Accounting software comparison - What can it do and do I need it?

Accounting software - What can you do and do I need it ?

Written by Editorial

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September 26 2023

You've probably wondered at some point what exactly the difference is between bookkeeping and accounting. In our Accounting Software Comparison & Advisor we clarify this question and give you a comprehensive insight into both areas. We also shed light on the legal requirements and how modern software solutions can make your day-to-day work easier with just a few clicks.

Accounting and bookkeeping: a clear distinction

Strictly speaking, accounting is the organizational unit of a company that is responsible for bookkeeping. Accounting, on the other hand, is the actual process by which all of a company's financial transactions are recorded. This is not only important for the company itself, but also for external entities such as the tax office, which determines the tax burden on this basis.

Legal basis: What does the HGB say?

According to the German Commercial Code (HGB), entrepreneurs in Germany are obliged to keep proper accounts. Sections 239 and 243 HGB stipulate that all entries must be complete, correct and timely. The principles of proper accounting (GoB) must be strictly adhered to. Accounting software solutions can be a valuable support in this regard.

Who is obliged to keep accounts?

  • Here, too, the HGB states that, according to § 238, every merchant is obligated to keep books and to make his commercial transactions and the situation of his assets visible in these books in accordance with the principles of proper accounting.
  • This applies to registered merchants, corporations and partnerships.
  • Even if you are not a large company or generally not required by law, accurate record keeping is essential for financial planning and investment decisions.

Accounting software comparison - What can it do and do I need it?

Preparatory accounting: your responsibility

  • As soon as you are required to submit an advance VAT return to the tax office, all your invoices from the previous month, as well as incoming and outgoing invoices, are required.
  • Even if the complete accounting is performed by your tax advisor, it lies the task of preparatory accounting at yourself.

What is the preparatory accounting?

  • The preparatory accounting includes the Collecting and chronological sorting of all receipts, preparing the cash report, organizing the cash receipts and obtaining the bank statements, either by picking them up at the bank or printing them out in online banking.
  • Payroll matters, financial statements and the like are then handled by the accountant or the tax office.

Choosing the right accounting software

A good accounting software should have a DATEV - Interface and be interested in working with a tax advisor. This saves time and reduces costs. When selecting, look for established and professional providers with a broad customer base to minimize risks. In case of uncertainty, it is recommended to choose a monthly payment method.

Accounting software comparison - What can it do and do I need it?

Why an accounting program is indispensable

Accounting software minimizes the risk of errors and facilitates the Management of open invoices, dunning and other financial aspects. Make sure that the accounting software has the relevant functions for you. Especially for small businesses, freelancers or self-employed without a separate department for accounting, such accounting programs are a great relief.

The functional scope should include Dunning, invoicing, digital document management, data transfer to tax advisors, reports and evaluations included. Advantageous and with almost every program is also an integrated Cash book, an Elster interface, a function for a Annual financial statement or a function for payroll accounting.

It pays to persevere!

  • Every software has a learning curve. Do not be discouraged and use the Support of the provider to overcome any hurdles.
  • Especially when it comes to support, you should make sure that you are really helped and not just sent suggested answers.

Accounting software comparison - What can it do and do I need it?

Accounting Software Comparison 2023

All accounting software providers are chargeable and have different rates to choose from.


  • 30 days free trial possible.
  • There are four different packages with different functions.
  • The term can be selected monthly, there is no minimum term.
  • Cancellable on a monthly basis.
  • The costs can be paid via direct debit or credit card.
  • Practical is a AppYou can also use it to write invoices and orders while on the move, and to check your account balances.
  • Wage and salary option is optionally bookable with every package.
  • The website has a large "Knowledge" section, with many questions, tips and explanations.
  • Disadvantages include:
  • If you also have international customers, invoicing can be problematic, as this is only done in euros.
  • Sending invoices by mail is not possible directly from lexoffice.
  • A BWA is not possible.
  • Reminders cannot be automated, only with external add-ons.



  • 14 days free trial possible.
  • There are three different packages with different functions.
  • For example, the Invoice package is only suitable for writing invoices, to have more detailed options, another package should be selected.
  • The terms are, one month, one year or two years.
  • The cost can be paid via Paypal or by credit card.
  • Cancellation is possible 14 days before the end of the term.
  • An app is included here as well.
  • The advantage here is that Foreign currencies are selectable.
  • Invoices can be sent by post.
  • Disadvantages include:
  • Reminders and time recording are only optionally bookable.
  • There is no payroll accounting.
  • The Android app is a bit more limited than the iOS variant.



  • 14 days free trial possible.
  • There are four different packages with different functions.
  • The "Preparer" package, for example, is for those who only want to manage receipts and payments, write invoices and quotes and credit notes. Also here is a tax advisor access possible and a sales tax advance return.
  • The other packages include the online banking function, voucher recognition and sorting, BWA, EÜR and balance sheet.
  • The terms are, one month, one year or two years.
  • The direct debit payment method is the only one accepted here.
  • Cancellation is possible up to one week before the next billing period.
  • Optional add-ons are available that you can book.
  • Disadvantages include:
  • No foreign currency is possible, so again rather difficult for international customers.
  • Mailing is missing from this program.
  • Dunning and time recording are not integrated.
  • A profit and loss account (P&L) is not possible.



  • 14 days free trial possible.
  • There are four different packages with different functions.
  • One package is even usable free of chargeAmong other things, quotations and invoices can be created, receipts can be managed and working hours can be recorded, but support is only available for the first 60 days.
  • Functions such as reminders, delivery bills, invoices in English, EÜR (income statement), DATEV export, BWA (business analysis), online banking or a multi-user function is included in the other packages.
  • The terms for this program are monthly and yearly.
  • Credit card and direct debit payment methods are supported.
  • There is no period of notice.
  • An app is also available here.
  • Disadvantages include:
  • There is no foreign currency.
  • A balance sheet or income statement is not possible.
  • No API interface available.
  • Bills cannot be paid directly in online banking from paperwork.



  • 30 days free trial possible.
  • Again, there are four different packages with different functions.
  • A free package with limited features is offered.
  • By credit card you can pay the contributions, should you want to pay by Paypal or bank transfer, you must first contact the support.
  • The notice period is seven days before the end of the term.
  • Especially suitable for freelancers.
  • In any case, the advantage here is that the invoices can be executed in multiple languages.
  • Foreign currency possible.
  • Tax consultant access possible.
  • Disadvantages include:
  • The ISO 27001 certificate is missing (this specifies the conditions that an information security management system must meet).
  • DATEV, API and Elster interfaces are missing.
  • Payroll records are not available.
  • Invoices cannot be sent by mail even with this program.
  • There is no telephone service.


We hope this article has helped you understand the differences between accounting and bookkeeping, but also the importance of carefully selected accounting software. In a world where financial transparency and efficiency are becoming increasingly important, it is essential to use the right tools. Hopefully, this will make your financial management journey a little easier and more successful.

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