Does anybody do small biz accounting on Mac?

Curious as to whether anybody has any recommendations for non-web-based small biz accounting software.

Looking to move from spreadsheets into a more cohesive app, but don’t like having all the data floating around out there in the cloud.


I used Xero for two corp entities. Terrific tool.

For decades I’ve done all my business (LLC) accounting with Numbers and data storage in DEVONthink. When I first started my business I used a Quicken business application, but it was more work than just doing the job with Numbers. I don’t have employees or benefit plans (other than my own). The SEP and other assets are managed via a brokerage account. I have separate bank accounts and credit cards for business, so anything on those statements is business-related, which simplifies accounting. Tax prep via Turbo Tax business.

That’s completely online though, isn’t it?

Which country? I know of French software (my mother is a retired accountant) but I suspect that won’t help you much :sweat_smile:

Which country? In the UK, Freeagent works very well

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Yes. But I’m using my Mac! I would never go back to on-Mac installed stuff. Xero is that good. Accountant also can access whereas when we used on-Mac/PC software that was always a problem.

United States.

I can’t imagine that having some bookkeeping software running on my Mac would cause any appreciable issue. My Mac is decently-specced.

Part of my spec for the question is “no cloud software”.

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If it’s for the USA, my suggestion’s no use, sorry.

As you’ve probably noticed, the industry is running as hard as it can for cloud-based subscriptions.

I missed no cloud. My companies were public corp so not particularly secret anyway. so the data protected by Xero’s security was more than sufficient.

Surely you can find some on Mac software.

Xero all the way, yes, cloud, but that’s the point - not tied to an OS, always up to date, accountant/advisors can access your data in real time while you keep transacting business, etc

Quickbooks still has a Mac desktop version. $400

I also use Numbers and DT, as well as TapForms. However this is for personal accounts, not business. It works well but is manual and a bit tedious come tax time especially as my rental agency will only supply statements in pdf form and the transactions need to be copied in. I think Xero would be excellent but unfortunately they dropped support for personal finance and the cost would not be worth it :frowning:

No, but I know folks who do. I usually recommend them to use Evergreen. It was first recommended to me by a developer on Twitter. I thought it might be appealing to folks who require such an app. :smile:

I’m a freelancer, and many years ago I set up a FileMaker database to handle my work-related finances. My needs are fairly basic, but using this database I can generate invoices, quickly do the calculations necessary to submit GST returns every two months, and so on (although I do get an accountant to do my tax returns once a year).

I don’t know if it’s more cohesive than spreadsheet, but there’s Ledger that works with text files and command line

Ledger has always reminded me of just a CLI version of GNUCash.

It’s a primarily Linux app, but works fine on the Mac - I’ve been using it (GNUCash) now for years. Latest versions look nicer than the v3 versions, but it’s perhaps not as pretty as other finance software like Banktivity or Moneywiz, but it does the job (and is cross platform and free, with no online requirement).

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I’m using Banktivity. Also cloud adverse and have tried GNUCash but never really got it working properly and it was too fiddly to use.

Banktivity, given that it does single-entry (e.g. check register) book keeping isn’t really appropriate for small biz accounting.

If you’re 100% committed to “keep it off the cloud,” then GnuCash is the best free option, with a fast up-and-comer (it’s more or less modeled after Xero, and has a free desktop version - I made a video about it just last week). The plain text accounting tools like Ledger are cute, and do what they say on the tin, but don’t help with input validation while typing, which is actually 70% of what you want from a general ledger tool. There really isn’t a good paid option. QuickBooks Desktop is barely supported and barely works (on the Mac), and the other commercial accounting packages (MoneyWorks Gold, AccountEdge) are really stuck in an older paradigm of accounting software IMO. They’re painful to use.

The sad truth is that “Keep it off the cloud” - which is a requirement that I maintain myself! - is an outdated requirement and probably not one that actually gives you appreciably more security; most people are probably at more risk of catastrophic data loss than of having their cloud accounts compromised. And the other cost you pay for staying “off the cloud” is multiplying the amount of work you do: much of the point of Xero is having your banks feed the data straight in, saving you the effort (and errors likely from) manual data entry.

Given the wide deployment of effective 2 factor authentication, the correct answer for almost any small business is “Sign up for Xero.”

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Not native app on Mac anymore. I created a web app for FreeAgent after I switched away from Xero.
That works for me.

I do use Moneywiz over all my bank accounts as it gives a good way to query (historical) statements