The Best Self-Employed Accounting Software UK: Top 10 Tools Compared

Why Trust Techopedia
Why Trust Techopedia

The best self-employed accounting software UK will help you reduce the time spent organizing your company’s finances and automate processes to position your business for success. It’ll scale with you as you grow, handling increasingly complex financial data.

That’s why we’ve reviewed the best self-employed accounting software in the UK so you can identify the best solution for your accounting and bookkeeping needs.

QuickBooks - Most Popular One-Stop-Shop Solution

VISIT SITE

Xero - Feature Rich Accounting For Established Businesses

VISIT SITE

Sage - Solves Complex Problems For Enterprises

VISIT SITE

TurboTax - Beginner-Friendly All-In-One Tax Solution

VISIT SITE

Melio - Free iOS Payment Management System

VISIT SITE

Bonsai - Simple Financial Management For Creatives

VISIT SITE

Tide - Easy-to-use Bookkeeping App for Beginners

VISIT SITE

FreshBooks - Best Accounting Software For Small Businesses

VISIT SITE

Zoho Books - Cost-Effective Accounting For SMBs

VISIT SITE

Oracle NetSuite - First-Grade Business Management Platform

VISIT SITE

Best Sole Trader Accounting Software UK

  1. QuickBooks – Best for Robust Accounting Needs
  2. Xero – Best for Extra Features
  3. Sage – Best for Advanced Inventory & Integrations
  4. TurboTax – Best for Accurate Tax Completion
  5. Melio – Best for Handling Payment Processes
  6. Bonsai – Best for Simplified Business Operations
  7. Tide – Best for Freelancers
  8. FreshBooks – Best for Small Businesses
  9. Zoho Books – Best for Accounting & Business Automation
  10. NetSuite – Best for Business Scalability

The Best UK Self-Employed Accounting Software Reviewed

Our selection criteria for the best self-employed accounting software in the UK include pricing, usability, user ratings, automation, and more. Further down this page, you can read about how we test software to learn more about how we choose featured software.

1. QuickBooks – Best for Robust Accounting Needs

QuickBooks Logo

Best For Robust accounting needs
Free Trial Yes, 30 days free trial
Price From Starting from £1/month
Top 3 Features Unlimited Invoicing, 24-month Cash Flow Forecast, Auto-match Receipts to Expenses
Why We Picked It

We chose QuickBooks as the best accounting software in the UK to offer new self-employed individuals robust accounting tools thanks to its comprehensive accounting features compared to its lowest plan.

It has independent subscription plans with features ideal for solopreneurs, small businesses, and larger firms.

Features
  • Tracking: QuickBooks lets you track your income and expenses in real time to monitor outstanding payments and bills.
  • MTD compatibility: Submit VAT returns based on the information on the platform.
  • Invoice Management: Send invoices to customers automatically and monitor and manage them.
  • Late Payment Reminders: Manage late payments by automating customer notifications.
  • Connect Bank Accounts: You can connect to numerous bank accounts, so all your bank transactions and expenses are in one place.
  • Payroll: Run and automate payroll to save time when calculating taxes and making bank transfers.
Pricing Plans

QuickBooks offers five price plans to support different business needs. New users can use the software freely for the first month or pay £1/month for 6 months for all price packages.

Plan Self-Employed Simple Start Essentials Plus Advanced
1 month £1/month £1.40/month £7/month £9.50/month £22.50/month

Self-Employed – Tax estimation, free onboarding sessions, phone support, income and expense tracking, unlimited invoices, bank connections, mileage tracking, and customized reports.

Simple Start – This plan is also for solopreneurs managing VAT and Income tax and preparing self-assessments.

Essentials – This plan is suitable for small businesses and adds multi-currency support, employee time tracking, and bill management.

Plus – Stock management, profitability tracking, and budget management. It’s ideal for small businesses working with suppliers.

Advanced – Advanced reporting, data restoration, workflow automation, employee expense management, and more. This package is ideal for businesses needing automatic data backup, custom permissions, bespoke reporting, and insights.

Who's It Best For?

QuickBooks accounting software is a strong choice for self-employed individuals in the United Kingdom who need a reliable and easy-to-use accounting solution for their business financial management.

Pros pros

  • Low-cost subscription plans
  • Wide range of features
  • Free plan available to users
  • Great for invoice management and payment tracking

Cons cons

  • Slight learning curve
  • Cash flow insights are not available on the Starter plan
  • Lack of live chat support

Read our full QuickBooks review

2. Xero – Best for Extra Features

Xero logo

Best For Extra features
Free Trial Yes, 30 days free trial
Price From Starting from £3.75/month
Top 3 Features Multi-currency Support, Access to Over 1000 Business Applications, Inventory Tracking
Why We Picked It

Xero is an excellent cloud-based accounting software that can handle invoicing, inventory, payroll, and expense claims for sole traders.

The small business accounting software supports over 1000 apps and extensions that you can integrate to access more options. This saves you the cost of running a separate application, as you can find apps across various industries, needs, and budgets.

With Xero, you can easily integrate those apps into your accounting software and start tracking your business finance performance in one place.

Features
  • Invoicing: Invoie using the mobile app and link invoices to external payment apps such as PayPal and Square for easy processing.
  • Tracking Inventory: Generate an invoice depending on your inventory status, whether buying or selling. It can monitor all stock levels and inform you of overstocking and supply shortages.
  • Smart Reconciliation: Xero guarantees that all necessary financial data is automatically retrieved from your bank to keep your financials current.
  • Report Creation: Track your finances and present the gathered information with intuitive visualization to make you understand your business’s financial health and make an informed decision. Xero can generate various reports, such as profit, loss, and general ledgers.
  • Multicurrency Support: Send and receive money in over 160 currencies. This way, you may simplify international business accounting for your UK company with up-to-date exchange rates and rapid currency conversions.
Pricing Plans

Xero accounting software’s UK pricing plan has four tiers. It’s feature-based rather than user-based, allowing you to access limitless users across all tiers.

Plan Starter Standard Premium Ultimate
1 month £3.75/month £7.50/month £10.50/month £13.75/month

Starter – Basic invoicing (send quotes and 20 invoices), five bills, expense tracking, automatic CIS calculations and reports, VAT submission to HMRC, short-term cash flow, and bank reconciliation.

Standard – Suitable for growing UK small businesses. It features everything in the Starter plan, including bulk bank transaction reconciliation and unlimited invoices and bills.

Premium – Caters to established businesses of all sizes. It features everything in the Standard plan and multi-currency support.

Ultimate – Ideal for employing businesses and those with more advanced needs. It features everything in the Premium plan with Analytics plus support.

Xero pricing uses a monthly pay-as-you-use technique that allows cancellation at any time. With all of Xero’s price plans, you access 24/7 customer support, safe and secure transactions, and Ready for Making Tax Digital.

If you need more Xero services, you may pay for add-ons such as payroll, expense claiming, project tracking, analytics plus, and submitting CIS returns.

Who's It Best For?

Xero is ideal for the self-employed in the UK who require accounting software that can be integrated with another business management application.

Pros pros

  • Supports scalability with its numerous applications
  • All plans have access to unlimited users
  • Perfect for small-to-medium businesses and scaleups
  • Advanced features like VAT returns to HMRC are offered with lower plans

Cons cons

  • Payroll is only available at an extra fee
  • Advanced reporting requires an extra fee
  • There are limited customer support channels
  • Multiple currency support is only available on higher tiers like Premium and Ultimate

Read our full Xero review

3. Sage – Best for Advanced Inventory & Integrations

Sage Logo

Best For Advanced inventory & integrations
Free Trial Yes, 3 months free trial
Price From Starting from £14/month
Top 3 Features Intuitive Integrations, Automatic Entry, Receipt Capture Automation
Why We Picked It

Sage is a cloud-based accounting app, and we chose it as the best for advanced inventory and integrations that serve solopreneurs and small businesses. Sage incorporates various automation features and customization options, and you can integrate it with Office 365 to streamline critical reporting and record creation.

Features
  • Multiple Features: Sage business cloud accounting software offers a variety of user-friendly features, including bookkeeping tools for managing accounts, inventories, expenses, and payments.
  • Stock Management: Set up and define stock re-order levels and amounts, view out-of-stock warnings, manage stock and pricing, and manage inventory reports.
  • Intuitive Mobile Application: Sage’s mobile app is compatible with Android and iOS, giving you easy access to your financial information whenever and wherever you need it.
  • Automatic Entry: Speed and accuracy are essential in business, especially when you are a solopreneur. Sage saves you hours of administrative work by capturing and entering data into the software, reducing manual work and error.
  • Tax Management: As a self-employed individual in the United Kingdom, you need accounting software that can handle all of your financial demands, including taxation, budgeting, forecasting, and more. Sage provides everything you need to comply with MTD laws, prepare for tax, manage your cash flow, and meet HMRC requirements, including Self-Assessment.
Pricing Plans

Sage offers three packages for subscribers to choose from, depending on the level of your business.

Plan Accounting Start Accounting Standard Accounting Plus
1 month £14/month £28/month £36/month

Accounting Start – This plan is ideal for sole traders and starting out micro-businesses. It features unlimited sales invoice creation, simple bank reconciliation, VAT submission, and Be Making Tax Digital Ready for VAT.

Accounting Standard – The Accounting Standard is ideal for small businesses working with suppliers, CIS, or accrual accounting. It offers everything Accounting Start provides, plus more advanced features like advanced reporting, CIS management, cash flow forecast, and receipt capturing automation.

Accounting Plus – Accounting Plus offers all Standard features plus support for multiple currencies, automatic exchange rate updates, and inventory management.

Who's It Best For?

Sage is ideal for solo traders who need accounting software with comprehensive functionality to help with product management on their sales platform.

Pros pros

  • Lots of customization options
  • Great customer support
  • Features suitable as your business grows
  • Workflow automation saves time

Cons cons

  • Lack of forever free plan
  • Advanced interface is a learning curve for new users
  • Basic plan only supports one user
  • More expensive than competitors like QuickBooks and Xero

Read our full Sage review

4. TurboTax – Best for Accurate Tax Completion

Turbotax Logo

Best For Accurate tax completion
Free Trial Free to use
Price From Custom until first filing
Top 3 Features Automatic Data Importation, Accurate Tax Filing, Expert’s Tax Handling
Why We Picked It

TurboTax is our choice for accurate taxing because it combines automated tax features with human expertise to provide a first-class tax filing experience.

Its taxing process begins with a Q&A-style questionnaire. Once completed, it is simple, removing the manual entry required for traditional tax return filing. If you’re a regular client, TurboTax will remember your previous information, so you just need to answer questions about changes from the previous year.

Features
  • Document Importation: TurboTax eliminates manual data entry procedures to ensure correct data transfer into its database. With its automation, you may automatically import documents such as W-9s, P60s, etc.
  • Cryptocurrency Support: You may use TurboTax integrated with CoinLedger to file your crypto taxes by uploading up to 20,000 transactions simultaneously.
  • App Integrations: Some excellent app integrations include ItsDeductible, QuickBooks, Credit Karma, and many more.
  • Compatibility: TurboTax offers different ways to access your account, including desktop, phone, and tablet.
  • Maximum Deduction with the Deduction Finder: Compare over 350 tax deductions and credits to find the best tax refund for you.
Pricing Plans

TurboTax’s plans include a free version for simple returns, an assisted plan for maximizing deductions, and a full-service plan for more complex situations like investment income. Additionally, live expert assistance is available for personalized guidance.

TurboTax only lists their pricing in USD; to aid in comparison, we’ve included what this would be in GBP.

Plan Do your own taxes Assisted Full Service
Custom $0-$129 (£0-£102) $89-$219 (£70 -£102) Starting from $129 (£102)

Do your own taxes – This plan is designed for solo businesses with the confidence to do their taxes. This plan offers 100% accurate calculations by the system, a minimum refund guarantee, and easy scan and upload.

Assisted – Unlimited help from real tax experts, specialist review, and support. It’s suitable for small businesses needing expert assistance in accurately filing their taxes.

Full Service – This full expert service plan takes your hands off the taxing processes. It is for businesses that prefer a dedicated expert to manage their tax filing.

This pricing may be steep for a small business because the listed price is subject to change. The final price is determined by your actual tax situation and the forms utilized, so you may spend more than you expected.

Who's It Best For?

TurboTax offers three options: have an expert handle your taxes, collaborate with an expert on your tax return, or complete the tax return yourself. This service would likely benefit many sole traders and small business owners who need self-employed tax returns.

Pros pros

  • Live-assisted tax filing with experts
  • Final review of all tax returns
  • Easy to use with the expert’s guidance
  • Capability to handle complex tax situations

Cons cons

  • More expensive than competitors
  • No live chat
  • It is only designed for US taxpayers
  • Inconsistent tax filing price

Read our full TurboTax review

5. Melio – Best for Handling Payment Processes

Melio Logo

Best For Handling payment processes
Free Trial Yes, Start for free
Price From There is no monthly plan, but transaction fees
Top 3 Features Unlimited Users, Flexible Payment Options, Secure payment
Why We Picked It

Melio is truly a self-employed payment processing software. This is because it allows you to pay bills for free using bank transfers. You can also defer payments using a credit card with a 2.9% transaction fee, and it can be used on any internet-enabled device.

These free and flexible payment options make it an excellent choice for sole traders looking to cut costs and invest in their company’s growth.

Features
  • Payment Schedule: You can set up automatic payments to domestic and international accounts.
  • Payment Approval Workflows: Invite users or accountants to the platform and assign them responsibilities based on their permissions to determine their functions.
  • Accounting Tools Integrations: Melio integrates seamlessly with other accounting software packages like Xero and QuickBooks to help you access your business finance documents, like invoices, in one place.
  • Mobile Payment Support: Melio is accessible on mobile devices like Android and iPhones to help small businesses track payments anywhere.
  • Secure Payment: Multi-factor authentication, secure check, and industry-standard security measures. Melio uses a third-party card processor, a certified Level 1 PCI Compliant.
Pricing Plans

Melio is a free tool with no subscription fees. Sending or receiving bank transfers is free, but you’ll have to pay transaction fees.

However, the transaction fees are based on usage, ensuring that you only pay when there is a transaction.

Below is a list of Melio transaction fees:

  • ACH bank transfer — Free
  • Mail check — $1.50 (first two are free)
  • Pay by card — $2.9%
  • Instant transfer — 1% (up to $50)
  • Fast ACH bank transfer — $1% (up to $30)
  • Fast check — $20
  • International payments — $20 (flat fee)

Melio’s no monthly plan implies that you can register for the service and expect to be charged a rate only when there is a transaction.

Who's It Best For?

Melio is a great choice for small business owners in the UK who need payment solutions. Its free software and transparent transaction rates make it a good fit for self-employed professionals who want to monitor their finances and cut budgets.

Pros pros

  • Integration with accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero
  • Free bank transfers
  • Allows users to only pay when there’s a transaction
  • Supports secure payment

Cons cons

  • It cannot handle accounting functionalities
  • It is not a complete accounting solution
  • It only supports one currency, USD

Read our full Melio review

6. Bonsai – Best for Simplified Business Operations

Bonsai Logo

Best For Simplified business operations
Free Trial Yes, 7 days free trial
Price From Starting from £16.72/month
Top 3 Features Form Builder, Customizable Templates, Automation
Why We Picked It

We love Bonsai because it is scalable and can support other business operations besides finance management. It is an excellent business accounting software for simplifying business operations.

It’s ideal for fast-growing businesses that need easy-to-use accounting software integrated within an all-in-one business platform. While Bonsai is not intended for larger businesses and won’t scale like FreshBooks, Sage, or Xero, the product has a great business toolset for solopreneurs and small firms.

Features
  • Detailed Profit & Loss Reporting: Capture accurate, real-time accounting data for business analytics and prepare monthly and weekly management reports.
  • Intuitive Features: Create and send invoices, and the time tracking tool can automatically generate them to ensure accurate billing.
  • Business Account: Manage your business’s finances and expenses to automate the budget while you focus on other business needs.
  • Form Builder: Collect and organize client data with Bonsai’s easy form builder, from intake forms to end-of-project surveys.
  • Robust Time Tracking: Quickly track your team’s hours, create precise timesheets, and receive instant reports. Monitoring employee time in real-time simplifies billing, project management, and invoicing.
Pricing Plans

Bonsai offers three plans depending on your needs – Starter, Professional, and Business. You can invite collaborators on any of these plans without charge.

Plan Starter Professional Business
1 month £19.91/month £31.05/month £61.31/month
1 year £16.72/month £25.48/month £52.55/month

Starter – This plan is suitable for freelancers, solopreneurs, and contractors. Its features include expense tracking, questionnaires, proposals, client CRM, forms, contract management, unlimited client invoices, online signatures, and project management tools.

Professional – The Professional plan is ideal for established businesses. This plan features everything in the Starter plan, plus custom branding, workflow automation, payment processing functionalities, integration with Calendly, a branded client portal, and unlimited events scheduling.

Business – This plan is a perfect package for growing businesses and agencies. It features everything in the Professional plan plus premium customer support, resource planning, subcontractor management, capacity, and productivity reporting.

Bonsai offers a free two-month trial of its software when you choose a yearly plan. You can also use the 7-day free trial to test the software before making a monetary commitment.

Who's It Best For?

Bonsai is ideal for small enterprises that need comprehensive business management software that can handle finance, customer, and project administration all in one place.

Pros pros

  • Intuitive features
  • Great business management tools
  • Easy to use
  • Detailed reports

Cons cons

  • Limited scalability support
  • No forever free plan
  • Tax management comes at an extra free
  • The interface loads slowly sometimes when handling large information
  • The app can only handle basic activities

Read our full Bonsai review

7. Tide – Best for Freelancers

Tide Logo

Best For Freelancers
Free Trial Free Plan
Price From Starting from £9.99//month
Top 3 Features Accounting Integrations, Business Bank Account, Self Assessment Assistance
Why We Picked It

Tide made our list for its banking support and basic accounting solutions for sole traders, startups, and freelancers. The accounting software makes manual accounting a thing of the past.

It has everything a small or growing business needs in one place and even has a mobile app to keep you on top of your finances on the go. You can access accurate tax calculations and link bank accounts for real-time financial updates.

Features
  • Self-Assessment Assistance: Tide makes self-assessment stress-free for solopreneurs and small businesses looking forward to tax filing. Tide removes all the stress by easily tracking your expenses with automation.
  • Bills Management: Free invoicing and bill management, which are accessible on mobile devices. You can create and send personalized invoices to your clients on your phone.
  • Accounting Integrations: Connect your accounting software seamlessly to Tide to avoid manual data upload. Tide integrates with many accounting software such as Xero, Sage, Quickbooks, etc.
  • Tax Automation: Tide assists with tax administration using its built-in tax functionality or integrated accounting software.
  • Business Financial Support: Start your business or fund its growth with tailored borrowing from Tide’s trusted credit partners.
Pricing Plans

Tide offers a free forever plan and three paid plans, starting from £9.99 + VAT per month.

Plan Free Plan Plus Pro Cashback
1 /month £0/month £9.99//month £18.99/month £49.99/month

Free Plan – This free plan features a free Tide card, scheduled business payment, accounting integrations, up to 5 business accounts, a 24/7 fraud helpline, and free invoice creation.

Plus – Everything in the Free plan plus phone support, app support, exclusive member perks, and 20 free monthly transfers.

Pro – This plan offers everything in the Plus plan, including unlimited transfers in and out and two free expense cards.

Cashback – This is the highest offer and is only a bit more than the Pro package with its three free expense cards.

Businesses can choose the free or paid plan depending on their needs. However, during transactions, Tide charges a fee of 20p for transfers in and out, £1 for ATM cash withdrawals, and 3% of the total transaction value for cash deposits (through Paypoint).

Who's It Best For?

Tide is a great business accounting software for freelancers in the UK who only need a place to open a business account number and access accounting integrations for easy business finance management.

Pros pros

  • Has a free forever plan
  • Cost-effective
  • Automated features for managing transactions
  • Good finance solution for freelancers & self-employed

Cons cons

  • No time tracking or advanced analytics
  • ATM withdrawal charges can be high
  • Does not support overdraft
  • Cannot handle complex accounting service

Read our full Tide review

8. FreshBooks – Best for Small Businesses

FreshBooks Logo

Best For Small businesses
Free Trial Yes, 30 days free trial
Price From Starting from £15.00/month
Top 3 Features Time Tracking, Accounts Aging Report, Client Management
Why We Picked It

FreshBooks is one of the best small business accounting software with a reputation for saving time with its bookkeeping functionality. It’s our top choice for small business accounting solutions because of its versatility, relatively simple interface, easy usability, and accessibility on desktop and mobile devices.

Features
  • Unlimited Invoicing and Billing: You can create invoices quickly and save client details for future use. From the same invoicing interface, you can customize your invoices with your brand colours and logo.
  • Time Tracking: Track time on different projects and generate invoices to bill clients for your services.
  • Accounting Options: FreshBooks is HMRC and MTD (Making Tax Digital) compliant and offers features to streamline bookkeeping operations, including a balance sheet, ledgers, VAT returns, and a chart of accounts.
  • Project Profitability: Summarize your service performance to see which one is earning more profit or losing more. You can also easily track project success and team performance.
  • Intelligent Financial Reports: Present business finance reports that are easy to understand and use. Financial reports allow you to make smarter business decisions and work efficiently with your accountant.
Pricing Plans

FreshBooks offers subscribers four packages, allowing business owners to choose based on their needs.

Plan Lite Plus Premium Custom
1 month £15.00/month £25.00/month £35.00/month Custom
1 year £162.00/month £270.00/month £378.00/month Custom

Lite – Suits startups that want to start with a basic accounting solution. It features unlimited invoicing and expense tracking, unlimited invoices to 5 clients, and submission of MTD-compliant VAT returns directly to HMRC.

Plus – The Plus plan takes the Lite plan further, with automatic expense tracking, recurring billing, accountant invitations, financial reports, and unlimited invoices to up to 50 clients.

Premium – The Premium plan adds project profitability tracking, customizable email templates, and unlimited invoices to many clients.

Custom – For bigger small businesses with many users or specific needs that the Premium plan may not serve. The custom plan features dedicated account management, data migration simplification, access to lower credit card transaction fees, and 2 team members’ accounts.

FreshBooks offers add-ons that allow you to access more features. For example, adding new team members costs £8 per user per month, with advanced payments costing £15 per month.

A 30-day free trial allows you to test the service before making a financial commitment. You can save an additional 10% when selecting FreshBooks’ yearly plan.

Who's It Best For?

FreshBooks is the best accounting software for small businesses in the UK that need simple accounting software to support their business finance needs.

Pros pros

  • A large number of features, including invoicing options
  • Inventory management feature on all tiers
  • User-friendly interface
  • Great value for money

Cons cons

  • Plans only come with one seat
  • No forever free plan
  • Adding more team members may become pricey

Read our full FreshBooks review

9. Zoho – Best for Accounting & Business Automation

Zoho Books Logo

Best For Accounting automation
Free Trial Yes, 14 days free trial and free plan
Price From Starting from £10/month
Top 3 Features Easy Usability, Automation, Tax Management
Why We Picked It

Zoho made our list because it integrates with many apps from its suite and offers businesses a high level of automation to stay ahead of their finance management.

The tool can help you with invoice issuing, expense tracking, inventory management, custom reporting, payment reminders, and more.

Features
  • Multi-Currency Support: This allows you to manage transactions from many consumers worldwide without wasting time calculating and converting to your local currency.
  • Team Collaboration: You can work with your team members in real-time with Zoho. Assign roles and permissions to restrict members’ interaction to a certain extent.
  • Multiple Device Support: Flexibility across platforms enables you to send quotations quickly after meetings, track business spending, log time, check reports, and more while on the go.
  • Inventory Management: Track your inventory levels to identify and stock up on high-demand items. Organize your inventory with important information such as SKUs, product photos, vendor data, costs, and stock-on-hand.
  • Automation: Automate business procedures so you can focus on growing your business. One method of automation is to eliminate repeated work by setting a recurring profile and allowing Zoho Books to send transactions for you automatically.
Pricing Plans

Zoho’s price plans range from Free, appropriate for small enterprises, to Elite and Ultimate, designed for larger businesses.

Plan Free Standard Professional Premium Elite Ultimate
One month £0/month £12/month £24/month £30/month £99/month £199/month
1 year £0/month £10/month £20/month £25/month £85/month £165/month

Free – This plan requires no fees, and it’s suitable for small businesses with annual revenue < GBP 35k in need of a free accounting solution for businesses. The free plan offers mileage tracking, acceptance of online payments, payment reminder automation, bank reconciliation, recurring fee setup, tax management, and tax summary reports.

Standard – The Standard plan is ideal for organizations that want to efficiently organize their transactions, accounts, reports, and books. This plan offers features such as everything in the free plan plus the management of up to 5,000 invoices, an opportunity to add three users, reporting tags, transaction locking, journal templates, email support, custom reports, and predefined user roles.

Professional – This plan is for solopreneurs who want to collaborate with their team efficiently and confidently to take on projects. The professional plan includes everything in the standard plan, including project expenses and invoice tracking, project-specific task creation, automatic exchange rate, inventory management, internal finance control, and reporting.

Premium – This plan offers enhanced customization and automation to streamline business processes. It features everything in the Professional plan, along with a custom domain, 50 custom reports, cash flow forecasting reports, and integrations with services like Twilio and Zoho Sign.

Elite – This is an advanced accounting solution bundled with full-fledged inventory management, allowing batch tracking, shipment tracking, sales channels connection, and warehouse management.

Ultimate – This plan helps businesses to gain deeper insights with advanced business intelligence capabilities. It allows 15 users, supports embedding reports in websites/applications, analyzes Zoho Books data and other sources, creates custom dashboards with charts and widgets, and features over 50 pre-built data visualizations.

You can get add-ons such as additional user slots, starting at £2.5 per user per month, £8 per branch per month, and £68 per month for advanced autoscans, all invoiced annually.

Who's It Best For?

Zoho Books is ideal for soletraders in the UK who want to enjoy automation alongside their accounting software. It’s a good choice for solopreneurs managing small businesses and needs plenty of features and functions.

Pros pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Offers many features
  • Free forever plan is feature-rich

Cons cons

  • The highest tier only supports a maximum of 15 users
  • Advanced features come at an extra fee
  • The interface is too advanced for beginners
  • Offers a paid support customer service

Read our full Zoho review

10. NetSuite – Best for Business Scalability

Oracle NetSuite Logo

Best For Business scalability
Free Trial No
Price From Custom-based
Top 3 Features Wide Feature Range, Financial Visibility, Managing Global Tax
Why We Picked It

We consider Oracle Netsuite’s accounting software an excellent option for growing businesses because the platform is highly flexible and scalable. It’s easy to implement, has robust features like data management and general ledger capabilities, and will scale with your business.

Features
  • Financial Insights: Business intelligence overview where companies can get an overview of their business performance.
  • Managing Domestic and International Taxes: Manage taxes and expenses and automatically calculate taxes for every transaction.
  • Automating Payroll Activities: Payroll activities like calculating employee taxes, creating payroll documentation, and scheduling employee payments can all be automated to save time.
  • Built-in Reporting Features: Save time by creating reports from NetSuite’s reporting templates.
  • Scalability: NetSuite is a cloud-based ERP solution that scales with business needs. Its modular structure can accommodate the needs of businesses of all sizes and types.
Pricing Plans

NetSuite doesn’t disclose its pricing information but will provide a custom quote tailored to your needs and user base once you reach out to the sales team.

However, you can request a live demo or access a product tour on the website to see a real-life use case of the service.

Who's It Best For?

Larger businesses will get the most value from NetSuite’s wide range of features. However, solopreneurs can also leverage NetSuite’s scalability and continue using it as their business grows.

Pros pros

  • Great at automating processes
  • An excellent option for large companies and scaleups
  • Can automate payroll processing
  • It’s scalable

Cons cons

  • Limited guides and resources
  • Lack of price transparency
  • Comprehensive modules are confusing to new users
  • Lack of free plan

Read our full NetSuite review

The Best Self-Employed Accounting Apps in the UK Compared

Here’s a comparison table of the best self-employed accounts software to help you get a quick overview of each solution’s features.

Accounting Software Best For Free Trial Starting Price Top Features
QuickBooks New Businesses Robust Accounting Needs Yes, 30 days free trial £1/month Unlimited Invoicing, 24-month Cash Flow Forecast, Auto-match Receipts to Expenses
Xero Extra Features Yes, 30 days free trial £3.75/month Multi-currency Support, Access to Over 1000 Business Applications, Inventory Tracking
Sage Advanced Inventory & Integrations Yes, 3 months free trial £14/month Intuitive Integrations, Automatic Entry, Receipt Capture Automation
TurboTax Accurate Tax Completion Yes, Free to use Custom until first filing Automatic Data Importation, Accurate Tax Filing, Expert’s Tax Handling
Melio Handling Payment Processes Yes There is no monthly plan, but transaction fees Unlimited Users, Flexible Payment Options, Secure payment
Bonsai Simplified Business Operations Yes, 7 days free trial £16.72/month Form Builder, Customizable Templates, Automation
Tide Freelancers Free Plan £9.99//month Accounting Integrations, Business Bank Account, Self Assessment Assistance
FreshBooks Small Businesses Yes, 30 days free trial £15.00/month Time Tracking, Accounts Aging Report, Client Management
Zoho Books Accounting & Business Automation Yes, 14 days free trial and free plan £10/month Easy Usability, Automation, Tax Management
NetSuite Business Scalability No Custom-based Wide Feature Range, Financial Visibility, Managing Global Tax

Methodology

How We Review and Test Accounting Products

To provide our readers with accurate and well-informed recommendations, we test the most popular accounting products on the market to find the best options for you. Our methodology consists of the following criteria:

  • Features: We examine the features of each accounting software to determine what capabilities are offered- such as creating, editing, and deleting transactions.
  • Compliance: We evaluate accounting software based on whether it offers local compliance when it comes to payroll, taxes, documentation, and more.
  • Bank Reconciliation: We test the reconciliation process to ensure transactions match bank statements accurately.
  • Multi-Currency Support: We verify the accuracy of currency conversions and transactions in multi-currency environments.
  • User Experience: We get hands-on with each product and act as a new user, testing each platform to gain understanding if the platform is easy to use or not.
  • Reporting and Documentation: We verify the accuracy of financial reports generated by the software such as balance sheets and income statements.
  • Integrations: We evaluate the integrations of each piece of software to determine how well it fits in with other key pieces in a business’s software stack, and whether its functionality can be expanded as required.
  • Audit Trails: We ensure the software maintains comprehensive audit trails for tracking changes made to financial data.

What is Accounting Software for Self-Employed Professionals?

Accounting software for self-employed people is a digital tool designed to help solo traders, freelancers, contractors, and solopreneurs effectively manage their business finances.

Individuals who are self-employed can use this accounting software to pay taxes accurately, automate invoicing, track spending and income, predict budgets, and have a comprehensive picture of their business’s financial health with reliable reports.

Do Self-Employed Individuals Need Accounting Software?

Yes. Self-employed people needs accounting software to manage their businesses effectively. This is because, as a solopreneur, you have a lot of business procedures to manage.

Meanwhile, managing your finances requires the highest level of accuracy to enable you to quickly understand your business’s financial situation and appropriately file your taxes.

When you choose reliable accounting software, you can concentrate on other aspects of your business while your finances are handled automatically.

Benefits of Using Bookkeeping Software for Self-Employed

Using bookkeeping software for self-employed in the UK offers a lot of benefits, such as:

Time-Saving

Time-Saving: Solopreneurs are known for wearing multiple hats of responsibility, requiring more extended hours in the day to complete tasks. However, using the best accounting software will save you time from manually entering data or filling out paperwork while dealing with your finances.

Adherence to Tax Compliance

Adherence to Tax Compliance: Most bookkeeping software designed for UK users usually integrates with HMRC to ensure users’ compliance with UK tax regulations.

Understanding Business Financial Health

Understanding Business Financial Health: Bookkeeping software provides useful business insights that help you understand your business’s financial health, helping you plan ahead and make informed decisions.

Cost-effectiveness

Cost-effectiveness: Most accounting software designed for self-employed individuals does come with multiple features, even at a reduced rate. This is to support solopreneurs as they manage their business.

Finance Organization

Finance Organization: The best accounting software helps you to centralize all your business financial data in one place, making it easier to track expenses and income without losing sight of any information.

Do I Need An Accountant if I Get Accounting Software?

Even when using accounting software, the choice of an accountant depends on several factors like budget, business needs and size, preferences, and available resources. Using accounting software doesn’t necessarily stop you from using an accountant.

Accounting software appears to be a cost-effective way to manage your business finances. However, it may require time, effort, and a good understanding of accounting principles.

On the other hand, outsourcing your company’s financial activities to specialists such as an accountant gives experience, precision, a human decision-making process, and prompt compliance with relevant regulations. Outsourcing a company’s accounting activities is best suited for larger companies with more sophisticated accounting requirements.

You can also compare the cost of hiring an accountant with using accounting software to help your decision making.

The Best Free Accounting Software in the UK for Sole Traders

Several free UK accounting software offers streamlined business finance processes for solo traders. However, choosing the best free ones can be difficult. Free accounting software often offers basic features that may cater to a startup alone. At the same time, paid software has loads of robust features supporting business scalability.

One of the best free accounting software in the UK is Tide, which offers accounting features such as invoicing, cash flow insight, and bookkeeping functions at a no-fee rate.

Most startups need these solutions to understand their business finance performance. Businesses that need more features may sign up for paid software like QuickBooks.

How to Choose the Best Accounting Software for Sole Trader UK

Choosing the best accounting software for your business needs is critical. Here are the key factors to remember when choosing accounting software as a self-employed in the UK:

Interface ComplexityMulti-User AccessBudgetFeaturesSecurityCustomer Support AvailabilityComplianceAutomation

Consider the accounting software interface regarding usability and intuitiveness. Ensure that the software is straightforward to use. You can leverage a free trial to see if it will integrate well into your company.

When choosing a plan for your business, confirm how many people will be using the software regularly and see if the accounting software supports them. Many cheaper plans cap the number of users given access.

Choosing software within your budget can be the best decision without financially burdening you or your company. However, you must ensure that your budget is realistic for the functionality of the accounting software you need.

When deciding on a software package, ensure that every option on your shortlist has everything you need in one place, including invoicing, tracking payments, logging expenses, and time tracking.

You should also know that some features may only be available on higher or more expensive plans. Therefore, ensure you do your due diligence.

Examine the software security features to determine whether they ensure complete business data protection from cyber threats and whether the software meets industry-standard security requirements.

Verify the software customer support channel and level of availability. Customer support could be available in several ways, including live chat, email, and phone. Customer support is critical, especially when you need assistance troubleshooting a technical issue.

As a self-employed individual in the United Kingdom, you need accounting software that ensures correct compliance with UK tax and business requirements. Before you choose the best accounting software, be sure it meets UK standards.

Ensure the accounting software supports automation with its features. This feature will save you time and improve your work accuracy.

FAQs

Can I do my own accounting in the UK?

What bank account do self-employed people have?

Is QuickBooks worth it for the self-employed UK?

What is the best software for self-employed?

What is the easiest accounting software to use?

John Iwuozor
Tech Writer
John Iwuozor
Tech Writer

John Iwuozor is a writer at Techopedia with over three years of experience and expertise covering topics on HR, business software, IT security, and finance for small and medium-sized businesses. His work has been featured on reputable platforms like Forbes Advisor and EsecurityPlanet. Leveraging his background in mathematics and data analysis, he specializes in delivering original and high-quality content with a keen eye for detail and accuracy.