As a freelancer, you not only carry out the work that you love, but you have to organise your own business as well, which includes invoicing and managing your own accounts and taxes – if these are things you have never dealt with before it can feel like a bit of a minefield.
However, thanks to the advances in technology, there are now many online and offline software systems which can make life much easier for small business owners when it comes to organising taxes and payments. Here is our run down of the best five:
QuickBooks Self Employed
QuickBooks Self Employed can save a lot of time and trouble when it comes to filing your tax return as it produces all of your figures and gives you a tax prediction throughout the year so you know how much you will have to pay.
You can connect it to your bank accounts and easily classify every transaction. It also has the ability to scan in copies of receipts and attach them to electronic transactions to make sure all of your online accountancy records are up-to-date.
There is a mobile app as well to help you keep on track on the go, and you are able to send invoices directly from it as well. There is even a feature to automatically track your mileage and list it as either business or personal mileage, so you can add that to your accounts.
This is an all in one solution as it offers diverse accountancy services and software. Crunch offers solutions to limited companies, freelancers, contractors, small businesses and start-ups.
The software is easy to use and they also offer great support on top of their ongoing accountancy service.
Freshbooks is ideal for freelancers whose billing is a bit more complex than most as it allows you to set up several clients and multiple projects for everyone. It also offers payment reminder options and is able to track time.
This system can record expenses and is also able to collect payments. You can also send invoices out and that’s why it offers more sophisticated options for a business which is perhaps using other contractors or has a wide variety of project payment options for clients.
FreeAgent helps to support businesses which need to create regular complex estimates for client projects. You can create the estimates directly within the app and if the estimate is approved, the app will then use the information to track invoicing against it.
You can see which of your clients are profitable and by keeping records of all your estimates you can get an idea of both historical profit and future profits for your business, all at the touch of a button.
There are also options to track time and send out invoicing as well as a feature which reminds clients if their payment is late into your system.
Xero is an accounting software which can grow with your business. Whether you are just starting out with invoicing a few clients, or working up to tracking multiple projects, this app can grow to offer whatever you need for your business at the time.
There is a dashboard which shows you payments coming in and you can link it to your bank account. There are upgrades available to add in payroll and you can also link the system directly with your accountant. There are many other tools and features which you can add to it as your business grows.
These are just five key finance apps which we have highlighted that might help freelancers make sense of their accounting requirements, however, there are of course many others out there on the market so do your research and pick the one which best suits your own needs.
If dealing with invoicing and balance sheets and taxes is really not your thing then it might well be worth seeking professional accountancy support instead of looking for a quick fix app to help you – the important thing is that you do have some kind of reliable accountancy system in place.
Becoming a freelancer is so much more than just having the freedom to do the work you enjoy, when you want to. You need to be able to run your business professionally for your clients which includes, dealing with all of the financial side of things as well. After all, you set up in business to make money as well as be your own boss, so you need to know your numbers.