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Five alternatives to QuickBooks for business accounting

QuickBooks may lead the pack when it comes to accounting packages, but a number of excellent apps are available that might suit your needs a bit better.

Every business can benefit from using proper accounting software. While QuickBooks (and its more lightweight sibling, Quicken) may rule the roost, that does not mean that they are the right choice for every organization. If you need an accounting package but want to look at alternatives to QuickBooks, here are five choices to consider.

1: Xero

Xero is a Web-based accounting system that is easy to use. It may be a bit simplistic for a larger enterprise, but for a small to-midsize business, it works great. It has an API that lets you integrate your applications with it, and it can handle businesses in a variety of countries. As an online application, it is easy for your team to collaborate with Xero.

2: GnuCash

GnuCash has the advantage of being free and open source, and it has a large community to provide help. It has all the basic accounting functions down pat and can run on a wide variety of platforms. One drawback (common to the less sophisticated or less expense products in this space) is that you can't have multiple users working at once, although you can share the data file so that multiple users can work with the same data.

3: Peachtree

Peachtree is not a single product, but a line of products with different editions, much like QuickBooks. Peachtree's offerings range from the less complex and inexpensive to a sophisticated product that addresses a huge range of needs at a fairly high price. On a feature-by-feature basis, Peachtree stands toe-to-toe with QuickBooks.

4: inDinero

inDinero has an SMB orientation, much like Xero. But inDinero is focused much more on reporting and providing a dashboard to help you understand your financial situation than it is on the nitty-gritty aspects of money management. For example, you can't directly manipulate your bank account from inDinero. inDinero is definitely a fresh approach to accounting that is especially appealing to those without a trained accountant as a regular staff member.

5: FrontAccounting

FrontAccounting, like Xero and inDinero, is a Web-based package. Unlike them, you install it on your own servers. And to sweeten the deal, it's open source. FrontAccounting is not just an accounting package, either. It's a full ERP system with the ability to handle inventory, purchase orders, and similar items that interact directly with your money flow but fall outside the "accounting" umbrella. If you have more sophisticated needs and Peachtree is out of your price range, FrontAccounting is something you should look at.

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

15 comments
Julia_WR
Julia_WR

Interesting list. I have to admit I was not familiar with some of the solutions. I believe that picking the right software is not that easy, I encourage you to first take advantage of the free trials. In the end, there’s no substitute for experience. That is why I am leaving here a link to accounting solutions that offer free trials:

http://bit.ly/1c9ohLv

Also here are some more alternatives to QuickBooks:

http://www.getapp.com/compare/listing/quickbooks-online-edition-application

fredb
fredb

My problem with QuickBooks is their sneaky pricing. I had the 2010 PRO version which crashed and after 2 days of remote access and lost time dealing with out-of-country tech support, I was told the only solution was to BUY 2011 PRO. We did and now only 2 years later I am told I cannot add another user license (need 3, have 2) and MUST buy 2013 PRO to get 3 users. The reason I cannot buy a 3rd user on 2011 is "they don't do that!" They will only sell additional user licenses to products 2 years old or newer. This is forced migration with no functional improvement.

Grant001
Grant001

I must disagree with your number 3 on this list. Peachtree does have some similarities with QB but it is not nearly as versatile. The systems don't allow much flexibility and are rigid. For beginners stay away from Peachtree. The support is non existent and the product is vastly overpriced for what you get.

jayanu
jayanu

QB has the market - they gained by having the slogan - fire your accountant! But it created $1B industry for fixing the errors made by SMB owners who do not know accounting! QB also has Web based QB Online ($40/month) but is watered down Desktop QB. They bought out the online payroll service - PayCycle. IF you are an accountant providing accounting and payroll (live payroll as well as AFP) then you should look at www.Accountantsworld.com and its Accounting Relief and Payroll Relief Web based SaaS. For the 1st year it is $997 for unlimited clients and unlimited payroll and $887 or unlimited clients' bookkeeping/ Writeup/accounting. You can control what the client can do or not do. I recently wrote an article for a book to show why QB is not the best approach anymore. You can download it from - http://www.jaysonlineoffice.com/files/I%20am%20on%207th%20cloud%20Feb%2010%202011.doc Thanks. Jay Shah

tufailshahzad
tufailshahzad

I have tried to convince many of business owners/individuals to switch from QB to GnuCash or any other bookkeeping software but response was very rapid and everyone says NO! In my person observation more than 85% of US businesses/individuals love to use QuickBooks and Quicken to manage their Books and Finance. thank you for sharing i will share it into my social networks so maximum people can take benefit from your suggestions.

rbbts
rbbts

All of this is great, except that none mention PAYROLL except QB and Peachtree. To me, payroll is as important a piece of the accounting pie as AP or AR. I do accounting/payroll/tax for small business, and payroll is a big function to me. I'd luv to not have to pay large sums of money to Intuit EVERY year.

dingguo
dingguo

You know what? It's interface reminds me of Analytics Dashboard... in a good way.

dingguo
dingguo

Hi, you should consider Nolapro cloud based accounting too. It is free. But you are better off with support. Trust me. It is complicated. Phew.

wizard57m-cnet
wizard57m-cnet

but they are for Windows only. BS1 Accounting from DBSOnline.com The other is Delta 60 Accounting from Deltanet2.com Both are probably as comprehensive as most users would want for home or small office

robertao
robertao

inDinero does Payroll now in addition to Accounting and Taxes!

wizard57m-cnet
wizard57m-cnet

and the company has a standalone version of the payroll...no frills, but for a small company it works pretty well. Deltanet2.com