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Whether you’re a small dental office, a freelancer, or small family business, you need some kind of accounting software in order to stay on top of your day-to-day operations. That doesn’t mean you need to make a huge investment or learn a complicated system.

Simple accounting software enables you to see how healthy your business is, who owes you money, and what kind of cash flow you are generating. Timesaving features such as invoicing, automatic entries, financial reports, bill payment and reconciliation can take the headache out of small business accounting.

When comparing accounting software for your business, look for solutions that are affordable and easy to use. When it comes down to it, it’s hard to beat free accounting software. Here are the top free accounting software options for your small business.

Free Small Business Bookkeeping Software

TurboCASH

Designed for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), TurboCASH is available in 23 languages and hosts an online community of more than 100,000 members. While it may be a bit much for some home-based businesses and freelancers, it can handle SMB needs like purchase orders, debtors and creditors, and VAT. It is flexible and easy to use. TurboCASH offers third-party plug-ins for extra options, though some require a licensing fee before using.

GnuCash

GnuCash is an alternative to apps such as Quicken and was designed for individuals and small businesses. It is available for Windows, OS X, Android, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, GNU and Linux. The software handles accounts payable/receivable, credit, invoicing, payroll, and employee expenses. It is a flexible double-entry accounting solution, and there are plenty of tutorials and guides for new users.

Invoice Expert

If you sell physical products, Invoice Expert may be a good match for your business. This free accounting software offers customer management, inventory, purchase orders, and invoicing/quoting as well as the basics. It may be a bit intimidating at first, but it’s fairly straightforward to use.

Wave

One of the most popular online accounting services, Wave is completely free for basic accounting, receipts, and invoicing. The online-only service is cloud-based and has an appealing design that makes it a great choice for freelancers, contractors and sole proprietors. It is funded by ads, though, doesn’t include payroll, and if you need tech support you’ll have to pay for it.

Money Manager X

An open-source tool, this system offers features that rival premium software. It is well designed, easy to understand, and suitable for a SMB or home-based business. It is a portable app that can be accessed through a USB stick or an Android app, so it’s great for businesses on the go.

Adminsoft Accounts

While Adminsoft Accounts is great for tracking expenditures and income, it can also manage small business payroll as well. A complete money management tool kit, more than 300,000 users have taken advantage of this freeware, which handles budgeting, purchase orders, stock control, remittance, HR and more.

QuickFile

This free small business accounting system is cloud-based and needs no software to operate. It was specifically designed for non-accountant use, and offers a variety of free service tiers that deliver receipt management, quotes, invoicing and basic accounting functions. For bulk invoicing you’ll need to upgrade to the advanced version. QuickFile is accessible from any internet-connected device.

NCH Express Invoice

With a slick interface, NCH Express Invoice caters to a variety of small businesses that have fewer than five staff members. It offers versions for Mac, PC, iPad and Android. It helps you create invoices, orders, quotes, and reports, and send them automatically by fax or email.

Apache OpenOffice

This free alternative to Microsoft Excel can handle basic accounting functions but takes some legwork to set up. If you don’t need a dedicated accounting program, and only require a simple spreadsheet, Apache can’t be beat, especially for the price tag of zero. You can create your own custom accounting spreadsheets using the office suite.

ZipBooks

A free, cloud-based accounting solution, ZipBooks is one of the newest players in the game, but it has solid reviews and offers a slew of standard accounting features. Unlike the ad-funded Wave, it relies on partnerships with payment providers for funding, acting as an affiliate, but you don’t have to use one of their payment processors to use their free accounting software.

Free Software Doesn’t Mean Headache-Free

Free accounting software is really only a bargain if you don’t have to spend much of your own time and effort to set it up and use it. Also, oftentimes the “free” version of softwares can be somewhat limited, resulting in paying for services in the end.

Keeping a grip on your finances is key to a successful business, but while free small business bookkeeping software may be tempting, instead of sinking endless hours into learning a new, complicated program, hire Cloud Friday to manage your accounting and so much more that goes into building your business.