Small Charity Accounting Software

After you’ve set up your charity and started fundraising, the next step is to get some good accounting software. It will help you keep track of donations, income and expenses. And these days, there are lots of free small charity accounting software options that take care of most things for you.

In this guide, we review the aspects of Small Charity Accounting Software, nonprofit treasurer accounting software, Can you use QuickBooks for nonprofits, and What is the easiest accounting system to use?

Small Charity Accounting Software

Are you the treasurer of a small charity? Then get ready to get your hands dirty. You’ll be busy recording transactions and keeping track of finances. But don’t worry! We’ve got the best accounting software for small charities right here.

Sage 50 Accounts

Sage 50 Accounts is one of the most popular accounting software packages for small businesses. It has a robust feature set, and it is available as an online subscription or on-premise.

Sage 50 Accounts includes everything you need to manage your business finances in one place: payroll, invoicing and credit control, VAT returns, stock control and reporting. The platform also offers businesses a choice of two different user interfaces—you can choose between Sage One Accounting (built on top of Microsoft Dynamics NAV) or Sage Live (built on top of Salesforce).


IRIS is a cloud accounting software designed specifically for small businesses. It offers many of the same features as QuickBooks, but it’s designed to be easier to use and less expensive.

IRIS bills itself as an accounting solution that “comes with everything you need to run your business.” The company also offers a free version called IRIS Free that doesn’t have quite all of the features of the paid plan, but it’s still pretty robust compared with other free options on this list:

  • A built-in contact manager (no need to use Excel or another spreadsheet program)
  • Customers and vendors lists
  • Receipts from credit cards, PayPal, bank transfers and other payment methods

Pegasus Opera 3

Pegasus Opera 3 is a cloud-based accounting software that can be used by small charities, social enterprises and community organisations. It is free to use but requires you to pay a small monthly fee for support and upgrades.

The software has a simple interface which makes it easy to use, even for those with no previous experience of accounting software.


FreeAgent is a cloud accounting software designed specifically for freelancers and contractors. The free plan is available to any small business with up to three employees, including those that are self-employed, and offers all the core features of the paid plans.

FreeAgent has been around since 2009, making it the oldest of our picks in this category. It’s also one of the most popular options on our list—it comes in at No. 1 in both Google Play’s Finance and Business categories and No. 3 in iTunes’ Productivity category (behind QuickBooks Self-Employed).

The free version allows you to track income and expenses by client or job, manage invoicing clients, accept payment via credit card or eCheck using Stripe integration (which can be added later), create contracts with your clients through templates to keep them organized online instead of having piles of paper copies laying around your home office desk or office filing cabinet drawer space. If you ever need assistance from an accountant there’s an option called Accountants by Default which connects you with accountants who specialize in helping small businesses owners like yourself get started using FreeAgent without breaking their budget!


Xero is a cloud accounting software that helps you manage your business. It’s ideal for small businesses with less than 20 employees, and it offers a number of features to make your life easier as an entrepreneur.

If you’re considering switching from another accounting system to Xero, be sure to check out this FAQ page first!


If you’re looking for a user-friendly, cloud-based accounting software for small businesses, QuickBooks is your best bet. The market leader in accounting software for small businesses, QuickBooks has been around since the 1990s and continues to be one of the most popular options for entrepreneurs across the globe.

QuickBooks has a number of unique features that make it stand out from other accounting programs:

  • Cloud storage makes it easy to access your data from anywhere on any device–no matter where you are or what kind of internet connection you’re using.
  • Intuit offers 24/7 support if anything goes wrong with your account (and in case there’s an issue with your computer).

nonprofit treasurer accounting software

Free online accounting software for nonprofits.

Nonprofit Treasurer is a simple accounting app designed specifically for nonprofit governing boards and volunteer treasurers. Build trust, ease financial oversight, and reduce the burden of volunteer board roles. Perfect for youth sports, scout troops, clubs, PTAs, HOAs, charities.

An account with Nonprofit Treasurer is free for all small nonprofits and charities. We will never share your info and we don’t place ads.

Bookkeeping for volunteer treasurers

Taking the financial reigns of your local nonprofit organization shouldn’t be an epic undertaking – it should not be more difficult than managing your personal checkbook. Nonprofit Treasurer is bookkeeping with a simple and efficient design, responsive and modern interface, and integrated tools for budgeting and clear reports. It is easy to learn and use, and it fits the unique structure and responsibilities of the volunteer treasurer role.

Your accounting journal is accessed with a web browser using secure bi-directional encryption from a reputable certificate authority. You may invite other users into your account, and revoke credentials when they leave your organization.

Bank transactions downloaded from your bank are imported into your organization’s general ledger, saving time and allowing your organization’s treasurer to contribute their time to running the org, not entering the bookkeeping.

Every check and credit card transaction are assigned to a budget that you choose. Transactions may be divided between multiple categories.

Monthly and year-end reports are fast and easy: Monthly and year-to-date expenses and income, pass-throughs, and budget performance reports are pre-programed and downloadable as pdf files at a click of a button.

Financial reporting and budgeting are based on your organization’s fiscal year, not necesssarily the calendar year.

Donations and fundraising income, as well as expenses, are assigned to categories that fit your organization.

Can you use QuickBooks for nonprofits

If you work for a nonprofit or have experience fundraising, you know there are a lot of things demanding your attention. Keeping things organized is essential to your success, and your finances are no different.

One of the best ways to organize your donations, expenses, and financial information is with QuickBooks for nonprofits. With its user-friendly interface and impressive suite of features, QuickBooks is an excellent way to do your nonprofit accounting without taking time away from your mission.

With that in mind, we’ve answered some of the most common questions about QuickBooks so you can ensure you’re making the right decision for your nonprofit’s accounting needs.

What does QuickBooks do?

QuickBooks is accounting software that allows you to track your donations, expenses, billing, and invoicing. QuickBooks also allows you to organize and report your financial data so that your donors and clients can better understand your impact.

Nonprofit accounting software

It’s no secret that nonprofit accounting comes with unique challenges compared to for-profit accounting. Because nonprofits must keep a careful eye on their finances, it’s no surprise that many trust nonprofit accounting software like QuickBooks. With QuickBooks, you can ditch the spreadsheets and improve your accounting strategy.

Donation and grant tracking

Tracking gifts and donations is a fundamental principle of nonprofit accounting. QuickBooks allows you to edit donor profiles, track patterns in support, and create custom reports to influence outreach strategies.

QuickBooks also integrates with donation pages, plugins, payment processors, and donor management or nonprofit CRM software like Kindful so you can manage your gifts, donations, and expenses in one place without the hassle of entering things in multiple locations.


If you’re a nonprofit employee, you know better than anyone the importance of reporting. With limitless reporting capabilities, QuickBooks allows you to customize any of their 200+ built-in reports or curate your own, so you can make sure your donors, board members, colleagues, and future clients have the information they need.

Accounting automation

QuickBooks offers several automated features including recurring invoices, payroll, workflows, and data analysis. With integrated automation, you can focus on your mission knowing that your finances won’t slip through the cracks.

Which QuickBooks product is best for you?

The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to access QuickBooks online or on your desktop. QuickBooks Desktop is downloaded and installed on your computer while QuickBooks Online runs through the internet and uses the cloud to save your information. QuickBooks Online offers more accessibility and mobile capabilities that are unavailable with the Desktop version.

QuickBooks also offers payroll plans that allow you to track employee hours, calculate paychecks, and automate your taxes all in one place. Payroll is available for any QuickBooks product but is not included.

Here are the three QuickBooks products you should consider when upgrading your nonprofit’s accounting software.

QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Desktop is an accounting software installed and accessed on your computer. There are three versions—Pro, Premier, and Enterprise—which differ in the number of users they accommodate and industry-specific features they offer.

Pros: If owning your accounting software is important to you, QuickBooks Desktop is the best choice. Unlike the online options, QuickBooks Desktop is downloaded to your computer, and all of your information is stored on your computer’s hard drive. Users also prefer QuickBooks Desktop because it doesn’t rely on internet speed.

Cons: Though QuickBooks Desktop does not rely on internet speed, its features are not accessible anywhere. Unlike QuickBooks Online products, QuickBooks Desktop does not have mobile capabilities. Additionally, QuickBooks Desktop requires you to manually save your information, unlike QuickBooks Online products, which automatically save your information to the cloud.

QuickBooks Online Plus

QuickBooks Online Plus is perfect for smaller nonprofits that sell products or services. With features including a mobile app and automatic cloud-saving, QuickBooks Online Plus allows you to enact your accounting strategy on the fly and spend more time with your donors and clients.

Pros: QuickBooks Online Plus is set apart from QuickBooks’s products for individuals in its ability to track profitability and inventory by project. This function is especially useful for nonprofits that sell products or services because it allows you to keep your sales, revenues, and donations all in one place.

Cons: QuickBooks Online Plus does not offer the robust analytics of QuickBooks Online Advanced. This might slow you down if your accounting strategy requires you to quickly respond to fluctuations in your financial data.

QuickBooks Online Advanced

QuickBooks Online Advanced is perfect for larger and growing nonprofits that need more robust analytics and automation. With QuickBooks Online Advanced, you get the same perks of mobile accounting as QuickBooks Online Plus with critical additions that increase speed and make accounting work for you.

Pros: With the ability to track financial and non-financial KPIs, quickly organize your accounting data by department or period, and create presentations from your data, QuickBooks Online Advanced does most of the work for you. QuickBooks Online Advanced also allows you to batch invoices, bills, and transaction sheets, so it takes you less time to balance your accounting.

Cons: At $75/month, this is by far the most expensive option. That said, its impressive suite of features makes it a worthwhile investment.

Does QuickBooks work with other nonprofit software?

QuickBooks prides itself on its ability to collect all of your relevant accounting data in one place. They’re successful thanks to the quantity and breadth of their supported integrations.

For example, QuickBooks integrates several apps that allow you to pay your bills, manage payroll, track your expenses, fundraise on the go, and identify new and recurring donors. With all of your financial data in one place, you know where to go to access the information you need.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a donor management or nonprofit CRM software that works with QuickBooks, the Kindful integration allows you to two-way sync with QuickBooks for real-time updating, contact management, and financial reporting.

What is the easiest accounting system to use?

Data as of 11/29/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.*30-day free trial or 50% off for 3 mos.**30-day free trial or 60% off for 4 mos.†Only available for businesses with an annual revenue of <$50K USD. Paid plans start at $10.00 a month when billed annually.

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure.

The bottom line: Xero is our favorite accounting service for small businesses. With free unlimited users, it’s an excellent pick for collaborative businesses like multi-partner LLCs. Its low starting price and excellent app also make it a prime fit for freelancers, contractors, and other sole proprietors.

Not interested in Xero? FreshBooks is a good alternative for business owners who want unlimited invoices. QuickBooks Online works well for business owners who value solid reporting and tax tracking, and Zoho Books affordably automates key tasks that can suck up business owners’ time. Finally, Wave Accounting is a good free accounting option for budget-cautious freelancers and small-business owners.

If you’re searching for accounting software that’s user-friendly, full of smart features, and scales with your business, Quickbooks is a great option.

Compare the year’s best accounting software

Data as of 11/29/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.†Only available for businesses with an annual revenue of <$50K USD *30-day free trial or 50% off first three months**30-day free trial or 60% off first four months

Zoho Books is the most comprehensive accounting software

Data as of 11/4/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.*Only available for businesses with an annual revenue of <$50K USD. Paid plans start at $15.00 a month when billed annually.

Zoho Books automates the most common (and, let’s face it, boring) bookkeeping tasks—which means you can dedicate more time to your business and customers and less time to the tedious task of data entry. Most notably, it lets you set automatic customer payment reminders, create recurring expense profiles, and manage 1099 contractors.

Plus, Zoho Books is just one piece of software in the larger suite of Zoho products. Each Zoho product integrates easily with the rest, which means that along with accounting, you can use Zoho for project management, inventory management, and customer relationship management (CRM)—just for a start.

Here’s the best part: if you make under $50K a year, you can take advantage of Zoho Books’ free plan. Otherwise, Zoho Books starts at $15 a month if you pay annually or $20 if you pay month to month. The cheapest plan includes three users, but you can also pay an extra $2.50 per month for each additional user. That’s a standout bargain, especially compared to FreshBooks’ extra $10 per user per month. Zoho also offers discounts to nonprofits—one reason it’s among our top financial management software picks for nonprofits that need true fund accounting.

Unfortunately, even though it’s a solid accounting tool, Zoho Books has one huge flaw: Zoho doesn’t offer a payroll plan integration unless you live in California, Texas, or India. And it doesn’t integrate with third-party payroll providers either. Instead, you have to manually update the payroll-related aspects of your books, which detracts from Zoho’s primary perk of automation in a big way.

Similarly, Zoho Books’s cheapest plan doesn’t include automatic journal entry creation. Instead, whenever you debit or credit an account, you’ll have to manually create an entry. If you log more than a few transactions a month, the lack of automation adds major time and hassle—you’ll want the $40 a month (or $50, billed monthly) Professional plan instead.

Xero is the best overall accounting software

Data as of 11/29/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

We love Xero for its robust features and low starting price. For just $13 a month, Xero lets you send custom invoices, reconcile bank transactions, capture receipts for easier record keeping, and track inventory.

But as a small-business accounting tool, Xero really stands out on the collaboration front. Unlike nearly every other accounting solution (including QuickBooks and FreshBooks), all of Xero’s accounting and inventory software plans include unlimited users. You don’t have to pay extra to delegate responsibilities like bank reconciliation or expense tracking to another team member: time-saving collaboration is built into your price.

However, Xero’s $13 a month plan limits you to entering only five bills and sending only 20 invoices a month. You can send unlimited invoices and quotes with only the Growing and Established plans, which start at $37 and $70 a month, respectively. Plus, you can only track expenses with the priciest plan. In contrast, both QuickBooks and FreshBooks offer small-business expense tracking up front.

QuickBooks Online is the most user-friendly accounting software

Data as of 11/29/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.*30-day free trial or 50% off for three months. Price increases to $30/mo. after promotional period.

QuickBooks is easily one of the most popular financial, tax, and accounting software options in the world. And while QuickBooks Desktop (especially the fairly comprehensive, comparatively affordable QuickBooks Pro Plus) is still an option for those who prefer desktops, QuickBooks Online is Intuit’s cloud-accounting software solution.

The basic Intuit QuickBooks Online plan includes typical features like invoicing, billing, and receipt scanning along with more comprehensive tracking than many competitors:

QuickBooks also has the absolute best mobile accounting app you can find. The app can do basically everything the software can (a rarity for any software provider, no matter the industry). If you work on the go, QuickBooks’s app, which includes mobile mileage tracking, might make it a good fit.

Intuit QuickBooks’s online reporting and tracking features come at a price, though: its cheapest small-business plan starts at $30 a month and restricts you to one user plus an accountant. The priciest plan, which includes 25 users, starts at $200 a month.

At $15 a month, QuickBooks Self-Employed is a cheaper financial management option. However, QuickBooks Self-Employed targets freelancers with just a few clients and limited expenses. Instead, it’s primarily an invoicing, mileage-tracking, and tax-tracking plan. That means it helps sole proprietors who file Schedule C forms maximize their tax returns, but it’s not a fully featured bookkeeping or accounting app for other business owners.

FreshBooks is the best software for invoicing

Data as of 11/29/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.*30-day free trial or 60% off for 4 mos. Price increases to $15.00/mo. when promotional period ends.

FreshBooks’s combination of stellar features, customizable invoices, and well-reviewed mobile apps make it pretty much perfect—especially for freelancers. Unlike Xero, FreshBooks lets you send an unlimited number of invoices and estimates with every plan. Each plan also includes time tracking for easier, more accurate client billing. FreshBooks’s built-in small-business expense tracking helps you maintain a balanced budget. And, like QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks includes built-in mileage tracking—a must for freelancers who plan to claim mileage expenses on their year-end tax forms.

But while FreshBooks doesn’t limit your invoices, it does limit the number of customers you can bill each month. You can send your customers an unlimited amount of invoices, but the cheapest plan limits that client number to just five.

Additionally, FreshBooks doesn’t include bank reconciliation with its cheapest plan. Since bank reconciliation is an absolutely foundational accounting task, we can only recommend FreshBooks’s cheapest plan to freelancers or brand-new startups with just a few transactions a month.

Wave is the most affordable accounting software

Data as of 11/29/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

For exactly $0, Wave presents you with a slick, user-friendly dashboard and a slew of features that rival those of paid accounting systems. For instance, Wave Accounting includes multi-currency support, expense tracking, unlimited invoicing, unlimited bank account connections and double-entry accounting—a more accurate method of accounting that FreshBooks’ basic business accounting plan notably lacks.

Wave also lets you juggle multiple businesses with the same account. If you’re an Amazon or eBay seller who also manages a small team of contractors, you can track both sets of finances without paying anything.

Even though Wave has a useful payroll tool, its accounting software isn’t necessarily right for businesses with dozens of employees. Since Wave offers just one accounting plan, businesses can’t scale up to plans that include more accounting tasks for growing businesses. And Wave’s lack of inventory tracking makes it better matched to service-based solopreneurs and freelancers who don’t need both accounting and inventory software.

Accounting software honorable mentions

Not sold on our top picks? Here are five more small-business accounting software options that could work better for you.

Top feature comparison: Accounting software honorable mentions

Data as of 11/29/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting: Best user-experience runner-up

Data as of 11/29/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Sage Business Cloud Accounting’s cheapest plan lets you create invoices, track amounts owed, and automatically reconcile your bank accounts. If you’re willing to pay a bit more ($25 a month), Sage Accounting adds unlimited users, quotes, estimates, cash flow forecasting, and purchase invoice management.

Unfortunately, Sage charges extra for receipt scanning, a feature competitors like Wave, FreshBooks, Xero, and QuickBooks include for free. And Sage’s pricier plan has built-in features than, say, Xero’s cheapest plan. (On the other hand, Sage’s accounting system doesn’t limit your monthly invoice amount).

If you’re looking for industry-specific accounting software, Sage some standout solutions beyond Sage Business Cloud Accounting. For instance, Sage 100 Contractor is a preferred accounting option for professionals in the construction business. And Sage Intacct is one of the best accounting services for nonprofits.

Sage Business Cloud is currently offering new customers 70% off for their first six months of Sage Accounting—which typically costs $25 a month. With the discount, your price goes down to $7.50 for six months. If you’re considering Sage, we highly recommend taking advantage of the discount to save more than $100.

OneUp: Best for sales teams

Data as of 11/29/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

All of OneUp’s plans include customer relationship management (CRM) features, which makes it perfectly suited to sales teams that frequently follow up with customers. Plus, it’s affordable: pricing for one user starts at $9 per month. If you’re a Mac user, though, you’re out of luck: OneUp works only for Windows users. And while every OneUp plan includes all of OneUp’s features, its plans limit your user numbers. Only the priciest plan, which starts at $169 a month, includes unlimited users.

Kashoo: Easiest setup

Data as of 11/29/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Got a minute to spare? You can set up Kashoo in 60 or so seconds, and the app immediately starts to categorize your expenses and learn your business spending habits. Like Zoho Books, Kashoo’s automation is its selling point—and unlike Zoho Books, it syncs with SurePayroll, one of our top payroll providers.

Kashoo’s accounting software starts at $20 a month. If you’re looking for a cheaper solution, Kashoo offers an invoice-centric plan for $0.00. Along with sending invoices, you can use the free plan to track expenses, accept online payments, and send estimates. We’re not sure if the free plan lets you track income and expenses or not—Kashoo’s site gives contradictory answers.

Either way, though, it looks like Kashoo is planning on developing expense and income tracking for its free plan, if it doesn’t include those two features already.

ZipBooks: Most affordable runner-up

Data as of 11/29/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

If you don’t need quite as many features as Wave offers, ZipBooks is a solid free accounting software alternative. Even though it’s free, it doesn’t limit the number of invoices you can send (like Xero) or clients you can bill (like FreshBooks) per month—you can access unlimited customizable invoices and accept payments too. ZipBooks’ paid plan starts at $15 a month and offers better bookkeeping and automation features than its free accounting plan. But if you prefer your accounting tools on the go, look elsewhere. ZipBooks’ iOS app has disappeared from the App Store, and it’s never had a Google Play app worth mentioning.

The takeaway

If you want fully featured accounting software with an excellent app, clean dashboard, and affordable price, we recommend Xero. Based on its features and pricing alone, it’s a great bookkeeping and accounting company for most business types, from freelancers to LLCs.

All of our other picks have something to offer too, so if you find Xero isn’t a good fit, try one of these alternatives:

Finding the best online accounting software for your small business can seriously transform your working life. With less time spent on data entry, you have more time for the things you like most about small-business ownership, whether that’s getting to know customers or making products you’re proud of.

Most of our top accounting software picks include a free trial, so don’t be shy about trying a few different brands if you don’t hit on your favorite right away.

Need to pair payroll software with your new small-business bookkeeping and accounting software? Head over to our piece on the best payroll software for small businesses.

Related reading

Still not sure which accounting provider is right for you? Answer some questions about your small business and we’ll pair you with customized software options.

How to choose accounting software

We’re going to walk you through the 10 best accounting software solutions below, but these are the best options out there—so how can you decide which one will work best for your business? First of all, you should talk to your accountant or financial professional for their input. Then work with your accountant to evaluate software based on the following criteria:

Want to learn a little more about bookkeeping and accounting before you dive into our top reviews? Start out with our small-business accounting guide.

Accounting software FAQ

Xero offers fantastic accounting features at a reasonable starting price, but the best accounting software option for you depends on your business’s unique needs and budget. For instance, Wave works very well for freelancers on a budget, QuickBooks helps small-business owners who travel a lot for work, and FreshBooks’s customizable invoices are great for business owners who frequently collaborate with clients. Do you work off a Mac? Check out the best small business accounting software for Macs.

QuickBooks Online is definitely among the most popular accounting software for small businesses, and its thorough accounting features definitely make it the best accounting software for many users.

Leave a Comment