Jan 5, 2024
Accounting software is a digital tool that transforms complex financial data into clear, actionable insights, simplifying bookkeeping and empowering informed financial decision-making for businesses and individuals.
Bonsai, a popular accounting software, has helped many freelancers and small businesses streamline their financial management. However, as we move into 2023/24, exploring the best alternatives available in the market is essential.
This blog post dives into the top alternative that challenges Bonsai's dominance, offering unique features, improved usability, and enhanced customization. We will compare their functionalities, pricing, and user experiences, helping you decide on the best accounting software for your specific needs in 2024.
Bonsai - A Brief Overview
Bonsai is a versatile accounting software tool that has assisted freelancers and small business owners streamline their financial processes for several years. Designed with a user-friendly interface, it integrates various business operations into one platform, making it a popular choice among professionals.
Though with the recent updates, Bonsai users have been riddled with a few unconventional problems, like the accounting software crashing, or getting logged out at random times. However, in an overall sense, it’s a pretty decent accounting software, with a pretty detailed scheme of accounting features, and a medium learning curve that makes it easy for users.
Features of Bonsai
Time Tracking: A standout feature is the iOS and macOS menu bar apps for time tracking. This allows users to track time effortlessly and integrate these hours directly into invoices. This function, particularly the ability to add unbilled hours to invoices in a single click, sets Bonsai apart from many competitors.
Ability to generate secure links: Users can generate a secure link from Bonsai to accountants, where accountants or anyone else can securely view financial data without having to give access.
Bonsai Cash: Bonsai offers users to virtually open a checking account, where they open a virtual account for users in Stripe, but offer a virtual and physical debit card by Bonsai to go with it.
Contract templates: Bonsai also has contract templates, which makes it easy for users to get everything they need in one single place.
Accounting Capabilities: While Bonsai doesn't directly connect to QuickBooks, it offers decent accounting features. Users can export data as CSV or Excel files; there's even an option to provide accountants with a secure link to view expenses on Bonsai.
Bonsai Cash: This feature, likely limited to the US, offers a checking account solution. It creates a virtual account in Stripe, providing both physical and virtual debit cards.
Templates: Bonsai provides useful proposal and contract templates, making starting new projects and managing agreements easier.
Pricing of Bonsai
Bonsai's pricing is higher, with the basic plan and the Bonsai Tax add-on totaling around $300 annually. This add-on feature automates the import of expenses from various accounts, adding to the cost and convenience.
Pros of Bonsai
Integrated Functionality: The platform's integration of various business operations, such as time tracking, invoicing, and accounting, into one system is a significant plus.
User-Friendly Design: Its design is intuitive, catering to those who may not be tech-savvy.
Convenience: The software offers convenience, like providing accountants direct access to financial data.
Cons of Bonsai
Cost: The annual cost of $300 can be a bit steep, especially for freelancers or small businesses on a tight budget against the features that Bonsai provides.
Technical Issues: Recent backend updates have led to frequent logouts and disruptions, especially in the mobile and desktop apps, impacting user experience.
Customer Support: There have been reports of less than satisfactory customer support in resolving these technical issues.
In summary, Bonsai offers a range of benefits for freelancers and small businesses, though it comes with its share of challenges, notably in pricing and recent technical glitches.
Where Does Bonsai Lack?
Bonsai, while a robust tool, falls short in certain areas.
Its most significant shortfall is its pricing, which can be prohibitively expensive for individual freelancers or small businesses operating on tight budgets.
Additionally, the absence of a direct integration with popular accounting software like QuickBooks presents a notable limitation for seamless financial management.
Recent technical issues, particularly with mobile and desktop apps causing frequent logouts, have also marred the user experience.
Furthermore, the customer support response to these technical glitches has been underwhelming, leaving users frustrated and unresolved. These aspects are where Bonsai could improve to meet its users' evolving needs.
The Best Alternative To Bonsai In 2023: Fortune App
Fortune App emerges as a robust alternative to Bonsai in 2023. Tailored for high earners and online businesses, it offers an AI-enhanced approach to financial management. Its goal is to transform the way businesses interact with their finances daily.
Features of Fortune App
Streamlined Dashboard: Provides real-time insights into finances, covering revenue, expenses, cash flow, and account balances.
Universal Bank Integration: Connects seamlessly to over 17,000 bank accounts globally without extra fees, offering a consolidated financial view.
Detailed Transaction Search: Enables easy tracking of transactions across all banks by various parameters.
Expense Category Breakdown: Helps analyze spending patterns and identify savings opportunities.
Cross-platform Accessibility: Available on both mobile and web platforms.
AI-powered automation: Reduces manual data entry, offering continuous financial updates.
Robust Security: Prioritizes the protection of users' financial data.
Pros of Fortune App
Innovative and user-responsive: Constantly improve and integrate features based on user feedback.
Autonomous Financial Management: AI-driven features automate mundane accounting tasks and make financial reporting easy.
Global Compatibility: Supports multi-currency accounting for users in the US, Canada, and Europe.
Streamlining Tools: An ideal replacement for manual systems like Google Sheets, with continuous enhancements planned.
Cons of Fortune App
Relative Newness: As a newer app, it may not have an established track record or extensive user reviews compared to more established competitors.
Why Fortune Is Better Than Bonsai?
Fortune App stands out from Bonsai with its focus on AI-driven autonomous financial management, offering a modern, streamlined experience.
Its ability to connect with various bank institutions across different continents and handle multi-currency transactions makes it highly suitable for global users, exceptionally high earners, and online businesses.
The app's emphasis on user feedback for rapid feature development and enhancement ensures that it continually evolves to meet the changing needs of its users.
Unlike Bonsai, which may be more traditional in its approach, Fortune positions itself as not just a budgeting tool but as an integral part of your accounting and financial decision-making process.
Comparison Table Of Bonsai and Fortune
Basic Financial Tracking
Wave is a free tool with limited features
Wave doesn’t provide any automation features
Limited bank interfacing
Primarily North American banks
Standard Spending Insights
Gives a general overview of spending
Targets small businesses
Wave is a free software, which naturally attracts low-earners and startups
Daily Data Refresh
Updates data once per day, less frequently compared to Fortune's continuous updates.
Email Support Only
Limited to email assistance
Basic Transaction Search
Lacks advanced search capabilities for transactions
No Instant Notifications
Does not provide instant account change alerts,
Provides in-depth analytics
With Fortune’s AI, businesses get in-depth with personalized insights
AI based automation
Fortune puts a lot of focus on automating tasks with AI
Extensive Bank Compatibility
Seamlessly integrates with banks globally, in Europe, Canada and US.
Connects to 17,000+ banks globally
Tailored Financial Insight
Offers detailed, real-time analysis of spending habits, unlike wave more general approach.
Targets high earners and online businesses
Fortune is an affordable tool that targets high-earners, agencies and companies.
Immediate Data Refresh
Keeps financial data constantly updated, offering more current insights than Monarch daily refresh.
24/7 Customer Concierge
Fortune's 24/7 customer service outshines Monarch email-only support.
Efficient Transaction Search
Facilitates quick transaction searches, a feature not supported by Monarch.
Proactive Account Notifications
Sends immediate alerts for account changes, a service not available with Monarch.
Please note that the availability of certain features and details may change over time as both software evolve. Check the latest updates from Wave and Fortune for the most accurate information.
In conclusion, while Bonsai offers reliability and traditional accounting features, ideal for freelancers and small businesses, Fortune App stands out with its AI-driven, innovative approach, catering to high earners and online businesses.
Fortune's global bank integration, advanced analytics, and rapid responsiveness to user feedback make it a compelling choice for those seeking a modern, automated financial management solution.
Ultimately, the choice between Bonsai and Fortune hinges on the specific needs and preferences of the user in the ever-evolving world of financial management tools.
1. What is The Best Alternative To Bonsai?
Fortune App is a standout alternative to Bonsai, offering advanced AI-driven financial management, extensive bank integration, and real-time analytics tailored for high earners and online businesses.
2. How Does Bonsai Work?
Bonsai functions as a comprehensive accounting tool for freelancers and small businesses, providing invoicing, time tracking, expense management, and contract creation to streamline their financial processes.
3. Is Fortune App Cheaper Than Bonsai?
Comparing cost, Fortune App and Bonsai vary in pricing structures. While Bonsai has a set fee, Fortune App's cost depends on its advanced features and global bank integration capabilities, potentially offering more value.
4. Which is Easier To Use, Fortune App or Bonsai?
Ease of use varies by user preference. Bonsai is straightforward and familiar, ideal for traditional accounting needs. Fortune App, with its AI-driven interface, is user-friendly for those seeking advanced, automated financial management.