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The Best Accounting Software for Retailers

The Best Accounting Software for Retailers

There are a lot of different accounting software providers out there. And, working out which is the right one for your retail business can sometimes feel like across a minefield.

We’ve listed some of our favourite accounting software options on the market today, what’s good about them, what’s not so good about them, and the price you’ll pay for each of their packages. So, if you’re looking to level up your accounting, you’re in the right place.

Here’s an overview:

Keep your finances in check. With Lightspeed Accounting

Lightspeed Retail integrates with leading accounting software, including Xero, Quickbooks, Sage, and more. Automatically sync bookkeeping data between your point-of-sale and accounting software. Streamline your accounting, reduce manual error, and spend more time running your retail store. Try Lightspeed Retail today.

What is accounting software?

Accounting software enables users to manage and record the financial transactions of their business. This can include revenue management, expense reporting, managing payroll, invoices, submitting VAT returns, and much, much more.

We don’t want to hyperbolise, but in our opinion, they’re absolutely essential for the modern-day retailer. Let’s take a look at some of the best accounting software options available today.

Intuit Quickbooks Online

Intuit Quickbooks Online comes equipped with a host of benefits. For one, it’s available at a relatively low cost (£10 a month for one user) and its wide array of tools are designed for small businesses. Like many accounting software providers, Quickbooks Online is cloud-based, meaning you can log in from your PC, Mac, or mobile device.

Track your income and expenses, accept online payments, send estimates, create invoices, manage bills, run reports, and more. Additionally, Quickbooks has versions specifically for retail businesses.

Pricing: Self-Employed £10/month for one user; Essentials £24/month for three users; Plus £34/month for five users; Advanced £70/month for 25 users.

Why choose Intuit Quickbooks Online?

  • Inventory management: Keep an eye on inventory on hand, which gets automatically updated whenever a product or service is purchased or sold. Get real-time inventory values that are automatically adjusted in your balance sheet and keep track of purchase orders from suppliers.
  • Sales tracking: Track each item you sell both online and in-store. Get daily sales, the creation and sending of invoices and sales receipts.
  • Consolidated financial data: Consolidate and store your financial data in a centralised location that you can access anywhere, anytime. Also, set up permissions so that only the right people have access to that data.


Xero has over two-dozen features for retailers to manage their business. With Xero, you can track cash flow, invoices, and more. You can also link Xero to your bank so that transactions automatically pass through without manual intervention.

Intended for startups and small businesses, Xero is a great option if you need help with quotes, purchase orders, online payments and sales taxes. Xero also seamlessly integrates with your retail point of sale system.

Pricing: Starter £14/month; Standard £28/month; Premium £36/month; Ultimate £70/month

Why choose Xero?

  • Affordable: Starting at just £14/month, Xero is an affordable solution for small retailers.
  • Online invoicing: Xero’s online invoicing tools let customers send merchants their payments quickly. You can also create personalised invoices using their invoice templates and both schedule and automate invoice reminders to customers.
  • Multi-currency capabilities: Xero supports 160 countries, which gives a merchant’s customers the flexibility to pay using their local currency. Xero also automatically takes care of currency conversion in real-time and instantly updates accounting reports to reflect the rates.

Sage50 Cloud

Sage50 Cloud is intended for SMBs and combines the power of a desktop with the convenience of the cloud. Users access the software from their desktop but can store their data on the cloud and access it anytime.

Equipped with core accounting features, tools to automate accounting processes and cash flow, budgeting and invoicing capabilities, Sage50 Cloud subscriptions start at £77 per month.

Pricing: Standard £77/month; Professional £155/month

Why choose Sage50 Cloud?

  • Dashboards: Sage50 Cloud offers a host of useful dashboards where you can get insight on key metrics: receivables, expenses, available cash, revenue trends, sales performance and more.
  • Automatic syncing: Automatically sync your Sage50 Cloud contacts with Microsoft Outlook. This way, you can easily access customer contact information and details like credit limit, balance and order history.
  • Sales-optimised: Accelerate your sales process by instantly transforming quotes and proposals into invoices and sales orders.

Lightspeed Accounting

Lightspeed Accounting is a part of Lightspeed’s all-in-one commerce platform. With it, you can automatically sync bookkeeping information between your accounting software (currently, we support full two-way integrations with Quickbooks, Sage50 Cloud, and Xero), your retail point of sale system and your eCommerce platform.

The result? Sales, payments, discounts and taxes logged in-store or online are automatically pushed to your accounting software and you can trust that you’re looking at 100% accurate financials, all the time. It makes bookkeeping easier.

Bonus: Users can generate financial reports to track revenue and expenses for multiple store locations in real-time.

Pricing: Talk to our team of retail experts for a free consultation.

Why choose Lightspeed Accounting?

  • POS integration: With Lightspeed Accounting, Lightspeed Retail and eCom users can sync their accounting software with their retail point of sale and eCommerce platform so that 100% accurate sales and pricing data is reflected in their bookkeeping and financials.
  • Hands-off nightly sync: Rest assured that you’re always looking at your most up-to-date sales and purchasing data. Have peace of mind knowing that you’re using accurate numbers for your financial planning.


Freshbooks is built to be fast and intuitive for its users; they want to minimise how much time retailers need to spend on their finances. This online accounting app specialises in professional invoice creation, time and expense tracking, project collaboration, online payments, reporting. Like many of the platforms on this list, it’s cloud-based and accessible using any device with an internet connection. A particularly nifty feature of Freshbooks is that it allows customers to pay you with invoices with the system automatically keeping a record of payment.

Pricing: Lite £12/month; Plus £22/month; Premium £35/month; Select, custom pricing.

Why choose Freshbooks?

Save time: Automate many tasks like invoicing, expense tracking and data syncing across all devices. Freshbooks claims to save businesses an average of 16 hours per month.

Quick payments: Since it offers online payment solutions, retailers can receive payments faster.

Zoho Books

Zoho is a solid option for retailers that want to manage their finances and cash flow, accept payments online and create balance sheets. They also offer great customer support.

Pricing: Free £0/month for one user; Standard £12/month for three users; Professional £24/month for five users; Premium £30/month for 10 users, Elite £99/month for 10 users, Ultimate £199/month for 15 users.

Why choose Zoho Books?

Zoho Apps: With Zoho offering their own CRM, Analytics, Expense, Inventory and invoice encryption tools, users have the potential to build their own custom solution.


FreeAgent is a web-based accounting software that’s built for startups, accountants and freelancers. With it, retailers can oversee their financial operations–create and send estimates, manage expenses and invoices, monitor your cash flow and automatically import transactions from your business bank accounts. It also has multi-currency invoicing capabilities and multi-language support.

Since it’s web-based, you can access FreeAgent either by desktop or mobile device.

Pricing: £14.50/per month (for six months), £29/per month (after first six months).

Why choose FreeAgent?

Built-in timesheets: If you have employees, this tool comes in handy for keeping accurate time records for payroll and tax compliance purposes.

Online payments: Accept payments from customers through Stripe, GoCardless, and PayPal. Payments from all major credit card providers are also accepted, as are bank transfers from 80+ countries worldwide.

Which retail accounting software is right for you? 

Whether you choose to use an accounting solution like Quickbooks or you decide to integrate your accounting software with your point of sale system using options like Lightspeed Accounting, what’s important is that your data is accurate, updates automatically, and that you have access to training and support required to use the software properly.

While it may feel tempting to get the cheapest software you can find, accurate accounting, inventory management, and payroll is not something you want to shortchange. Make sure you’re using the right accounting, point of sale, analytics, and reporting systems to put your retail business in the best position to be as profitable as possible.

Want to see how Lightspeed can help your retail business maintain accurate sales, pricing and inventory data, and simplify your accounting? Get in touch with our retail experts today for a free consultation. 

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