The 8 Best Small-Business Accounting Apps of 2021

To rank the best small-business apps for bookkeeping, we considered each app’s features, functionality, user-friendliness, accessibility, and user ratings on Apple’s app store and Google Play. We also looked at overall accounting software features, including receipt-scanning, invoicing, number of plans, and pricing.

Best overall
Quickbooks
QuickBooks Online
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9
Starting from
$25.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Mobile invoicing, receipt scanning, and payment acceptance
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    User number limited by plan
Best invoicing
Fresh Books
FreshBooks
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
Starting from
$15.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Mobile invoice, receipt scanning, and payment acceptance
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Unlimited users (addt'l fee)
Best for collaboration
Xero
Xero
4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2
Starting from
$11.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Mobile invoicing, receipt scanning, and payment acceptance
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Free unlimited users
Best automation
Zoho
Zoho Books
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9
Starting from
$15.00/mo.*
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Mobile invoicing, receipt scanning, and payment acceptance
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    User number limited by plan
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Easy syncing with Zoho suite of products
Best customer service
Sage
Sage Business Cloud Accounting
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Starting from
$10.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Mobile invoicing, receipt scanning, and payment acceptance
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    User number limited by plan

Data as of 11/4/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*When billed annually.

The bottom line: QuickBooks Online offers our favorite accounting software app for small businesses. Its extremely user-friendly app is highly rated by both iOS and Android users. The app also does everything QuickBooks’ online interface can do and more, like mileage tracking and receipt scanning.

If QuickBooks Online doesn’t work for you, though, most other online accounting solutions include mobile apps with a similar level of user friendliness. For instance, FreshBooks is our top pick for freelancers who want to send professional invoices on the go, while Xero’s unlimited user number makes it perfect for collaborative teams. Zoho Books takes accounting automation into the next century, and Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a super affordable, user-friendly pick for budget-conscious business owners. 

Best small-business accounting apps

Best small-business accounting apps

Brand name
Starting price
User number (with basic plan)
Mobile mileage and expense tracking
Get started
Quickbooks

QuickBooks

$25.00/mo.

1 user
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Fresh Books

FreshBooks

$15.00/mo.

Unlimited (addt'l fee)
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Xero

Xero

$11.00/mo.

Unlimited
Icon No  DarkMileage tracking only
Zoho

Zoho Books

$15.00/mo.*

1 user
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Sage

Sage

$10.00/mo.

1 user
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Data as of 11/4/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*When billed annually.

QuickBooks Online: Best overall

Best overall accounting app
Quickbooks
QuickBooks Online
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9
  • Starting at $25.00/mo.
  • Check
    Mobile mileage tracking and receipt scanning
  • Check
    Mobile invoicing (limited customization)
  • Check
    Up to 25 users (with most expensive plan only)

Data as of 11/4/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

App Store rating: 4.7 stars (127.1K reviews)1
Google Play rating: 4.0 stars (42.5K reviews)2

The QuickBooks app basically does everything your QuickBooks Online account does—which is a big deal, since many companies’ apps don’t have the heft of their desktop versions. With the mobile app, you can do any of the following things:

  • Pull up 50+ common, easy-to-read financial reports and send them to other stakeholders.
  • Send invoices with attached receipts via text, email, or messaging app—with the additional security of an encrypted link.
  • Automatically track expenses.
  • Use GPS to automatically track mileage.
  • Set up, accept, and sign estimates for customers even when you’re out of the office.
  • Accept payments with your preferred payment gateway.
  • Automatically transfer payments to your bank.

Thanks to QuickBooks’ customizable, comprehensive features, it’s a great choice for most types of businesses. For instance, the estimate and quote feature makes it perfect for busy plumbing and HVAC contractors. The GPS mileage tracker is great for companies where employees spend a lot of time in transit, like real estate agents who spend the day traveling from house to house. And the secure invoicing via text feature works well for freelancers who need a quick, easy way to get paid on time.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Fast setup and low learning curve
Pro Bullet Simple integration with other business apps
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Higher starting price than most competitors
Con Bullet Declining Android user reviews

FreshBooks: Best for invoicing

Best mobile invoicing app
Fresh Books
FreshBooks
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
  • Starting at $15.00/mo.
  • Check
    Mobile mileage tracking and receipt scanning
  • Check
    Fantastic mobile invoicing
  • Check
    Multiple users ($10.00/addt'l user/mo.)

Data as of 11/4/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

App Store rating: 4.8 stars (9.9K reviews)3
Google Play rating: 4.5 stars (3.4K reviews)4

Are you a hard-working freelancer who needs to track project time, juggle expenses, and send accurate invoices to customers on the go? Then we can't recommend FreshBooks’ cloud-based accounting software highly enough. For $15 a month, FreshBooks includes unlimited customizable invoices that sync easily with its time tracking features so you can bill your clients the right amount per project. FreshBooks also integrates estimates, which you can throw together on the app, pass along for client approval, and transform into an invoice as soon as the project is over.

The app seems to work just as well for Apple users as for Google users. And though it has fewer users overall than QuickBooks, it scores super high for both platforms. Users' main complaints center on the app's lack of features when compared to the desktop version—but FreshBooks is so fully featured that fewer mobile features still means a lot of mobile features. Plus, FreshBooks' customer service team is very active on both review sites: if you have a problem, a customer service rep will usually pass along your complaint to a developer within a few hours.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Unlimited customizable invoicing
Pro Bullet Affordable starting price
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Fewer features with app than with desktop
Con Bullet High price-per-user fee

Xero: Best for collaboration

Most collaborative accounting app
Xero
Xero
4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2
  • Starting at $11.00/mo.
  • Check
    Mobile invoicing
  • Check
    Unlimited users
  • X
    No built-in expense tracking with cheapest plan

Data as of 11/4/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

App Store rating: 4.5 stars (569 reviews)5
Google Play rating: 4.5 stars (5.8K reviews)6

With Xero, accounting is easy and affordable. In fact, Xero’s accounting plans come pretty darn close to competing with QuickBooks’—but at the much more reasonable price of $11 a month. Xero’s app offers these key on-the-go features:

  • Bank reconciliation
  • Invoicing
  • Employee time management

Most impressively, Xero lets you add unlimited users, which is next to unheard of in the world of accounting applications. That feature alone makes Xero perfect for midsize to larger businesses for whom paying an extra $5 to $10 per user per month adds up fast.

However, Xero's apps aren't quite as solid as QuickBooks' or FreshBooks’—Xero has fewer app users, but on the whole, they report more bugs. (In fairness, though, no one's accounting apps are as solid as QuickBooks'.) Xero is also a better pick for Android users than iOS users. Android users have an overall better experience, and there are thousands of Android reviews of Xero’s app (compared to a few hundred of the iOS app).

Strengths
Pro Bullet Affordable starting price
Pro Bullet Free unlimited users with every plan
Weaknesses
Con Bullet No expense tracking with cheapest plans
Con Bullet Limited customer service hours

Zoho Books: Best automation

Most user-friendly automation
Zoho
Zoho Books
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9
  • Starting at $15.00/mo.*
  • Check
    Thorough app and software automation
  • Check
    Highly rated app
  • Check
    Users limited by plan

Data as of 11/4/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*When billed annually

App Store rating: 4.8 stars (725 reviews)7
Google Play rating: 4.7 stars (7.3K reviews)8

Along with automatic data updates, Zoho Books builds automated workflows into each plan so you can take even more accounting tasks off your plate. An automated workflow is a task or process you usually do by hand—usually something boring but time consuming, like categorizing payments or organizing invoices—that your software or app does for you. With Zoho Books, you can choose which tasks you want to automate, whether that’s billing customers automatically, creating recurring payments, or sending payment reminders to clients who haven’t paid you.

Zoho Books’ biggest downside—and it’s a big one—is that it doesn’t have any payroll capabilities. You can’t even integrate Zoho Books with payroll apps like Gusto. The company is currently rolling out payroll software in India, but the rest of the world is (so far) out of luck.

Still, users worldwide rave about Zoho's accounting app, which is super user-friendly and isn't plagued with bugs or crashes. So if you don't need payroll integration but do need on-the-go bookkeeping, Zoho Books' affordable plans might be worth your while.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Plans with inventory management
Pro Bullet Multiple workflow automation options
Weaknesses
Con Bullet No payroll processing
Con Bullet Limited integration with non-Zoho apps

Sage Business Cloud Accounting: Best customer service

Most responsive customer service
Sage
Sage
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • Starting at $10.00/mo.
  • Check
    Mobile expense tracking
  • Check
    Mobile invoice follow-ups and customer reminders
  • Check
    Users limited by plan

Data as of 11/4/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

App Store rating: 4.4 stars (30 reviews)9
Google Play rating: 3.2 stars (277 reviews)10

Sage Business Cloud Accounting—formerly Sage One—is a thorough accounting application with a wide array of mobile capabilities. Whether you’re using the cloud-based software or the app, Sage’s interface is extremely user friendly with colorful, easy-to-read dashboard reports.

Sage also has a fairly solid customer service team: you can call, chat, or email customer support. Its stand-out customer service option is Sage University, an online series of financial courses for business owners. Most small-business owners who use accounting apps don’t have an extensive bookkeeping background, so we like that Sage doesn’t just provide a user-friendly app—it also gives users the tools to effectively use that app to manage their businesses.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting has two price points: $10 per month and $25 per month. The basic $10 plan only allows for one user, and its features are comparatively limited. (For instance, inventory management is included with the pricier plan only.) And while the low starting price is good for freelancers, the app doesn’t have built-in mileage tracking, so contractors who travel for work should probably look for a different accounting platform.

Still, the app is fully featured regardless of the plan you choose—especially for invoicing. You can use it to create and send invoices, generate estimates and quotes, and follow up with customers who have overdue invoices. The app also has a solid expense-tracking service that includes thorough transaction records.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Low starting price
Pro Bullet Online financial education courses
Pro Bullet Thorough mobile invoicing, including overdue invoice notifications
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Declining Android reviews
Con Bullet Limited features with cheapest plan
Con Bullet Only a handful of iOS app users

More small-business accounting app options

The small-business apps we listed above might be our favorites, but they’re definitely not the only fish in the great app sea. If our first five choices didn’t catch your eye, no worries—scan this list for more accounting solutions that could better handle your needs.

Brand name
Starting price
User limit (with basic plan)
Mobile mileage and expense tracking
Get started
FreeAgent

FreeAgent

$12.00/mo.*Unlimited users
Icon Yes  DarkYes
One Up

OneUp

$9.00/mo.1 user
Icon No  DarkNo
Kashoo

Kashoo

$20.00/mo.Unlimited
Icon No  DarkExpense tracking only

Data as of 11/4/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*For the first six months only. After six months, price increases to $24.00/mo.

FreeAgent: Best customer engagement

Best customer engagement
FreeAgent
FreeAgent
  • Starting at $12.00/mo.*
  • Check
    Invoicing, billing, and receipt-scanning app
  • Check
    iOS and Android apps
  • Check
    Mobile mileage-tracking

Data as of 11/4/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*For first six months only. After six months, price increases to $24.00/mo.

App Store rating: 4.7 stars (6.3K reviews)11
Google Play rating: 4.3 stars (587 reviews)12

FreeAgent has all the basics of good accounting apps and software, including on-the-go receipt capturing, invoicing, and billing. But it also has a few perks that set it apart. For one thing, it lists your upcoming tax dates so you can stay on top of deadlines. It also has a time feature so you can track meeting minutes and manage mileage.

Since FreeAgent is a UK-based company, its entire support team is located in the UK. That doesn’t stop agents from getting in touch, though—the FreeAgent app support team responds to almost every comment (positive and negative alike) on both the App Store and Google Play store, thanking users and actively requesting user input.

OneUp: Best inventory management

Best for managing inventory
One Up
OneUp
  • Starting at $9.00/mo.
  • Check
    Excellent mobile sales and inventory features
  • Check
    App-based lead generation
  • X
    Extremely poor iOS app ratings

Data as of 11/4/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

App Store rating: 1 star (5 reviews)13
Google Play rating: 3.9 stars (194 reviews)14

Once you sync OneUp with your bank account, the app automates your books and keeps you up to date with daily profit and cash flow updates. But where the app really excels is in its mobile sales features: you can input potential leads on the go, automatically generate product reorders from sales orders, and track inventory from the app.

A few downsides: the OneUp app doesn’t offer loads of integrations—just your basic Google Apps and Square. OneUp’s basic plan doesn’t include customer service, so if you run into trouble with the app, you’re on your own.

Most importantly, OneUp’s iOS app is fairly new. According to the five user reviews, it’s buggy to the point of being basically worthless. But as much as we hate to recommend an accounting solution with such a poor iOS app, OneUp’s unique sales and inventory features should keep it on your radar—at least if you own an Android.

Kashoo: Best iOS-only

Best iOS-only app
Kashoo
Kashoo
  • Starting at $20.00/mo.
  • Check
    Mobile expense tracking and invoicing
  • Check
    Free invoicing-only plan and app
  • X
    App limited to iOS only

Data as of 11/4/21. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

App Store rating: 4.2 stars (69 ratings)15

We hate to recommend an Apple-only app, but it seems only fair to balance OneUp's abysmal iOS ratings with Kashoo's well-reviewed iPhone app.

Kashoo's main emphasis is simplicity. It's one of the most streamlined, straightforward accounting solutions you can find, which makes it perfect for first-time business owners who aren't yet familiar with bookkeeping processes. The app is just as straightforward as the desktop software. You shouldn't be overwhelmed with confusing charts or overly complex reports. Instead, you can use it to easily send invoices, collect payments, and even track sales tax.

As with most apps in the "simple and straightforward" category, Kashoo's simplicity is its main downside. The software is great, but if you're hoping for in-depth reports and accounting features, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, or Xero all have more to offer. And, of course, the app is only available for iOS. Android users can't take advantage of Kashoo's easy accounting—at least, not yet. (An Android Kashoo app appears to be in the works.)

Get a tailored accounting recommendation for your small business

The takeaway

Accounting software already makes your life easier, your business operations smoother, and your bottom line happier. Honestly, the only way to improve your business’s accounting life is to choose software with an app that lets you do it all—anywhere you like.

Would you prefer to work with an accounting professional instead of using apps and in-house software? Check out our review of the best virtual and outsourced bookkeeping services to find an accounting solution that works for you.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources
1. App Store, “QuickBooks Accounting.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
2. Google Play, “QuickBooks Accounting: Invoicing & Expenses.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
3. App Store, "FreshBooks Cloud Accounting." Accessed November 4, 2021.
4. Google Play, “FreshBooks - Invoice + Accounting.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
5. App Store, “Xero Accounting & Invoices.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
6. Google Play, “Xero Accounting Software.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
7. App Store, “Accounting app – Zoho Books.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
8. Google Play, “Accounting App – Zoho Books.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
9. App Store, “Sage – Accounting.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
10. Google Play, “Sage - Accounting: invoicing & expenses.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
11. App Store, “FreeAgent Mobile Accounting.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
12. Google Play, “FreeAgent Mobile.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
13. App Store, “OneUp Online Accounting: Invoices, Inventory, Sales.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
14. Google Play, “Accounting Invoicing - OneUp.” Accessed November 4, 2021.
15. App Store, "Kashoo Cloud Accounting." Accessed November 4, 2021.

Best mobile accounting app FAQ

What are the pros and cons of mobile apps versus software?

The main pro is all in the name: unlike your work computer, mobile applications are . . . well, mobile. They go wherever you go as long as you travel with your phone. Since most of us are attached to our smartphones by the hip (or hand), that shouldn’t be a problem.

In other words, with an app, your business’s data is always with you and easily accessible. You don’t have to wait until you’re back at your computer to email a client, fill out an invoice, or submit an estimate.

The drawback to using apps over software is that most apps only do so much. The desktop versions of most accounting plans have more features and reports than the apps do. Plus, desktop versions are just easier to read—with a bigger screen, it’s easier to see your program’s navigation and options and to read reports.

What's the best app for small-business accounting?

QuickBooks Online easily rates as the best accounting app for small businesses. 

But you don’t have to take our word for it: both iOS and Android users score QuickBooks’ mobile accounting app incredibly high. On the App Store, QuickBooks gets 4.7 out of 5 stars from more than 126,000 reviewers.1 And though it’s rated lower on Google Play, Android users still rate QuickBooks’ small-business app above 4 stars2—not bad for an app used daily by millions of people around the world.

Methodology

To choose the best mobile accounting apps for small and midsize businesses, we looked at several key ranking factors:

  • Overall app functionality, including whether the app and software offer the same features
  • Mobile-specific features, such as receipt scanning and mileage tracking
  • Customer reviews for both the iOS and Android apps
  • User numbers
  • Plan and pricing information
  • General accounting features for the software as a whole
  • Overall accessibility, user-friendliness, and functionality
Kylie McQuarrie
Written by
Kylie McQuarrie
Kylie McQuarrie has been writing for and about small businesses since 2014. Prior to writing full-time, she worked with a variety of small-business owners (from freelance writers to real-estate solopreneurs), which gave her a front-row look at small-business owners' struggles, frustrations, and successes. Currently, she’s Business.org’s accounting and payroll staff writer. Her work has been featured on SCORE.org, G2, and Fairygodboss, among others.
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