Cloud accounting is an online service you can use to get reporting in real time, as well as visibility in your business or company.
This differs from traditional accounting because it is flexible, you can access your accounting data from anywhere and any device instead of on-premise computers alone, plus the information is updated automatically for real time financial reporting.
Therefore, unlike the manual or traditional ways of keeping your books fresh, cloud accounting ensures your account balances are accurate, with fewer instances of errors from data entry, plus it can handle more transactions and currencies better.
Cloud accounting software thus steps in to make cloud accounting happen, and successfully at that.
The software is hosted on remote servers and accounting data sent to the cloud for processing, then returned to you, the user.
All applications and functions are done off-site, compared to traditional accounting which is done on your desktop, and the software is accessed remotely, free from installations and software maintenance hassles.
Your team members can also access the same accounting data and software from wherever they are. In addition to this, regardless of how big you expand your business, you don’t incur additional costs on maintenance and license control or management.
It is secure, comes with sharing options, plus you can access your accounting data even when other servers are down, as this is hosted on cloud.
A good, yet free cloud accounting software will offer functions such as reporting, inventory, invoicing, payroll, sales tax, job costing, fixed asset tracking, banking and other basic accounting features.
Here are our top picks for the best free cloud accounting software for 2017.
Best free cloud accounting tools for Windows PCs
If you want free cloud accounting software that will last with you to the end of time, Pandle is your best bet because it is free forever!
It is simple, intuitive, easy to use and very sophisticated, transforming small business owners to brilliant bookkeepers.
As mentioned, it is completely free with no demos or trial periods. All you have to do is register a free account and start using the software to enter your transactions.
This software is designed to save you time, with features such as automated bank feeds that automatically pull transactions from your accounts and credit cards before categorizing them, create and send invoices from premium templates, quick quotations converted to invoices when needed, controlled access to functions based on employee role relevance, full VAT management with support for cash accounting and FRS, cash flow forecasting, multiple currency control, and access to your accounts from the mobile app.
Other features include an interactive help center filled with guides and videos plus an FAQ section for all your queries, daily backups, bulk transaction editing, tax estimations and reminders, plus data encryption with 128-bit SSL just like what is used by banks for data encryption.
With this free cloud accounting software, you can do all your invoicing, accounting, and time tracking online with fewer hassles than the traditional accounting system.
Run your business in one place, with the assurance that your data is safe online, enjoy the freedom from hidden costs and monthly fees from licensing and updates, plus knowing that your accounting processes are sorted.
All you need to do is create an account, log in with your name and email, then let ZipBooks organize your client and billing information, all done online.
Create and send invoices, automate recurring bills, mark payments, store receipts, and categorize expenses, collaborate with employees, contractors, accountants while managing reports and billing, plus tag transactions using the Smart Tagging feature.
No more cluttered and messy desks or bulky folders with endless paperwork, no more paying someone to do the bookkeeping when you can do it online.
Your information is protected with 256-bit encryption, safer than storing data locally, plus you save time and money because it is absolutely, 100% free.
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As its name implies, this is an intuitive free cloud accounting software that has been made easy and simply for you to use, and it can be used both by professionals and companies anywhere.
It is web-based, secure, unlimited for continuous use, and you don’t need any accounting experience to operate and keep your books of account. Anyone from freelancers, to contractors, small businesses, or individuals who want to control their finances can use it, and spend less time bookkeeping.
Being on the cloud comes with advantages such as easy remote access to your account data from any device or location, provided you have an internet connection. You can also monitor and track progress in real time, create and send unlimited invoices with a reminder at bay to chase your invoices, log unlimited bills and payments received, export data, plus you can have as many users per account as you like.
Enjoy the freedom of less bells and whistles on an accounting software, which makes for less complicated bookkeeping.
All you need to do to get started is create a free Brightbook account, log in with your details, go to Account Settings, upload your logo, then enter your business and clients details, and you’re ready.
Brightbook gives instant insights on money you owe or are owed and your cash flow, plus you can import bank statements, track and reconcile transactions with daily backups, on a safe and secure online platform.
You can also set up multiple companies on Brightbook, and invoice clients in any currency as the software will automatically convert it back to your home country’s currency.
This is one of the best free cloud accounting software and online resources for small businesses.
Some of the benefits you can enjoy by using Wave include a professional image, faster payments, better organization of your transactions and books of account, easy payroll processing with guaranteed accuracy, and it is 100% free of charge.
You can use the invoicing, accounting, receipt scanning, payroll and other tools all for free, with zero limits, and zero charges, for as long as you want.
Features include a live chat support for all your queries with email support for all software. Your accounting data is also completely safe with Wave’s 256-bit SSL encryption, plus physical protection of the servers so you know you can sleep better with such an assurance.
Wave isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so your data is safe for the longest time. You also don’t have to install any software because it is 100% web-based, but you need an internet connection and browser.
It is easy, intuitive, and can be used by anyone, not just accountants, and you can start in seconds as soon as you sign up.
The platform is organized, customizes software instantly so no need for technical configurations, plus you can work from any computer or device, any time.
Other features include double-entry accounting software, automatic reports, simple and instant collaboration with other people you trust to manage your books with controlled access.
Get all your invoicing, receipt scanning, payroll, and other accounting needs in one place on the cloud with a professional, customizable, easy, unlimited and free cloud accounting software.
Accounting or bookkeeping need not be a boring task. This is why SlickPie, a free cloud accounting software was designed – to make accounting delightful.
Features include automated receipt data entry, invoicing and billing, multicurrency function, live bank feeds, financial reports, and so much more.
It is designed for modern small businesses, and has a unique MagicBot, which automates receipt data entry, enabling you to run your business better, and streamlining accounting automatically by pulling information from receipts and converting it into digital data.
Enjoy the advantage of having everything you need for your business accounting all in one place, with a delightfully simple and easy to use platform, in addition to running your business on the go, anywhere and at any time.
Transform your business with automated transactions and automatic payment reminders so you can get paid faster.
Other features include PayPal, Stripe and credit card processing, managing quotations and bills, tracking expenses and taxes, bank reconciliations, bank-grade security, and financial reporting among many others.
Why you need a cloud accounting software for your personal or business use
Each of these free cloud accounting software tools comes with distinct features but there are a few things they all have in common including:
- User friendly interface compared to traditional accounting software.
- Free subscription and longevity
- Simple accounting language
- Ease of use for both accountants and non-accountants
- Built for mobile so you can access from your smartphone or tablet
- Interactive pages and dashboards
If you want to know which free cloud accounting software is suitable for you, or your business, you may not find one that exactly matches your specs, but you can tell from the software’s interface, navigation, abilities to import your data, do actual bookkeeping tasks, support for data access, your team size, plus whether the software is customizable and scalable.
User support is also important because you may have questions or troubleshooting issues so you need assistance.
Does any of these five free cloud accounting software match your needs? Tell us which one you like the most, or if you have used any of these before, share with us your experience in the comments section below.
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