Top 10 Excel alternatives in 2024

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Updated on:
December 14, 2022
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Quiz: What is the best Excel alternative for your business?

Answer the following questions to assess which Excel alternative is best for your business.

    QuickBooks vs Excel: Is it worth upgrading in 2024?


    Intuit QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel are both good options for small business financial management. Both tools track historical data and generate financial statements, but Excel spreadsheets become challenging to manage as your business grows. Unlike Excel, QuickBooks provides features expected in modern accounting software. Tools like automated expense tracking and projection tools make Quickbooks online a better option than MS Excel. Still, QuickBooks’ complicated financial system may prove difficult to manage for some small business owners.

    What is Quickbooks?

    Intuit QuickBooks is modern accounting software providing small businesses with dedicated tools to maintain financial records. QuickBooks links with bank accounts to automate financial data, providing accurate financial reports without manual labor. QuickBooks is best suited to growing small to large businesses that need full-fledged bookkeeping software. QuickBooks can be very expensive for freelancers and self-employed professionals, depending on the features and tools required.


    What is Excel?

    Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet-based program requiring manual data entry to track transactions and manage business finances. Excel is part of every Microsoft subscription, and there are plenty of tutorials available online. However, spreadsheet software is limited and can only manage a company’s finances. Excel is best suited for self-employed and small businesses unafraid of the manual labor required.


    QuickBooks vs. Excel: Managing your finances as a freelancer or self-employed business owner

    Bonsai is the best accounting software for freelancers and self-employed business owners.

    Business accounting requires more than an Excel spreadsheet, though QuickBooks is often confusing and requires significant time for small business owners to master. Bonsai is modern accounting software designed for freelancers and small businesses who want QuickBooks' core functions in a user-friendly interface.

    As a bonus, Bonsai provides additional features to enable freelancers and small business owners to grow their businesses. Bonsai generates proposals, contracts, and invoices that help increase cash flow, manage accounts receivable, and seamlessly integrate with the built-in accounting software. QuickBooks and Excel are good accounting tools but cannot compete with Bonsai's features.

    Accounting software requires accurate financial data

    Excel requires manual entry of all data. On the one hand, that ensures accuracy by requiring diligent attention to detail. On the other hand, broken formulas or misplaced data can derail the entire accounting software, compromising the entire accounting process. Both QuickBooks and Bonsai connect to bank accounts for automatic importing of current and historical data. Automated software ensures you can quickly identify financial trends and better business planning. Excel makes accuracy more difficult, whereas QuickBooks eliminates the need to manually input data into the accounting software. 

    Accounting software should value your time

    Time is really important when it comes to an accounting program. QuickBooks may have automated transactions, but it is complicated software requiring a lot of dedicated time to learn. Excel and other spreadsheet-based programs are easier to understand but require a significant amount of time to enter transactions and build forecast reports. Business owners need to consider the time value cost when choosing a system. Bonsai provides the best of both worlds by being easy to learn and automating data import. 

    Accounting software should make taxes easy

    Excel is only as powerful as the reports and formulas you generate. You must be sure of the categories to include and the reports necessary to estimate taxes. Both QuickBooks and Bonsai make tax time a lot easier to understand. Automatically tracking and categorizing expenses help generate quarterly reports and tax estimates with the push of a button. Plus, QuickBooks and Bonsai both provide secure accountant access. This way, you can give a tax preparer access to your accounting information without having to send an entire Excel spreadsheet through email.

    Bonsai is the best accounting software for freelancers

    Bonsai provides all of the features needed in accounting software. QuickBooks and Excel are both good options for freelancers, but Bonsai is explicitly built with freelancers in mind. Like other financial apps, Bonsai provides the tools to manage cash flow, generate a balance sheet and income statements, while adding bonus features like accepting online payments and creating contracts designed for business growth. While QuickBooks vs. Excel only focuses on accounting, Bonsai offers freelancers all the accounting tools needed to compete in the business world and unique features to avoid legal complications. 

    Freelancers from all industries use and trust Bonsai

    Bonsai is designed with freelancers in mind. Whether you are a writer, a graphic designer, a model, a website builder, or something else, Bonsai provides the tools you need to manage cash flow, capture sales, track bills, and build an audit trail that’s ready for tax season. Bonsai leaves inconsistent spreadsheets and lost files behind with automated transactions so you can manage income and interpret data without learning a complicated system. Plus, Bonsai provides invoice templates and collects payments so you can capture accounts payable and manage sales all in your own process.

    Bonsai is the best accounting tool for freelancers and self-employed workers

    Intuit QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel are both good options for small business financial management. They both provide opportunities to manage your business's income and expenses and generate reports to understand your business performance.

    However, QuickBooks can be difficult to learn and very expensive depending on the features you need. Excel is cost-effective but limited in features due to its spreadsheet format.

    Bonsai is the best accounting software for freelancers because it provides automated accounting solutions while offering features missing in QuickBooks and Excel. Bonsai gives freelancers and self-employed workers tools to grow and manage their entire business, not just their finances.

    Modern accounting software

    Bonsai offers automatic import and categorization for all financial transactions. This way, you can focus on growing your business and not how to assign expenses for tax advantage. Plus, customers scan receipts and add them directly to transactions in Bonsai, so you’re never wondering what that transaction was for. If you’re using Excel spreadsheets effectively and are looking for more features, or if you’re using QuickBooks and looking for something easier to use, Bonsai is built for you.

    Client and project management

    Bonsai gives you everything necessary to track clients and projects in one convenient place. Need to lookup an email address or review a contract? It’s all in Bonsai. Maintain accurate client files in the same tool you maintain precise accounting information. It’s a win-win for freelancers!

    Proposals and legally-binding contracts

    Trusted by over 500,000 freelancers around the world, Bonsai’s proposals and legally-vetted contracts ensure your business operates safely, and your interests are protected. Bonsai’s legally-binding digital signature finalizes contracts without expensive lawyers.

    Invoices and online payments

    When it’s time to get paid, Bonsai generates and sends invoices giving clients options to pay online. If a client needs a reminder, Bonsai automates the process for you. Bonsai helps you get paid quickly and without the hassle of following up on unpaid invoices.


    Elevate your freelance business with Bonsai’s all-in-one tool

    Bonsai saves you time by providing professional accounting and business management tools.

    Managing accounts and generating financial reports are crucial parts of freelancer and self-employed professionals’ work, but it’s only part of overall business administration. Bonsai combines all of the tools necessary to run your business in one convenient place.

    Bonsai’s high-quality, user-friendly, all-in-one business management system is designed with you in mind. We made everything easy so you can immediately start working without spending considerable time learning software. Plus, Bonsai offers all the accounting tools you expect with the added benefit of other client management tools.

    Bonsai is the business tool every freelancer needs.

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