Create offers and invoices, record receipts, calculate taxes: These important, but often lengthy, tasks can be performed efficiently in the browser. Find below a presentation of professional accounting software designed for freelancers and SMBs.
Accounting software designed for freelancers and SMBs
Certainly, accounting is not exactly the favorite activity of founders, startups, or freelancers. Small and medium-sized businesses also struggle with billing, accounting, and finance. This is not surprising. Countless tasks in accounting are not much fun and can be time consuming and stressful. Too often, employees still perform them using simple office programs like Excel, which makes things worse.
Modern accounting software promise a remedy. Software providers are trying to make this dry topic a little more exciting. With useful features, simple and intuitive operation, and modern visually appealing user interfaces. These can often easily withstand the comparison with consumer apps.
Pure invoicing tools
Lightweight invoicing tools offer an easy entry into the world of accounting software. They enable the creation of professional invoices with customized design and ensure their distribution. At the same time, they allow you to efficiently manage customers, products, payments, receipts, offers and credits. E-billing services also often ensure invoice compliance with legal regulations, depending on your location.
For instance, popular accounting software such as FreshBooks from Canada or QuickBooks from California are less recommended in Germany because they are not prepared for legally compliant billing. However, QuickBooks is completely translated into German. But if you want to create an invoice, you cannot select the VAT rates applicable. Further, it does not allow to add necessary invoice details automatically. The deficits of foreign services become even clearer in more complex applications such as the income statement or accounting. Against this background – and apart from data protection aspects – you are on the safe side when it comes to German accounting software.
SalesKing and Billomat
SalesKing from Cologne is a tried and tested solution. The tool brings CRM, sales, and invoices under one roof and thus covers the essential standard features that SMBs expect from accounting software. This enables companies to manage invoices, customers and products, and create online offers and credit notes. These allow them to create PDF documents with customized corporate design, all within a single platform.
Another simple online tool that focuses on invoicing and scores with a few extras is Billomat. The web solution developed in Siegen also supports the management of products, customers, invoices, offers, and so on. The online dashboard clearly shows a list of all documents in progress. This way, the user can get a quick overview of open offers, overdue invoices, or upcoming payments at any time. Additionally, it integrates with add-ons with over 20 online services, including online shop systems like Shopify and productivity apps like Basecamp or Highrise.
Fastbill is a noteworthy alternative from Dresden. It comes with additional functions that can be used to accelerate billing processes and make them more efficient. For example, users can have their digital bills paid online in an unbureaucratic manner. The tool supports common payment methods such as PayPal, direct debit and credit card. Practical: Fastbill automatically informs the user about incoming payments and overdue payments. Another interesting feature is that you can capture receipts with the mobile scan app (available for iOS and Android) and archive and manage them within the system.
At Easybill, you won’t find any mobile apps. The software comes up with some interesting interfaces that can be crucial regarding the kind of user. For example, invoices can not only be sent by e-mail but can also be sent by fax or by post using third-party services such as PixelLetter. Certainly, this is interesting for e-commerce providers. Easybill impresses with seamless integration options with eBay and Amazon. Using special tools, online retailers can automatically create their invoices in Easybill. Additional functions related to reporting and time keeping round out its range of functions.
Optimized for service providers
Many providers adressed to service providers and companies offer time keeping. Also used for project-oriented work and people who bill their services on an hourly basis. SmallInvoice and Zervant are both services developed in Europe that fit into this category.
The first is offered by the software company Lourens Systems from Switzerland. You can create projects and manage them as a cost center. Integrated time tracking tools allow you to record and assing working hours to a project, to later create the correspondant invoices. SmallInvoice includes Paypal integration, automated customer correspondence, and worldwide invoices mailingto over 50 countries. However, the user interface takes some getting used to.
On the other hand, Zervant, based in Finland, is pursuing a similar approach. In contrast to SmallInvoice, it comes with a contemporary user interface that not only looks good but also ensures high usability. In terms of functionality, there is another crucial difference. Additionally to invoicing and time keeping, Zervant also has a comprehensive accounting module. Zervant promises to be able to largely automate accounting processes, based on the invoices and income and expenses records sent.
Accounting software for every need
In addition to simple SaaS services that focus on efficient billing, the software market also offers a whole range of more extensive services that compete with Zervant and bring together billing, accounting, and finance. They are not only aimed at professionals. Certainly, under the motto “Accounting for non-accountants”, they want to enable laypersons to manage the entire accounting themselves. Based on invoices, income and expenses created, the preparation of taxes, income and profit reports can be partially automated and significantly accelerated. Additionally, such accounting software often work with online banking modules.
Debitoor and E-Conomic
Freelancers and small business owners looking for a lightweight and intuitive accounting software to balance billing and bookkeeping will find a recommendable alternative in Debitoor. This presents itself as a minimalist solution that deliberately foregoes unnecessary features and impresses with a modern user interface inspired by Dropbox. Practical: The user can grant his accountant or accountant access to their account – free of charge.
If the functions offered by Debitoor are not enough, you can fall back on your “big brothers”: E-Conomic. This software manufacturer, who is behind Debitoor, offers a more comprehensive solution for accountants and tax advisors with accounts payable management, liabilities, balance sheets, subscription bills, and more that addresses both.
Lexoffice was created by Lexware, an established software manufacturer with over 20 years of experience. It presents a modular online solution that appeals to both beginners and professionals.
If you want to create your own bills, leaving the rest to your tax advisor, the entry-level version suits you. For keeping receipts under control and managind monthly bookkeeping themselves they can use the “Accounting & Finance” package. And if you want to manage all the bookkeeping yourself, you won’t be disappointed. The most expensive version leaves little to be desired in terms of functionality. With Smartsteuer, Lexoffice also provides a complementary, lean tool with which you can create your tax returns online. Another advantage: iPad app provides the most important features of the software in an optimized version for the tablet. Collmex, Sage One and Fortnox are in direct competition with Lexoffice.
FreeFIBU is the right place for companies that can do without invoicing completely. The financial accounting software developed in Düsseldorf focuses on accounting and finance. It is aimed at both freelancers and small businesses, as well as companies that are subject to accounting and can score with a comprehensive tax service. As a tax consultancy, the manufacturer offers various additional services relating to payroll accounting, annual financial statements, tax returns, and more. After registration, customers can order these online and then manage them directly in the system.
Accounting sofware is on the rise
It’s not shocking, considering accounting can be strongly standardized due to the legal and regulatory framework and is therefore ideally suited for the SaaS model. Thanks to the high degree of standardization, providers are able to continuously optimize typical accounting processes and make them easier for customers. Since they reach a broad audience with a standard solution, they can also use scaling effects to offer their products at the most attractive prices.
Freelancers and SMBs particullarly benefit from this dynamic market. Starting at around five euros net per month, you can get professional solutions that offer enormous potential for simplifying processes and saving costs. The offer is wide-ranging and ranges from lean invoicing programs for beginners to comprehensive systems with which professionals can do all the bookkeeping online. No matter which solution you ultimately choose, one thing is certain: it will always be better than Excel.
Many accounting services guarantee compliance with legal regulations, depending on your location.
These accounting solutions are not only aimed at professionals. Under the motto “Accounting for non-accountants”, they enable laypersons to manage the entire accounting themselves.
Modern accounting software offers useful functions, simple and intuitive operation, and modern and attractive user interfaces for non-accountants.