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Small Business Online Accounting Software for the USA

Finding the best Online Accounting Software for your business is now faster and easier! Compare prices, reviews, features, and get free consultation to find the perfect software.

Table of Contents

What is Online Accounting Software?

Cloud-based or online accounting software is a SaaS based business model. It can be a traditional, on-premise or self-installed software, only that it will be hosted on remote servers. Users send data requests to ‘the cloud’. The data gets processed within ‘the cloud’ and is sent back to the user. In a cloud model, instead of working from the desktop, users can execute the application functions off-site. Users also get remote access to all software applications and dynamic modules via Internet or any other network with the help of a cloud application service provider.

Online accounting software reduces the hassles of installing and maintaining the software on every individual’s desktop. Employees all over the organization as well as in its remote branch offices can easily access the same data and version of the accounting software. They can also benefit from real-time reporting and visibility, and enjoy mobile capabilities and teamwork all throughout the organization. The cloud accounting systems are subscription-based services where businesses end up paying only for the amount of space utilized. At the same time, businesses receive automatic updates to the software without purchasing any additional software.

Thus, a online accounting software significantly reduces the cost of installing and maintaining the software across the organization. It also eliminates the time and effort of installation and maintenance. Thus, it provides more convenience and advantages to businesses.

Online Accounting Software vs Traditional Accounting Software

Besides the onsite and off-site concepts, there are other noteworthy differences between online and traditional accounting software:

  • First, online accounting software is undoubtedly more flexible than traditional accounting. In a cloud environment, users can access accounting data from anywhere using any device through Internet. However, this is not possible in traditional accounting software.
  • Second, financial information are auto updated in online accounting software. Also, there’s no need of upgrading license fees and maintenance costs. Businesses only renew their subscription contract, if and only required. Whereas, in traditional accounting software, business have to pay additionally for software updates and maintenance. They also have to incur expenses for purchasing new hardware like servers.
  • Third, cloud based accounting software offer financial reporting in real-time. It reduces the chances of human errors, which are more likely to happen from manual data entry, thus providing accurate financial account balance. Contrary to this, real-time reporting is not available in traditional accounting software, which means more time, more effort and higher risk of errors.
  • Finally, unlike traditional accounting modules, cloud based accounting software have greater ability and efficiency to deal with multi-currency and multi-company transactions.

Developing a System for Selecting Online Accounting Software

Instead of suggesting the same online accounting software for all small to large scale of businesses, software developers must cater to individual needs and specific requirements of their clients. In this way, they can deliver best solutions and meet the unique requirements of a firm. Here’s how they can develop an appropriate system for choosing the best accounting software for their Clients:

1. Listening to Client Requirements

The very first step to provide the most suitable accounting software is by giving a patient hearing to the respective needs and requirements of your clients. A thorough understanding of the client’s business and the purpose for installing cloud based accounting software helps in making better recommendations. Also, instead of offering a hundred options which might disinterest clients, a clever way is to know their requirements and come up with a few shortlisted choices.

2. Mitigating Risk

Moving to a new system of accounting holds certain amount of risk. Also, there’s substantial cost for training, support and maintenance. Companies, especially small and medium businesses, are more cautious about the risks of adapting to a new form of software, than its benefits. In such a situation, accounting software professionals must stand out as an expert and mitigate all risks from the clients’ mind. They must make the best recommendations and win the trust of clients and create a win-win situation.

3. Forming a Brand Portfolio

In order to make the best software suggestions, a good way is to look back at similar clients or businesses and analyze their needs, preferences, pattern of usage and level of satisfaction. In this way, the accounting staff has to form a brand portfolio of their past cloud software services and showcase their experience to impress prospective clients.

4. Collating the Above Factors

And after all such efforts, software professionals must collate all their findings and put it at one place. By going through the client needs, offering the best choices and going by past experience; the software team can provide the best-possible solution to their clients. In this way, they can customize the software and fulfil the purpose. With the best suggestions, they can sustain their clients for lifetime.

Top Trends in Online Accounting Software

1. Cloud Is No Longer ‘Future’

With the world moving towards cloud technology, it’s no longer an aspiration. In fact, cloud is the talk of every business. Today, most small, medium and large companies are embracing cloud module to ease their accounting system. They find cloud more user-friendly, convenient and cost-efficient. Thus, cloud based accounting software is the ‘current trend’ of every industry.

2. Most Businesses Are Happy With Traditional Software

Although business heads might talk cloud, yet they hesitate from being a regular cloud user. The problem of functionality still persists in the minds of top management. Where new businesses and startups give a quick go-ahead to cloud-based software, older companies prefer to cling to their traditional software modules. According to a survey, the difficulty lies in changing the mindset from traditional to cloud technology. Nonetheless, while businesses have started believing in incorporating cutting-edge technology, online accounting software professionals must think of ways to break the taboo and bring more businesses within the cloud domain.

3. Innovation In Cloud Based Accounting Software

Cloud based accounting software has come up with a new feature and module, known as Blockchain. It is an amazing application and helps users to manage their digital conversations in a cost-efficient manner. Blockchain gives fair, transparent and traceable ways to streamline communication and track all accounting and financial data from a centralized location.

Online Accounting software – a comprehensive buyer’s guide

A decade ago, it was most common for all companies to have accountants who would be in-charge of managing the financial data and accounting details. And ten years down the line, technology has touched each strata of business so vastly that most companies now host their financial data on software's bought from vendors, no longer! Accountants hired especially for this purpose, gone is that era. More over, with software-as-a-service (SAAS), all your data is stored on servers that have the best security and auto-backup. Who says they are not affordable? With flexibility in payment, you do not need to pay extra charges, only for the services that are used. This is the main reason why most small and medium sized businesses are opting for it along with no need for capital investment.

With the widespread use of online accounts, a number of software vendors have come up and this task of choosing the Cloud online accounting software for your business can become pretty daunting! In this article, we cover the complete A-Z of web based online accounting software and why it needs to be an intrinsic part of all businesses. Same as Accounting Software will by and large contain tools that helps to create bills, process payments and track costs and create reports and improve communication, thus helping to reduce cost and time spent on accounting Task.

An overview of Online Accounting Software

In a layman’s language, Cloud based online accounting software’s make the entire system of financial transactions transparent by keeping a tab on them. The most common and basic features included are – managing and updating the general company ledger, payments received and paid, payroll and recording modules. Often supplementary features are provided as per your need like – fund bookkeeping for non-profit purposes, claiming for medical purpose and calculating the extra commissions for sales-based businesses like real estate, brokers and rate analysis for banks. Same as the most useful Personal Finance Software will provide you with plenty of user-friendly features, so that you can deal with all parts of your accounts.

Why is it most preferred? There is no need of extra hardware as it is directly hosted on the internet. These online accounting services for small businesses require an active server, also these online accounting software have regular back-up facilities and reduce the expenditure cost that can by paid as monthly or annual fee.

The two types of best online accounting software are: SAAS – browser based and Application Service Providers (ASP) – client based. The SAAS being designed to be used via Internet browsers like Chrome, Safari, Explorer can be accessed by the user from anywhere in the world. In the ASP, the small “client” software is installed onto the business’s computer. Both these are hosted on a server. The ASP can be “web-enabled”, however it is not designed for that purpose hence they may not operate very seamlessly on a web browser.

The vendor – Buyer scenario

From the innumerable software’s out there, it can be an ordeal to choose the best one and the cost of selecting the wrong one can have numerous side-effects. So we have prepared a list of  vendor – buyer table category-wise.

Type of Buyer Vendor software options
Full fledge Cloud based accounting solutions Busy, Tally, Saral (Syncronization) Profit Books, Quickbooks, Reach, Zoho Books, xero
Basic Cloud Accounting systems for Small businesses Reeleezee, Handdy accounts, Wave accounting, Zipbooks, bean cruncher, gurilla, zoostr

Market trends that you should be aware off

  • Customization as per your requirements – Most of these solutions are agile and allow the user to pay only for the services they use. So if your business needs core accounting and not tracking of sales management, then it would not be included. The benefit of this is that you don’t pay extra charges, only pay for what is used.

  • Electronic payment gateways – they offer numerous advantages like online paying of bills and receiving payments. They save time and transport expenses of your customers and the benefit of online receipt generation is that the accounts are maintained transparent without chances of getting lost or misplaced.

  • SAAS for large enterprises – The SAAS offer many benefits that like the ERP, CRM (Customer Resource Management), Sales and invoice management and outlet resource management and finance management software. They are highly functional and target large businesses that require all these features. They are multifarious and have diverse functions, this is their main benefit.

Perks and Potentials of using web based accounting software

Compared to the traditional on premise software’s that need a lot of manpower and monetary resources to handle its operation, these online software’s make the entire process hassle-free and offer a large number of advantages like:

  • Increased payment transparency – These software’s can be operated from all over the world and 24/7 so payments can be done round the clock. Also they automatically do the payments at the set date and hence no overdue charges are levied. Basic employee payrolls are also managed and the entire system is displayed to all thereby elevating transparency. The online portals are updated as to which team has to achieve what goals and this increases the communication between the inter-department employees. Moreover, the company ledgers are automatically updated leaving little chance for errors.

  • The burden on IT team is reduced – For SME‘s every single manpower is important as they operate in limited budget. The web based best online accounting software handles all aspects like automatic updates, back-ups, routine maintenance and they also lower the IT hardware charges.

  • Flexible payment modes – No need to pay large infrastructure charges that need regular maintenance. They follow an operational expense method and not a capital one, so the buyer only pays for the services that are used.

  • Enhanced data security – Most of these vendors have stringent security measures protecting your data from theft and cyber hacking. The data is stored in encrypted form so as to keep it safe from hackers and online scammers.

The entire process of selecting the best online accounting software should be done along with the buyer’s implementation. At no stage should he feel that it is forcefully being levied on him. Involve him in the entire process right from showing the demos’, explaining its practical use to selecting the best one taking into consideration the pros and cons of each one. At Software Suggest, we offer cost-effective online accounts solutions for each industry and small business after a thorough research on your company’s business goals, its niche requirement and employee survey.


The above trends have changed the name and face of the accounting software industry. With changes in accounting software, accountants are also changing their outlook and perceptions. They are constantly updating themselves with the latest trends and versions of cloud based  accounting software. Armed with such knowledge and proficiencies, today’s accountants overwhelmingly propose cloud technology for creating a customized experience for their clients.

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Nikunj DudhatBy Nikunj Dudhat | Last Updated: October 19, 2020

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