Updated October 26, 2020
Bookkeeping is a crucial component of your overall business financial process. If you’re not tracking expenses, income, and payroll, you’re going to end up in hot water when tax time rolls around. Not to mention, you could overdraw accounts or otherwise create financial errors that could put the entire business at risk.
Some businesses, however, like to take more of a DIY approach to bookkeeping. Short of spending money on an accountant, these businesses will use virtual (or online) bookkeeping services instead, so they can track and manage business finances without the extra cost. If you’re a small business looking for the best virtual services, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s a list of the best virtual bookkeeping services for this year.
Bookkeeper.com was designed with the modern business owner in mind. Everything from payroll to taxation can be done within the software, and it’s both easy to use and affordable. Bookkeeper is perfect for new startups or established small businesses that need to keep better track of their income and expenses.
Bookkeeper.com offers some key features that we like to see in a virtual bookkeeping service. These include:
- Bank and credit card account reconciliation
- Electronic transactions reconciliation
- Balance sheets
- Profits and loss
- General ledger
- CFO and business advisory services
- Document storage
- Accounting software setup
- Expense management
- Tax planning
- Monthly performance reports
All of these features are found in the three tiers of service that Bookeeper.com has to offer. One of the most comprehensive, affordable, and reliable bookkeeping services on the web, Bookkeeper is designed for small and large businesses alike and can fit any budget.
Let’s take a look at some of the pricing options that are available from Bookkeeper.
Small Business Plan: For up to 125 transactions per month, you can choose the Small Business Plan. Services start at $285 per month, but pricing is usually dependent on specific needs. You’ll get some of the most basic services like bank and credit account reconciliation and balance sheets.
Small Business Plus Plan: For 126 to 250 transactions per month, Bookkeeper offers a Small Business Plus plan. This plan includes a few extra features in comparison to the basic business plan, including general business consulting and monthly performance reports. This plan starts at $495 per month.
Small Business Advanced Plan: For 250+ transactions per month, you can opt for the Small Business Advanced plan. You’ll get all of the features included in the bottom tier plans, plus advanced consulting, tax planning, and more. This plan offers only custom pricing, so you’ll need to visit the website to get a quote.
We give Bookkeeper.com a 4/5 -star rating for its included services, pricing, and reliability. With reliable and experienced accountants and financial experts at your disposal, good pricing packages, and dozens of features, Bookkeeper is an excellent tool for small businesses.
2. QuickBooks Live
You can’t mention bookkeeping without including Quickbooks somewhere. Quickbooks is the original bookkeeping software, and it’s come a long way since its inception. With Quickbooks live, you’ll get access to some of the best bookkeeping software on the market today, plus dozens of other features at a price that’s great for anyone.
Quickbooks live is loaded with great features to help you handle everything from payroll to taxation and beyond. These features include:
- A custom setup of your finances by a professional bookkeeper
- Monthly book closure and a PDF of your monthly financial reports
- A full payroll service
- A dedicated bookkeeper who is experienced in using Quickbooks
- Income and expense tracking
- Receipt capture
- Invoice and payment acceptance
- Cash flow management
- 1099 contractor tools
- Sales tax tracking
- Inventory tracking
- Reports on any financial information
- Business analytics
- Dedicated account team
- On-demand online training for your organization
- Automated workflows
- Customer service 24/7
- Custom setup of your software with a certified accountant
Quickbooks offers several tiers of service, and each of these features are included in various tiers. Let’s take a look at the pricing structure of this powerful and reliable software.
Quickbooks offers three tiers of service for small businesses. There’s also a freelancer package, but for the sake of this article, we’ll look at only the business packages.
Simple Start Plan: The Simple Start Plan includes some of the more basic services provided by Quickbooks, including invoice and payment acceptance, expense and income tracking, and more. This plan is perfect for startups or smaller operations, and costs just $25 per month.
Plus Plan: If you need a bit more than just expense and income tracking and basic bookkeeping, the Plus Plan is a great option. You’ll get extra features like bill pay and management and inventory tracking, plus a live bookkeeper to assist you. This plan costs just $70 per month, and is the most popular tier of service for its incredible value.
Advanced Plan: This is the most comprehensive plan offered by Quickbooks. You’ll get all of the features included in the lower tiers, plus a product demo, business analytics and insights, a dedicated account team, and more. This plan costs $150 per month.
When it comes to business finances, Quickbooks is one of the best-known names in the industry—and for good reason. With incredible value, intuitive software, and a dedicated account management team at your disposal, you’ll get all of the tools you need for financial success and professional advice along the way. We give Quickbooks Live a 4.5/5-star rating for its affordability and value.
3. Merritt Bookkeeping
Merritt is one of the most affordable online bookkeeping services out there, and brings automation to the table to make things easier. If you’re a new startup or an established small business, you need bookkeeping software that’s not only reliable, affordable, and easy to use, but also makes running your business as smooth as possible.
Merritt is a trusted name in bookkeeping for its great pricing and various features. Let’s look closer at what sets it apart from the competition.
Merritt has a comprehensive service package for a flat rate. You won’t find flat-rate pricing in most online bookkeeping services, which is what makes Merritt so flexible for small businesses. Some of its features include:
- Easy user interface
- Quickbooks integration
- Automatic bank statement retrieval
- 1099 Issuance
- Fixed pricing
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- Expense tracking and management
- Invoicing services
- Automated bank account tracking for expenses and income
- Financial reports
While some services bog down users with loads of extra features, Merritt keeps things simple. The ability to integrate with Quickbooks software means everything will always be synchronized, and you can expand the financial tools available to you with the software.
There are no tiers of service or packages with Merritt. You get a single flat-rate price of just $190 per month, no matter how large or small your business or monthly transactions are.
We give Merritt a 3.8/5-star rating, simply because it lacks the number of features that other services have to offer. Additionally, the flat-rate pricing can be great for some businesses, but might be too much for startups or newly-established businesses. Although Merritt does integrate with Quickbooks, this means you’ll essentially be paying for two services at once if you decide to use both. Merritt is reliable and flexible, however, and is one of the best online bookkeeping services out there today.
When it comes to startups, investors want to know where their money is going and whether or not it’s generating an ROI. In the case of a new startup, Pilot is the bookkeeping software you need. It’s specifically designed for startups who have venture capitalist backing, and also provides services for eCommerce and other startup needs. If you’re looking for a comprehensive bookkeeping software that keeps your investors informed, you’ve found it.
Pilot offers bookkeeping software loaded with plenty of features to help make it an excellent investment. Here are some features you can expect in your Pilot bookkeeping service:
- A dedicated finance expert at your disposal
- Accrual basis bookkeeping
- Balance sheet
- Cashflow services
- Expert support and advice
- Great customer service
- Industry-standard financial ratios
- Priority support
- Monthly phone reviews
- Support for multiple locations
- AR, AP, and inventory tracking
- Billable expenses
- Customizable accounts chart
Pilot is designed for a specific kind of business, so it might not be a great fit for everyone. If you’re just getting started in business and financed your own ventures, something like Quickbooks or Bookkeeper.com might be a better choice. However, for venture capitalist-backed startups, this is the perfect fit for your bookkeeping needs.
Pilot offers three tiers of service to choose from.
Core Plan: This includes some of the more basic features like accrual basis bookkeeping, dedicated financial expert, and more. This plan is billed annually at $599 per month, for up to $15,000 in expenses.
Select Plan: Everything in the Core plan is included in the Select plan, but you’ll also get industry-standard financial ratios, priority support, and monthly phone reviews. This plan is also billed annually at $849 per month for up to $27,300 in monthly expenses.
Plus Plan: This is the ultimate service package, including everything from the Core and Select plans, but also support for multiple locations, inventory tracking, and more. This plan only offers custom pricing, so you’ll need to call or visit the site to get a quote.
With average pricing, good features, and a reputation that’s nearly impeccable, we give Pilot a 4.3/5-star rating. If you’re a new startup with venture capital at risk, you need software that understands your financial needs and can meet the demands of a growing business. Pilot does just that.
5. Sunrise Bookkeeping
Sunrise is a bit different from the other services on our list. While it still offers many of the same features as Quickbooks and other software, it’s unique in that it offers a zero-cost plan for DIY business owners who don’t want the extra burden of using an accountant.
Sunrise is a great low-cost solution for larger businesses as well. Let’s look at some of the features and prices that are offered.
Sunrise offers an impressive list of features, but like any bookkeeping software, these are dependent on the tier of service. Some of Sunrise’s features include:
- Unlimited customized invoices
- Unlimited bank transactions
- Cash flow reports
- Bank transfers
- Credit card acceptance
- Dedicated professional bookkeeper
- Up to 500 transactions per month
- Monthly book closing
- Text and email support
- PayPal, Square, and other POS software acceptance
- Double-entry accounting
These features are perfect for small businesses with a sole proprietor or a growing business with several partners and a large team. You can choose between tiers of service to better meet your specific needs.
Sunrise offers four different service packages.
Self-Service: Free for the DIY business owner, this includes basic services like unlimited invoices and bank transactions. If you’re looking for no-cost bookkeeping software with a punch, this is it.
Early Plan: Stepping up to the premium plans, we have the Early Plan, which includes everything in the self-service package, plus a dedicated bookkeeper and more. This plan costs just $149 per month and covers up to 120 transactions per month.
Growing Plan: The Growing Plan is great for businesses that are on their way up and need more financial support. Additional features include support for up to 200 transactions per month and monthly book closing. This plan costs just $299 per month.
Corporate Plan: This plan is reserved for those businesses that are bringing in a higher volume of sales. For just $499 per month, you’ll get every feature you find in the previous three tiers, plus support for up to 500 transactions per month.
Sunrise is a comprehensive, affordable, and versatile bookkeeping service that’s great for small businesses and growing corporate entities alike. If you need a pricing plan that goes by monthly transactions, this is it. Sunrise also has the added bonus of providing a self-service plan completely free of charge. We give Sunrise a 3.8/5-star rating for its versatility and average pricing, plus the bonus of providing a free plan. However, it’s a bit more limited in its features and functionality compared to the other software on our list.
With so many bookkeeping options available today, it’s hard to keep track of which ones are worthy of your hard-earned money. These five services are reliable, feature-rich, and affordable for most small business budgets. When it comes to choosing a bookkeeping software for your business, you need every detail you can get! This guide will help you choose the right fit—no matter what stage of growth your business is in.