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The 10 best accounting softwares for small businesses in Canada

best accounting software for small business canada

    Nowadays, accounting software is essential for small business owners as it goes beyond just generating tax forms or year-end statements. These software solutions offer real-time insights into your business’s financial situation and make it effortless to record expenses, reconcile bank accounts, business credit cards statements and track mileage. Gone are the days of worrying about lost receipts; simply take a photo with your phone, and it becomes a part of your books.

    In my opinion, the primary benefit of using accounting software is the peace of mind that comes from knowing your financial data is being managed efficiently. However, it’s crucial to recognize that not all accounting software is identical or offers identical capabilities. You must assess your requirements and budget to choose the best software that suits your needs.

    To determine your needs, consider factors such as the size of your business, the volume of transactions you handle, the number of potential users, and any specific reporting requirements. Additionally, set a budget that you are comfortable investing in accounting software, keeping in mind that there may be additional costs for features like payroll management or advanced reporting.

    Research the available accounting software solutions tailored for small businesses in Canada. Pay attention to features, pricing plans, ease of use, user reviews, and customer support offered by each option. Ensure your solution complies with Canadian regulations, including GST/HST calculations, payroll deductions, and reporting obligations.

    It’s worth noting that some accounting software providers offer free versions or trial periods. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of these trials to evaluate if the service meets your needs. During the trial, test features like creating invoices and customization options. Also, assess the reporting capabilities and user dashboard provided.

    By considering these factors and thoroughly exploring your options, you can select accounting software that not only streamlines your financial management but also aligns with your specific business requirements.

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    Wave Accounting: Best free accounting software in Canada

    Wave Accounting offers several advantages. Firstly, it provides a forever free version, making it an attractive option for small businesses or those with limited budgets. The free version allows users to access key accounting features without any cost.

    Wave accounting boasts robust reporting capabilities, enabling users to generate detailed financial reports. Another advantage is the ability to have unlimited expenses, invoices, and receipts. This benefits businesses with high transaction volumes, as they can easily manage and track their financial records without any limitations. Wave accounting supports multicurrency. This feature facilitates global business operations. The dashboard of Wave Accounting offers easy access to key financial information, providing a clear overview of the business’s financial health. 

    However, there are some cons to consider. The software lacks additional features such as time tracking and inventory management, which may be essential for some businesses. Wave accounting has limited options for record templates, which may result in more manual data entry for users who require customized templates for their financial records. Furthermore, the mobile apps for Wave accounting have a relatively limited features compared to the desktop version.


    Free (invoicing and Accounting)! 

    Paid Add-ons available

    To learn more: website

    Image showing the invoicing feature available with Wave Accounting

    FreshBooks Accounting Software: Best accounting software for freelancers and independent contractors

    FreshBooks offers several advantages. Firstly, its user-friendly interface makes it easy for users to navigate. Additionally, FreshBooks provides comprehensive tools such as team collaboration, time tracking, and inventory management. I find team collaboration to be a significant advantage because it enables me to easily share my financial data with my accountant or bank advisor and seek their advice. Another notable feature of FreshBooks is its automatic mileage tracking feature, simplifying expense management for businesses requiring frequent travel. 

    Furthermore, the software offers transparent tracking of billable hours and expenses. The convenience of a mobile app further enhances accessibility, allowing users to manage their finances on the go. Regarding user support, FreshBooks offers phone support during business hours. 

    Despite its advantages, FreshBooks does have some limitations. The dashboard functionality is somewhat limited, which may restrict the customization options. Additionally, the software has limitations on invoice customization, which may not meet the specific branding requirements of some businesses.


    The Lite plan is FreshBooks’ basic option, priced at $ 22 monthly. It allows up to 5 clients and offers unlimited estimates and the ability to track sales and expenditures. For more advanced features, there is the Plus plan, which costs $ 35 per month. Under this plan, you can have up to 50 clients and enjoy additional functionalities. These include collaborating with your accountant, setting up recurring billing, utilizing mobile mileage tracking, and accessing business health reports. The Premium plan removes the client limit and encompasses all the above-mentioned features. It provides expanded tracking, branding options, and reporting capabilities. 

    In addition to these plans, FreshBooks also offers the Select plan, specifically tailored to larger businesses with specific needs. Details and pricing for the Select plan may vary, as it is customized to meet individual business requirements.

    To learn more: website

    Free trial available: 30 days

    Image showing Time tracking feature available on FreshBooks

    Intuit QuickBooks Online – Best accounting software for growing small businesses

    Intuit QuickBooks Online offers several advantages that make it a popular choice for businesses. Firstly, its dual-screen dashboard provides an excellent user experience, offering a comprehensive overview of financial data at a glance. The customizable reporting options are also noteworthy, as even the entry-level plan provides access to over 50 reports, allowing businesses to analyze their finances effectively.

    QuickBooks Online boasts a wide range of features, including support for projects, payroll management, and a vast selection of add-ons, ensuring that businesses can tailor the software to their specific needs. The availability of robust mobile apps further enhances accessibility, allowing users to manage their finances on the go.

    One other significant pro of QuickBooks is its popularity among accountants. In my experience, when your accountant is familiar with your accounting software, he or she can quickly assist you and answer your questions. In terms of support to users, QuickBooks offers various online resources, including asking a QuickBooks expert. 

    However, there are some cons to consider. QuickBooks Online’s monthly plans tend to have a higher price point than some alternative accounting software options. Additionally, the number of users per plan is limited, with the highest-tier plan capping at 25 users, which may not accommodate larger teams.


    QuickBooks provides different pricing plans to cater to varying business needs. The Essentials plan is their most affordable option, priced at $ 48 monthly. This plan offers excellent features but is limited to a maximum of 3 users. The Plus plan is available for more advanced functionality at $ 72 per month. Along with all the features of the Essentials plan, it includes additional capabilities like project tracking and inventory management. The Plus plan allows for up to 5 users. The Advanced plan, priced at $ 140 monthly, provides even more sophisticated features. It allows up to 25 users and offers functionalities such as custom reporting, workflow automation, batch invoicing, access customization, and data backup.

    To learn more: website

    Free trial available: 30 days

    Image: Dual view dashboard offered by QuickBooks

    Sage Business Cloud Accounting – Best accounting software for small to medium businesses

    Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers several advantages that make it a viable option for businesses. Firstly, it boasts ease of use and a quick learning curve, allowing users to navigate the software efficiently. One of the standout features of Sage Business Cloud Accounting is its automatic bank feed. This feature simplifies financial management by syncing banking or business credit cards transactions with the software, eliminating the need for manual data entry. From my perspective, bank reconciliation is essential when looking for accounting software. It helps save valuable time and effort.

    The integration capability of Sage Business Cloud Accounting with other Sage solutions and third-party applications is another advantage. Additionally, Sage Business Cloud Accounting offers inventory management capabilities.

    However, there are some cons to consider. Sage Business Cloud Accounting lacks a built-in payroll module, meaning businesses must use a separate payroll solution or service to manage their payroll processes. The software does not offer advanced features, such as recurring purchase invoices and customization options for reports.


    The Start plan is the entry-level option, starting at $ 17 monthly. This plan provides basic features like unlimited invoices and automatic bank reconciliation. The Standard plan, priced at $ 39 per month, offers additional support, enhanced features, and reporting capabilities. The Plus plan is Sage’s premium offering, priced at $ 55 monthly. It includes advanced features such as multi-currency capabilities. Additionally, it provides inventory management functionality.

    To learn more: website

    Free trial available: 1 month

    Image showing vendor aging in Sage Accouting

    Xero Accounting Software – Best user-friendly accounting software 

    Xero accounting offers several advantages. First, Xero supports unlimited user access across all plans, allowing businesses to grant access to their entire team without incurring additional costs. This software is widely praised by users who don’t have previous accounting knowledge. Another pro of Xero is its extensive third-party app integrations. It seamlessly integrates with a wide range of third-party applications. Xero’s excellent mobile app is another standout feature, allowing users to manage their finances on the go. 

    The software offers comprehensive reporting capabilities, empowering businesses to gain valuable insights into their financial performance. The reporting features allow for customized reports and analysis, assisting businesses in making informed decisions. Additionally, Xero provides extensive online tutorials and support resources, ensuring users can access guidance and assistance when needed. However, there are some cons to consider. Xero does not provide a customer support phone number.


    The Starter plan is priced at $ 18 per month and has certain limitations, allowing a maximum of 20 invoices and 5 bills. The Standard plan is $ 45 per month for more comprehensive functionality. This plan offers unlimited billing and invoicing, eliminating any restrictions. It also includes features like bank reconciliation and capturing bills and receipts. The Premium plan, priced at $ 58 per month, offers advanced capabilities such as multi-currency support and an analytics tool that provides advanced insights.

    To learn more: website

    Free trial available: 30 days

    ZipBooks – Best Accounting software for service providers

    ZipBooks offers a Time Tracker feature that enables efficient tracking and billing. The ability to accept online payments through ZipBooks is another advantage. This feature streamlines the payment process and provides convenience for businesses and their clients. Finally, ZipBooks allows users to create and customize invoices according to their specific branding and requirements. It’s worth mentioning, ZipBooks offers a free plan, which provides basic functionality at no cost.

    However, there are some cons to consider. ZipBooks does not offer inventory management functionality, which may be a limitation for businesses that rely heavily on tracking and managing their inventory. The software currently has limitations regarding bank connections in certain regions. In addition, ZipBooks does not have an Android app available.


    The Free version of the software offers unlimited invoices and the option to connect with PayPal or Square for seamless payment processing. The Smarter plan, priced at $15 USD per month, provides enhanced capabilities and can accommodate up to 5 team members. Users of this plan can connect multiple business bank accounts, create recurring invoices, and set up reminders for efficient billing management. The Sophisticated plan is available at $35 USD per month for more advanced features and collaboration options.

    To learn more: website

    Free version available

    Image showing the ability to connect to multiple banking accounts

    Momenteo – Best budget accounting software for small business

    Momenteo offers a robust time-tracking functionality. This feature allows accurate tracking and billing of time spent on projects. Another advantage of Momenteo is the ability to send unlimited quotations to clients worldwide. The software’s interface is praised for its simplicity. 

    Momenteo includes a calendar integration feature that visually displays all activities. This helps users stay organized, track important deadlines, and effectively manage their schedules. Another advantage of Momenteo is its multi-device accessibility. Users can conveniently manage their finances and stay connected to their business operations, whether on a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device.

    However, there are some cons to consider. In the free plan, Momenteo has limited online payment options, branding limitations and a limit of 2 clients in the free version.


    The free version of Momenteo provides unlimited quotes but is restricted to only 2 clients. The Start plan is available for $ 5.95 per month as an affordable option. However, it has a limitation of only 5 active clients. The Explore plan is Momenteo’s bestselling option, priced at $ 11.45 monthly. It allows up to 10 active clients, including online payments, time tracking, and accountant access. The Plus plan, priced at $ 16.95 per month, offers the same features as the Explore plan but with the advantage of unlimited active clients.

    To learn more: website

    Free version available

    Gem-books – Best all-in-one accounting software for small to medium businesses

    Gem-Books is an integrated cloud-based software solution catering specifically to mid-size or growing small businesses in Canada. It combines essential features such as bookkeeping, e-signature capabilities, and a comprehensive suite of business management tools.

    Gem-Books provide an All-in-one solution to its clients, offering a comprehensive package that includes additional features like human resources, secure file sharing, freight transportation, and point-of-sale operations. By choosing Gem-Books’ All-in-one approach, businesses can benefit from the convenience of having all these functionalities integrated into a single solution, eliminating the need to use separate software for different aspects of their operations.


    The first plan focuses on Bookkeeping and accounting functions. It’s offered at $ 49.95 monthly. It includes features such as reporting functions, online payment and reconciliation. The second plan offers a complete payroll tool for $ 99 per month on top of advanced accounting capabilities. The third plan costs $ 152.90 monthly and encompasses the freight brokers tool and the above-mentioned features.

    Learn more: website

    Free 30 days trial

    Kashoo – Best value accounting software for small business

    Kashoo prioritizes ease of use, making it accessible to users with varying levels of accounting knowledge and experience. The software excels in creating, customizing, and sending professional invoices. Another key feature is that it seamlessly syncs with bank accounts and transactions from over 5,000 banks worldwide. With automatic syncing, businesses can have an up-to-date and accurate view of their financial transactions.

    Kashoo offers permission-based sharing, allowing for secure collaboration with employees, partners, or accountants. This feature facilitates efficient teamwork and ensures that the right individuals can access the necessary financial information. In addition, Kashoo integrates with various apps for payroll, invoicing, and more. 

    However, there are some cons to consider. The mobile app of Kashoo lacks some features compared to the web-based program. While Kashoo offers robust features for small businesses, it may not have the scalability or advanced capabilities required by larger organizations. Also, businesses with specific accounting needs or those seeking advanced functionalities may find that other software options better suit their requirements.


    Kashoo offers yearly plans. The first one is the ‘trulysmall’ for $216 USD. The advanced one is ‘Kashoo’ for $324 USD, which offers more sophisticated features such as inventory and project management.

    Learn more: website

    Free trial not available

    Image showing payment capabilities using Kashoo app.

    Zoho Books – Best accounting software for start-ups

    Zoho Books offers a free plan, allowing small businesses and start-ups to access basic accounting features at no cost. It provides robust mobile apps that enable users to manage their finances on the go. The mobile apps offer full functionality. If you are constantly on the move, meeting clients and preparing ad-hoc estimates, you would appreciate this feature as I do. The software allows for customizable invoices and reports, empowering businesses to create professional-looking invoices tailored to their brand identity. Furthermore, Zoho Books offers various support options, including live chat, email, and phone support. 

    However, there are some cons to consider. Zoho Books has user limitations, with a maximum limit of 15 users. This may not be sufficient for larger businesses or those with a growing team. Zoho Books has limited integration options compared to some other accounting software options discussed here. 

    Other cons include time tracking being tied to projects only and a limited pool of accountant partners.


    Zoho Books provides a free version and five paid plans to cater to various needs. The free version permits one user and one accountant, allowing you to handle up to 1,000 invoices, reconcile bank accounts, and access Zoho’s application. The paid plans offer enhanced support options for users. With the Elite+ plan, you can have a maximum of 15 users (cost: $ 290 billed annually). Each paid plan comes with its own set of advantages, and I recommend visiting their website for more comprehensive information

    Learn more: website

    Free version available

    FAQs about the best accounting software for small business in Canada

    Do I need an accounting software for my small business in Canada? 

    Nowadays, having accounting software is essential for small business owners as it goes beyond just generating CRA tax forms or year-end statements. These software solutions offer real-time insights into your business’s financial situation and make it effortless to record expenses, reconcile bank accounts, and track mileage. Gone are the days of worrying about lost receipts; simply take a photo with your phone, and it becomes a part of your books! In my opinion, the primary benefit of using accounting software is the peace of mind that comes from knowing your financial data is being managed efficiently. However, it’s crucial to recognize that not all accounting software are the same or offer identical capabilities. You must assess your requirements and budget to choose the best software that suits your needs.

    What is the best accounting software for small business in Canada? 

    The answer will depend on your needs. There are several excellent accounting software that caters to small businesses in Canada. Each will have its strengths and weaknesses. To choose the best accounting software for your needs, assess your requirements and budget first. Consider the business size, transaction volume, user count, and reporting needs. Set a comfortable budget, considering potential additional costs for payroll or advanced reporting features. Research available accounting software solutions for small businesses in Canada. Evaluate features, pricing, ease of use, user reviews, and customer support. Ensure the chosen solution complies with Canadian GST/HST calculations, payroll deductions, and reporting regulations. Note that some providers offer free versions or trials. Use these opportunities to test the service’s suitability. Evaluate features like invoicing and customization, and assess reporting capabilities and user dashboards.

    What is the best free accounting software for small business? 

    Depending on your business’s specific needs, several free accounting software options are available. Some notable ones include Wave Accounting, Zoho Books, Momenteo, and ZipBooks. Each software has limitations, such as a number of user restrictions or missing functionalities. Small business owners should consider upgrading to a paid plan as their business grows. Among the names mentioned above, my favourite free accounting software is Wave Accounting. What sets it apart is that it does not limit the number of users.

    Is Microsoft Excel an accounting software? 

    No, Microsoft Excel is not considered an accounting software. While you can create financial tables and track expenses with Excel, it lacks the specialized features to streamline accounting processes, automate tasks, and ensure compliance with accounting principles and regulations. I think using Excel may require more effort and time than using dedicated accounting software, as Excel is not designed explicitly for accounting tasks. It may not provide the same level of efficiency and functionality as accounting software, which is tailored to meet the needs of business owners. Relying on Excel for accounting may involve attempting to perform tasks that Excel is not equipped to handle, making it less suitable for comprehensive financial management.

    How to switch from one accounting software to another? 

    Switching your accounting software can be driven by various reasons, such as business growth or the need for additional features like inventory management. Whatever the reason, it’s important to do your research, reassess your needs, and explore available products.
    To ensure a successful transition, follow these steps:
    • Begin by creating a backup of your existing accounting data.
    • Identify the specific data that needs to be migrated to the new accounting software. 
    • Access the new accounting software and complete all the necessary setup information. Ensure that you input accurate information to establish a solid foundation for your new software.
    • Take the time to familiarize yourself with the new accounting software. Ensure training materials are available for your employees to ensure a smooth transition for everyone involved.
    • Depending on the size of your operations, it may be beneficial to keep both accounting software systems operational for a period of time. This allows you to test the new software for data consistency and accuracy.

    Is an accounting software tax deductible in Canada? 

    Yes, expenses related to the purchase of an accounting software subscription as well as recurring monthly fees are deductible.

    What accounting software works best with Square in Canada?

    Square is a widely used online payroll system among small Canadian businesses. By using Square, you can effortlessly transfer sales, commission, returns, and other data into your accounting software. Choosing software that offers automatic integration is highly recommended, as it simplifies bookkeeping and profit margin monitoring. Several software options integrating with Square include QuickBooks, Xero, Wave Accounting, FreshBooks, and Kashoo.

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    Rachid is a graduate in Finance and a member of the Association of Chartered Professional Accountants of Quebec. He has always had a keen interest in ETFs and the portfolio management solutions available in the Canadian market.