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Top 5 accounting tools for small businesses

Top 5 accounting Tools for small businesses

Make day-to-day bookkeeping a breeze with these accounting tools.

Although it is often looked upon as difficult, time-consuming and a bit of a chore, bookkeeping is unfortunately a necessity. But fear not. We’ve compiled a list of our top accounting tools to prevent that end of tax year scramble and make day-to-day bookkeeping a breeze.


Quickbooks Accounting

As one of the most popular cloud-based accounting apps, Quickbooks allows you to create professional looking invoices – in multiple currencies – that best represent you and your business. With their invoice management tool, you’ll be able to keep track of your earnings and expenses easily, with the ability to categorise monthly expenses automatically. The app also helps you to manage your cash flow by providing you with a snapshot of your profits, losses and bank balance; all displayed in one place so you have a clearer understanding of your business finances.

There are six versions of Quickbooks available including: QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Self-Employed, QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier.

Quickbooks Online is increasingly popular and users report that it’s easier to use and collaborate on than the desktop versions of Quickbooks. Quickbooks Online also has a few features that the desktop programs don’t, including automatic updates and a mobile app.

Quickbooks Online is available in three formats with the most expensive version, “Plus”, boasting the most features including project management tools to track project profitability.


App cost: free, but you’ll need a subscription to Quickbooks online

iTunes rating: 4.6/5 stars


FreshBooks Cloud Accounting

FreshBooks focuses on simplicity and convenience, so with their Cloud Accounting app, you can create invoices, accept online payments and track expenses with ease. One of the most popular features of the app is time tracking – just start the timer at the beginning of a new job and get on with what you do best. Once done, the app will calculate exactly how much time you’ve spent working on that particular project and produce an accurate invoice for you. Simple.

At the time of writing, Freshbooks comes with a 30-day free trial, without the need to hand over your payment details, so you can have a look around and try out the software without any risk. Freshbooks has an entire dashboard dedicated to project management. With the Projects dashboards, you can keep track of the projects you are currently working on, share files, and communicate with clients and colleagues from one central hub. You can create two different projects – flat rate or hourly rate – and sort projects by project name, client name or end date.

Freshbooks receipt scanning is a great feature that allows you to scan receipts on the go with their free app. With the app, you take a picture of the receipt and then choose a category to ‘file’ it under. You can then add additional details, such as the vendor’s name and the total expense.

FreshBooks Cloud Accounting is a relatively new app, so existing users of the software will now need to download FreshBooks Classic to continue.


App cost: free – service is 30 day free trial then from $15 per month afterwards

iTunes rating: 4.8/5 stars


1tap receipts: Track Expenses

Introducing 1tap receipts – a big hit with sole traders. Here’s how it works: take a picture of your invoices or receipts, and the app will scan and extract the data, allowing you to track business spends anytime, anywhere. Designed to assist you with your HMRC Self Assessment and avoid paying more tax than you need to, your expense details will automatically be entered in your Self Assessment form. And what’s more, all of your receipts will be stored within the Cloud, so you’re able to access them whenever you like. It’s expense tracking for your tax records made simple.


App cost: app is free to download, choose from 3 different packages starting at £14.99 for an annual subscription and 15 receipt scans per month

iTunes rating: 4.8/5 stars


Receipts by Wave

Ideal for those on the go, you can snap and scan receipts with this dedicated receipt tracking app from Wave. Simply take a picture of your receipt, and the app will read and convert the contents, ready for you to review and edit if needed. Synced with your Wave account, you’ll be able to categorise your spends, giving you a better view of your expenses. And, if that’s not already impressive enough, the app also features offline scanning. So, you can scan receipts wherever or whenever you happen to be working, even if you don’t have internet access.


App cost: free, best used with web software – free accounting software available

iTunes rating: 4.4/5 stars



Sage offers a straightforward solution to accounting, boasting a suite of tools to help your business grow. The app allows you to generate and send invoices wherever you’re working, or record your payments and expenses on the go. You can even manage and track any unpaid or overdue invoices, putting you in control. Wondering what truly sets Sage software apart? Meet Pegg: their Smart Digital assistant. ‘Pegg’ is a clever chatbox, using AI to help you manage your transactions. Just message her with your transaction details (she’ll prompt you to add all of the details needed), and she will record them in your expenses, synchronising with Sage Business Cloud Accounting.


App cost: free, Sage account required

iTunes rating: 4.7/5 stars



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