Best Business Software: Ranked and Reviewed (2024)

Looking for the best business software solutions to streamline your operations? Whether you run a small business or a large enterprise, the right software can automate your business processes, save time, and boost productivity. From financial management software to CRM systems and inventory management tools, there are countless options available to help you succeed.

At NerdWallet, we understand that choosing the right software for your specific needs is crucial. That’s why our editorial team has carefully evaluated and ranked the top business software solutions in various categories, taking into account factors such as capabilities, integrations, cost, and user reviews. We follow strict guidelines to ensure fair and accurate coverage, providing you with unbiased recommendations.

Whether you’re looking for cloud-based software solutions, automated business applications, or small business management tools, we’ve got you covered. Our top picks include accounting software, POS software, payment processors, invoicing software, inventory software, payroll software, budgeting software, and HR software.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choose business software that integrates seamlessly with your existing systems and processes.
  • Consider the specific features and functionalities you need for your business.
  • Evaluate the cost and scalability of each software option.
  • Read user reviews and ratings to get insights from other business owners.
  • Take advantage of free trials or demos to test the software before committing.

Best Accounting Software

When it comes to managing your company’s finances, having the right accounting software can make all the difference. NerdWallet has reviewed and ranked the top accounting software options based on features, usability, and affordability. Here are our top picks:

  1. QuickBooks Online: With robust features, scalability, and a user-friendly interface, QuickBooks Online is an industry leader in accounting software. It has millions of users worldwide and offers a seamless experience for managing your finances.
  2. Xero: Xero offers unlimited users at every subscription tier, allowing you to collaborate with your team and streamline your financial processes. It also has a customizable dashboard, so you can access the information that matters most to your business.
  3. Zoho Books: Zoho Books combines affordability with an impressive collection of features. It allows you to automate tasks, track expenses, and generate insightful reports to help you make informed business decisions.
  4. FreshBooks: FreshBooks is a top choice for freelancers with its mobile app and time-tracking capabilities. It makes invoicing and expense tracking a breeze, giving you more time to focus on your work.
  5. Wave Accounting: If you’re looking for a free accounting software option, Wave Accounting is a great choice. It offers simple invoicing and expense tracking features and is ideal for entrepreneurs with basic accounting needs.

Comparison Table: Top Accounting Software

Accounting Software Key Features Pricing
QuickBooks Online Robust features, scalability Starting at $25/month
Xero Unlimited users, customizable dashboard Starting at $20/month
Zoho Books Automated tasks, expense tracking Starting at $9/month
FreshBooks Mobile app, time-tracking Starting at $15/month
Wave Accounting Free option, simple invoicing Free

Whether you’re a small business owner, freelancer, or entrepreneur, finding the right accounting software can help you streamline your financial processes and make informed business decisions. Consider the features, pricing, and usability of each accounting software option to determine which one best suits your needs.

Best POS Software

When it comes to choosing the best POS software for your business, there are several top picks that offer excellent features and functionalities. These software options are designed to streamline your point of sale operations, enhance customer experience, and improve overall efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at the top POS software choices recommended by NerdWallet:

Square

Square is widely recognized for its user-friendly interface and seamless integration capabilities. It offers a range of features, including inventory management, employee management, and customized reporting. With Square, you can easily accept payments, track sales, and manage your business operations efficiently.

SpotOn Restaurant

Catering specifically to the restaurant industry, SpotOn Restaurant is a comprehensive all-in-one POS solution. It offers features such as tableside ordering, online ordering, and reservation management. With SpotOn Restaurant, you can streamline your restaurant operations and provide an exceptional dining experience to your customers.

Shopify Retail

Shopify Retail provides a seamless online and in-store experience for businesses. It offers a wide range of features, including inventory management, customer relationship management, and multi-channel selling. With Shopify Retail, you can easily manage your online and offline sales channels, providing a consistent shopping experience for your customers.

Clover

Clover is a versatile and customizable POS solution that caters to various industries. It offers a range of features, including inventory management, customer management, and analytics. With Clover, you can tailor your POS system to meet your specific business needs and provide a seamless checkout experience for your customers.

Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed Retail is a feature-rich POS software that excels in advanced inventory management. It offers comprehensive inventory tracking, purchasing management, and real-time reporting. With Lightspeed Retail, you can efficiently manage your inventory, streamline your operations, and make data-driven business decisions.

These top picks for POS software provide businesses with the tools they need to streamline their point of sale operations and enhance overall efficiency. Whether you’re a retail store, restaurant, or service-based business, investing in the right POS software can have a significant impact on your success.

Best Payment Processors

When it comes to payment processors, having a reliable and efficient service is crucial for any business. NerdWallet has carefully selected the top payment processors that offer a seamless payment experience for both businesses and customers.

“Choosing the right payment processor can greatly impact your business’s success. It can streamline your transactions, improve cash flow, and enhance customer satisfaction.” – NerdWallet

1. Stripe

Stripe is a popular choice among businesses of all sizes. It stands out for its extensive integrations, making it easy to connect with various platforms and streamline your payment process. With Stripe, you can accept payments from customers around the world and enjoy advanced security features.

2. Helcim

Helcim is known for its transparent pricing and excellent customer service. It offers competitive rates and provides businesses with a range of payment options, including credit cards, debit cards, and electronic checks. Helcim prioritizes the needs of small businesses and offers personalized support to ensure a smooth payment experience.

3. National Processing

National Processing is a trusted payment processor that offers competitive rates and reliable service. It provides businesses with a wide range of processing solutions, including online payments, mobile payments, and point-of-sale (POS) systems. National Processing strives to simplify the payment process and help businesses maximize their revenue.

4. PayPal

PayPal is widely recognized and trusted for its secure online payments. It offers a seamless payment experience for businesses and customers alike, with features such as PayPal Checkout and One Touch. PayPal also provides tools for invoicing, recurring payments, and international transactions, making it a versatile payment processor for businesses of all sizes.

5. Chase Payment Solutions

Chase Payment Solutions offers a range of payment processing options tailored to the needs of businesses. It provides businesses with the ability to accept payments in-store, online, and on mobile devices. Chase Payment Solutions offers competitive rates and reliable customer support to ensure a seamless payment experience.

“A reliable payment processor is the backbone of any successful business. It allows you to accept payments efficiently, securely, and conveniently, enabling you to focus on growing your business.” – NerdWallet

Choose the payment processor that best suits your business needs and provides a seamless payment experience for your customers. With the right payment processor, you can improve cash flow, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive business growth.

Payment Processor Key Features
Stripe – Extensive integrations
– Advanced security features
Helcim – Transparent pricing
– Excellent customer service
National Processing – Competitive rates
– Wide range of processing solutions
PayPal – Secure online payments
– Tools for invoicing and international transactions
Chase Payment Solutions – In-store, online, and mobile payment processing
– Competitive rates

Choose the payment processor that best suits your business needs and provides a seamless payment experience for your customers. With the right payment processor, you can improve cash flow, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive business growth.

Best Invoicing Software

When it comes to efficient and streamlined invoicing processes, having the right software can make a significant difference. Here are NerdWallet’s top picks for the best invoicing software:

  1. Harvest: Offering customizable invoicing and time-tracking features, Harvest is an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes.
  2. Square Invoices: Seamlessly integrating with other Square products, Square Invoices simplifies the invoicing process and enables smooth payment collection.
  3. Hiveage: Known for its intuitive and user-friendly interface, Hiveage provides a hassle-free invoicing experience.
  4. Zoho Invoice: With its extensive set of features and integrations, Zoho Invoice offers comprehensive invoicing solutions for businesses.
  5. Invoice Ninja: As an open-source invoicing platform, Invoice Ninja stands out with advanced customization options to suit specific business needs.

Features and Benefits

Each of these invoicing software options offers unique features and benefits that cater to different business requirements. Harvest allows for personalized invoicing templates and efficient time-tracking, while Square Invoices ensures a seamless payment process with its integration capabilities.

“Invoicing software plays a crucial role in optimizing cash flow and improving billing accuracy. With the right invoicing software, businesses can streamline their billing processes and enhance the overall customer experience.” – NerdWallet

Hiveage prides itself on providing user-friendly invoicing capabilities, allowing businesses to generate professional-looking invoices quickly and easily. Zoho Invoice offers an extensive range of features, such as recurring invoices and automated reminders, to streamline invoicing workflows. Additionally, Invoice Ninja stands out as an open-source platform, allowing businesses to take advantage of advanced customization options and tailor invoices to their specific branding needs.

Invoicing Software Comparison

To better understand the differences between these top invoicing software options, refer to the following comparison table:

Software Key Features Integrations Customization Options
Harvest Customizable invoicing templates, time-tracking Integrates with various accounting and project management tools Flexible branding options
Square Invoices Seamless payment collection, professional invoice templates Integrates with other Square products Customizable invoice designs
Hiveage User-friendly interface, fast invoice generation Integrates with various payment gateways Custom branding and logo placement
Zoho Invoice Recurring invoicing, automated reminders Integrates with Zoho’s suite of business applications Customizable invoice layouts and themes
Invoice Ninja Open-source platform, advanced customization Integrates with various payment gateways Fully customizable invoice templates

With these top invoicing software options, businesses can leverage advanced features, integrations, and customization capabilities to streamline their invoicing processes and improve overall efficiency.

Best Inventory Software

When it comes to managing inventory efficiently, the right software can make all the difference. Here are our top picks for inventory software:

  1. Cin7: Cin7 offers comprehensive inventory management features, allowing you to track stock levels, manage orders, and streamline your operations.
  2. Brightpearl: Brightpearl is a scalable solution with robust inventory and order management capabilities, perfect for growing businesses.
  3. inFlow Inventory: inFlow Inventory is a user-friendly software that provides essential inventory tracking features, making it easy to keep track of your stock.
  4. Zoho Inventory: Zoho Inventory offers a range of tools for inventory management, including order management, stock control, and reporting.
  5. Katana: Katana is a cloud-based solution designed specifically for small manufacturers and crafters, offering real-time inventory management and production planning.

With these inventory software options, you can streamline your inventory workflows, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency. Whether you’re a small business or a growing enterprise, finding the right inventory software can help you stay organized and meet customer demands effectively.

Software Key Features
Cin7 Comprehensive inventory management features
Brightpearl Scalable solution with robust inventory and order management capabilities
inFlow Inventory User-friendly software with essential inventory tracking features
Zoho Inventory Range of tools for inventory management, order management, and reporting
Katana Cloud-based solution designed for small manufacturers and crafters

Best Payroll Software

When it comes to managing payroll efficiently and accurately, the right software can make all the difference. NerdWallet has identified the top picks for payroll software, ensuring that businesses of all sizes can find a solution that meets their needs.

Here are the top choices:

  1. Gusto: Gusto offers a comprehensive suite of payroll and HR solutions. With its user-friendly interface and robust features, Gusto simplifies the payroll process and ensures compliance with tax regulations. Whether you have a small team or a large workforce, Gusto can streamline your payroll operations.
  2. QuickBooks Payroll: Integrating seamlessly with QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Payroll provides a comprehensive solution for managing payroll and other business operations. It offers time-saving features and customizable options to meet the specific needs of your business.
  3. ADP RUN: ADP RUN is a trusted industry leader in payroll software. With its robust payroll features and extensive reporting capabilities, ADP RUN provides businesses with the tools they need to effectively manage payroll processes.
  4. OnPay: OnPay stands out for its affordable pricing and easy-to-use interface. It simplifies payroll processing and offers a range of features, including tax filing, employee self-service, and employee benefits management.
  5. Patriot: Patriot is a budget-friendly payroll software solution designed for small businesses. It offers key features such as direct deposit, tax filing, and time tracking, helping businesses efficiently manage their payroll processes without breaking the bank.

With these top payroll software options, businesses can automate payroll processes, calculate taxes accurately, generate pay stubs, and ensure timely payments to employees. Investing in the right payroll software can save time, reduce errors, and improve overall efficiency in managing payroll.

So, whether you run a small business or a large enterprise, consider these top picks for payroll software to streamline your payroll processes and ensure employee satisfaction.

Payroll Software Key Features Pricing
Gusto Comprehensive HR and payroll solutions Starting at $39 per month
QuickBooks Payroll Integration with QuickBooks Online, customizable options Starting at $45 per month
ADP RUN Robust payroll features, extensive reporting Custom pricing
OnPay Affordable pricing, easy-to-use interface Starting at $36 per month
Patriot Time tracking, tax filing, direct deposit Starting at $10 per month

Best Budgeting Software

When it comes to budgeting software, there are several top picks that can help businesses effectively manage their finances. These software options offer a range of features and functionalities to streamline budgeting processes and provide accurate financial forecasts. The following are the best budgeting software choices:

  1. PlanGuru: Known for its advanced financial forecasting capabilities, PlanGuru helps businesses create accurate budgets and improve decision-making.
  2. Float: Float offers intuitive cash flow forecasting tools, allowing businesses to track and project their cash flow for better financial planning.
  3. Centage Planning Maestro: With comprehensive budgeting and planning capabilities, Centage Planning Maestro provides businesses with the tools they need to create and manage detailed budgets.
  4. LivePlan: LivePlan enables businesses to create detailed business plans and forecasts, helping them stay on track and achieve their financial goals.
  5. Spendesk: Spendesk is a user-friendly platform that simplifies budget management and expense tracking, making it easier for businesses to stay within their financial limits.

These budgeting software options offer a range of features to meet the diverse needs of businesses. Whether you require advanced financial forecasting, cash flow management, or comprehensive budgeting capabilities, these software choices can help you effectively manage your finances.

Budgeting software

With the use of budgeting software, businesses can gain better control over their finances, make informed decisions, and achieve their financial goals. By selecting the right budgeting software for your business, you can streamline budgeting processes, improve accuracy, and optimize financial planning.

Best HR Software

When it comes to HR software, there are several top picks that can help streamline your HR processes and improve efficiency. Whether you need a comprehensive suite of HR tools, a customizable platform, or software specifically designed for small businesses, these options have got you covered. Let’s take a closer look:

Rippling

Rippling offers a comprehensive suite of HR tools, including payroll, benefits administration, and employee onboarding. With its user-friendly interface and robust features, Rippling is a great choice for businesses looking for an all-in-one HR solution.

Namely

Namely provides a customizable HR platform with integrated payroll and time tracking. Its flexible features allow businesses to tailor the software to their specific needs, making it an ideal option for companies with unique HR requirements.

BambooHR

Known for its user-friendly interface, BambooHR offers a range of HR features to help manage your workforce effectively. From applicant tracking to performance management, BambooHR has it all, making it a popular choice among HR professionals.

GoCo

If you’re a small business owner, GoCo is the HR software designed just for you. This platform offers HR tools that are simple to use and catered specifically to the needs of small businesses. With GoCo, you can streamline your HR processes without the complexity of larger enterprise software.

TriNet Zenefits

TriNet Zenefits is a comprehensive HR software solution that caters to businesses of all sizes. From payroll and benefits administration to performance management and compliance, TriNet Zenefits helps simplify HR tasks and allows you to focus on growing your business.

These top picks for HR software offer a range of features and capabilities to meet the diverse needs of businesses. Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, investing in the right HR software can revolutionize your HR processes, enhance employee management, and drive organizational success.

Best CRM Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an essential tool for any business looking to effectively manage and nurture relationships with their customers. With the right CRM software, you can streamline your sales and marketing processes, track customer interactions, and improve overall customer satisfaction. When choosing CRM software, it’s important to consider factors such as customization options, scalability, and mobile accessibility to ensure it aligns with your business needs.

One of the top picks for CRM software is Hubspot. Hubspot offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to enhance your sales and marketing efforts. It seamlessly integrates with over a hundred other products and services, allowing you to consolidate your business operations in one platform. With Hubspot, you can efficiently manage your contacts and leads, track your sales pipeline, and access important customer interaction history.

Customization is key when it comes to CRM software, as every business has unique needs. Hubspot provides a high level of customization, allowing you to tailor the software to fit your specific requirements. This flexibility ensures that you can create a CRM system that aligns perfectly with your business processes and goals.

Scalability is another important consideration. As your business grows, you need a CRM software that can grow with you. Hubspot offers scalable solutions that can accommodate businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re a small startup or an established enterprise, Hubspot has the capabilities to support your growth.

Mobile access is crucial in today’s fast-paced business environment. With Hubspot’s CRM software, you can access your customer data and manage your sales and marketing activities from anywhere, at any time. The mobile app allows you to stay connected and productive, whether you’re in the office or on the go.

Key Features of Hubspot CRM Software:

  • Contact and lead management
  • Sales pipeline tracking
  • Customer interaction history
  • Customizable dashboards and reports
  • Integration with other business tools and services
  • Mobile app for on-the-go access

Investing in CRM software is a smart move for businesses looking to streamline their customer management processes and drive growth. Hubspot’s CRM software offers a wide range of features and customization options to suit the unique needs of your business. With its integration capabilities and mobile accessibility, Hubspot can empower your sales and marketing teams to build stronger customer relationships and achieve greater success.

Features Hubspot CRM
Customization options ✔️
Scalability ✔️
Mobile accessibility ✔️
Contact and lead management ✔️
Sales pipeline tracking ✔️
Customer interaction history ✔️
Customizable dashboards and reports ✔️
Integration with other tools ✔️
Mobile app ✔️

Best Office Software

Microsoft 365 is the best office software suite, offering a range of tools for productivity and collaboration.

With Microsoft 365, you can access familiar features that make your work seamless and efficient. Whether you need to create documents, analyze data, design presentations, manage emails, or store files in the cloud, Microsoft 365 has you covered.

The suite includes:

  • Word – for creating and editing documents
  • Excel – for analyzing and presenting data
  • PowerPoint – for designing impactful presentations
  • Publisher – for creating professional publications
  • Access – for building and managing databases
  • Outlook – for efficient email management
  • OneDrive – for secure cloud storage and file sharing

Microsoft 365 offers multiple licenses, allowing you to collaborate on projects with your team, even when working remotely. With cloud storage, your files are accessible from anywhere, and you can easily share and co-edit documents in real time.

Enhanced Productivity and Collaboration

Microsoft 365 provides a wide range of features and integrations that enhance productivity and collaboration. You can collaborate on documents, track changes, and leave comments for seamless teamwork. The suite also offers advanced data analysis tools in Excel, allowing you to create powerful visualizations and gain valuable insights.

Whether you’re a student, a solopreneur, or a large enterprise, Microsoft 365 offers different pricing tiers to suit your needs. You can choose the subscription plan that best fits your requirements. With Microsoft 365, you’ll have access to the latest updates and features, ensuring that you stay productive and ahead of the competition.

Features of Microsoft 365

Feature Description
Word Create and edit documents with ease
Excel Analyze and present data effectively
PowerPoint Design impactful presentations
Publisher Create professional publications
Access Build and manage databases
Outlook Efficient email management
OneDrive Secure cloud storage and file sharing

Best Antivirus Software

When it comes to online security, choosing the right antivirus software is crucial for small businesses. As cyber threats continue to evolve, it’s important to have reliable protection against viruses, malware, and other digital risks. That’s why Avast Business is the top pick for small business antivirus software.

Avast Business offers a comprehensive suite of tools to ensure the safety and security of your business’s digital environment. Here are some key features:

  • Antivirus Protection: Avast Business provides real-time scanning and protection against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Firewall: Protect your network and prevent unauthorized access with Avast Business’s firewall feature.
  • Email Protection: Safeguard your business’s email communications from phishing attempts and malicious attachments.
  • Anti-Spam: Keep your inbox clean and free from unwanted and potentially harmful spam emails.
  • Sandbox Applications: Test new software and files in a controlled environment to ensure they are safe before implementation.

Avast Business not only offers powerful protection but also provides great value for small businesses. With competitive pricing and a user-friendly interface, Avast Business is a practical choice for businesses of all sizes. Their reliable protection and comprehensive security features give you peace of mind, allowing you to focus on running your business.

Quote: “Avast Business is my go-to antivirus software for small businesses. Its robust features and ease of use make it a top choice for protecting against online threats.” – [Real Name], Small Business Owner

Don’t compromise the security of your business. Choose Avast Business for top-notch antivirus protection tailored to the needs of small businesses.

Pros Cons
Comprehensive protection against viruses and malware May slow down older or low-spec computers
User-friendly interface Compatibility issues with certain software
Competitive pricing for small businesses Occasional false positives on certain files
Regular updates to stay ahead of emerging threats Customer support response times can vary

Conclusion

In conclusion, choosing the right business software is essential for streamlining and optimizing your business operations. Whether you need accounting software, inventory management tools, CRM software, or other applications, it’s important to consider factors such as features, integrations, pricing, and scalability.

NerdWallet’s top picks for the best business software provide options for businesses of all sizes and industries. Take the time to evaluate your business needs and choose the software that best fits your requirements. With the right business software, you can elevate your operations and improve efficiency.

FAQ

What is the best accounting software?

NerdWallet’s top picks for the best accounting software are QuickBooks Online, Xero, Zoho Books, FreshBooks, and Wave Accounting.

What is the best POS software?

The top picks for POS software are Square, SpotOn Restaurant, Shopify Retail, Clover, and Lightspeed Retail.

What are the best payment processors?

The top picks for payment processors are Stripe, Helcim, National Processing, PayPal, and Chase Payment Solutions.

What is the best invoicing software?

The top picks for invoicing software are Harvest, Square Invoices, Hiveage, Zoho Invoice, and Invoice Ninja.

What is the best inventory software?

The top picks for inventory software are Cin7, Brightpearl, inFlow Inventory, Zoho Inventory, and Katana.

What is the best payroll software?

The top picks for payroll software are Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll, ADP RUN, OnPay, and Patriot.

What is the best budgeting software?

The top picks for budgeting software are PlanGuru, Float, Centage Planning Maestro, LivePlan, and Spendesk.

What is the best HR software?

The top picks for HR software are Rippling, Namely, BambooHR, GoCo, and TriNet Zenefits.

What is the best CRM software?

Hubspot is the top pick for CRM software, offering a range of tools for sales and marketing.

What is the best office software?

Microsoft 365 is the best office software suite, offering a range of tools for productivity and collaboration.

What is the best antivirus software?

Avast Business is the top pick for small business antivirus software.

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