There’s lots of great things about being a freelancer but without doubt one of the downsides is doing your own accounts – unless of course you’re an accountant yourself! For this reason, many people are turning to software to deal with their accounts and to make the whole job much easier, whether completing self-assessment or handing the information over to an accountant to finish the process. Here we look at a few the best.
Why use software?
When you are self-employed, you want to save as much money as possible and doing your own books is one area that seems pretty straightforward. Read HMRC’s website or gov.uk and it will tell you all you really need is a spreadsheet showing incoming and outgoing amounts. But what this doesn’t tell you is what you might be entitled to claim for against your tax payment and any items you need to include that you may not realise. For this reason, many freelancers are now using a combination of a good piece of software and experienced contractor accountants to ensure they are paying the right tax.
KashFlow is a piece of account software designed specifically for freelancers and for small businesses. It is a web based system that also comes with a number of big name apps including for the iPhone and Android – allowing you to add information from a smartphone or tablet. It has balance sheet, expense tracking and invoice facilities as well as producing profit and loss statements.
The package has a free trial available and there is no credit card needed to try this while you then pay a monthly subscription starting from £5 a month. In terms of support, the package offers a knowledge base with video tutorials to assist users with any problems. There is also both phone and online support available.
QuickBooks is designed for small and medium businesses as well as enterprise users and as well as offering the software to download, it also has both an iPhone and an Android app to use with smartphones and tablets. It has a no credit card required free trial and then is subscription based, with prices from £6 a month. It also allows the creation and management of invoices.
Support is both on the phone and online while there are also a number of video tutorials for users to get to know the system. As with some of the other cloud-based accounting system, there are QuickBooks packages that allow access for your chartered accountants, to make your end of year accounts and tax returns even more painless.
FreeAgent is also designed for small businesses as well as freelancers and is a web based software package with an Android and iPhone app as well. It allows creating balance sheets including multi-currency as well as profit and loss statements and sales reporting. It can also integrate with Google Drive and PayPal to simplify processes.
The package is available at a free trial without a credit card and then is subscription based with costs from £19 a month. It also has comprehensive support including online and on the phone while there is a knowledge base to access and video tutorials to help learn the system.