Finding the best accounting software for freelancers is an important decision.
If you’re not paying attention to your finances, you won’t be in business for long. And without good accounting software, it’ll be hard to watch your finances.
So building a financially viable freelance business—one that survives for a long time—relies on finding the best accounting software for freelancers.
After researching dozens of accounting software for freelancers, we’ve narrowed down this list to five with explanations as to why.
Here are the 5 best accounting software for freelancers:
We’ll outline some of the best features of each accounting software on the list below in order to help you decide which is the best accounting software for your freelance business.
First on the list is Bonsai—an all-in one business solution for freelancers. While Bonsai does a lot more than accounting for freelancers (you can read our full Bonsai Review here) their accounting features are top notch.
Bonsai is built specifically for freelancers (as opposed to competitors like Quickboks or Freshbooks who target businesses of all kinds and sizes) which makes it an especially powerful freelance accounting app.
Bonsai Accounting Features
Here’s are some winning features you can expect from Bonsai, one of the best accounting software for freelancers:
Important accounting reports
If you don’t know your numbers, you can’t improve your business. So Bonsai provides freelancers with important accounting reports like Profit & Loss Statements or Balance Sheets.
Customized expense categories
In order to generate accounting reports that actually help you as a freelancer, Bonsai lets you customize your own expense categories. Along with the typical categories (marketing & advertising, office expenses, etc.) you can also add custom categories like cost of goods sold or client gifts.
Best of all, Bonsai lets you hand off your accounting work to a professional by allowing you to give access to your own accountant. With Bonsai’s accounting software, you can do quite a bit yourself. But if you’re nervous or simply don’t have the time, adding your accountant is a great option.
Bonsai Pricing & Other Details
It’s clear Bonsai has some great features, making it one of the best accounting software for freelancers. Now, let’s take a look at some of the pricing and other important program details.
Does Bonsai come with a free trial?
Yes. Bonsai for freelancers comes with a 14-day, risk-free trial where you can test out all their accounting features for freelancers.
How much does Bonsai cost?
After the 14-day free trial, Bonsai starts as low as $19/mo USD for freelancers.
Next up on our list of best accounting software for freelancers is Freshbooks. While Freshbooks has grown to service companies of all sizes, it has a long history of working with freelancers.
Their founder, Mike McDerment, started Freshbooks to solve his own invoicing and accounting issues as a web design freelancer. The simple-yet-powerful features make Freshbooks one of the very best accounting software for freelancers on the market today.
Freshbooks Accounting Features
Here are just a few stand-out features you can expect from Freshbooks’ accounting service if you sign up as a freelancer.
Freshbooks uses double-entry accounting practices which means everything is accounted for on both the credit and debit side of your financial records. This reduces chances for error come tax time and helps you be assured your records are accurate.
Planning & forecasting
Freshbooks helps you forecast your financial future which means you can easily decide if you can afford to hire subcontractors or employees, invest in marketing, or add a little extra to company profits down the road.
Pre-payment and overpayment tracking
If you’ve ever needed to refund a client or tried to send them a discount, you know that can disrupt your financial records. Freshbooks has a “Credits” feature that lets you track overpayments, client credits, or prepayments and then apply their amounts to future invoices.
Freshbooks Pricing & Other Details
Now that you’ve seen a few unique things Freshbooks can do for you as a freelancer, let’s take a look at their pricing.
Does Freshbooks come with a free trial?
Yes. Freelancers can sign up to try Freshbooks complete free. You don’t even have to put in a credit card to sign up. Freshbooks’ free trial lasts 30 days.
How much does Freshbooks cost?
Once you’ve used the 30-day free trial, Freshbooks costs anywhere from $6/mo USD to $20/mo USD if you pay annually and depending on which accounting features you want to activate.
One of the best accounting software for freelancers is, without a doubt, the classic Quickbooks.
While lots of Quickbooks alternatives have popped up over the years, this accounting app holds its ground as one of the best options for businesses of any size.
Quickbooks Self-Employed is particularly good accounting software for freelancers.
Quickbooks Accounting Features
While a few other accounting apps on this list also include features like proposals, Quickbooks focuses more strongly on the most important accounting features you’ll need as a freelancer. Here are a few that matter:
Manage multiple bank/online accounts
If you’ve got multiple bank accounts you need to manage all from one spot, Quickboks is a great option for you. You can connect virtually any bank account or online account including all major banks, many smaller entities (like credit unions) and even your PayPal account.
Track mileage & receipts easily
If you find yourself driving to client meetings or purchasing physical goods for client projects or for the office, Quickbooks’ mobile apps will be a big help, allowing you to snap a receipt or track mileage which can be deducted from your taxes later.
Assistance with quarterly taxes
As a freelancer, you know you have to submit taxes (at least in the U.S.) every quarter. Sometimes, quarterly tax payments can get a bit confusing or overwhelming. Quickbooks helps you estimate your payment and remember to pay it on time.
Quickbooks Pricing & Other Details
Of all the accounting apps for freelancers we’ve covered so far, Quickbooks seems to have the most complicated pricing. It’s still affordable, but figuring out which plan suits you best can be a bit complicated.
You may want to review the various options in our comparison of Freshbooks vs Quickbooks.
Does Quickbooks come with a free trial?
Yes. Quickbooks has a 30 day free trial. However, if you choose not to go with a free trial, you can also sign up for Quickbooks at 50% off for the first 3 months. Either is a good option for freelancers.
How much does Quickbooks cost?
If you choose not to go with the free trial, Quickbooks is 50% off the first 3 months which means their lowest plan is $12.50/mo USD for the first 90 days. After that, it jumps to $25/mo USD for their most basic plan.
It’s a bit on the expensive side, but it’s one of the best accounting software for freelancers who are serious about managing their finances.
There’s one accounting app for freelancers that’s not as well-known as brands like Quickbooks or Freshbooks, but it’s a real powerhouse and easily one of the best accounting software for freelancers on the market. It’s called Harpoon.
Harpoon has a powerfully unique approach to freelance accounting. They automatically track your work and build out a financial forecast so you can quickly and easily see how much you’ll generate over the next months. Their reports center around your own financial goals and help you improve over time.
Harpoon Accounting Features
Harpoon is such a unique and powerful accounting app for freelancers and small businesses. There’s a lot to be amazed by. Here are just a few of the best features you can leverage to grow your freelance revenue:
Financial Goal Tracking
Probably the best thing about Harpoon is their focus on your financial goals. Their reports are built around goals you’ve set for your business and are engineered to help you hit your financial goals ahead of schedule.
Real-Time Revenue Forecasting
Instead of just tracking what you’ve done in the past (like many accounting apps) Harpoon also helps you focus on the future of your business by building reports to outline where your freelancing is headed financially.
Responsible Project & Expense Budgeting
One obvious element of successful freelancing is to spend less than you make through your work. Overspending on projects can lead quickly to a financial mess. Harpoon helps you predict how much you’ll make and how much you can spend on a project-by-project basis and also helps you keep your overall spending under control.
Harpoon Pricing & Other Details
It’s clear to see after glancing at some stand-out features why Harpoon is toward the top of this list of best accounting software for freelancers. Let’s break down what you can expect to pay for Harpoon.
Does Harpoon come with a free trial?
Yes. Harpoon App comes with a 14-day free trial so you can add your financial goals and test out the unique features of this accounting app.
How much does Harpoon cost?
After the 14-day free trial, Harpoon’s freelancer-tier package starts at $19/mo USD which is pretty affordable for all the great financial forecasting it does for you.
Next up on our list of best accounting software for freelancers is a fantastic option called AND.CO. If you haven’t heard of AND.CO, you’re missing out. It’s owned by Fiverr—one of the largest freelance marketplaces in the world.
Needless to say, they know a thing or two about what it takes to succeed as a freelancer. That’s what makes AND.CO one of the best accounting software for freelancers (among many other features too).
AND.CO Accounting Features
AND.CO comes with tons of stand-out features and definitely doesn’t disappoint when it comes to their accounting app for freelancers. Here are a few great things to expect:
Simple, clean reporting
With AND.CO you can see how your freelance accounting is progressing over time with their easy-to-ready data charts. If you don’t like most accounting reports because they’re too complex, this is a great option for you.
Easy access to important documents
When tax time rolls around, you’ll want quick and easy access to the most important accounting reports for your freelance business. AND.CO makes it clear which reports are most helpful and what you’ll need them for. Plus, you can easily export any report to send to your accountant.
Reminder and alerts to keep your profits up
Finally, AND.CO utilizes a series of reminders and alerts to help you know when it’s time to send an invoice, when your invoices are paid, when client subscriptions are charged, and more.
AND.CO Pricing & Other Details
As you can see, AND.CO has a lot to offer—not only as an accounting app, but also as a full freelancing suite. Let’s take a look at what you can expect to pay for when using AND.CO.
Does AND.CO come with a free trial?
Sort of. AND.CO has a free plan which you can use for as long as you want without paying anything. However, under the free plan, you’re limited to one client and there are other account limitations. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee on their paid plan, so it’s basically free if you don’t like it.
How much does AND.CO Pro cost?
The full version of AND.CO is called “AND.CO Pro” and it costs $18/mo USD. Considering you get a lot more than accounting features, that’s a price worth considering.
How to choose the best accounting software for freelancers
After reviewing this list of best accounting software for freelancers, you might find yourself overwhelmed still at facing this important decision.
If you’re not sure, even after reading the details above, here are a few more things you can do to find the best accounting software for your freelance business:
Ask your accountant
If you’ve got an accountant who already helps with your finances, they may already use some accounting software and doubling up would be more detrimental than helpful.
Ask an financial friend
If you’ve got it whittled down to just a few options and you’re not sure how to proceed, consider asking someone who knows more about accounting than you do. Most of us have a friend or two who either work professionally with money or at least geek out over finances.
Ask a fellow freelancer
Finally, you can ask a fellow freelancer which accounting software they use to run their freelance business. If you don’t know any fellow freelancers, you can tap into our mastermind (currently over 10,000 members) for FREE and ask there.
Whichever you decide on, finding a quality accounting software is better than none at all. So just dive in, give it your best shot. You most likely can’t go wrong with any of the options on this list.
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