20 min read

100+ Small Business Accounting Software, Tools and Apps

100+ Small Business Accounting Software, Tools and Apps
Photo by Katie Harp / Unsplash


We’ve tested 103 of the most useful small business accounting (and non-accounting) tools to save you time, money or both.

Check out the list for some hidden gems.

Accounting Systems

It amazes me that my accounting ancestors were able to prepare accounts on paper ledgers. It also amazes me that in our new-world of great systems, some businesses use inferior products. We’ve tested all of them and there’s only one winner.


The best small business accounting system
Pricing: From £10+VAT per month (and free for our clients)

Let’s start with the number one accounting solution. Xero has its flaws, but is currently the best small business accounting software on the planet. We subscribe to Xero for all of our clients - and we cover the cost too.

Official Website:



Pricing: From £12+VAT per month

To be honest, we switch any new clients that use Quickbooks over to Xero using MoveMyBooks. But we have used Quickbooks in the past and it is still a great system.

Official Website:



Formerly the best small business accounting software
Pricing: From £12+VAT per month

Sage is a complicated beast. Just take one look at the website and you’ll see what we mean. We’d suggest choosing Xero or Quickbooks.

Official Website:



Simple alternative to Xero with a healthy focus on cashflow forecasts
Pricing: Free (they charge for add-ons but the system works well without them)

A new client brought Wave to our attention and we came very close to rolling the system out to other clients. It’s fast and simple, which may appeal if Xero seems a little too complex for your needs.

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Aimed at the smallest of small businesses - simple to use
Pricing: From £5.50+VAT per month

Another simple alternative to Xero.

Official Website:



Aimed at freelancers and has a very clean interface
Pricing: Free for Natwest and RBOS account holders - otherwise £29+VAT per month

Formerly the best free alternative to Xero, before FreeAgent switched to a surprisingly expensive paid model.

Official Website:



Simple accounting system that has it’s place - especially in construction
Pricing: From £12+VAT per month

Another simple alternative to Xero and Quickbooks. It works well if you use the Construction Industry Scheme but it’s hard to justify over other systems.

Official Website:


Reckon One

Simple, cheap accounting software
Pricing: From £4+VAT per month

Potentially useful cheap alternative for very small businesses.



Accounting system for IT freelancers
Pricing: £10+VAT per month

Easy-to-use online system aimed at IT consultants.



Aging accounting system that could do with an upgrace
Pricing: From £9+VAT per month

Still used by small businesses but we don’t recommend using KashFlow if you’re getting started now. Go for Xero or Quickbooks instead.


Zoho Books

Accounting system that integrates with Zoho CRM
Pricing: From £10+VAT per month (free for very small businesses)

We’ve tested Zoho Books but have never seen anyone use it. If you use Zoho CRM then it might be worth giving it a go.


VT Software

Old-school accounting software for when you’re feeling nostalgic
Pricing: From £75+VAT one-off

VT Software is a throwback to a bygone era and is still used by a handful of traditional small accounting practices. But it does the job and you can even file accounts with HMRC using VT Final Accounts - something Xero only implemented recently.



A useful way to switch between accounting systems
Pricing: Free for users switching to Xero and Sage, from £120+VAT otherwise.

Movemybooks is useful for switching from one accounting system to another. It does a decent job of transferring historical data. But be warned it’s not perfect, and any problems during the conversion may prove difficult to fix.


Supplier Invoices and Expenses

Receipt capture software has come a long way in the past decade. They’ve completely overhauled the bookkeeping profession. Here are some of the best tools.

Dext (formerly Receipt Bank)

Fast and accurate receipt scanning that integrates nicely with Xero
Pricing: From £12.50+VAT per month (and free for our clients)

Dext is the best receipt scanning, storage and publishing tool in our opinion. We reckon it has saved us tens of thousands in bookkeeping costs over the years, and roll it out to all of our clients for free.



Poor interface but recently bought by Xero so expect upgrades
Pricing: $12 per month (free for Xero users)

Hubdoc has a terrible interface and (at the time of writing) the iOS app doesn’t fit on some iPhone screens properly. But it was purchased by Xero in 2020 so expect an upgrade eventually.



Useful alternative to Dext
Pricing: From £9+VAT per month

We field-tested AutoEntry before deciding to use Dext. A reasonable alternative, with lots of fans and it’s marginally cheaper.



Cheap and easy way to store receipts
Pricing: Starts free

Free way to store receipts if you’re just getting started. Not a long term solution, but useful if you’re keeping early costs low.



US solution that may work for some smaller UK businesses
Pricing: From £3.99 per month

Great expense automations but pricey. One to watch.



Simple expenses-only solution
Pricing: From £60 per year

Australian expense capture that handles multi-level approvals. Can automate the export of scanned invoices to Google Drive.



Simple expense capture aimed at bookkeepers rather than businesses.
Pricing: From £39 per month

Expense capture tool that integrates with Xero and Quickbooks.



Slightly dated expense capture software
Pricing: From £9.99 per month

Capture and scan invoices, then integrate with Xero, Quickbooks and Sage.



Extremely comprehensive data capture from invoices
Pricing: From $15 per month

US invoice capture tool that might work for some UK businesses.


Receipt Bot

Data extraction software for bank statements and invoices
Pricing: From £7+VAT per month

Integrates with Quickbooks and Xero. Can also export data to CSV which may be useful for some businesses.


Forecasts and Planning

There are lots of tools that will turn your accounting data into useful charts and tables. While helpful, such reports are often a little generic. We prefer to customise reports by bringing data into Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.


Connect Xero or Quickbooks data with Google Sheets
Pricing: From $30 per month

G-Accon connects Xero and Quickbooks with Google Sheets. It’s great for creating custom reports, which we do all the time.


Flex Financial Reporting

Connect Xero and Quickbooks to Microsoft Excel
Pricing: From free with paid plans for more than one Xero / Quickbooks connection

Great for developing custom reports from your accounting data. As an Excel add-on, Flex only works on Windows computers at the moment. Mac users should go with G-accon with connects to Google Sheets and is operating-system-agnostic.



Great tool for producing management accounts
Pricing: From £15+VAT per month (free solution with basic features)

We like Syft, but we decided to use G-Accon to connect our clients data to Google Sheets and create custom management accounts ourself. However, Syft will work well for some businesses.



Business performance reporting for Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks
Pricing: From £33 per month

Excellent reporting system to produce genuinely useful management accounting reports. We use Fathom every day.


Expense and Bill Management

We’re starting to see payment software that integrates with Xero and Quickbooks. You can now outsource payment processing while maintaining control over approvals. Check out Comma and Telleroo if you want to save time paying suppliers.


Automate and simplify bulk payment runs using Xero or Quickbooks
Pricing: You currently need to sign up through an accountant or bookkeeper

An exciting product that enables your bookkeeper to setup payment runs on your behalf, which are pushed to your bank via the Open Banking API. You just need to login, approve in Comma, and then approve the bulk payment from your bank account.



Save time by automating and the payment process in Xero
Pricing: From £19.99 per month plus 55p per supplier payment

Similar to Comma, Telleroo are a more established but pricey payment solution.



Automate payments at scale
Pricing: Custom pricing

Modulr are a custom payment solution that connects accounting and payroll software to a bank account. Aimed at software companies and larger businesses, Modulr can help you automate regular tasks.


Corpay One

Automate accounts payable
Pricing: From £35 per month

Corpay One have created a highly customisable automation system for accounts payable. Worth checking out.


Pay With Wise

Simplify bill payments
Pricing: From £3+VAT per month plus 35p per transactions

Connect Xero and Wise to simplify payments. Fees can add up, but the solution was developed by Xero so it should work seamlessly.



Prepaid virtual business cards for employee expenses
Pricing: £6 per card per month

Manage spending and expenses using a virtual pre-paid card. Great for employee expenses.



Automate expenses using smart virtual business cards
Pricing: £6 per card per month

Like Soldo, Pleo offers virtual cards that can eliminate an archaic expense claim process.



Smart company cards and expense management platform
Pricing: £6.99 per user per month

Similar to Soldo and Pleo, you can set up company cards and reduce time spent on employee expenses.



Track mileage and push expenses to your accounting system
Pricing: From £1.49 per month

Handy for high mileage business travel, Tripcatcher will simplify the process os loggin mileage and claiming your mileage expenses.



Automatic mileage tracking and expense claims
Pricing: From free

Like Tripcatcher, but MileIQ have a free option for up to 40 journeys per month.


Xero Expenses

Mileage tracking and Xero-based employee expense claims
Pricing: From £2.50 per user per month

Xero’s native expenses system has a built-in mileage claim form. Not as powerful as some of the solutions on this list but useful in some circumstances.


Bank Accounts

We know this isn’t strictly software, but each bank has it’s own set of tools and apps. These will have a big impact on the time you spend running your business.

Starling Bank

Probably the best small business bank in the UK right now
Pricing: Free

With a quick account opening process and a fast-yet-simple app, we bank with Starling and encourage our clients to do the same. Starling offers Spaces to help you ringfence your funds - great for keeping money aside for future tax returns.



Similar to Starling but with better options for extra accounts
Pricing: From free with paid upgrades

Tide are another modern bank that offers multiple accounts to help you organise your money. Each account syncs separately with Xero too.



Control your money in a huge number of different currencies
Pricing: Free

We like Wise. With one physical card you can withdraw money in multiple countries at competitive exchange rates. It’s also easy to move money between different currencies. And now you can connect with Xero to streamline your accounts payable process.



Useful for multi currency transactions and virtual company cards
Pricing: From free with paid upgrades

We do not recommend Revolut as a primary business account. For example, it doesn’t handle direct debits very well. But it’s useful if you’re working with multiple currencies.


Traditional Banks

Deemed safe but a little clunky
Pricing: Depends on the bank

Most businesses still operate with traditional banks. For one, the account opening process is relatively easy if you already bank with them personally. They are also deemed to be safer, but then we’re not so sure that logic holds up. Most traditional banks have below-average website and apps, so making payments is a little bit harder than it needs to be. Choose Starling or Tide and you’ll probably be happier.

Sales and Payment Software

There’s nothing more exciting than making money to most business owners. Make it easy, make it simple - that’s our mantra.


Point of sale and inventory management for retailers
Pricing: From £59 per month

Easy to use POS and stock platform for retailers. Well reviewed and popular.


Current RMS

Online rental software
Pricing: From £35 per month

Ideal for rental businesses in the events industry.



Manufacturing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software
Pricing: From $99 per month

Track inventory, automate ordering and connect your sales platforms.


Unleashed Software

Purchase order and inventory management
Pricing: From £189 per month

Inventory platform for wholesalers, manufacturers and distributors.



Start an ecommerce website easily with Shopify
Pricing: From $29 per month

Exceptionally popular platform for ecommerce. It’s easy to use and you can build a great website in just a few hours.



Ecommerce platform built on WordPress
Pricing: Free to use, but charges a percentage on sales transactions

An open source platform with a WordPress plugin. Great for monetising the audience of an existing WordPress website.



UK based ecommerce platform
Pricing: From £29.95 per month

If you like to buy local then Shopwired might be for you. Integrates well with the Royal Mail.


Big Commerce

Powerful ecommerce platform
Pricing: From $29.95 per month

Features lots of add ons and a sophisticated API to create custom sales workflows.


Bold Commerce

Ecommerce platform with a focus on subscriptions
Pricing: From $9.99 per month

Develop membership and subscription platforms. Features addons for other platforms including Shopify.



Simple ecommerce website builder for smaller businesses
Pricing: From £16 per month

Features an easy-to-use website builder and integrates with Xero.


The Good Till

UK POS built for hospitality
Pricing: From £29 per month

Feature-rich POS used by lots of our clients. The integration with Xero isn’t great, so we prefer to import data ourselves using The Good Till’s extensive reporting function.


Salon Iris

POS for hair salons, beauty salons and barbers
Pricing: From $29 per month

Used by our clients to manage appointments and record sales. Integrates with Quickbooks.



Easy to use system but poor customer service
Pricing: From free with fees based on transactions

During 2020 a number of our clients left Zettle for other POS providers, most notably The Good Till. Poor customer service was the most quoted problem.



POS for retail and hospitality
Pricing: From £19 per month

A few clients use Lightspeed and it seems to work very well. Features extensive reporting options and integrates with Xero.



Simple but slick POS for all types of businesses
Pricing: From free with fees based on transactions

A number of clients successfully switched to Square during the pandemic to improve their remote order offering. Has a strange but effective integration with Xero.



Leading POS solution used by some larger brands
Pricing: From $99 per month

Complete POS offering including software, hardware and payment processing.



Connects Deliveroo with POS sytems to simply order management
Pricing: From £49 per month plus setup fee

Simplify your order system if you sell on Deliveroo or Uber Eats, by connecting Deliveroo and your POS system.



Unify your hospitality ordering system
Pricing: From £129 one-off

Integrates with your exsiting sales platforms to provide a unified ordering solution.


Sales Payment Processing and Direct Debits

You might think a 2% payment processing fee isn’t that all that different from a 3% processing fee. These are small numbers after all, right? But let’s say you run a business that generates a 5% profit margin. That extra 1% fee will reduce profits by a substantial 20%. So it pays to find the right solution for your business.


Cheapest way to take payments for service based businesses
Pricing: Fee per transaction, capped at £4.

We use GoCardless at Numble to process our monthly sales. It’s cheaper than using PayPal or Stripe and easier than asking clients to set up a standing order.



Well-known brand with a complete set of features
Pricing: Free to setup with transaction based fees

Needs no introduction, PayPal offer a complete payment gateway and processing solution. Can be expensive for larger fees though, so check out GoCardless if you want to easily process four to five figure sales.



Another complete payment platform with superb integrations
Pricing: Free to setup with transaction based fees

Cheaper than PayPal but equally feature-rich payment solution. Also more expensive than GoCardless for larger fees.



Recurring revenue platform with useful automations
Pricing: From free for your first £80,000 in revenue

Ideal for startups, Chargebee can simplify subscription revenue and integrates with Xero.



Payment platform for all types of industries
Pricing: Transaction based fees only

Payment platform that enables you to accept payments online and in-person.



UK payments platform with support for online and in-person payments
Pricing: Setup and transactions based fees

Fast growing UK payment platform used by several of our clients.


Accounts Production and Company Secretary Platforms

Some of these tools will help you file your accounts and tax returns without an accountant, and some are fully-featured accounting platforms built for small practices.


Simple accounts production software
Pricing: From £10+VAT per month

We use TaxFiler to prepare our clients’ accounts. It’s simple, low maintenance and easy to use. Not as fully featured as other accounts production software, but ideal for working with startups and small businesses.



End-to-end accounting practice software
Pricing: From £5 per business per month

Submit accounts, capture bank feeds and monitor deadlines with thei fully featured platform.



Submit tax returns, manage AML and e-signatures
Pricing: Complicated - based on modules and number of clients

Complicated pricing structure but highly-rated software for preparing accounts and submitting tax returns.



Practice suite with lots of add-ons
Pricing: Complicated - based on modules and number of clients

Full featured practice management tool - submit accounts, tax returns, prepare payroll and manage deadlines.



Complete suite of backoffice business software
Pricing: Complicated - based on modules and number of clients

Wide ranging backoffice software. Accountancy software includes accounts production, tax return submission, payroll and practice management tools.


Xero Tax

Xero’s foray into accounts production
Pricing: Free for accountants and bookkeepers

Xero Tax promises to simplify the accounts production workflow. Looks promising.


Rhino A

Simple MTD software to help you file - even if you use excel
Pricing: From free to £30+VAT per month

If you still prepare accounts in Excel, you can upload spreadsheet to Rhino and submit MTD VAT returns. Comes with a simple contact management tool and supports self-assessment tax returns too.


Inform Direct

Companies House software that will save you time
Pricing: From £5 per month or per submission

We use Inform Direct to help with all of the small, annoying, administrative tasks that have to be done. It’s cheap, easy to use and the support team are exceptional.

BTC Software

Accounts production, tax returns and company secretary software
Pricing: From £395+VAT for businesses

A unified simple solution for businesses that would like to manage their own accounting process. BTC Software is useful for practices too.


Easy Digital Filing

Online pay-per-file system for accounts and tax returns
Pricing: From £119 per year (effectively)

Simple online solution to prepare and file corporation tax returns without an accountant.



CIS, RTI and MTD tax returns submission software
Pricing: Complicated - based on modules needed and volumes of returns

Helps you submit your CIS300, VAT100 and RTI returns.


SureFile Accounts

Low cost, online iXBRL accounts software
Pricing: From £10 per submission

Simple software to create and test iXBRL tagging when preparing accounts.


Payroll and Time Tracking

Payroll - joyful for employees and an administrative pain for employers. You’ve got to pay staff, so why not make it as easy as possible to do?


Simple yet powerful UK payroll system
Pricing: From £49+VAT per month

We love BrightPay and roll it out to all of our clients for free. It’s easy to use and great for accounting practices. The cloud version is a little pricey though.


Sage Payroll

Useful payroll system with lots of features
Pricing: From £7+VAT per month

Sage Payroll works in the cloud and is perfectly good for payrolls of up to 50 employees.


Xero Payroll

Simple but limited payroll system
Pricing: From £5+VAT per month

While we use Xero payroll with some clients, we prefer to switch to BrightPay where possible. Xero payroll does the job, but it’s slow and cumbersome, and it still hasn’t built a final version for furlough calculations.


Quickbooks Payroll

Similar to Xero Payroll but even more limited
Pricing: From £12 per month

Another slow payroll system compared to BrightPay. Quickbooks Payroll might be useful for small simple payrolls but only if you use Quickbooks for your accounts too.


The Payroll Site

Basic payroll software for micro-employers
Pricing: From £6.50 per month

Online, simple payroll software. Looks a little dated but does the job.


Primo Payroll

Free payroll software for up to 10 employees
Pricing: From free to £49.99 per year

Simple payroll software to submit RTI returns and comply with auto enrolment.


1 2 Cloud Payroll

Comprehensive but simple payroll software
Pricing: Free for up to 10 employees then based on number of staff

Simple payroll solution with an online employee portal, SMS payslips and auto tax coding.



New payroll and HR platform
Pricing: £8 per employee per month

New payroll solution and lacks complete suite of tools - but check out the blog and you’ll see Onfolk is one to watch. Integrates with Comma.


Shape Payroll

Cost effective payroll for up to 100 employees
Pricing: Free for 3 employees, then £5-15 per month

Easy to use online payroll system. Fast and free for micro-employers.



Small farm management software with payroll support
Pricing: Unknown

Niche, integrated farm management tools - monitor harvests, HR and payroll in one place!



Online payroll software
Pricing: From £2 per employee per month

Features automated payroll workflows which can save time.



Recruitment agency and umbrella company platform
Pricing: Unknown

Integrated payroll, CRM and expense management tools.



Scalable payroll software - for recruitment companies
Pricing: Unknown

Administer umbrella, joint employment and CIS payroll submissions within one platform.



Feature-rich rota system with support for payroll calculations
Pricing: £69 per month

Our clients love Rotaready for scheduling. We like the reporting features that help with payroll. Quite expensive.



Rota software for shift-based employers
Pricing: From £1.50 per user per month

Smart, simple software to track time, manage timesheets, swap shifts and more. Ideal for hospitality, retail, healthcare and a wide variety of indudstries.


Xero Projects

Time tracker and project management tool from Xero
Pricing: From £5 per user per month

Can save you time by integrating with Xero invoicing, with support for time tracking, cost and profit management.



Helpful tool to upload data into Xero Payroll and Projects
Pricing: From £3 per month plus transaction based fees

Save time and effort by upload spreadsheets and CSV files to Xero Payroll or Projects. Great for working with large amounts of data.


Basic PAYE Tools

HMRC’s own solution to send payroll submissions
Pricing: Free

Invaluable in some circumstances, like sending an old EPS or correcting past mistakes. While it is possible to send regular payrolls using Basic PAYE Tools, it’s easier to use a payroll system.


Task Management

These tools help us to manage productivity and meet deadlines.


Day to day task management software
Pricing: From free with inexpensive plans for super users

Todoist has sharing features, but we find it works best for solo work. It’s easy to forget what needs to be done, but Todoist allows you to capture tasks from email, Slack, on-the-go using your smartphone, and from many other sources. It’s great for remembering to do the little stuff.



Big-picture task management software
Pricing: From free, with paid plans for teams, which can be pricey if you want to take advantage of their super-features

Each client we work with comes with about 50 deadlines per year. We use Asana to manage these tasks and deadlines. Every client has it’s own little space where we define recurring tax returns and one-off tasks. Each task has it’s own chatbox so it’s easy to keep track of our multi-threaded discussions. We colloborate, get things done, and we don’t miss deadlines.



Lots of features on this solo task management tool
Pricing: From $12 per month

Amazing indeed. There must be over 100 different psychological tricks and hacks incorporated into this software. From simple targets, to eat-the-frog, to gamification and pomodoro timers, you’ll learn a lot about productivity from using AmazingMarvin. After about six months of daily use I opted for the simplicity of Todoist, but AmazingMarvin is an excellent tool.


Workspaces and Communication

While not specific to accounting, these invaluable tools also help us get stuff done.


Communication for teams
Pricing: From free with paid plans for teams

Great for communicating with your team. Slack is like having a whatsapp chat for each aspect of your business. We set up channels for each client so we can discuss tasks and share data without overloading our email inbox. When you add a new person to a channel, they can view the entire history. Remember those times when you get added to an email chain after it has already started, and you can’t figure out what anyone is blabbering on about? Slack has solved it.


Google Sheets, Docs, Slides and Forms

Free online spreadsheets, documents, presentations and forms software
Pricing: Free

Microsoft Office is great, but each spreadsheet or document is an island. Sharing is easy enough, but collaborating on anything is not. You can work simultaneously in Google Sheets. You can present a Google Sheet to someone on the other side of the world and they can follow your cursor around the screen. If you work alone, then Microsoft Office will suffice. If you have a team, consider switching to Google Sheets. We’ve done it and we have no regrets.



A shared workspace for colloborative work
Pricing: From free with paid plans for teams

Here’s what we do in Notion. We create libraries of email snippets to make client communication swift and consistent. We create how-to documents that show (or remind) us how to do complex tasks. We keep track of our marketing campaigns by creating tables, charts and links to external apps. We store random links to random ideas that one day we’ll randomly need. You can do even more.



This guide represents our team’s humble opinion and we have not been paid to promote any system.

Would you like help implementing one of these systems? Get in touch below.

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