Free Bookkeeping

Last updated: November 2022

Compare different bookkeeping software solutions, explore our in-depth reviews & informative articles, and choose the best bookkeeping solution for you.

Result: 6 products
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2 months free with annual plan
Free Plan
  • Integrates with Zoho's 40+ apps
  • Secure banking & account reconciliation
  • Manage billable hours, inventory, sales & more
4.2 / 5.0
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Simplify & streamline accounting processes
30-Day Free Trial
  • 15-day free trial
  • Several 3rd party integrations
  • Automated payment notifications
4.2 / 5.0
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Powerful cloud-based accounting solution
60-Day Free Trial
  • Ideal for non-accountants & accountants
  • Easy setup with startup wizard
  • 60-day no-obligation free trial
4.5 / 5.0
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Send professional invoices effortlessly
Free Plan
  • You only pay when you get paid
  • Set up tracking & payment reminders
  • Option for online payment
4.4 / 5.0
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More than just an invoicing app
30-Day Free Trial
  • Get paid quickly with a simple invoicing tool
  • Send reminders for upcoming or late payments
  • Customize invoice templates and images
4.6 / 5.0
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Bookkeeping done for you
30-Day Free Trial
  • Dedicated bookkeeper
  • Cloud-based financial reports
  • Tax prep and filings by in-house CPAs
4.1 / 5.0
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DISCLAIMER: The “free bookkeeping software” options are recommendations designed to get you off the ground. While these programs are indeed “free” on the most basic levels or for limited times, it’s important to note that once the free trial period concludes, you will be required to pay for continued use. Additionally, if you use “Freemium” bookkeeping software solutions, you must pay for more advanced features and functionality.

What is Free Bookkeeping Software?

Entrepreneurs, freelancers, small businesses, and large corporations have been using accounting software since the late 1970s. Since then, bookkeeping software has expanded well beyond basic bookkeeping functions.

Nowadays, most paid and free accounting software options help to automate the following accounting functions for small business owners, and freelancers:

  • Accounts receivable and accounts payable
  • Cash flow monitoring and balance sheet management
  • Bank account integrations
  • Debit and credit card payment processing
  • Expense tracking
  • Time tracking
  • Inventory management
  • Unlimited invoice creation
  • Financial statements and other financial reports
  • Any many more accounting features

Free online accounting software like Zipbooks, Quickbooks Online, PayPal, GnuCash, & Zoho Books can save your business a lot of time and headaches. However, the free versions or free trials offered by popular online accounting programs are not the best fit for everyone.

Pros & Cons of the Best Free Accounting Software

If you’re choosing between bookkeeping in a notebook vs. a free small business accounting software, then the free bookkeeping software is likely the best option. However, the answer isn’t always obvious, if you are considering the free version vs. paid version of bookkeeping software for your accounting needs.

Generally, if you need more advanced accounting features, you’ll be better served using a paid version (in most cases) or a trusted open-source software. However, free accounting apps may fit your needs if you’re a freelancer or small business owner with simple accounting needs.

Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of the best free accounting software in the sections below.

Advantages of Free Accounting Software Options

Manual bookkeeping in notebooks, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and similar tools can only take you so far. Using the functionality, technology, and accounting features of the best free accounting software is typically the smarter option compared to manual expense tracking. Generally, a few of the most cited benefits of free bookkeeping software include:

  • Digitized Accounting Functions: Since data is typically stored in the cloud, most free accounting solutions allow seamless and intuitive workflows from anywhere.
  • Building Great Accounting Habits: If you’re not ready to invest in a paid plan, then free accounting apps can still help you and your team build solid bookkeeping
  • Automation: The best free bookkeeping solutions intuitively automate many tasks that would take hours if completed manually. That includes auto-generating sales reports, balance sheets, expense reports, inventory tracking, and more advanced accounting features.
  • Ease of Use: Compared to spreadsheets or manual accounting, most free accounting apps are user-friendly and offer customer support (typically limited to email support for free plans).

While free accounting software has many benefits, there are also a few disadvantages. Learn more below.

Disadvantages of Free Accounting Software Options

Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers searching for a fully customizable accounting solution offering more than basic bookkeeping functions (i.e., unlimited users, currencies, reports, etc.) should consider the drawbacks of using the best free accounting software options.

A few commonly cited disadvantages of free bookkeeping software include:

  • Lack of advanced accounting features
  • Non-customizable
  • Limited inventory management, time tracking, sales tax calculations, mobile app integrations, client portal creation, etc.
  • Limited double-entry accounting functions
  • Inability to scale up
  • Costly add-ons if you wish to upgrade
  • Difficulties exporting and importing records

Further, you should consider the type of device your accounting team uses to access records (i.e., Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, etc.). Some closed-source and open-source software for accounting offer cross-platform compatibility and multiple user seats, while others don’t.

Best Free Accounting Software – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The best accounting software for your business depends on your accounting needs and plans to scale your accounting functions. With that in mind, whether you’re using the free trial or free versions of tools like Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Akaunting, Xero, or another accounting app free plan, you’re bound to have questions.

Below, learn the answers to some of the web’s most frequently asked questions about the free version of the best accounting apps.

What is the easiest bookkeeping software to learn?

Regarding the best accounting and bookkeeping software, ease of use is determined by your accounting knowledge and familiarity with basic bookkeeping functions. Generally, the most user-friendly accounting apps include:

  • Quickbooks Online
  • Zoho Books
  • Zarmoney
  • Square
  • Invoice2go
  • Xero
  • Sage 50
  • Slick Pie

Can I do my own bookkeeping?

You can do your bookkeeping manually in a physical accounting ledger, spreadsheet, or free accounting app. Generally, the smarter choice depends on your accounting needs, budget, and eye for future scalability. In most cases, it’s in your best interest to work with an accounting professional regardless of your bookkeeping methods.

Does Microsoft have a bookkeeping program?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers robust accounting solutions and integrations. However, it’s typically not designed for small business owners, freelancers, and solo entrepreneurs. Otherwise, depending on your needs, the Microsoft app store might have a free bookkeeping program that suits your accounting needs.

Which bookkeeping app is best?

The best accounting and free bookkeeping software depend on your needs and future plans. Suppose you’re searching for an accounting app offering unlimited bank account integrations, cash flow statistics, robust sales reports, customizations, and more.

In that case, it’s likely better to go with an established brand in the accounting industry like Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Zoho Books, Wave Accounting, Square, and similar. Check out our recommendations for the best free bookkeeping apps (including free plans and free trials) at the top of this page.