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Grow Your Business Technology

5 Best Android Accounting Apps

Android accounting apps
Credit: Georgejmclittle/Shutterstock

Though Android accounting apps lack the full functionality of web and desktop software applications, the convenience and accessibility they offer make them valuable assets for busy entrepreneurs. With them, you can keep tabs on your business and accomplish accounting tasks when you're away from the office – whether you're at home, on the road, working on location or traveling.

Features vary from app to app, and sometimes the Android and Apple versions vary. Some mobile accounting apps are very basic and are primarily useful for capturing receipts for expense reports, while others are increasingly sophisticated and have ever-growing lists of features, allowing you to view reports, create and send invoices, reconcile transactions and more.

Here are our top five picks for the best Android accounting apps. Most are companion apps that are included as part of a paid subscription to a full-fledged accounting software application, but there's a stand-alone option on our list as well. Qualities we looked for include a strong selection of features, a regular update schedule and high ratings from a large user base. [Interested in finding the right accounting software for your small business? Check out our best picks.]

With more than a million downloads and nearly 25,000 user reviews on Google Play, QuickBooks Accounting: Invoicing & Expenses is by far the most popular Android accounting app for small businesses. This is a companion app to QuickBooks Online, which is available for a free 30-day trial, and costs $20 a month for the entry-level Simple Start small business version. You can download the app for no additional charge once you've subscribed to a QuickBooks Online plan.

The clean interface and practical functionality make QuickBooks Online and the Invoicing & Expenses app the perfect combination for business owners wanting comprehensive accounting on any device. The software subscription comes loaded with features, most of which you can use on the mobile app. In addition to basic features like managing expenses by taking photos of receipts, you can generate invoices, add and search customer contact information, view reports, track invoices and reconcile transactions. [Read related article: Which Version of QuickBooks is Right for Your Business?]

If you're an independent contractor, the QuickBooks Self-Employed: Mile Tracker and Taxes app is a good alternative. It's also one of the most popular options, as it's been downloaded more than a million times and has more than 17,000 user reviews. This is the companion app to the Self-Employed version of QuickBooks Online. The app is free to use after you pay $10 per month for the accounting software subscription.

The self-employed app has several of the same features as the accounting app, such as expense tracking and receipt image capture, but it includes a GPS-enabled mileage tracker and a tax-filing assistant that integrates with TurboTax.

Though not nearly as popular as the QuickBooks app, this companion app to Zoho Books is a great option for small business owners who want an Android accounting app with a lot of functionality. It's been downloaded more than 100,000 times and has almost 3,500 user reviews on Google Play – most of which rate the app highly. Accounting App – Zoho Books is free to download and use alongside Zoho Books accounting software, which has a 14-day free trial and then has a monthly subscription that starts at $9 per month for the Basic plan.

Both the software and app have a minimalistic interface that makes it easy to find the features you're looking for. The app shares many of the features included with the software and allows you to set up notifications on your phone that instantly update you with customer activities, such as viewing or paying invoices. The dashboard shows you an overview of your account, and you can create and send estimates and invoices, record and categorize expenses and bills, send purchase orders, track billable time, and download and print reports.

Freelancers, project-based firms and service-based small business that do a lot of invoicing will appreciate FreshBooks – Invoice + Accounting app. This companion app to FreshBooks accounting software has been downloaded more than 100,000 times and has a high average rating in almost a thousand user reviews. It's free to download and use alongside FreshBooks accounting software, which has a 30-day free trial then has a subscription fee starting at $15 per month for the Lite plan.

Like the software, the app is easy to use and allow you to track billable time, snap photos of receipts and record expenses, create and send invoices, check invoice status, accept online payments and review payment records. One notable feature is the ability to chat with clients through the app and review your conversation history.

While it isn't as broadly used or robust as QuickBooks, Book Keeper's accounting app has a user base of more than half a million users and ranks high compared to other Android accounting apps. The Book Keeper – Accounting, GST, Invoicing, Inventory app features a simple, straightforward design and immediate usability. The app is free to download and use for 30 days, and then costs $70 per year plus $20 for each additional device you add to your account.

Many users who left positive reviews mentioned trying other accounting apps and being overwhelmed or confused by the number of features and busy interface. If you're looking for a basic accounting and invoicing app that's easy to use and has a lot of features, Book Keeper Accounting + Invoice is a solid solution. One of the app's more impressive features is inventory management. It tracks stock, supports multiple warehouses, generates barcodes and allows you to scan them with your phone's camera. The app syncs your data across all your work devices through Dropbox.

The downside of this app is that video tutorials aren't in English, and there isn't a U.S. phone number for customer support. You'll have to contact the company by email, live chat or iMessage if you have questions or experience issues with the app.

Wave offers two free accounting apps for small businesses to help you track your revenue and expenses. Both are free to download and use, as is Wave's full accounting software. The only costs are transaction fees for credit card payments of 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction and ACH transaction fees of 1 percent (or $1 minimum). If you choose to use the company's optional payroll services, there are also monthly fees.

The first app, Invoice by Wave, allows you to create, customize and send invoices to customers. You can monitor the status of invoices and see when they've been read, paid or become overdue, and you receive notifications on these customer activities. You can send payment reminders and receipts as well. Invoices and revenue are recorded and backed up to your Wave account.

The second app is Receipts by Wave, which allows you to take photos of your receipts. It's unique in that it can scan receipts in bulk – as many as 10 at a time. It uses optical character recognition to transcribe receipts (and your expenses), which you confirm before uploading to your Wave account. You can also email digital receipts to your Wave account.

Additional reporting by Andreas Rivera.

Lori Fairbanks

Lori Fairbanks has years of experience writing and editing for both print and online publications. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, she worked as an editor for Creating Keepsakes magazine and then as a freelance writer and editor for a variety of companies, including marketing firms and a medical university. She now writes for Business.com and Business News Daily.