The best things in life are free, right? While not always the case with business products, a growing number of free software tools are proving they can compete with the best without the associated price tag.

What free and high quality software is available?

The internet revolution has brought a range of free, online tools for businesses, ranging from professional documents and spreadsheets to human resources (HR) management, accounting and bookkeeping as well as email marketing.

While many free versions offer only basic features, for startups and smaller businesses they can be extremely useful – in many cases offering similar functions to more expensive software. However, it’s important to do due diligence, checking user feedback, reviewing security settings and investigating functionality to determine the best software for your business needs.

Top picks for free business software include:

GnuCash accounting and bookkeeping

  • Financial–accounting software that offers easy to use yet advanced bookkeeping and accounting features, including double-entry, budgeting, HBCI & SQL support, to name a few.
  • GnuCash is available across a multitude of devices, all for free.
  • Suitable for sole traders and small to medium businesses (SMBs).

Google Docs document creation and collaboration

  • A secure web/cloud-based creator and editor of Word documents, spreadsheets and PowerPoints with asynchronous collaboration features.
  • This product gives you access to create and edit your documents globally from numerous devices, with the perks of offline and sharing functionalities.
  • Google Inc. runs Google Docs, so you can expect a high level of quality and customer service.

MailChimp email marketing

  • Allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month to a list no larger than 2,000 email addresses
  • Free version allows for editing templates, location-based mailing and using customized content, along with A/B split testing.

OrangeHRM HR management

  • Free system, including system administration, personnel information storage, management of leave, attendance and performance.
  • Dashboard integrates information from multiple modules into unified display, with real-time trend graphs, lists of pending HR tasks and reporting.

The IT revolution has brought a plethora of free business tools, offering functions comparable to more costly software. By doing the research, investigating the options and experimenting with what’s available, it can be possible to get top-quality functions at zero or minimal cost to your business.