The 10 Best Small-Business Accounting Apps of 2020

With a mobile accounting app, you can track your business's finances no matter how far away from the office you are. Not all accounting software companies offer apps, so if you want to do accounting on the go, we recommend checking out these 10 providers.

Best overall
Quickbooks
QuickBooks Online
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Comprehensive app
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Easy learning curve
Best invoicing
Fresh Books
FreshBooks
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Unlimited invoicing
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Expense tracking and time tracking
Best automation
Zoho
Zoho Books
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Inventory management
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Automated workflows
Best for collaboration
Xero
Xero
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Affordable plans
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Unlimited users
Best for payments
Hiveage
Hiveage
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Over 12 payment gateways
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Offline payment capabilities

There are only so many hours in a day, and small-business owners tend to work all of them. If you want to skim your latest balance sheet while you wait for the bus, pay employees before you get out of bed, or charge a customer for an overdue invoice while at lunch, desktop accounting software won't cut it: you need a solid mobile accounting app.

Accounting apps have improved in leaps and bounds over the past few years, and many (but not all) providers now bundle them in with their accounting plans. If accounting on the go is a must for you, keep reading: we've ranked and reviewed our 10 favorite mobile accounting apps.

Best small-business accounting apps

Best small-business accounting apps

Vendor
Starting monthly software price
iOS and Android availability
Free trial
App included at no extra cost
Learn more

QuickBooks

$25.00

Both

30 days

Yes

FreshBooks

$15.00

Both

30 days

Yes

Xero

$9.00

Both

30 days

Yes

Zoho Books

$9.00

Both

14 days

Yes

Hiveage

$0.00

Both

N/A

Yes

Data effective 9/28/20. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

QuickBooks Online: Best overall

Quickbooks

For a snappy, easy-to-use app that can basically do it all, you can't do better than the QuickBooks Online mobile app.

App Store rating: 4.7 stars (124.8K reviews)1

Google Play rating: 4.2 stars (36.8K reviews)2

Surprising no one, the biggest name in the accounting software business takes first place as our best app for small-business accounting. It’s easy to see why: QuickBooks Online is the software equivalent of the Jones family. Everyone else on the block is giving their all to keep up with them, but almost no one comes close.

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 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 Pricier software than many competitors
Con Bullet Poor payroll plans

FreshBooks: Best for invoicing

Fresh Books

Is accurate, professional invoicing a crucial part of your freelancing business? FreshBooks' fantastic invoicing app makes on-the-go client billing a cinch.

App Store rating: 4.8 stars (8.5K reviews)3

Google Play rating: 4.5 stars (2.1K 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 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 iOS users as for Google users, and though it has fewer users overall than QuickBooks (after all, most things do), 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 customized invoicing
Pro Bullet Affordable starting price
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Fewer features with app than desktop

Xero: Best for collaboration

Xero

If collaboration is the name of your game, choose Xero to add unlimited accounting app users at no additional fee.

App Store rating: 4.4 stars (314 reviews)5

Google Play rating: 4.1 stars (2.7K 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 a much more reasonable price. 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 mid-sized to larger businesses for whom paying an extra $4 to $6 per user per month adds up fast.

In fact, in our accounting software review, we awarded Xero first place over QuickBooks. However, Xero's apps aren't quite as solid as QuickBooks'—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', and Xero's clearly made an effort to up its game: in the last few months, its user base has increased and its iOS score has gone up from around 3.5 stars to nearly 5 stars.5 If it continues improving its app, who knows—Xero could outpace QuickBooks one day.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Affordable plans starting at $9/mo.
Pro Bullet Unlimited users
Weaknesses
Con Bullet iOS app that's not quite up to par
Con Bullet Limited customer support

Zoho Books: Best automation

Zoho

Want to automate your least favorite accounting and bookkeeping tasks? Zoho Books is the app for that.

App Store rating: 4.6 stars (180 reviews)7

Google Play rating: 4.6 stars (5.3K reviews)8

Most apps automatically sync your data across devices so whenever you enter a new customer payment on your app, the numbers update on your desktop software too. Along with automatic data updates, though, Zoho Books builds automated workflows into each plan so you can take even more accounting tasks off your plate.

What’s an automated workflow? It’s 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 other apps

Hiveage: Best for payments

Hiveage

Want to charge customers conveniently, professionally, and on the go? Hiveage has a payment solution for you.

App Store rating: 4.7 stars (71 reviews)9

Google Play rating: 3 stars (1 review)10

We know user numbers are low for Hiveage’s app—but since the company’s only five years old (one of the youngest on our list), that’s to be expected. And if you need a fast, convenient way to charge customers, we definitely recommend Hiveage.

The software and app work with over 12 payment gateways, including popular options like Square and PayPal but also more niche ones like WePay and 2Checkout. Hiveage plans allow you to deal with offline payments too, and the plans come with unlimited clients, bills, invoices, and estimates.

Hiveage’s app does basically everything the software does, which is great if you need the same functionality on the go as you get on desktop. And if you love the word unlimited but not the words monthly fee, Hiveage's new free plan limits only your billable monthly clients. Otherwise, you get unlimited invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, estimates, and, of course, the free app.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Over 12 payment gateways
Pro Bullet Offline payments
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Limited bookkeeping
Con Bullet Limited accounting
Find Your Money—and Keep More of It

With plans starting at $15 a month, FreshBooks is well-suited for freelancers, solopreneurs, and small-business owners alike.

  • Track time and expenses
  • Create custom invoices
  • Accept online payments

More accounting app options

The 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.

GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping: Best bookkeeping-only

App Store rating: 2.9 stars (62 reviews)11

Google Play rating: 3.5 stars (20 reviews)12

Simply want to track your profit, check your balance, and easily input expenses? Don’t pay for more than you need. At just under $5 a month, GoDaddy Bookkeeping’s price is nearly impossible to beat for the features it offers. The app is especially great for freelancers and contractors on a budget. If you only need to track invoices and payments and periodically check your numbers, GoDaddy has you covered.

However, GoDaddy Bookkeeping provides bookkeeping only, so we can’t exactly call it one of the best accounting apps. Plus, the app doesn’t have the most or greatest reviews—it skates by with more middling numbers than our other picks.

Wave Invoicing: Best invoicing runner-up

App Store rating: 4.6 stars (3.3K reviews)13

Google Play rating: 4.6 stars (18.1K reviews)14

Wave’s accounting plan is completely free, so if affordability is your thing, Wave should be your go-to pick. But there's a pesky hold-up: while Wave's site is fairly mobile-friendly, it doesn't have an actual accounting app. What it does have is a solid invoicing app—plus a payment app and receipt-scanning app, all of which are fully functional and highly rated.

All of Wave's products sync with each other, so if you don't need accounting on the go as much as you need easy invoicing, Wave is a freelancer's dream.

FreeAgent: Best customer engagement

App Store rating: 4.7 stars (26 reviews)15

Google Play rating: 4.5 stars (366 reviews)16

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.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting: Best Microsoft 365 integration

App Store rating: 4.4 stars (30 reviews)17

Google Play rating: 2.8 stars (242 reviews)18

Sage Business Cloud Accounting—formerly Sage One—is a thorough accounting application with a smorgasbord of mobile capabilities, including inventory management. Sage Business Cloud Accounting has two price points: $10 per month and $25 per month. But here’s one place where Sage loses points. The website almost entirely promotes the $25 plan and implies that the app is available only with the higher price point, though that’s hard to verify even with customer service (and believe us, we tried).

Frankly, the whole site is super confusing, so just know this: unless you need full-service accounting with total Microsoft 365 integration, you’re good to stick with the cheaper Sage Business Cloud Accounting plans.

OneUp: Best inventory management

App Store rating: 1 star (1 review)19

Google Play rating: 4 stars (190 reviews)20

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. OneUp’s site also lets you toggle between the software’s mobile and desktop views, so if you plan to run your numbers primarily on your phone, you can use the site itself to make sure you like the app interface before you buy.

A few downsides: OneUp’s iOS app is fairly new, and according to the sole review, it’s still pretty buggy. Plus, whether you work with iOS or Android, the OneUp app doesn’t offer loads of integrations—just your basic Google Apps and Square.

Kashoo: Best iOS-only

App Store rating: 4.3 stars (64 ratings)21

We really hate to recommend an app that only works with iOS, so major apologies to all you Android users out there. But not many accounting software providers are as easy to set up and navigate as Kashoo, and the app's simplicity is its main selling point. Sure, it wasn't built for bigger businesses, but freelancers, solopreneurs, and small to midsize businesses should find plenty of convenience with Kashoo . . . as long as they're fine with Apple.

Mobile 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.

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 September 28, 2020.
2. Google Play, “QuickBooks Accounting: Invoicing & Expenses.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
3. App Store, "FreshBooks Cloud Accounting." Accessed September 28, 2020.
4. Google Play, “FreshBooks - Invoice + Accounting.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
5. App Store, “Xero Accounting & Invoices.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
6. Google Play, “Xero Accounting Software.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
7. App Store, “Accounting app – Zoho Books.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
8. Google Play, “Accounting App – Zoho Books.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
9. App Store, “Hiveage Invoicing.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
10. Google Play, “Hiveage Invoicing.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
11. App Store, “GoDaddy Bookkeeping.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
12. Google Play, “GoDaddy Bookkeeping.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
13. App Store, “Invoice by Wave.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
14. Google Play, “Invoice by Wave.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
15. App Store, “FreeAgent Mobile Accounting.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
16. Google Play, “FreeAgent Mobile.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
17. App Store, “Sage – Accounting.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
18. Google Play, “Sage - Accounting: invoicing & expenses.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
19. App Store, “OneUp Online Accounting: Invoices, Inventory, Sales.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
20. Google Play, “Accounting Invoicing - OneUp.” Accessed September 28, 2020.
21. App Store, "Kashoo Cloud Accounting." Accessed September 28, 2020.

Kylie McQuarrie
Written by
Kylie McQuarrie
Kylie spent two of the last four years writing for and with small-business owners—from dentists in Australia to plumbers in the Midwest. She spent the other two writing in depth about internet and security. She’s passionate about reading, hiking, and dedicating every spare second to writing for fun (at lunch, between meetings, on the train, before breakfast . . . ). Her content helps small-business owners tackle the logistics of running a business so they can focus more on their passions too.
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