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Top 4 Free Accounting Software Options

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Last editedNov 20212 min read

When you’re starting up a new company, it’s a good idea to save money in whatever way possible so that you can maximise your profit. One of the essential functions of any business is accounting, and you can reduce the cost of this by integrating accounting software. It might still be necessary to employ an accountant for the more complicated tasks, but by automating some of the more basic tasks such as bookkeeping or management of cash flow, you can cut down on expenses.

It’s worth remembering that you get what you pay for with accounting software, and for larger businesses with a bigger turnover it’s usually a good idea to invest in paid software. However, for small businesses, free software can be a great way to reduce costs. So, that’s why we’ve put together this list of the top 4 free accounting software options for small businesses.


One of the top free UK accounting software options, QuickFile is simple to use and trusted by a number of different small businesses and freelancers across the country. This cloud-based software allows for easy integration with banks and other web services, as well as an app for managing receipts and an online portal where clients can pay their invoices.

On the other hand, you will have to deal with ads when using the free version. In addition, if your usage goes over a certain limit, then you will need to start paying for the full version, so this free accounting software is only viable for the smallest businesses.


If you’re a banking customer of either NatWest or the Royal Bank of Scotland, you can access this accounting software free. This powerful, cloud-based software can be used for a number of different accounting functions, including generating VAT returns and filling out the majority of self-return tax assessment forms for you, freeing up your accountant’s time to complete other tasks.

Bear in mind that if you agree to use FreeAgent, then you also agree to sharing your financial data. So make sure that this is something you feel comfortable with before signing up.


Counting over two million users, Wave is one of the most popular free UK accounting software options for small businesses and freelancers alike. Accounting with Wave is unlimited, which means that you can send as much invoicing and receipt tracking as you like, for as long as you need. What’s more, it has a user-friendly interface that is easy to get to grips with.

The downside of Wave is that it doesn’t include some essential accounting functions such as payroll. In addition, there is a pay-per-use policy that charges you for each online transaction with online payments, meaning it’s probably not the best free accounting software for businesses with large sales volumes.


GnuCash is a desktop application, which means that unlike cloud-based software you will need to download and install it on your device. You can use this accounting software free forever, and it’s also open-source, meaning that the code is open for anyone to edit and add functionality or fix errors. This makes it a great option if you have a developer on the team.

However, the interface is not the easiest to use and isn’t very intuitive. While it performs all of the most basic accounting functions, you’ll have to do without open banking integration or mobile apps, for example.

Alternatives to free accounting software

While it’s a great idea to cut down on costs in the early stages of your business, you may eventually want to invest in a paid accounting service as your company grows. Experiment with different free accounting software to get a better idea of what you need, or even make the most of free trials for paid services so that you can discover what works best for your business.

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