Best Accounting CRM Software Shortlist
Here’s the shortlist of the best accounting CRM tools that I’ll cover in this article, in no particular order:
- Hubspot - Best “free-forever” accounting CRM
- Zoho CRM - Best for hybrid or remote firms
- monday.com sales CRM - Best for maximum customization
- Zendesk - Best for firms with long-term clients
- ActiveCampaign - Best for email-marketing-savvy firms
- Accelo - Best for firms with large sales teams
- Freshsales - Best for phone communication with prospects
- Salesforce - Best for large firms
- Pipedrive - Best for more “visual” accountants
- Bitrix24 - Best for firms with lots of web traffic
- Less Annoying CRM - Best for mobile access
- Capsule CRM - Best for small firms
How do you stand out to clients amidst new tech, changing regulations, and shifting client expectations?
Answer: customer relationship management software, aka CRM software. This helps you store lead contact information, personalize marketing and communications, and close more deals—so you can spend more time with your clients.
In this article, I’ll run through my top 12 accounting CRM solutions and compare each one’s features, price, usability, and more.
What is Accounting CRM Software?
Accounting CRM software helps accounting firms manage client relationships. It’s used to track leads and client data, contract status, communications, and more.
CRM software keeps all your interactions with clients in one place—and lets you share it with other members of your team—to save you time and help you market your firm’s services better.
Overview of the 10 Best Accounting CRM Software Tools
Here are brief descriptions of each accounting CRM software option that showcases each tool’s best use case, noteworthy features, and notable pros and cons.
Also, I’ve included screenshots to give you a glimpse of their user interfaces.
1. Hubspot - Best “free-forever” accounting CRM
Hubspot offers a full CRM platform and unlimited users for free without an expiration date. However, users have to upgrade to paid plans for more niche or advanced features.
Why I picked Hubspot
Hubspot offers quite a lot in its Free Tools plans, including unlimited users.
Yes, you have to upgrade to a paid plan for more advanced stuff. But if you’re a smaller firm, I think Hubspot’s free plan will probably have everything you need. The Starter plan is relatively inexpensive, should you decide you need to upgrade.
Hubspot Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include e-signature capabilities, a content management system, a document storage library, and product libraries that you can modify to be more of a “service library”. This last feature helps you track sales across different service categories or practice groups (audit, tax, advisory) to make decisions. Also, the content management system I mentioned is great if you’re trying to build website SEO and get some organic traffic.
Integrations include Aircall, Databox, Gmail, Google Calendar, GoToWebinar, Microsoft, Slack, Typeform, WordPress, and Zoom. You can link Hubspot to a paid Zapier account to integrate with over 1,000 other apps.
Pricing: From $30/month
Free Trial: Freemium plan available
- Free forever with all the CRM basics
- Free Tools plan also offers marketing, sales, and customer service features
- Native payment processor via Stripe
- Inflexible and expensive paid plans
- Free features can be limited for larger firms
2. Zoho CRM - Best for hybrid or remote firms
Zoho CRM is a solid tool that you and your team can access anywhere you have an internet connection. It’s also easy to integrate with Zoho’s finance applications and tons of other software.
Why I picked Zoho CRM
Zoho links your bookkeeping, invoicing, project management, and CRM to simplify your tech stack. That makes running a remote or hybrid firm easier—no need to juggle software from several companies.
The gamification feature helps with this, too. Keeps your salespeople motivated, even if they're spread out geographically.
That said, Zoho CRM links with lots of outside software too. But there’s no need to go all-in on Zoho if you only want the CRM.
ZoHo CRM Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include workflow rules, a predictive sales AI assistant, a drag-and-drop editor, and customer journey orchestration. Zoho helps you inspire friendly competition among your sales team with gamification features like points, targets, and achievements.
Integrations include: DocuSign, Google Workspace, GoToWebinar, MailChimp, Microsoft 365, Proposify, Quickbooks, Slack, Xero, and Zoom.
Pricing: From $14/user/month
Free Trial: 15-day free trial
- Intuitive, navigable UI
- Integrates with the rest of the Zoho suite
- Highly customizable
- Can create many marketing/sales documents in Zoho
- Customer support only available Monday-Friday
- Limited free storage
3. monday.com Sales CRM - Best for maximum customization
Monday.com offers the highest degree of customization, but automations may be limiting for larger firms.
As a “work OS,” monday.com lets you customize every piece of your CRM. It also lets you build other applications with no code from scratch using templates.
Why I picked monday.com Sales CRM
monday.com calls its platform a “Work OS,” meaning you can build almost whatever you want in it—including a CRM—via drag-and-drop with little to no coding. It also means you can build other apps you might need in the platform.
It comes with a CRM template you can play around with to fit your CRM to your needs.
monday.com Sales CRM Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include low-code/no-code app creation, custom reporting dashboards, automation rules, and email software sync to track email data and store it. You can also use personalized, auto-fillable email templates and store lead-related call and meeting data. monday.com is completely customizable via drag-and-drop but comes with a CRM template.
Integrations include Aircall, DocuSign, Dropbox, Google Drive, LinkedIn, Mailchimp, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Stripe, and Zoom. You can also link a paid Zapier account to monday.com to build custom integrations with any platforms in Zapier.
Pricing: From $8/seat/month
Free Trial: 14-day free trial
- Boards are completely customizable.
- Templates available for CRM and other software solution needs.
- Many features included in the freemium plan.
- Large number of integrations.
- All paid plans have three-seat minimums.
- Automations can only perform a set number of actions per month.
4. Zendesk - Best for firms with long-term clients
Zendesk’s customer service features allow firms to manage their client relationships closely after the sale and answer questions or resolve issues quickly.
Why I picked Zendesk
If you want to be more of an “advisor” to a few long-term clients, Zendesk seems like it would be a great help.
The Sell side has a CRM with the basics needed to manage leads, but the Support side’s customer features make Zendesk shine.
Oh, and both sides share data. Excellent for keeping clients around for the long haul.
Zendesk Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include AI-powered intelligent customer service triage, email sequence builders, integrated voice software, and subscription tracking. The Sell and Support sides link together for seamless client onboarding and service.
Harvest, Salesforce, Slack, and Tymeshift Workforce Management. You can also link Zendesk with a paid Zapier account for integrations with a large number of popular software solutions.
Furthermore, Zendesk has an app marketplace where you can download custom-made apps from Zendesk app developers.
Pricing: From $19/month
Free Trial: 14-day free trial.
- Extensive customer support features
- Excellent analytics for CRM and customer support
- Mobile apps available
- Plans with CRM features are more expensive
- Self-service customer portal not available on all plans
5. ActiveCampaign - Best for email-marketing-savvy firms
ActiveCampaign offers extensive email marketing and automation capabilities alongside CRM functionality. Users can build complex automations to segment new leads based on many variables.
Why I picked ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign is best known for its email marketing and automation, but it has a CRM platform, too.
You can get the CRM tool on its own if you want. But if you’re a fan of email marketing and have the budget, you might want to pay for one of ActiveCampaign’s bundle plans.
ActiveCampaign Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include: Sales engagement automation, SMS automation, contact management and sales routing, lead scoring, and a full email suite. That email suite includes email sequence mapping, segmenting, broadcast emails, autoresponder emails, and more.
BambooHR, ClickFunnels, Facebook, Google Analytics, Quickbooks, Salesforce, Slack, Unbounce, WordPress, and Xero. You can also link to a paid Zapier account for more integrations.
ActiveCampaign has a marketplace with developer-made apps you can link to your account for more functionality.
Pricing: From $19/month
Free Trial: 14-day free trial + free demo available.
- Extensive email marketing features
- Plenty of automation capabilities
- Hundreds of email templates
- 24/7 customer support
- No freemium plan
- Bundle plans that include email marketing are pricey
6. Accelo - Best for firms with large sales teams
Accelo lets you view your team’s schedules and offers a shared team inbox so you can assign teammates to new clients and projects and so the whole team can see the status of each prospect or client.
Why I picked Accelo
Two things about Accelo stuck out to me.
First, the team scheduling feature looks quite helpful if you’ve got a whole sales team and have a lot of leads coming in.
And second, Accelo connects the sales process to the work itself by converting proposals into projects on the project management side of the system.
Accelo Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include team scheduling, client work planning, retainer contract management, sales tracking and forecasting, and a mobile app with many critical CRM and workflow features. A lot of features that work well for working with teams.
Google Workspace, Hubspot, Jira, Mailchimp, Microsoft Office 365, PayPal, Quickbooks, Salesforce, Stripe, and Xero.
You can unlock more integrations by connecting a paid Zapier account.
Pricing: From $24/product/user/month.
Free Trial: 7-day free trial + free demo available.
- Connects the sales and project management processes
- Assists with managing team schedules
- Numerous non-CRM features are built-in
- No Freemium plan and short free trial
7. Freshsales - Best for phone communications with prospects
Freshsales has built-in cloud telephony, allowing users to save call notes, listen to recordings, schedule call-related tasks, monitor salespeople’s conversations, and more. Users can purchase virtual phone numbers for teams and offices in 90+ countries.
Why I picked Freshsales
Freshsales has an in-app phone system that, in my opinion, seems way better than using a regular phone to talk with clients and close deals.
This CRM also supports a bunch of languages and lets you handle transactions in over 150 local currencies.
That and the telephone system make Freshsales a good choice if your team and clients are international.
Freshsales Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls, an AI assistant that analyzes CRM data and pulls insights, multi-language and multi-currency capabilities, and a mobile app. The phone system in Freshsales is easily the standout feature.
Asana, Google Calendar, Hubspot, MailChimp, Microsoft Office 365, PandaDoc, Quickbooks, Trello, Typeform, and Xero.
Freshsales also integrates with other Freshworks software, such as Freshdesk and Freshchat. There are also tons of developer-made apps you can check out in the Freshworks Marketplace, and you can connect a paid Zapier account for more integrations.
Pricing: From $15/user/month
Free Trial: 21-day free trial + free demo available.
- Entry-level Growth plan free for three users
- Extensive cloud phone functionality
- Supports tons of currencies and languages
- Easy to set up and navigate
- Some features, like document generation, are paid add-ons
- File storage is limited per user
- AI insights not available on all plans.
8. Salesforce - Best for large firms
Salesforce’s AI-powered “Einstein Analytics” tool offers users the ability to view CRM data from several angles using graphs, reports, dashboards, and more.
Why I picked Salesforce
Salesforce is one of the most advanced and expensive CRMs on this list. It’s probably out of the question for all but the biggest firms.
If you’re in a big firm, though, Salesforce’s array of features and customizability make it better than most other solutions on this list.
Salesforce Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include: Advanced analytics (called Einstein Analytics), territory customization and management, and lead and opportunity management. Customer360 combines sales, marketing, and customer service features for bigger firms into one comprehensive platform.
ActiveCampaign, DocuSign, Dropbox, Google Workspace, JIRA, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Quickbooks, Slack, Zendesk, and Zoom. You can unlock many more integrations by linking a paid Zapier account. Salesforce CRM integrates with all other Salesforce products, too.
Lastly, developers can use the Salesforce API to build custom integrations as needed. There are tons of free and paid developer-made integrations on the Salesforce AppExchange marketplace.
Pricing: From $25/user/month
Free Trial: 30-day free trial + free demo available
- Highly customizable
- Advanced analytics and forecasting
- Helps manage deals and accounts in multiple territories/locations
- Robust lead management features
- Complex interface.
- Sales insights and premium support only available on the most expensive plan.
- Einstein Analytics is a paid add-on.
9. Pipedrive - Best for more “visual” accountants
Pipedrive lets you visualize your sales pipeline stages and deal statuses. You can add relevant info to each deal and automate most manual tasks in your sales process.
Why I picked Pipedrive
I love how Pipedrive shows all of your deals in every deal stage.
If you’re more of a visual person, this makes it a lot easier to get a quick overview of your sales team’s performance.
Pipedrive Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include revenue forecasting, an AI sales assistant, a custom web form builder, and most importantly, the visual sales pipeline. The AI assistant and visual sales pipeline together make managing and analyzing your deals a lot easier.
DocuSign, Gmail, Google Meet, Leadfeeder, Microsoft Teams, PandaDoc, Quickbooks, Slack, Trello, and Zoom. You can also link Pipedrive to a paid Zapier account to unlock many more integrations. You can also build custom integrations with Pipedrive’s API.
Similarly, Pipedrive also has a marketplace where individual developers create and release apps for Pipedrive users.
Pricing: From $14.90/user/month
Free Trial: 14-day free trial
- Excellent pipeline visualization tools
- Easy to set up without customer support
- 24/7 chat and email support with all plans
- Calling features not available on all plans
- Some CRM features are paid add-ons
10. Bitrix24 - Best for firms with lots of web traffic
Bitrix24 lets you create and manage your firm’s website directly from the CRM. This website can take in leads, which flow through to other CRM features.
Why I picked Bitrix24
You basically have to market your firm online to get ahead.
With Bitrix24 you can build individual landing pages or an entire website and connect it to the platform’s CRM tool.
This would cut down on a lot of problems accountants might have when trying to connect lead gen stuff on their websites to their CRMs.
Bitrix24 Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include in-app phone communications, sales analytics, in-app private and group chats, conference calls, and a private social network. You can also build a website or landing page for your firm in BitRix’s online storefront builder.
Box, DocuSign, Dropbox, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, MailChimp, Microsoft Office 365, OpenOffice, and Xero.
Bitrix also has an app marketplace where you can download custom apps created by private developers. You can also integrate with BitRix’s project management, HR, and customer service tools.
Pricing: From $49/month
Free Trial: Freemium plan available
- Can build and manage a website connected to CRM
- Offers features beyond marketing and sales
- Extensive lead communications features
- Freemium plan allows unlimited users
- Paid plans don’t offer unlimited users
- Limited online storage
- Complex interface
11. Less Annoying CRM - Best for mobile access
Less Annoying CRM’s web app is designed for optimal use on mobile phones, so there is no need to get a mobile app to access the CRM on the go.
Why I picked Less Annoying CRM
Less Annoying CRM is a funny name for a CRM, but this solution lives up to its name.
It’s not hard to find your way around this platform.
There’s no mobile app as I write this, but honestly, the mobile site is good enough to not warrant one. On the plus side, that saves space on your smartphone and eliminates the need for constant updates, and you can always create a web app on your phone’s home screen if needed.
Less Annoying CRM Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include centralized contact management, customizable deal pipelines, team activity reports, and a mobile-optimized web, so there’s no need to download a separate app. Plus, you can make an unlimited number of custom fields with drag-and-drop to gather only the information you need from leads.
AgileForms, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Google Forms, MailChimp, Microsoft Outlook Calendar, Nusii, ReForm, Writtenly, and ZipMessage.
You can also link a paid Zapier account to unlock 5,000 more integrations.
Pricing: From $15/user/month.
Free Trial: 30-day free trial + free demo available.
- Simple interface
- Unlimited users
- Streamlined contact and task management
- Excellent mobile web app
- No social media tools or native integrations
- Limited reporting features
12. Capsule CRM - Best for small firms
Capsule CRM offers a clean and simple interface. Various CRM features are easy to navigate using the menus in the application.
Why I picked Capsule CRM
It isn’t hard to find your way around Capsule, either. A good option for solo accountants.
Capsule CRM might be the simplest on this list, but it has a freemium plan with a lot more features than what you might expect—although it's limited to two users and won’t integrate with your internal accounting platform.
Capsule CRM Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include: email marketing templates and automations, a visual sales pipeline, workflow automations, and an AI content assistant. Sync all client information in relevant parts of your integrated accounting and bookkeeping apps to save time.
Formstack, Freshbooks, Gmail, Google Workspace, MailChimp, Microsoft Office 365, Quickbooks, Sage Cloud Accounting, Xero, and Zendesk.
You can also unlock more integrations by linking a paid Zapier account.
Pricing: Contact Capsule for a quote.
Free Trial: 14-day free trial + Freemium plan available.
- Accommodates multiple sales pipelines
- Simple, navigable interface
- Easy task and calendar management
- Strict user permissions
- Freemium plan limited to two users
- Freemium plan doesn’t integrate with accounting platforms
- Some features are paid add-ons
Other Accounting CRM Software Options
Here are a few more worthwhile options that didn’t make the best accounting CRM platforms list:
- Sage - Best for customer support
- Keap - Best for beginners
- SugarCRM - Best for mid-sized firms
- MethodCRM - Best for Quickbooks and Xero users
- Funnelmaker - Best for marketing funnels
How I Selected the Best Accounting CRM Software
In my search for the best accounting-specific CRM software, I narrowed the field down to the top 10 based on the selection and evaluation criteria below and my own professional accounting experience.
I looked for accounting CRM software that’s capable of automating workflow tasks for every kind of client or potential lead, including:
- Communicating with leads or clients so you can boost customer satisfaction and maximize conversions with less involvement.
- Onboarding and offboarding clients so you can leave a good first impression, get new clients set up in your system, and collect testimonials when you offboard clients
- Managing deals so you can spend less time looking at the deal status itself and more time closing those deals.
- Sending invoices so you can maintain your recurring revenue streams without manually creating invoices each month.
I made sure automations are easy to build and manage, and that each tool made it easy for teams to access and share client details.
My other big concern was the level of customization offered by each tool.
Key features I hunted for include:
- Data analytics and reporting: These features help you see all sorts of useful information like conversion rates, sales cycle length, average deal value, and more.
- Document management and storage: Every client and lead will have accompanying proposals, contracts, invoices, and so on. You need the ability to store, organize, and search for these documents.
- Lead scoring: This helps you prioritize leads based on their potential value and chances of turning them into a paying client.
- Marketing campaign management: No need to use disparate platforms if you can manage marketing campaigns in the same system where you store your leads and clients.
- Contact databases: You’ll need to store client information for acquisition and marketing purposes. Searching for your contacts should be easy, too.
CRMs have a lot of modules and other moving parts, so most will have a bit of a learning curve. I looked for CRMs that:
- are easy to learn
- offer strong customer support in case you run into issues.
CRM dashboards consolidate important client information and revenue trends.
Most CRM software is priced per user, and some require a minimum number of users.
For basic plans, prices can range anywhere from $7 to $25/month per user. So, if 20 employees in your organization will be using the software that can cost anywhere from $140 to $500/month in total. For larger organizations with 100 users, that’s anywhere from $700 to $2,500/month in total.
For top-tier, premium plans, prices can range from $50 to $1,500/month per user. If your organization will have 20 employees using the software, that can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $30,000/month in total.
Ideally, you want flexible but affordable pricing with your CRM. If you start growing fast, it won’t be fun to have to make a giant jump in price to a new plan.
I prioritize those with free trial offers so you can try before you buy.
Accounting CRM software is at its best when it can connect with other software tools. New client data needs to flow to other systems, so I looked for the ones that can work with popular accounting, email, calendar, and productivity software. Other integrations are a plus.
I looked for clean, modern interfaces that made the various CRM modules and menus easy to find. I also made sure the contact management screens, in particular, were orderly, to keep you from feeling like you’re lost in a sea of data fields.
What types of CRMs are there?
What can I automate with my accounting CRM?
Finding the Right Accounting CRM Software for Your Business
Businesses are nothing without clients. The right CRM tool can help you focus on what matters and save time and money.
Look into free trials to get a feel for things before going all in on one for the long haul.
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