Best Accounting Software for Self-Employed and Freelancers 2022

As a self-employed business, you know that tracking your income and expenses is essential to keeping your business running smoothly. That’s why it’s essential to find the best accounting software for the self-employed in 2022. There are many different options available, both paid and free. This blog post will compare the most popular options and help you decide which one is the best fit for your business.

The first thing you should do is decide what your budget is. Accounting software can be costly, especially if you are starting out and don’t have much money to spend on it yet. The good news is there are plenty of free options available too!

Considerations to Choosing an Accounting Package

Finding the best accounting package for freelancers in 2022 can be daunting. There are many different options to choose from, both paid and free versions. However, with a few key considerations, you can find the right software for you.

When looking for accounting software, it is essential to consider your needs and business size first. If you are a small business owner, you may not need all the features of more expensive software. In that case, there are many affordable options available. Additionally, if you are on a tight budget, many free programs offer most of the features you need.

It would be best if you also looked for software that is easy to use; most have a steep learning curve. Accounting programs can be very complicated with many different features and options. These can make them difficult for small business users unfamiliar with accounting processes and practices. So, try to find a program that is easy to navigate and has a helpful support system.

Finally, be sure to choose software compliant with tax laws in your country. Making Tax Digital is being introduced for self-employed businesses in the UK from 2024 and is already in place for VAT.

Let’s jump into our list of best accounting software for self-employed so that you can find the right option for your business.

Best Accounting Software for sef-employed
Best Accounting Software for Self-employed

Best Self Employed Accounting Software for 2022

Here is the list of best accounting software for the self-employed and small businesses:

Of course, all of them have different benefits and disadvantages. So, let’s take a deeper look at what they are.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks review dashboard

Freshbooks is an outstanding tool for small business owners, but they specialise in freelancers.

Their accounting software also comes with a time tracker, an excellent addition for those who work from home or bill time to different clients.

But what makes the Freshbooks accounting software especially useful for self-employed users is that you can send automated reminders on invoices. So you can spend less time reminding your clients manually to pay overdue invoices.

It’s also got a straightforward overview reporting so you can always see what’s going on financially in your business.

Freshbooks is also affordable and starts at just £11 per month, but you can get 50% off your first three months.

Plus, Freshbooks offers a free trial as well, which you can sign up for.

Visit FreshBooks

Key features

Freshbooks has an excellent set of features that are perfect for most types of self-employed businesses:

Pricing

Freshbooks has a nice range of pricing plans that grow well with your business. I’d assume that one of the lower plans would be suited for most self-employed individuals.

But if you need some of the benefits of the higher plans like advanced checkout links and reporting, they are available on the higher plans.

FreshBooks accounting Software Pricing
Visit FreshBooks

QuickBooks Online

Quickbooks review dashboard

QuickBooks Online by Intuit is one of the best small business accounting software products. And that includes self-employed too.

It lets you send invoices on the go and integrates with all of the major payment platforms.

While it doesn’t have the same time-tracking benefits as FreshBooks, it’s user-friendly and comes with some great tools to automate parts of the self-assessment.

The whole software is designed to help you send invoices and manage your business as fast as possible.

I was also pretty impressed by how much you could customise your invoices and how easy it is to do so.

The only negative side is that some users complain about the self-employed/starter version being too simple – if you ever wanted to grow your business more.

Overall, Quickbooks is one of the easiest and most capable accounting solutions for self-employed businesses.

Key features

Although Quickbooks online has the tools for more advanced businesses, it’s also excellent for self-employed individuals.

Some of the key features of Quickbooks self-employed includes:

  • Cloud Accounting.
  • Send Invoices
  • Project Profitability.
  • Accounting reports.
  • Inventory Management.
  • Mileage Tracking.
  • Business Expenses.

Pricing

Self-employed QuickBooks Pricing

Quickbooks online pricing starts at just £8 per month for Sole traders, so it’s pretty affordable. However, one thing to note is that this doesn’t include the following features:

  • UK phone support
  • Submit VAT making tax digital directly to HMRC
  • Send invoices that can be paid in one click
  • Create estimates and quotes

You will have to upgrade to the £12 per month plan for these features.

But you can get 50% off your first four months of Quickbooks self-employed by using the link below.

Visit QuickBooks

FreeAgent

FreeAgent Accounting Software Dashboard

FreeAgent is one of the easiest-to-use accounting software on the market, which is why I think it’s excellent for self-employed individuals.

The expense tracking and overall overview of the software are also very clear – so you can easily take control of your business’s finances.

Plus, it also has a time-tracking feature similar to that of Freshbooks. The main downside of the software is that it’s on the pricier side of this list, with plans starting at £19 per month.

That being said you can get a 50% discount for your first couple of months.

And in case you have a banking current account with NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, or Ulster Bank NI – you can get a complete FreeAgent account for free.

Key features

FreeAgent has a set of features that makes it excellent for a self-employed business. It is because all the main features are included in the main sole trader plan.

Some of its key features include:

  • Estimates
  • Invoicing
  • Business insights
  • Expense management
  • Projects
  • Time tracking
  • Payroll processing
  • Banking

Pricing

As already mentioned, FreeAgent is on the higher side in terms of cost. However, it may not work out more because you won’t need to add any add-ons as you may have with another tool like Xero.

All the expense tracking, projects, and so on are included.

FreeAgent Accounting Software Pricing

Visit FreeAgent

Xero

Xero accounting software demo

Xero is one of the most known accounting software products in the industry.

Using it, you can accept payments manage your invoices, and keep track of your expenses. As it’s so known, it has the benefit that it integrates with a lot of other software such as

  • Ecommerce tools
  • CRMs
  • Inventory tools
  • Accountant tools
  • Business Banks
  • And many more

And another big benefit it has for self-employed individuals is the comprehensive project tracking that lets you track the exact numbers of a specific project.

However, they recently updated their pricing for the starter, which saw the pricing plans get limits on expense claims, projects, and even multi-currency support.

It also has a similar price point to most others, starting at £10 per month. However, this is still decent value for the features it provides, and it’s also fairly easy to use.

Overall, Xero is a great accounting software choice, and it has a highly impressive list of integrations.

Key features

Xero has some outstanding features for a self-employed business. The only thing to remember is that not all of these features are available on the standard plans. Some of them, such as expenses and project tracking, are add-ons that come at an additional fee.

  • Manage and pay your bills
  • Submit VAT returns online
  • Claim Expenses
  • Bank Connections
  • Accept Payments
  • Track Projects

Pricing

Xero’s standard pricing starts at £10 per month. The main disadvantage Xero has is that the next plan up from there is £24 per month.

And then, if you want to add more projects or expenses, you face additional costs too.

However, many would argue that Xero is worth it because of its ease of use, features, and excellent support. You can see the full pricing table below.

Xero small business accounting software pricing
Visit Xero

Crunch Accounting

Crunch Free Software Dashboard

Crunch Accounting is another excellent accounting software specialising in small businesses, freelancers, and contractors.

The options on this list are also on the pricier side as it starts at £24.50 per month. However, what makes it worth it is that you will receive more advice and support from the platform than you would with some of the other options.

It also offers a free plan where this and some of the other features aren’t available.

Key Features

The Crunch Accounting software is pretty decent, and compared to the other options on this list, it offers a little more personalised advice.

Key features include:

  • Expert advice
  • Expense tracking
  • Connect your bank account
  • Easy Bank Recognition
  • HMRC Registration
  • VAT Registration
  • Self Assessment and Support

Pricing

As a self-employed business, you can choose between the free plan and the £24.50 per month. I would assume that the free plan doesn’t have the right features for most of you, but you can always upgrade to the paid plan.

And if you ever do grow your business into a limited company, the Crunch Accounting software has suited plans too.

Crunch Accounting Software Pricing
Visit Crunch

 Clear Books 

ClearBooks Accounting Software

Clearbooks is another budget-friendly option as it starts at just £9.60 per month.

One thing that I liked about it was the filters to find your transactions, as it makes it much easier to find older transactions if needed.

The software has also gotten pretty good feedback from users, as it has a 5-star Trustpilot rating which is quite rare.

But the most significant disadvantage of it and where most of the complaints are from is that there are continuous UI changes.

This isn’t a huge deal as it means they are continuously improving the software. But it can get a little annoying if you want to find certain features.

Overall though, Clearbooks is definitely one of the best accounting software options for self-employed because:

  • It’s budget-friendly
  • It helps you find transactions easily
  • It helps you save time when managing your payments

Key Features

Despite the clear books accounting software being budget-friendly, it offers some excellent features, which is also one of the reasons customers love it.

Some of the key features include:

  • Invoices
  • Bills and Receipt tracking
  • Bank feeds & Uploads
  • Payments
  • Reporting
  • VAT Online
  • Construction Industry Scheme
  • Multi-currency support

Pricing

As already mentioned, ClearBooks is one of the most affordable options on this list. And even on the lowest plans, it comes with most of the main features.

Plus, there are also Annual discounts of up to 20% available. You can look at the full pricing table below.

ClearBooks Accounting Software Pricing

Visit ClearBooks

Free Accounting Software

There are several free accounting software packages to choose from for small businesses. We have already looked at Zoho Books, which is free for some banks and Crunch, but there are a few others to consider.

Before we take a look, I wanted to discuss a couple of available free options and changes that are now not recommended for UK users.

Wave

Wave, was one of the best free accounting and bookkeeping software packages available with lots of features. The reason for not recommending it now is they have withdrawn support for the UK and concentrated on the US and Canada.

Bokio

Bookkeepers recommended Bokio as an excellent free option for small businesses, but in February 2022 the introduced a pricing plan and limited the features of their free plan.

What Other Completly Free Options are Available?

Pandle

Pandle Review Dashboard
Pandle Dashboard

Pandle is a free accounting solution that is perfect for self-employed people. It is easy to use and helps you keep track of your income and expenses. Pandle also has a built-in invoicing system, so you can easily send invoices to your clients. It is also cloud-based, which means you can access it from anywhere, anytime.

Pandle has some excellent features for small business owners including, invoicing, easy to use dashboard, VAT returns and reporting.

Although it is completely free, there is support available through articles, videos and live chat.

Pandle also offers a paid version for £5 per month, including bank feeds, receipt uploads, projects, cash flow forecasting, and stock control. Even with a paid plan, it is cheaper than some of its competitors.

Quickfile

Quickfile accounting software dashboard

QuickFile is popular accounting software that is perfect for freelancers. It is easy to use and helps you keep track of your income and expenses. QuickFile also has a built-in invoicing system, so you can easily send invoices to your clients. It is also cloud-based, which means you can access it from anywhere, anytime.

QuickFile is free up to 1000 nominal transactions per year. Each transaction will include more than one nominal transaction; an example is a sales invoice will have at least two, one for the customer account and one for sales. For any additional transactions, it is £45 plus VAT per year.

Manager Accounting Software

One of the best accounting software options for freelancers is manager accounting software. Manager Accounting Software has a completely free desktop version that allows users to manage their finances more effectively without an internet connection. It has many beneficial features for freelancers, including the ability to create invoices, track payments, and manage expenses.

Manager also has a cloud edition with more features at $49 per month.

Things To Keep in Mind Before Purchasing an Accounting Software For Self-Employed

Before you choose the right accounting software for yourself, I just wanted to walk you through some of the less obvious things you should consider.

Of course, these aren’t the only things you should consider – but they are often forgotten, so I thought I’d remind you.

Do You Need To Invite Your Accountant?

If you have an accountant that helps you with tax management, you probably need to invite them as a user of your software.

The issue with some self-employed accountant software is that it doesn’t have this feature or only has it on pricier plans.

So if this is something you need, make sure to check the software first.

Your Business Growth

Many self-employed business owners, later on, find themselves growing their business and becoming a limited company.

If this happens, you will likely need accounting software to handle it. So, make sure to check out the higher plans of the software you’d like to choose if you are looking to grow your business.

Integrations

Integrations, i.e., the apps you can connect to the software, are also something many people don’t look at when purchasing accounting software for self-employed people.

However, integrations can often make accounting a lot less time-consuming. For example, if your accounting software can integrate with your business banking, you can spend a lot less time manually finding transactions.

So take a look at some of the software you currently use and check the integrations of these software pieces. The best products for integration is Zoho Books and Xero.

Best Accounting Software For Self-Employed: Frequently Asked Questions

Finally, I wanted to answer some frequently asked questions around finding the best accounting software for the self-employed.

Is Quickbooks Self Employed Accounting Software Good?

Yes, QuickBooks self-employed is a decent option for business owners who aren’t VAT registered. However, it is somewhat limited compared to other automated invoice reminders and project tracking options.

Do I need to have an Accountant If I’m Self-Employed?

Not necessarily. It could make your life easier, but you can file your own taxes if you are self-employed.

And if you don’t have endless transactions, the job could be pretty simple. But, in that case, it would make sense to file them yourself.

Is QuickBooks Self-Employed Better Than Freshbooks?

FreshBooks has the benefit of offering the following features that are not available on Quickbooks self-employed:

  • Projects
  • Estimates & proposals
  • Reports
  • Add-ons and integrations

Compare Accounting Software

If you are still unsure which software is best for your self-employed bookkeeping, use our free tool to compare accounting software.

It lists the most accounting software for small businesses, and you can choose the ones to compare. It will provide a list of the pricing and features.

Final Thoughts

I hope you have enjoyed this article on the best accounting software for the self-employed.

Finally, if you want to learn more about accounting and bookkeeping, I recommend checking out some of the links below.

Best Accounting Software For Small Business

Accounting & Bookkeeping Templates

Accounting Basics

This entire website is dedicated to helping business owners with their bookkeeping and accounting. Whether it’s finding the right software, understanding the terminology, or the calculations, you can find the help here.