Business owner works on financials
From managing bank accounts and cash flow to sending out invoices, these accounting tools are both helpful and cost-effective. — Getty Images/dpVUE.images

As a small business owner, you know how quickly expenses can add up. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice quality to find affordable accounting software. Here are 10 free accounting tools (and one affordable paid solution with a 30-day free trial) you can try in your small business.

[Read more: A Guide to Small Business Accounting]


Wave is one of the best options available for sole proprietors, freelancers, and small businesses. It’s a simple and straightforward option for managing cash flow and keeping your finances in order.

You can connect Wave to an unlimited number of bank accounts and credit cards to track your expenses. Wave also makes it easy to create customizable invoices. And Wave partners with OnDeck to provide small business financing options.


ZipBooks Starter is one of the best options for anyone new to accounting. The software is completely free and is a good option for businesses with limited accounting needs. You’ll receive essential bookkeeping tools, and you can manage unlimited customers and vendors.

With ZipBooks, you can send as many invoices as you want and receive payments through PayPal or Square. However, the free plan comes with limited integrations and only allows you to connect to one bank account.

NCH Express Accounts

NCH Express Accounts is free desktop accounting software for businesses with five employees or fewer. You can use the software to generate quotes, send invoices, and track expenses.

The software lets you generate over 20 different financial reports so you can monitor how your business is performing financially. You can also break down your sales by customer, team member, or item.

Zoho Invoice

Zoho Invoice is one of the best options available when it comes to automating your invoicing workflow. The free version allows you to invoice up to five customers and create five different invoicing workflows.

You can use the software to create customized invoice templates, set up recurring invoices, and set automatic payment reminders. But the free version is only available for one user, so it’s a better option for small businesses with limited bookkeeping needs.


Akaunting provides free online accounting software for small businesses with no strings attached. There’s no limited trial or premium version for you to upgrade to; the software is always completely free.

The software comes with a variety of features, including open source accounting, secure deposits and transfers, vendor management, and powerful reporting. However, to access many of the advanced features, you’ll have to download multiple third-party apps, which may not be free.

If you’re looking for free accounting software that can grow with your business, Odoo is one of the best options on this list.


Brightbook is a free online accounting system for freelancers, contractors, startups, and small businesses with one to five employees. It lets you create invoices in any currency and provide PayPal links. Users can upload scanned receipts or supplier bills and import bank statements.

For entrepreneurs with multiple companies, Brightbook allows them to establish multiple free accounts and access them through a single login. Also, you can give an accountant access and view tax reports.


Manager is a unique alternative to cloud-based tools and is ideal for businesses that want to complete their work offline. It’s free, full-featured accounting software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can add multiple companies and send unlimited invoices.

In addition, Manager supports sales quotes, billable time tracking, and inventory management. It includes many reporting options, such as profit and loss statements, aged receivables, and a balance sheet.

Cloud Books

Cloud Books is free invoicing and accounting software for freelancers and small businesses. You can use the software to send estimates and invoices, accept payments, and track expenses.

Keep in mind, however, that the free version only lets you send five invoices per month to one customer. If you choose to upgrade to unlimited invoices, the paid version is just $10 per month.

[Read more: 17 Accounting Terms to Know (Even if You Have an Accountant)]


Odoo makes it easy to send professional invoices and receive online payments. Once you’ve sent your invoice, you can monitor its progress and send automated reminders to customers. You can also use Odoo to monitor your point of sale transactions, expenses, and inventory.

Odoo Accounting is free for a single user; if you need to add additional users, you’ll have to pay to upgrade. If you’re looking for free accounting software that can grow with your business, Odoo is one of the best options on this list.


Sunrise is free bookkeeping software for small businesses. You can automatically import your transactions and monitor your income and expenses. And you can use the app to create invoices and accept online and mobile payments.

If you choose to upgrade your account at some point, Sunrise also offers professional bookkeeping support. You’ll receive monthly financial reports and be well-prepared come tax season.

[Read more: Starting a Business? How to Set Up Your Accounting Right From Day One]

Freshbooks: 30-day free trial

Freshbooks offers accounting and bookkeeping tools for all-sized businesses. It has a 30-day free trial and a limited-time deal with 50% off the first six months. All subscriptions include unlimited expenses and estimates. Freshbooks provides iOS and Android apps, client account portals, and automated bank imports.

With checkout links, freelancers and small businesses can get paid without sending an invoice. Additionally, Freshbooks lets companies schedule late fees, run business health reports, and track mileage.

This article was originally written by Jamie Johnson.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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