4 Free Alternatives to Excel for Small Businesses

small business excel alternatives

Excel is a powerful tool that helps organize, analyze, and visualize different types of information. While it is a great system for businesses, it’s not free. An Office subscription comes at a price of $70 per year for one user. We mentioned that Excel offers a free online version. However, there are a variety of other free tools that provide the same types of features offered by Excel.

If you think a different spreadsheet system may be the answer for you or if you simply don’t want to pay the annual fee for Office, you should consider one of these free Excel alternatives.  

1. Google Sheets

If you already use Gmail, you have access to Google Sheets. Google Sheets is one of the closest competitors to Excel and offers most of the same features as the tool. It also provides various benefits that Excel desktop lacks. First and foremost, all of your files on Google Sheets are automatically saved in the Cloud. Because of this, you don’t have to worry about losing any data, and you are not required to save your data. You can also easily share a Google spreadsheet via email. Furthermore, it integrates with Slack and other collaboration tools to make giving and receiving feedback simple and quick.

With Google Sheets, you can easily integrate with other Google tools, including Google Analytics or GoFinance, allowing you to pull data straight from other tools into Google Sheets.

2. Numbers

Numbers is a great Excel alternative, especially if you are using a Mac. It comes free with all Macs and offers quality analytics and reporting functionality. It also provides a variety of visual tools, making it a great option if visualizing data is important to you. It is unique in that it offers various prebuilt templates as well as a comprehensive library with over 500 different shapes, allowing you to make your data ready for presentations.

If you’re familiar with Mac applications, you’ll find that Numbers is easy to use and user-friendly. 

3. Zoho Sheet

The ZohoSheet tagline is “Giving your team the power to work in sync.” It allows you to leverage the Cloud, so it’ a great option if you’re working with teams and collaborating on spreadsheets in real time. You can access your spreadsheets from anywhere using any device. Like Google Sheets, it doesn’t require installing any software.

Zoho Sheet also makes it easy to sync files from your Windows or Mac computer to the Cloud in an instant. It offers advanced analytics and reporting features as well. 

4. SoftMaker FreeOffice 2018

FreeOffice 2018 is a great option if you want all of the benefits included in the Microsoft Office suite, including a word processor, a spreadsheet application, and a presentation program. If you have a Windows or Linux computer, you can simply download it for free and start working in moments.

The FreeOffice tools are fast and easy to use, even with large amounts of data. FreeOffice is also compatible with Office file formats, so if you have used Excel in the past, you can easily convert your files to use within FreeOffice.

These four tools are the best free Excel alternatives, giving you the ability to take advantage of Excel functions without paying an annual fee. To learn about Excel Online, which is also free, check out our past blog post, The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Using Excel Online.

*Free standard installation applies to new Lease subscribers only. Not valid with Purchase option. Limited-time offer.