When you’re self-employed, you have many different responsibilities compared to someone who works at a company in a full-time position.
One of them is the responsibility of having to do your own accounting. And if you make any mistakes, it could become quite costly.
It’s also quite a time-consuming task anyway, but luckily there are accounting software products to help you make this task easier.
Let’s jump into our list of best accounting software for self-employed, so you can find the right option for your business.
Best Self Employed Accounting Software
Here is the list of best accounting software for self-employed:
Of course, all of them have different benefits and disadvantages. So, let’s take a deeper look at what they are.
Freshbooks is an outstanding tool for small business owners, but they specialise in freelancers.
Their accounting software also comes with a time tracker, which is an excellent addition for those who work from home.
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.
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
Freshbooks has an excellent set of features that are perfect for most types of self-employed individuals:
- Cloud-based accounting
- Sales Invoicing
- Income and Expenses tracking
- Time tracking
- Mobile app
- Project management
Freshbooks has a nice range of pricing plans that grow well with your business. I’d assume that for most self-employed individuals, one of the lower plans would be suited.
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.Visit FreshBooks
Quickbooks 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 definitely 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 of it is that there have been some user complaints 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 to use and capable accounting software products for the self-employed.
Although Quickbooks has the tools for more advanced businesses, it’s also excellent for self-employed individuals.
Some of the key features of Quickbooks include:
- Cloud Accounting.
- Send Invoices
- Project Profitability.
- Accounting reports.
- Inventory Management.
- Mileage Tracking.
Quickbooks pricing starts at just £8 per month for Sole traders, so it’s quite affordable. However, one thing to note is that this doesn’t include the following features:
- UK phone support
- Submit VAT directly to HMRC
- Send invoices that can be paid in one click
- Create estimaes and quotes
For these features, you will have to upgrade to the £12 per month plan.
But you can get 50% off your first four months of Quickbooks self-employed by using the link below.
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.
FreeAgent has a set of features that makes it excellent for the self-employed. This is because all the main features are included in the main sole trader plan.
Some of its key features include:
- Business insights
- Time tracking
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.
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
- 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, 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.
Xero has some outstanding features for the self-employed. 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
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.
Crunch Accounting is another excellent accounting software that specializes 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.
The Crunch Accounting software is pretty decent, and compared to the other options on this list, it offers a little more personalized advice.
Key features include:
- Expert advice
- Expense tracking
- Connect your bank account
- Easy Bank Recognition
- HMRC Registration
- VAT Registration
- Self Assessment and Support
As a self-employed user, 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.
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 biggest 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
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:
- Bills and Receipt tracking
- Bank feeds & Uploads
- VAT Online
- Construction Industry Scheme
- Multi-currency support
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.
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 that can 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, i.e., the apps you can connect to the software, are also something that many people don’t look at when purchasing accounting software for self-employed.
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.
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 any business owners that aren’t VAT registered. However, it is somewhat limited compared to other options in terms of automated invoice reminders and project tracking.
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 quite 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:
- Estimates & proposals
- Add-ons and integrations
Compare Accounting Software
If you are still not sure which software is best for your self-employed bookkeeping, use our free tool to compare accounting software.
It lists the most popular software and you can choose the ones to compare. It will provide a list of the pricing and features.
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 you check out some of the links below.
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.