Comparison of 10 Best Free Accounting Software Solutions in 2017


Businesses can enhance their accounting processes and tasks by investing in a quality accounting software product. Read these related stats obtained from a survey by the Cloud Accounting Institute: 73% of enterprises said they make use of cloud accounting platforms. Companies are looking to boost their productivity by subscribing to cloud corporate performance management, budgeting, and forecasting tools. 52% of organizations plan to explore big data cloud. However, a lot of companies are skeptical about accounting solutions as they feel they limit their work efficiency. Software integration is also an issue for many companies.

Now, peruse these findings gleaned from the 2015 State of Small Business Report: 70% of businesses have outsourced their tax preparation. 88% of small enterprises are happy with their accounting infrastructure. Only 42% of small businesses have appointed a have a chief financial officer (CFO). 50% of small enterprises outsource their payroll processes. Only 40% of small business owners claim to be knowledgeable about accounting and finance. Finally, only 17% of organizations have invested in an asset management platform to monitor physical assets.

The above survey findings and stats show that most companies intend to seek out the best accounting software  in order to boost their productivity. However, they do not have to cough up large sums of money for this as there are several good best accounting software for free available in the market. This article helps you prepare a shortlist by detailing the key features and tools provided the best free accounting software in 2017.

Leading Free Accounting Software Products in 2017

Sole accountants and growing teams can save a lot of money by trying out free accounting programs. If your business scales, you can effortlessly graduate to a paid plan as top vendors offer annual reductions, refund guarantees, and affordable packages. To help you select the right fit, we’ve generated this list of 12 best free accounting software in 2017:

1. Wave

Software highlight: payroll management

Wave is a free app that is utilized by over 2 million freelancers and small businesses around the globe. Experts rate it as a top open source product for finance control. This free platform can hold its head high among even expensive accounting software tools as it offers an impressive suite of features. Wave helps small teams and growing businesses effectively manage jobs such as chasing payments, managing employees, tracking expenses, and handling taxes.

Wave allows you to create and send professional-looking invoices to your customers, get fast payments, and monitor all financial transactions. In addition, you can easily accept credit card payments which is a helpful feature for your clients as well. The platform is also known for its excellent organization capacity. You can view important details on comprehensive dashboards and produce in-depth reports on your enterprise’s financial activities.

The highlight of Wave is payroll management as it empowers you to calculate wages correctly, pay your staff members via direct deposits, and send the pay stubs to them. This product is compatible with all popular devices and operating systems, and presents an open developer API for seamless integrations.

Who can benefit from Wave?

Sole proprietors and small teams that wish to use a single solution to manage expenses, calculate payroll and taxation, and deliver invoices.

What are the free features?

Wave is a free product which means you don’t need to shell out for paid upgrades, recurrent fees, or unforeseen expenses. Simply register your account and benefit from the following free features:

  • Accounting & finance control
  • Billing & invoicing
  • Custom reports
  • Customizable dashboard
  • Direct payments
  • Lending management
  • Payroll & expense management
  • Taxation
  • Time tracking

2. Zoho Invoice

Software highlight: good reputation

Zoho Invoice is a widely used billing and invoicing tool from Zoho’s array of popular business software applications. It provides all the regular accounting features for the needs of small and medium companies. You can avail the same high quality of support with the free plan as you get with the premium paid editions.

A lot of enterprises are happy to with Zoho Invoice and do not wish to invest in a paid solution because the app is easy to use. The vendor takes care of setup, upgrades, and maintenance. In addition, the program allows you to generate and deliver personalized invoices in several languages and currencies which minimizes human intervention and error in large financial transactions.

Who can benefit from Zoho Invoice?

It is designed for small and growing companies as well as sole business owners who plan to simplify their invoice delivery. You can try out this app if you already use any other Zoho software product.

What are the free features?

The free edition includes the same customer support, integrations, and invoicing features that come with the paid packages. It is meant for sole proprietors and accountants who work with up to 5 clients per month.

Here is the list of free features:

  • Attach files to invoices
  • Attach unbilled projects and expenses while creating invoice
  • Calendar view of timesheets
  • Client portal for users
  • Collection of reports
  • Expense management
  • Integration with PayPal Payflow, PayPal, and Authorize.Net
  • Invoice templates
  • Multi-language & multi-currency
  • Recurring invoices
  • RESTful API
  • Snail mail
  • SSL encryption & two-factor authentication
  • Time tracking
  • Uploading of expense receipts

What features come with the paid packages?

Zoho Invoice offers 3 paid editions:

  • Basic Plan ($7/month, 1 user, 50 customers)
  • Standard Plan ($15/month, 3 users, 50 customers)
  • Professional Plan ($30/month, unlimited users, unlimited customers)

The paid packages are designed for more number of users and customers but the features are the same for all editions.

3. ZipBooks

Software highlight: data intelligence

ZipBooks is a simple yet powerful accounting and invoicing application that you can leverage to tidy up your finances and derive operable intelligence from your data. The tool allows you to enhance financial control and provide quality support to your clients. Accountants can utilize the software to create and send professional invoices, get paid via credit cards and PayPal, and reduce their workload with the auto-billing tool.

ZipBooks categorizes data in a color-coded scheme and helps enterprises save time by streamlining reconciliation. On top of that, you can closely monitor your expenses, account payables, and financial transactions. The key feature of this solution is data intelligence as it generates insights on valuable customers and enables you to compare the performance and achievements of your top competitors.

Who can benefit from ZipBooks?

It is designed for corporate teams that wish to leverage their financial data for smart forecasting.

What are the free plan features?

ZipBooks’ free Starter plan includes unlimited bookkeeping and invoicing. In addition, you get main features such as analytics, PayPal integration, and business health score. There is no limit to the number of users and you can access the helpful knowledge base.

Starter plan features:

  • Unlimited vendors & customers
  • Unlimited users
  • Unlimited recurring invoices with auto-bill
  • Unlimited invoicing
  • Unlimited bookkeeping
  • PayPal & credit card payments
  • Invoice quality score
  • Connect & manage bank
  • Analytics & business health score

What are the features with the paid editions?

ZipBooks offers 3 paid plans include the basic bookkeeping and accounting features, while also offering smart analytics tools. The 3 editions are:

  • Smarter Plan ($15/month)
  • Sophisticated Plan ($35/month)
  • Services Plan ($125/month)

Here are the main features of the paid plans:

  • ZipBooks Scholar (personal bookkeeper for tax saving analysis and monthly reports)
  • Unlimited bank connections
  • Time tracking
  • Team collaboration and secure sharing
  • Auto-import of expenses into customers’ invoices
  • Advanced intelligence

4. Odoo

Software highlight: inventory management

Odoo combines the best of sales and project management, and improves them with an array of POS, eCommerce, and MRP functions. On top of that, it integrates all your sales channels and also provides strong inventory management tools which is why many experts rate it as a top business management platform.

Odoo stands above standard ERP solutions because it is a modular software app. You can make use of over 1000 modules and add more along the way. On top of that, the tool is very flexible and you can effortlessly customize it for your business needs.

Who can benefit from Odoo?

It is designed for companies that are looking for a business software program that offers the necessary tools for ERP, sales, accounting, marketing, and project management processes.

What features come with the free edition?

The free basic plan is built for 1 app and accommodates up to 50 users. It includes all the key sales and ERP tools of the software.

Free plan features:

  • Website Edition
  • Timesheets
  • Suitable for up to 50 Users
  • Sales Management
  • Reporting
  • Project Management
  • Point of Sale
  • MRP
  • Marketing
  • Leave Management
  • Inventory Management
  • eSignature
  • E-Commerce
  • CRM
  • Cloud Hosting
  • Automated Stock Update
  • Automated Invoicing
  • Automated Calendar
  • Accounting
  • 1 App

What features come with the paid plans?

Odoo presents 2 paid editions:

  • Online Plan (€20/user/month)
  • Enterprise Plan (€25/user/month, minimum 5 users)

The paid plans accommodate more number of users and provide superior deployment options, customer support, and customization access.

Extra features with the paid editions:

  • More than 50 users
  • Premium support
  • Mobile apps
  • Implementation service and assistance
  • Customization

5. Expensify

Software highlight: travel expenses management

Expensify is an ideal option for startups and low-tier market users. It presents a range of benefits created around a transparency maintenance procedure. You can leverage this app to boost finance control, maintain summaries of a number of accounts simultaneously, balance debt-to-income ratios, and manage travel expenses.

Expensify automates expense reporting as it is integrated with a number of payment modes, credit card providers, and financial transaction institutions. It employs advanced GPS technology to track your staff members’ business trips and calculates the payments for them. For international business trips, it uses a rate exchange calculator and currency converter. In addition, it can integrate smoothly with your existing eCommerce, CRM, and ERP programs.

Who can benefit from Expensify?

It is designed for companies that wish to efficiently manage travel expenses and enhance their financial operations.

What features come free?

Expensify’s free basic edition includes all main accounting features and doesn’t limit receipt storage. However, you will not be able to access software’s direct integrations with ERP, business intelligence, and accounting products.

Here is the list of free features:

  • Unlimited receipt storage
  • Real-time expense reports
  • Free mobile app
  • Duplicate expense detection
  • Direct deposit reimbursement
  • Credit card import
  • Corporate cards
  • Candidate reimbursement
  • Basic approval hierarchies
  • Automatic reporting & submitting
  • Automatic reimbursement
  • Automatic approval
  • Automatic accounting sync
  • Auditor access
  • Advanced tax tracking
  • 10 free SmartScans per month

What are the features of the paid editions?

Expensify presents 2 paid editions:

  • Team Plan – $5/user/month
  • Corporate Plan – $9/user/month

The paid packages include direct integrations with third-party software, premium support, and a number of elite expense management and security features.

Here is the list of their features:

  • Unlimited SmartScans per month
  • Online next day ACH reimbursement
  • Multi-level tagging
  • Direct integration with Dynamics, Intacct, NetSuite and more
  • Direct integration with Xero and QuickBooks
  • Custom report exports
  • Corporate card reconciliation
  • Advanced policy enforcement

6. Mango Billing

Software highlight: due date management

Mango Billing is a free billing and time solution for small and medium-sized businesses. It empowers you to set up and maintain accounting tasks, generate custom timing reports, and manage your expenses and due dates. The tool offers Outlook-style spreadsheets and calendars, and can be easily accessed from mobile devices and desktops.

Why is Mango Billing in this shortlist of best free accounting software in 2017? To start, the product helps to improve your billing and time processes. You can easily set up and add your recurring tasks in the platform which then arranges them in cycles. This means after a task is completed it automatically appoints the next one. Plus, you can categorize tasks and dates any way you wish and get an all-round overview of date ranges any time. Mango Billing is also known for its strong reporting capabilities which enable you to generate in-depth reports quickly and easily.

Who can benefit from Mango Billing?

It is designed for sole accountants, finance consultants, and teams with up to 15 members.

What are the free features?

The free package offers time and billing tools and is designed for single users with up to 2 clients per month.

Following are the free features:

  • Accept credit cards
  • Dashboards
  • Filters
  • Firm-wide centralized scheduling
  • Mobile access
  • Outlook-style calendars
  • QuickBooks integration
  • Recurring appointments
  • Reminders
  • Retainer management
  • Sync with Outlook and Google Calendar
  • Time & expense tracking
  • To-do lists

What features come with the paid packages?

The paid plans offer all the tools of the free version but are designed for larger teams serving more clients. Here are the details of the paid packages:

  • Solo Plan ($19/month, 1 user, unlimited clients)
  • Basic Plan ($59/month, 4 users, unlimited clients)
  • Pro Plan ($99/month, 8 users, unlimited clients)
  • Enterprise Plan ($159/month, 15 users, unlimited clients)

7. TurboCASH

Software highlight: Point-of-sale features

TurboCASH is a highly rated free open-source accounting platform that you can easily configure for your business environment. It offers advanced cashier and point-of-sale tools that present all the standard gains of double-entry accounting. This program is desktop-oriented but still allows data migration and supports export and import of transactions as CSV files.

TurboCASH has a large user community that you can contact for assistance and get helpful tips on how to maximize the potential of the software. If you wish to access the app’s advanced capabilities, you can pay $60/month for the premium package.

Who can benefit from TurboCASH?

It is built for sole accountants, consultants, and small retail businesses. Large teams can also test drive the features of the freemium plan.

What are the free features?

The free open source plan includes most of the software’s basic accounting and invoicing tools. This package is designed for unlimited number of users and they can generate and deliver unlimited number of invoices.

Here is the list of free features:

  • Access to user community
  • Cashbook
  • Debtor credits
  • Full reports
  • Inventory
  • Invoicing
  • Multi-language
  • Open source data
  • Repeating entries
  • Report drill down
  • Rollback database
  • Tax compliant for 80 states

What are the features of the premium plan?

The premium package is priced at $60/month. It offers the following features:

  • Access to premium consultant services
  • Cloud applications
  • CSV, SQL, Firebird
  • IFRS & GARB accounts
  • World class general ledger

8. Compiere

Software highlight: enterprise resource planning (ERP)

Compiere offers standout ERP functionalities that small and medium-sized companies can use to automate their manufacturing procedures and manage their warehouses and resources. This comprehensive platform is offered free of cost and you can easily adapt it for your business needs. If you want sophisticated features, subscribe to the Enterprise Edition that enables you to customize important processes such as performance management, visual dictionaries, and multisite ERP.

Besides ERP, Compiere is also an ideal tool for customer management and support and you can leverage its sales-oriented CRM features to track customer engagements. On top of that, you can produce a range of standard financial reports for in-depth analysis.

Who can benefit from Compiere?

It is recommended for businesses that wish to utilize ERP features to customize their manufacturing procedures and to manage their inventory. Sole proprietors can try the free edition.

What features are offered free?

The free plan includes all key ERP and manufacturing control and ERP features. It offers unlimited storage and is designed for unlimited number of users.

  • CRM (Web store, service, and sales)
  • Customer history
  • Data dictionary
  • Dynamic Web services
  • eCommerce
  • Finance control
  • Multisite ERP (manufacturing, materials management, purchasing, global financial management, order management, and warehouse management)
  • Performance management (business view layers, standard reports, and management dashboards)
  • Sales

What features do you need to pay for?

The paid Enterprise package provides customization capabilities as it enables you to convert the platform into an adaptive business software solution and deploy it in the cloud or on premise. Contact the vendor for a quote as well as info on discounts.

Here is the list of paid features:

  • Access to application source code
  • Customization
  • Data backup by Consona
  • Deployment by choice (web-based or on-premise)
  • Extensive features you can use without IT skills
  • Visual dictionary edition

9. Invoice Expert

Software highlight: customer management

Invoice Expert is a free system that combines inventory management with invoicing and billing tools. You can select either the Lite plan (for teams with up to 100 customers and products) or the Advanced plan that supports unlimited customers/products. For both editions, you don’t need to worry about hidden fees or support charges.

Invoice Expert can effortlessly meet the billing, invoicing, and inventory management challenges of businesses in any industry. It also presents an efficient customer management and support suite. Premium users get quoting and personalized invoice designer features. Finally, the solution’s multiple networking options enable you to seamlessly integrate it with your business software environment.

Who can benefit from Invoice Expert?

It is designed for retail stores, professional service providers, and web-based businesses.

What features come free?

The free Lite Edition accommodates unlimited number of users and storage. But email technical support is not included and you need to get assistance from forum members.

Here is the list of main free features:

  • Billing and invoicing
  • Customer management (100 customers)
  • Inventory management
  • Multiple invoice templates (no personalized designer)
  • Online forum support
  • On-premise deployment
  • Product management (100 products)

What are the paid plan features?

The premium Advanced package supports unlimited number of customers and products and gives access to a personalized invoice creator. In addition, you get premium email support. The edition costs $69.95 (one-time download license).

Extra features in the paid edition:

  • Unlimited products
  • Unlimited customers
  • Premium email support
  • Personalized invoice designer

10. Roboeyelabs

Software highlight: CRM

Roboeyelabs is a free tool that fuses accounting and CRM in one streamlined solution. This smart app offers essential accounting features such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash management, purchasing, billing and invoicing, revenue recognition, and expense tracking. In addition, it boosts your marketing campaigns by integrating smoothly with Xero and QuickBooks.

The key feature of this software is the tidy CRM module that gathers customer data to help you create an accurate sales pipeline and identify promising business opportunities. In addition, it automates invoice creation and delivery. The platform is cloud-based which means you get automatic upgrades and maintenance from the vendor. The best part is you get to use a free plan and you can easily scale to a paid package starting at just $1/month if your business grows.

Who can benefit from Roboeyelabs?

It is recommended for small and medium-sized sales teams that leverage their invoicing workflows to collect useful customer data for targeted marketing campaigns. .

What are the free features?

The free Bronze plan does not offer features such as pipeline creation, lead management, and rest API for connectivity. However, you get these key features for free:

  • Bills
  • Contacts
  • Invoices
  • Payments
  • Products
  • Quotes
  • Reports
  • Transactions

What features come with the paid packages?

The 2 paid packages provide sales and social CRM tools. Here is their pricing:

  • Silver Plan – $1/month
  • Gold plan – $2/month.

In addition, you get these features with the paid plans:

  • Customization
  • Email notifications & alerts
  • Lead management
  • Pipeline & opportunity management
  • Rest API
  • Social CRM

About Author

Kate Stephens is a young and creative graphic designer as well as the mastermind behind her own startup company aimed at providing customers with reliable and often cheaper alternatives to various popular brands and products from all possible markets.

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