Bookkeeping And Freelancers: Tools That Make Freelancers Their Own Accountants


If you ever thought that freelancing is just about finding, accepting and delivering work, then you are farther from the truth. Freelancing is a business in itself, and in business, there is so much one has to do.

There is a range of things you need to keep a track of, and one such area is accounting. You need to keep a track record of the projects, money coming in and going out and taxes among many other things. If you have subordinates, you will have to take care of their payments as well. As a consequence, you will end up doing a lot of math and accounting and get loaded with many documents.

Heavy breathing? Calm down, because we have a few solutions for you. In this technologically driven century, there is a rare chance that your problem does not have a solution, if not a complete solution. Today, you can do accounting with the help of a few strokes on your keyboard, and everything is done.

Now you must know what we are going to deal with here in this article. We will talk about ways you can become your own accountant with the help of a few really good tools designed specially to cater to your needs.

It is time we checked out 10 amazing accounting tools for freelancers:

1. PayPal

It is very unlikely that you have not heard of PayPal. It is essentially a global online payment system which has become an excellent alternative to conventional paper-based methods. However, it is much more than this.

Once you upgrade to its business account, you get to access many of its premium services such as receipt of credit card payments and generation of invoices. Moreover, you will not have to pay out a transaction fee every time you shop online, however, there may be charges in case of receipt of funds.

With PayPal, you can keep track of all the transactions. Because of its relatively easy interface and quicker processes, it has become one of the favorites among freelancers and small business owners.

2. FreshBooks

Another famous name on the list is FreshBooks which is equipped with enough features to make it one of the most effective accounting tools out there.

This software is best known for the generation of professional invoices and simple payment processes, enabling you to transact with your clients easily and hassle-free.

You cannot avail its features for free; there are schemes which you choose as per your needs, and the prices vary and so do services. The schemes are three, to be very precise, namely FreshBookLite, FreshBooks Plus, and FreshBooks Premium. The last of these three is the most expensive at $50 per month.

One major drawback of FreshBooks is that it does not allow payment of bills through cards or checks, and hence, you will have to manually add details of these transactions in the system as they happen. Rest, everything is awesome with this accounting tool.

3. Due

Due is another free accounting tool on this list and has become one of the most prominent accounting software in the world.

This software has been specially designed keeping in mind the needs of small businesses. It streamlines the process of receiving payments through credit cards. In addition, it will generate invoices swiftly and automatically.

While it is free to use it, you will have to pay processing charges every time you transact through its system. But, you will not find such a simple and hassle-free accounting solution for free that easily, and hence, we totally recommend Due to those who are starting anew.

4. ZipBooks

ZipBooks is one of those rare accounting tools which do not only automate accounting processes but also help its users to make intelligent business decisions. With the help of this software, you will be regularly guided every time you transact through its system.

The software comes with a package of impressive features which could be lifesavers to many of us. It enables, inter alia, generation of invoices, automated tracking of income and expenses, acceptance of payments (though upon payment of a certain charge), and others.  It allows project management among team members and keeps a track of hours spent.

ZipBooks is available for free, but it is highly recommended that you purchase its paid versions. There are four packages of which ZipBooks Starter is free of cost with limited features. Others are Zipbooks Smarter, ZipBooks Sophisticated, and ZipBooks Services with varied prices.

5. Zoho

Do not want to shell bucks on accounting software? Then, we suggest that you give Zoho a try because it is a very sophisticated accounting software available for free.

It does everything an accounting software would do such as tracking expenses, accepting payments and generating invoices. It, however, allows invoice generation for a maximum of five customers per month. In addition, you can create and maintain a timesheet for tracking your finances.

Zoho is recommended to those who are starting anew or are engaged in long-term projects with a handful of clients.

6. PocketSuite

PocketSuite is a cleverly crafted mobile app which enables users to establish communication with customers and maintain their finances on a single platform. It offers all that a bookkeeping tool offers, and you do not need to open your desktop to use it.

There exists a premium version which offers features such as generation of professional invoices, textual communication with clients, accepting payments via credit cards, and others. You will also get smart business tips when using this app.

Freelancers who usually transact through cellphones must have this app to streamline the entire accounting process.

7. Wave

Wave is a fabulous accounting software, which is absolutely free. Yes, you get everything for free. You will get most of the features here, and the only time you pay anything is for processing charges.

When using Wave, you can engage in the management of accounts, generation of recurring invoices, acceptance of payments from customers, estimation, and others. This software will keep a track of every buck you spend or receive for work so that nothing goes out of your sight. Moreover, you can let other people access your account, but bank related information is not shared.

There is a drawback of using Wave: it does not maintain a track record of the number of hours spent by your team members on projects, and hence, project management can be a problem. Keep aside, it is a wonderful solution for those who cannot afford or want to purchase an accounting tool.

8. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online has a worldwide reputation of being the most robust accounting tool out there. There are many reasons behind its phenomenal success, but the primary one being its ability to cater to the needs of every kind of freelancer and business owner. In fact, it is one of the favorite choices of professional accountants.

On QuickBooks Online, you will find all requisite accounting features such as dashboards recording financial activities, generation of detailed analytical reports, invoice generation, acceptance of online payments, and conversion of recipients into business expenditure.

To make it all the easier for you, you can very easily sync your bank accounts as well as credit cards with your account here. Nothing slips your finger!

For a software as brilliant as this, the prices are modest. The price starts from $5 per month to $28 per month, depending upon what you want.

9. Sighted

If you owna small freelance business, then you should try Sighted for a change. Designed especially for fresh freelancers, it is a simplified accounting tool equipped with all major utilities.

You can customise invoices, maintain a record of all your income and expenditure, accept online payments, and communicate with customers. It also offers detailed reports on how you have been managing your money.

Sighted is not free and comes in a set of three packages of different rates. There are three payment cycles to choose from: yearly, quarterly, and monthly. It is highly recommended that you choose the Premium version whose price is $4.99 a month, enabling you to get access to profit and loss reports, unlimited generation of invoices, and others.

10. WagePoint

In case you run a small business and want to manage payrolls, then you have got to use WagePoint.

It isa simple software which allows you to conveniently maintain a list of your subordinates and the amount to be paid to them. It will make deposits, calculate taxes on payrolls, provide reports, file income tax returns, and other things. It will make sure that you are duly reminded of your liabilities towards your employees.

Freelancers understand the importance of accounting, howsoever small their business may be. Inevitably, accounting tools assume relevance in today’s freelancing world and therefore, we decided to choose this topic for discussion.

The list we provided is not exhaustive, but it covers the best there are in the accounting field. In case you feel that we have missed out on anything, feel free to tell us. You can, also, help us become better and bigger by sharing this article so that our content reaches out to more.