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Are Free Crypto Accounting Software Any Good?

Top Free Crypto Accounting Software in 2024: Discover if CoinLedger, Koinly, and CoinTracker are the best #1 Free Crypto Tax Software for your needs. But are they good enough for comprehensive accounting purposes?

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Free Crypto Accounting Tools

Managing traditional finances is complex. Managing crypto or web3 finances is even more complex due to the nature of web3 data. Free crypto tax/accounting software claims to simplify this process, but are they any good?

This article explores the efficacy of these free tools, focusing on their suitability for individual users and businesses based on evidence collected from 100s of accountants during the past 2 years.

Let’s delve into whether these solutions can meet your needs.

Free Tools for Tax, Not Accounting

Disclaimer: Most results you get in a simple Google search are not free crypto accounting tools; they are free crypto tax software.

Those tools are designed for tax purposes only, not for holistic accounting. They are more similar to tax filing software like TurboTax rather than accounting tools like QuickBooks or Xero.
If you are looking for comprehensive accounting software, these free tools won’t meet your needs. Instead, consider looking at real crypto accounting software built for companies.

Free crypto tax software is best suited for individual traders looking to simplify their tax reporting process. While almost all crypto tax software platforms automatically import your various transactions, they differ in:

  • How effectively do they categorize transactions,
  • How do they optimize your tax burden, and,
  • How much do you have to pay to use them.

When discussing free crypto accounting software, it’s essential to clarify what these tools are. Most of the time, you’ll end up with tax software that works well for individual tax filing but falls short of a comprehensive accounting system needed for company financial reporting.

These so-called crypto accounting tools help individual users track transactions and generate tax reports but often fail to provide the holistic accounting services needed by businesses, such as unrealized P&L, trial balances, month-end close management, SAFT tracking, and level asset mapping.

  • Are you an individual who needs to file taxes on your crypto trades? Skip ahead in the article to learn how to evaluate these free crypto tax tech tools.
  • If you are a web3 CFO, financial controller, or crypto CPA looking for QuickBooks for crypto, to automate and streamline your financial close or get audit-ready reports on digital assets, consider looking for cryptocurrency sub-ledger solutions.

Understanding Crypto Accounting Essentials

The growth of digital asset adoption means web3 is increasingly chosen by startups and early-stage companies, both for transactions and as an investment. Companies need software to track and book crypto transactions for accounting purposes.

Digital assets create unique accounting requirements. Under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), crypto assets are considered intangible assets on balance sheets. Purchases of crypto are recorded at their initial price as the cost basis, and any reduction in value (impairment) must be recorded. However, any appreciation is not recorded. So over time, though the value of the crypto can fluctuate, only declines are recorded. This could potentially understate a company’s true value and confuse management and prospective investors.

When crypto is sold or used to pay a vendor or contractor, the transaction is recorded as a sale, and the company recognizes a capital gain or loss. Companies using crypto need to identify how long the assets have been held to distinguish between short- and long-term capital gains or losses.

Beyond capital gains and losses, other crypto events can produce income that may need to be included in your revenue and taxed as income. These events include staking rewards, mining rewards, yield-bearing liquid staking tokens, node incentives, and liquidity pool positions. All these events can be taxed as income.

What should crypto accounting software include?

Because of the accounting complexities of blockchain-related transactions, this kind of accounting software needs to:

  1. Integrate with major cryptocurrency exchanges and custodians.
  2. Connect with multiple non-custodial wallets and smart contracts across multiple blockchain networks. It should track Solana and other Cosmos chains in addition to EVM.
  3. Record cost basis details, track fair market rates, capture transaction fees, and perform gain/loss calculations for each transaction.
  4. Track the aforementioned crypto transactions back to the accounting system, include the counterparty, and assign the transaction to your unique chart of accounts.
  5. Two-way sync of the digital asset data into standard accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, or Oracle NetSuite.
  6. Provide integrated reporting for management, so that founders, boards, and investors have a clear picture of the true current value of any crypto assets and the company overall.

Can You Use Koinly for Free?

Koinly offers a free plan that allows users to import up to 10,000 transactions. This can be beneficial for individual traders who want to track their gains and losses without incurring costs. However, the free version has limitations. Advanced features like detailed tax reports and priority support are available only in the paid plans. Koinly is excellent for tax purposes but not for comprehensive crypto accounting needs. 【See Koinly pricing here】.

Is CoinTracker Free?

CoinTracker provides a free version that supports basic portfolio tracking and limited transaction imports. Like Koinly, CoinTracker is geared more toward tax calculations rather than a full accounting workflow. The free version is useful for individuals needing to track a small number of transactions. However, businesses with extensive transactions and complex portfolios will find it insufficient. [See Cointracker pricing here】.

Is CoinLedger Free?

CoinLedger, formerly known as CryptoTrader.Tax, offers a free plan that includes basic tax reporting features. This tool helps users generate necessary tax forms but lacks advanced accounting functionalities like unrealized GL, etc. The free version is designed for individuals, not for businesses managing multiple wallets and thousands of transactions.【See CoinLedger pricing here】

How to Report Crypto for Free?

Several free tools can help you report crypto tax at no cost. These include the aforementioned Koinly, CoinTracker, and CoinLedger. They allow you to import transactions, track gains and losses from a reduced amount of data sources, and generate tax reports.

However, these tools are limited in scope and are not suitable for comprehensive accounting needs for most crypto accountants. For more extensive needs, such as integrating with multiple exchanges, custodians, and wallets, you would need to consider paid plans from different crypto accounting software altogether.

Key Questions to Assess Crypto Tax Software Suitability

Before choosing free crypto tax software, consider these questions:

  • How many different wallets can the software track?
  • Which blockchain networks does it support?
  • Which custodial sources are supported?
  • Does it support all centralized exchanges you use?
  • Are there limits on the number of transactions you can import?

What Makes Good Business or Enterprise-Grade Software?

For businesses, the best crypto accounting software should include:

  • Comprehensive and granular transaction tracking across multiple exchanges and custodial sources.
  • Read APIs to integrate with your company’s ERP or accounting systems.
  • Support for several blockchain networks, across EVM, Cosmos, and Solana.
  • Advanced reporting features like reconciliation, historical balance by asset or by connection, Defi positions by connection, sanity checks, disposition statements, roll-up reports, and unrealized gain/loss.
  • Seamless sync or export with other traditional main ledger tools like QuickBooks or Xero.
  • Scalability to handle thousands of transactions.

Businesses need more robust solutions than what most of the free tools offer.

These solutions should provide detailed financial reports, reconciliation features, reliable data, sanity checks, and seamless integration with other accounting systems.

Purpose Built Crypto Accounting Software for Companies

For businesses needing robust solutions, here are the top accounting software for cryptocurrency based on G2 rankings:

Crypto Software Purpose built for Crypto and Digital Assets with Review Rating by G2.com

These tools offer more than just tax reporting; they provide a complete accounting package suitable for business needs. To choose between them you should get a demo or get a free trial access. You can also find this article suitable.

If you’re interested in trying out the free trial version of Cryptoworth, please contact us here to get started.

Conclusion

Free crypto accounting software is in most cases a mere tax solution, useful for individual users who need to manage basic tax reporting. However, they fall short for businesses requiring comprehensive accounting solutions. When choosing software, assess your needs based on the number of transactions, support for all chains your company interacts with, and exchanges used.

For businesses, consider switching to a purpose-built robust accounting software to ensure data is reliable and complete, enabling accurate and detailed financial reports and streamlining digital asset management.

Author

  • Ariel Eiberman

    Ariel Eiberman is the marketing lead at Cryptoworth, a leading crypto accounting software that helps web3 accountants speed up month-end closing. He has more than 6 years of experience in product marketing for software companies and a background of organizing olympic games and polyglot meetups in multiple cities.

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Ariel Eiberman

Ariel Eiberman is the marketing lead at Cryptoworth, a leading crypto accounting software that helps web3 accountants speed up month-end closing. He has more than 6 years of experience in product marketing for software companies and a background of organizing olympic games and polyglot meetups in multiple cities.

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