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A solid accounting foundation is just as important for the self-employed as it is for larger businesses. As a freelancer or sole trader, you’re responsible for recording expenses and tracking income. The best self-employed accounting apps can help you keep accurate records, making it easier to submit your Self-Assessment return to HMRC each year. Here’s our pick of the five best accounting apps for self-employed workers, each offering a blend of convenience and comprehensive features.
Although this full-service accounting software serves the needs of much larger companies, it’s refreshingly jargon-free. This makes it easy to use for beginners, who will also appreciate the free online training provided. Xero is popular with freelancers and entrepreneurs of all stripes, from writers to graphic designers. If you’re looking for the most basic self-employed accounting app, its starter version is ideal. Features include online invoicing, automated payments, and project management tools. Its app is accessible from any mobile device for on-the-go bookkeeping.
Another great accounting app for self-employed start-ups and sole traders is Sage50 Cloud. You’ll have a full accounting service at your fingertips, with information securely stored in the cloud. In addition to generating profit and loss reports and invoices, Sage is particularly useful for tax compliance. There’s a step-by-step overview of basic accounting processes to help you gain understanding of your requirements. It’s also compliant with the HMRC’s Making Tax Digital scheme to save you time.
You’re probably already familiar with QuickBooks, as it’s one of the world’s most popular accounting programs. Yet QuickBooks is also available as one of the best self-employed accounting apps with its QuickBooks Self-employed version. Specifically designed for freelancers and sole traders, this software lets users work together with their accountants. General QuickBooks features include invoicing, double-entry accounting, payment processing, and billable hour tracking. You can easily track your receipts on the go by scanning them with your mobile phone, ensuring you don’t miss any expenses.
Zoho offers a comprehensive platform for small businesses boasting features for automatic mailing, expense tracking, and a CRM. The accounting arm of this platform is Zoho Books, which integrates easily with the other features. It also links to your bank account for real-time updates, making it easy to track expenses and keep on top of new payments. Zoho’s app uses more technical terminology than some more basic free self-employed accounting apps, but there are plenty of tutorials to help you keep on track.
You might only work with a handful of ongoing clients, in which case you probably don’t need a more comprehensive accounting service. FreeAgent is specifically designed for freelancers. It comes with a selection of invoice templates with spaces for you to enter your own logo and payment terms. As with others on the list, the app also includes automatic expense tracking including a real-time link to your bank accounts. When it comes time to take care of your taxes, you can fill in and file your return directly from the FreeAgent app. This makes it a one-stop shop for all your small business accounting needs.
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One of the most important components of operating a small business as a freelancer or self-employed individual is payment collection. GoCardless makes it easier to get paid using pull-based payment methods like Direct Debit. This allows freelancers and sole traders to get paid automatically on the date of their choosing. When you need to get paid quickly for extra services or add-on products, Instant Bank Pay lets you take one-off, same-day payments via paylink.
GoCardless integrates with all apps on this list alongside numerous major accounting partners, allowing users to raise and reconcile invoices automatically. With automatic payments and complete control over the process, experience less stress while saving time on financial admin.
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.