Best alternative to standalone QuickBooks?

I used to use standalone QuickBooks when I was a full-time freelancer. Now I don’t freelance much, but I still have a small trickle of freelance income (mainly passive income, royalties, etc), and a few expenses related to keeping the business alive (web hosting and so on). And the occasional new job here or there.

QuickBooks has moved to subscription-only, which I don’t really mind except that my business income isn’t really active enough to justify the recurring expense. So I’m looking at alternatives.

What do you recommend? I’ve always used the standalone QuickBooks rather than the online version, but I wouldn’t be opposed to an online service if it isn’t too expensive. I just tried setting up a trial account with Zoho, but it gave me errors when trying to link to my banks, telling me to try again later, which didn’t instill confidence. (And I’m a bit turned off by their childish logo but maybe I shouldn’t let that be the deciding factor).

Anyone have a favorite business accounting software for the Mac?

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I started using Moneydance about 10 or so years ago. I’m the defacto to bookkeeper for my wife’s business. She used to use quickbooks but we switched away from it and I think Moneydance is excellent.

It’s cross platform and is quite inexpensive. I think I’ve had to pay an upgrade fee maybe 2 times all these years even though it is updated annually along with minor releases.

It’s been perfect for us and never let us down.

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I no longer need anything powerful but you might want to give FreshBooks a look. There are a lot of people looking to replace QB these days.

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Wave Accounting is free if you’re in North America (or grandfathered in from overseas)

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I wasn’t going to mention Xero as it isn’t the cheapest for very basic users. However, if for some reason you do go down that path I’m a Xero certified advisor. It’s my day job! Happy to help get you started (without any ongoing obligation).

I use Zoho invoice, free now and works fine for me although I don’t link my bank account as I prefer to do the reconciliations manually. I was on Zoho books but switched as it was overkill.

Previously I used Wave, and before that Freshbooks but Zoho invoice linked to Paypal and Stripe and a little bit of weekly admin is a great free system IMO

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Incidentally (your bank may vary) there is a very large security concern with any software that asks you to provide your banking credentials to pull bank data. The best software uses bank feeds (essentially an API) that are provided by your bank. Here in New Zealand our banks are a bit rubbish (aren’t they all everywhere…?) and so they only provide bank feeds for a few different apps. Everything else has to use CSV / OFX / QIF uploads unless you’re willing to risk giving out your credentials - which for our banks removes any protection for fraudulent transactions as the bank will just point to the scraping software and blame that.

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I use Wave for my business accounting. It’s free and meets my modest needs, including integration with Stripe via Zapier. I still have a few pain points. For example, Wave lets you create bills (which I use to track A/P for items when the vendor doesn’t provide their own statement), but you cannot print them. However, if you create an invoice (for your A/R), you can print those.

Their accounting package is free, and that is enough to keep me as a customer–for now.

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