FreshBooks started its life as a simple invoicing solution. Over the years, it has expanded tremendously in scope, adding new features and enhancing existing ones every year. It's now a full-featured, double-entry, online accounting app for small businesses.
QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. First introduced in 1983, QuickBooks products are geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses and offer on-premises accounting applications as well as cloud-based versions that accept business payments, manage and pay bills, and payroll functions.
Sage 50 cloud Accounting is a massive small business accounting application that's designed for desktop use. It's the most comprehensive, customizable accounting program I've reviewed, though it does more than what many small businesses need and costs a bit more as well. What sets it apart, aside from its robust feature palette, is its integration with Microsoft 365.
Xero skillfully simplifies the standard accounting process for small businesses. Built for the web from the ground up, it supports every major financial element you expect in a double-entry small business accounting solution: sales, purchases, bills and expenses, inventory, and payroll. You can create records for customers, suppliers, employees, and items.
Zoho Corporation is not a dedicated financial services company like Intuit is. Instead, it's a developer of cloud-based apps for businesses. One of its product is Zoho Books, an accounting program that meets the lion's share of small business needs—and more.
Wave is a double-entry accounting website with a price tag that appeals to freelancers and independent contractors, though some very small businesses with employees could use it, too. It’s free, unless you sign up for payroll or customer payments. Since we last reviewed Wave, the service has added new tools and enhanced existing ones, such as integration with H&R Block for tax filing (H&R Block acquired Wave in July 2019), an improved transactions page, a new Activity tab in the expanded customer profiles, and the ability to attach receipts to transactions.