Free Online Accounting Packages

I have reviewed the CANSTAR listing for the top free accounting software programs in Australia for 2021 at . Those listed are:

  • SlickPie
  • ZipBooks
  • Wave
  • Akaunting
  • Sunrise
  • Gnucash


Cannot access their website. Continually receive an Error 522 Connection time out message. This was received on various devices.


The free or Starter Pack only allows you to view reports. They cannot be printed or downloaded which is very limiting.


This is not a full double-entry accounting system. You have to purchase an additional module USD69 (as at 20/08/2021) if you want a Chart of Accounts, Journal Entry, General Ledger, Balance Sheet, and Trial Balance.


You cannot sign up without a valid United States or Canadian telephone number.


This is not an online accounting system and for desktop download only. This is less than optimal when wanting to share access and with changes in volunteer treasurers. Also, it limits the scope for being able to work remotely.

Wave (Recommended by Not For Profit Bookkeeping)

For the record, I have no direct or indirect financial interest in Wave. I have used Wave for nearly ten years. It is a full online accounting system except for payroll and inventory functions. I have found it to be very functional at a great price, free. In 2017 the National Australia Bank’s venture capital arm funded Wave which is headquartered in Canada. In late 2019 the US-based H&R Block acquired Wave.

H& R Block decided to focus on the US and Canadian markets. As of December 2020, there are limitations on new non-US and non-Canadian businesses using Wave. The limitations are that the address for the business has to be in the US or Canada and the only currencies available are US and Canadian dollars. An Australian organisation can still set up with Wave. The only practical limitation is you cannot use the invoicing function which displays a US or Canadian state or province and displays the currency in US or Canadian dollars. The currency is not displayed in financial reports.

Alternative options for free invoicing which include built-in options for credit card processing are through Stripe or Square. The latter includes free inventory and point of sale functions. You can also pick up a Square card reader at Officeworks for $59 (as of 20/08/2021). As of June 2021 Square will now register incorporated associations with an ABN.

Direct bank feeds to Wave had been discontinued some time ago due to fees charged by Australian Banks for this service. You can still download bank transactions and import them into Wave using one of the following formats:

  • Microsoft Money (.OFX) Available with accounts at CBA, ANZ, Westpac, Teachers Mutual Bank
  • QuickBooks (.QBO) Available with accounts at Westpac
  • Quicken (.QFX)
  • Simply Accounting (.ASO)
  • CSV, but with a little more complicated process. Availablde with most banks.

For more information on the importing transactions, process see