by Ankita Singh
Published on 19 April 2017
If you are struggling to manage financial accounts in your business and you feel that accounting software is over your budget, fret not! We have some handy information to help you choose the best accounting software, based on your budget. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's go over some of the basics first.
Accounting software helps you with automating and keeping track of finances for your business. The type of features required depends on the business' needs but some of the core features that many software accounting systems include:
Some of the more robust accounting solutions also offer:
There are a large number of accounting software providers and each one has multiple pricing combinations. You can check out GetApp Category Leaders to learn which are the top accounting software providers according to our independent ranking criteria.
Based on pricing models from the top 15 accounting software providers in our ranking, we've classified pricing into three main categories: Starter Price Range, Mid-Price Range, and Enterprise Price Range. The price ranges represent the mean values of the prices. See the bottom of the article for the methodology.
Note: Prices are on a per user per month basis. Pricing plan terminologies used by different software providers vary and may not exactly match with the categories defined here. The categories here only provide a general estimate of the pricing ranges and target user base supported by different providers.
The infographic provides an estimate of the money that you would require to purchase an accounting software for your business on the basis of the range of users in your organization.
The table below shows some things to keep in mind when shopping around for accounting software:
If you choose a free version, you may not get certain features that are available in the higher price-range of the software. Similarly, you can get some of the key features like general ledger and reporting ( mid range column, as you can see in the table) in the free or starter price range of the software respectively. But, if you wish to have advanced reporting capacity and you need software access for a larger team, you would need to invest more.
Note: The above results are not based on a specific piece of software, but instead derive from analyzing the 15 applications considered. For example, the green tick mark represents the presence of a feature in a particular price range for 50 percent or more of the applications.
Just like other features, the service levels offered by each accounting software provider also vary with different price ranges of the products. Thinking about your support needs in before investing in software for your company is a good idea in order to make a calculated and wise buying decision.
For instance, if you are looking for community support or premium training you may have to select the software in the enterprise price-range. You can access 24/7 support and online knowledge base with the starter and the mid-range pricing plans, so, you don't need to spend extra for those features.
You can have a look at the following table. It summarizes the typical service levels of the top 15 accounting software and the price ranges each service is offered in.
Note: The above results are not for any specific software but derived from analyzing the features offered by the 15 software considered. For example, the green tick mark represents the presence of a feature in a particular price range for 50% or more of products.
Let's look at some simple tricks that can save you some money.
The monthly cost for the annually billed version of Zoho books is $5 per user per month.
Effective accounting software not only helps in recording transactions, but it can also add to profitability by ensuring accurate reporting and calculations. The very first step (which you are already completing) is to some serious research.
Many accounting software providers offer freemium versions ($0 per user) of their product. Hence $0 is the lower end of this pricing segment. The upper range of the starter price segment is the rounded-off mean value of the lowest priced pricing plans (other than free versions) offered by the top 15 providers.
The number of users supported by a software in this price range is the mean of the number of users supported by the starter versions of the top 15 providers.
Example: If the lowest priced pricing plan (other than free versions) offered by providers A, B, and C are $10, $5, and $15 respectively, then the upper range of the starter price range in this case would be $10.
The mid-range pricing segment starts at the higher end of the starter price range ($30 onwards). The upper range of this segment is the rounded off mean of the mean values of different pricing plans, other than the highest versions, offered by the top 15 providers.
The number of users supported by a software in this price range is the mean of the number of users supported by the mid-range versions of the top 15 providers.
Example: Suppose provider A offers four pricing plans: Basic, Professional, Business, and Enterprise at $10, $20, $40, and $60 respectively. Then the mid-range pricing plan value for vendor A is the average of its Professional ($20) and Business ($40) plan versions, i.e., $30. If the mid-range pricing for the three providers A, B, and C are $30, $20, and $40, then the higher end of the mid-range pricing segment is their mean, i.e., $30.
The enterprise pricing segment starts from the upper ends of the mid-range pricing segments ($25 onwards). All prices above in this value lie in the enterprise pricing range.
Please note that the pricing ranges are not rigid and there can be slight differences in the range values for every product.