The 10 Best Self-Employed Accounting Software Products Reviewed

The best self-employed accounting software is FreshBooks. This straightforward accounting tool offers one-click invoicing, built-in time tracking, and plenty of workflow processes to keep things running smoothly.

The Best Self-Employed Accounting Software Ranked

Here’s a quick rundown of the top 10 accounting software solutions on the market and the areas they excel in:

  1. FreshBooks: Best Overall
  2. Zoho Accounting: Best for Tax Compliance
  3. Xero: Best for Simplicity
  4. Bonsai: Best for Managing Multiple Clients
  5. Sage: Best for Variety of Features
  6. QuickBooks: Best for Streamlined Invoicing
  7. TurboTax: Best for Tax Prep
  8. Melio: Best Free Accounting Software
  9. Wave: Best for Expense Tracking
  10. Moxie: Best for Client Management

The Best Freelance Accounting Tools Reviewed

We consider many factors when coming up with our best software lists. Our team looks at features, prices, third-party reviews, and more. If you want to learn more about how we choose featured products, read our “How we Choose” section below.

1. FreshBooks — Best Overall

FreshBooks

Best For Best Features Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
Best overall – Expense Tracking
– Chart of Accounts
– Invoice Templates
From $8.50/month 30-day free trial Toggl, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Slack, Zoom, PayPal, WooCommerce

FreshBooks is a simple, intuitive accounting and invoicing software tool. It makes it easy to keep an eye on the bigger picture and check the profitability, cash flow, and health of your business at any given time.

With FreshBooks, invoicing takes only a few seconds. All you need to do is choose a template type, customize the color and font if needed, and enter your client’s email address. They’ll receive a professional invoice with payment instructions based on the payment options you’re offering.

There are various invoice template types to choose from, and you can make them as simple or as detailed as possible, depending on the type of service you provide.

You can even make the invoices recurring if you’re working with one client on a monthly basis, so you don’t have to manually send them each month. When you enter a due date in the invoice, FreshBooks will automatically initiate a reminder email sequence, gently nudging your client to ensure they pay on time.

The tool further streamlines payments by giving your clients a range of options, including Visa, MasterCard, ApplePay, Discover, and wireless bank transfers for the majority of banks in the US.

FreshBooks is a superb option for consultancy services, as it allows you to set up checkout links on your website, so your clients can pay upfront whenever they schedule a consultation call. This ensures you’ll get paid and eliminates the need to chase clients after you’ve already done the work.

And if you’re in a creative field and are billing clients by the hour, FreshBooks has you covered as well. It helps you track time spent on each project, so you can clearly show your clients how much time you’ve spent on each task and avoid any disputes regarding the invoice.

You’ll also be able to generate detailed reports and easily track every dollar earned and spent, so you’ll always know exactly how profitable your business is. We rate FreshBooks as the best accounting software overall.

Pros pros

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Range of templates for invoices and contracts
  • Lots of payment options for clients
  • Online checkout page functionality
  • Automatically tracks time spent on each project

Cons cons

  • Integrations with other tools are paid add-ons

2. Zoho Accounting — Best for Tax Compliance

Zoho Accounting

Best For Best Features Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
Tax compliance – Quote-to-Invoice Conversion
– Payment Reminders
– Inventory Management
From $15/month Free for businesses with less than $50k in annual revenue Stripe, PayPal, WePay, Xero, Shopify, QuickBooks, Monday.com

Zoho Accounting is an end-to-end accounting tool that helps you keep money coming into your business, stay on top of all business expenses, and remain compliant with local and federal tax laws.

It’s a great option for freelancers because it makes the process of onboarding clients a breeze. It lets you send professional-looking quotes to clients with detailed descriptions of the services you provide and convert them into invoices in seconds after completing the work.

The tool also lets you effortlessly track time spent on each task and project, which is a lifesaver if you’re working with multiple clients and are often jumping between tasks. By having everything neatly organized in one place, you can easily keep track of billable hours for each client and correctly invoice them, which will greatly speed up the payment process.

With Zoho Accounting, you can also import your bank statements and avoid manual data entry, saving valuable time and eliminating the possibility of making errors. Furthermore, you can set up rules to categorize every transaction, so it’s easier to track taxes, insurance, refunds, and other expenses.

Another area where Zoho excels is in financial reporting. You’ll be able to generate these in-depth reports at any time, as well as schedule them on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis and receive them via email.

These reports are vital since they give you an overview of your cash flow and profitability, let you see which projects are bringing in the most money compared to the hours worked, and allow you to make data-backed decisions that will ultimately increase your profit.

Pros pros

  • Fully customizable quotes, estimates, and invoices
  • Variety of payment options for clients
  • Set up custom payment reminders for clients
  • Import bank statements, cutting out manual data entry

Cons cons

  • Takes some time to learn it properly

3. Xero — Best for Simplicity

Xero

Best For

Best Features Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
Intuitive – Project Tracking
– Automatic Data Capture
– Multi-Currency Invoicing
From $25/month N/A

Stripe, HubSpot, Mailchimp, Salesforce, Shopify

Xero is an easy bookkeeping software product that anyone can use with no prior experience with accounting tools. The software can be an effective solution for solo entrepreneurs and offers tools for payroll and contact management capabilities for freelancers contracting out work.

What Xero excels at is project tracking, both for measuring time spent on tasks and profitability. You’ll be able to easily add every completed task to a client’s invoice and see the overall profitability for each project upon completion.

The invoices you send through Xero can be fully customized, and they even feature a “Pay Now” button with a direct payment link, making it easier for your clients to pay you, greatly shortening the time it takes for the money to reach your business account.

When it comes to accepting payments, you’ll be able to offer a wide variety of options, including credit and debit cards, online payment services like PayPal, and even Google Pay. Additionally, all payments are protected against fraud with multiple layers of security, so you don’t have to worry about fake transactions and chargebacks from dishonest clients.

Another useful feature you can take advantage of is automatic bank reconciliation. It lets you connect your business bank account to Xero and automatically records every transaction, keeping your financial data secure and ensuring your bank statements are up-to-date.

Pros pros

  • Best self-employed software for project tracking
  • Dozens of payment options for your clients
  • Secure direct payment links so you can get paid faster
  • One-click bank reconciliation

Cons cons

  • Doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee

4. Bonsai — Best for Managing Multiple Clients 

Bonsai Accounting

Best For Best Features Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
Managing multiple clients – Client CRM
– Invoice Tracking
– Project Management
From $17/month 7-day trial Gmail, Slack, ClickUp, Trello, Asana, HubSpot, Mailchimp

Bonsai is an excellent solution for entrepreneurs who need to manage multiple clients on a daily basis. Whether you’re a professional consultant or are running your own business with consultancy services on the side, Bonsai lets you easily schedule client meetings, keep every project and all files organized with Client CRM, and create professional contracts when you’re ready to engage with clients long-term.

The product also comes with incredibly useful project management and time-tracking features. It enables you to break down every project into specific tasks, track time on each task individually, attach relevant files and work documents to each item on the to-do list, and create detailed timelines for each project.

Another reason to opt for Bonsai is the plethora of forms the tool offers you. These include everything from generic proposals, quotes, invoices, and tax forms to more industry-specific ones like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Marketing, design, tutoring, translation, virtual assistant, and many, many other forms.

Put simply, Bonsai is an invaluable tool that will save you countless hours, help you stay organized and productive, and make it easier to receive payment for your work.

Pros pros

  • Built-in time-tracking and project-management tools
  • Comprehensive task breakdowns with relevant files attached
  • Hundreds of generic and industry-specific templates
  • Invoice tracking with automated reminders

Cons cons

  • Contract templates are somewhat rigid in terms of editing options

5. Sage — Best for Variety of Features

Sage

Best For Best Features Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
Deep features – Multi-Currency Invoicing
– Automatic Bank Reconciliation
– AutoEntry
From $10/month Three-month free trial Salesforce, WooCommerce, Shopify, Monday.com, Stripe, PayPal

Sage is a tool primarily designed for accountants, with lots of features and functionality that facilitate bookkeeping. While it’s a bit on the complex side, you can effectively utilize it as a solo entrepreneur since it offers all the key features you’ll need, from client invoicing to VAT returns.

Sage lets you create, send, and track fully customized invoices, making it easy to get paid for any kind of work you do for your clients. In addition to invoices, you can create quotes and estimates with reference files and links for your clients’ convenience.

What’s interesting when it comes to invoicing with Sage is that the tool automatically converts dozens of currencies using live exchange rates, making it super-easy to work with clients all over the world by eliminating the possibility of any disputes regarding exchange rates. This makes Sage one of the best invoicing software for self-employed professionals.

In addition to invoicing, Sage streamlines expense tracking by letting you connect your bank accounts to the platform, apply customized rules for every transaction, and automatically import and sort all your business expenses.

The tool can also help you file your taxes and get tax returns, making sure you stay compliant and that you get every dollar back.

With Sage, you’ll also have access to a robust reporting feature, which will help you gain insight into the profitability of your business as a whole, as well as all individual projects that you undertake during the year.

Pros pros

  • Fully customizable invoices with service descriptions
  • Automatic bank reconciliation
  • Streamlined VAT tax filing
  • In-depth financial reporting
  • Three-month free trial to test every feature in practice

Cons cons

  • Can be difficult to set up
  • AutoEnty is a paid add-on

6. QuickBooks — Best for Streamlined Invoicing 

Quickbooks

Best For Best Features Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
Streamlined invoicing – Business Funding
– Income Tracking
– Tax Penalty Protection
From $15/month 30-day free trial Shopify, Pipedrive, HubSpot, Slack, Zapier, PayPal

QuickBooks is an excellent option for startups and solo entrepreneurs for several reasons. In addition to helping you handle all the financial aspects of your business, you can apply for business loans with low-interest rates directly from the tool. You’ll see all the costs upfront, so there will be no surprises, and the money will be in your business account in just two business days.

What’s more, QuickBooks makes it easy to track all the money coming in and out of your business accounts. Once you’ve connected your business bank accounts to the platform, every payment your clients make through QuickBooks payments is automatically logged, so you don’t have to spend a single second on manual data entry.

You’ll be able to offer your clients payment options through QuickBooks, including credit cards, eChecks, and ACH bank transfers. To make things even smoother, you can add a button directly to your invoices to make it effortless for your clients to pay you for the completed work.

QuickBooks for freelancers also helps you easily track all business expenses. As long as the payment was made from one of your connected business accounts, all you need to do is snap a photo of the receipt and upload it through the mobile app.

The tool handles the rest and automatically sorts expenses into appropriate categories, so you’ll always have a finger on the pulse of your business cash flow and will never miss a single tax deduction.

Pros pros

  • Professional invoices with a “Pay Now” button or direct payment link
  • Automated email reminders for late payments
  • Custom rules for automated expense tracking and categorization
  • Business loans with no hidden fees or costs for startups and entrepreneurs

Cons cons

  • No direct tech support

7. TurboTax — Best for Tax Prep

TurboTax

Best For Best Features Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
Tax prep – Tax Calculation
and Deduction
– IRS Audit Prep
– 100% Accuracy Guarantee
From $129/year Free until the first tax filing N/A QuickBooks, Neat, Square, Koinly, PayPro

Turbotax isn’t accounting software in the strict sense of the word but rather a handy tool that helps you handle everything regarding business taxes with ease.

You can choose to do taxes on your own through the platform, with an expert’s help, or fully outsource tax filing to the Turbotax team of experienced professionals.

When it comes to tax prep and calculation, you won’t find a better option on the market. This is evident by Turbotax’s guarantee that every tax calculation will be 100% accurate. Even on the off chance something goes wrong, everything’s double-checked by the company’s experts, so you’ll never have to worry about tax compliance or missing a tax deduction.

Unfortunately, that’s the extent of Turbotax’s utility. It can’t help you with invoicing, expense tracking, automated data entry, or other financial aspects of your business beyond taxes.

Pros pros

  • Outsourced, assisted, and DIY tax filing options
  • Free Live Support for all your questions
  • A 100% accuracy guarantee
  • Free yearly one-on-one audit prep

Cons cons

  • Doesn’t offer anything apart from tax prep and calculation

8. Melio — Best Free Accounting Software 

Melio

Best For Best Features Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
Best free accounting software – Free ACH Payments
– Invoice Customization
– Payment Protection
Fixed fees for payments, ranging from $1.50 to 2.9% of the invoice Free signup and ACH Bank Transfer Xero, Quickbooks, FreshBooks

Melio is a super flexible accounting solution that can be effectively used by virtually any type of business. It enables you to pay all business expenses online in just a few clicks, automatically capture all bills, accept payments from international clients in the currency of their choice, and get paid faster.

The best thing about Melio is that the core service is completely free. This includes invoicing, payment link creation, payment and expense tracking, and complete protection against fraud, chargebacks, forgery, and bounced checks.

Additionally, every ACH transaction is free of charge, so as long as you’re working with domestic clients who are happy to pay for your services via bank transfers, Melio is completely free.

The company will, however, charge you a fee of 2.9% for every credit card payment made to your business. While this might not sound like a deal breaker, the fees certainly add up if you’re working with several clients, in which case a flat $15 for a different accounting software is a much more affordable option.

Pros pros

  • Free core service
  • ACH bank transfers with zero fees
  • Fully customizable invoices
  • The ability to accept international payments
  • Built-in payment tracking functionality

Cons cons

  • Fees can add up

9. Wave — Best for Expense Tracking

Wave

Best For Best Features Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
Free invoicing, unlimited expense tracking – Professional Invoice Creation
– Mobile Receipts
– One-on-One Coaching
From 2.9% + $0.60 per credit card transaction Free accounting and invoicing Calendly, Shopify, Mailchimp, PayPal, Stripe

Wave is a simple, user-friendly accounting platform that gives you a detailed overview of your business’s financial health, helps you organize everything for tax season, and enables stress-free invoicing and payments.

The product provides all the core accounting tools you would expect. You’ll find the basic invoicing, payment processing, and accounting features within the platform, but not necessarily too much more. What makes it stand out is the fact that both invoicing and accounting functionality are completely free of charge.

You can probably guess what that means — every transaction comes with a fee. So, while it can be a decent option if you work with a single client and send only one recurring monthly invoice, it’s not really viable if you receive a dozen smaller payments from multiple clients all over the world.

Another thing worth mentioning is that you can get coaching from Wave’s professional advisors and learn everything you need to know about handling both the platform and your business finances.

Pros pros

  • Free invoicing and accounting for freelancers
  • Simple, easy-to-use software
  • Plenty of customizable invoice templates to choose from

Cons cons

  • Can get expensive due to transaction fees

10. Moxie — Best for Client Management 

Moxie Accounting

Best For Best Features Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
Client management – Time Tracking
– Proposals and Contracts
– Meeting Scheduler
From $16/month 14-day Free Trial Shopify, Mailchimp, Calendly, Square, Slack

Moxie is another super simple accounting tool that helps you keep your finances organized, lets you manage all your clients and contracts in one place, and ensures you get paid faster by streamlining the invoicing process.

It offers dozens of professionally designed invoice templates for freelancers and self-employed professionals, which you can touch up in seconds and send to your clients. It also allows you to easily convert tracked hours into ready-to-bill invoices with a single click, add details regarding each deliverable you’re billing the client for, and set up automatic payment reminders.

To ensure everything runs smoothly, Moxie also helps you take full control over your relationship with the clients. This includes creating professional estimates, quotes, and proposals, collating all client data in one place, real-time updates on the status of your proposals, and project tracking with clear deadlines.

Moreover, Moxie brings clients closer to you through the Client Portal, allowing them to easily keep track of project progress, share valuable feedback on your work, and exchange messages, notes, and key files that will help you stay productive.

The platform also features a built-in calendar that makes it infinitely easier to track everything from deadlines to scheduled meetings. You can also customize it with different views, filters, fonts, colors, and statuses, so you’ll always know what needs to be done and when.

The Moxie calendar also integrates with your personal Google Calendar, so it automatically pulls any meetings or events, ensuring you never miss an appointment with a client or a business partner.

Pros pros

  • Excellent client relationship management features
  • Dozens of professional invoice templates
  • Fully customizable built-in calendar with Google Calendar integration
  • Client portal that facilitates communication, feedback, and collaboration

Cons cons

  • Some features require integrations with other third-party apps

Comparing The Best Accounting Software For Self-Employed Workers

Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of the best accounting software for self-employed professionals, so you can see what each of the tools is best suited for and choose the one that’s best for you. So what are the best options for bookkeeping for the self-employed?

Accounting Software Best For Best Features Starting Price Free Version Mobile Support Integrations
FreshBooks Best overall – Expense Tracking
– Chart of Accounts
– Invoice Templates
From $8.50/month 30-day free trial Toggl, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Slack, Zoom, PayPal, WooCommerce
Zoho Accounting Tax compliance – Quote to Invoice Conversion
– Payment Reminders
– Inventory Management
From $15/month Free for businesses with less than $50k in annual revenue Stripe, PayPal, WePay, Xero, Shopify, QuickBooks, Monday.com
Xero Intuitive – Project Tracking
– Automatic Data Capture
– Multi-Currency Invoicing
From $25/month N/A Stripe, HubSpot, Mailchimp, Salesforce, Shopify
Bonsai Managing multiple clients – Client CRM
– Invoice Tracking
– Project Management
From $17/month 7 days Slack, ClickUp, Trello, Asana, HubSpot, Mailchimp
Sage Deep features – Multi-Currency Invoicing
– Automatic Bank Reconciliation
– AutoEntry
From $10/month Three-month free trial Salesforce, WooCommerce, Shopify, Monday.com,  Stripe, PayPal
QuickBooks Streamlined invoicing – Business Funding
– Income Tracking
– Tax Penalty Protection
From $15/month 30-day free trial Shopify, Pipedrive, HubSpot, Slack, Zapier, PayPal
TurboTax Tax Prep – Tax Calculation
and Deduction
– IRS Audit Prep
– 100% Accuracy Guarantee
From $129/year Free until the first tax filing N/A QuickBooks, Neat, Square, Koinly, PayPro
Melio Best free accounting software – Free ACH Payments
– Invoice Customization
– Payment Protection
Fixed fees for payments, ranging from $1.50 to 2.9% of the invoice Free signup and ACH Bank Transfer Xero, Quickbooks, FreshBooks
Wave Free invoicing, unlimited expense tracking – Professional Invoice Creation
– Mobile Receipts
– One-on-One Coaching
From 2.9% + $0.60 per credit card transaction Free accounting and invoicing Calendly, Shopify, Mailchimp, PayPal, Stripe
Moxie Client management – Time Tracking
– Proposals and Contracts
– Meeting Scheduler
From $16/month 14-day Free Trial Shopify, Mailchimp, Calendly, Square, Slack

Conclusion – What is the Best Accounting Software for Self-Employed People in 2024?

As you’ve seen from this guide, there are many excellent accounting self-employed solutions on the market, all of which are infinitely better than working with spreadsheets and spending valuable time on manual data entry.

If you’re on the fence and can’t decide which tool you should try out, we strongly recommend FreshBooks as the best bookkeeping software for self-employed professionals, freelancers, and startups. It’s simple, easy to use, offers a ton of customizable templates for all financial aspects of your business, and lets you offer a bunch of payment options to your clients.

But don’t take our word for it — test the tool yourself and see it in action. Click the button below to start your 30-day free trial and turn bookkeeping from a chore you dread into an easy 15-minute activity.

How we test accounting software

  • Pricing – We always consider pricing and if a product offers value for the cost. Our team looks at software that has a free version, is budget-friendly, or offers a ton of value.
  • Features – Features are important because you don’t want to pay for features you don’t need and vice versa. We considered which software options had the necessary features for most businesses, and then we considered if additional features helped to save money on other software types.
  • Integrations –  Integrations allow your software to work with other tools your team may be using. This can save money and time, which is important to all businesses, but especially those working on a limited budget and with a limited workforce.
  • Automation – Automations help streamline processes and reduce the need for extra staff and tools. This comes in particularly handy when working on a budget.
  • Ease of use – What help is software if it’s difficult to use? We consider how user-friendly each option is and how long it would take the average, non-tech-savvy person to get the hang of it.
  • Third-Party Reviews – We survey the internet to get the scoop on each software via reviews. We’re always looking for additional, first-person feedback on the pros and cons of each software.

How to Choose the Best Small Business Accounting Software

The core functionality of the accounting software solutions we’ve covered sits within a fairly narrow band, and they all facilitate invoicing, automate data entry, and give you invaluable insights into the financial health of your business.

However, there are a few key differences between them that you should pay attention to, especially considering that an accounting tool is a long-term investment with a recurring monthly cost.

Here are the key factors you should consider when choosing between different providers:

  • Budget – Before you make the final decision, make sure to also compare the pricing plans of different tools you’re interested in. While “free” accounting and invoicing features might sound appealing, you might end up paying a small fortune through transaction fees if you’re not careful.So, carefully read through the descriptions of all pricing plans/tiers and make sure you understand what features and functionality are included and which are paid add-ons.
  • Key Features – As we mentioned, most (if not all) accounting tools on the market will cover all the bases, such as invoicing, tax filing, reporting, and data entry. However, some of them go above and beyond and also offer a wide variety of quote and invoice templates, automated email reminders for due payments, expense tracking, and quick and simple tax calculation and filing.That said, if you opt for a feature-rich solution, you’ll likely get overwhelmed by all the options and will have to spend a few weeks learning how to use it. So, it’s best to strike the perfect balance and choose the software that covers all of your needs but doesn’t include dozens of features you’re never going to use.
  • Compatibility – If you’re already using a bunch of tools to run your business and keep things smooth, it would only make sense to opt for freelance accounting software that integrates with those tools. For example, if the platform you choose can be natively integrated with your Google Calendar, you’ll be able to see all your scheduled meetings and events, as well as set up reminders from one app.
  • Ease of Use – Next, you should think about how easy or complex the solution you’re considering is. The idea behind self-employed accounting software is to simplify things and make it easier to track your work and get paid for it. That’s why you shouldn’t opt for a super complicated solution that will take you weeks, if not months, to learn in order to use properly.
  • User Limitation – Figure out how many employees in your business will need to use the accounting software and if you plan to scale up. That is because some accounting programs allow unlimited users (great for growing businesses) or have a maximum limit.

Self-Employment Accounting Software FAQs

Why do self-employed people need accounting software?

What’s the best free accounting software for self-employed people?

What’s the best invoicing software for the self-employed?

Is QuickBooks any good for self-employed workers?

What is the most-used accounting software?

Is accounting software secure?

Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert
Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…