solution gives you additional peace of mind, knowing that you can access your data anywhere at any time. Full Review

Free Features

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Advanced Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Usability

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Integrations

★★★★☆ 4/5

Customer Support

★★★★☆ 4/5

9. GnuCash

GnuCash really stands out among the free accounting software for small business in 2020. It offers to do your accounting for you absolutely for free, and not only that, it provides amazing reports and helps you manage customer accounts, again for free. GnuCash is a superhero for all those running on a tight budget. Full Review

  • Customer management
  • Accounts receivable and A/P
  • Budgeting
Visit Website

Show More

GnuCash really stands out among the free accounting software for small business in 2020. It offers to do your accounting for you absolutely for free, and not only that, it provides amazing reports and helps you manage customer accounts, again for free. GnuCash is a superhero for all those running on a tight budget. Full Review

Free Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Advanced Features

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Usability

★★★★☆ 4/5

Integrations

★★★★★ 5/5

Customer Support

★★★★☆ 4/5

10. Zoho Invoice

Are invoices giving you a headache? Well, Zoho Invoice is here to save the day. With an unlimited number of invoices for up to 5 clients, Zoho is the answer to your small business invoicing issues. It doesn't matter where you operate from because Zoho works across many languages and currencies. Full Review

  • Customer Portal for support
  • Multi-currency
  • Available in many languages
Visit Website

Show More

Are invoices giving you a headache? Well, Zoho Invoice is here to save the day. With an unlimited number of invoices for up to 5 clients, Zoho is the answer to your small business invoicing issues. It doesn't matter where you operate from because Zoho works across many languages and currencies. Full Review

Free Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Advanced Features

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Usability

★★★★☆ 4/5

Integrations

★★★★★ 5/5

Customer Support

★★★★☆ 4/5

11. Money Manager EX

If your homestead or small business is in need of some simple financing assistance, look no further than Money Manager EX. This simple offline tool offers a plethora of features helping you keep your finances in check, without a need for an installation or web registration. Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it cannot compete with the best. Full Review

  • Income forecasting
  • Bill and deposit reminders
  • Data visualization
Visit Website

Show More

If your homestead or small business is in need of some simple financing assistance, look no further than Money Manager EX. This simple offline tool offers a plethora of features helping you keep your finances in check, without a need for an installation or web registration. Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it cannot compete with the best. Full Review

Free Features

★★★★☆ 4/5

Advanced Features

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Usability

★★★★★ 5/5

Integrations

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Customer Support

★★★★☆ 4/5

Our Methodology

In this section, we will explain what parameters we used to decide which companies will make the list.

To evaluate the services of each software we observed it across several different criteria, taking our own and existing customer experience into account. Each review contains descriptions divided into categories.

Overview

A general overview of the software. What it provides, what platform it runs on, etc.

Free Features

A quick glimpse into the most interesting free features of the given software.

Ease of Use

How user-friendly and clear-cut the software is. Does it come as an app? What is the interface like? This can turn out to be very important if you are not particularly tech-savvy or familiar with accounting in general.

Integrations

Are there any integrations with outside services and are they included in the free plan? Integrations are important because they can add a lot to your overall user experience.

Paid Plans and Add-ons

What additional features are available if you choose to break the bank a bit?

Customer Support

What kind of support does your accounting software or billing and payroll tool provide? Can you count on them when you get stuck?

Who Is It For?

Generally, this section describes the target audience of each software, making it easier for you to place yourself on the scale.

Individual Reviews

BookKeeper360
BookKeeper360
BookKeeper360

Innovative Approach to Managing Business Accounting

Visit Website
  • Integration with Xero Platinum, Gusto, or Quickbooks
  • Exciting additional tools
  • Available as an app
  • Easy to use
  • It’s not free of charge, although they offer a free trial
  • Optimal for small businesses only

Bookkeeping360 is somewhat an underground, exotic financial technology firm advancing accounting and cloud-based software which hasn’t received much attention on the web. Thus, we want to draw your attention to this unrevealed jewel.

Despite the fact it’s not free, this software is offered on a free basis during the trial period, which lasts for 14 days. When you get your hands on its mobile app and exciting features, you’ll realize that the software is definitely worth a pretty penny.

This digital financial accounting assistant may furnish you with the following tools:

  • Payroll & HR starting at $45 per month
  • Back office starting at $99 per month
  • CFO advisory (including projections and forecasts, entrepreneur coaching, and capital deployment strategy) starting at $1000 per month

Note, however, that the exact price of these tools depends on the size and needs of different businesses. Specifically, expenses pertaining to payroll services depend directly on the number of employees you have.  Bookkeeper360 provides you with a sliding scale tool on their website so that you can assess your expenses more easily.

That being said, we have noticed generally that Bookkeeper360’s software is easy to use and that their recently launched mobile app is top-notch.

Integrations are probably the crucial reason why we think that you should give this software a chance. Integrations with Xero, Gusto, or Quickbooks make this company stand out in the crowd.

There are three plans among which you can choose one that suits your modus operandi. Bear in mind that the first phone consultation with the company’s experts is actually free of charge.

  • Pay-as-you-go: This plan is $19 per month with an extra $99 per hour for support. On-demand bookkeeping, training, and advisory services are put forward, as well as a dedicated accountant.
  • Monthly: This is the most popular plan, offering (on top of the services mentioned above) profit & loss assessment and balance sheet. It will cost you $399 per month, but you’ll be getting a dedicated accountant.
  • Weekly: Everything in the Monthly plan plus a team of dedicated accountants and advanced reporting are introduced here at a price of at least $549.

Bookkeeper360 offers customer support through live chat or standard means of communication such as phone and email. This company has a rich social media presence (i.e., accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). The customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and we’re delighted how they respond to customers’ remarks on the official Facebook page.

Bookkeeper360 is excellent for small business owners, given the prices and offered tools. Thus, the smaller the businesses, the better you can make use of costly accounting software like this one. However, the critical problem is precisely the costliness. Should you have a medium business, then you should count (pun intended) on spending too much on accounting.

ZipBooks
ZipBooks
ZipBooks

Best for Freelancers

Visit Website
  • Great integrations
  • Live chat support
  • Unlimited invoicing
  • A wide array of free features
  • Easy to use
  • Security-focused
  • Mobile app needs improvement
  • Only allows one bank account with the free plan

One of the newer faces in the world of online accounting services, ZipBooks is already posing as a serious competitor. This is mostly due to the variety of free services it provides, such as no-limit invoicing, tracking receipts, etc.

ZipBooks is a free accounting software option that offers a great number of features. Its unlimited invoicing option in the free plan makes it great for freelancers and people who, for whatever reason, need to send out tons of invoices.

This digital financial accounting assistant offers a lot of free features, and we have found the following to be the most useful:

  • Payment in multiple currencies
  • Tracking receipts
  • Graphical presentation of accounts through charts

We have found that ZipBooks’ software is pretty straightforward and easy to use. The web app is especially effective. What we think could use an upgrade is the mobile app (at times it looks like running the web app on a mobile browser). This is especially important because the statistics show that for 80% of people the mobile app is a main determinant when deciding on buying something.

Integrations are another part of what makes ZipBooks one of the most sought-after accounting systems. It allows integrations with some great services, such as Google Drive, Asana, and even PayPal.

ZipBooks’ paid plans allow you to connect more than one bank account to your ZipBooks profile. If you are using the free plan, you can connect one bank account. Paid plans include many other useful features, which we will list below:

  • Starter: The free plan, offers all the features discussed above
  • Smarter: All the features included in Starter + account notifications, time tracking, and adding team members. $15/month
  • Sophisticated: Top features include report generation, unlimited users, safe document sharing. $35/month
  • Accountant: Custom features and custom pricing

ZipBooks offers customer support through live chat, and customers are saying that this service is becoming increasingly faster and more effective.

ZipBooks is great for freelancers and small business owners working on their own or with a small team. If you need to do a lot of invoicing as well, ZipBooks might be the best choice for you.

Wave
Wave
Wave

Overall Best for a Small Business

Visit Website
  • Reasonable price for paid services
  • Great customer support options
  • Free iOS and Android apps
  • A great number of free features
  • Unlimited number of users
  • Unlimited bank accounts
  • Very few integrations
  • Not suitable for rapidly growing businesses

Considered to be the top free accounting option for a small business overall, Wave offers an unparalleled number of free features with no hidden costs. With Wave, there is no limit to the number of users, and all the paid features are clearly stated, so you don’t need to pay if you don’t want to.

Wave was a pretty obvious choice for our free accounting software list, since it comes packed with more than just basic accounting features, and all of that is completely free or comes at a reasonable price.

Wave does not force you to upgrade to a paid plan by limiting the available free features. On the contrary, you get some great free features such as:

  • Income management
  • Unlimited number of users and bank accounts
  • Accounting reports
  • Invoicing reminders

Another aspect where Wave gets all the accolades – it is really easy to set up, and using it requires very little to no experience in accounting and financing. For even easier use Wave has developed 3 free apps: Wave Accounting, Wave Invoicing, and Wave Receipts. All of them are available for iOS and Android.

Integrations: This is one of the very few aspects where Wave could do better. It offers very few integrations compared to other free of charge accounting software. The most notable ones would be Etsy and PayPal.

The only features that Wave charges for are:

  • Customer direct online payments: 2.9% + $0.30 per card transaction
  • Payroll Service (app): $25-$35 per month + $4 per employee on payroll/month

Wave users can count on numerous channels for getting the support they need. Some of them include:

  • Online support form
  • Phone and chat
  • YouTube
  • Help Center
  • Wave Community
  • Blog

Wave is a top-performing accounting software piece designed for anyone who wants to get the widest possible array of online accounting services for little to no money in exchange. It is great for beginners and small businesses.

SlickPie
SlickPie
SlickPie

Best for Startups

Visit Website
  • Great for new business owners
  • Allows up to 10 companies
  • Integrations with PayPal and Stripe
  • Easy to use
  • A great number of free features
  • Few options for invoice customization
  • Limited reports
  • No app

SlickPie was described as an ideal free basic accounting software for new business owners and we strongly suggest adding it when writing your business plan. It is straightforward and very easy to use, and it provides more than enough free features to make it on our list.

SlickPie offers an easy-to-use platform, making it great for new business owners and those who are not so accounting savvy. Other than that, SlickPie offers great free features, the most notable of which is providing accounting services for up to 10 companies.

As we said before, SlickPie lets you use its free plan for up to 10 different companies, and that includes some of the following features as well:

  • Tracking sales, taxation, and income
  • Processing online payments (PayPal, credit cards)
  • Creating invoices

SlickPie is almost ridiculously easy to use. It is recommended as the go-to easy free accounting software for new and inexperienced business owners.

This accounting software allows for integrations with some payment services such as PayPal and Stripe.

According to SlickPie’s website, their paid service called “Pro” allows you to add more than 50 companies and provides support through phone calls and emails. It comes at a price of $39.95/month.

For its free plan, the only customer support SlickPie provides is through email, and that is only available during the company’s working hours.

SlickPie is great for new business owners and those looking for a tool to run the accounts of more than one company. Its ease of use and sleek interface just adds to the overall experience.

NCH Express Accounts
NCH Express Accounts
NCH Express Accounts

Best Bookkeeping Solutions

Visit Website
  • Easy to use
  • Up to 20 reports available instantly
  • Multiple users
  • Great for bookkeeping
  • Report generation
  • Allows multiple business tracking
  • No app
  • No third-party integrations
  • Outdated design

Express Accounts is amazing accounting software that caters mostly to your bookkeeping needs. Its free version provides you with all the essential bookkeeping tools to monitor your cash flow with ease and efficiency but for more advanced tools you can choose from our list of best online bookkeeping services.

This popular accounting software comes with a rather dated, but easy-to-use interface that provides you with all the tools you need to keep your books in check. It is able to provide up to 20 essential book reports to you at any given moment, which is rather impressive.

Even though it is simple software, Express Accounts still offers some great features with its free plan:

  • Multiple users
  • Multiple businesses
  • Tracking of accounts receivable and payable
  • Generating PDF or CSV reports

Express Accounts is pretty straightforward in its free version. After installation, you can choose which features to add. Some are paid, some are free.

At the moment, Express Accounts does not allow for any third-party integrations.

Paid plans range from $130 to $140 but at the moment there is a discount going on where you can get either a “Basic” or a “Plus” plan for only $49.99. This offer is valid until the 15th of September.

Paid plans offer many additional tools, but maybe most importantly, they offer cloud hosting which can turn out to be rather useful these days. Other features include:

  • Quotes and sales order generation
  • Income statements
  • Sales analysis by customer/salesperson
  • Creating and printing checks

Express Accounts offers basic customer support mainly through email forms.

This software is ideal for anyone trying to get control of their books, from freelance bookkeepers to small businesses. It could be an ideal accounting software for nonprofits as well. It provides multiple reports and allows many users and accounts to connect. For anything more than this, we would recommend getting another software or combining Express Books with another free accounting software.

Akaunting
Akaunting
Akaunting

Best Open-Source Online Accounting

Visit Website
  • Ease of use
  • Visual reports (graphs)
  • Modern design
  • Completely free
  • Available as an app
  • Tons of features
  • Integrations are paid
  • No personalized customer support with the free plan

Akaunting is a fully open-source accounting software that can run on multiple platforms. Being open-source means that it is absolutely free of charge and in its basic form, it provides you with all the features necessary for running an accounting operation for a small business.

Akaunting provides the best completely free accounting services in 2021, which make it one of the most popular open-source accounting software at the moment. The difference between this software and GnuCash is that it comes packed with a set of amazing features.

For an open-source app, Akaunting provides an amazing array of features, and some of the most interesting are:

  • Invoicing
  • Customer management
  • Unlimited bank accounts
  • Mobile apps
  • Data visualizations (graphs and charts)
  • Different payment types

Its fully customizable dashboard makes this a very user-friendly software. The interface has a clean and modern design, and customers have nothing but words of praise for its functionality. Being available as a mobile and tablet app does not hurt this experience either.

Akaunting allows multiple integrations that can be found on their website. However, all the integrations are paid and you will need to use them if your needs exceed basic accounting.

There are no paid plans, but Akaunting does charge you for third-party integrations of which there is a whole library to choose from.

If you want personalized customer support, this is one more thing you need to pay for with Akaunting. However, there is a troubleshooting library and customer forums where you can get answers to most of your questions.

This free accounting software was designed for everyone looking to save some money on accounting software while allowing them to work as a team.

 TurboCASH
TurboCASH
 TurboCASH

Good for International Businesses

Visit Website
  • Ledger
  • Customer care
  • Invoicing
  • Available internationally
  • Easy setup
  • TurboCASH community
  • A limited number of free features
  • No mobile app

With TurboCASH, you get a great, quick solution if your business is operating internationally. TurboCASH allows you to do your accounting across 80 countries where it is available.

A free version of this accounting software is increasing in popularity due to its flexibility and a wide array of features included. TurboCASH is deservedly one of the best free online accounting software, and here is why.

Along with international access, TurboCASH also provides some amazing features such as:

  • Invoicing
  • Stock
  • Compliance with GAAP
  • Access to a community forum for support

Even though its interface could use a facelift, TurboCASH is rather easy to use and extremely simple to set up and get started. However, it does not exist as an app yet.

TurboCASH’s paid plan is called TurboCASH5, and at a price of around $60 and upwards per year it includes:

  • Cloud implementations
  • Budget projections
  • Payroll spreadsheet
  • PDF reports

And many other extremely useful features.

TurboCASH provides 24/7 live chat support and phone troubleshooting during working hours.

TurboCASH is a free cloud-based accounting software created for small to medium business owners who are looking for a system that will provide a clear overview and comprehensive reporting.

CloudBooks
CloudBooks
CloudBooks

Best for Freelance Accountants Serving a Single Client

Visit Website
  • Time tracking
  • Free email support
  • PayPal and 2CO integrations
  • Unlimited number of users
  • Great for freelance accountants
  • Cloud-based
  • Limited free options
  • Only 5 invoices/month
  • Limited support options

This software is ideal for freelance accountants who work with a single client. It provides just enough tools to get you familiar with the world of accounting.

CloudBooks’ free plan is your go-to solution if you are handling only one client and do not have to do a lot of invoicing. It is a cloud-based system, meaning your data will be safely stored and accessible wherever you are.

Among the more notable free features of CloudBooks we would note the following:

  • Time tracking (very useful if you charge your clients per hour)
  • Unlimited users
  • Cloud hosting

It needs to be noted that CloudShare provides a plethora of other features as a part of its paid plans.

Even though it offers limited free options, this accounting software is rather intuitive and quick. Work gets done easily and fast because the interface is very user-friendly.

CloudBooks offers integrations only on its paid plans. Its integrations are only with PayPal and 2CO.

There are 2 paid plans available with CloudBooks:

  • Team: $10/month
  • Agency: $20/month

These paid plans will get you more features such as better support, unlimited invoicing, integrations, etc.

The free support for CloudBooks is limited compared to its paid plans. You will get access to email support, during working hours only.

As we mentioned above, this is probably the greatest free accounting software for freelancers and small business owners who require quick and straightforward solutions but do not need to send out a lot of invoices.

GnuCash
GnuCash
GnuCash

Best Open-Source Accounting Software for Desktop

Visit Website
  • Budgeting
  • Customer management
  • Accounts receivable and A/P
  • Completely free
  • Android app
  • Great report generation
  • Tricky setup
  • Limited support

GnuCash is considered the top-performing free accounting software for desktop platforms because of its open-source style.

GnuCash is an open-source accounting software piece, which means that it allows you to almost completely personalize your experience and working style. If some of the features do not match your needs, you can change them with some simple programming and still use them in GnuCash.

This accounting software includes more or less all the basic features you will need to run your business, but reports are its bread and butter. GnuCash offers great report generation, unparalleled to its competitors. GnuCash can even generate a full cash flow statement.

Even though this is one of the best-rated accounting software options around, the initial setup proved to be a bit tricky for some users. This is mostly because GnuCash offers different setups for personal and company needs. However, GnuCash provides tutorial videos and setup support to help you overcome these issues.

“Open-source” are the two words that best describe this software. This means that GnuCash is absolutely and completely free to use for everyone. However, they do accept donations.

GnuCash does not offer standard customer support, but many of the issues can be resolved by consulting their online help manual or the GnuCash Wiki page.

Since it offers basic accounting and financial reporting services completely for free, GnuCash is a great choice for startup owners who are trying not to save money which according to statistics is the core reason why startups fail. Other than that, GnuCash is best for individuals who want to gain more control over their personal finances.

Zoho Invoice
Zoho Invoice
Zoho Invoice

Ideal for Those in Need of a Lot of Invoicing

Visit Website
  • Available in many languages
  • Customer Portal for support
  • Multi-currency
  • Unlimited invoices
  • International
  • Only 1 user with the free plan
  • No integrations with the free plan

Zoho Invoice is a part of the Zoho Books family. It is software designed for all business owners with heavy invoicing needs, as the name itself suggests.

With Zoho Invoice, you get a tool for all your invoicing needs. It can operate in multiple languages and across many currencies, which makes it available worldwide and is the reason it has secured its position among the best free invoicing software. It provides invoicing through simple and clean templates which helps you save time and increase effectiveness.

The free accounting packages provided by Zoho Invoice include some of the following features:

  • Unlimited invoices for up to 5 customers
  • Invoicing in many different currencies
  • Recurring invoices

Zoho Invoice provides support when setting up an initial account, and it is reported to be fairly straightforward and easy to use by most customers.

With its free plan, Zoho Invoice provides integrations only with its Zoho Sign service, but there is an incredible choice of third-party integrations available with some of the paid plans.

There are 3 paid plans offered by Zoho:

  • Basic: $9/month
  • Standard: $19/month
  • Professional: $29/month

Depending on which one you choose, these plans can offer some incredible solutions such as invoicing more customers (from 50 to unlimited), more integrations, customized domain, etc. These plans are definitely worth considering if you are looking for some premium accounting features.

Zoho Invoice provides multiple levels of customer support including emails, live chat, and calls within working hours.

Zoho Invoice is designed for all business owners who need a hand to help them with their invoicing. If you are handling up to 5 clients, and need to create a ton of invoices, Zoho’s free plan is the right fit for you.

Money Manager EX
Money Manager EX
Money Manager EX

Best Offline and Free Personal Accounting Software

Visit Website
  • Data visualization
  • Income forecasting
  • Bill and deposit reminders
  • 100% free
  • Doesn’t require installation
  • Easy to use
  • Offline software
  • No live support
  • Manual data entry

Here we have one of the best free offline accounting software to end this list with. Money Manager EX is an extremely handy tool because you can store it on a USB stick and carry it with you wherever you go.

Money Manager EX is an easy-to-use open-source offline tool designed for small traders or those who want to control their home finances.

Just because this is open-source software, doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with an array of features, including:

  • Cash flow forecasting
  • Bill and deposit reminders
  • Simple reports with data visualizations
  • SQLite database

This section is where Money Manager EX really shines. It is so simple to use that you do not need almost any background in accounting to work it. Since it is an offline software, you will need to enter a lot of data manually, which can turn out to be quite time-consuming.

Since it is a completely free accounting software, it does not provide paid plans.

On its website, Money Manager EX offers a bug reporting page. Other than that, it provides support through Slack, a Wiki page, and a users’ forum.

This software is for anyone looking to do simple and basic home or small business financing for free.

Best Free Accounting Software at a Glance

  • Bookkeeper360: Best for an innovative approach to managing business accounting
  • ZIP Books: Best for freelancers
  • Wave: Overall best for small businesses
  • SlickPie: Best for startups
  • TurboCASH: Good for international businesses
  • GnuCash: Best open-source accounting software for desktops
  • CloudBooks: For freelance accountants serving a single client
  • Akaunting: Best for open-source online accounting
  • NCH Express Accounts: Best bookkeeping solutions
  • Zoho Invoice: Ideal for those in need of a lot of invoicing
  • Money Manager EX: Best offline and free personal accounting software

How to Choose the Right Free Accounting Software?

Here we’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to decide what free of charge accounting software is the best for you. We’re aware that having so many choices could be overwhelming, so here are some things to take into consideration:

  • Free features

Check how many free features your chosen software provides, and consider whether that is enough for your current/future needs. Think about upgrading to a paid plan or switching to different software.

  • Reporting functionality

How important are reports to you? If you need a lot of them, try to opt for software that provides the best reports.

  • Mobile app availability

There is a lot of free accounting software pieces for PC, but today we need information on the go. If you are like this, you might want to consider choosing software that rocks its own Android or iOS application.

  • Integrations

This feature is not crucial but can turn out to be rather useful. Integrations can help you boost your overall user experience and make your accounting journey a bit more enjoyable.

  • Paid options and upgrades

You should check what kind of options your software provides in case you need extra services. You may even decide to change the software altogether in the future if it doesn’t have some vital features you will need.

The bottom line here is that deciding on what accounting software to choose is not an easy choice to make. You need to consider so many different factors, such as the size of your business, the number of partners/clients, online/offline options, etc. The good news is that there are so many free options, that even if you don’t like your initial choice, you can just cancel and move to the next one, free of charge.

Types of Accounting Software

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing the best accounting software is what types there are. Here we will provide an overview of some of the most popular types with a short description of each:

Commercial Off-the-shelf Software (COTS)

This is pre-packaged software, usually sold by the developer directly. It has a set pack of features, and while they do provide convenience in terms of easy choosing, they lack customization space.

Enterprise Accounting Software

This type is mostly used by big companies because they allow for a lot more than just basic accounting and bookkeeping services. It can be both local and cloud-based.

Small business accounting software

Most options in our comparison list fall into this category. These solutions are created for freelancers and those running small-to-medium operations, allowing them to perform basic accounting operations with ease.

Online accounting software

Here we can put all those software solutions that operate only through the web. They can be a good solution if you want to stay in the loop at any moment, but it is always advisable to have an offline backup.

Free software

These are the so-called open-source software solutions. They do not charge for their services, but use donations or paid add-ons as their means of financing.

Benefits of Using Accounting Services

So, why should you get accounting software instead of doing it yourself or hiring an accountant?

There are numerous reasons to switch to accounting software, and here are just some of them:

  • It’s easier

Think about it. Your books can now follow you wherever you go. You can always stay in touch with your business and control everything from inventory to auditing with the swipe of a finger.

  • You don’t have to do it alone

There are so many options for multiple users, that you can basically build a team and take care of those numbers together with the help of all the amazing features.

  • It saves time

You don’t have to make an appointment to see your accountant anymore. Your accountant now lives in your pocket or on your desk, available any time, 24/7. This is incredibly convenient.

  • Your clients will appreciate it

Just like you, your clients appreciate it when things are done quickly and effectively. Using accounting software will keep you in the loop with their needs and make you a more desirable business partner as a result.

There are numerous other benefits and reasons why you should switch to accounting software as soon as possible. To put it simply, they will make your work and consequently your life much easier, at an affordable price.

If you need extra help with taxes alone, check out some of the top-rated business tax services out there.

Key Takeouts

Let’s be honest, nobody is crazy about accounting, right? Well, that is why we have chosen these software solutions for you to consider. If you are struggling with accounting on a daily basis, we hope that we’ve helped you decide on what the right free accounting software for you may be, and we wish you good luck in all your accounting endeavors.

FAQ

What is the best free personal accounting software?

Again, the answer to these questions depends on your personal needs. The accounting software that is suitable for personal use and made its way to our list is GnuCash and Money Manager EX.

How do accounting and bookkeeping software differ?

Bookkeeping software handles the day-to-day financial transactions of a business or a freelancer such as purchases, receipts, sales, etc. The accounting software provides a subjective, financial insight and analysis based on the information provided from the bookkeeping data. 

What is cloud based accounting software?

The cloud accounting software is hosted on remote servers which makes it easy to access for the business or freelancers from any device provided they have an internet connection and an app. 

What is the best free accounting software for a small business?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because the accounting software that is suitable for one small business may not be suitable for another. It all comes down to what you’re looking for in an accounting software. Nevertheless, in our list you can find good suggestions like Wave or Zip Books.