Accounting software is essential for any business from  a Fortune 500 companyto a flower shop and anywhere in between.

Most packages offer users a vast array of functions and features, reduced costs, error-free tax calculation and smooth interface. Picking the best package for your business can be tricky, but our readers have selected their best options. We have a look at them in more detail below.

1. Sage (58.4%)

One of the most popular accounting software brands on the market – and among our readers – Sage offer packages to suit a variety of needs. Whether you’re a large construction business, a non-profit organisation, a government department or a large manufacturer, Sage can offer a specific software solution to keep your books in order and your costs under scrutiny.

Sage also caters for smaller businesses too with Sage Business Cloud Accounting, a smooth, easy-to use package that offers audit and security functions, data-entry tracking, inventory management and integration with Outlook, Excel and Word.

2. QuickBooks (20.4%)

The second most popular accountancy software brand chosen by our readers is easily one of the most recognisable, QuickBooks. Established over three decades ago, Intuit QuickBooks has built a consumer base numbering in the millions offering solutions that offer a simpler and better way to do accounting.

Both its desktop and online packages aren’t aimed at novices – there’s something of a steep learning curve involved – but once mastered the software offers users a lot of useful features such as credit card payments, asset tracking, custom reports, automated billing and automated tax deductible expenses.

3. Xero (4.4%)

This cloud-based accounting solution allows business owners and their accountancy advisors to access and manage financial data at anytime, anywhere. While its mainly targeted at SMMEs, users can reconfigure features and customise Xero to suit the needs of their business.

With it, business owners can track and manage revenues, expenses, salaries, payables, cash flow and more. On top of everything Xero provides support if you’re migrating your accounts over from an old system and offers a free trial of the software on its site.