Mobile accounting apps don't have the full functionality of traditional accounting software, but for busy entrepreneurs, they offer convenience and easy accessibility. Using an accounting app, you can access your information from anywhere, and everything stays automatically updated across all your devices.
Many solopreneurs or entrepreneurs who operate microbusinesses use accounting apps exclusively, because they don't need the robust options that are built into a full-fledged accounting application. Android apps are usually less expensive (and less intimidating to use) than accounting software, so they're good for newbies to business accounting as well as price-conscious business owners.
If you're ready to start number-crunching on your tablet or smartphone, check out our top picks for the best Android accounting apps of 2018.
The online version of QuickBooks is available for a free 30-day trial, and at just $10 a month for the independent contractor version and $17 a month for the entry-level small business version, it's affordable. You can download the QuickBooks Accounting + Invoicing app for no additional charge once you've subscribed to a QuickBooks online plan or QuickBooks Self-Employed: Mile Tracker and Taxes, which is free to download with in-app purchase options.
The clean interface and practical functionality make QuickBooks online and the QuickBooks Accounting + Invoicing app the perfect combination for business owners wanting comprehensive accounting on any device. The QuickBooks subscription comes loaded with features, most of which you can use on the mobile app, such as managing expenses by taking photos of your receipts, generating invoices and searching customer contact info. [Read related article: Which Version of QuickBooks is Right for Your Business?]
The self-employed app has several of the same features you'll find in the online plan and the accounting app, but it includes a GPS-enabled mileage tracker and tax-filing assistant that integrates with TurboTax.
Book Keeper Accounting + Invoice
While it isn't as broadly used or robust as QuickBooks, Book Keeper's accounting app has a respectable user base of over half a million users and ranks high compared to other Android accounting apps. The Book Keeper Accounting + Invoice App features a simple, straightforward design and immediate usability.
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 free to download (with in-app purchase offers), Book Keeper Accounting + Invoice is a solid solution.
One of the app's more impressive features is an estimate generator where you can present an estimate to customers and later convert it into an invoice. The app also syncs your data across all of your work devices through Dropbox.
Harvest Time & Expense Tracker
Harvest Time & Expense Tracker is an accounting app with a free and a paid version ($12 per month, per user) that's best suited for self-employed entrepreneurs, freelancers or other independent contractors who juggle multiple projects and clients.
It combines basic project management and basic finance management into one app. Using Harvest Time & Expense Tracker, users can track their time spent on different projects, manage invoices and view timesheets. You can also use the app to store photos of receipts and log expenses.
While there is a function that allows Harvest users to view other team members' timers and time sheets, this app is best for solopreneurs since it's not super robust and isn't ideal for multiple-person project management.
If you want heavy-duty project management software and fully functional accounting software, Harvest will leave you wanting more. However, if you're self-employed and looking for an accounting tool to help you stay on task and organized, this is it.
Xero Accounting Software's mobile app helps you track your business's finances on the go and has features to manage your employees. Xero is available in three different plans, starting at $9 per month for its Starter plan. This platform allows you to manage payroll; the price of your plan depends on how many employees you have, with the maximum being 100. With Xero's app, you can remotely view and approve employees' business expenses, then catalog them.
If you're meeting customers outside the office, you can generate and send invoices from your phone. Employees can also access the app to generate invoices (you determine how much access they have). It's a central place to view your budget, bank accounts and credit cards.
Wave offers two free accounting apps for small businesses to help you track your expenses and revenue. The first, Invoice by Wave, allows you to make customized and stylized invoices and send them to customers. You can monitor the status of invoices and receive notifications when they get paid, when they've been read and when they become overdue. You can send reminders and receipts as well. Invoices and revenue are recorded and backed up to your Wave account. The app is free to download and use; the only cost is a transaction fee for credit card payments of 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction.
The second app is Receipts by Wave, which allows you to take photos of your receipts. It uses optical character recognition to transcribe receipts (and your expenses), which you confirm before uploading to your Wave account. You can also upload digital receipts from Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive.