Free and Open Source Accounting Software for Small Businesses

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Good software programs for easy accounting are challenging to come across. At times, these applications are too expensive for the average accountant or small business. For many small and medium-sized businesses, it is cost-inefficient to spend a lot of money on paid accounting software. Hiring a team of professional accountants or outsourcing is often not an option. To this effect, we have gone the distance to research and provide a list of the best free accounting software available on the market.

In some cases, you may need an accounting platform that enables customization to your individual needs. Open source accounting software is the ideal variant in these cases. By downloading the source code, you can modify it into your desired accounting system.

Free Accounting Software

1. Pandle

  • Billing and invoicing
  • Tax management
  • Fixed asset management
  • Bank reconciliation

Pandle is a free accounting software built on the cloud for small businesses and individual accountants. The friendly user interface makes the software relatively easy for any small business owner to become an expert bookkeeper. Pandle’s interactive help feature automatically alerts users when they are making erroneous entries.

Pandle’s paid plan — Pandle Pro — costs $7 per month. A few drawbacks of the free version are its lack of payroll management and revenue recognition, and its users’ inability to integrate other bookkeeping services. Pandle is available on the Web only.

2. Akaunting 

  • Cash flow monitoring
  • Expense tracking
  • Billing and Invoicing
  • Vendor management

Akaunting is a free piece of accounting software for small businesses to manage their bookkeeping operations. Built with modern technologies, Akaunting provides a convenient interface — available on mobile and tablet — and a multilingual admin and client panel.

Other key attributes include Recurring transactions, inventory management, multi-currency and tax rates. Akaunting is also an open-source accounting software, providing full privacy as you can install the source code on your host. This free and open-source software is available on macOS, Windows, iOS and Android. 

3. SlickPie

  • Online invoicing
  • Expense tracking
  • Sales tax tracking
  • Quotes and estimates

SlickPie is free accounting software created for small businesses. SlickPie features a built-in automated receipt data entry tool called the Magicbot. This feature automatically extracts information from bills and receipts and converts this information to digital data, and in the process, eliminating the time–consuming manual data entry.

Slickpie is free for up to 10 companies. You will have to opt for the paid version — which costs $39.95 per month — to manage up to 50 companies. The software is available on Web, Saas, iOS and Android. 

4. ZipBooks

  • Fund accounting
  • Non-profit accounting
  • Payroll management
  • Bank reconciliation

ZipBooks is free accounting software with invoicing and time tracking features for small businesses, contractors, and individual accountants. Simple, easy-to-use and modern, ZipBooks is software with features like the ZipBooks Business Health Score, Invoice Quality Score and smart recommendations. Other accounting and bookkeeping qualities include:
ZipBooks free version limits you to only one bank account, and it lacks fixed asset management. ZipBooks is available on Web and iOS. 

Open Source Accounting Software 

1. TurboCASH

  • 80 different tax regimes
  • 25 languages
  • Works on most operating systems

TurboCASH is free accounting software designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Key advantages of this software include a friendly user interface, multi-currency availability and a robust online community of users. TurboCASH’s Version 5 — which is free for both single and multi-users — offers inventory management, budgeting, invoicing and tax management. TurboCASH is also an open-source accounting software — suitable for users seeking customization in their accounting systems. 

This free accounting software is available — in 25 languages and 80 different tax regimes — on most operating systems, including Mac OS, Windows OS, cloud and the Web.  

A few limitations of the free version include its lack of an integrated banking module, unavailability of payroll management and project accounting. TurboCASH is also not available on the iOS and Android app stores.  

2. GnuCash 

  • Double-entry accounting
  • Scheduled transactions
  • Stock/bond/mutual fund accounts

GnuCash is open-source accounting software that implements a double-entry bookkeeping system. Designed for small business accounting, GnuCash is licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Windows.

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3. LedgerSMB 

  • Inventory management
  • Time tracking
  • Fixed-asset accounting
  • Purchase orders

LedgerSMB is a free open source accounting software that supports double-entry accounting. It’s also an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system with additional functionalities. LedgerSMB is licensed under GPLv2 and available on Linux, BSD, Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and Android. LedgerSMB is optimal for small and medium-sized businesses with the desire to streamline their accounting needs. 

4. SQL-Ledger

  • Inventory management
  • Time tracking
  • Vouchers and general ledgers
  • Tax management

SQL-Ledger is a web-based enterprise resource planning system available on any NIX platform, Mac OS and Microsoft Windows. Accounting data on SQL-Ledger is stored in a SQL database server, and you can use any text or GUI browser for the interface. SQL-Ledger has an Intuitive interface meaning users won’t have to learn much about the software to use it.

This accounting software also features multi-currency availability and audit control. 

5. FrontAccounting

  • Invoices/Credit Notes
  • Multi-currency
  • Accounts payable
  • Flexible tax configuration

FrontAccounting ERP is an open-source accounting system designed for small and medium businesses. The software offers online account management with various companies and multi-user remote access. FrontAccounting is available in different languages and supports multi-currency. It also allows customizable tax configuration tools and supports banking and general ledger operations. Key features include:

6. Money Manager Ex

  • Late payment reminders
  • Recurring transactions
  • Cash flow forecasting

Money Manager Ex is a free open source accounting software suitable for personal and small business accounting. A cross-platform, and easy-to-use personal finance software, Money Manager EX primarily tracks your expenses and income. Features include:

Bonus Tool: actiTIME

  • Automated calculation of payroll
  • Revenue monitoring
  • Integration with QuickBooks

If you want to streamline the collection of pre-accounting data, payroll accrual and other vital practices that accountants perform, then actiTIME is what you need. Besides allowing for keeping a record of working time, this multifunctional tool serves many accounting purposes:

In other words, actiTIME comprises everything required for a holistic accounting experience. Along with that, the basic version of the tool is available at no cost for single users and small teams of three.

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