The Best FREE Accounting Software

by Amanda Krueger

If you caught our article last month, you see we have been rounding up the very best in free software options for small businesses. In May, we discussed the many customer relationship management (CRM) platforms that make it easier to manage customer and client interactions. Now, we are moving on to several free accounting software options you should consider in 2021 if you are currently operating a small business or looking to start one.


Are you a freelancer? Made specifically for freelancers and the self-employed, CloudBooks claims that its users save as much as 16 hours a month by switching to their software for billing. Their approachable model provides cloud storage, unlimited users, and 24/7 email support as part of its free, 30-day starter package. You can also utilize the time tracking feature to keep tabs on every minute you work. 

One caveat, however, is that the free model limits you to one client, five invoices, and does not allow for customizable invoicing. However, if your business is quite small or you’re just looking to dip your toe in and try this solution before committing to the very affordable $10 per month plan, it might be just the right fit. 


Another option that fits most any small- to medium-sized business is Sunrise by Lendio. Their free “Self-Service Software” provides a rare feature: fully customizable invoices —   which can lend a very professional, branded look to your billing process. Also, you can easily manage income and expenses, manually or automatically import your transactions, and accept online and mobile payments with SunrisePay helping you get your money faster. 

As for cons, this option lacks a dedicated time and project tracking feature and only allows for standard financial reports. However, overall, Sunrise has a good user experience and is worth consideration if these features are low on your list. 


If you are a sole proprietor or run a small business, Wave Accounting could be a great choice. This web-based software offers quite an extensive list of services for free with absolutely no set up fees, hidden charges, or monthly fees. Wave allows you to take advantage of unlimited income and expense tracking, add unlimited partners, collaborators, or accountants, and run multiple businesses in one account. It features unlimited receipt scanning, sends out invoice reminders on your behalf, and automatically syncs your invoices and accounting all in one place. 

So, what’s the catch? Wave’s free plan is missing payroll functions. If you need to manage payroll, employee benefits, vacation time, and payroll taxes, there will be an additional fee with Wave. No employees? Then this might be your best bet. Overall, the simple setup, easy-to-use dashboard, and long list of free features makes Wave one of our very favorites on the list. 

Free accounting software can be a great way to not only manage your small business’ finances, but also simplify your processes and save a good chunk of time each month. Check back next month when we’ll be providing our suggestions for the very best free communication tools that people are loving in 2021.