The 10 Best Accounting Software for Mac in 2021

If you want simple, easy-to-use accounting software to complement your streamlined, user-friendly Mac, try one of these small-business accounting solutions on for size.
Best overall
Xero
Xero
4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4
  • Starting price: $11.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    iPhone and iPad app
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Unlimited users
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Hundreds of third-party app integrations
Most user-friendly
Quickbooks
QuickBooks Online
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9
  • Starting price: $25.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    iPhone and iPad app
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Users limited by plan
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Hundreds of third-party app integrations
Best invoicing
Fresh Books
FreshBooks
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
  • Starting price: $15.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    iPhone and iPad app
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Users limited by plan
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Dozens of third-party app integrations
Best customer service
Sage
Sage Business Cloud Accounting
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7
  • Starting price: $10.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    iPhone and iPad app
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Users limited by plan
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Dozens of third-party app integrations
Best customer service
Zoho
Zoho Books
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6
  • Starting price: $15.00/mo.
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    iPhone and iPad app
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Unlimited users
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Some third-party app integrations

A few decades ago, Mac users struggled to find accounting software that worked as well as most PC versions did. Luckily, iOS is more popular now than ever. And since most accounting software programs are cloud-based, Mac users can access stellar small-business accounting software just as easily as PC users. Here’s our list of the 10 best accounting software for Mac-using small-business owners in 2021.

The best accounting software for Macs

The best accounting software for Macs 2021

Brand name
Starting price
Mobile app
Standout features
Learn more
Xero

Xero

$11.00/mo.iPhone, iPadInventory management
Quickbooks

QuickBooks Online

$25.00/mo.iPhone, iPadMileage tracking, 1099 contractor management
Fresh Books

FreshBooks

$15.00/mo.iPhone, iPadUnlimited invoices, customer portal
Sage

Sage Business Cloud Accounting

$10.00/mo.iPhone, iPad, Apple WatchUnlimited invoices, bank reconciliation
Zoho

Zoho Books

$15.00/mo.iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TVTask automation, recurring invoicing and expenses

Data effective 2/24/21. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Best overall: Xero

Xero
Xero
4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4

Xero’s basic plan includes inventory management, sales tax tracking, and unlimited users—for just $11 a month.

Xero’s sleek dashboard and easy-on-the eyes software are fantastic entry points for simplicity-loving Mac users. But its features are where Xero absolutely excels. Each plan—including the cheapest, $11 a month—offers these key features:

  • Inventory management
  • Sales tax tracking, customization, and reporting
  • Invoices
  • Online payment acceptance
  • Automatic bank reconciliation
  • Detailed, customizable reporting

Most importantly, though, Xero makes collaboration easy: each plan includes unlimited users at no additional cost. Xero also integrates with over 800 third-party accounting and payroll apps—more than any other accounting service provider, even Quickbooks.

If you take payments from customers across the globe, though, Xero’s online accounting software might not work for you. Only its priciest plan includes multi-currency acceptance. And Xero’s cheapest plan limits you to just 5 bills and 20 invoices a month. That’ll work for freelancers but not for small-business owners with a bigger client base, who should scale up to the $32 a month Growing plan for unlimited invoices.

Most user-friendly: QuickBooks Online

Quickbooks
QuickBooks Online
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9

QuickBooks Online’s exceptional mobile app secures its spot as a top pick for busy, on-the-go business owners. And while its starting price is higher than most, its user-friendliness and comprehensive features make QuickBooks Online a standout choice.

Mac users are all about simplicity and user-friendliness—and so is QuickBooks Online, Intuit’s cloud-based accounting solution. The software’s learning curve is as low as an accounting software provider can get, especially on the mobile app. In contrast to competitors like Wave, which offers receipt-scanning and invoicing apps only, QuickBooks’ mobile app can do everything the browser version can’t. With more than 125K user reviews and a star rating of 4.7 out of 5 on the App Store, the QuickBooks Online app for Mac is one of the most popular and most functional of any provider.1

Unfortunately, users pay quite a bit for all that functionality. At $25 a month, QuickBooks Online has one of the highest starting prices of any accounting solution. QuickBooks doesn’t offer loads of chances for collaboration, either. The $25 plan includes just one user, and the priciest ($150 a month) includes just 25.

Best invoicing: FreshBooks

Fresh Books
FreshBooks
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1

FreshBooks’ professional, customizable invoices are next to impossible to beat. The software also allows for easy client collaboration, and its time-tracking and project management features help you get paid the right amount for every job.

FreshBooks’ invoices are some of the best in the business. They’re fully customizable and, frankly, much more professional-looking than those you’ll get through competitors like QuickBooks Self-Employed. FreshBooks’ built-in time tracking syncs easily with its invoicing, so charging clients the exact right amount based on time worked isn’t a problem. And your clients can use FreshBooks’ client portal to accept quotes and estimates, see invoices, and pay you on time.

With FreshBooks’ $15-a-month plan, you can send unlimited invoices—but to no more than 5 clients a month. That limit could work for freelancers with a small clientele, but small businesses with a larger customer base will need the Plus plan ($25 a month with 50 monthly billable clients). And unlike Xero, FreshBooks charges $10 extra for each additional user you add. If you want to add multiple users, Xero is more cost-effective.

Best customer service: Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Sage
Sage Business Cloud Accounting
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7

For $10 a month, Sage Business Cloud Accounting includes all the accounting essentials a new freelancer needs. And with free training and 24/7 support, it’s a good choice for those finding their footing in the small-business world.

New to the business world and not sure how to start tracking your finances? Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s Start plan costs just $10 a month and offers essentials like bank reconciliation and professional invoicing. Its well-reviewed iOS app syncs across Apple Watches, iPads, and iPhones.

The $25-a-month plan adds services like inventory management, cash flow forecasting, and receipt scanning. It also offers unlimited users, so if you value collaboration but don’t care for Xero, Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a solid alternative. Most notably, both cloud-based accounting solutions include 24/7 chat support and free trainings on account setup. That’s eons beyond the customer support you’ll get from most other accounting software companies.

But even Sage’s pricier plan is pretty basic: it doesn’t have enough features to compete with Xero, FreshBooks, or QuickBooks. Plus, industry standard perks like receipt scanning are free for only three months with Sage. After that, scanning and storing receipts costs an additional fee.

Best automation: Zoho Books

Zoho
Zoho Books
3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6

Starting at $15 a month, Zoho Books goes heavy on automation and features. With automated recurring invoices, payment reminders, and customizable automations called workflows, Zoho Books aims to save business owners as much time on accounting as possible.

Zoho Books starts at $15 a month (when billed annually). That’s the same as FreshBooks—but unlike FreshBooks (and Xero), Zoho’s cheapest plan doesn’t limit your invoices or bills. It also has better automation than top providers like QuickBooks. The $9 plan includes automated recurring invoices, expenses, and payment reminders. The pricier plans add automatic bill payment as well.

Speaking of automation, Zoho Books’ most unique accounting feature is its automated workflows, which let you automate tedious tasks like sending emails or redirecting crucial customer calls to higher-ups. They can save you time and are completely customizable to your business’s unique situation.

Unfortunately, Zoho Books doesn’t currently sync with payroll software. As a result, we recommend it primarily to freelancers and small businesses with just a few employees. Otherwise, the time you’ll spend inputting payroll numbers into your accounting software outweighs the time you save automating accounting tasks.

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

Runner-ups

The picks above might be our favorites, but if they weren’t your favorites, don’t stress. Here are five more Mac-friendly accounting software options for your small business.

Compare Mac accounting software runner-ups

Brand name
Starting price
Mobile app
Standout features
Learn more
Wave

Wave Accounting

FreeiPhone (invoicing, payment acceptance, and receipt scanning)Unlimited invoices, multi-business management
Quickbooks

QuickBooks Desktop for Mac

$399.99 (one-time fee)NoneInventory management, job costing
FreeAgent

FreeAgent

$24.00/mo.iPhoneTime tracking, project management
Kashoo

Kashoo

$16.65/mo.iPhone, iPadAutomatic expense categorization, multi-currency support
AccountingEdge pro logo

AccountEdge Pro

$15.00/mo.iPhone, iPadCRM, inventory management

Data effective 2/24/21. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Most affordable: Wave Accounting

Wave
Wave

Wave’s free accounting software lets you send unlimited invoices, bill unlimited clients, and manage multiple businesses from the same account. It’s also free for life—no software budget required.

If saving money is your top concern, Wave should be among your top accounting software picks. Wave is completely free for life, doesn’t require a credit card, and offers enough features to compare with most paid accounting software options. Unlike FreshBooks and Xero, it doesn’t limit the number of invoices you can send or clients you can bill. It also includes at least as many reports as QuickBooks’ cheapest plan, and you can manage multiple businesses from just one Wave account.

While Wave’s receipt-scanning and invoicing app have good iOS reviews, Wave still doesn’t have a mobile accounting app. And Wave has just one accounting plan, so it isn’t particularly scalable. Since Wave offers the same accounting features for small businesses as for large enterprises, it’s best for freelancers and business owners with one location and few employees.

Best desktop-based software: QuickBooks Desktop for Mac

Quickbooks
QuickBooks Desktop

Prefer a desktop to a laptop? QuickBooks Desktop’s Mac-specific plan includes inventory management, performance tracking, and the extensive reports QuickBooks is known for.

QuickBooks Desktop for Mac is a good fit for business owners who prefer local data storage to cloud storage, such as businesses in rural areas with spotty internet access. The software includes nearly as many features as QuickBooks Online plus a few extras, like inventory management and job costing. You can also add QuickBooks Payroll for Mac if you’re managing employees (though we don’t recommend QuickBooks Payroll for a variety of reasons).

Here’s the problem, though: Mac users can’t access most of QuickBooks Desktop’s best features. Most notably, unlike QuickBooks Desktop’s PC plans, Desktop for Mac lacks industry-specific reports or software. And there’s no QuickBooks app for Mac desktop users—your desktop is pretty much the only place you can see your business’s financials. You’ll also pay extra for customer service, data backups, and cloud hosting.

Best for freelancers: FreeAgent

FreeAgent
FreeAgent

FreeAgent’s user-friendly software and well-reviewed iPhone app make it a great pick for freelancers and solopreneurs who want a streamlined, on-the-go accounting experience.

With built-in time tracking and project management, FreeAgent’s accounting software is perfect for project-based freelancers. And at 4.7 stars out of 5 from 5.6K reviewers,2 its app is at least as good as QuickBooks’. FreeAgent app developers respond quickly to both complaints and suggestions for improvements—which is quite charming.

However, FreeAgent’s iOS app is only compatible with iPhones, not iPads or Apple Watches. If you were hoping to tackle your accounting mostly from your tablet, look elsewhere. And while FreeAgent’s pricing starts low, it doubles after six months. Once the price jumps to $24, FreeAgent is nearly as pricey as QuickBooks Online with slightly fewer features (though with a much better customer service reputation and response time).

Easiest setup: Kashoo

Kashoo
Kashoo

Kashoo starts saving you time at setup, which shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes. The software instantly starts learning your vendors, automatically sorting expenses, and generating a contact list to minimize the time you have to spend manually importing data.

Kashoo isn’t quite as automation-heavy as Zoho Books, but it comes close. The software quickly learns how to categorize your expenses for easier tracking. Its automatic expense sorting also simplifies tax deductions once tax season comes around, and it auto-generates contacts based on your transactions. Kashoo’s multi-currency support ensures you can accept payments from customers across the globe.

At $16.65 a month if you pay annually (closer to $20 if you pay month to month), Kashoo is on the pricier side. With just one plan, it isn’t too scalable: if your business is growing in leaps and bounds, you’ll probably outgrow Kashoo sooner than later. Finally, customers have been reporting issues with syncing their bank accounts with the app, which is otherwise perfectly serviceable but not too flashy.

Best desktop alternative: AccountEdge Pro

AccountingEdge pro logo
AccountEdge Pro

If you want locally hosted software but aren’t a QuickBooks fan, AccountEdge Pro is your main alternative. It’s particularly good for small sales teams that want accounting and CRM (customer relationship management) on the same platform.

If you want desktop accounting software but aren’t sold on QuickBooks, AccountEdge Pro is your next best bet. At $15 a month (with a three-month commitment), it’s a little more affordable than QuickBooks with many of the same features. Like QuickBooks Desktop, AccountEdge Pro includes inventory management and job costing, plus customer relationship management for sales teams.

Unfortunately, AccountEdge Pro has most of the same drawbacks as QuickBooks Desktop. Customer support is available only through email. Connecting your bank account costs an extra $5 a month—$60 a year for a service that’s a de facto feature of cloud-based software. And PC users have the option to scale up to bigger AccountEdge plans: Mac users don’t. Oh, and the app? It sucks. If mobile accounting is your thing, AccountEdge Pro isn’t.

Mac accounting software FAQ

Is QuickBooks the best accounting software for Macs?

QuickBooks Online is certainly one of the most popular and user-friendly accounting software choices for Mac users. Similarly, QuickBooks Desktop for Mac has comprehensive accounting features suited to Apple desktop users. But whether QuickBooks is the best software depends on what features matter most to you.

For instance, if you need software that syncs across all your devices, simplifies taxes with built-in mileage tracking, and scales up as your business grows, then yes—QuickBooks Online might be the best accounting software for you. If you need great reporting and desktop access to your financial data, a QuickBooks Desktop plan for Apple users could suit.

But QuickBooks isn’t the only accounting software for Macs, and it might not be the right fit for your particular business. For instance, if your business relies on professional invoices, FreshBooks could work better for you. Or if you manage inventory and value collaboration, Xero could be a better choice.

Is QuickBooks Desktop for Macs being discontinued?

No. Although Intuit encourages users to sign up for QuickBooks Online over QuickBooks Desktop, the company doesn’t have any public plans to discontinue QuickBooks Desktop for Macs. (And if you’re wondering, the same is true of QuickBooks Payroll for Mac.)

Are Macs good for small-business accounting?

Absolutely. As long as you choose accounting software that suits your business’s needs, it should be just as easy for you to do accounting on a Mac as on a PC.

The takeaway

Thanks to the cloud, it’s easier than ever to find user-friendly, affordable, simple accounting software for your Mac. In fact, there are so many options that we recommend shopping around to find the best small-business accounting software for you.

After all, accounting software has a big impact on how much time you spend bookkeeping each month, so choose carefully—and always try a free trial or request a demo from the company you’re considering. With a 30-day trial, you can find small-business accounting software for your Mac that you absolutely love instead of settling for second best.

Still haven’t found the right financial software for your Mac? Check out a few more options on our list of the year’s best QuickBooks alternatives.

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. The App Store, “QuickBooks Accounting.” Accessed February 26, 2021.
2. The App Store, “FreeAgent Mobile Accounting.” Accessed February 26, 2021.

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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