Best accounting software for your business

For small and medium businesses to run effectively and remain in the black, owners often have to take on a double role of owner and bookkeeper.

Those who have grown to the scale of needing a dedicated bookkeeper still require a good accounting package to make it easy to hand off data to tax accountants and auditors.

Some of the best cloud accounting software providers include Sage Pastel, Xero, and Quickbooks, and each offers various solutions depending on a business’s needs.

The benefits of cloud accounting software include cost savings, data security, automation of invoicing, and bank connectivity to pull transactions directly from a linked account.

We have listed and briefly described some of the best accounting software providers available to South African businesses.

Sage Pastel

Sage’s cloud accounting software is ideal for small and medium businesses and offers a range of solutions depending on a customer’s needs.

The company offers monthly and annual subscriptions, with its payroll solution being sold separately from its standard accounting products.

Its accounting plans range from R185 to R520 a month or R2,220 to R6,420 a year, depending on the number of users the business needs to access the platform.

Sage Pastel offers a maximum of five users per subscription.

It should be noted that Sage Pastel also offers a bundled subscription that includes accounting and payroll solutions.

The Accounting Standard and Payroll bundle is an annual subscription and costs R3,825.

Sage Pastel’s accounting and payroll features include:

  • Invoice generation and sending;
  • Inventory management;
  • Bank connectivity;
  • VAT submissions;
  • Mobile apps; and
  • Budgeting and forecasting.


Quickbooks’ online accounting software is aimed at small businesses and has more than 4.5 million subscribers worldwide.

The Intuit-owned company offers monthly and annual plans with prices starting from R253 a month or R2,732.40 a year.

Quickbooks provides customers access to its cloud platform and mobile apps, meaning they can pick up where they left off on desktop and mobile devices without losing any work.

Other features of Quickbooks include:

  • Free support;
  • Secure cloud storage;
  • Access for accountants;
  • Reporting and dashboards; and
  • Unlimited invoices on any subscription.

It also provides bank connectivity, expense and VAT tracking, and inventory management features.


Xero is a cloud accounting software solution for various business sizes and boasts a subscriber base of over 3.5 million businesses, accountants, and bookkeepers.

The company offers three different subscriptions — Starter, Standard, and Premium —  for which subscribers are charged monthly.

Regarding pricing, the Starter, Standard, and Premium plans cost R396.75, R638.25, and R868.25 per month, respectively.

It should be noted that Xero’s Starter plan is somewhat limited, allowing subscribers to load a maximum of five bills and send 20 invoices per month.

Xero is offering a 50% discount for three months for businesses and people who join before 16 December 2022.

Customers can opt to add features like expense claims, project tracking, and advanced analytics for an added monthly fee.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is online accounting software that offers services for various business sizes.

It has yearly and monthly plans, with the annual packages providing a discounted rate. Its yearly plan prices range from no charge for its Free package to R24,900 a year for its top-tier Elite plan.

Each plan builds on the previous tier by adding additional features and allowing more users to access the platform.

For reference, its Free package only allows one user and one account to access the platform, while its Ultimate plan lets the business add up to 15 users.

Notable features include:

  • Invoicing;
  • Estimates;
  • Expense management;
  • Banking integration;
  • Project tracking;
  • Inventory tracking; and
  • Sales and purchase orders.


SMEasy requires one licence per business and allows unlimited users on a single subscription.

The package costs R150 per month or R1,650 annually and includes payroll features and free support.

SMEasy’s payroll feature includes the following:

  • Capturing and storage of all staff information;
  • Payslips with your company’s logo;
  • Monthly salary schedule showing all salaries and tax due; and
  • IRP5 information.

SMEasy also provides money management features, including quote and invoice generation, price list creation for quotes and invoicing, and bank statement imports.

It claims to provide simple supplier and customer information and VAT reports for owners’ e-filing. SMEasy also builds a cash flow template for budgeting and forecasting.

SME South Africa describes SMEasy as one of the more affordable options in the business accounting software space.

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Best accounting software for your business