If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably heard of QuickBooks for your taxes. It is designed specifically for business purposes, after all. But, good business owners are always looking for alternatives, and just as people preparing their individual taxes have a lot of choices, so do business owners. Here, we look at the leading tax software alternatives to QuickBooks, give you a rundown on their pros and cons, and summarize their pricing so you can get the best idea about what is right for your business.
- Try out if you find yourself outgrowing QuickBooks and want a more powerful alternative.
- Try out if you are a freelancer or self-employed.
- Try out if staying tax compliant is your top priority.
- Try out if you need unlimited users, quotes, or elements.
Best QuickBooks alternative
|Modular service for your business needs
|You won’t know pricing until you contact company
|Full accounting functionality
|Migration from QuickBooks to NetSuite is common
One of the overall favorites as a QuickBooks alternative is NetSuite. In a direct comparison of QuickBooks vs NetSuite, we actually preferred NetSuite. It is a flexible software package that can be molded to the exact needs of your business, not a generic business. The whole process and selecting what you need from the service will happen when you contact NetSuite. Unfortunately, this does mean that there is no guaranteed pricing until after you talk with onboarding staff, but you can be sure you’ll have a good word on what you need with your representative before starting.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a sense of need a QuickBooks alternative is a pretty common thing to happen before a NetSuite signup. It’s a move somewhat like a hermit crab seeking a bigger shell. In that regard, there is plenty of information online about the specifics of switching to NetSuite, plus NetSuite will guide you along the process as well.
Pricing: Custom pricing based on your needs.
Best for freelancers and self-employed
|Has specific programs for the self-employed and freelancers
|Payroll and team members cost extra
|Phone and email support
|Highly affordable, free trial
If you’re a small team of one, you likely want to check out FreshBooks. This software is made for businesses of many sizes, but is the most affordable for you. For example, freelancers are recommended to try one of their two cheapest plans, which both cost under $15 per month for the first 6 months. Meanwhile, the self-employed can try their middle and upper tier plans which cost under $25 per month for the first 6 months. Check out industry-based guides (including for creatives and small software companies) on the FreshBooks website and get the chance to try the software for the first month free. This gives you ample time to try the software and see if you like it. On the taxes side of things, FreshBooks will provide you with the important information you need to know, like the Profit and Loss Report as well as a Sales Tax Summary, ensuring that you are ready to fill out your tax forms with limited questions. They also have an accountant partner program to help you reach tax professionals versed in their software.
Pricing: From $19 per month. Get 60% off for first 6 months. Has 30 day free trial.
Best for complex tax situations
|Neat AI integration
|Most features locked behind higher-priced plans
|Helps with many tax situations
|Has a free plan available
It is really hard to find small business accounting software that prioritizes tax compliancy more than Zoho, who claims that by using their software staying within IRS compliance “is now easier done than said.” The software handles 1099 reports, sales tax reports, calculates sales tax liabilities in real time, and keeps tax records clear and straight. Within the software, you can toggle sales tax on or off, add new taxes as they arise, control tax exemptions your company uses, and more. Zoho Books has six tiers of plans, though their most basic plan — available to businesses making under $50,000 per year in revenue — is free.
Pricing: From $0 to $240 per month. 14 day free trial available.
Best for those that need many users
|Plans for unlimited users, estimates, and transactions
|Not as robust as QuickBooks
|Great French support
In general, we find that most people prefer QuickBooks to Sage Accounting, at least somewhat, except for those in one particular category: Those that need lots of users. While the tax software programs have similar capabilities and Sage Accounting can handle tax filing, cash management, and expense tracking, the big advantage is the power of the “unlimited”. With Sage Accounting’s Standard Plan, you get unlimited users, the ability to send unlimited quotes, and send unlimited estimates. Another bonus, if you work internationally, is that the worldwide popular second language of French is also included in the interface and support for all plans.
Pricing: Sage Accounting Standard is $39 per month and $20 per month for the first 3 months. There is a 1 month free trial available.
In many ways, the above QuickBooks alternatives are really just a subset of the most popular business tax software suites for businesses. This is because the best tend to be popular and there don’t tend to be many good options at the top. Once we got the list, we trimmed it down to easy-to-use software that made sense in the following categories:
Ease of use
QuickBooks is known for being relatively easy to use. We wanted our QuickBooks alternatives to have accessible guidance in place to help you in a similar manner to what QuickBooks could do. Rest assured, if the software was considered too advanced, it was cut from the list.
Business taxes are quite complex and year-to-year inconsistencies or problems in your tax reporting can cause IRS woes, internal headaches, and inefficient processes. Our QuickBooks alternatives were chosen based on having a track record of consistent performance for many types of businesses.
For some things, a single opinion is all it takes to know if you’ll like something. But when it comes to businesses, which all have their own quirks, tax software should be flexible and appease many people. We found that the best QuickBooks alternatives were also the most versatile in their approach to taxes and, as a result, had overall high levels of customer satisfaction.
This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.
Courtesy by: Digital Trends