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4 programs that work like QuickBooks but aren’t as frustrating

Keeping track of your finances is important no matter what you do for a living. From independent contractors to salaried employees to business owners, it all comes down to the books. When tax season comes, you don’t want to get caught unprepared.

Chromebooks may seem similar to laptops, but they run applications on a browser-based operating system, Chrome OS. Most files are stored in the cloud, reducing your risk of catching a virus that could make them inaccessible. Google offers secure features like remote logout in case your Chromebook is misplaced or stolen. All these reasons and more make a Chromebook a good choice to manage your finances. Tap or click here for more information on setting up a financial Chromebook.

It is even more crucial to keep accurate and easily accessible records if you own a business, from bank deposits to payroll to sales. There is lots of software to help you keep things organized, and QuickBooks is the name that always comes up, for better or worse. Read on to check out some alternatives.

1. Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting offers free accounting software that includes income and expense tracking, sales tax tracking, in-depth reports on factors such as overdue invoices and bills, the ability to run multiple businesses with one account and more.

RELATED: Drowning in spreadsheets? There’s a better way to handle your business finances

Your data is backed up and always up to date. Credit card and bank data are read-only and use 256-bit encryption. Wave’s dashboard organizes your income, expenses, payments and invoices, so you’re ready when the taxman comes.

You can create and send as many invoices as you’d like and include payment options such as credit cards right in the invoice. If you choose to receive payments this way, Wave takes 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction for Visa, Mastercard and Discover, and 3.4% plus 30 cents per transaction for American Express. Wave takes 1% for bank payments.

Wave’s Payroll service takes a $35 monthly base fee for states that allow Wave to conduct tax services. If you’re in a self-serve state, the base fee is $20.

Tap here for more information on Wave Accounting.

2. Xero Accounting

Xero has a free 30-day trial with plans starting at $11 per month after that. The base Early plan allows you to send quotes and 20 invoices, enter five bills, and accept payment instantly. You can match your bank statement and Xero transaction data to keep them in sync and use Hubdoc to pull bills and receipts into Xero. Analytics lets you plan for up to 30 days in the future.

Bump up to the Growing plan for $32/month. You get unlimited invoices and can bill in batches. You can also code and reconcile bank transactions in bulk.

The top-tier Established plan costs $62 and, in addition to the previous plans, lets you use multiple currencies (more than 160 in all), which Xero converts for you automatically. Employee expense claims are made paperless and easy to track. A more advanced analytics tool gives you deeper insights and more customization options. You can plan for up to 90 days in the future.

Tap here to check out Xero Accounting.

3. FreshBooks

FreshBooks has a 30-day free trial, after which you’ll pay according to the plan you choose. The Lite plan starts at $7.50/month for the first three months and $15 following that. You can manage up to five clients, send unlimited invoices, track expenses, get paid with a credit card and bank transfers, get business health reports, sales tax tracking and more.

The Plus plan is $12.50/month for the first three months and $25 afterward. This plan adds management for 50 clients, automatic expense tracking, bank reconciliation and reporting, cash flow report, recurring billing and the ability to invite your accountant.

The Premium plan goes for $25/month for the first three months and $50 after that. This one adds unlimited client support, accounts payable features, the ability to add vendors, project profitability tracking, custom email templates and signatures, and run financial and accounting reports.

RELATED: Still using QuickBooks? 3 reasons it’s time to switch

The flagship Select account features custom pricing. It adds two team member accounts, the ability to remove FreshBooks branding from client emails, subscription-based payments, credit card transactions over the phone, secure card storage, customer support team, custom onboarding services and help if you need to migrate your account from elsewhere.

Tap here for more information on FreshBooks.

4. NetSuite

Our sponsor NetSuite is the world’s No. 1 cloud business system. You can access all your data in one place anytime, anywhere. NetSuite lets you view and control your financials, human resources, inventory, e-commerce and more.

Another great thing about NetSuite is that it gives you real-time data and customizable fields to save time and money. Tap or click here to see how NetSuite compares to QuickBooks.

Want to see how NetSuite works? Head on over for a free product tour.

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