Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice helps consultants choose the right accounting software so they can manage small-scale financial data with the flexibility of remote cloud access.

Showing 1-20 of 226 products

Deskera ERP

Deskera ERP is designed as a powerful and intuitive suite of business solutions with one goal in mind – to make digital transformation simple. This transformation has to be simple and economical. It is why Deskera has trusted users... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 73 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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FINSYNC

FINSYNC provides multi-user cash flow management in the cloud to US-based small and medium-sized businesses. Businesses can upgrade from payments to invoicing, bill pay, payroll, project tracking, time tracking, expense reimbursement,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 41 recommendations

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Multiview

For organizations seeking a solution that conforms to their existing operations, Multiview offers a suite of financial solutions. With Multiview, companies gain visibility over corporate data. The solution includes 14 modules that... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 36 recommendations

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Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Divvy

Divvy is a free cloud-based accounting and expense management solution for businesses. Key features include managing payments and subscriptions, building strategic budgets, automated expense reports and virtual cards. Divvy tracks... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Certify

Certify is a web-based expense management solution recommended to companies in any industry. The solution can be used to track, approve, and reimburse expenses; book travel; and analyze spend. With Certify Mobile, users can capture... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Plooto

Plooto saves you hours of work by automating Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR) workflows. Trusted by thousands of accounting professionals, Plooto transforms AP and AR services, making them more efficient, streamlined... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 15 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Budgyt

Budgyt simplifies the budgeting process for both businesses and non-profits. It is a user-friendly interface hosted on the cloud so that multiple users can work on the same budget, at the same time, using the same format. Administrators... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Striven

Your cloud-based, all-in-one business management solution. Striven is ready for your business right out of the box. With fully integrated accounting, CRM, inventory, project management, human resources features, it's the only software... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Asset4000

Series4000 is an on-premise and cloud-based fixed asset accounting solution for small, mid-sized and large enterprises. It caters to commercial, education, government, healthcare and not for profit industries. Primary features include... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Sage Fixed Assets

Sage Fixed Assets is a hybrid asset management solution that helps businesses track and manage the fixed assets through different steps of asset lifecycle. The solution offers integrated accounting features and multiple methods to... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Vena Solutions

Vena is a financial planning and analysis (FP&A) solution that helps businesses across various industry verticals to manage different business operations such as budgeting, planning, revenue forecasting, and more. Vena appreciates... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Workday Adaptive Planning

Workday Adaptive Planning, founded in 2003, provides a web-based system for budgeting, forecasting and reporting. The solution is suitable for a wide variety of company sizes. Delivered over the Web in a software-as-a-service (SaaS)... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Fattmerchant

Fattmerchant is a cloud-based accounting solution suitable for businesses of all sizes across industries such as e-commerce, healthcare and retail. Key features of the solution include point of sale integration, mobile processing,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Oracle JD Edwards

Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and supply chain management solution that provides ERP applications and tools for finance, consumer goods, human resources, distribution and manufacturing... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: On premise
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PlanGuru

PlanGuru is an on-premise business planning and budgeting solution for small businesses and nonprofits. The solution helps accountants to build financial forecasts, prepare budget analysis and address financial constraints of small... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: On premise
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Abacus

Abacus is a cloud-based T&E solution that offers midsize teams a highly efficient way to track and control expenses, reimburse employees, and book travel. Employees use a mobile app to submit expenses right when they happen. Custom... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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BNA Fixed Assets

Bloomberg Tax Fixed Assets is a cloud-based and on-premise solution. It helps small, midsize and large companies manage the entire lifecycle of their fixed assets, from construction and purchase through retirement. Primary features... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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Jirav

Jirav is a cloud-based financial planning and reporting solution that is designed to give businesses the proper tools to examine historical data and build accurate financial models and plans. With Jirav, users are able to accurately... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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Planning Maestro

Centage’s Planning Maestro is a cloud-native planning & analytics platform that delivers year-round financial insight, transforming how companies budget, forecast and report performance. Centage delivers a level of sophisticated... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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Deployments: CloudOn premise
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AvidXchange

AvidXchange is an accounts payable solution for midsize companies in industries including real estate, HOA, construction and financial services. AvidXchange’s cloud-based solutions automate accounts payable processes including purchase... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: May 28, 2020

With so many options to choose from, finding the right accounting software is a daunting process—especially for consultants, who often operate independently and without the budget of larger, enterprise-level businesses.

But that same degree of autonomy is exactly why it's important to find the correct accounting software to meet the unique needs of your business. Without the right accounting software, consultants won't have the breadth of financial insight, integration and automation necessary to thrive in today's economy. We created this Buyer's Guide to help them find the perfect fit.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Accounting Software for Consultants?
Common Features of Accounting Software for Consultants
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Accounting Software for Consultants?

Accounting software helps freelance and independent consultants manage small-scale financial accounting data. A core package generally includes the following modules:

  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • General ledger
  • Billing and invoicing

The dashboard will have some variation of those modules alongside other supplemental features. For example, Sage Intacct's dashboard contains General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Order Entry, among other modules.

Sage Intacct dashboard

Sage Intacct dashboard

Furthermore, there are certain criteria that differentiate accounting software for consultants from accounting software for other types of businesses. These can include features such as cloud-based applications and customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities.

Common Features of Accounting Software for Consultants

While different vendors offer different sets of features unique to their application, there are several core elements of accounting software consultants can expect to find:

Accounts payable

Enables you to keep track of what you owe and also pay all your bills on time. The feature helps you process your outgoing funds, track invoices, store vendor details and print checks.

Accounts receivable

Helps you effectively manage your incoming payments. The feature offers billing codes for easy handling of recurring outgoing invoices to customers and payment codes for efficient crediting of payments from multiple accounts at one time.

General ledger

Allows users to maintain a comprehensive record of all financial transactions and track spending by project. The feature simplifies budgeting and reporting by showing past and future transactions from specific accounts within a specified date range.

Billing and invoicing

Gives users the ability to track transactional financial data and create billing and invoicing documentation for clients.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

CRM applications help consultants manage interactions with current and prospective customers, clients and/or partners, with the goal of increasing customers, revenue and customer satisfaction.

Financial reporting

Enables you to track and report on your financials with recognized business accounting best practices.

Online accounting

Allows users to access and modify all accounting data remotely through a cloud-based server hosted by the vendor.

Project accounting

Helps project-oriented consultants maximize job profitability and efficiency by tracking detailed cost breakdowns of individual projects. It allows consultants to examine prior job costs and estimate future costs to choose the jobs based on projected profit.

Asset management

Offers a central asset and inventory management system for managing equipment from acquisition to depreciation to maintenance.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

It's important to consider what type of buyer you are before examining your options so that you know exactly what to look for in a product. Most consultants seeking accounting software fall into one of three categories:

Freelance consultant. Independent consultants are responsible for managing their own financial accounting data, without the infrastructure or budget of a business with multiple employees. These types of buyers aren't usually experts in accounting, and therefore require only basic accounting functions while prioritizing ease of use and cost over more feature-rich platforms.

Consulting firm. Ranging from a small handful of employees to a midsize network of individual consultants, these businesses often desire more robust systems. These systems should be capable of managing multiple users and projects, as well as the ability to integrate with existing systems like CRM or asset management software. They therefore require a product with a greater degree of sophistication and wider range of applications, such as CRM software, to fulfill their business needs.

Best-of-breed buyer. These buyers have more familiarity with accounting software and its specific functions. They know the individual applications they desire and how they will address their consulting and accounting initiatives. For example, an HR consultant would seek payroll management capabilities, while nonprofit and cause-driven consultants would look specifically for accounting software to help manage funds and a variety of financial benchmarks. Best-of-breed buyers like these typically prioritize functionality over integration.

Benefits and Potential Issues

When you boil it down, the benefits of accounting software for consultants are the same as any other business: a clearer and more comprehensive analysis of one's accounting data, which in turn leads to more responsible financial decisions and a better understanding of the proverbial Big Picture. Advancements in automation and integration have made accounting software an essential piece of the business pie, rendering older, manual accounting methods extinct.

That said, there are certain things you'll want to consider before implementing accounting software into your consulting business. For independent and freelance consultants, protecting existing data and ensuring a seamless transition is paramount. This is especially tricky when integrating with other software, so be sure to back up all client data prior to implementation.

It's also important to ensure that a given piece of software includes all desired functionality and is sufficient for your organization's projected growth rate. The last thing you want is to invest in new software only to realize it doesn't have a specific feature, or that your consulting business will outgrow the software's capabilities as it acquires more clients. Thankfully, most accounting software platforms offer trials and demos that will allow you to test drive it before you buy it.

Market Trends to Understand

Consultants will want to keep an eye on these notable trends playing out in the accounting software space:

Cloud-based software. Accounting software platforms—and really software as a whole—are moving toward the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. Compared to the more traditional on-premise hosting model, SaaS offers lower upfront costs and quicker implementation time. Both of these factors make cloud-based software ideal for consultants with smaller budgets and less margin for downtime.

Mobile apps. Similarly, mobile applications and smartphone-optimized web interfaces are gaining popularity not just in accounting, but across all industries. This trend is particularly relevant to consultants, who are often on-the-go and managing multiple accounts at once. For a detailed look, check out our breakdown of the best mobile accounting apps.

Industry-specific features. More and more, vendors are offering industry-specific features that cater to the unique needs of a given vertical. Be sure to keep this in mind when investigating solutions for your consulting business, as even products that were once broader and more horizontal continue to add features that benefit specific industries.

Vendor consolidation. When evaluating accounting software for consultants, buyers should consider the financial viability of small vendors, which larger merchants are acquiring at an ever-increasing rate. This is especially true of accounting and ERP markets, with major players like Oracle and Sage making significant acquisitions in recent years.