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Free and low-cost accounting and invoicing software for your business

3-minute read

Most organizations already use accounting software to issue invoices, track accounts payable and manage various financial tasks.

How does accounting software help?

  • Accounting software offers essential features to
  • record transactions (bookkeeping)
  • increase staff productivity
  • get insights into overall financial performance
  • create consolidated financial statements
  • improve data accuracy
  • decrease outstanding accounts receivable
  • make fact-based decisions and
  • ensure adherence to tax laws

What does accounting software do?

Accounting software handles all financial aspects of your company. The simplest programs help you pay bills, prepare invoices, calculate sales taxes, automate general ledger transactions and track cash flow, revenue and expenses.

More sophisticated versions may include modules for payroll, inventory control, sales analysis and enhanced reporting. Some systems are customized for the needs of specific industries.

AI capabilities in accounting software

With the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), these tools are even more powerful. AI can help with:

  • Automated data entry, by extracting information from documents such as invoices, receipts and bank statements, minimizing errors and reducing the need for manual input.
  • Automated invoicing, by automatically generating and sending invoices as well as reminders for overdue payments.
  • Expense tracking, by categorizing and tracking expenses automatically, providing real-time visibility into cash flow and expenditures.
  • Cash flow optimization, by predicting future cash needs and identifying opportunities to manage working capital more effectively.
  • Fraud detection, by detecting suspicious patterns or anomalies in financial transactions, flagging potential fraud for further investigation.
  • Predictive analytics, by providing insights to anticipate cash flow fluctuations, plan for expenses and make proactive financial decisions.

Consider today’s needs and tomorrow’s plans

Many small businesses start with basic off-the-shelf accounting software but outgrow it after a few years. Look for vendors that can meet your evolving requirements and will let you easily upgrade to advanced solutions like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

ERP systems centralize information across your organization, helping you plan and allocate resources more effectively.

However, since ERP software often comes with a significant price tag and this review is focusing on free and low-cost applications, ERP solutions have not been considered.

Free and low-cost accounting and invoicing software

If you are looking for low-cost or free invoicing or accounting products, you may want to consider the following. (SaaS refers to “software as a service.”)

Revised March 2024

This table lists applications alphabetically and isn’t exhaustive. Hyperlinks to external sites do not constitute endorsement by BDC of those websites or any information, opinions, products or services expressed or described on them.

Furthermore, the list is only a starting point and excludes applications not offered either in English or in French, or that are neither low cost nor free. When assessing which solution is best for your organization, you will probably consider many other factors.

BDC will review and edit this list regularly. If you are an accounting software vendor and would like us to consider adding your solution, please contact us.

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