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QuickBooks is the best Mac accounting software because it offers a wide range of features and strong support for all users. Businesses can save a lot of time with the service as it can handle bill scanning, invoicing, payroll, as well as your advanced accounting needs, such as cash flow projections.
With inflation and a looming recession, saving time and money is important for any small business today. Our research research confirms that QuickBooks, Xero, and all the other accounting solutions in this guide offer the three key benefits a business needs to do just that: great features, low pricing, and a helpful support team.
Read on to find the accounting software that fits your needs best. Once you know the facts, take the next step and get started with a great deal.
Best Accounting Software for Mac: Table
Best attribute for Mac users:
Best Overall Accounting Software for Mac
Most iOS Mobile Apps
Best for Apple Pay
Best Free Plan
Best Range of Plans
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It's free, no trial needed
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Accounting Software for Mac: Reviews
Our independent research team analyzed the best accounting software for Mac according to ease of use, depth of features, price, value and support. Our results concluded the following:
- QuickBooks: Best Overall Accounting Software for Mac
- Xero: Most iOS Mobile Apps
- FreshBooks: Best for Apple Pay
- Wave: Best Free Plan
- Zoho Books: Best Range of Plans
Read our in-depth reviews below to find out which accounting software for Mac is best for you.
QuickBooks: Best Overall Accounting Software for Mac
Much of the power of QuickBooks lies in its depth of features (4.7/5), which is the highest research score of any accounting software we've tested. Its cloud-based service works on Macs just as well as on PCs. There's also an app for iPhone and iPad users to boot.
- Granular, customizable reports
- Mobile app lets you track miles driven
- 30-day free trial
- Customer support isn't the best
- A little pricey for small operations
QuickBooks also offers a wide range of integrations with many common Mac-friendly retail services, like POS systems (Vend, Lightspeed, Square) or email marketing (Constant Contact, MailChimp, ActiveCampaign).
Support is another area QuickBooks excels at, earning a near-perfect research score (4.7/5) with an online database and live chat for all plans, plus 24/7 phone and email support for Advanced users. However, its pricing isn't the best (3/5). Accounts payable features are missing from the two lowest tier plans, while inventory and budget management tools are restricted to the highest two tiers.
However, thanks to its wealth of features and support, QuickBooks remains the best accounting software for a business manager who wants to handle accounting, invoicing, expense-tracking, and (with a paid add-on) the company payroll from their sleek Mac computer.
Read our full QuickBooks review here.
Xero: Most iOS Mobile Apps
Our researchers gave Xero an impressive overall score of 4.5/5, thanks to perfect scores for all of the core feature categories. Xero has six iOS apps, QuickBooks and Wave each offer two, while Freshbooks and Zoho Books each only offer one. This larger range of apps allows a business to offer precise functionality to each employee, with separate apps for: authentication, document scanning, project accounting, expense management, payroll, and general accounting.
- Works effortlessly with platforms such as Shopify, Squarespace, and Square Online
- Integrates with Amazon, Etsy, and other ecommerce sites
- Impressive mobile apps
- Doesn't track expenses as standard
Xero offers better rated pricing than QuickBooks with a score of 3.5/5 compared to QuickBooks' 3/5. This is due to Xero's lower starting price ($13 per month, compared to $15 per month for QuickBooks), in addition to Xero offering unlimited users across all plans.
However, the Xero support team leaves something to be desired, with no phone or live chat and no around-the-clock hours, despite a high-quality onboarding process.
There is one last perk that may move Xero to the top of your Mac accounting software list: you get unlimited users across all plan tiers, making it a cost-effective pick for a company with a lot of cooks in the kitchen.
See how QuickBooks compares to Xero over here.
FreshBooks: Best for Apple Pay
FreshBooks (3.8/5) offers great support for Apple Pay, underscoring its benefit for any Mac-loving ecommerce operations. Other retail benefits include inventory management and billable hours on an unlimited number of invoices across all plan tiers. In addition to this, there is a selection of top ecommerce platform integrations, such as Square, Shopify, and BigCommerce, among others.
- Great profit and loss comparisons
- Easy import and export for data
- Automated invoicing
- 30-day free trial
- The $10/user upcharge adds up fast
- No native support for payroll processing
Now, while the software offers serviceable features, it doesn't have as much functionality as the others on this list. This is particularly true when it comes to bookkeeping (3.8/5) and accounts payable (3.3/5), since FreshBooks offers no budgeting or cash-flow projection tools.
FreshBooks has a low pricing score of just 2.8/5. This is partly because all if its plans come with an additional $10 per month charge for each additional user, which adds up fast for larger businesses. While it does offer phone and email support, these are not available 24/7 (QuickBooks is the only top accounting solution to have live 24/7 support, and it's only available with the QuickBooks Advanced plan). FreshBooks is the ideal Mac solution for an ecommerce operation with moderate functionality needs, few users, and an interest in Apple Pay.
Check out our full FreshBooks review.
Wave: Best Free Plan
Pricing from: Free
Wave's free plan is light on limitations and this is one of the many reasons it landed a perfect pricing score (5/5) – even beating Xero. In addition to this, our team of researchers also gave it an overall score of 4/5.
- Completely free to use
- Offers affordable add-ons
- Lacks features
- Struggles to scale with growing businesses
At no cost, Wave covers unlimited users and clients, with unlimited invoicing, billing, and estimates, as well as Apple Pay support. You'll also get plenty of accounts receivable tools and an iOS app for bill scanning, which are great if you want to cut down on administrative work.
However, the free accounting service won't do everything. As with FreshBooks, no Wave plans will provide users with budgeting or cashflow projection tools. Unlike FreshBooks, Wave doesn't offer project accounting or inventory management. The support team is just so-so (2.8/5), with email and live chat support, but no phone support. We recommend it as a worthwhile pick for the basic accounting needs of an operation with a micro budget.
Check out our full Wave review
Zoho Books: Best Range of Plans
Pricing from: $15/month (lowest price after the free plan)
Zoho comes with a free plan, but it's only for businesses with revenue lower than $50,000 a year – it's capped at 1,000 invoices per year as well! Zoho's five paid plans offer plenty to chose from, ranging from the $15 per month Standard plan to the $240 Ultimate plan.
- Large invoice limit on lowest tier
- Provides project accounting functionality at a cheaper rate than competitors
- Extensive accounts receivable functionality
- Accounts payable functionality unavailable on lowest tier
- Limited integrations
- Charges an extra fee per month for document scanning
Some helpful features like custom domains and cashflow forecasting are reserved for its pricier plans, but Zoho has a good selection of features overall. Another plus is that Zoho offers the support trifecta: live chat, phone, and email. However, QuickBooks' support earns a higher score because it offers 24/7 live support with some plans while Zoho does not.
All of Zoho's paid plans are a little costly when compared with the competition, and this gives Zoho the lowest pricing score (2.2/5) of the accounting solutions on this list. However, in addition to the large range of plan features, Zoho Book can be bundled with the entire suite of Zoho business apps, including a free Zoho Invoicing app and Zoho Projects for project management.
Check out our full Zoho Books review.
Which Accounting Software Is Right for Your Business?
A small or medium-sized business can handle all or most of its own accounting needs with the right software. Your Mac-specific needs might include support for iCloud files and Apple Pay integrations. But any service will need to offer universal benefits with the version of its software that's designed for Mac: easy usability, fair prices, and a balance of simple and detailed functionality. Plus, a good support team with healthy hours is helpful, and it's a key factor for those who anticipate needing a guiding hand.
How Did We Compare the Best Mac Accounting Software Providers?
Tech.co's research team created eight different criteria to fully understand all the top accounting software on the market. Each software solution was studied, tested, and given a ranking across each of these sub-categories:
- Software attributes
- Accounts payable
- Accounts receivable
- Advanced features
- Pricing factors
- Financial reporting
- Help & support
Finally, our researchers added the scores of each sub-category for each provider together. The total was then divided by the total number of sub-categories. The result: a ranking of five-point overall scores for all the accounting services we've reviewed, along with more in-depth scores for specific criteria, like pricing, support, and a range of different functionalities.
We review far more than accounting software though. Learn more about what we do at Tech.co here.
Verdict: QuickBooks Is the Top Pick for Mac Lovers
Our researchers gave QuickBooks an overall score of 4.7/5, beating Xero's solid score of 4.5. Still, Xero offers more iOS apps, while FreshBooks has the best Apple Pay payments and Wave has a great free plan with no limits on users or clients.
Check out Tech.co's landing page to directly compare the key benefits and deals available for all of the top accounting software:
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