Running a business as an entrepreneur is mentally demanding, physically exhausting, and financially-taskingenough, especially in a business climate such as that of Nigeria where you are likely to face peculiar challenges in structure, regulation, and infrastructure.

Throw in common accounting tasks like sending invoices to paying bills, tracking expenses, paying staff, managing daily transactions, and creating financial reports into the mix and management starts to look like rocket science.

But here is a list of accounting tools evaluated on the following criteria: cost, mobile access and features, ease of use, service limitations(including the number of customers, invoices, users,transactions and packages allowed), additional services like tax preparation and payroll services, and integration with third-party apps that can help you manage your company accounts without hiring an accountant or breaking the bank.

1.   Wave

Wave is specifically designed for small scale businesses which by definition here is a business with less than 10 staff. What’s great about Wave is that it’s totally free with no limitation whatsoever, unlike most accounting tools that will prompt you to pay to gain full access. It’s also very easy to use as the tools on the dashboard are very easy to navigate.

Some features of the tool include automatic billing and invoicing and in addition to setting up recurring bills and invoices, you can also set up reminders to help you track paid and unpaid items. A fantastic feature of the software is its ability to easily and quickly create accurate financial reports, such as balance sheets, sales report, tax documents and more. That way you don’t have to waste time starting from the scratch especially if you don’t know jack about accounting.

2.   FreshBooks

In 2015, mobility is highly important for any small business. FreshBooks enables you to handle your financials on the go--on your mobile phone. Using FreshBook’s mobile app, you can create and send invoices and estimates, track and organize expenses, manage projects, and generate reports. Its clean and intuitive interface only shows you the most important information and function as you login helping you save time in terms of its offered capabilities and ease of navigation. The mobile app is free to download but you may have to purchase a FreshBooks subscription for your business.

3.   QuickBooks

A major advantage of using QuickBooks is that a lot of accountants use it and should you in future decide to scale your business and hire an accountant, the accountant can start right off the bat. QuickBooks prioritizes your time by automating tasks such as recurring invoices and bill payment and automatically reconciling and categorizing expenses saving you the time of manually doing so. Another leverage QuickBooks has over other tools is that it integrates with hundreds of third-party apps designed for email, marketing, e-commerce, customer relationship management (CRM), payment processors, and many more. LikeFreshBooks, QuickBooks too is available for a small fee.

4.   ZohoBooks

If you are running a very small business that doesn’t require complicated accounting tasks, your best bet is ZohoBooks. ZohoBooks covers pretty much all the basic accounting tasks through its clutter-free mobile interface. The software is very easy to use even for the most accounting and tech-challenged small business owners. You can sign up for a 14-day free trial to test the product.

5.   LessAcounting

LessAccounting comes last on this list because of its minimalist design: no payroll, no integrated time-tracking, and no mobile app. However, as the name implies, it does compensate for that by saving you a great deal of accounting time. It also has two features that most softwares don’t have: a depreciation chart and a vehicle mileage administration tool which may actually come pretty handy for you.

Depending on the features you prefer, you’d find any of the above accounting tools very useful for your business for their ease of use and cost-effectiveness.