5 Top-Rated Affordable Bookkeeping Software

By: Shephalii Kapoor on February 2, 2024

Manual data entry, endless calculations, and chasing down paperwork can be a constant for bookkeepers. With bookkeeping software, you can automate recurring tasks, track expenses, and generate comprehensive financial reports to gain insights into mission-critical priorities. 

Though several bookkeeping tools are available on the market, an affordable bookkeeping system can offer users a cost-effective entry point, especially if bookkeepers want to experiment with the features of the tool without a significant upfront investment.

To help you find the right tool, we have highlighted the five top-rated affordable bookkeeping software based on their pricing, as found on vendor websites and verified software reviews. Based on our research, we've considered products priced less than $105 per month as affordable software and have arranged them in ascending order. Read more.

The tools listed in this article can be divided into two categories—dedicated accounting tools and a mobile-first tool that facilitates payments via printable checks. Irrespective of the category, all the tools offer accounts payable and accounts receivable as core features.

1. Eleven

Eleven is an online accounting solution that automates data entry, year closing, and reporting for accounting teams. The software supports over 170 currencies to help accounting professionals transact and report in multiple currencies with up-to-date exchange rates. With multi-currency support, the system allows users to select currencies in every journal entry line, ensuring that all balances and values are accurately calculated and maintained.

Product features of interest:*

  • General ledger: Manage ledger draft and incomplete book entries within a single tab through the Journal entry list view. Eleven’s general ledger can handle an unlimited volume of transactions and saves client’s data in a dedicated sub ledger, allowing users to make backups at any time. 

  • Automated accounts payable: Track bills, including the invoices paid, due, and overdue. Users can also cross-check the invoice information with the actual purchase orders and delivery receipts for accuracy and transparency. 

  • Document management: Attach supporting documents to journal entries and filter attached documents by type to preview their PDF versions next to the corresponding entries. The software also allows auditors to collaborate on several accounts or fiscal years simultaneously. 

Starting price: $15 per entity, per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Phone, email, and chat

Who should consider Eleven?

Bookkeepers managing finances for businesses with multinational operations and handling diverse currencies can opt for Eleven. The software, with support for more than 170 currencies, including the US Dollar (USD), Euro (EUR), and South African Rand (ZAR), eliminates the need for manual conversions while calculating exchange rates and allows users to track individual transactions in their original currency for precise records. Additionally, accounting professionals can use the tool to generate financial reports in any desired currency, providing clients with clear financial information.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Eleven

Eleven

4.97 out of 5 stars

100 reviews

2. Xero

Xero is another accounting solution with expense management tools to help bookkeeping professionals manage and monitor business expenses. The software enables users to connect their banks to Xero to enable seamless transaction flow. Accounting professionals can get their bank data from over 21,000 financial institutions globally. Bank connections in Xero allow bookkeepers to reconcile new bank transactions regularly and have an up-to-date view of their business’s finances.

Product features of interest:*

  • Expense management: Categorize expenses into different categories for easy tracking and reporting. Users can also add notes to payments, expense claims, and purchase orders to provide context for each expense. 

  • Accounting reports: Monitor finances with accounting reports, including balance sheets, profit and loss sheets, and cash summaries. The software allows users to search for accounting reports by title, date, and other filters and set lock dates to prevent transaction changes during report preparation.

  • Tax management: Create tax forms, including individual tax returns, partnership tax returns, and 1099 forms, and submit returns online using Xero’s tax module. Users can also lodge business activity statements (BAS) using the platform. 

Starting price: $15 per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Phone, email, and knowledge base

Who should consider Xero?

Bookkeepers looking for a tool to automate transaction imports from bank statements and reduce reconciliation time can consider Xero. With automated bank feeds from 3500 US banks and financial institutions and 21,000 institutions globally, the software enables regular transaction flow from bank accounts into Xero. Bookkeeping professionals import up to 12 months of historical transactions to receive a comprehensive picture of their financial history. The software also facilitates tax management to help bookkeepers specializing in tax preparation for industries with complex tax regulations.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Xero

Xero

4.39 out of 5 stars

2849 reviews

Pro tip

Consider a bookkeeper software that supports multiple currencies to support international financial transactions. This will help bookkeepers issue and receive invoices in different foreign currencies, track foreign exchange rates, and generate multi-currency reports for global clients.

3. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is an online accounting software that automates bookkeeping tasks, such as transaction categorization, bank reconciliation, and online payments for bookkeepers. The software offers live assisted bookkeeping for professionals that helps them connect with online bookkeeping experts for guidance. With QuickBooks Live, bookkeeping professionals can get unlimited expert help for crucial matters, such as filing tax returns, minimizing deductions, and automating tedious tasks.

Product features of interest:*

  • Receipt capture: Snap photos using mobile to add receipts even on the go. The software automatically matches receipts to existing expenses and sorts them into tax categories to ease tax filing. This reduces the time spent on manual data entry and improves accuracy. 

  • Invoicing and payments: Create custom invoices with your brand’s logo, track invoice status, and send payment reminders to clients. Accountants can connect with customers and send invoices directly to their accounts, through QuickBooks Business Network.

  • Cash flow management: Monitor all your business balances, including historical cash flow trends, via a single dashboard. The software also features a cash flow chart that offers a quick and visual overview of incoming and outgoing cash. 

Starting price: $30 per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Phone, chat, and knowledge base 

Who should consider QuickBooks Online?

Independent bookkeepers looking for guided assistance for increased efficiency and productivity can benefit from QuickBooks Online. With live bookkeeping, the software enables professionals to handle routine tasks, such as data entry, categorization, and bank reconciliation, with ease. Additionally, users can benefit from the expertise of their dedicated bookkeeper while handling complex accounting tasks and industry-specific concerns. This further helps them deliver high-quality services and boost client satisfaction in the long run.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Quickbooks Online

Quickbooks Online

4.32 out of 5 stars

6445 reviews

4. Online Check Writer

Online Check Writer is an all-in-one mobile app to pay or get paid via printable checks. The tool enables users to print online checks on blank check stock papers or white papers and customize them by adding logos, business names, and colors for a professional look. These digital checks work like paper checks and can be delivered to the payee via email or text message. Once approved by the recipient, the software electronically transfers funds from the payor’s account to the recipient’s account.

Product features of interest:*

  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments: Electronically transfer funds between bank accounts while making payments to vendors, employees, or others. The software offers encryption measures to safeguard your data, ensuring a secure experience for automatic payments and direct deposits.

  • Invoicing: Create and send unlimited invoices to customers via email or text. The software also offers payment options, such as printable checks, cards, and ACH transfers, to receive payments from customers.

  • Wire transfer: Send large amounts of money electronically to recipients worldwide, directly from your bank account. This feature is especially useful for high-value transactions, usually in dollars, or time-sensitive situations.

Starting price: $49.99 per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Phone, email, and chat

Who should consider Online Check Writer?

Bookkeeping and accounting professionals looking to automate check payments can look up to Online Check Writer. The software, with a digital checks feature, eliminates the manual tasks of printing, signing, and tracking paper checks. Moreover, it ensures faster processing of funds as compared to traditional checks, eliminating wait times for check clearance. Bookkeeping professionals can use this to cater to clients who prefer paperless transactions or lack online banking facilities.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Online Check Writer

Online Check Writer

4.51 out of 5 stars

243 reviews

Pro tip

Shortlist a bookkeeper tool with the ability to customize invoices, reports, and charts of accounts to meet specific client and industry requirements. This will help bookkeepers gain deeper insights, focusing on metrics that are most relevant to their business.

5. Sage 50 Accounting

Sage 50 Accounting is an online accounting tool that offers 150 reports, including specialized reports for construction, manufacturing, and distribution businesses. The software allows bookkeepers to generate reports on payables, receivables, sales taxes, expenses, and profits, saving time and eliminating manual data manipulation. These reports can be customized with new fields, fonts, and titles to meet specific client needs and industry requirements. Moreover, professionals can filter these reports for customized views.

Product features of interest:*

  • Cash flow manager: Understand the state of the business’s cash, including the balance of cash accounts and the amount expected to come in and go out. Users can also modify the time frame to view cash transactions, such as invoices and purchases for a particular period. 

  • Recurring invoices: Automate the creation and delivery of invoices for regular clients, saving time and effort in the process. Professionals can also define the frequency (daily, weekly, monthly) and start dates for recurring invoices. The software allows users to share invoices with multiple customers at once. 

  • Account reconciliation: Reconcile a general ledger account against monthly bank statements to identify bank errors and fraudulent transactions if any. The software allows users to search for a specific transaction using the search bar in the reconciliation window. 

Starting price: $58.92 per user, per month

Billing cycle: Monthly

Customer support options: Phone, knowledge base, and online community

Who should consider Sage 50 Accounting?

Accountants and bookkeeping professionals looking to gain a deeper understanding of the client’s financial health via comprehensive reports can go for Sage accounting. With over 150 reports covering various aspects, including income, expenses, assets, and liabilities, the software provides detailed financial insights to professionals. Users can filter the report data, drill down to transactions, and export reports in PDF and CSV formats as needed. These reports enable bookkeepers to answer financial questions comprehensively and deliver exceptional value to clients.

Analysis performed January 2024**

Sage 50cloud Accounting

Sage 50cloud Accounting

3.87 out of 5 stars

373 reviews

How much does bookkeeping software cost?

A bookkeeping tool can cost as low as $15 per month or all the way up to $499.99+ per month, depending on various factors—features, data storage capacity, user types, deployment model, integrations, and more. Most bookkeeping solutions typically include the following pricing plans:

  • Free trial: No-cost trial plans of up to 30 days, giving users access to either all or limited features of the software. These are ideal for businesses that wish to try out a tool before purchasing it.

  • Free version: Free software plans offer basic features and limited premium feature access. These are ideal for small business owners with a limited budget.

  • Entry-level: Starts at $15 per month and offers limited features, such as transaction recording, billing and invoicing, and expense tracking. These are ideal for small businesses with basic bookkeeping needs.

  • Mid-tier: Ranges from $27 to $99+ per month and offers advanced features such as multi-currency support, payroll processing, and cash flow management. These are ideal for businesses that have outgrown basic bookkeeping solutions but don’t require the full range of functionality offered by enterprise-level tools.

  • High-end: Advanced plans going up to $499.99+ per month usually offer real-time financial visibility, integrated risk management, advanced reporting, priority support, and more. These are ideal for large enterprises.

Hidden costs associated with affordable bookkeeping software

Besides the software license itself, there may be additional costs associated with affordable bookkeeping software that a small business owner should take care of. These include:

  • Implementation cost: While some tools offer basic setup instructions, complex software often requires professional implementation services, which can add up to the original cost. 

  • Integration costs: Integrating your bookkeeping platform with other existing systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM), payroll and online accounting software, can also increase the software price.

  • Data migration costs: Migrating your existing financial data into the new system can be complex and can add up to the original software cost.

Frequently asked questions when selecting affordable bookkeeping software

Here are some questions to ask bookkeeping software providers before making a final purchase:

  • Does the software facilitate online payments?

Bookkeeping software that supports online payments helps businesses make and receive payments on time. While evaluating potential bookkeeping tools, consider the software’s integration with payment gateways, such as PayPal and Stripe. Additionally, the software should facilitate online bank transfers, credit card processing, and recurring payments to ensure faster payments and improved client’s experience. 

  • Does the tool support tax management?

Tax management features in bookkeeping software include automatic expense categorization, integration with bank accounts, populating tax forms, generating tax returns, and calculating tax estimates. By leveraging these features, bookkeepers can streamline their tax preparation process, improving accuracy and regulatory compliance.

  • What are the security measures offered by the tool?

The best bookkeeping software often includes security measures to safeguard important financial data. These could include data encryption, two-factor authentication (2FA), role-based access control, audit trails, malware protection, and intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS). As a small business owner, inquiring about these features can help protect sensitive financial information.


Methodology

To be considered for this list, products had to:

  • Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Software Advice within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher (as of Jan. 22, 2024). 

  • Include the core features of bookkeeping software: accounts payable, accounts receivable, expense tracking, and billing and invoicing. 

  • Meet our market definition for bookkeeper software: “Bookkeeper software helps small and mid-size businesses keep track of their financial data.”

  • For products that met the first three criteria, we assessed the monthly subscription price and found the average price to be $105—we considered only products with publicly available pricing information. Based on our assessment, we then shortlisted products with a monthly subscription price lower than $105 for this article.

*Our research team identified these features from vendor websites (as of Jan. 22, 2024) based on their analysis of what users find valuable in or expect from bookkeeping software. This list is not exhaustive. For additional features, refer to the vendor's website.

**We selected products for this article based on their average ratings as of January 2024; however, the article displays each product’s current average rating, which may differ if more reviews have been left since our analysis.

Editorial Independence: We select and rank products based on an objective methodology developed by our research team. While some vendors may pay us when they receive web traffic or leads, this has no influence on our methodology.

Note: Products evaluated for the pricing calculation were taken from Software Advice’s bookkeeping software directory. The pricing ranges exclude freemium versions of the products. The features highlighted were identified based on their relevance and the percentage of products in the Software Advice directory that offer them.