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Best Accounting Software for Consultants

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Last editedNov 20222 min read

From reconciling bank accounts to tracking down receipts, accounting can be tedious. As a consultant, you want to cut down on the paperwork and focus on providing great services for your clients. The best accounting software for consultants makes life – and taxes – easier. Keep reading to learn how.

Why should consultants use accounting software?

Consultants have unique needs when it comes to accounting because they sell services rather than products. As such, it’s important to find accounting software with good time tracking features. You need to track your billable hours to create and issue invoices to your customers. The best accounting software for consultants includes automatic invoicing to make this process more efficient.

Expense tracking is another area where accounting software can cut down on your admin time. Most consultants incur expenses during a typical workday, whether it’s through transportation and supplies. Some software comes with apps that let you scan receipts for quick, easy tracking.

The best accounting software for consultants

While there are hundreds of accounting solutions to choose from, here are a few of the best choices for consultants.


Xero works in the cloud, which is ideal for on-the-go consultants who want to access their finances from a variety of locations. It includes a mobile app so there’s no need to lug around a computer. Xero also integrates with hundreds of third-party apps to customise your accounting experience. You’ll be able to track and update billable hours while creating professional invoices to send on to your clients. Time-tracking features ensure you keep your records up to date for accurate payments. It's easy to get started, with a user-friendly layout and 24/7 customer support if you run into any problems.

QuickBooks Online

Another popular option is QuickBooks Online, used by most accountants. In fact, external accountants can gain access to QuickBooks easily with a simple log-in. They can help go over your accounts and ensure everything’s accurate before you submit your taxes to HMRC. Like Xero, QuickBooks supports an accompanying mobile app for on-the-go bookkeeping. You’ll be able to categorise expenses and invoice clients with a tap. Time tracking and billable expenses features are built into the platform, ensuring accurate accounts.

Sage 50cloud

Used by small businesses and sole traders alike, Sage 50cloud is also a good choice for consultants. It’s more basic than some other Sage products meant for larger enterprises, but it still comes with a full set of financial tools to try out. Bank reconciliation, time tracking, and expense categorisation come as standard. It’s also accessible from the cloud, as the name suggests, meaning there’s no need to be tied to an office to update your invoices.

Zoho Books

Software like QuickBooks and Xero integrate with a wide range of apps, but sometimes this can be overwhelming. Zoho Books is part of the larger Zoho suite of products, which makes it easy to choose add-ons for email, CRM, and other consulting business features as needed. Generate and send professional invoices to your clients using templates, reconcile payments, and track hours and expenses from a single platform.

How to choose the best accounting software for consultants

We’ve touched on features to look for when choosing the best accounting software for consultants. Ultimately, the right choice will depend on several factors including budget, user-friendliness, and need for outside help. Most accounting software offers a free trial period, so it’s often worth taking advantage of this to see which platform best suits your business needs. 

Payment collection is another factor to consider. GoCardless partners with all the software mentioned above as well as over 350 other systems for a streamlined workflow. Take recurring payments for ongoing consulting work using Direct Debit. You can also settle one-time invoices with open banking technology using our Instant Bank Pay feature. It’s fast and easy to get started using the accounting software of your choice.

We can help

GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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