Accurate bookkeeping is essential for every business, regardless of its size. But keeping track of transactions and maintaining organized records can be a daunting task.
Fortunately, there are plenty of free bookkeeping tools available that can simplify accounting for small businesses, helping you stay on top of your finances. This article will explore a few of the best options.
The Best Free Bookkeeping Tools
|1||CloudBooks||CloudBooks offers a free plan for freelancers and small businesses, assisting with invoicing and reporting.|
|2||ZipBooks||ZipBooks lets you send an unlimited number of invoices|
|3||GnuCash||It’s compatible with Linux|
|4||Wave||Its integration with bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial institutions is quick and easy.|
|5||Front Accounting||It handles work order entries and work center inquiries and can prepare bills of materials.|
|6||SlickPie||Supports the management of multiple companies|
|7||TrulySmall Invoicing||Multiple currencies are supported|
CloudBooks offers a free plan for freelancers and small businesses, assisting with invoicing, expense management and reporting. What’s more, it comes integrated with Stripe and PayPal so you can accept online payments for your invoices (you can also set up automated payment reminders and charge late fees). There is no limit to the number of invoices you can send with CloudBooks.
The bookkeeping app supports multiple users and even assists with project management, helping to track project progress and ensure everything stays within budget. Your employees can log time spent on individual tasks and invoices can be generated based on time entries. You can also track project expenses and view a range of project reports.
All in all, CloudBooks is a versatile system that handles a range of core business processes, saving you the need to use separate programs for each task. All that’s left is to incorporate an instant check stub maker and all your time and money management needs are covered.
ZipBooks offers a free plan specifically designed for small businesses. It provides features like expense tracking, invoicing, and financial reporting, as well as a time tracking feature that lets you accurately bill clients based on hours worked. The tool also integrates with PayPal and Square.
Like CloudBooks, ZipBooks lets you send an unlimited number of invoices. However, you need to have a paid plan if you want to automate billing and reminders, as well as use the time tracking features.
GnuCash is a powerful open-source bookkeeping software that caters to businesses of all sizes, and even freelancers. Its features include:
- Double-entry accounting
- Transaction scheduling
- Bank account tracking
- Expense tracking
- Investment tracking (including stocks and other commodities)
It also supports various other financial instruments such as bonds and mutual funds.
Another advantage of GnuCash is that it’s compatible with Linux (along with the more common operating systems). It’s also available in many languages.
However, it’s not as easy to use as some of the other platforms we’re reviewing here and it has a steeper learning curve.
Wave is another popular web-based accounting tool that offers a comprehensive set of features tailored for small businesses and freelancers.
It enables you to track income and expenses, create and send professional invoices and generate financial reports.
Its integration with bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial institutions is quick and easy, letting you import transactions automatically and reduce manual data entry. Compared to GnuCash, it’s easier to use and has a more intuitive interface.
They don’t offer any paid plans – all the essential features are free. The way they profit is through optional extras such as payroll processing, coaching, and customized services.
Manager is another free bookkeeping software that provides a comprehensive range of accounting features, as well as features for tax functions. It’s also available in a broad range of languages.
The catch is that only the desktop version is available for free – you’ll need to use the cloud version for $39/month if you want:
- Remote access
- Access via tablets and other mobile devices
- Multiple user accounts
- The option to set user permissions.
- Automatic backups and updates
If you need to use your bookkeeping software on the move (and not on a laptop), this won’t be the option for you. However, its comprehensive functionality suits many users that have no problem using the desktop version.
Front Accounting is an open-source accounting system that’s available in multiple languages and supports various currencies. Another plus is that you can manage multiple companies within your account.
The software offers features including:
- General ledger
- Budget management
- Accounts payable and receivable
- Inventory control
- Financial reporting.
- Purchase orders, sales orders, invoices and credit notes
- Online payments
A handy addition to the list is a set of features designed for manufacturing companies. It handles work order entries and work center inquiries and can prepare bills of materials.
SlickPie caters to small businesses and freelancers, offering features such as invoice creation, expense tracking, bank reconciliation, financial reporting, sales tax management, and so on.
- Supports multiple currencies
- Supports the management of multiple companies
- Automation features
- You can accept payments via credit card, PayPal and Stripe
- Well-designed user interface
- Available as a Chrome extension for the ultimate convenience
Despite these benefits, some users have complained about poor customer support and limited invoice customizations. What’s more, integrations are limited – so it’s definitely not suitable for larger or expanding businesses (or those with more complex operations).
Another option well suited to freelancers is TrulySmall Invoicing. Their free plan takes care of all your invoicing needs – you can create and send invoices using professional invoice templates (customizable to suit your branding), as well as track invoices and set up automated payment reminders. Multiple currencies are supported and you get chat support with this plan, but not phone or email support.
Unfortunately, if you need more comprehensive bookkeeping functionality, you’d need to use their paid version – TrulySmall Accounting – at $20/month, which provides tools for income and expense tracking, sales and sales tax tracking, and accepting online payments. You also get access to phone and email support.
Another handy feature of the paid plan is receipt scanning – simply take a photo of your receipts and match it to an existing record or create a new one. Better yet, all your transactions are automatically categorized into IRS and CRA-approved categories – perfect for a hassle-free tax season.
Conclusion - Final Verdict
Efficient bookkeeping is crucial for the success of any business and there are abundant free tools available for small businesses and freelancers alike. Making use of these tools lets you simplify your financial management processes, save time, maintain accurate records, and avoid any complications with the tax man.
Whether you opt for Wave's user-friendly interface, CloudBooks’ project management tools, or ZipBooks' unlimited invoices, these tools will streamline your small business accounting so you can focus on growing your business.
Taking the stress out of bookkeeping doesn’t end with accounting software though – you need a quick and easy way to generate paystubs for your employees. Check out our instant paystub generator here with its professional paystub templates and simplify your payroll processing today!