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Top QuickBooks Online Alternatives 2021

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QuickBooks Online, the most widely used accounting product in the U.S., comes with valuable features that make it a strong choice for many small businesses. But its drawbacks include a high price tag, the need for basic accounting knowledge to use it, low-rated customer support, invoices that aren’t very customizable and limited inventory management capabilities that are available only on higher-tier plans.

These alternatives fill some of those gaps. Like QuickBooks Online, they also make it simple to manage your books accurately, share your records with a bookkeeper, grow with your business and integrate with other apps.

FreshBooks: Best overall alternative

Price: $15 and up per month (50% off for first three months).

  • Cheaper than QuickBooks Online.

  • Customizable invoices available in all plans.

  • Inventory tracking included in all plans.

  • Well-rated customer support, available by phone and email.

  • All plans allow only one user; extra monthly cost for additional users.

Why we like it: FreshBooks addresses most of QuickBooks Online’s major drawbacks by including a variety of customizable invoice templates, inventory tracking and good customer service in all plans — and it does so for a lower price. Its customer service, in particular, gets positive reviews across multiple platforms. One downside: Unlike other products on our list, it comes with a user limit. All plans include access for only one user; additional users cost $10 per user per month.

Xero: Better for ease of use

Price: $11 per month and up.

  • Cheaper than QuickBooks Online.

  • Inventory management included in all plan options.

  • Customer support is online-only.

  • While invoices are customizable, design options are more limited than QuickBooks Online.

Why we like it: Xero stands out for ease of use and intuitiveness, especially for accounting novices. Its minimalist, simple design and jargon-free language are especially popular among small-business owners. Like QuickBooks Online, it’s also widely used, which makes it easy to find accountants who support it. But it falls short in customer support, which is online-only through chat or email; QuickBooks Online offers phone, chat and email support.

Wave Accounting: Free alternative

Price: Free (Wave makes money via payment processing).

  • Customizable invoices (Wave also offers a free invoicing service).

  • Inventory tracking available.

  • No phone customer support; email and chat only.

Why we like it: You can’t beat accounting software that’s completely free, and Wave delivers on most of the basics without requiring expensive add-ons. The company, which is owned by H&R Block, makes money by charging a fee for processing payments from clients. Wave is a good alternative to QuickBooks Online if you’re on a tight budget and run a small operation, but it’s not ideal for scaling your business. Like Xero, there is no phone customer support available, which QuickBooks Online offers.

Zoho Books: Better alternative for invoices

Price: Free for businesses with annual revenue below $50,000; $20 and up per month (discount for annual subscription).

  • Cheaper than QuickBooks Online.

  • Customizable invoices included on all plans. (Invoice add-on also available).

  • Inventory management included on all plans.

  • Phone, chat and email customer support available. (Free plan has only email support).

  • Limited integrations with third-party apps.

Why we like it: Zoho Books stands apart from QuickBooks Online because its combined invoice and accounting software product allows for more invoice customization. You can choose the invoice design, create invoices in multiple languages and accept payments in cash, check or online in different currencies. If you commit to the Zoho ecosystem, you can smoothly integrate its inventory management, customer relationship management and other software with Zoho Books.

Sage 50cloud: Better alternative for inventory management

Price: $56.08 and up per month.

  • Inventory management features in all plans.

  • Job costing features in all plans.

  • Phone, chat and email customer support.

  • More expensive than QuickBooks Online.

  • Runs on Windows operating systems only.

Why we like it: Sage 50cloud stands out for its solid inventory management and job costing features in all its plans, potentially making it a better option for businesses with more complicated inventory needs, such as retail or manufacturing businesses, or service-based businesses that use job costing, like law firms. QuickBooks offers inventory tracking only in the Plus and Advanced plans. Sage 50cloud is desktop software with some cloud-based features, and runs only on Windows, which is different from all the other cloud-based software products on our list.

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