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The 9 best accounting software for manufacturing

Managing QuickBooks Online manufacturing inventory can present challenges for growing businesses. One of the primary issues is the absence of a dedicated manufacturing module within QuickBooks. However, there are solutions available.

QuickBooks Online is an excellent tool for organizing accounts and finances, but it does have limitations, particularly when it comes to inventory management and tracking raw materials.

While resellers and drop shippers may find it relatively easy to monitor their goods, the process becomes more complex for scaling manufacturers. This is especially true for businesses seeking growth without the luxury of time to manually update inventory consistently.

This blog post will explore the options for businesses using QuickBooks that need to track their raw material inventory.

Which accounting software is best for a manufacturing business?

Jumping straight into it, here are some key factors to consider when looking for the best accounting software for manufacturing.

Inventory management

Look for software that offers robust inventory management features, such as tracking inventory levels, managing purchase orders, creating bills of materials, and providing real-time visibility into inventory movements.

Job costing

Manufacturing businesses need to track the costs associated with producing individual products or batches. Find software that offers job costing features, like tracking direct and indirect costs, allocating overhead costs, and calculating profitability by job or product.

Financial reporting

Manufacturing businesses often have complex financial reporting requirements. Get software that offers robust financial reporting capabilities, such as generating custom reports and consolidating financial data from multiple entities if needed.

Integration capabilities

Consider the software’s integration capabilities with other business systems, such as CRM, inventory management, or e-commerce platforms.

Ease of use

Find software that is intuitive and easy to use, with a user-friendly interface and clear navigation. The best accounting software for manufacturing should also have helpful customer support resources, such as a knowledge base or user community.


Choose software that can scale with your business as it grows. Find software that offers features and functionality that will meet your needs now and in the future.

Security and compliance

Cloud-based accounting software should be secure and compliant with industry standards and regulations, such as SOC 2, HIPAA, or GDPR.

The most important thing to consider — the location

Cloud-based accounting software can be used in many countries worldwide, but there may be certain limitations depending on the software and the country.

Some software may be designed specifically for certain regions or countries and unavailable elsewhere. Legal and regulatory compliance issues also need to be considered when using cloud-based accounting software.

For example, some countries may have specific tax laws or regulations that must be followed, and the software may need to be configured to accommodate these requirements. Data privacy and security regulations may vary from country to country, so ensuring that the software provider has appropriate security measures to protect sensitive financial data is important.

It is also important to work with a provider with experience working with businesses in your country or region to ensure the software is configured properly and compliant with local regulations.

So, with all that said, let’s dive into the 9 best accounting software for manufacturing.

1. QuickBooks Online

Price: Starts at $30.00 per month

Free trial: 30 days

QuickBooks Online homepage screenshot.

QuickBooks Online (QBO) is known as one of the best accounting software for manufacturing developed by Intuit.

It caters to small and medium-sized businesses and offers essential accounting features such as:

  • Invoicing
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Financial reporting

QBO allows businesses to manage their finances from anywhere with an internet connection, and it can be accessed through a web browser or mobile app.

QBO is a popular choice for businesses of all sizes due to its ease of use, affordability, and flexibility. The accounting software for manufacturing offers multiple pricing plans for businesses with varying needs and budgets. It also offers a free trial so businesses can try it before committing to a subscription.

With QuickBooks Online, the need for manual data entry is eliminated, and the number of input errors is decreased when sales orders are not manually tracked or entered into Excel spreadsheets. QBO makes it easy to access financial information quickly and easily — no more waiting until the end of the month to get an accurate picture of your company’s finances.

QBO is available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and many countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

To assist businesses in streamlining their operations, the software also integrates with various third-party programs, including payment processors, point-of-sale systems, and CRM tools.

Katana x QBO: The ultimate combination

Katana’s cloud inventory platform allows you to integrate your QBO account and manage your entire business from one platform while all your financial information is automatically sent and saved to QuickBooks. No more jumping between platforms to make sure all your information is up to date. Katana gives you a smooth as silk workflow process from purchasing to manufacturing, shipping, and accounting.

And here’s exactly what will be synced:

Illustrations showing what information is synced between Katana and QuickBooks Online

Already using QBO and looking to get it up and running within your manufacturing? Implement Katana and experience firsthand why thousands of manufacturers are already entrusting it with managing their business.

2. Xero

Price: Starts at $13.00 per month

Free trial: 30 days

Xero homepage screenshot. 

Xero is cloud-based accounting software for manufacturing designed for small and medium-sized businesses.

It comes packed with features such as:

  • Invoicing
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Financial reporting
  • Inventory management

Xero allows businesses to manage their finances on the go and is accessible through a web browser or mobile app.

Xero is known for its user-friendly interface and ease of use, making it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes. The software offers multiple pricing plans for businesses with varying needs and budgets. Xero provides a robust support system that includes online help resources, community forums, and customer support via email. Xero does not have a public support phone number, but you can request a call, and they’ll get back to you.

By taking advantage of Xero’s features, manufacturers can gain insight into their finances, manage transactions quickly and accurately, and access information from anywhere — making it easier to keep track of finances and operations. With Xero, manufacturers can run their businesses more efficiently while still controlling the bottom line.

Katana x Xero

Connect Katana and Xero to sync your accounting, sales, and inventory. Automating the data transfer between your accounting and manufacturing software saves you time while ensuring accuracy.

3. FreshBooks

Price: Starts at $17.00 per month

Free trial: 30 days

FreshBooks homepage screenshot.

FreshBooks is cloud-based accounting software for manufacturers designed to help small businesses, freelancers, and independent contractors manage their finances.

It offers features such as:

  • Invoicing
  • Expense tracking
  • Time tracking
  • Project management
  • Financial reporting

It simplifies the time-consuming tasks associated with invoicing, bookkeeping, and reporting expenses. FreshBooks is especially well suited for manufacturers because it can easily generate quotes, keep track of inventory and orders, and accept payments from customers quickly and securely. It also provides real-time insights into financial performance so business owners can make informed decisions about their operations.

FreshBooks automates many manual processes like billing cycles and recurring payments — allowing manufacturers to spend less time on administrative work and more time focusing on running their business. FreshBooks offers an easy way for manufacturers to take control of their finances while staying organized and up to date. With its comprehensive features and automated capabilities, FreshBooks can help manufacturers streamline their workflow and take their business to the next level.

4. Wave Accounting

Price: Starts at $0 per month

Free trial: Sign up for free

Wave Accounting homepage screenshot.

Wave Accounting is free, cloud-based manufacturing accounting software for small businesses.

It offers an easy-to-use interface and powerful features to help manufacturers manage their finances simply and efficiently. With Wave Accounting, manufacturers can analyze their financial data quickly, reduce time spent on bookkeeping tasks, and make smarter business decisions based on accurate data. They can also easily:

  • Track income and expenses
  • Create invoices
  • Generate reports
  • Monitor cash flow
  • Access payroll

The software offers a single pricing plan for paid features, including payroll and payment processing. It offers a free trial, so users can try it before committing to a subscription. Wave also provides a robust support system that includes online help resources, community forums, and customer support through email and phone.

Wave Accounting also offers integrations with other popular apps like Stripe and PayPal to further streamline their workflow. For these reasons, Wave Accounting is an ideal solution for manufacturing businesses looking for a reliable yet cost-effective accounting solution.

AI for accounting?

Want to know if you can use AI in accounting? Be sure to check out this article about ChatGPT for accounting and learn how you can delegate tedious tasks to AI.

5. Moon Invoice

Price: Starts at $7.99 per month

Free trial: 7 days

Moon Invoice homepage screenshot.

Moon Invoice provides comprehensive financial management features that can help streamline a manufacturer’s operations while being easy to use and cost-effective.

It offers necessary accounting features like:

  • Invoicing
  • Time tracking
  • Expense tracking
  • Payment processing
  • Financial reporting

With its powerful tools, Moon Invoice offers a wide range of features that simplify managing finances in the manufacturing industry.

One of the best aspects of Moon Invoice is its ability to customize invoices according to customer specifications. This ensures the accuracy of pricing and billing details when transacting with customers, which saves time and money in the long run. Additionally, it allows manufacturers to track their expenses by itemizing every cost associated with production so they know exactly where their funds are going and how to better manage their budget.

Moon Invoice can be integrated with a number of other applications, including other financial tools like QuickBooks and Xero, so it can easily be included in an existing accounting ecosystem. This makes it much easier for manufacturers to stay organized and maintain track of their financial transactions.

Moon Invoice is incredibly useful for manufacturers who want to streamline their financial management processes. With its easy-to-use features and affordable pricing, Moon Invoice is a great choice for any manufacturer looking to stay on top of their finances.

6. Paychex

Price: Starts at $39.00 per month

Free trial: No, quotation

Paychex homepage screenshot.

Paychex is an accounting tool designed to help businesses of all sizes manage their finances.

It offers a range of services, including:

  • Payroll processing
  • Tax management
  • Benefits administration
  • Human resources management

Paychex offers a variety of features that allow manufacturers to customize the payroll processes specific to their needs. This includes options for scheduling payments, setting up direct deposits for employees, and efficiently tracking employee hours. With Paychex, manufacturers can easily track employee hours and pay rates or manage information related to taxes and deductions.

Paychex automates a number of procedures that would otherwise require spending a significant amount of resources manually entering data, allowing businesses to save time while maintaining their books and records. Utilizing Paychex’s comprehensive suite of services and tools, manufacturers can better manage their financials without hiring additional staff or paying for costly software.

With Paychex, businesses can easily keep track of their finances and ensure they comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

All in all, using Paychex is an excellent way for manufacturers to simplify their financial management processes and ensure compliance without extra costs or hassle.

7. Gusto

Price: Starts at $40.00 per month

Free trial: No, free demo

Gusto homepage screenshot.

Gusto is an accounting and payroll tool designed in mind for smaller businesses.

It helps makers streamline their accounting tasks by automating key processes like:

  • Payroll
  • Billing
  • Invoicing
  • Taxes

With a unified platform simplifying all these related activities, manufacturers can save time and money while staying compliant with the latest regulations. Gusto’s intuitive dashboard makes it easy to monitor cash flow, review real-time financial data, and manage multiple accounts and currencies. Ultimately, Gusto offers small manufacturing businesses convenience and efficiency when dealing with everyday accounting tasks.

It’s also a secure system protecting sensitive financial information from hackers and other malicious entities.

By taking advantage of this powerful tool, manufacturers can focus their energy on the more important aspects of their businesses, such as innovation and growth. For these reasons, many manufacturers choose Gusto to help them manage their finances and take their businesses to the next level.

8. AvidXchange

Price: No public pricing

Free trial: Book a demo

AvidXchange homepage screenshot.

AvidXchange is an accounting tool designed to simplify the process of managing and paying bills. It is a cloud-based platform that helps companies automate their accounts payable processes, streamline data entry, and view real-time cash flow.

AvidXchange integrates directly with a company’s existing accounting software, allowing for faster and simpler:

  • Invoicing
  • Approval routing
  • Payments processing
  • Reporting capabilities
  • Data analysis

Automating accounts payable processes can help reduce costs associated with manual paperwork and labor since there is no longer a need to manually enter invoices or reconcile payments, freeing up time and resources to focus on other tasks.

AvidXchange helps manufacturers gain financial visibility into their accounts by providing real-time analytics and reporting capabilities, enabling users to track cash flow better and make informed decisions. The platform offers secure payment methods for vendors, helping to ensure that vendor payments are received quickly and accurately. With AvidXchange, manufacturers can save time and money while improving accuracy in all aspects of their accounting.

9. Deskera Books

Price: Starts at $200.00 per month

Free trial: Yes

Deskera Books homepage screenshot.

Deskera Books is an all-in-one cloud-based accounting software solution for small to medium businesses and manufacturers.

It helps users streamline their financial operations by providing the tools to manage their:

  • Accounts
  • Invoices
  • Bills
  • Payments
  • Taxes

With Deskera Books, manufacturers can easily keep track of their sales and expenses to always have an accurate picture of their financial performance.

The software provides useful features, such as automated bank reconciliation services, so users can save time on manual data entry. Additionally, it offers secure online transactions with support for various payment gateways while remaining compliant with local tax laws. Through its intuitive dashboard interface, users can quickly access important information and make informed decisions based on up-to-date financial data.

Deskera Books also integrates with other business applications so manufacturers can easily access their information from one platform, further simplifying the accounting process.

Start a new chapter in bookkeeping

It’s technically not possible to have bill of materials Xero, but there are workarounds you can use.

And there you have it!

A short list of some of the best accounting platforms available on the market, perfect for manufacturers. You now understand what to look for when choosing the best software for manufacturing. But, if we can offer you one final piece of advice before parting ways, it’s this:

Find a manufacturing accounting system that integrates with your favorite business tools.

Sure, it’d be nice to find a tool that can handle your accounting and other business processes. But, to cover the costs of an all-in-one package, you’ll need a Leprechaun’s pot of gold and more.

Using tools like QuickBooks Online and Xero allows you to easily integrate your existing tools to create a smooth workflow from manufacturing to accounting without costing you a small fortune.

Manufacturing accounting software FAQs

Which accounting software is best for a manufacturing company?

The choice of accounting software for a manufacturing company depends on various factors such as company size, complexity of operations, and specific needs.

However, two popular options are QuickBooks Online and Xero, both of which can be integrated with specialized manufacturing software like Katana.

Both cloud platforms are catered to small and medium-sized businesses and offer features like:

  • Invoicing
  • Expense tracking
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Financial reporting

Ultimately, the best option would be to try out both and see which fits your specific workflow better.

What is a manufacturing accounting system?

A manufacturing accounting system refers to the set of processes, procedures, and software tools used by manufacturing companies to manage their financial transactions, track costs, and report on their financial performance.

It goes beyond traditional accounting practices to address the specific complexities of manufacturing, such as inventory management, production costs, and supply chain expenses.

This system enables manufacturers to accurately allocate costs to various stages of production, monitor resource utilization, and make informed decisions to optimize their operations and profitability.

What type of accounting is used in manufacturing?

Manufacturing companies typically use cost accounting as a primary form of accounting. Cost accounting involves tracking and allocating costs across different stages of the production process, including raw materials, labor, overhead, and other expenses.

This enables manufacturers to calculate the total cost of producing goods, assess the profitability of products, and make pricing decisions.

Additionally, activity-based costing (ABC) is often employed to allocate indirect costs more accurately by linking them to specific activities within the production cycle. By utilizing these specialized accounting approaches, manufacturing businesses can gain better insights into their financial performance and operational efficiency.

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