TOP 5 ACCOUNTING/BOOKKEEPING SOFTWARE IN KENYA, 2023 | Audit and Accounting Firm in Kenya
Top Cloud Accounting Software for SMEs

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, accounting software have become an essential tool for businesses of all sizes in Kenya SMEs included. These software solutions not only streamline financial processes but also enable better financial management, compliance with tax regulations, and enhanced decision-making. With several options available, it can be challenging to choose the best accounting software for your business. In this blog, we’ll explore the top five accounting software solutions in Kenya.


Xero is a cloud-based accounting software that has gained popularity in Kenya due to its scalability and real-time collaboration features. It is particularly well-suited for small businesses (SMEs) and startups. Xero offers tools for invoicing, bank reconciliation, and expense tracking. It also integrates with various third-party apps and services, making it adaptable to specific business needs. Being a cloud-based solution, it provides accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection. Here are some of the pros.


  1. User-Friendly Interface: Xero has an intuitive and user-friendly interface that makes it easy for business owners and accountants to navigate the software.
  2. Multi-Currency Support: Xero supports multiple currencies, making it suitable for businesses that operate internationally or deal with foreign currencies.
  3. Accessibility: Being a cloud-based platform, Xero allows users to access their financial data from anywhere with an internet connection, making it convenient for businesses of all sizes.
  4. Reporting and Analytics: The software provides a variety of customizable reports and financial analytics tools to help businesses make informed decisions.
  5. Integration: Xero offers a wide range of integrations with other software applications, such as CRM, e-commerce, and payroll systems, to streamline various aspects of business operations.
  6. Support and Training: Xero provides a range of support options, including a knowledge base, community forums, and customer support to help users troubleshoot issues and learn how to use the software effectively.
  7. Mobile Apps: Xero offers mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices, allowing users to manage their finances on the go.
  8. Invoicing and Billing: Users can create professional-looking invoices, automate invoice reminders, and easily track payments from clients.
  9. Bank Reconciliation: Xero offers automated bank reconciliation, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. It can connect to many banks and financial institutions to import transaction data.
  10. Automatic Updates: Xero regularly updates its software to add new features and improve existing ones, ensuring that users have access to the latest tools and technologies.
  11. Security: Xero places a strong emphasis on data security and uses encryption and secure data centers to protect your financial information.
  12. Cost-Effective: Xero offers different pricing plans to suit various business needs, and it can often be more cost-effective than traditional accounting software, particularly for small businesses.
  13. Payroll Management: Xero offers built-in payroll management or integrates with third-party payroll services, making it easy to manage employee salaries and taxes.


QuickBooks has become a popular accounting software adapted by businesses of all sizes, ranging from SMEs to Large-scale businesses. Like any software, it carries the weight of pros and cons. Here are a few:


  1. User-Friendly Interface: QuickBooks makes accessibility to individuals with limited accounting knowledge easier and thus friendly to maneuver through it.
  2. Data Security: QuickBooks heavily invests in security measures that protects financial data including data encryption and regular backups.
  3. Comprehensive Financial Management: It offers a wide range of accounting and financial management features, including invoicing, expense tracking, payroll processing, and financial reporting.
  4. Integration Capabilities: It has the ability to integrate with third-party applications, such as e-commerce platforms, CRM systems and payment processors, to streamline business operations.
  5. Scalability: QuickBooks is versatile in that it offers different versions such as QuickBooks online, QuickBooks Desktop etc. that contain varying features allowing for upgrade as your business grows.


  1. Limited Customization: it may lack specialized features to cater for accounting needs of businesses specializing in certain industries, forcing them to work in conjunction with other software.
  2. Learning Curve: In case of those who lack prior experience in accounting, they need to have a learning curve while working with QuickBooks.
  3. Dependency on internet: This can be a drawback in areas with unreliable connectivity.
  4. Cost: Despite the various pricing plans, some businesses may find the software to be expensive especially when upgrading to advanced features.


Zoho Books is an accounting software designs to handle the financial data for small and medium-sized businesses. Here are the key advantages and disadvantages of using Zoho Books:


  1. Affordability: Businesses with different budgets constraints can afford to use Zoho Books as it offers a range of pricing plan.
  2. Multi- Currency support: It is able to support multiple currencies thus beneficial for businesses that operate internationally.
  3. Customization: It supports customization of invoices, reports and other financial documents to march their branding needs.
  4. Mobile Access: Zoho Books offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, allowing users to manage their finances on the go.


  1. Payroll Limitations: The payroll functionality is not as robust as some dedicated payroll software, which could be a drawback for businesses with complex payroll needs.
  2. Limited Features for Complex businesses: Zoho may lack advanced features needed by larger or more complex organizations.
  3. Offline Access: As it is cloud based, Zoho Books requires an internet connection thus limits usage in areas of poor connectivity.
  4. Data Export: There have been reported difficulties in exporting of data from Zoho Books thus a concern if one is planning to switch to a different software.


Sage Pastel is another popular accounting software in Kenya. It provides various accounting and business management tools for different business sizes, from small businesses to larger enterprises.


  1. Comprehensive Accounting Features: Sage Pastel offers a wide range of accounting features, making it suitable for various business types and sizes. It includes modules for general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory management, and more.
  2. User-Friendly Interface: Many users find Sage Pastel to have an intuitive and user-friendly interface. It’s designed to be accessible to individuals with varying levels of accounting knowledge.
  3. Customization: Sage Pastel allows users to customize the software to meet their specific business needs. You can tailor the chart of accounts, reporting, and other features to match your business structure.
  4. Multi-Currency Support: If your business deals with multiple currencies, Sage Pastel offers support for handling transactions and accounts in different currencies.


  1. Mac Compatibility: Sage Pastel is primarily designed for Windows, which can be a drawback if your business uses Mac computers.
  2. Support and Updates: The quality of customer support and the frequency of software updates can vary by region and the specific version of Sage Pastel you are using. Some users have reported issues with support responsiveness.
  3. Limited Cloud Features: Cloud options are more limited compared to some other cloud-based accounting software, which might be a drawback if you prefer cloud-based accessibility.


FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting and invoicing software designed for small businesses and freelancers. Here are some of the pros and cons of using FreshBooks.


  1. User-Friendly Interface: FreshBooks is known for its intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy for people without extensive accounting knowledge to use the software effectively.
  2. Invoicing: FreshBooks offers robust invoicing features, allowing you to create professional invoices and send them to clients. You can also set up recurring invoices for subscription-based services.
  3. Expense Tracking: You can easily track and categorize your expenses in FreshBooks, which helps with financial record-keeping and tax preparation.
  4. Time Tracking: FreshBooks includes time tracking features, which are useful for businesses that bill clients based on hours worked. It can also help you manage project timelines and employee productivity.
  5. Reporting: FreshBooks offers a variety of financial reports, including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and tax summaries, which can be valuable for business analysis and tax filing.
  6. Integrations: FreshBooks integrates with a wide range of third-party applications and services, including payment processors, e-commerce platforms, and customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
  7. Mobile App: FreshBooks provides a mobile app that allows you to manage your finances and track expenses on the go.
  8. Customer Support: FreshBooks offers customer support through various channels, including email and phone, which can be helpful when you need assistance.


  1. Limited Accounting Features: While FreshBooks is suitable for basic accounting needs, it may not be sufficient for businesses with complex accounting requirements. It lacks advanced features found in full-fledged accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero.
  2. Pricing: FreshBooks can be relatively expensive for small businesses, especially when compared to some of its competitors. Pricing plans are subscription-based and may not fit every budget.
  3. Limited Inventory Management: FreshBooks lacks robust inventory management features, which could be a limitation for businesses that need to track and manage inventory.

Selecting the right accounting software is a crucial decision for businesses in Kenya, as it can greatly impact financial efficiency and compliance. The top five accounting software solutions mentioned in this blog – QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks, ZohoBooks and Sage 50 – cater to various business needs, making it essential to evaluate your business’s specific requirements and budget before making a choice. Remember that software adoption should align with your long-term financial goals and facilitate compliance with local tax regulations in Kenya.

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