Accounting spreadsheet open on computer with calculator, tax forms and money on table

7 Best Accounting Software Solutions for Freelancers in 2023

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When you’re running a business, you spend a lot of time chasing payments. The last thing you want is to be late with your invoicing and have your customers call for extra payments. That’s why accounting software for freelancers is so crucial, especially when it comes to tracking client payments. 

Which accounting software has the perfect features to help you manage your books with greater efficiency? From QuickBooks to Zoho, and more, you have lots of options that are designed uniquely for your freelance business. 

1. QuickBooks

Simplify your accounting Quickbooks website

QuickBooks is one of the most popular online accounting and bookkeeping software. Many freelance writers and editors use QuickBooks to manage their finances. If you want to give it a test run to see if it works for you, you can try it out risk-free with a free 30-day trial.

It’s a very user-friendly software, which is why it is popular among small businesses and freelancers. With QuickBooks, you can create invoices, track payments and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, and much more. It is one of the best apps for small writing businesses

QuickBooks has many features that make it easy for users to manage their business finances. What you’ll get:

  • An Easy-to-Use Interface: The layout and navigation are pretty straightforward, making for an easy user experience.
  • Duplicate Entry Prevention: Business owners can set up multiple accounts in one file to avoid duplicate entries on financial statements.
  • Cash Flow Tracking: Set up accounts with the checkbook register feature to easily track your cash flow.
  • Category Tracking: Quickbooks allows you to track monthly expenses by category (e.g., meals and travel). 
  • Automatic Payroll Deductions: Set up payroll deductions to make sure employees are paid on time.
  • Automatic Bills: You’ll also be able to create new bills automatically based on previous bills.

However, QuickBooks has a few downsides. The first disadvantage is that it is not very good at handling large amounts of data. If you want to track thousands of transactions and files, the program will not be able to handle it well. Also, you will find that it doesn’t have many features and options for financial management. 

The second disadvantage of QuickBooks is that it doesn’t have many useful reports or charts for tracking business finances. This makes it hard for people who work with numbers every day to come up with accurate reports on how their business is doing – unless they enter data into each report manually.

2. Zoho Books

Zoho Books accounting software for freelancers

Zoho Books is cloud-based accounting software for freelancers, consultants, and other small businesses. It offers many features that can be useful for bookkeepers, business owners, and freelancers who need to keep track of their financial transactions.

This software has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to manage all your bookkeeping tasks online. The online platform is great for sharing files with other users, which is useful when collaborating on a team project.

Zoho Books has a portfolio view feature where you can see all your transactions in one place. This helps you keep track of all the money spent on different projects at once. This feature also allows you to set budgets so that you know how much each project will cost before starting. 

The best thing about this software is that it’s free! Full features are available on paid plans once a business owner needs them. 

Zoho’s accounting software has been on the market for more than a decade. Its main competitor is Google Sheets, which offers free accounts to start using its features. However, Zoho Books offers additional features that make it more suitable for small businesses that want to track their finances on the go or offline.

Here are some of the key features for self-employed individuals:

  • Financial Statements: This section allows you to create a financial statement, including the income and expenses of your business. You can create one-time reports based on the information you record in this section or recurring reports that will update automatically every month. You also have the ability to import data from other sources like bank accounts or invoices if they are available in your records.
  • Expenses: Here’s where you enter all of your company’s expenses. You’ll be able to set reminders for when payments need to be made, so there is no delay in settling them. Add notes about each expense to know why it was spent in the first place.
  • Mobile Apps: This is a handy feature to send invoices and track expenses on the go.
  • Email Invoices: Automatically send invoices through email, so you don’t have to enter them manually into your records.
  • Budgeting Tools: Create budgets in Zoho Books that help you keep track of your expenses, so you know how much money you’re spending each month.
  • Payroll Services: The payroll service allows you to manage employees’ paychecks easily by calculating salaries, taxes, and deductions as well as sending out paystubs.  Importing information directly from an external system such as QuickBooks or Paychex is easy if you want to switch.

The main disadvantage of Zoho Books is that it doesn’t have an integrated GST calculator or tools like Xero (which accepts online payments) or Intuit GoPayment (mobile card reader). You’ll have to import data from other sources if you want to use GST calculations or add electronic payments from clients into your books.

3. Bonsai

Bonsai accounting & taxes for your
solo business

Bonsai is a system that allows you to manage your freelance business, estimate your earnings, and stay on top of any potential problems.

This powerful tool combines all your accounts and transactions into one easy-to-use platform. It’s secure and flexible enough to meet all your accounting needs. With Bonsai, you’ll get many features that are useful for freelancers, including:

  • Simplicity: The user interface is clean and simple, so you can focus on creating invoices, tracking expenses, managing payroll, and more. You won’t be overwhelmed by menus or complicated interfaces. Enter your information once and let Bonsai do the rest.
  • Mobile Apps: You can access your financial data on the go using mobile apps that sync with your desktop version. There’s also an Android app.
  • Customer Support: This software has 24/7 customer support available via phone or email. You can also get help from their support forum if you need additional assistance.
  • A Cost-Effective Solution: Bonsai offers its users a cost-effective solution that can help you save money on paper bills by reducing printing costs and waste.
  • Unlimited Users: Add as many users as you want. There’s no limit on how many people can use the system at once.
  • Flexible Billing Options: Choose from different billing options, such as monthly or annual payments, so you’ll get more flexibility in paying your subscription fee.

However, the downside of Bonsai is that you can’t customize the setup or add any other features like invoicing or sales tax calculations (although there are third-party apps that can do this once you install them).

Bonsai also has a CRM solution that can come in handy for small businesses and freelancers. 

4. Wave

Get started with Wave to track your income and expenses

Wave is accounting software that has been developed to help freelancers to manage their sales, invoices, and expenses. It allows you to keep track of your business finances better than ever before. You’ll be able to sell your services more easily, whether that means writing, editing, photography, or other creative services.

With Wave, you can easily track expenses and receive regular reports on your business’s health for free.

Wave offers the following key features:

  • Simple and Hassle-Free Accounting: Wave automates many tasks that can be tedious to perform manually. You can track expenses, get monthly reports, and analyze your business’s health without hassle.
  • Multiple Accounts: With Wave, you’ll have the ability to create multiple accounts for different purposes and export data from one account to another. For example, you can use one account for billing clients and another for invoicing them.
  • Full Budgeting: Set budgets for each expense category and see how much money you have left in each category before month’s end. This feature helps you plan before spending remaining money on anything unnecessary.
  • Customizable Reports: With Wave’s reporting options, you can create customized reports based on your specific needs and requirements. For example, if you want to know how much money was spent on marketing last month, click “Marketing” in the navigation bar and select “Marketing” under “Report.”
  • Dashboard Reports: Get a quick overview of your cash flow by viewing daily, weekly, or monthly reports. These can be filtered by any criteria, including revenue from each job or client.

There are several disadvantages associated with using Wave as your main accounting software. First, it doesn’t provide any help when it comes to taxes or other complex tasks. Second, this system doesn’t offer many advanced features like invoicing or purchase order tracking. And finally, if you don’t already have an account with Wave, then there’s no way of getting started immediately. You’ll need to set up an account before doing anything.

5. FreshBooks

Try FreshBooks accounting free

FreshBooks is great accounting software for freelancers. It allows you to track your expenses, income, and clients, which can be very helpful in managing your business. The online service is also easy to use without complicated instructions. Pricing plans start at an affordable rate of $15 per month.

FreshBooks’ features include:

  • Accounts: Create and edit accounts with easy-to-use templates. Create unlimited sub-accounts and track your income and expenses in one place.
  • Invoices: Create professional-looking invoices with optional auto-generated headers and footers. Send invoices on time or manually print them out for a more personal touch.
  • Expenses: Track your business-related expenses such as office purchases, hiring expenses if you outsource or hire other team members to collaborate on projects, rent, utilities, phone bills, insurance premiums, and more. You can even automatically categorize each expense by type. This allows you to see which expenses are being paid for each client.
  • Reports: View detailed reports on your profit or loss for the current month or year. Access over 150 reports covering every aspect of your business, including Net Profit Margin, Net Profit Margin per Client, Net Loss Margin, and more!
  • Grievances: Submit disputes with customers or clients through the app or web portal. This helps you reach a resolution faster than emailing back and forth with a customer service representative.

FreshBooks is easy to set up and use, but some disadvantages exist.

First, you can’t generate reports using the mobile app, which could be an issue if you’re working on the road. Second, the software doesn’t allow you to schedule payments from clients. You have to manually enter each payment when it comes in, or it won’t be recorded in your account!

6. Xero

Xero accounting software for everyday business

Xero is the leading accounting software for freelance businesses that allows you to create, send, and track your invoices and trackable expenses. It also offers integrated financial reporting, such as importing bank and credit card billing statements.

Xero is one of the most popular online accounting software because it offers many key features that can make your life easier. Xero has a free trial that allows you to get started with the service. There is also a paid version of the software if you want more features or additional reporting options.

Here are some of the best features that make this software stand out from the rest:

  • One-Click Billing: Xero’s one-click billing feature means you can send an invoice without manually entering every line item or calculating prices for each line item. Instead, click one button and you’ll be ready to go.
  • Inventory Management: You can easily manage inventory such as books you’ve published, photography prints, or Lightroom preset packages you’ve created and are selling. This includes tracking purchased products and inventory levels, ensuring you have enough inventory to meet customer demand.
  • Payroll: Xero offers a payroll service that lets you accept payments directly into your bank account via ACH transfer or direct deposit, so there’s no need to worry about managing payroll manually. The service also integrates with other popular payroll software such as Quickbooks or Paychex.
  • Mobile App: Xero also has a great mobile app you can use while on the go. The app allows you to view your account balances, send invoices, and do other tasks without opening the desktop version. The desktop version is still needed for creating new accounts, however.

The biggest disadvantage of using Xero is that it’s not compatible with all platforms. Its desktop application only works on Windows OS, while its mobile apps are only available on iOS and Android devices. If you’re using another platform such as macOS or Linux, you’ll have to use third-party apps like QuickBooks instead.

7. Akaunting – Best for EU-Based Freelancers

Akaunting free accounting software for freelancers

Akaunting software has a user-friendly interface and comes with a host of features to make it one of the best accounting tools for freelancers. 

This software is the best option for EU freelancers as most of the other apps do not accept EU currencies. Akaunting also offers a free trial and free support.

The system comes with many useful tools and reports like:

  • Payroll System: Pay your employees on time so they can focus on their work. This feature is ideal if you need to hire other creative professionals, such as a designer or a writer, to help round out your offerings. You won’t have to worry about late payments or bounced checks.
  • Inventory Management: Keep track of all the inventory you have in stock, such as courses or books you’re selling. You’ll also be able to track sales, purchases, and returns, and see how much money you have left over after paying your bills, which can help when looking for new clients or making business decisions.
  • Sales Reports: Generate sales reports at any point during the year using this feature. These reports will show how much money each client spent with you.
  • Expenses Tracking: Keep track of all expenses related to your business, such as office supplies, rent, travel costs, etc., or any other expenses such as marketing or research projects that may not be directly related to your business but are still important for its success.
  • Task Management: Manage all your tasks including assigning projects and tracking progress and completion. You can also set deadlines for all your tasks, so they don’t get forgotten about!

Like most accounting programs, Akaunting requires a monthly subscription after your first month’s free trial expires. However, if you’re starting out as a freelancer or small business owner, you may not need many features beyond basic invoices and expense tracking. Unfortunately, Akaunting doesn’t have a mobile platform so you’ll have to use your desktop or laptop to access it.

Which Accounting Software Do You Need for Your Freelancing Business? 

As you grow your creative freelancing business, whether you’re a writer, editor, designer, or photographer, good accounting software is going to become a necessity. Not only will it help you keep track of your earnings and expenses, but a professional-looking invoice and streamlined payment structure will also impress clients. Don’t hesitate to try out a few of these platforms to see which one will give you the tools you need most, from recurring invoices and online payments to on-the-go accounting.

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