The Best Accounting Software for Canadian Small Business

As experts in online accounting software for small businesses in Canada, we are continuously reviewing those available. Our current list of preferred choices is listed below.

Greg Lam (@gregalam, has posted a  series of very comprehensive reviews of accounting software on which we have found to be a quality "go-to" source in comparing the main solutions available currently. Last year he did a comprehensive review of the choices. You can see the results at Final Recommendations. Sleeter also keeps a blog on Cloud Accounting which keeps things very up to date on this important small business tools topic.

Suffice it to say, the current world of accounting solutions is confusing, many purport to be accounting systems, when really all they are is just an app. Our crtiteria for small to mid-sized businesses is simple, a solution today must first be a fully functional accounting system. In addition, it needs to have excellent reporting capabilities, and be extensible, both by connection to apps, but more importantly to quality marketing and sales tools. All businesses, big and small, are in a competitive world, and the business owner's toolbox has to be complete.

Xero Certified Advisor Canada

We are proud to be one of the first Xero Certified Advisors in Canada. It is as they say "beautiful accounting software". As we did in the '90's with Quickbooks, we've researched intensively which solution(s) is(are) destined to be at the forefront of tomorrow's cloud-based systems, and XERO has come out as the clear winner. It is very user friendly, built for the small business owner, and having been born in the cloud, outscores its rival Quickbooks Online in access to add-on apps, functionality and time-saving features.

Want to get started with Xero?          Get started with Xero


Intuit ProAdvisorThat said, we were one of the first to adopt Intuit as the defacto winner in the small business race 20 years ago with its systems that ultimately became the market leader Quickbooks. As Quickbooks Pro-Advisors, we continue to accomodate its use, but highly recommend that all small business owners start moving the the online cloud based version (click here to see the online version of QuickBooks).

On September 23, 2013, Intuit announced that it is offering a completely re-tooled version of QuickBooks Online (coined - "Harmony" now referred to as QBO), available to new subscribers now, but for some reason, to current subscribers in 2014. We can only speculate that the timing of this press release is to stave off competitive pressures and marQuickBooks Online Free Offerket share creep from credible alternatives like Xero.

With a bold competitive move, on October 21, 2013, Intuit announced that it is offering young companies a free subscription to QBO for ONE YEAR. Details are HERE --->

As "current users" of QuickBooks Online, and ProAdvisors, we are slightly offended that we get second billing to new subscribers. However, we are keeping on top of its progress, functionality, ease of use, and of course its customization and reporting capabilities. Our resident expert in QuickBooks is Charlie Russell, who is keeping on top of the new QuickBooks at QBOnline - Harmony. We suspect that Intuit is relying on its sticky customer base to be patient while they re-tool to meet new competitive demands.

As well, data from the server-based Canadian version unfortunately can't be exported (yet), so that's a bit of a hindrance, as all the Apps that are being built for the online version are what will keep Quickbooks competitive with Xero.


QBO accounting software for small business in Canada

We wanted to keep a chronology of QBO's progress in Canada. Here's a list of latest important updates and announcements:




  • March 2014:
    • QBO announces that:
      • Subscription to QBO by current desktop users now available; and
      • You can now convert your desktop data to QBO in Canada;
  • June 2014:
    • QBO extends its "Canadian payroll for free" offer scheduled to expire July 2014 into perpetuity.

Now we have a real competitive dogfight happening here in Canada which can only bode well for the future for Canadian small businesses in terms of pricing and features. The Cloud is here to stay, and we're in the middle of it all, as you can see from our various articles in our Blog on this topic.

Want to get started with QB Online?        Get started with QB Online