What are the best online accounting programs

Bookkeeping with Online Tools: Comparing Good Bookkeeping Programs in the Cloud | Overview 2021

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Every company has to keep accounts, has to keep an eye on and calculate its finances. So every company also needs accounting software. Bookkeeping programs in the cloud are particularly popular - you don't need software on the stationary computer here, you work directly on the Internet. The main advantage: The administration can be reached from anywhere.

our recommendation

Further advantages: There are no acquisition costs for accounting software, but a monthly fee is charged, access is possible from any computer and even from tablets and smartphones and the data does not need to be backed up separately. In addition, more and more providers are working with AI software, for example not only to scan and read your documents but also to assign them to your documents. The service from BuchhaltungButler, which we therefore gladly recommend, does this particularly well.

We recommend another cloud provider especially for those who want very simple accounting. Papierkram.de is about implementing bookkeeping with the least amount of effort and thus resistance. Here you register for the free version.

But: In terms of actual data security, cloud services will certainly get some stomach ache and think of data scandals. It is therefore worthwhile to look here for security and certification of the providers. Here are some providers of cloud-based accounting programs that you should take a look at - our overview for 2021:

sevDesk - accounting program for invoices, customer management & Co.

sevDesk is the simple office for the self-employed and small companies. Write invoices and offers, record receipts and manage customers in next to no time. This leaves more time for the essentials and still keeps an eye on all the important figures and changes.

“We don't just want to offer software, we want to offer a service. Our principle is that we want every customer to use sevDesk as pleasant and carefree as possible. So every entrepreneur can concentrate on the things that he is really good at. "

Fabian Silberer (Managing Director sevDesk)

Special features

sevDesk is not just a simple cloud software, but a platform for every entrepreneur. With the postal interface, sending e-mails, automatic bank reconciliation or the integrated advance VAT return, many everyday tasks can be completed with just one click of the mouse. Should a question arise, even on general business questions, the support was able to help.

sevDesk is GoBD certified. Compliance with the “principles for the proper management and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form as well as for data access” ensures that the bookkeeping is complete, error-free and seamless.

The mobile office sevDesk was specially developed for the needs of small companies and is clearly positioned with excellent customer service. Installation, data backup or updates are not necessary with sevDesk. The sevDesk servers are located in the TÜV-certified data center of Host-Europe in Cologne and are equipped with the most important encryption standards and security precautions.

Special offers for start-ups

SevDesk offers a special tariff for start-ups (the first 6 months for 50 percent). To do this, simply send an email with proof of the start-up (trade license, entry in the commercial register, etc.) to [email protected]


  • sevDesk invoice (from € 7.90 per month / 12 months) includes invoices, offers and customer management, own stationery, postal interface, 1 user
  • sevDesk accounting (from € 15.90 per month / 12 months) includes invoices, automated document recognition & classification, offers and customer management, advance VAT return, EÜR, automatic bank reconciliation, cost centers, own stationery, postal interface, 3 users
  • sevDesk merchandise management (from € 43.00 per month / 12 months) includes invoices, automated document recognition & classification, offers and customer management, advance VAT return, EÜR, automatic bank reconciliation, cost centers, own stationery, postal interface, warehouse management, stocks, price maintenance, 10 users
  • If you take out a 2-year subscription, the monthly prices are cheaper


Try sevDesk now for free!

Sage 50 Cloud (Sage Business Cloud / formerly Sage One): Bookkeeping online for the self-employed and startups

Sage's accounting program is aimed at self-employed people, small businesses and startups who have little or no previous knowledge of accounting, order processing, ordering and the like. The cloud-based online solution helps you to cover the entire company management with one software. Particularly noteworthy about Sage is the integrated online banking, which enables incoming and outgoing payments to be booked via bank data comparison.

Special features

Good overview with the help of the dashboard and the statistics. Sage 50 Cloud Accounting also simplifies all tax-relevant evaluations, such as P&L, balance sheet, DATEV and advance VAT returns via Elster.

Special offers for start-ups

As for all users, there is the possibility to test Sage 50 Cloud Accounting for 14 days without obligation (no automatic renewal).


From 19.90 euros plus VAT per month


Try Sage 50 Cloud now!

Lexoffice Order & Finance

lexoffice is a crowdsourcing success story: the accounting solution was developed together with 800 entrepreneurs. Thanks to the feedback functions in the application itself, all customers continue to have the opportunity to actively influence what is happening and to vote on new additional features. In addition, www.lexoffice.de acts as a comprehensive information and partner portal for founders, small businesses and tax advisors with valuable services, templates and free tools as well as the Lexware pay card payment solution.

“Order & Finances was based on the different wishes and requirements of our customers. This means that small businesses and start-ups who want to deal more intensively with the topic of bookkeeping now have many more extensive options. "

Isabel Blank (Managing Director at Haufe-Lexware GmbH & Co. KG)

Special features

  • Cash book (recording of cash receipts and payments, as well as receipts)
  • Determine sales tax payable for sales tax advance notification
  • List of open items (open incoming and outgoing invoices)
  • Financial planning and forecast
  • Unlimited number of users
  • Unlimited number of bank accounts

Special offers for start-ups

The lexoffice platform offers information, templates and free tools for start-ups in the website's service center


  • Interested parties can test the invoicing and accounting program for 30 days free of charge. The test period ends automatically - there is no transition to a subscription.
  • “Order & Finances” is available for 9.90 euros per month and can be canceled at any time without a minimum contract period.


BuchhaltungButler - manage receipts digitally

BuchhaltungButler automates financial accounting. The application recognizes receipts, automatically sorts them for account transactions and generates booking suggestions that only need to be confirmed by the user. In this way, the bookkeeping runs almost on the side with almost no effort.

“Our focus is entirely on the automation of the processes. Most people pile up their receipts over the month and pay their accountant or accountant to sort and book them. With BuchhaltungButler you can continue to stack, because our technology does the sorting and pre-accounting. "

Maximilian Zielosko (founder of BuchhaltungsButler)

Special features

  • Receipt recognition
    Receipts are read out using OCR, recognized and automatically sorted for the associated account transaction.
  • Automatic account assignment
    The application generates booking proposals that only need to be confirmed. Business transactions that have not been recognized can be accounted for using keywords (e.g. "refueling").
  • Document archive with full text search
    Using the full text search of the document archive, every document can be found on the invoice using any keyword in seconds.
  • Invoicing
    With just a few clicks, invoices can be created with your own logo and colors. When payment is received, the invoice is automatically marked as "paid".
  • Online banking
    Almost 3,000 banks, various credit cards and wallets such as PayPal can be integrated into Accounting Butler.
  • VAT advance notification
    BuchhaltungButler calculates all values ​​for the sales tax advance notification with Elster.
  • Data export / tax advisor
    The data can be exported in DATEV-compliant format and imported into any control software.
  • PayPal accounting
    PayPal transactions can be booked automatically, including automatic delimitation of fees.

Special offers for startups and founders

  • One month of personal care
  • Setting up the application
  • Clarification of accounting-related issues


  • Small businesses for 19.95 euros per month
  • Medium-sized companies for 29.95 euros per month
  • Larger companies: 44.95 euros per month

A termination is possible at any time.


Papierkram.de - accounting for everyone

Instead of many independent tools, paperwork offers a useful combination of the most important accounting functions for self-employed and small and medium-sized companies in one package. Due to the simple interface, which has been reduced to the most important functions, paperwork is aimed at people who actually do not want to deal with accounting. Paperwork is accounting for normal people, so no accountants;)

With paperwork, customer data, offers, invoices, receipts, projects and time recording can be conveniently managed. And finally, you can conveniently have your EÜR and UStVA created using the program. With the free version you can already work productively.

“We have been working in the field of web development for many years and even after a long search we did not find a tool that met our requirements. Usually, offers have to be written in projects, tasks have to be processed in projects, project budgets have to be kept in mind, times recorded and invoices written. Since no tool we tested followed this logic, we decided to develop one ourselves. This then resulted in paperwork. "

Dr. Michael Kaiser (founder and managing director)

Special features

  • The free version can be used permanently for free
  • Time recording has already been integrated into paperwork. An additional time recording tool is no longer necessary.
  • Due to the clear design and the simple interface, paperwork is also suitable for people without prior accounting knowledge
  • The logic in paperwork follows the usual processes in projects by self-employed and agencies

Special offers for startups and founders

Papierkram offers a free version that can be used permanently free of charge and that can map the common accounting processes of most self-employed and small agencies. This means that there are no costs for bookkeeping at first.


  • Free: The free version is permanently free and the range of functions is sufficient for many self-employed people.
  • Pro: From € 4 / month
  • Pro +: From € 8 / month
  • Team: From € 20 / month
  • Business: From € 40 / month


Register now for the free version

Debitoor - bookkeeping made easy for freelancers and founders

Debitoor is an extremely simple billing and bookkeeping program in the cloud that targets small business owners, founders and freelancers. Debitoor is software that - based on user feedback - is constantly being further developed.

“My vision is to develop the simplest invoicing and bookkeeping program ever. It is much more difficult to keep a program simple than to give in to the pressure to keep developing new features. But that is exactly what distinguishes an average program from a really good program - less is more. "

Christopher Plantener (Business Director and Founder of Debitoor)

Special features

  • Automatic bank reconciliation of payments
  • Tax advisor access for easy collaboration with the tax advisor
  • DATEV export

Special offers for start-ups

  • Google Hangouts with experts
  • Videos in which all possible user questions are specifically answered, here is more.
  • Free online support and feedback form
  • Video testimonials: We are not only close to the founder, but also to the founders


  • XS: € 4.00 per month (annual subscription). 100 invoices / expenses including basic invoicing functions
  • S: € 8.00 per month (annual subscription). 400 invoices / expenses, plus invoice designer, offer preparation and limited accounting functions
  • M: € 12.00 per month (annual subscription). 800 invoices / expenses, with all important accounting functions such as banking, advance VAT return and balance sheet
  • L: € 24.00 per month (annual subscription), unlimited bills / expenses with full functionality like Plan M


You can find out more about Debitoor here.

CashCtrl - accounting tool from Switzerland

CashCtrl is online business management and accounting for SMEs, trustees and the self-employed. Data is in the cloud (server location Switzerland), invoices can be created with your own templates and logos. CashCtrl supports key commands, it is platform independent and now has 15,000 users. A large part of the functions is made available free of charge and without restrictions. There is also the PRO version, which has order processing, mail dispatch and is multi-client capable.

We love order, it is visible everywhere - in the CashCtrl surface, the usability and the communication.

Raphael Amport, Managing Director CashCtrl

Special features

  • Permanently free version available
  • Financial accounting (FIBU)
  • Invoices, offers, delivery notes, etc.
  • QR-bill Switzerland and EU GiroCode
  • Contact and address management
  • Article and asset management
  • Interactive reports with graphics
  • Import of bank movements as camt.052 / camt.053 / camt.054, MT940 and Zip files according to ISO 20022
  • Use foreign currencies
  • Multi-tenant
  • API

Special offers for startups and founders

Permanently free, unrestricted version available


  • CashCtrl FREE
  • CashCtrl PRO 290.00 euros per year



mein-tagwerk - simply freelance

Do it yourself online accounting - Complete solution for freelancers and founders with a central project focus.

“We are the economic basis for all freelance project work, everything important in one place. Our users reward us with their high customer loyalty. "

Gerald Moll (founder)

Special features

  • Favorable tax consultant fees through our own network
  • Digital advance tax return via ELSTER
  • Own EÜR as EXCEL or PDF export
  • Lean travel expense accounting
  • Easy invoicing for projects

Special offers for start-ups

  • Create a personal business plan on an annual basis.
  • Calculate the individual fee using the hourly rate calculator.
  • Work in a team.


  • Try it for free
  • Packages from 7.50 euros per month


Here you can find the offers from “mein tagwerk”.

Kontolino! with an extra start-up kitchen voucher

Kontolino! is an accounting software for sole proprietorships, partnerships and freelancers. With the help of numerous assistants and sample business cases, the management of the books can be mastered quickly and easily, even for beginners and laypeople. In doing so, Kontolino relies internally on double bookkeeping according to international standards and can thus grow with you: from small entrepreneurs to established companies with several employees.

“Kontolino has over 15 years of experience as a self-booker. Our focus is on the close integration with the tax office with the help of a comprehensive Elster interface. We cover all types of self-booking, from simple account assignment for the tax advisor to completely independent accounting and tax processing.

Joachim Tuchel (founder Kontolino.de)

Special features

The software concentrates on the core problems of regular bookkeeping and reporting to the tax office. Kontolino's primary goal! is to make the accounting workflow as simple as possible. The software offers the following features:

  • Billing
  • Import of bank statements
  • automatic invoice comparison when booking the bank statements
  • Integrated booking assistant with hundreds of booking templates for the most common business transactions
  • Individual booking templates
  • Research into existing bookings for recurring business cases

Kontolino! supports the accounts SKR03, SKR04 and IKR. With the help of the integrated DATEV interface, the bookings can be transmitted to the tax advisor. The following tax returns and declarations can be sent online to the tax office via ELSTER with just a few clicks of the mouse:

  • VAT advance notification (including reverse charge sales within the EU)
  • VAT declaration (including reverse charge sales within the EU)
  • Summary notification of intra-community deliveries (ZMDO)
  • Income-surplus-account (EÜR)

Kontolino! manages tax dates and provides an open item list for your invoices. This is how Kontolino! the perfect overview of your entire bookkeeping including taxes.

Special offers for startups and entrepreneurs

  • Kontolino clears up for start-ups and companies that are less than a year old! if you can prove this (e.g. with a trade license), you will receive a discount of 25 percent on the first year in the form of three free months (i.e. 15 months for the price of 12)
  • Anyone can do Kontolino! Try it for free for two months, including submitting a sales tax return via Elster Online.

Kontonlino has a special offer for all Gründerküche readers: When you buy a new Kontolino! Package, you get a contract extension of 2 months, i.e. from 12 to 14 months! Simply register a new account here and then the Coupon CodeGruKu-21 enter and use the advantage as a Gründerküche reader!


  • Free trial for two months
  • Kontolino! Basic for small business owners (no sales tax): 6 euros / month
  • Kontolino! Standard (invoices, bank imports, sales tax, reverse charge, EÜR): 9 euros / month
  • Kontolino! Classic (asset accounting, cost centers): 13 euros / month

All prices plus VAT and for a term of 12 months. Packages can be renewed every 12 months, it is not renewed automatically.


Here you get a free test access for 2 months

Bookkeeping online with freeFIBU

freeFIBU is an online accounting program for small businesses, founders, and freelancers. The program was developed by a tax consultancy and is designed to be particularly easy to use. In contrast to commercial software providers, the use of the software itself is free of charge without restriction with all of the functions offered.

"Our offer is perfect for founders who want to do their day-to-day bookkeeping themselves, but prefer to leave tax optimization to the professionals at the end of the year."

Christian Wieland (Managing Director and Tax Advisor)

Special features

In addition to the free use of software, tax services such as the professional preparation of the annual financial statements with corresponding tax returns, the review of self-made bookkeeping, the preparation of pay slips or complete bookkeeping packages are offered by Wieland Direkt Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH.

Special offer for start-ups

For the preparation of annual financial statements with the corresponding tax returns, entrepreneurs in the first year of setting up a business can be granted a discount of up to 30 percent, depending on the amount of income and scope of activity.


  • Use of software with all functions free of charge
  • Annual financial statements by a tax consultancy from 25 euros per month
  • Another tax service from Wieland Direkt


Here you can find the demo version of freeFIBU and here you can register.


Well known and widely used accounting tool. Invoices can be designed in your own design or with templates. Numerous e-commerce systems can be linked via interfaces, and DATEV-compliant exports are also possible. An online payment function is available via PayPal, and there is also simple project management and time recording. The minimum contract term is 1 month.


  • Base 9 euros (unlimited invoices or receipts, unlimited number of customers, invoices by email free of charge, sending invoices by post currently costs 1.20 euros per invoice)
  • PRO package for 29 euros / month (more users, multiple bank accounts or more storage space)
  • PROMAX package for 49 euros / month

trial version

Yes, 14 days for free


Here you can find the offers from fastbill

Zervant | from now on no more bookkeeping

Update: Zervant is now 100% free. This means that anyone who creates an account at Zervant can create and send unlimited and free of charge invoices, offers, receipts, reminders, credit notes and delivery notes. From now on the provider will only focus on invoicing. Time recording, bookkeeping, the logbook and our apps have been removed from the system.

Accounting software 2021 - which accounting program is best for startups?

Bookkeeping is probably the least popular activity for most founders and at the same time the biggest bogeyman for many when they are not starting their own business as auditors or tax consultants. In addition to the online tools, there is of course also the accounting software. Here is our overview of accounting software for startups overview and test (as of January 2020).

This overview of the accounting softwareFor 2021 is extensive - but by no means exhaustive. Do you use another service? Is your software not included here? Write to us: [email protected]