The best Mac accounting software is intuitively designed in form and function, has an easy user experience, and allows for simple collaboration. Here are the five accounting software programs that we recommend for Mac users:
- QuickBooks Online: Best overall small business accounting software for Mac users (8.77 out of 10)
- QuickBooks Desktop for Mac: Best desktop accounting software specifically designed to run on Mac (8.44 out of 10)
- Zoho Books: Best for Mac users that want a mobile app (8.75 out of 10)
- FreshBooks: Best for Mac users that want professional-looking invoicing and great time-tracking features (6.34 out of 10)
- Wave: Best free accounting software for Mac users (4.89 out of 10)
Best Accounting Software for Mac Compared
* Requires connection with the iOS app
QuickBooks Online: Best Overall Accounting Software for Macs
QuickBooks Online is a web-based accounting solution that caters to small businesses and individual accountants. The software is consistently praised for its flexibility, ease of use, and robust set of features. We rank it as the best small business accounting software due to its project, class, and location tracking that can be customized for any industry.
- Accounts receivable (A/R) and accounts payable (A/P) management: QuickBooks Online features an excellent (A/R) and (A/P) system that perfectly fits small business needs. You can manage invoices, convert expenses into bills, add billable items to customer invoices, and record payments.
- Banking and bank reconciliations: Connecting your bank accounts and cards is easy and seamless in QuickBooks Online. You can also import transactions from your bank accounts for reconciliation. If you don’t want to connect your bank account, you can still perform bank reconciliation by entering the ending bank statement balance and matching transactions manually.
- Assisted bookkeeping options: QuickBooks Online users can get bookkeeping help through QuickBooks Live. For a separate charge, you can get a dedicated bookkeeper to help with classifying transactions, fixing your records, and analyzing your month-end financial statements.
Our Expert Opinion
QuickBooks Online offers many features that are beneficial for small businesses. If you operate with five or fewer users needing access to the accounting books yet have complex transactions, this system could be an ideal fit for you. If you’re a sole proprietor looking for a smaller-scale program, QuickBooks offers that too.
The various price levels allow you to add features as your business grows, and the powerful mobile app is great for businesses on the go. You can check out our QuickBooks Online comparison to find out which QuickBooks Online version is right for you. Due to its cloud-based capabilities, it can be used on any Mac or PC.
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac: Best Desktop Accounting Software for Macs
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac is a desktop-based application that allows users to create custom invoices, sync bank and credit card accounts, track expenses, manage A/P, process payroll, monitor cash flow, automate spending, and more. QuickBooks for Mac is similar to the Windows OS version of QuickBooks Desktop Pro, except for a few Mac-only features.
- Mac-specific features: You can connect QuickBooks to iCalendar to automatically set payment reminders. Moreover, you can sync iCloud contacts with QuickBooks to easily access customer or vendor contact information.
- Unlimited customer support: With the new QuickBooks Mac Plus 2022 subscription-based plan, all QuickBooks for Mac users will enjoy free and unlimited customer support. In the old licensed version of QuickBooks for Mac, users would have to purchase a QuickBooks Care plan to have customer support.
- Inventory tracking: Although QuickBooks Online has outstanding inventory features, we’d give the best inventory tracking to QuickBooks for Mac because it can handle inventory assembly for manufacturing companies.
Our Expert Opinion
QuickBooks Desktop for Mac has a few Mac-specific features, which make this an attractive option for those who prefer desktop software. For example, iCloud document sharing lets you share your files between Macs connected through iCloud. However, QuickBooks for Mac has fewer features than QuickBooks Premier for PC and doesn’t integrate with as many third-party applications.
Zoho Books: Best for Mobile App Users
Zoho Books is online accounting software that lets you manage your financials and banking, automate your sales and purchasing workflows, track time, and create reports. It’s one of many Zoho apps, which include Zoho CRM, Zoho Inventory, and Zoho Projects. Zoho Books includes accounting capabilities like accrual accounting, good control over the chart of accounts, and the ability to create journal entries. Profit and loss (P&L) statements and balance sheets can be generated easily to monitor the financial health of your business.
- Excellent customer support: Of all the accounting software that we reviewed, Zoho Books is the only product that offers different customer support options. You can call them or ask them to call you by phone. There’s also a chatbot for immediate assistance and a live chat person for personalized support. Otherwise, you can email them or read self-help information on their Help & Support page.
- Fully-functional mobile app: Zoho Books offers a great mobile app that outshines even QuickBooks. You can do more than just send invoices or capture receipts. You can classify bank transactions from within the app, record time worked, assign time worked to a customer or project, and much more.
The iOS app allows you to send invoices, estimates, and account statements to customers within an iMessage app. GPS and Apple Maps will track mileage and turn it into an expense. Siri can also be used for reminders about transactions, and Zoho Books even has an app for the Apple Watch.
- Outstanding online inventory tracking and integration: Zoho Books has an outstanding inventory system that rivals QuickBooks Online. The inventory system within Zoho Books can help you track inventory levels, compute cost of goods sold (COGS), and determine the cost of ending inventory. If you need advanced inventory management features, you can integrate Zoho Books with Zoho Inventory, where you can perform advanced tracking of purchase orders (POs), goods on hand, and shipments.
Our Expert Opinion
Zoho Books is both affordable and easy to use. It’s also a great choice for freelancers and small businesses that are looking for a suite of tools that will assist them with other aspects of their business, such as project and customer relationship management (CRM). Because this is a cloud-based option, it can be accessed from anywhere that has an internet connection, and its mobile app targets Mac users with its iMessage and Apple Watch integrations. Check out our Zoho Books vs QuickBooks Online article to see how each accounting program performs side-by-side.
FreshBooks: Best for Invoicing and Time-tracking Features
We ranked FreshBooks as the best overall invoicing software for a good reason: it was designed originally as a way for small business owners to create professional invoices. FreshBooks gives you the ability to create and send invoices quickly on the web-based or mobile app and even choose your preferred currency. It also has added features like the ability to track hours and assign them to invoices, create recurring invoices, and track outstanding invoices.
- Outstanding invoicing features: FreshBooks offers more than just its unlimited invoicing capabilities. You can personalize invoice styles, add a logo, and insert a personal message below the invoice. If you invoice clients monthly, you can set up recurring invoices to save you the time of doing it monthly.
- Project accounting and management: Project accounting is FreshBooks’ strongest feature, making it a perfect fit for freelancers and service-based small businesses. In FreshBooks, you can create timelines, manage workflows, set project estimates, and compare actual and budgeted costs.
- Easy to use for non-accountants: FreshBooks is an application made especially for individuals without bookkeeping or accounting experience, so it’s easy to use. If you don’t want to do the bookkeeping yourself, you can invite an accountant who uses FreshBooks to do it for you.
Our Expert Opinion
FreshBooks offers a well-rounded, intuitive, and attractive accounting solution. It anticipates the needs of small businesses well, and while it may lack the inventory management features that a larger business may require, it’s an affordable and user-friendly option.
Unfortunately, FreshBooks isn’t as robust as the other software products in this list when it comes to other accounting features. If you want advanced accounting features, this software isn’t for you. However, you can read our FreshBooks vs QuickBooks Online and FreshBooks vs Wave articles to see how FreshBooks compares with these two full-featured accounting software products.
Wave: Best Free Accounting Software for Mac Users
If you want the best pricing for accounting software without sacrificing quality, you might want to give Wave a try. Wave is an industry standout because it offers free software with no strings attached. You’ll find all of the basic accounting features, including invoicing, estimates, expense tracking, charts of accounts, journal entries, and even built-in lending for qualified buyers.
H&R Block acquired Wave in 2019 and, since then, it has added new tools that include improved bank reconciliation, a revamped onboarding process, customer statements, and cash basis reporting. While it seems that all online accounting solutions claim to be easy to use, Wave lives up to that claim by being one of the cleanest, most intuitive accounting programs available.
- Free forever: Wave offers its accounting and invoicing system for free with no hidden fees or ads. You can access all of Wave’s accounting features for free because it doesn’t have any kind of paid plan for additional features. However, Wave will charge you transaction fees for credit card processing and bank payments.
- Flexible invoicing features: Apart from accounting, Wave offers flexible invoicing features that can be applied to different kinds of industries. You can also set up recurring invoices, which can save you some time.
- Integrated payroll for tax-service states: Wave offers Payroll services for users in tax service states―Florida, New York, Georgia, Illinois, Arizona, California, Indiana, Virginia, Washington, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Users in these states can get the Payroll service and file tax payments easily with the IRS.
Our Expert Opinion
Wave’s exceptional user experience and its smart choice of feature options will accommodate sole proprietors, freelancers, and other very small businesses that want an online accounting service that allows room for growth. No matter how often you use it, you don’t pay anything for the core accounting tools. But Wave’s lack of a dedicated time tracking tool and a comprehensive mobile app might be a deterrent for service-based freelancers who would be better served with the more sophisticated and fuller-featured QuickBooks Online. Read our Wave vs QuickBooks Online review to find out more. If you don’t need time tracking or full mobile access, Wave is an excellent choice for the smallest of businesses.
How We Evaluated Accounting Software for Mac
Each accounting application in this article has been evaluated using our internally developed case study. In this case study, we put each accounting program to the test across 11 key areas that are important in accounting software used by small businesses. Furthermore, we used what we learned in the case study to find the most suitable use of each accounting software for Mac users. In our evaluation, we used the following criteria:
5% of Overall Score
We looked at the cost of the software compared to the available features and whether it offers a free trial or introductory discount. However, we gave price a small weight because we don’t believe it should be a major factor in your choice. All of the software in this article is very affordable, and it’s much more important to choose software that fits your needs than to save a few dollars per month on the cost.
40% of Overall Score
The most important general feature we considered was Mac compatibility. However, most of the software in this list is web-based, so we instead applied our case study to break this down into several sub-criteria:
- General accounting features (20%)
- Banking (20%)
- Accounts payable (20%)
- Accounts receivable (20%)
- Tax (10%)
- Reporting (10%)
10% of Overall Score
Inventory accounting is an important feature for merchandising and manufacturing companies. We considered the software’s ability to track inventory units, details, and cost. Moreover, we put major emphasis on the software’s ability to compute cost of goods sold and determine the cost of ending inventory.
10% of Overall Score
Since some small businesses are service-based or a mix of products and services, we also considered project accounting in our evaluation. We prioritized cost estimation, project cost allocation, and project management. However, we put heavy emphasis on the software’s ability to compare actual project costs with estimated costs.
30% of Overall Score
An accounting software application must be easy to use and intuitive for small business or DIY accounting. For ease of use, we evaluated navigation flows, interface design, and subjective ease of use to assess if users can use the accounting software with or without accounting experience.
5% of Overall Score
The mobile app adds flexibility and enhances the productivity of users. With the ability to manage the books through smartphones and tablets, users who are mostly using mobile devices must be able to conduct basic to advanced functions without worry. Moreover, we considered whether or not the app has additional iOS-only features, like Apple Watch integration.
*Percentages of overall score
Finding accounting software that’s built only for Macs is possible but rare. There are more options to choose from if you’re open to online accounting software, some of which can be customized for Mac users. While QuickBooks for Mac is the only desktop-based software that we evaluated, cloud-based solutions, such as Zoho Books and FreshBooks, have features that are specifically geared towards Mac users. The best accounting software for your business is the one that provides the features that you need at a price you can afford while also taking into account ease of use.