Winbiz Review & Guide

The Ultimate Swiss Accounting Software for Freelancers?

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Managing finances as a freelancer in Switzerland can feel daunting, especially when it comes to handling accounting, invoicing, payroll and taxes. With a glut of enterprise-focused ERP systems on one end and simple single-purpose tools on the other, it's hard to find an all-in-one solution tailored to Swiss self-employed professionals.

Enter Winbiz - a veteran player that has been serving small businesses in Switzerland for over two decades. With an integrated suite of locally-developed applications spanning accounting, invoicing, payroll, time tracking and POS, Winbiz aims to be a one-stop shop for solopreneurs and small teams. But is it truly the best option for the 400,000+ freelancers and micro-enterprises that form the backbone of the Swiss economy?

In this comprehensive review, we'll take a deep dive into Winbiz's features, pricing, user experience and overall fit for Swiss independents. We'll also compare it head-to-head against Magic Heidi - a newer cloud-native platform purpose-built for freelancer finances. So whether you're just starting out or looking to upgrade your admin toolbox, read on to determine if Winbiz is the right choice for your business.

Company Background

Winbiz is the flagship product of La Gestion Électronique SA (LGE), a company founded in 1972 in the Swiss town of Martigny. Originally an accounting firm serving local businesses, LGE spotted a gap in the market for an affordable, easy-to-use accounting system for small companies. This insight led to the launch of the BIZ Comptabilité software in 1993, later rebranded to Winbiz.

Over the next two decades, Winbiz expanded from a single accounting module to a complete business management platform, adding invoicing, inventory, payroll and time tracking capabilities. Focusing squarely on simplifying financial management for small companies and independent workers, Winbiz grew its customer base to over 20,000 Swiss SMBs.

In 2013, LGE was acquired for an undisclosed sum by Fiducial, a France-based provider of software, consulting and accounting services. As a subsidiary, Winbiz gained additional capital and development resources, while retaining autonomy over product direction and continuing to focus solely on the Swiss market.

Today, Winbiz has offices in Genève, Martigny, and Lausanne, with over 60 employees. Its customers span a wide range of industries including retail, professional services, manufacturing and non-profits. Annual revenues are estimated at 10-15M CHF, making it a major player in the Swiss SMB accounting software sector.

III. Product Overview

At its core, Winbiz is a Windows-based suite of tightly integrated financial and business management modules. The complete product lineup includes:

  • Winbiz Accounting: General ledger, accounts payable/receivable, analytics, VAT reporting
  • Winbiz Commerce: Sales, purchasing, inventory, invoicing, CRM
  • Winbiz Payroll: Employee records, salary calculation, social insurance management
  • Winbiz Projects: Project accounting, time sheets, resource planning, billing
  • Winbiz Cash Register: Point-of-sale, payment processing, cash management
  • Winbiz Mobile: iOS/Android apps for receipts, expenses and invoicing on the go

While each module can technically be used standalone, they are designed to work together seamlessly, with real-time data synchronization and drill-down between functions. This unified approach sets Winbiz apart from piecemeal solutions that require complex integrations.

In terms of deployment, Winbiz has traditionally been an on-premises system, installed on the customer's own Windows PCs or local servers. However, in response to growing demand for flexible access, Winbiz introduced a hosted "Cloud" version in 2019.

Unlike modern cloud-native platforms like Magic Heidi that were built from the ground up for the web and mobile, Winbiz Cloud is essentially the same local client hosted on Winbiz's servers and delivered via Remote Desktop. While this provides remote access and online data storage, it retains many limitations of the legacy Windows architecture.

On the pricing front, Winbiz has evolved from a one-time license model to monthly subscriptions. Winbiz Cloud starts at 69 CHF/month for one user, which includes all the main modules. Pricing scales based on number of simultaneous users and add-on features. There's also a locally-installed version that has a lower entry price (49 CHF/month), but requires manual updates and backups.

In contrast, Magic Heidi only costs 19 CHF/month for one user

Looking for an alternative to Winbiz?

Try Magic Heidi, the simple and great solution for Swiss freelancers

Integrations & Add-ons

No accounting platform can be everything to everyone. That's why the ability to integrate with other business systems and services is critical, especially as freelancers adopt more digital tools. Winbiz provides a few key options for extending its functionality:

  • E-commerce connectors for platforms like WooCommerce, Prestashop and Magento
  • Banking integrations via EBICS and ISO 20022 protocols for statement imports and payments
  • REST API for custom integrations and data syncing with third-party apps
  • Add-on modules for specific industries or functions (e.g. construction, asset leasing, subscriptions)

Via the e-commerce integrations, Winbiz can automatically sync product catalogues, pricing, customers and orders with your online store. This eliminates the need for manual data entry and ensures consistent information across channels. The banking interfaces also streamline the flow of financial data and transactions.

For more bespoke needs, the Winbiz API allows developers to build custom workflows and integrations. However, the API is relatively limited in scope, focusing mainly on data import/export rather than real-time transactional processing. The add-on modules, while expanding the system's footprint, can also increase complexity and cost.

Magic Heidi takes a more modern approach to extensibility, with a comprehensive REST API that supports real-time read/write across all data objects. This allows freelancers to more easily connect Magic Heidi with their favorite productivity, CRM, marketing and analytics tools. Native integrations with popular Swiss services like banks, payment providers, insurance and government portals are also continuously expanding.

From a customization perspective, Magic Heidi offers a flexible no-code/low-code environment for creating custom dashboards, reports, templates and workflows. This allows freelancers to tailor the platform to their unique business needs without relying on expensive third-party developers or add-ons. The inherent scalability and adaptability of the cloud-based architecture also supports more seamless growth.

User Experience

Functionality aside, the user experience can make or break a freelancer's adoption of an accounting platform. Winbiz has made significant strides in recent years to modernize its interface and streamline common workflows. The result is a relatively clean and intuitive environment, with easy navigation between modules and quick access to frequently-used features.

However, Winbiz still bears some hallmarks of its legacy desktop heritage. Screens can feel dense and overwhelming, with an abundance of fields, buttons and menus. The visual design also lacks some of the polish and consistency of newer web-based platforms. And while the cloud version eliminates some technical complexity, it can suffer from latency and connectivity issues.

In terms of setup and onboarding, Winbiz provides a range of self-service and assisted options. The documentation and video tutorials cover key tasks and configurations, but can feel fragmented and assume some prior accounting knowledge. Importing data from other systems may also require mapping templates and manual interventions.

Once up and running, the learning curve for Winbiz is moderate but manageable. The interface is generally logical and supports both keyboard and mouse-driven interactions. However, some advanced features and settings can be buried in sub-menus or require non-intuitive steps. The lack of in-app guidance and proactive recommendations can also leave novice users struggling to find the most efficient workflows.

Support is available through an online help center, live chat, email and phone. However, wait times can vary and the quality of assistance may depend on the agent's expertise. Winbiz does offer a network of certified partners who provide local training, customization and support. But these services come at an additional cost and may not be realistic for budget-conscious freelancers.

Magic Heidi, in contrast, is built around a modern, mobile-first user experience. The interface is highly visual and intuitive, with clean typography, consistent design patterns and fluid animations. Key workflows like invoicing and expense logging are optimized for speed and simplicity, with minimal data entry required.

Onboarding is also highly automated, with step-by-step guides, pre-filled templates and intelligent defaults based on your industry and location. Connecting bank accounts, payment providers and tax authorities is handled through secure integrations, eliminating manual setup. And because all data is stored in the cloud, you can access your account seamlessly across devices.

From a support perspective, Magic Heidi offers 24/7 live chat with a team of Swiss accounting experts. The in-app help center provides contextual articles, videos and interactive walkthroughs for key tasks. There's also a community forum where freelancers can ask questions, share tips and suggest product improvements.

While no platform is perfect, Magic Heidi's focus on simplicity, automation and user-centric design makes it highly approachable for freelancers who may not have deep accounting expertise. The modern cloud architecture also ensures a consistently fast and reliable experience across devices. But for those who prefer a more traditional desktop interface and granular control, Winbiz remains a solid option.

Winbiz vs Magic Heidi

Speaking of comparisons, let's dive into a head-to-head matchup between Winbiz and Magic Heidi across key dimensions:

Feature Winbiz Magic Heidi
Accounting Full-featured double-entry system with advanced reporting and VAT management Automated bookkeeping with real-time insights and tax compliance
Invoicing Customizable templates with online payment and e-invoicing options Streamlined creation and delivery with integrated payment processing
Expenses Receipt scanning and manual entry with attachments and categories Automatic receipt scanning and OCR with real-time expense tracking
Time tracking Web-based and mobile time sheets with project and task breakdowns Not included
Payroll Comprehensive HR and salary management with social insurance reporting Not included
Inventory Multi-location stock tracking with order fulfillment and costing Basic product and service catalog
Banking EBICS integration for statement imports and bulk payments Bank statement import support for +100 Swiss banks
Reporting 50+ built-in reports with custom fields and calculations Visual cash flow, profit & loss, balance sheet and tax reports
Mobile Companion app for iOS/Android with receipt scanning and creation of estimates/invoices Fully-featured native apps for iOS/Android/Mac
Integrations E-commerce connectors, REST API and add-on modules Open API, native integrations and no-code customization tools
Pricing 69 CHF/month for one user, plus 29 CHF/month for each additional user (billed annually) 19 CHF/month for one user
Ideal for SMEs who need a complete Swiss-compliant solution and advanced features Solo entrepreneurs and freelancers who want to automate their finances and focus on their business

As you can see, both Winbiz and Magic Heidi cover the core accounting needs of Swiss freelancers. However, they differ in their approach, depth and pricing.

Winbiz is a powerful and customizable platform that caters to the full spectrum of SMEs, from solo freelancers to businesses with dozens of employees. Its modules cover everything from basic bookkeeping to inventory management, project accounting and payroll. This can be advantageous for freelancers who need room to grow and want an all-in-one solution.

On the flip side, the sheer breadth of features in Winbiz can feel overwhelming for freelancers with simpler needs. The interface, while improved, still has some complexity and clutter. And the per-user pricing can quickly escalate costs, especially for those who need occasional access for an accountant or assistant.

Magic Heidi, in contrast, is laser-focused on automating and simplifying accounting for solo entrepreneurs. By streamlining data entry, connecting to real-world services and providing proactive insights, it aims to eliminate busywork and let freelancers focus on their craft. The pricing is also more transparent and affordable, with even the base plan supporting unlimited transactions.

However, Magic Heidi's simplicity comes with some tradeoffs in customization and control. While you can tailor invoices, reports and categories, you don't have the same level of granularity as Winbiz in terms of chart of accounts, stock management, or payroll. And if you outgrow the freelancer model, you may need to supplement Magic Heidi with other tools.

Ultimately, the right choice depends on your specific needs and preferences as a freelancer. If you value a Swiss-made solution with comprehensive features and a traditional interface, Winbiz is a solid bet. But if you prioritize automation, ease of use and affordability, Magic Heidi may be the better fit.

Getting Started

If you're ready to take Winbiz for a spin, the process is relatively straightforward. Winbiz offers a 30-day free trial of its cloud version, which includes all the core modules and sample data. To get started:

  1. Visit the Winbiz website
  2. Fill out the registration form with your contact details and business information
  3. Choose your preferred solution (Eco, Biz or Pro) and any additional modules
  4. Wait for the confirmation email with your account credentials and login link
  5. Access your Winbiz Cloud environment and begin exploring the features and sample data
  6. Optionally, book a free onboarding session with a Winbiz consultant to help with setup and configuration

Once you're up and running, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the key modules and workflows that are relevant to your business. This may include:

  • Customizing your chart of accounts and VAT settings in the Accounting module
  • Configuring your invoice and estimate templates in the Commerce module
  • Adding customer and vendor records with contact details and payment terms
  • Connecting your bank account(s) for automated statement imports and reconciliation
  • Setting up projects and tasks for time tracking and billing in the Projects module
  • Exploring the reports and dashboards to monitor your financial performance

As you dive deeper, you may want to consult the Winbiz documentation, video tutorials and user community for tips and best practices. You can also reach out to the Winbiz support team or a certified partner for personalized assistance.

If you decide to move forward with Winbiz after the trial, you can easily convert your account to a paid subscription. Keep in mind that Winbiz Cloud pricing starts at 69 CHF/month for one user, with additional costs for extra users and modules. You'll also need to factor in any data migration, customization and training expenses.

For comparison, getting started with Magic Heidi is even simpler. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial directly from the website or mobile app, with no credit card required. The onboarding wizard guides you through connecting your bank accounts, customizing your invoices and configuring your tax settings. Sample data is also available to help you explore the features.

Once you're set up, you can start using Magic Heidi to track expenses, create invoices, and categorize transactions. The mobile app makes it easy to capture receipts and log expenses on the go. And the real-time insights and reports keep you on top of your cash flow and tax obligations.

If you decide to continue with Magic Heidi, you can choose from three simple pricing plans starting at 19 CHF/month. All plans include unlimited invoicing, expense tracking, and bank connections. You can also easily upgrade or downgrade as your needs change.

As a freelancer, it's important to choose accounting software that aligns with your business model, budget and growth plans. Both Winbiz and Magic Heidi offer robust solutions for Swiss solopreneurs, with different strengths and trade-offs. By taking advantage of the free trials, exploring the features and assessing the user experience, you can make an informed decision and get started with confidence.


In the landscape of Swiss accounting software, Winbiz stands out as a comprehensive and locally-developed solution. With its deep roots in the Swiss market and its modular approach to financial management, it has earned a loyal following among SMEs and accounting professionals.

For freelancers, Winbiz offers a compelling value proposition: an all-in-one platform that covers accounting, invoicing, expense tracking, project management and more. Its compliance with Swiss VAT and reporting requirements provides peace of mind, while its customization options support a wide range of business needs.

However, Winbiz's success as an SME solution may also be its Achilles' heel for freelancers. The sheer breadth of features and settings can feel overwhelming for solo entrepreneurs who just want to streamline their finances. The learning curve, while manageable, may deter some users who prefer a more intuitive and automated approach.

This is where newer entrants like Magic Heidi come in. By focusing exclusively on the needs of freelancers and micro-businesses, Magic Heidi has built a modern, mobile-first platform that prioritizes simplicity, automation and real-time insights. Its affordable and transparent pricing also aligns well with freelance budgets.

Yet Magic Heidi's freelancer-centric approach means sacrificing some of the depth and control of Winbiz. Freelancers who need advanced features like payroll, inventory management, or multi-entity accounting may find Magic Heidi too streamlined. And while Magic Heidi supports basic bookkeeping and tax compliance, it may not be suitable for complex financial situations.

Ultimately, the choice between Winbiz and Magic Heidi (or any other accounting solution) depends on your unique needs, preferences and growth trajectory as a freelancer. If you value a Swiss-made solution with comprehensive features and room to scale, Winbiz is a strong contender. But if you prioritize simplicity, mobility and automation, Magic Heidi may be the better fit.

Regardless of your choice, the most important thing is to get started with proper financial management early in your freelance journey. By tracking your income and expenses, staying on top of your taxes and making data-driven decisions, you'll be better equipped to sustain and grow your independent business over the long haul.

As the Swiss freelance economy continues to evolve, so too will the accounting software landscape. With players like Winbiz and Magic Heidi pushing the boundaries of what's possible, freelancers can expect more innovation, automation and user-centricity in the years to come. The key is to stay informed, assess your options carefully and choose tools that empower you to focus on what matters most: delivering great work and building a thriving business.

Looking for an alternative to Winbiz?

Try Magic Heidi, the simple and great solution for Swiss freelancers