5 Best Accounting Services For Small Business (2024)

Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: April 17, 2024
Methodology
We diligently evaluate each service provider showcased in our reviews and guides. By interacting anonymously with their business formation and services, and leveraging the insights of an independent review team, we strive to offer unbiased, evidence-based suggestions. Learn more

There are many online and in-person accounting services available for small businesses, and you should enlist one that suits your business needs.

According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), utilizing accounting services can lead to an average 15% increase in profitability for small businesses.

To help you make an informed decision, I worked with a team of licensed business advisors and accountants with over thirteen years of experience in the accounting industry.

We spent the past four months testing different online accounting services to gauge their features, customer support, and pricing.


5 Best Accounting Services (May 2024)

1 - Intuit QuickBooks Online

Rated 4.9/5
Intuit QuickBooks Online CTA
5.0
Support
4.9
Price
4.9
Tax Assistance
4.9
Ease of Use
5.0
User Ratings
4.9
Features
Sign Up To Intuit QuickBooks Online

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Allows you to manage finances on the go
  • Provides solid bookkeeping and accounting services
  • Adaptable with third-party apps and integrates effectively with other systems
  • Low price
  • Smart invoicing software
Cons
  • The interface and features might be overwhelming initially

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Small to medium-sized businesses seeking versatile accounting solutions.

Who is it not for?

  • Businesses looking for a very simple, basic tool without advanced features.

The Verdict

QuickBooks Online offers robust, flexible accounting solutions with extensive features suitable for a wide range of business needs. It may be overwhelming for those looking for just basic functionalities.

Would you recommend Intuit QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks is an accounting software system developed and published by Intuit.

QuickBooks packages are geared primarily toward small and medium-sized enterprises and offer on-premises accounting applications and cloud-based versions that accept company payments, manage and pay bills, and perform payroll functions.

This online bookkeeping service offers a free guided setup to help users get started.

Users can track their income and expenses, maximize their tax deductions, keep track of their business-related travel, and manage their cash flow with QuickBooks Online.

We utilized QuickBooks Online to create and send invoices and accept payments online during our testing.

We also accessed various reports, including general, comprehensive, powerful, and industry-specific reports.

QuickBooks Online also has a mobile application that allows users to run their business on the go.

Users can sign in to their QuickBooks Online account through the Intuit Accounts website.

  • Simple Start ($21) : Includes income and expenses, invoices and payments, tax deductions, online bookkeeping services, general reports, receipt capture, mileage tracking, cash flow, sales and sales tax, estimates, contractors, and connect 1 sales channel.
  • Essential plan ($42) : Includes all features from the simple start plan plus connects 3 sales channels, accounts payable, dedicated bookkeeper, up to 3 users, bill management, and enter time.
  • Plus ($63) : Includes previous plan features plus connects all sales channels, includes 5 users, bill management, enter time, inventory, and project profitability.
  • Advanced ($140) : This plan has all features from the lower plans plus data sync with Excel, employee expenses, batch invoices and expenses, custom access controls, exclusive premium apps, workflow automation, data restoration, 24/7 support & training, and revenue recognition.

2 - 1-800Accountant

Rated 4.9/5
1-800Accountant CTA
5.0
Support
4.8
Price
4.8
Features
4.9
Turnaround
Sign Up To 1-800Accountant

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Has an intuitive smartphone app
  • A committed accountant
  • Able to oversee several company organizations
  • Combines with the accounting program you already use
Cons
  • Must commit to an annual payment
Would you recommend 1-800Accountant?

1-800Accountant is a virtual accounting firm that provides small businesses with bookkeeping, payroll, taxes, and other accounting features.

Their staff includes real CPAs who aim to provide financial expertise to small businesses in every industry. According to their website, they have over 100,000 businesses that trust them with their accounting needs.

They assist with organizing and maintaining financial records, including tracking income and expenses, reconciling accounts, and generating financial reports.

1-800Accountant can handle payroll services, including calculating employee wages, withholding taxes, and issuing paychecks or direct deposits.

They offer tax preparation and planning services, helping LLCs navigate the complexities of tax laws and regulations.

This includes preparing and filing business tax returns, identifying deductions and credits, and providing guidance on tax strategies.

1-800Accountant assisted us with preparing our financial reports, such as income and cash flow statements and balance sheets.

These statements provided a snapshot of our business's financial health and performance.

  • Startup ($0 + state fees) : Includes customized Articles of formation, verified name availability search, unlimited phone and email support, and secure online access to your incorporation documents.
  • Business ($179 billed annually) : Includes access to the portal, dedicated accountant, year-round tax advice, proactive tax planning, and quarterly review.
  • Corporation ($239 billed annually) : Includes the Business plan plus personal tax preparation and business tax preparation.
  • Enterprise ($399 billed annually) : Includes the lower plan features plus bookkeeping, priority support, and financial reports.

3 - Zoho Books

Rated 4.8/5
Zoho Books
4.8
Support
4.7
Price
4.8
Tax Assistance
4.7
Ease of Use
4.8
User Ratings
4.7
Features
Sign Up To Zoho Books

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Allows invoice customization
  • Enables export and print reports as Excel or PDF
  • Email, voice, and chat customer support
  • You can add several bank and credit card accounts
Cons
  • Unreliable partners for bank links

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Growing businesses requiring scalable accounting solutions with strong automation and customization options.

Who is it not for?

  • Businesses not integrated with other Zoho apps or those needing very specific third-party integrations not supported by Zoho.

The Verdict

Zoho Books is excellent for businesses already using Zoho apps, offering great integration and scalability. May not be suitable for those heavily reliant on other third-party apps.

Would you recommend Zoho Books?

Zoho Books is an online bookkeeping service that manages finances, automates business workflows, and helps work collectively across departments.

It is ideal for small businesses using other Zoho applications for accrual basis accounting, online bookkeeping, inventory, invoicing, or customer relationship management.

We appreciate that Zoho Books is very simple to use and automates most business workflows. The dashboard lets users quickly know how their business is performing.

Zoho Books handles mundane accounting tasks, from negotiating deals to raising sales orders to invoicing so users can focus on their business.

It helps users know their sales tax liability and prepare audit reports following IRS guidelines.

In our experience, Zoho Books allowed us to send quotes, convert them to invoices, and get paid online on time.

It also helped us stay on top of our payables and know where our money is going.

  • Free ($0/month) : The free plan includes 1 User + 1 Accountant, managing clients, managing invoices (Up to 1,000 per annum), free accounting software, customer portal, online/offline payments, automated payment reminders, accounts payable, and multilingual invoicing.
  • Standard ($15/month) : This online accounting service plan includes managing invoices (up to 5,000), recurring expenses, connecting and fetching bank & credit card feeds via bank feeds provider, financial statements, predefined user roles, bulk updates, transaction locking, custom views, and custom fields.
  • Professional ($40/month) : Includes tracking project expenses and invoices, project tasks, timesheet and billing, sales approval, retainer invoices, bills, payments made, and vendor credits.
  • Premium ($60/month) : Includes custom domain, vendor portal, multi-transaction number series, budgeting, custom buttons, validation rules, and Web tabs.
  • Elite ($120/month) : Includes integrating Shopify stores (up to 2 stores), warehouse management (up to 5 warehouses), serial number tracking, batch tracking, print shipping labels, and shipment tracking.
  • Ultimate ($240/month) : Includes viewing real-time reports and dashboards, analyzing and tracking key financial metrics, customizing reports and dashboards, analyzing Zoho Books data along with other data sources, collaboratively creating reports with colleagues, and exporting and printing reports as excel or PDF.

4 - InDinero

Rated 4.6/5
InDinero CTA
4.7
Support
4.6
Price
4.6
Tax Assistance
4.6
Ease of Use
4.6
User Ratings
4.6
Features
Sign Up To InDinero

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Accounting insights via the cloud
  • Payroll support
  • Access to in-house business tax experts and CPAs
Cons
  • Inconsistent bank API
  • Pricey

Who is it for?

Who is it for?

  • Businesses at various stages looking for comprehensive financial services from bookkeeping to CFO services.

Who is it not for?

  • Small businesses or startups on a tight budget who only need basic accounting services.

The Verdict

InDinero is perfect for companies needing detailed financial oversight and strategic financial planning. It might be too advanced and costly for very small businesses or solopreneurs.

Would you recommend InDinero?

InDinero is an accounting software and services company that provides accounting and financial software.

The company was founded in 2009, and graduated from the startup incubator, Y Combinator, in 2010.

Unlike most accounting firms, InDinero is an integrated finance management team that sees itself as your partner.

They offer proactive advice and expertise to help steer your business through pivotal moments and assist in making informed decisions.

In addition to budgeting and forecasting, cash flow management, and other strategic financial planning services, we received comprehensive tax services designed to optimize our tax planning and minimize our tax liabilities.

InDinero has expertise in various industries and understands businesses' complexities and challenges.

They align their team's knowledge with the specific needs of each business to help them achieve their growth goals.

  • Essential ($75/month) : Perfect for simple financial structures and processes. It includes industry-best software used for day-to-day bookkeeping, monthly reconciliations, revenue recognition, AR/AP processing, and reporting and financial statements provided at any time.
  • Growth ($1250/month) : Ideal for established companies looking to grow their business. It includes accrual basis accounting managed by experienced controllers, employee reimbursements, inventory reconciliation payroll support, P&L and balance sheet reporting, and the ability to scale using Quickbooks online or NetSuite.
  • Executive (Custom Price) : This bookkeeping service plan is for dynamic companies with more complex needs and is custom-tailored to meet your every requirement. Includes everything in the Growth Package plus services like revenue recognition, budget analysis, cash flow statement and forecast, and more.

5 - Sage

Rated 4.7/5
Sage CTA
4.7
Support
4.7
Price
4.7
Features
4.7
Turnaround
Sign Up To Sage

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Efficient bank reconciliation features
  • Facilitates collaborative workflow creation
Cons
  • Limited options for debtor/creditor lists and reports
  • Limited customization
Would you recommend Sage?

Sage Accounting is a cloud-based small business accounting software that offers essential bookkeeping and accounting features, comprehensive reporting, and inventory tracking.

It is designed to help businesses manage critical accounting processes and ensure compliance.

Sage Accounting offers two affordable plans, making it accessible for small businesses. The software is highly user-friendly and easy to set up, making it suitable for freelancers, sole proprietors, and new entrepreneurs.

Sage Accounting allowed us to automate our workflows, saving time and reducing manual data entry.

The software provided comprehensive reporting capabilities, allowing us to track financial behavior and make informed business decisions.

We also utilized Sage Accounting inventory tracking features to manage stock levels and streamline operations.

While Sage Accounting may have fewer third-party integrations than some competitors, it offers integration capabilities to enhance your accounting processes.

  • Sage Accounting Start ($11/month) : This plan supports 1 user and includes creating and sending invoices, tracking payments, and reconciling transactions.
  • Sage Accounting Standard ($22 per month) : Supports 2 users and includes previous plan features plus bookkeeping, calculating VAT returns, adding up to 5 users, and capturing receipts digitally with AutoEntry.

Why Should You Trust Us

You should you trust Venture Smarter team for your small business accounting service needs because our commitment is grounded in providing you with the most accurate, reliable, and actionable information. We have extensively reviewed and analyzed a wide range of accounting services specifically tailored for small businesses, leveraging our in-depth industry knowledge and experience.

Venture Smarter's dedicated team, consisting of seasoned financial experts and small business specialists, has spent countless hours evaluating each service's performance, customer satisfaction, and compliance with current accounting standards and regulations. We believe in the power of informed decisions, which is why our recommendations are based on rigorous, data-driven assessments.

At the heart of our mission is a deep understanding of the unique challenges and requirements faced by small businesses in managing their finances. Venture Smarter recognize the crucial role that a trustworthy accounting service plays in the success and growth of a small business. Therefore, we strive to provide you with unbiased, comprehensive reviews that reflect the true value and efficiency of the services we evaluate.

Trust in our expertise and dedication to guide you towards the best accounting services that will empower your small business to achieve financial clarity, compliance, and growth. Venture Smarter is not just reviewing services; we're investing in your success by ensuring that you have access to the best resources and support for your financial needs.

How We Picked And Tested The Best Accounting Services For Small Business?

Selection process on a laptop

Our comprehensive review of accounting services for small businesses involved a four-month testing period by experienced business advisors and accountants.

We evaluated services anonymously to ensure unbiased recommendations based on real user experiences. Key assessment areas included pricing, customer support, service features, turnaround time, third-party reviews, ease of use, and safety and confidentiality.

1. Pricing

Small businesses, especially startups on tight budgets, must weigh the cost against the quality and range of accounting services. Our goal was to find budget-friendly options without compromising on features and quality.

We discovered that Intuit QuickBooks Online excels in competitive pricing. Its plans begin at $21 for the Simple Start plan, covering basics like income/expense tracking and invoicing. The Advanced plan, at $140, offers extensive services including workflow automation and 24/7 support.

1-800Accountant also stands out, with plans starting at $139 annually, balancing affordability with quality service for small businesses.

2. Consumer Support

We tested support through calls, chats, and emails. Services like Intuit QuickBooks Online and 1-800Accountant offered multiple communication channels with varied response times.

3. Service Features

Intuit QuickBooks Online excelled with features like reporting tools and smart invoicing, while Zoho Books impressed with its user-friendly interface and automation capabilities.

"The best accounting services for small businesses offer more than just bookkeeping; they provide strategic insights that help drive business growth. Look for services that understand your industry and can scale with your business."

- Delina Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, Distinguished Expert in Mergers & Acquisitions

4. Turnaround Time

The speed at which accounting services process and relay financial information is crucial for businesses to maintain timely and accurate financial records.

Our analysis revealed that services like Intuit QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books efficiently collected and relayed legal documents and financial data, facilitating prompt decision-making for businesses.

5. Third-Party Reviews

Both Intuit QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books received positive feedback on platforms like TrustPilot, reflecting high user satisfaction.

6. Ease of Use

A user-friendly platform is crucial for ensuring that businesses can efficiently manage their accounting needs without unnecessary complexity or the need for extensive training.

Our assessment found that services like Intuit QuickBooks Online and Zoho Books offer intuitive and easy-to-navigate platforms, making them accessible even for users with limited accounting experience.

7. Saftey and Confidentiality

We prioritized services with strong security measures. Intuit QuickBooks Online stood out for its data encryption and security protocols, while 1-800Accountant adhered to industry-standard data protection practices.

Advantages of Using Accounting Services

Research and Markets projects that the global accounting services market, currently valued at $544.06 billion, is expected to reach $735.94 billion by 2025, indicating a significant and steady growth trajectory.

Outsourcing bookkeeping services can provide numerous benefits for businesses of all sizes. Here are some of the advantages of using accounting and bookkeeping services.

1. Increased Efficiency

Checking documents for small business accounting services

Hence, outsourcing bookkeeping services can help companies streamline their financial processes, reduce errors, and improve efficiency.

Basic inventory management features that update automatically to display how many of each product you have on hand, what has been sold, and when you need to refill are included in certain platforms for accounting software.

Instead of depending on error-prone human data input, accounting software is a simple method to acquire accurate, real-time information on your stock levels.

2. Access to Efficient Taxation Tools

Tax season may be very stressful, and adding other tasks like creating reports and gathering financial data might make it much more difficult.

An outstanding 31% of small businesses in the US spend more than $5,000 per year administering their federal taxes, indicating the significant time and resources dedicated to tax-related activities.

Use accounting software to make filing taxes more straightforward. Accounting software is invaluable during tax season because it lets you keep receipts, invoices, and income statements on one platform.

Accounting software makes it simple to obtain all the information you need for tax filing in one location, saving you time from having to collect it all.

3. Access to Inventory Management Tools

Looking and reading documents

Your company's inventory management strategy is essential to guarantee enough stock and deliver superior customer service.

With accounting software, you can log item data, monitor objects, complete accounting tasks, and produce reports.

Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) numbers, item photos, bundle creation, and item movement tracking by serial or batch number are all made easier with accounting software.

You may also use your accounting program to produce a sales order when you get an item order, transform it into an invoice when approved, and attach the relevant taxes to it.

4. Timely and Efficient

Outsourcing accounting services can help businesses ensure that financial tasks are completed promptly and efficiently.

According to the Cogneesol Blog, up to 80% of small business owners report a positive outlook on outsourcing their accounting services, highlighting its significant role in enhancing productivity and operational efficiency [1].

As a business owner, regularly evaluating your company's progress is essential. Accounting reports help you understand growth and financial trends. However, manual spreadsheet reporting is time-consuming.

Accounting software simplifies this, automatically generating reports and saving effort. It includes tools for cash flow analysis and enables drafting of profit and loss statements and balance sheets, aiding in informed decision-making for your company's direction.

5. Easy Billing

Good and Easy billing documents

Billing and invoicing are essential business processes that are the main way money enters your company.

Paper-based invoice management is laborious, time-consuming, and prone to mistakes.

Without automated tools, keeping track of bills and notifying clients of outstanding payments is extremely challenging.

Accounting software offers tools that simplify invoicing and efficiently tackle these problems.

For recurrent client orders, you may set up recurring profiles and plan invoices to be sent out automatically each time an order is placed.

"One great tip to letting your consumers know how to pay is by including payment terms and conditions to your invoices."

- Delina Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, Distinguished Expert in Mergers & Acquisitions

FAQs

Do Accountants Use QuickBooks or Excel?

Accountants use QuickBooks because it has more advanced features like automatic invoicing, payment alerts, and efficient bank reconciliation. However, you can still use Excel for your accounting if you run a small business with less financial demands.

Can Accounting Software Help Reduce Costs?

Yes, accounting software can help reduce costs by streamlining financial processes, minimizing manual errors, and improving overall efficiency.

Our Verdict On the Best Accounting Software For Small Businesses

Outsourcing accounting brings benefits like efficiency, cost savings, and expertise. This is why we wholeheartedly recommend Intuit QuickBooks Online.

We were impressed with its comprehensive accounting tool that handled our bookkeeping, accounting, and CFO needs proficiently.

With AI-powered accuracy, a 24-hour money concierge, and real-time data access available in the QuickBooks dashboard, it's tailor-made for startups.

Intuit QuickBooks Online is specifically designed to support startup business operations.

It excels in categorizing transactions with sections and classes, setting up your chart of accounts, and maximizing all the benefits that come from utilizing advanced accounting software.

Our #1 Recommendation

Intuit QuickBooks Online

Intuit QuickBooks Online CTA
Rated 4.9/5
5.0
Support
4.9
Price
4.9
Tax Assistance
4.9
Ease of Use
5.0
User Ratings
4.9
Features
Pros
  • Allows you to manage finances on the go
  • Provides solid bookkeeping and accounting services
  • Adaptable with third-party apps and integrates effectively with other systems
  • Low price
  • Smart invoicing software
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of May
Cons
  • The interface and features might be overwhelming initially

References:

  1. https://www.cogneesol.com/blog/outsourced-accounting-boon-for-small-businesses/

About The Author

Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Jon Morgan, MBA, LLM, has over ten years of experience growing startups and currently serves as CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter. Educated at UC Davis and Harvard, he offers deeply informed guidance. Beyond work, he enjoys spending time with family, his poodle Sophie, and learning Spanish.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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