Top 7 Excel Alternatives for Accounting


Himanshu Singh

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: May 21, 2021

Excel sheets are used by an estimate of 750 million people worldwide. It is used for various reasons such as data summary and organization, accounting, reporting and analysis, and more. 

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However, many accounting specialists cringe at the name of Excel. Why? Although it may be free, it is one of the most inefficient ways to manage your account. If time is precious for your business, it can cost you dearly. 

That’s why techies are shifting from excel trend to a more organized and streamlined system. There are various excel alternatives available in the form of accounting software. The best part is some of them are even free if you are skeptical about investing in accounting software. 

Still not convinced? Let me tell you about the top five reasons why you should consider using an excel alternative for accounting. 

Why Should You Use Accounting Software Instead of Excel Accounting?

1. Backup 

One core benefit of using cloud-based accounting software is that you don’t have to worry about losing your data. It automatically backs up your file. And, even if you delete your file by mistake, you can restore it whenever you want. No more waiting for IT person hoping there’s some way they could retrieve your unsaved work or lost file. 

2. Ease of Access

Most of the accounting software allows for multi-users and also lets you restrict access to admin control. Whereas, in the case of excel accounting, you will have to protect worksheets and share passwords to unlock a sheet. It involves a lot of headaches as you might have to keep track of who needs access to the file or funny enough, who changed the template of the sheet. 

3. Reporting

The most significant feature of accounting software is that it lets you create customized reports. You can generate reports in real-time, and the system provides great insights on data analysis to help you make a smart business decision. However, excel accounting will consume a lot of time and effort to generate a report which you might need on an urgent basis. 

4. Development

If you aren’t a developer, you might not be able to use excel for accounting to its full advantage. Or, if you have no basic grasp of how VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) in excel works, you definitely don’t want to use excel. 

Accounting software comes with a prober built-in database and other essential tools. The coding is already embedded into the system, and you may not have to act like a developer.

Now that you are aware of the benefits of using accounting software let’s proceed to know the seven best excel alternatives for accounting. 

Best Excel Alternatives for Accounting

excel alternative

1. Zipbooks

Zipbooks is one of the best excel alternatives, specially designed for small businesses, contractors, and professional accountants. It comes with a myriad of features, which includes customized invoice creation, time and expense tracking, as well as future income projection. 

The best part is that it offers both a free and paid version. You can choose the one based on your business size and requirements. What sets it apart is it offers auto-sync with your bank accounts to keep you up-to-date with all your financial data.


  • Its user-friendly and intuitive interface makes bookkeeping easy
  • Allows you to create real-time reports whenever you want
  • Lets you see all your paid invoices, total accounts receivable, and average invoice age in one view


  • Starter: Free
  • Smarter: $15 per month
  • Sophisticated: $35 per month
  • Accountant: Custom pricing

excel alternative

2. Wave

Wave is a completely free accounting software that can be used by entrepreneurs or small businesses having less than 10 employees. It offers a well-integrated business platform that combines accounting, receipt scanning, and invoicing into one straightforward package.

Using Wave, you can create professional-looking invoices for your client. It lets you monitor the status of all your invoices and payments. Besides, businesses can link their bank accounts, PayPal accounts, and other sources of data for real-time transaction records.


  • Creates reports such as balance sheet, account receivable and payable reports, and sales tax report
  • The system is quite easy to set up and use
  • Uses real, double-entry accounting software and has a highly secured server


  • Free

excel alternative

3. Kiwili

Kiwili is an all-in-one solution for all your accounting related tasks. It is specially designed for small businesses to make their day-to-day management easy. It offers a cloud-based solution, which means you can access the system from anywhere using the internet. 

Furthermore, it lets you bill your clients, track your expenses and revenues, create personalized invoices, and organize and manage your projects effectively. It also facilitates the production of detailed reports to manage your taxes and guide you through making the right decisions for your business. 


  • Has a quite intuitive and easy-to-use interface
  • Automatically generates journal entries and update financial statements by simply entering your income and expense data
  • Safely saves all your information on the cloud


  • Basic Plan: Free up to one user
  • Advanced: $24.95 per month

excel alternative

4. FreshBooks

FreshBooks is one of the best excel alternatives for your accounting software. What makes it the best is that it automates all your accounting-related tasks like organizing expenses, invoicing, tracking your time, and following up with clients in just a few clicks. 

This cloud-based accounting solution lets you work on-the-go. It is accessible from any device — be it a tablet, smartphone, or laptop using the internet connection. It can help you create professional-looking invoices without any hassle. In short, the software can help convert complex financial management into a smooth and seamless experience. 


  • Offers a responsive mobile interface to access your system easily
  • Lets you set up a billing schedule and automates recurring payments
  • Generates customized reports in real-time


  • Free Trial
  • Lite: $15 per month
  • Plus: $25 per month
  • Premium: $50 per month

excel alternative

5. Sage One

One of the best excel alternatives, Sage One is an easy-to-use accounting solution for small businesses. It is hosted on the cloud, which enables you to access the system on-the-go. You can easily collaborate and share your files, track your daily expenses and income, and manage your cash flow. You can also process quotes and send them to your customers in a single click.

Furthermore, the system has the multi-OS capability and works on all devices — mobile phones, tablets, and desktop. 


  • Automatically backup your data and offer a high level of security
  • Provides a graphical overview of your company’s sales, expenses, cash flow, and forecast cash flow instead of text style
  • It is easy to navigate and has quite an appealing dashboard


  • Sage One Start: $10 per month up to one user
  • Sage One Accounting: $25 per month (unlimited user)

excel alternative

6. Xero 

Another option for your excel accounting is Xero, specially designed for managing the accounting needs of small businesses. The system is quite easy to use; in fact, users with no accounting knowledge can easily handle and manage your bookkeeping. It turns some of the complex financial concepts into an understandable, simple form. 

What’s more, you can generate customized and standard report out of the system in real-time. Financial reporting is one of the strongest advantages of Xero. 


  • Compatible with mobile devices to let you access your business on-the-go
  • Quickly generates an invoice and sends it to your client
  • Offer an appealing dashboard with organized tabs for each functionality


  • Starter: $20 per month
  • Standard: $30 per month
  • Premium: $40 per month

excel alternative

7. Zoho Books 

Zoho Books is an online accounting software that streamlines and automates all your financial workflow. It is very simple and easy-to-use. Plus, it offers great insights based on data analysis and statistics to help you make an intelligent business decision. 

Moreover, Zoho Books lets you send professional invoices to customers as well as receive online payments from them on a single platform. 


  • Seamlessly integrates with Zoho’s other suite of applications 
  • Lets you create personalized messages for customers to pay on time
  • Offers secure collaboration — add or remove users to the system


  • Basic: $9 per month
  • Standard: $19 per month
  • Professional: $29 per month


Thus, you need to find the one that is best suited for your organization. You will find plenty of free options available on the market. So, make your choice wisely. 

Himanshu Singh is a Marketing Specialist at SoftwareSuggest, He is well versed in software platforms like eCommerce, project management, document management. He is also interested in domains like Machine Learning and Semiconductors. In his spare time, he enjoys Guitar, Badminton, and Photography.

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