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As a self-employed person, I understand that you are not self-employed for the love of administrative work. That’s why you need a single accounting software that will take care of all the details for you so you can focus on your core business.
Inexpensive Small Business Accounting Software
For several weeks, I’ve been testing accounting software for freelancers – applications that will collect all your financial information in one place, track all your transactions, and run reports on your weekly hours. These are the eight best options.
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Accounting software is a big step up from an invoice generator, spreadsheet or document template application. At the very least, it will help you with invoices and receipts, provide a dashboard with key information about your business, and provide simple reports to view your income at the end of the tax year. More comprehensive accounting software for freelancers will include time tracking, project management, integration with online payment portals, bank account integration and invoice scanning.
When I was researching the best online bookkeeping software for self-employed people like you, I looked at the following:
I signed up for each of these individual accounting software solutions and created a series of invoices, expenses, projects, and schedules to test how they worked. I also downloaded the mobile apps to get a feel for how easy they are to use and to test other purchases. Self-employed accounting is a really unique job and I wanted to make sure I had a real sense of how it would feel. After all these tests, I settled on these eight apps as the best accounting software for freelancers.
Intuit Quickbooks Online Review
One thing I like about this category is the freedom of design. Accounting software can sound and seem boring, but Freshbooks is a great example of how it can be quirky and fun.
When you start, most pages will have no information to display, but newer books have instructions written all over the place to show you what happens on each page. It is like a guide who takes a pen and marks the important points for you. The app’s navigation is similarly simple and intuitive. And if you stumble, there are links to the knowledge base scattered throughout, so you always have in-depth information close at hand. For more advanced things, you can call FreshBooks, join the chat, or submit a support ticket.
FreshBooks has a full suite of features for freelancers: accounting, time tracking, and projects. I created some projects for two fictitious clients and started timing them. You can attach times to projects and add details of what’s happening. Then at the end of the week, you can see all your working hours in a calendar view – very useful for improving workflow.
Creating invoices and expenses is done in simple pages, so you can do it quickly. You can help your customers pay by integrating an online payment portal with FreshBooks.
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FreshBooks works with Sensible to pull data from your accounts. It’s more than just taking a picture and saving it in the app: account information will be extracted using optical character recognition (OCR), saving you time entering manually. Receipts can be loaded online and through mobile apps, so you can put your shoes back in the box.
One big addition I appreciated: the ability to invite other users with multiple roles. This is useful if you start working with an accountant or join someone other than Freelancer.
Biggest downside: Freshbooks doesn’t have a free tier, which isn’t great considering how stable things are for you right now. Subscriptions start at $15 a month, and you need to pay more if you want to add more customers or need advanced analytics.
If you love how easy fresh books are, you’ll love how easy it is when you put them together. You’ll be able to do things like automatically subscribe new FreshBooks subscribers to your email list and receive notifications when new accounts are created.
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See how FreshBooks compares to other accounting powerhouses in our roundup: FreshBooks vs. Xero and FreshBooks Vs. QuickBooks.
It’s hard to praise Vio. So hard that we named it the best free accounting software for small business and added it to our list of best free invoicing software. No one here gets paid by Wave to make their accountants happy (trust me, I’ll be fired faster than a Falcon rocket). There are two main reasons why it continues to top our lists: (1) great features on board and (2) a really attractive price model.
The whole app has a friendly feel with rounded fonts and simple icons. The dashboard shows you a graph of your cash flow, your bank account balance (you have to integrate them with Wave, but they will only pull transaction data, never send data or orders to your bank account), for common actions A set of links, and a profit and loss graph.
If you’re just getting started with accounting for your freelance business, Vive has an e-book called “Fearless Accounting with Vive”; A really thorough piece on everything you need to know about accounting, using simple terms and lots of examples. Even if you don’t choose View as your accounting app, you can still grab and read it here.
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In terms of features, Waves only disappoints in two areas: you can’t track your projects, and you can’t track time with a timer. The only way Wave allows you to record time is when you create an invoice and add it as one of the invoice items. Considering the quality of the invoices, expense tracking and accounting part (they’re really good) it’s a shame. But if you’re already using another project management and time tracking app, you should be covered.
Wave lets you attach your receipts to your expenses so you have everything in one place, but it will pull the data for you – you’ll have to enter it manually. It also has some useful additional features, including Wave Checkouts, which allows you to accept payments from your website with a payment link.
And finally: the price. Waves is truly free bookkeeping software. We’re all freebies here and we know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. So what’s the catch? The lights maintain the lights by taking a small percentage and fixed interest rate from each online payment processed by the platform. Considering that you will always pay an online payment fee, no matter which app you choose, you actually get the accounting features for free.
I could tell you how I transferred all my receipts from Google Docs to View in a “spare” hour, but it’s time to stop fantasizing. If you’re not sold yet, you might want to connect to Vive once and integrate it with other apps you use. Here are a few examples, but you can choose from almost any app.
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Wave Price: Free. Online credit card payments cost $0.30 + 2.9% per transaction; Online bank/ACH payments incur a 1% fee per transaction.
Is doing your taxes as painful as fingernails slowly scratching a chalkboard? If so, self-employed QuickBooks will feel like easy jazz.
The user interface is clear and clean, with a few quotes about life and business to brighten your day. Setup is quick because QuickBooks only wants to know your industry so it can advise you on costs that people in your industry typically charge. After that, you’ll have a set of messages on your dashboard to help you organize everything from adding business information to checking whether you’re married or not.
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