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Announcing the Top Rated Accounting, Tax and Budgeting Software for 2018

Alan Cooke, Researcher at TrustRadius
Alan Cooke
February 12, 2018
Awards, Finance & Accounting

Announcing the Top Rated Accounting, Tax and Budgeting Software for 2018

Today, we awarded the 2018 TrustRadius Top Rated badges for Accounting, Tax and Budgeting Software. The TrustRadius Top Rated awards are unique in that they are an unbiased reflection of customer sentiment, based solely on user satisfaction scores. They are not influenced by analyst opinion, the vendor’s company size, popularity, site traffic, or status as a TrustRadius customer.

Financial accounting and budgeting is a methodology for recording and classifying a firm’s financial transactions, including reporting and analysis of these transactions. Accounting transactions are encompassed by the general ledger, which is a complete record of financial transactions over the life of a company. Accounting software automates transactional record-keeping processes so that transactions can be completed and tracked more efficiently and accurately. Accounting software is primarily back-office software concerned with record maintenance and regulatory compliance. This category of software has been slower to move to the cloud than many other software categories, but SaaS is now becoming the dominant delivery model. Integration, particularly with banks and clearing houses, is increasingly important in eliminating the need for manual data entry.

The following products represent a range of very different product types. Some like QuickBooks Pro are on-premise products, while others like Xero are delivered via the cloud. Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT and Abila MIP are fund management products used primarily by nonprofit organizations. Avalara AvaTax is a tax product, tax being one component of general accounting.

Here are the winners:

Overall Top Rated

QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier

QuickBooks Pro and Premier are both members of the QuickBooks Desktop family of products and are very similar, although there are some functionality differences. For example, Premier has more extensive inventory control capabilities including allowing users to create and track sales orders and current availability, bills of materials for inventory assemblies, etc. Premier also has some forecasting capabilities and takes an accounting journal entry and automatically creates a reversing entry. Both of these products are squarely aimed at small businesses and have very large installed bases.

We use it to manage receivables, payables, general ledger and cash. We generate our monthly financial reporting package and commission statements. Prior to converting to QuickBooks desktop, we had to manually charge inventory items to cost of sales. Now it happens automatically when the customer invoice is produced.”

Michael Hoffman | VP FInance | KOPA Group


Xero is an online accounting product designed primarily for small businesses and competes with on-premises desktop software products. It also has a suite of tools to enable accounting professionals to work closely with their small business clients. Reviewers frequently comment on the excellent interface design, and easy integration with a large number of related products to extend the core functionality. Automated bank feeds is another area of strength.

The automatic bank upload makes bank account management simple. Xero has an almost realtime picture of the bank statement, which makes reconciliations a thing of the past, and makes it a great tool to support tactical decision making.”

Jenny Sutton | Board member | Galileo Platforms Limited

Accounting by Wave

Accounting by Wave is free, cloud-based software for small businesses (fewer than 10 employees). The product supports double-entry bookkeeping, A/R and A/P reporting, invoicing and expense management. Other functionalities are available for a fee, such as payroll and payments. The company monetizes the free software through advertising. Reviewers comment on the fact that the core product is free, and that credit card and bank accounts can be easily connected to the product, eliminating manual data entry.

I’m in awe of this software. I’m a small start up and I’ve gone through at least 10 or 12 other platforms with a Goldilocks effect of ‘This layout is too unimpressive’ or ‘This makes payment too laborious for clients’…until Wave. It’s just right.

Mia Awang | Business Owner | Sabre First Aid Training

Financial Edge NXT

Financial Edge NXT is a cloud accounting solution from Blackbaud that is designed for nonprofit organizations. This fund accounting solution provides a general ledger, projects, grants, endowments, accounts payable and receivable, fixed assets, and banking. Reviewers switching from the previous on-premise product frequently comment on the advantages of a cloud system.

“Bank Reconciliation has streamlined the ability to have real time banking information available in our system without all of the manual calculations needed previously. Having the ability to look up information remotely when away from the office has been a lifesaver several times for fund directors, development officers, and donors.”

– Kathy Carroll | Executive Director |University of Central Arkansas Foundation, Inc.

Avalara AvaTax

Avalara AvaTax helps customers accurately calculate sales and use taxes based on up-to-date tax data. AvaTax provides 580+ integrations with the most commonly-used business applications including ERP, POS, E-commerce, Billing, and CRM, to support quick deployment. Reviewers often praise the product’s ability to keep up to date with tax rate changes and rules and ensure compliance.

“We use AvaTax to automate the calculation of sales tax for all of our sales in both channels of our organization. We ship products throughout the United States; AvaTax makes it possible for us to charge the correct amount of sales tax on thousands of sales transactions across hundreds of tax jurisdictions.”

Eric O’Link | Controller | Nystrom

Abila MIP

Abila MIP is a fund accounting system that includes, procurement, budgeting, payroll, human resources, timekeeping, fixed asset management, grant management, and dashboards. Abila MIP can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or self-hosted. Reviewers most often comment on the comprehensive reporting capability and on the high-quality customer support.

“The one thing I like which is of great importance; I do not call often, but their support department has always solved my problem. They can log in to your system using Citrix. When you call in for an issue you are on hold for a while – but you can leave your phone number for a call back and they have always called me back!”

Brenda Masters | Founder | Collaborating for a Cause


Freshbooks is a cloud-based accounting software targeted specifically to the needs of small, often service-based businesses who do not have advanced accounting needs. Many of the vendor’s customers use the software exclusively for time tracking and invoicing, although the product does include bookkeeping capabilities. Reviewers most often comment on the strong invoicing functionality, along with project time tracking and expense tracking.

Automated invoicing is one of the best features. Whether we have annual or monthly billing, the invoices are created automatically, cutting down on staff and admin time and manual labor.”

Lisa Keyser | Web Designer and Marketing Consultant | LMK Web Design and Consulting

In addition to overall top rated awards, we also recognize tools that are top rated in a specific market segment. Company size is one way to help buyers identify the right solutions for their use case. To qualify for these lists, at least 15% of the product’s reviews and ratings must come from that market segment.

Top Rated by Mid-Size Companies

Top Rated by Small Businesses

Congratulations to the winners of the Top-Rated Accounting, Tax and Budgeting Software Award!

Top Rated Criteria

Products included in the 2018 Top Rated Accounting, Tax and Budgeting Software list must have been in the top tier of their category TrustMap on Jan. 26, 2018, to earn a Top Rated badge. To qualify for the Accounting, Tax and Budgeting Software TrustMap, products must have at least 50 reviews and ratings on TrustRadius. Every reviewer is verified and every review is vetted before publication. Products are plotted on the map based on end-user data, including users’ likelihood to recommend scores as well as buyer research patterns. To learn more about TrustMaps and Top Rated methodology, check out this page.

About the Author

Alan Cooke, Researcher at TrustRadius
Alan Cooke
Alan attended the University College Dublin where he received his BA and MA in English Literature and Philosophy and he received his MBA from HEC Paris. He has held many roles at various companies including Director of Product Management at HP, Dazel, Inquisite, and Convio. His research interests both at work and outside of work include complex, technical topics (ironically).

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