Accounting Software

Xero Alternatives 2024: Accountant and Bookkeeper Edition

by Envoice
11 min read

According to the Xero website, they have 3.9 million subscribers worldwide. A formidable number. But are there better options for accountants and bookkeepers to satisfy their clients’ ever-growing need for faster processing and cost savings? Let’s find out.

In this article, we explore six alternatives to Xero for accountants and bookkeepers and introduce an automation tool from Envoice that integrates with popular accounting software. This tool opens up advanced features such as data extraction and makes automation of manual data entry tasks possible.

Stick around if you’re interested in learning about the features and benefits of Xero alternatives.

QuickBooks Online: A Familiar Xero Competitor

Screenshot of the QuickBooks Online website homepage.Quickbooks Online

QB Online is the predictable choice for an alternative because most accountants and bookkeepers are familiar with it. It has been around for a long time, and recently, QB has added some powerful automation features, making it a worthy upgrade.

Features

  • Invoicing
  • Income and payments
  • Expense tracking
  • Sales tax
  • Bill management
  • Estimates
  • Cash flow planner
  • Reports
  • Inventory management
  • Fixed asset management
  • Timesheets
  • Mobile apps
  • Mileage tracking

QB offers a dedicated mobile app for Android and iOS users, creating the perfect environment for remote workers and virtual bookkeepers.

QB Online is a full financial management platform. However, if you are just starting as an accountant or bookkeeper, its wide choice of features might be more than you need. Also, the features come at a cost.

Pricing

Starting at $30 a month with the Simple Start package (1 user) and ending at $100 a month (25 users) for advanced bookkeeping and automation features, there is a package to suit everyone. Much more expensive than Xero, but if you need its advanced capabilities, you won’t miss out on anything with QB.

Want to add more power at a fraction of the cost?

Sure you do! If you love the idea of using QB Online but don’t want to pay $100, how about adding a powerful automation tool from Envoice? At $11 a month for unlimited users, you can’t go wrong.

Envoice helps QuickBooks Online users collect bills, invoices, and receipts, regardless of whether they are received by email or on paper. Their intelligent data capture removes manual data entry and decreases the risk of human error. No more jumping between mailboxes, folders, or drawers. Everything is conveniently in one place.

You can run automatic coding features and approval workflows. The platform’s artificial intelligence capabilities provide you with personal insights for automating recurring and routine tasks. Seamless synchronization with QB Online turns your purchases and expenses into accurately coded postings.

Add a basic QB plan together with Envoice and you’ll save 50% on cost, but get all the powerful automation features you need. Try it now.

ZARMoney: Web-based accounting software

Screenshot of the ZARMoney website homepage.ZARMoney

Offering an adaptive and feature-rich platform at an affordable price ZARMoney is a popular alternative to Xero. Designed to cater to small to medium businesses, it offers real-time financial tracking and cloud-based accessibility.

Features

  • Dashboard overview
  • Customizable invoices
  • Expense management
  • Robust inventory management
  • Purchase orders
  • Fixed asset accounting
  • Multi-user access levels
  • Cloud-based accessibility
  • Customizable reports
  • Credit card processing
  • Bank synchronization

If you are a bookkeeper providing services to businesses, Smart Bookkeeping is ZARMoney’s feature-rich product that will help you keep tight internal controls on your financial processes. It assists you in closing all the books efficiently, creating financial statements, analyzing them, and preparing for tax time.

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ZarMoney also provides a real-time review of your cash flow, including cash receipts, invoices, and disbursements, to reconcile your bank account automatically. It is a central platform for the flow of financial data between you and your clients.

The downside?

While it’s a powerful tool, ZarMoney lacks an integrated payroll system, so you will need additional payroll software. Currently, it does not offer a mobile application but does offer a mobile-friendly website for those who want to use it on the go.

Pricing

Depending on the number of users, there are three options. Starting at $15 a month for one user. The Enterprise plan will give you access for 30 users at $350 a month.

FreshBooks: For small businesses and bookkeepers

Screenshot of the FreshBooks websiteFreshbooks

Ensure accuracy, prove compliance, prepare detailed financial reports, make informed business decisions, and easily work with your clients. With FreshBooks, you get flexible software that grows with you as your client’s needs change.

FreshBooks supports expense tracking, project management, and creating proposals for potential clients. Another advantage is its compatibility with numerous third-party applications, extending its functionality beyond its core features. It supports more than 100 integrations, including tools for payroll and mileage tracking.

Features

  • Income and expense tracking
  • Invoicing (including recurring invoices)
  • Accounting
  • Banking
  • Time tracking
  • Online payments
  • Payroll integration

The downside?

Freshbooks charges additional fees for users and invoices on the basic plans. Freshbooks is better suited to bookkeepers with a small number of freelancers and small businesses on their books. Even then, you’ll pay $30 to send many invoices.

Pricing

From $19 a month to $60 a month for advanced features such as unlimited invoices and automated capturing of bills and receipts.

Wave: A Cost-Effective Xero Alternative

Screenshot of the Wave website homepageWave

Claiming to have helped 2 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada take control of their business finances, Wave accounting offers some punchy features for bookkeepers. Track the financial health of your accounting firm, as well as your clients with its intuition and real-time dashboard.

Features

  • Invoicing
  • Accounting
  • Banking
  • Manage accounts receivable
  • Payment acceptance
  • Payroll
  • Integration with 1,000 apps

Wave’s free app for iOS and Android lets you send invoices whenever and wherever you want. You can also set up invoice reminders to automatically email your customers when payment is due. This way, you can manage your cash flow by knowing when an invoice is viewed, becomes due, or gets paid.

Customers can click a Pay Now button on invoices and pay instantly by credit card, secure bank payment (ACH/EFT), or Apple Pay. You can accept credit cards and bank payments for as little as 1%2 per transaction.

As a bookkeeper, you can track all your clients’ financial data from the dashboard. View outstanding invoices and real-time payments, and receive their scanned receipts when they take a picture on their cell phone. How easy can it get?

The downside?

Although Wave’s core accounting features are free, services such as payroll, payment processing, and professional bookkeeping support come at an additional cost. These fees can add up, especially for businesses needing comprehensive payroll services across multiple states.

Pricing

Wave offers free basic features allowing you to create unlimited invoices, accept online payments, and use ‘invoice-on-the-go’ with the mobile app. At $16 a month, bookkeepers and accountants should opt for the PRO plan, giving you the option of auto-importing and categorizing bank transactions.

Zoho Books: Free Xero Alternative

Screenshot of the Zoho Books website homepageZoho Books

Zoho is a comprehensive and affordable accounting solution praised for its automation capabilities, clean interface, and robust feature set tailored for small and medium-sized companies.

Key features for accountants and bookkeepers include automated payment reminders, automated report generation allowing for scheduled weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reports, and customized automation tools.

Integration with multiple payment gateways, such as Zapier, and a customizable client portal make this a versatile Xero alternative.

Features

  • Invoices and quotes
  • Expenses
  • Receipt scanning
  • Banking
  • Tax and VAT
  • Integrations
  • Reporting

The downside?

There are limited payroll add-ons which may require bookkeepers to invest in additional software.

Pricing

Zoho offers a free pricing plan for businesses that earn <50K USD a year. For $240 dollars a month, you can expect a full house service with features such as customizable reports and dashboards.

Sage business cloud accounting: Scaleable Xero alternative

Screenshot of the Sage Business Cloud Accounting website homepageSage business cloud accounting

Sage Accounting Software is a formidable solution for accountants and bookkeepers seeking a blend of traditional functionality with modern cloud accessibility. It has established itself as a leading provider, integrating seamlessly with a broad spectrum of businesses, from startups and sole traders to established entities eyeing international trade.

Features

  • Invoicing
  • Cash flow forecasts
  • VAT returns (relevant for U.K. and E.U. businesses)
  • Mobile invoicing and expenses
  • Multi-currency invoicing
  • Financial reporting
  • Purchase orders
  • Bank connection and reconciliation
  • Quotation and estimates
  • Payroll processing (add-ons)

What sets Sage apart and makes it a good Xero alternative is that it combines all the powerful features of desktop software into cloud computing. It integrates with third-party gateway apps and has expanded features with Sage Marketplace, which offers tailored add-on apps for small and medium businesses.

Sage also offers a vast number of bank connections worldwide, which streamlines bank transaction reconciliation and enhances the efficiency of financial management.

Pricing

Starts at $19 a month, with fees added for additional companies. This may become a pricey alternative for bookkeepers with multiple clients. Also, there are many ‘add-ons’ that come standard in competitor plans.

Quick summary of Xero alternatives

A snapshot of the Xero alternatives consolidates what we have discussed so far.

Software ZarMoney QuickBooks Online FreshBooks Wave Zoho Books Sage Business Cloud Accounting
Cloud-Based
Invoicing
Expense Tracking
Multi-Currency
Inventory Management

 

With so many accounting software platforms entering the market in the last 5 years, it can be difficult for accountants and bookkeepers to settle on the right accounting software. This is especially true when you are trying to manage multiple businesses. Here are some guidelines for sorting out what you need.

Guidelines for choosing the right accounting software

Assess the scalability of the software

Choose a platform that has multiple options for business growth like QB Online, Sage, and Zoho books. As your accounting firm grows, you can upgrade to a better plan that accommodates the outcomes your clients expect.

Integration capabilities

Choose accounting software that integrates well with other business tools your clients use, such as payment processors, CRM systems, and payroll services. Integration capabilities can streamline workflows and reduce manual data entry.

Integration with a powerful automation tool like Envoice is invaluable for maximizing your accounting software. For $11 a month, Envoice directly enables you to stay on cheaper software plans while adding their automation and data extraction capabilities. Envoice takes care of all your pre-accounting needs and allows you to automate approvals and create workflow rules. Envoice supercharges your accounting software!

Try Envoice risk-free for 14 days

Cost vs. value

We’re going to tell you to be cautious with this exercise. Accounting software can become a costly exercise if you don’t cater to future business growth from the start. What do we mean by this? Well, in 2024, you may only need a plan that does basic invoicing and tracks expenses, along with automated bank reconciliation. In 2025 and beyond, you may need something completely different as your client base grows and their needs change.

The way around this BEFORE you commit to any accounting software is to closely examine the most expensive plan or package. If your business grows to that extent, what will the future cost implications be? And will it still be worth it when you have to pay for additional users and add-on products? For instance, an automation tool like Envoice, which also allows you to track and manage all your expenses, has no cap on the number of users. Be on the lookout for gems like this.

We’re almost done, but before you go, how about we make some suggestions regarding the software we’ve listed?

  • For top value and reasonable cost: Zoho Books
  • For powerful capabilities and scalability: Quickbooks Online
  • For great price, user interface, and a wide choice of integrations: Wave Accounting
  • For the best automation tool integration: Envoice

Conclusion

In this article we’ve discussed the features and benefits of six Xero alternatives. While Xero is still a powerful accounting platform, especially in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia, you may be looking for something that accommodates the needs of your U.S. clients better.

Automation of pre-accounting tasks is now becoming a necessity for accountants and bookkeepers who want to be competitive in local markets and still provide their customers with the service they’ve become accustomed to.

Armed with our six options, you’re about to make a significant change for the future of your business and your clients. You’ve come this far; might as well keep going.

Envoice would like to help you take your firm to the next level. We provide training, support, and onboarding for all our accountant friends. Sign up in three easy steps.

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