- Cloud accounting is an online service you can use to get reporting in real-time, as well as visibility in your business or company.
- A good, yet free cloud will offer functions such as reporting, inventory, invoicing, payroll, sales tax, job costing, and more.
- If you want to learn more about accounting software, don't be surprised to find more information in our Accounting Software section.
- If you're in for a more broad approach, check our Business Software Hub.
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.
And that 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.
What is the cloud accounting software infrastructure?
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 in the 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 2020.
What are the best free cloud accounting tools for Windows PCs?
QuickBooks is an exceptionally robust cloud accounting software that manages small business finances and ensures all your decisions are based on actual business data and accurate insights.
To help you manage your business finances in a smart way, QuickBooks assures that your data is stored in the cloud.
You may enjoy easy remote access to your account data from any location and keep the workflow going from PC, Mac, phone or tablet. This isn’t the only advantage you should expect to get from QuickBooks.
A set of comprehensive financial tools walk you through all processes starting from importing your data all the way to sending custom quotes and invoices to get paid faster than ever before or calculating project profitability.
More precisely, the time-consuming chore of importing data from one accounting application to another or from Excel turns into a simple process when using QuickBooks.
The tool will keep a photo record of every single receipt, so you’re always organized and keep your records and transactions accurate.
Multilingual invoicing, easily handled vendor records, and running reports in seconds add up to the generous list of customization options.
QuickBooks makes sure you always know where your business stands, yet it’s both intuitive and easy to operate. All these make it appealing to small businesses, so choose the plan that works better for your business right away.
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FreshBooks is the cloud accounting software you’re looking for when you plan to put your business on autopilot. It offers business owners an intuitive double-entry accounting experience that is integrated with the rest of its rich tools.
Be sure that you’re one hundred percent involved in the procedure of creating professional invoices, organizing expenses, and receiving payments.
However, the best part is that you also rely on a solid framework that provides detailed bookkeeping and effortless insight into your finances.
Thanks to this rich set of tools, invoices take no more than a few seconds to create. You and your team can easily log your hours and automatically insert them into invoices, so time tracking is no longer an issue to worry about either.
Another advantage of using FreshBooks is that your conversations, files, feedback, and work are all kept in one place, while reports are incredibly easy to master as well.
Eventually, you even get paid faster with its automatic deposits feature. Overall, FreshBooks does just about anything your business needs from an accounting program.
Thanks to its flexibility, it helps you save time from chasing your clients or worrying about numbers and dedicate it to grow your business instead.
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.
It will create and send invoices from premium templates, quick quotations converted to invoices when needed, controlled access to functions based on employee role relevance.
It provides 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.
When it comes to security, it offers data encryption with 128-bit SSL just like what is used by banks.
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 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.⇒
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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 do you need a cloud accounting software?
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.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.