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If you’re looking for an accounting solution for your business or are a just sole-proprietor starting out, we’ve taken a look at the best accounting software for Mac of 2021.

Firstly, if you’re looking for personal or home accounting software for Mac, you may find our look at the best personal finance software for Mac more useful as it looks at the best budgeting apps.

There you’ll find the best personal budgeting tools like the superb Personal Capital (FREE) to keep your personal finances in order.

Best Accounting Software For Mac

However, if you’re looking for the best small business accounting software for Mac suitable for the self-employed, small to medium sized businesses (SME) and sole traders, you’re definitely in the right place.

After many hours of research, we chose the excellent FreshBooks (60% off) as the best small business accounting software for Mac of 2021 due to ease of use, automatic invoicing, time tracking, expense tracking and more.

You’ll find that all the small business accounting options we’ve reviewed here work on every type of Mac including MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, M1 Macs and all are compatible with the latest versions of macOS including Big Sur and Catalina.

We think they’re also the best alternatives to AccountEdge for Mac (formerly MYOB) which has been discontinued as it is no longer compatible with 64 bit Macs from macOS Catalina onwards.

If you’re a UK based business that’s been left out in the cold by Wave’s decision to stop supporting the UK, you’ll also find these the best alternatives to the Wave accounting platform on Mac.

And if you’re an Indian based user and wondering why the Tally accounting software didn’t make our list, Tally for Mac does not exist although there are still ways to run Tally on a Mac.

Tally is very outdated nowadays though and the accounting tools reviewed here are the best alternatives to Tally on a Mac.

What To Look For In Accounting Software

Here are some of the things we looked for in choosing which are the best Mac compatible accounting solutions.

  • Desktop vs Cloud: We gave preference to those apps that support both an offline and online version. We found that there are very few that offer both although only QuickBooks Online (50% Off) still has both an offline desktop app for macOS and an online cloud based browser version.
  • Account Syncing: We gave preference to accounting software that automatically sync with bank accounts to make it easier to keep on top of your accounts.
  • Automatic Reconciling: The Mac accounting solutions reviewed here all support automatic reconciling so you don’t have to manually reconcile every transaction that goes through you business accounts.
  • Accountant Access: We looked for accounting software that made it easy to share your accounts with a professional account when it comes to filing taxes.
  • CRM Integration: We selected the best accounting tools that supported integration with Customer Relationship Manager platforms to make it easier when it comes to invoicing clients and managing contacts.
  • Customer Support: We looked for accounting solutions that offer solid customer support when it comes to fixing syncing issues, solving problems and fixing bugs.
  • Payroll Integration: More and more accounting packages now handle payroll processing too and we gave preference to those tools that make it easy to do accounting and process payrolls at the same time. Due to ever changing tax rules in different States and regions however, this is a specialist areas and we also recommend checking out our guide to the best payroll software for Mac.
  • iOS Apps: Since many Mac users also use other Apple devices such as iPad and iPhones, we also chose those accounting platforms that have iOS app.
  • MTD & HMRC Ready: For UK SMEs, we also looked for the best UK accounting software for Mac users that are Making Tax Digital (MTD) & HMRC ready for instant digital filing of taxes and VAT.

Best Free Accounting Software For Mac

There are some free accounting software available for Mac but we don’t recommend them for serious small businesses.

One of the main reasons is that they’re very limited and it’s difficult and stressful to switch accounting solutions later on as your business grows.

Free accounting platforms can also suddenly stop supporting certain features and regions leaving users stuck.

This happened recently with the free Wave accounting platform when it suddenly announced it would no longer support users outside of the USA and Canada.

Our advice is to try one of the free trials of the accounting solutions featured here and take advantage of the generous discounts on apps such as FreshBooks (60% off) and QuickBooks (50% off) and stick with it.

We have however looked at the best free accounting software for Mac here if your budget simply won’t stretch to paid solutions.

Best Accounting Software For Mac Compared

 FreshbooksQuickBooks
Online
SageZoho
Books
Xero
Invoicing
Expense Tracking
Bank Syncing
UK MTD and HMRC Ready
Tax Filing
Easy To Use
Mobile App
Payroll Integration
Price$4.50/m+$12.50/m+$7.50/m+$9/m+$16/m+

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

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With all this in mind, here then is our selection of the best accounting software for Mac of 2021 in order of ranking.

1. FreshBooks (60% Off – Best Overall)

accounting mac - freshbooks expenses

If you’re looking for a small business accounting solution that’s unbelievably easy to use on your Mac, you can’t do much better than FreshBooks.

Canadian based accounting software FreshBooks bills itself as “accounting for the non-accountant” and it’s certainly one of the most user friendly accounting software we’ve seen.

FreshBooks has been around since 2003 and is now one of the most widely used accounting solutions in the world with over 10 million users in 120 countries.

For UK users, FreshBooks is also Making Tax Digital (MTD) and HMRC ready for filing tax and VAT returns instantly online without the need for an accountant.

The closest rival to FreshBooks is QuickBooks but FreshBooks is cheaper and offers many features for free which are only available in premium QuickBooks plans.

These include Billable Hours, Expense Categorization, Team Roles, and Simultaneous Users. There are also features in FreshBooks such as Project Collaboration and Proposals which aren’t even available in QuickBooks.

FreshBooks also automates many things such as sending of invoices, tracking time and logging of expenses.

If you work in a team, FreshBooks makes it easy to share invoices and expenses with your accountant or colleagues, share files and follow-up invoices.

You can even setup online credit card payments via FreshBooks own payment system for clients so that you get paid quicker and get notification confirmation when customers have received and read your invoice.

FreshBooks is very reasonably priced with plans starting at $4.50 per month.

You can also currently get 60% off FreshBooks for a limited time.

You can try FreshBooks free for 30 days with no credit card required to judge for yourself.

You can read more in our full review of FreshBooks.

Pros:

  • Incredibly easy to use
  • Excellent value for money
  • Automates invoicing, expense and time tracking
  • Allows clients to pay via credit card online
  • Many “premium” QuickBooks features included in all packages
  • Syncs with bank accounts
  • MTD and HMRC Ready in UK

Cons:

  • No tax filing integration

2. QuickBooks Online (50% Off – Best On & Offline)

quickbooks for mac

QuickBooks is one of the most widely used accounting solutions by accountants worldwide with over 5 million users according to the developer Intuit.

It’s also the only serious Mac accounting package which gives you the choice of either using it on your Mac desktop or in a browser which makes it the best offline accounting software for Mac users in 2021.

QuickBooks is from Intuit the makers of the Quicken For Mac personal finance software and if you already use Quicken, you’ll love the seamlessly integration between the two products.

What makes QuickBooks Online one of the best accounting software out there is that it’s advanced enough for professionals but still easy enough to use for beginners.

Some of the highlights of QuickBooks Online include a Mac desktop app, automatic downloading of bank transactions, automatic scheduling of invoices, one click sales and tax reports and multi-user access.

For UK users, QuickBooks is also MTD and HMRC ready for filing tax and VAT returns online.

There are no problems if you want to view or edit QuickBooks on iOS either – QuickBooks for iPad and QuickBooks for iPhone are available for free (although the functionality and features are of the iOS apps are quite limited).

QuickBooks integrates with your bank so that you can make payments online and download transactions automatically.

If your business accepts payments via third-party services such as PayPal or Shopify, QuickBooks also integrates with popular payment platforms so that all your payments and invoices are automatically logged.

It can also save you some serious money in optimizing your tax liabilities. QuickBooks claims it saves users an average of $3,534 per year in tax savings.

Most recently QuickBooks now offers add-ons in the form of QuickBooks Payroll which allows you to pay employees with free direct debit transfers directly from the application.

There are two versions of QuickBooks available to Mac users: QuickBook Desktop For Mac and QuickBooks Online.

The desktop version of QuickBooks For Mac 2021 costs $399.99 which at that price, we don’t think is worth it. It’s also likely that the desktop version of QuickBooks for Mac will be discontinued in the not too distant future.

Our advice is to go with QuickBooks Online version which starts at just $12.50 per month and offers far more features.

You can also get 50% Off QuickBooks Online for a limited period (although if you’re based in Canada you need to go the QuickBooks Canada store).

You can also try QuickBooks now for free to see what you think for yourself.

You can also check our full review of QuickBooks For Mac which also looks at the differences between the QuickBook online vs QuickBooks For Mac offline desktop version in more detail.

Pros:

  • Widely used by accountants on both Mac & Windows
  • Works both online and offline in a Mac desktop app
  • Excellent integration with Quicken
  • Tools for both personal and business expense tracking
  • Uploads photos of receipts and extracts data
  • Generally easy to use and navigate
  • Works on any platform
  • Now offers integrated Payroll
  • Online banking integration
  • MTD and HMRC Ready in UK

Cons:

  • Online bank syncing can be temperamental
  • Payroll features costs extra
  • QuickBooks For Mac 2021 desktop version is expensive

3. Sage (Best For Accountants)

sage for mac

Sage is one of the biggest accounting solutions in the world and Sage For Mac is one of the most widely used by accountants on both Mac and PC.

Although Sage is highly scalable, the basic version is user friendly with tools to manage cash flow, easy to understand reporting tools, automated invoicing and ability to manage multiple users at once.

Thee Sage iOS app is also easy to use, well thought out and allows you to manage payments anywhere.

Nowadays, Sage is integrated with Stripe to take payments with a Pay Now button in invoices to make it easier for customers to pay.

Sage is easily one of the best scalable accounting solutions for for Mac users and if you’re expecting your business to grow rapidly, it a great option.

You can try a free trial of Sage to test it for yourself and pricing starts at $7.50/month with 70% off for 6 months.

Pros:

  • Scalable from small business to enterprise
  • Clean, easy to use interface
  • 1 on 1 sessions available with Sage experts
  • Free bank feed
  • Reasonably priced for such a powerful solution
  • 24/7 phone based support

Cons:

  • No Mac desktop app

4. Zoho Books (Best For Beginners)

zoho books mac

Zoho Books is made by software giants Zoho that makes everything from remote desktop software to CRM software.

Zoho Books is easy to use for beginners and is ideal for freelancers and small businesses in all industries.

It’s also a good choice for Wave users in the UK who were left out in the cold when Wave stopped supporting the UK as it can import accounts from Wave.

Some of the highlights include automatic invoicing, expense reconciling, estimates, detailed reports and project workflow management.

It also helps prepare your accounts for tax filing and even includes time tracking to track employees, contractors or even yourself for invoicing.

For those working in small to medium sized businesses that need a cross department accounting solution, Zoho Books is a very slick accounting solution.

Pricing for Zoho Books starts at $9 per month and you can try a free trial of Zoho Books to test it for yourself.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Lots of features
  • Integrated with other Zoho products
  • Good value
  • Imports Wave accounts
  • Excellent support system

Cons:

  • Limited online banking integration

5. Xero (Best Interface)

xero dashboard on mac

Xero has been designed specifically to work on Apple devices and claims it’s arguably the closest thing you’ll find to an official Apple accounting application.

Xero promotes itself as “Beautiful Accounting Software” and there’s no denying it looks like an accounting app that’s been tailor-made for the aesthetics of macOS.

The main dashboard of Xero is one of the most useful features as it conveniently summarizes the most important accounting data of your business in a snapshot.

You can easily switch between tabs such as Accounts, Payroll, Reports, Contacts etc and within each tab, you can easily move around the different widgets so that you can customize it how you want.

Invoicing is very straightforward in Xero with slick customizable templates, convenient automated payment reminders and “PayNow” integration with PayPal so that you can get paid on receipt.

This makes it easier to get paid faster, track payments and generally automate invoicing as much as possible.

Mobile integration is one of Xero’s strongest features and we like the way users can easily issue invoices the moment a job has been completed via the Xero Touch iOS app for iPhone and iPad.

Xero plans start at $16 per month and you can try a 30 day free trial of Xero first to judge for yourself.

Pros:

  • Clear, well designed interface
  • Allows an unlimited number of additional users for free
  • Excellent mobile integration
  • Can be used on any platform
  • Easy to use integrated payroll software

Cons:

  • No native Mac client
  • Not as widely used by accountants as QuickBooks, FreshBooks or Sage
  • Sometimes duplicates transactions

About The Author

Author

MacHow2 is devoted to helping you get the most of of your Mac. We're passionate about all things Mac whether it's helping users with software recommendations or solving technical problems. If you've got any comments about this article, get involved by leaving a comment below. You can also contact us directly using the contact form at the top of the site. Please note that in the interests of transparency, MacHow2 may sometimes receive compensation from link clicks or vendors.

4 Responses

  1. Alcott Clarke

    I am using Slickpie(www.slickpie.com) free accounting software for 8 months now and currently I do not see any reason why I change. Great solution for my business. Easy to use and Super easy to learn. I can create and exports, invoice online very easily. Once an invoice, send, I can track it or send automated payment reminders and follow-ups. The software is intuitive enough to start right away generating invoices.

    Reply
  2. Nicolas Parker

    I am so busy in my business that I never had enough time for accounting and paperwork. Just Done Accounting software is so good that it controls all my accounting related work. It is a good application, if you are searching for best Accounting software then you must try it once-
    https://justdone.com.au/

    Reply
  3. Ken Allen

    I wantb to send reports to Microsoft Excel in the CSV format. Which accounting program ids the best. Thank you.

    Reply
    • MacHow2

      You’ll find that almost all accounting applications export to CSV as a standard feature so any of them will do.

      Reply

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