- Business card
- Business class
- Business ideas
- Business license
- Business management
- Business park
- Business plan
- Business school
- Business solutions
- Financial aid
- Financial group
- Financial management
- Financial services
- Financial statements
- Home business
- Personal Finance
- Savings account
- Small business
- Wealth management
150 accounting applications compared. Freeware, cloud and licensed.
In 2012 Futurebooks researched over 200 different accounting applications. The research found 150 applications suitable for personal and commercial use.
Applications short listed were supported by online resources, chat facilities and at least one international number to call (freeware applications the exception).
When adopting an accounting application there are two criteria to consider.
- user type or purpose of the application;
- pricing model.
Four user types of accounting applications
The research divided accounting applications into four user types.
- small and medium sized enterprise (SME);
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|Personal||Households. Personal accounts, income, expenses, budgets, personal tax.||< 15||All|
|Self-employed||Freelancers and contractors 1-2 persons. Time-based billing and invoicing.||< 20||All|
|SME||Managers of small businesses 1-20 persons. Full sets of accounts, inventory and POS.||< 70||All|
|Enterprise||Managers of large businesses 20+ personals. ERP, CRM, SCM, PM, BI.||< 50||All|
The research found a healthy spread of applications in the enterprise, SME, and self-employed user types. Only accounting applications designed for personal use were disappointing, with only 15 applications available.
Three kinds of pricing models
The four broad categories of accounting applications were further categorised into three types of pricing models.
Freeware applications were available free for commercial use. Licensed products required a one-time free to purchase a license, limited to a few users. Subscription was software-as-a-service that attracted a monthly subscription.
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|Subscription||Zero upfront costs||Cloud-based (SaaS)||Infinite Add-ons||< 30|
The research identified 30 freeware accounting applications. These accounting applications are available for download from the sourceforge website.
In the majority of cases, freeware applications were both open source and on-premise. Being open source, a developer could customise the core application or build additional functions. On-premise means the application was required to be downloaded and installed on either a local or web-based server.
Freeware attracted no licensing fees. However there are a few hidden costs.
Installing freeware applications has inherent risk. Trial versions were not available, so testing cannot begin until a developer has installed the application on a server.
Post deployment, the developer may discover some customisation users require, may not be achievable or prove cost-prohibitive.
In addition, freeware applications were unsupported, with no FAQs, forums and videos available. On average these applications had been downloaded a total of 75 times each, suggesting limited application.
New releases were infrequent and deployment would require a developer.
The research found licensed accounting applications were the most numerous, tallying 80 different kinds across all four user types. Licensed accounting applications were also feature-rich compared to cloud solutions.
However license was the most expensive model. Both upfront and ongoing fees were high.
- license per user;
- installation (in some cases)
- customization (in some cases)
As licensed products were on-premises, it gives the user better access in areas where internet connection to cloud is poor. However, user access may be restricted to the office LAN or a single machine only.
For low-to-SME applications, license fees ranged from US$200-$1,000 per user. Small upgrades / bug fixes were normally available free. However full upgrades were an additional cost, and often a technical person was required to do the installation.
It was not possible to gauge the cost of licensed enterprise, however estimations are US$20,000 and above.
To justify the large upfront costs of licensed products, the decision maker needs to amortise the purchase over a number of years. Some licensed vendors like Intuit and SAP have diversified and offered equivalent cloud solutions.
The fastest growing pricing model was subscriptions. This is no surprise, as the software industry as a whole is moving to cloud computing. The average fee for entry products ranged from US20-$50 per month.
While licensed products tended to target professional users, cloud accounting applications targeted a new users. Thus cloud applications were simpler, intuitive and portable to mobile devices.
The subscription model was the most scalable across all four user types (with ERP the exception). Cloud computing was characterised by an eco-system of ‘add-on’ applications which integrate and perform specific tasks.
Non-technical people can integrate different solutions by taking advantage of an application’s APIs. API or (Application Programming Interface) permit applications to talk to one another on-demand.
Short listed accounting applications
Personal finance applications
Most personal finance applications were similar in nature. YapBam, iBank and Mint.com stood out as offering something different.
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|Buddi||Freeware||Simple budgeting program targeted for users with little or no financial background. Set up accounts and categories, record transactions and check spending habits.||n/a|
|Gnucash||Freeware||Check-book like register GUI to enter and track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses.||n/a|
|Grisbi||Freeware||Manage multiple accounts, currencies, users, expenditure and receipts, budgetary lines and financial years.||n/a|
|jGnash||Freeware||Double entry system with support for multiple currencies.||n/a|
|Money Manager Ex||Freeware||Easy to use, money management application. Track your net worth, income vs expenses etc. Runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.||n/a|
|Yapbam||Freeware||Personnal bank account manager.||n/a|
|Fortora Fresh Finance||License||Tracks accounts, loans, bills, investments and budgets.||UK|
|Accountz||License||Accounting software for home and business, budgeting and expense tracking||UK|
|iBank||License||Track investments, maintain budgets and manage accounts.||Global|
|Moneydance||License||Double-entry accounting, multi-currency.||n/a|
|You Need a Budget||License||Personal spending management and budgeting.||Global|
|Mint.com||Subscription||Bank account aggregator.||Global|
Accounting applications for self-employed
Accounting applications designed for the self-employed contractor or freelancer, tended to focus on time-billing and invoicing. They were divided 50 / 50 between cloud and licensed products.
MYOB was the choice licensed product, with excellent support globally and a full-featured application that can scale upwards into the SME user type.
Competition among subscription offers was fierce, with Freshbooks, Harvest, Kashoo and Zoho all proving worthy choices.
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|EasyHotspot||Freeware||Billing system with a linux distro and other software dependencies.||n/a|
|TurboCASH Accounting||Freeware||Delphi development in Windows / Lunix. Accomodates developer scripts, local plugins, multi language.||n/a|
|EasyAs||License||Simple accounting software for small business, contractors and home businesses.||AU|
|FirstOffice||License||Accounting, invoicing, calendar and to-do-list.||Global|
|Hansaworld Books||License||Create invoices and receive payments. Control stock, job cost and track point of sale merchandise.||Global|
|MYOB Just Invoices||License||Invoicing, tracking sales and GST.||Global|
|Quicken||License||Personal cash management, investment management.||AU|
|Ariett AP Invoice||License||Automate and streamline accounts payable approval.||US, UK|
|Bizmo for iOS||Subscription||First accounting, time & billing suite designed for the iPad, iPhone & iPod touch.||Global|
|Clear Books||Subscription||Invoices, expenses, reconcile bank statements, cash flow, financial reports, contacts, VAT, payroll.||UK|
|Free Agent||Subscription||Online money management.||UK|
|Freshbooks||Subscription||Billing, time, expenses and books.||UK|
|Harvest||Subscription||Time tracking and billing.||Global|
|inniAccounts||Subscription||Timesheets, expenses tracking, mileage tracking, payroll, double-entry accounting, management reporting.||Global|
|Invoicera||Subscription||Time tracking and billing.||Global|
|Kashoo||Subscription||Invoices, expenses, reconcile bank statements, cash flow, financial reports.||Global|
|Outright||Subscription||Bookkeeping, taxes, ecommerce, reporting & business intelligence.||Global|
|Zoho invoice||Subscription||Helps create, send and manage your invoices online. Track payments and accept online payments from customers.||Global|
Accounting applications for SME
Accounting applications designed for SMEs were dominated in number by freeware and licensed products.
Of the licensed products, Sage Peachtree and QuickBooks were the favourites. These applications were feature-rich, and built to a standard a professional from the accounting industry would expect.
QuickBooks Online, Xero, Wave Accounting and Zoho Books were the pick of the cloud bunch.
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|]Project-open[||Freeware||Resource management, time sheets, HR, CRM, ITSM, collaboration and financials. ]po[ is built on top of OpenACS.org, an open-source web platform.||n/a|
|Lazy8 ledger||Freeware||Professional double-entry accounting ledger with advanced reporting and analysis.||n/a|
|LedgerSMB||Freeware||LedgerSMB is a fork of SQL-Ledger. Provides better security and data integrity controls, community support, open documentation.||n/a|
|Locbook||Freeware||Petroleum distribution and convenience store operators with the fuel management and retail sales .||n/a|
|Microsoft Office Accounting Express||Freeware||Accounting solution for small and home businesses.||n/a|
|Numia||Freeware||Free online accounting software for small business.||n/a|
|OpenAccounting||Freeware||Free, open-source, easy-to-use, web-based accounting and inventory system.||n/a|
|osFinancials||Freeware||Easy to install with Firebird database. Stock control and point of sales integrated. Integration with osCommerce.||n/a|
|PhreeBooks||Freeware||Separate customer and vendor account information, inventory and tracking, general ledger, check writing, bank reconciliation, flexible import and export.||n/a|
|Tryton||Freeware||ERP, GL, double-entry accounting, accounts receivable, accounts payable, SCM, WMS, multi-currency.||n/a|
|Centage Budget Maestro||License||Financial forecasting & reporting software for smart decision making.||US|
|Acclaim Cashbook Complete||License||Quick and easy to use Windows based
cashbook for small companies.
|AME Accounting||License||Payroll, general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, double-entry accounting.||US|
|Bizprac||License||Fully integrated business management system for construction industry||AU|
|Bizz Wizz||License||Accounting software for small business, trades and retail.||AU|
|Busy Basic||License||Multi-company, multi-currency, multi-location inventory, order processing, configurable invoicing / documents / letters, sales tax / vat, TDS, FBT, direct e-mail / SMS, MIS reports.||India|
|Cash Plan XT2||License||Budgeting, forecasting and cashflow analysis without using excel or formulas.||US|
|Cashflow Manager GOLD||License||Cashflow manager and wages manager.||AU|
|CGram Software||License||Financials, ERP, CRM, manufacturing, multicompany, multicurrency, payroll, inventory control, accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger.||UK|
|Checkmark Multiledger||License||Payroll solution for employers, accountants, and payroll services.||US|
|Express Accounts||License||Report on incoming and outgoing cash flow, sales, receipts, payments, purchases.||Global|
|FinancePlus||License||Inventory, multi-warehouse / locations, foreign currency, Goldmine contact management API, e-commerce.||AU|
|Happy Accounts||License||Multi-language, general ledger, budgeting, accounts receivable, invoicing, notes receivable manager, accounts payable, purchase orders, inventory control, foreign currency.||Global|
|Interacct||License||Marketing for lead generation, sales management to convert those sales leads, estimating, quotations, and then win/loss analysis.||AU|
|invoiceit||License||Single entry, accounts receivable, accounts payable, contact management system, inventory management, purchasing, quotations, invoices, scheduler.||NZ|
|IRIS Exchequer||License||Payroll, general ledger, multi-currency, cashbook, sales and purchase ledgers, e-banking, MRP, stock forecasting, project costing, job costing, time costing, CRM, BI.||UK|
|KiBiz Accounting||License||FileMaker-based application performing basic business operations.||Global|
|Mamut Software Limited||License||ERP, CRM and e-commerce.||UK|
|MyBusiness Accounting||License||Flexible, affordable, online accounting software for the small business.||UK|
|MYOB AccountRight Plus||License||Integrated payroll, inventory and time billing.||Global|
|NewViews||License||E-commerce, integrated, multi-user, payroll, general ledger, AR, AP, multi-currency, inventory, order entry, job costing.||US|
|Nominal Accounting||License||AR, AP, GL, double-entry accounting, sales and contracts, inventory control, job costing, integrated, inter-company.||Global|
|Open Systems Traverse||License||ERP, CRM, SCM, intercompany, multicurrency, manufacturing, distribution, ecommerce, mobile business solutions, reporting, BI.||US|
|Openda QX||License||CRM, ERP.||UK|
|Passport Software, Inc.||License||General ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, ERP.||UK|
|Pegasus Opera II||License||Integrated business software to fully control your business.||UK|
|PS Financials||License||Accounting, order processing, budgeting, billing, project control, consolidation, process automation||UK|
|QuickBooks Pro/Premier||License||Financial management, inventory management, payroll.||Global|
|Real Easy Books ezREB||License||Profit, cash flow, inventory control, invoicing, check writing.||US|
|Red Wing Turningpoint||License||Payroll, general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, double-entry accounting, fund accounting, inventory, procurement, order entry/tracking.||UK|
|Sage Peachtree Pro||License||Improve your productivity, accounting features to manage invoices/checks & payroll.||Global|
|Sage Simply Accounting||License||Business accounting, retail, inventory control.||Canada|
|SAP Business ByDesign||License||ERP, e-Commerce.||Global|
|Softline Pastel||License||Accounting, ERP, CRM, financials, business intelligence, POS, small business accounting, mid-sized enterprise accounting, large enterprise accounting, payroll, HR.||South Africa|
|Tally.ERP 9||License||Business accounting, inventory management, payroll.||India, Dubai|
|TASBooks||License||Easy accounting software for growing businesses.||UK|
|Tencia||License||The easiest accounting and business software solution to deploy for small to medium sized businesses.||AU|
|Turquaz Financial Accounting||License||Double entry, inventory, accounts recievable, accounts payable, general ledger, journal, multi currency, advanced report and analysis.||US|
|Turtle Creek Goldseal||License||Integrated accounting software for Macintosh and Windows.||US|
|Acumatica||License or subscription||ERP, Accounting software.||US, Singapore, Indonesia|
|Interprise Suite Accounting||License or subscription||ERP/ Financials, CRM, eCommerce, POS.||Global|
|NolaPro||License||Double-entry accounting, small business accounting, inventory control, order entry / tracking, payroll, ERP, ecommerce, POS.||US|
|Mamut Accounting||License or subscription||ERP, CRM, e-commerce||UK|
|Cougar Mountain Software||License||Business accounting, POS retail, nonprofit, inventory control.||US|
|Jcurve||Subscription||Fully featured, single system tailored for small business in the region.||AU|
|Less Accounting||Subscription||Connect to bank accounts and credit cards and import your daily transactions.||Global|
|Aqilla||Subscription||Multi-currency web based accounting, expense, timesheet and project-costing solution.||UK|
|Arithmo||Subscription||Quick, simple, scalable, & cost effective cloud based accounting.||UK|
|BIG4books||Subscription||Double-entry accounting, small business accounting, inventory control, order entry/tracking, general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, ERP, ecommerce, POS.||US|
|BrightPearl||Subscription||Ecommerce, point-of-sale, inventory, order management, CRM and accounting.||UK and US|
|E-conomic||Subscription||e-conomic online accounting system, available anywhere, anytime.||Global|
|Intacct||Subscription||Custom reporting, double-entry accounting, employee expenses, ERP, inventory control, order entry / tracking, payroll, ecommerce, POS, revenue recognition,VSOE.||US|
|Moobiz||Subscription||Holiday management, calendar & company minutes.||Global|
|Our Accounts||Subscription||Send, store and share financial files between you and your client.||US, AU|
|OWL Software Basic Bookkeeping||Subscription||Invoicing & inventory, business accounting, bookkeeping, VAT.||UK|
|Quickbooks Online||Subscription||Financial management, payroll.||Global|
|Wave Accounting||Subscription||A full-featured, free online accounting application for SMBs and self-employed.||Global|
|WorkingPoint||Subscription||Easy to use system to manage your whole business||Global|
|Xero||Subscription||Accounts receivable, accounts payable, double-entry, small business accounting, multi-currency, automatic bank feeds, management reporting, payroll, inventory.||Global|
|Zoho Books||Subscription||Manage your finances and stay on top of your business with Zoho small business online accounting software.||Global|
Accounting applications for Enterprise
Sage ERP Accpac, SAP ERP, Oracle E-Business Suite and Microsoft Dynamics were the most sophisticated, scalable and well-supported licensed products.
Saasu and Netsuite were the clear choices for ERP in the cloud space.
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|Adempiere||Freeware||ERP, CRM, MFG, SCM, POS. Focus is on the community that includes subject matter specialists, implementors and end-users.||n/a|
|BlueErp||Freeware||Double entry accounting application. Available as a stand alone application or modules for eGroupware.||n/a|
|FrontAccounting||Freeware||Written in PHP using MySQL. Multilingual and multicurrency.||n/a|
|JFire||Freeware||Trading platform including ERP, CRM, accounting (full double-entry) and cross-organisation-trading written in Java based on J2EE, JDO and the Eclipse RCP.||Global|
|OpenERP||Freeware||Sales, CRM, project management, warehouse management, manufacturing, accounting and human resources.||n/a|
|Postbooks||Freeware||ERP, accounting, CRM package for small to midsized businesses. Runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows (built with open source Qt framework).||n/a|
|SQL-Ledger||Freeware||ERP and double entry accounting system. Accounting data is stored in an SQL Database Server and a standard web browser can be used as its user interface.||n/a|
|webERP||Freeware||Accounts payable and receivable, purchase and sales ordering, inventory, material resource planning, fixed asset register and petty cash.||n/a|
|Open Taps||Freeware and License||Based on Apache Open for Business. Functions include eCommerce, POS, inventory, warehouse, order, customer management and general ledger.||n/a|
|Openbravo ERP||Freeware and License||Web-based open source business management system written in Java.||n/a|
|Account Mate Express||License||Over 20 modules to fulfill your accounting, payroll, inventory, manufacturing, RMA, CRM and other business requirements.||US|
|Alight Planning Enterprise||License||File server system for executives, financial staff, and line managers who collaborate in developing financial plans and who review financial and operating results.||Global|
|Apache OFBiz||License||ERP, CRM, POS, Business Intelligence, GL, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Inventory control, Manufacturing, SCM, HR, ecommerce.||Global|
|Attaché All-In-One||License||Accounting, Payroll, CRM and Business Intelligence.||AU, NZ|
|Blue Link Elite||License||Integrated inventory management and accounting system.||US|
|Cincom Priority||License||Contact centre, document automation, manufacturing, product configuration, database management and application development.||Global|
|COA Solutions||License||Procurement software, HR and payroll systems, document management and business intelligence.||UK|
|CODA||License||Real-time financial visibility and control across people, processes and systems.||Global|
|Comarch Altum||License||ERP, GL, bookkeeping, multi-currency, multi-language, double-entry accounting, ap, ar, analytics; integration, CRM, BI, e-commerce, workflow, retail, POS.||Global|
|DacEasy||License||Simply running accounting to choosing a combination with accounting, payroll, job costing, order entry, and/or point of sale.||Global|
|e-Insight ERP||License||Order entry, production planning, full-featured accounting for manufacturing and distribution business.||US|
|Epicor ERP||License||Manufacturing, distribution, retail, hospitality & services||Global|
|Exact Globe Next||License||Structures your business processes on a single platform for greater efficiency.||Europe|
|GMS Accounting||License||Non-profit and public organisations accounting for contracts and grants or by program activity.||UK|
|Greentree||License||Financial management, supply chain, CRM, service & asset management, job cost, manufacturing, workflow, ebusiness, HR and payroll, retail point of sale, BI, information access & reporting, mobile solutions.||AU, NZ, UK|
|Jiwa||License||A fully integrated, 100% Microsoft Windows and Microsoft SQL Server solution.||AU, NZ|
|Jonas Software||License||Club, foodservice, construction, leisure fitness & sports, attractions, metal service centers, moving & storage and education industries.||Global|
|Lawson Software||License||ERP, CRM, SCM, PM, e-Commerce, BI||US|
|OpenPro||License||ERP, CRM, POS, business intelligence, general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, manufacturing, payroll & HR, ecommerce.||n/a|
|Oracle E-Business Suite||License||ERP, CRM, SCM, PM, BI||Global|
|Sage ERP Accpac||License||Accounting, distribution or warehouse, and manufacturing. Sales, marketing, customer service and business analytics.||Global|
|SAP ERP||License||ERP, CRM, SCM, SRM, PLM,GTS, e-commerce, Business Intelligence, Mobile Business||Global|
|SapphireOne||License||Human resources, supply chain management, customer relationship management, finances, manufacturing, warehouse management and logistics.||AU|
|The Access Group||License||Financials, CRM, manufacturing, job costing, POS, inventory, ERP, business intelligence, CIS, payroll||UK|
|Integral Accounting||License||Multi-language accounting & ERP with full source code and distribution rights. Implemented in ASP Dot Net with VB Dot Net Codebehind and using the free SQL Server Express.||US|
|Sybiz Vision||License or subscription||Payroll, CRM and accounting programs, and third party developers add even more options to ensure that comprehensive solution.||AU, NZ, Ireland|
|TimeTrex Time||License or subscription||Web-based payroll and time management suite which offers employee scheduling, time & attendance, job costing, invoicing and payroll in tightly integrated package.||Global|
|Compiere||License or subscription||Distribution, retail, manufacturing and service industries. Compiere automates accounting, supply chain, inventory and sales orders.||Global|
|Micronet Systems||License or subscription||Integrated financials, warehouse management, e-business, and CRM.||AU|
|24SevenOffice||Subscription||ERP, CRM, e-mail, collaboration, project management, integrated VoIP.||Global|
|FinancialForce.com||Subscription||ERP, ordering & billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, cash management, general ledger, reporting & dashboarding, multi-currency, multi-company, global tax, analytics.||Global|
|Microsoft Dynamics GP||Subscription||ERP, SCM, manufacturing, cost accounting, double-entry accounting, project accounting, payroll, general ledger, analytic, accounts receivable, accounts payable.||Global|
|NetSuite||Subscription||ERP, financials, CRM, inventory & e-commerce.||Global|
|Saasu||Subscription||Online accounting software for invoicing, purchasing, inventory and payroll.||AU|
|Uniware AusVantage||Subscription||ERP, CRM, SCM, PM, BI.||AU|
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