9 Open Source or Free Accounting Software for Small Businesses

Looking for an open source or free accounting software or platform for your small business? We’ve gathered a list of the more popular, completely free accounting software for you to try out! If your business sells on Amazon, visit our massive list of Amazon apps, services, and tools.

Only totally free or open source software is included on this list. Platforms with free trials are excluded, so you’ll know that these services are completely free to use. See our list for paid accounting software.

SellerZen is not affiliated with any of these services, nor does SellerZen endorse any of these services. Please check the website for current features and updates.

While we may recommend QuickBooks Online because of its popularity, consumer base, and app store, we understand that not all businesses need those features. If that’s the case for you, then check out these free options.

We’ll list some key features that each platform offers so you’ll have a better idea. Most, if not all, of the accounting services provide basic bookkeeping services like invoices and expenses. Visit the website for complete details.

SellerZen is not affiliated with any of these services, nor does SellerZen endorse any of these services. We’ve created this list only for informational purposes, so do your own due diligence before you sign up with any services listed in this article.

Akaunting

Akaunting home

  • Mobile and tablet ready interface
  • Multilingual admin and client panel
  • 100% financial data ownership
  • Lifetime free updates
  • Online accounting so you can access your data anywhere
  • Customer, vendor, and inventory management
  • Inventory tracking
  • Multi-company
  • Unlimited attachments
  • Multi-currency
  • …and more!

Brightbook

Brightbook home

  • Invoicing
  • Instant insights
  • Banking
  • Accounting
  • Multi-currency
  • Bills and expenses
  • Multiple companies and users
  • PayPal link
  • …and more!

GnuCash

GnuCash home

  • Double-entry accounting
  • Stock, bond, and mutual funds
  • Small business accounting
  • Reports and graphs
  • QIF OFX HBCI import and transaction mapping
  • Scheduled transactions
  • Financial calculations
  • …and more!

NCH Express Accounts

NCH Express Accounts

  • Financial analysis and reports
    • Over 20 financial reports
    • Income statement (profit and loss)
    • Balance sheet
    • Analyze sales by customer, salesperson, or item
    • Helps with tax returns
  • Accounts payable
    • Track outgoing payment and purchasing transactions
    • Generate purchase orders
    • Create and print checks
  • Sales and accounts receivable
    • Automatically record recurring orders and invoices
    • Accounts receivables and reports update as invoices are paid
    • Generate quotes, sales orders, and invoices
  • Other features
    • Multiple users
    • Secure mobile access through iPhone or Android
    • Multiple businesses
    • Automatic backups
  • …and more!

NolaPro Desktop

NolaPro home

  • Windows and Linux support only
  • Customer tracking
  • Billing
  • Payables
  • General Ledger
  • International features
  • Multiple languages
  • …and more!

SlickPie

SlickPie home

SlickPie charges you only if you need more than 10 company accounts.

  • Multi-currency
  • PayPal, Stripe, and credit card processing
  • Track sales tax
  • Get live bank feeds
  • Reconcile bank transactions
  • Runs on any device
  • Upload and attach files
  • …and more!

Wave

Wave home

Wave is free unless you add payroll services.

  • Accounting
    • Unlimited bank and credit card connections
    • Unlimited income and expense tracking
    • Multiple businesses
    • Unlimited guest collaborators
  • Invoicing
    • Any currency
    • Send estimates and turn into invoices on acceptance
    • Personalize invoices
    • Accept Payments by Wave
  • Receipt scanning
    • Unlimited receipt scanning with iOS and Android app
    • Capture receipts offline
    • Automatically recorded
  • Payments (charged per use)
    • Credit card processing at 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction
    • Bank payments at 1% per transaction
  • Payroll (not free)
  • …and more!

ZarMoney

ZarMoney home

  • Productivity
    • Scheduler and calendar
    • Attach documents
    • Fax and email
    • Customize dashboard
    • Role-based access
    • Restricted access
  • Customers
    • Quotes and estimates
    • Sales orders
    • Invoice and billing
    • Statements
    • Notes and alerts
  • Vendors
    • Purchase orders
    • Payment terms and discounts
    • Related transactions
    • Custom fields
  • Inventory
    • FIFO cost methods
    • Compare received inventory with POs
    • Organize by brand or product line
    • Transfer inventory between locations
  • …and more!

ZipBooks

ZipBooks home

  • Accounting
    • Bank connect and reconciliation
    • Auto categorization
    • Project accounting
    • Tagging
  • Intelligence
    • Machine learning
    • Smart search
  • Billing
    • Estimates
    • Multi-currency
    • Credit card processing
    • Time tracking
  • Expenses
    • Save receipts
    • Split categories
    • Vendor management
  • …and more!

Other free accounting software that didn’t make our main list:

Want to read articles on other free services for your ecommerce or Amazon business? Check out the articles below:

Amazon to QuickBooks Online Accounting: Creating Proper Invoices

Learn how to create accurate and proper QuickBooks Online invoices for your Amazon sales transactions.

Look through our comprehensive guide for creating proper documents in QuickBooks Online so that you can use your bookkeeping to track inventory, sales, and other important information.

For this article, we’ll go over using one sales document that includes income and expenses.

The most important step is to create all the proper service items in QuickBooks Online. But before we can create the service items, we’ll need to create the proper accounts in QuickBooks Online.

You’ll need to create a new account to map for each service item. Let’s take a look at a sample Amazon invoice:

Amazon Invoice

This is an example of an order you’ll see on your Amazon account.

To properly create the QuickBooks Online document for this Amazon sale, we’ll have to create the service items to use as line items for the QuickBooks Online invoice. But first, we’ll have to create the account that links to the service item.

Look through our step-by-step guide for creating proper QuickBooks Online invoices for your Amazon sales transactions! Those who separate their income and expenses go through a similar process.

Creating the accounts in QuickBooks Online Chart of Accounts

We’ll want to track certain fees since they’re common. So we’ll create two accounts that are named Amazon FBA Pick & Pack Fees and Amazon Referral Fees.

You may want to name them with the marketplace and region in front if you sell on multiple marketplaces and want to separate the fees by marketplaces. So you may have Amazon US FBA Pick & Pack Fees, Amazon MX FBA Pick & Pack Fees, and Amazon CA FBA Pick & Pack Fees.

If you separate the fees in this way, you’ll have to create separate accounts for all of your service items.

Others just lump all the marketplace FBA Pick & Pack fees into one account: Amazon FBA Pick & Pack Fees.

QuickBooks Online Accounting link

Chart of Accounts New

Adding New Account in QBO

Once you’ve created these accounts, we’ll need to create the service items and link those to the accounts we’ve just created. The Account Type is important. FBA fees are expenses, so choose Expenses. For the Detail Type, you’ll want to select the type that best fits.

For this particular FBA Pick & Pack Fees account, we’ll use Other Miscellaneous Service Cost. You may be able to use this Detail Type for most Amazon-related expenses. Or choose the Detail Type that best describes the account.

Back to top

Creating the Service item linked to Accounts in QuickBooks Online

QBO New Service Item

Setting up Service item

Create the service items necessary for all the Amazon expenses. Make sure you link the proper accounts when you create the service items.

Once you have the service items, we can create the QuickBooks Online invoice.

Back to top

Creating QuickBooks Online Invoices

Create Invoice

Sample QBO Invoice

 

Check out our guide on Default customers.

If you’re FBM, you’ll need to click on “Receive payment” once you’ve shipped the order on Amazon. If you’re FBA, you can click on Receive payment right away.

QBO Receive Payment Button

QBO Receive payment account

Once you’ve clicked on Receive payment into your Amazon Undeposited Funds account, you’re done with creating the QuickBooks Online invoice for your Amazon sales order.

When done properly, you can run reports to see your overall income and expenses. Below a sample Profit and Loss report after we’ve completed the invoice. This report shows us that we’ve sold an item for $46.99. Our cost for the product (Cost of Goods Sold) was $10. Our fees for the product were $10.04. Overall, we’ve earned $26.95.

As you enter the settlement income and expenses and your other orders, you’ll get a much more detailed view of your business.

 

Sample Profit and Loss QBO

You’ll need to create all the proper service items along with linking them to the correct income and expense accounts in your Chart of Accounts.

For income and expenses that you don’t necessarily need to track because they’re rare, you can use a general Income and Expense account. For example, you can create service items called “Amazon Other Income” and “Amazon Other Expense” and link those to the accounts. Then use those accounts for the income and fees that don’t need to be categorized.

You should track the most common income and expenses. This gives you more detailed insight into your business. Lumping them all into one account makes tracking difficult, and the reporting won’t give you details you can use.

Back to top

Contra revenue accounts

Not all negative amounts from Amazon orders are considered expenses. Some of those, like sales discounts, are considered contra revenue accounts and should be debits to income accounts rather than credits. When you add these sales and sales discounts accounts together, you’ll get the net sales income.

For example, you have a product that sells for $100. For one week, you have a sale with $10 off. That $10 isn’t really an expense, so crediting $10 to an expense account isn’t correct.

Instead, that $10 is a reduction from the sale, so it should be a debit to an income account.

Here’s how the report should look with the contra account properly configured and a $10 discount on a $100 item. Some sellers will mistakenly record the $10 discount as an expense.

Profit and Loss with Contra account

Partial refunds or Goodwill discounts that occur after the sales transaction should be treated as expenses. You shouldn’t go back to the invoice to edit it, nor should you issue a Refund Receipt for a partial refund. Remember, any refund receipt will increase your inventory.

For the most part, Amazon will reimburse you for any discounts or promotions it gives to customers. So you’ll see the discount on the invoice along with a credit for the same amount.

Back to top

Learn more about other bookkeeping topics through our articles on accounting for Amazon businesses:

Create accurate QuickBooks Online invoices from Amazon orders

Let’s face it: many Amazon sellers, even those using QuickBooks Online, don’t create individual invoices when an order is fulfilled on Amazon. If you’re like the hundreds of thousands of third-party sellers on Amazon, chances are you lump all your sales and fees into some income and expense accounts on QuickBooks Online when Amazon pays you.

What’s worse, many sellers don’t keep up with entering those settlements into QuickBooks Online every two weeks—chances are, many sellers put data entry off for months, promising themselves that they’ll “get to it” next time.

But if all you do is lump all the income and fees, you’ll never know the real cost of doing business on Amazon. You could be losing thousands of dollars, and you’d never know. With a catalog of hundreds, if not thousands, of ASINs, it’s difficult to know the actual cost of doing business on Amazon since many sellers don’t create accurate QuickBooks Online documents.

Amazon makes knowing your true profit difficult–having to track down and itemize individual transactions like commissions, holdbacks, and discounts, can be a colossal task even for an experienced data entry clerk. That’s because there just isn’t enough time in a day to manually process hundreds of orders.

Besides, no one wants to manually enter invoices into QuickBooks Online eight hours a day. It’s just not feasible, especially if mistakes are made, to spend hours to reconcile and track down incorrectly entered documents.

That’s why a service like SellerZen is invaluable—automating a tedious task such as data entry can not only lead to fewer mistakes and less time spent reconciling accounts, but accurate accounting in QuickBooks Online also allows you to see your true income and expenses. Knowing how much you earn for each product, as well as how much in fees you’re spending, can help you make important decisions.

We’ll show you how we create an accurate QuickBooks Online invoice in this article, and we’ll talk about why it’s essential that you create proper invoices.

Let’s start with how an order looks on Amazon. Below, we have the details of a sample order:

Sample Invoice Amazon

Notice the individual line items—most sellers would lump all those Amazon fees into one account, but this isn’t necessarily accurate. Why does this matter? Some costs can’t be avoided, like referral fees or FBA Pick & Pack fees, but other expenses can be managed. For instance, knowing how much you spend on the FBA Pick & Pack Fee allows you to determine whether or not you should continue using FBA.

To accurately create QuickBooks Online invoices, you’ll need to have each of those Amazon invoice line items mapped to a service under Products and Services. Those services should be assigned to the correct income or expense account in your chart of accounts.

You can create services under the Sales link on the left navigation menu when you log into QuickBooks Online. Then click on Products and Services, New, and select Service.

QuickBooks Online Add Service

You should see a window that prompts for the service name. Each line item on an Amazon invoice should have a corresponding service in your QuickBooks Online services.

That means you should have FBA Pick & Pack Fees, Referral Fees, and discounts and shipping. These fees should be linked to the appropriate accounts in your QuickBooks Online Chart of Accounts. You can select either an expense or an income account under the “Income account” field. Each time you create an invoice using those services, the accounts will be properly debited or credited.

QB Services Add screen

Here’s how an accurate QuickBooks Online invoice would look with the individual income and fees mapped properly. Notice how each sales line item (income and expenses) appear as they do on the Amazon invoice.

QuickBooks Online Sample Invoice

If you map the individual income and expense transactions properly, you can then use QuickBooks Online’s host of tools to run profitability reports. Take a look at a sample of profit and loss report using SellerZen’s data import service.

By accurately creating your invoices and mapping the services and accounts, you’ll have detailed insight into your finances.

QB Sample P&L Excerpt

It may not come as a surprise for some sellers to learn that the fees associated with FBA can be more than expected. While Amazon referral fees are 15% for many categories, other associated costs can quickly increase the total you pay to sell on Amazon. In our example above, total expenses add up to roughly 25%, almost a quarter of the gross sales for the period!

Ultimately, by lumping all of your fees into one account, you’ll never know exactly how much you’re paying for a particular service. You could be saving thousands of dollars a month just by knowing where your money is going.

Don’t forget to receive payment to close the invoice once you ship on Amazon! If you’re using FBA, then you can close the invoice immediately since FBA ships only after payment.

Using SellerZen, you can automate this entire process so that you’ll never have to create QuickBooks documents for Amazon again. You’ll have your expenses itemized on QuickBooks Online. From there, you can view reports and make informed business decisions. Automation doesn’t have to stop at just data entry. There are plenty of processes and tasks you can automate for your Amazon business.

Want step-by-step guides to accounting in QuickBooks Online for your Amazon business? Check out our series of articles: