Top 5 Accounting Software for Freelancers

 

Small and medium businesses remain the backbone of the economy in many countries. Given that accounting is an integral part of any business, companies from different areas are always looking for opportunities to streamline their accounting tasks. They need to track their payable and receivable accounts, prepare for tax season, and evaluate the profitability. Fortunately, there are many types of accounting software that can help companies deal with all these tasks.

Thanks to the vast variety of accounting apps, every business can choose a solution that fits its objectives and the specifics of its niche. You can also choose different pricing options and different levels of customization. For instance, small businesses often use out-of-the-box programs because they may not need too many customization features. However, when your business grows, so do your accounting needs, so you may decide to choose more complex solutions.

Choosing the Right Accounting Software

On the one hand, having many options available is great because you can choose a solution that corresponds to your needs. On the other hand, it may also be much more difficult to make a choice. “New products appear all the time, there are thousands of online offerings that look very interesting, and it can be really challenging to navigate among applications with similar functionality and similar prices,” notes Valerie Perkins, an accountant at a writing service review website Best Writers Online. To choose the right accounting software for your business, you should understand some basic principles of accounting and analyze your business’s accounting needs.

First of all, you should consider your business’s managerial and financial needs. You need to undertake a broad analysis, considering both questions that have obvious answers and those that require thorough consideration from different departments. We recommend that you don’t rush and take your time to make sure that your analysis is substantial and detailed enough. Sometimes, companies think about an upgrade because of unexpected growth so you may feel tempted to solve this issue quickly. The main thing, however, is to make sure that you won’t need to change the chosen software soon.

To choose the right accounting software, you should also be financially literate. Quite often, decision-makers think that they don’t really need to know a lot about financial accounting because they expect modern software to enable them to automate all the tasks and to be easy to understand. Of course, not all small business executives and entrepreneurs are proficient in accounting. However, they need to figure out what data they should keep ensuring an effective decision-making process. You should also understand what reports you will need for the state tax authorities and the Internal Revenue Service.

It’s also important to understand your type of business. Different types of businesses may need different add-ons or modules to operate specific types of data. For example, manufacturers should understand inventory and labor, and retailers may need to approach their inventory through point-of-sale solutions. A doctor’s office might also need software that will help with billing associated with insurance companies. We recommend that you consider all the specifics of your business carefully to make sure that the chosen solution will meet your specific needs.

It’s also important to ensure effective communication. If you have an accountant, whether it be an in-house accountant or outsourced consultant, you should talk to them before choosing your new accounting software. “You need to make sure that the chosen solution will perfectly integrate with applications that are already used by your accountant,” explains Jess Haynes, an accountant at a custom writing services review website Online Writers Rating. Your accountant may also help you understand what data you need to gather.

In addition, you should talk to your IT department. When choosing software, you should take into account your hardware. Quite often, business accounting solutions work with massive databases that include multiple data tables, all of which might work together. Therefore, it’s especially important to make sure that you will have enough disk space unless you opt for a cloud solution. We also recommend that you keep in mind that your accounting data will grow so it will need more and more room.

Top 5 Programs for Business Accounting

LessAccounting
This is a great accounting solution that was designed to simplify a variety of accounting tasks. This app enables you to go through years of your expenses in less than an hour thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning. It enables you to create professional invoices in just a few seconds. Thanks to this solution, you can receive payments directly from PayPal, Stripe, Square, or other systems. If your client forgets to pay, the system will notify them automatically.

This solution also includes tools that will enable you to create proposals. There are many templates, and you can customize them according to your specific needs. When you’re ready to send invoices to your clients, you can quickly turn these proposals into invoices. LessAccounting also includes contact management features that will help you keep track of all of your contacts. You can easily import them from Gmail, Basecamp, and other apps.

Usually, accountants have to deal with many repetitive tasks. Thanks to LessAccounting, you can enjoy simple workflows based on automation. Many accounting tasks that would take hours when performed manually can be completed in just a few minutes. This app also includes a track mileage feature that will help you save some money by counting business trips as business expenses.

LessAccounting offers a 30-day free trial. If you enjoy using this app in the trial mode, you can choose the Lite or Team package. The Lite package is a good solution for self-employed professionals. It costs $24 per month and includes unlimited expense entries, invoices, mileage tracking, budget tools, and tax reports. The Team package will be a perfect choice for growing businesses. It supports multiple businesses, and it also includes bookkeeping help, time tracking, and unlimited proposals. The Team package costs $36 per month. Besides, LessAccounting offers nice annual discounts.

QuickBooks Online
This is a good solution for small businesses, which is very popular among accounting professionals. In fact, this is one of the most common solutions of this kind. You can easily access all the tools and features on a single dashboard so that bookkeeping will be easier than ever. Besides, you might appreciate dozens of forums and training sources.

This solution is used by both bookkeeping and tax experts. It’s cloud-based so you can access it anytime you need it from a desktop or smartphone. You can opt for a 30-day trial period and choose from among three different pricing plans. The basic Start plan costs $25 per month, the Essentials plan costs $40 per month, and the Plus and Advanced plans will cost you $70 and $150 per month, respectively. Usually, the company offers nice discounts for the first few months.

Each of these plans offers different features. Advanced features include time tracking, budgeting, inventory management, and multi-user support. If you have a service-based small business, Simple Start will likely satisfy all of your needs. If you’re selling products, you might choose the Plus or Essentials plan.

As your business grows, you can upgrade your subscription plan. Besides, there are many customization options available. You can use your QuickBooks mobile app to check reports, receive payments, track your business mileage, and make screenshots of receipts. If you need a payroll solution, you can also use QuickBooks Payroll, which fully integrates with QuickBooks Online. The Advanced plan is powered by Fathom — an advanced report analysis tool used by many big companies from all over the world. All plans support integration with PayPal and Stripe.

FreshBooks
This is another good solution that offers numerous invoice customization opportunities. Invoicing is one of the main selling points of this app. It will help you pay, print, receive, and send invoices. However, invoicing isn’t the only area of application of this solution, as it will also help you with bookkeeping tasks. Thanks to FreshBooks, you can send and receive payments, send proposals, request deposits, track time on different projects, and collect client retainers.

You can choose from among four pricing plans: Lite ($15 per month), Plus ($25 per month), Premium ($50 per month), and Select (custom pricing). If you choose an annual plan, you can also get a 10% discount. Besides, you can get a 60% discount for the first six months.

Pricing plans are based on the number of clients that can be billed on the monthly basis. For instance, if you work with less than 50 clients, you can opt for the Lite plan, while the Premium plan supports up to 500 clients. The Select plan allows you to bill an unlimited number of clients. You will have to pay an extra $10 so that multiple members of your team can use the accounting software.

For an additional $20, you can use the advanced payment feature. This way, you’ll be able to charge credit cards in real-time and set up recurring credit card charges. FreshBooks also integrates with many third-party apps, including G Suite, Gusto, Shopify, and Stripe.

Wave
This is a great solution for companies that send simple invoices and don’t need lots of additional functionality, such as inventory tracking. If you have a small business or work as a freelancer, Wave will probably satisfy all of your accounting needs, and you will only have to use free features. At the end of the year, you can use Wave to get all the necessary reports to prepare a tax return.

The basic accounting tools include many features that will be appreciated by small and mid-size businesses, such as invoicing, expense tracking, receipt scanning, and financial reporting. These features are free. You can also get additional premium features. Wave doesn’t require you to subscribe to a certain tariff plan. Instead, it makes money on transactions. Transactions for Mastercard, Visa, and Discover cost 2.9% plus 30¢, and transactions for American Express cost 3.4% plus 30¢. This solution also charges a 1% fee for processing ACH payments.

To use additional services, you can subscribe to one of the two tariff plans. The first plan costs $20 per month plus $6 per contractor or employee. This plan will help you get payroll tax calculations and process payroll. However, you will need to prepare and submit your tax forms manually. If you pay $35 per month and $6 per contractor or employee, Wave will manage all payments and tax filings completely.

Xero
If you’re looking for simple accounting software, Xero is one of the best options. This app has a simple interface and it easily integrates with many types of third-party payroll services. Thanks to the integration with GoCardless and Stripe, you can collect payments online. This solution also has a mobile app so that you can keep track of your finances from anywhere, at any moment.

Xero has three monthly subscription plans: Early ($9 per month), Growing ($30 per month), and Established ($60 per month). Therefore, you can upgrade your subscription plan as your business grows. There is also a full-payroll option that will cost you $39 per month, and $6 per employee. The company also offers a free 30-day trial and a 50% discount for the first two months.

The Early plan includes five bills, five invoices, and reconciliation of up to 20 transactions per month. Therefore, this plan will be appreciated by small businesses with a few high-ticket transactions per month. Both Established and Growing plans enable you to work with unlimited transactions, bills, and invoices. The only difference between these two plans is that the Established plan has a multi-currency feature. It also includes project costing and expense management.

Wrapping Up

Accounting is crucial for any business so there’s no surprise that companies are always looking for solutions that can simplify and streamline accounting processes. Thanks to modern accounting software, businesses can save a lot of time on data entry and sync their bank accounts with apps. Various apps can handle all types of transactions and help you work with invoices and taxes. Choosing a reliable solution can be a challenging task so we hope that our list of the best accounting programs will help you choose a solution that fits your needs.

It’s not scary, don’t worry.

Meet Jonathan, a designer

Accounting Software for Freelancers Made Easy

How To Save Time With Bookkeeping

Set up your books by adding your bank account(s) to import your expenses and deposits nightly. Also, set up your business credit cards as bank accounts as well.

bookkeeping time: 5-20 minutes

Get a new project, hooray!

  • Send an invoice for a deposit to the client. Mark the invoice with project tags and income types. (optional: accept payment via Paypal)
    bookkeeping time: 2 minutes

Complete the project!

  • Send an invoice for the final payment.
    bookkeeping time: 1 minute
  • Weekly task: mark your deposits to invoices, marking them as paid. Those invoices that are unpaid, resend, or follow up with a phone call to those clients.
    bookkeeping time: 2-10 minutes
  • Paying yourself, and pay 1099 contractors and/or employees.. We recommend SurePayroll.com to handle payroll. Wages and contract expenses in LessAccounting are just expenses categorized to either “contractor labor” or “wages”.
    bookkeeping time: 2-10 minutes
  • Monthly task: mark your expenses to expense categories. Check to make sure all your invoices are paid, notify late clients.
    bookkeeping time: 5-15 minutes
  • Invite your CPA or Accountant to LessAccounting as a trusted member. Now they can download all the data they need to prepare your taxes. Don’t have a CPA or Accountant? Just ask us, we know a bunch of awesome ones!
    bookkeeping time: 2 minutes

See how easy small business accounting can be… Get Started.