Alternative to QuickBooks for a small (1 man) S-Corp?


I'm currently using a 2009 version of QuickBooks Pro for my S-Corp accounting needs. They recently sent me a letter "suggesting" I upgrade to the 2012 version ($200+) as many of the features of the 2009 version will no longer work, such as downloading statements from my bank.

Are there any cheap/free alternatives out there? I've always had the opinion that QuickBooks is completely over the top for a small consulting business like mine. I will say that I do like these features of QuickBooks and would hope to find them in another package:

  1. Produce Profit and Loss statements and Balance sheets to give to the accountant at end of year.
  2. Download statements from bank in QuickBook format and automatically enter them into quickbooks. I still have to go through and pick categories for each item and do some work, but it's a lot easier than entering everyting by hand.
  3. I like the existing categories within Expenses, Income, etc. and the ability to create new ones.

There's tons of features in Quickbooks I don't use (payroll, generating invoices, check generation, etc.) I don't even do the double-entry bookkeeping. As far as I'm concerned, it's income, or it's an expense I pay right away (no liabilities). Even for payroll, I enter it as an expense, and have been told this is fine. I realize that bigger businesses need all of this but I don't.

I did see some info about GNUCash. Anyone have experience with this or something else? Or, if you have an urge to sream out, "Stick with QuickBooks dummy! $250.00 is nothing! All the free stuff is crap" feel free to do that too. I can take it :)

Tax Accounting

asked Mar 10 '12 at 03:23
160 points
  • [GnuCash]( is great, but even $500 may be a justified expense to keep using something you both like and know. – Kenny Evitt 11 years ago
  • I have tried a few different one when I started out slickpie, kashoo, quickbooks, zohobooks, wave and xero accounts. For me so much better than Quickbook. It's exactly what I need. Simple and easy to use. I can send invoices automatically anywhere and anytime, repeating invoices are easy to set up with it. Highly recommend it. – Erin Cox 6 years ago

4 Answers


Try GnuCash. - Free!

GnuCash is personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.

Feature Highlights:

  • Double-Entry Accounting
  • Stock/Bond/Mutual Fund Accounts
  • Small-Business Accounting
  • Multiple Currencies
  • Reports, Graphs
  • QIF/OFX/HBCI Import, Transaction Matching
  • Scheduled Transactions
  • Financial Calculations
answered Mar 10 '12 at 10:08
1,471 points
  • I've been using to keep my own books for years now and it does everything you'd need it to do! – Kenny Evitt 11 years ago


maybe wave accounting? I am trying it for my businesses.

answered Mar 10 '12 at 05:22
Tim J
8,346 points
  • And how do you like it? How do they make their money if the product is free? Ads? Extra services? – Dave 11 years ago
  • We have used Wave accounting for over a year. Love it! There are non-obtrusive recommendations for things like with I would highly recommend giving it a shot. – Ryan Doom 11 years ago


I use QuickBooks online and use all the same basic features you mentioned. It costs $40/month so not cheap, but no issues with versions/upgrades either. You can also setup multiple accounts with varied permissions which comes in handy when you want your accountant to access just what he/she needs.

answered Mar 10 '12 at 09:19
11 points


I would suggest QuickBooks Online SimpleStart. It doesn't include Payroll and since you don't need that feature, it doesn't make sense to pay for it. Also, it is only $12.95/mth with a free 30-day trial.

answered Mar 12 '12 at 12:18
63 points

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