One of the key tasks of being a business owner is managing your accounting and invoice templates, sometimes called “the books.” It’s likely not one of your favorite tasks as a freelancer, but it’s a necessary evil.
Having an online accounting system makes this aspect of running your business easier and less stressful. From tracking expenses (for identifying eligible tax deductions), to invoicing clients, to keeping records for tax time, it helps to have support at your fingertips.
QuickBooks is a popular system for business owners as it provides a number of different levels of accounting tools, including an option for freelancers.
But QuickBooks isn’t for everyone, so it’s good to know about QuickBooks alternatives. If you’re looking for options for your freelance business, you do have choices. Check our list of 10 great QuickBooks alternatives, helping you find one that fits your specific business.
One of the key aspects of Bonsai is that it’s designed specifically for freelancers, so the tools will be ideal for your business, and is the top choice among QuickBooks alternatives. Bonsai has a fully integrated system that takes you from proposals to contracts to invoices, with bookkeeping tools all along the way. Invoicing is easy, with special tools for different circumstances.
For instance, you can track the time you work, and then add the hours and hourly rate to an invoice, providing a timesheet that your client can see. Another important part of accounting is keeping an eye on your business. With Bonsai, you can easily look at profit and loss reports, view budgeting and goals, see snapshots of your total income, or break down reports by client or by project.
Bonsai also has an Accounting & Tax Assistant platform. There are many free tools like their 1099 calculator to help out freelancers. It’s easy to scan tax receipts, automate your expense tracking, and you can auto-import expenses from over 5,000 credit cards and banks. Bonsai will help you find tax deductions automatically, give you quarterly estimated tax and annual filing reminders, and allow you to share access with your accountant with a secure link. It's a great alternative to QuickBooks Self-Employed.
You’ll even be able to work in 180 different currencies, allowing you to do international work wherever your business is located. More than 200,000 freelancers and agencies to date have put their trust in Bonsai, so you know it can “do the books” for you.
QuickBooks vs Bonsai
Bonsai is a great alternative to QuickBooks for self-employed and freelancers. By switching to Bonsai, run your freelance business in peace. Take a look at what Bonsai can do for you.
Wave is a close second to Bonsai because it’s designed specifically for small business, which means for an accounting software system, it’s a solid option for freelancers. Wave allows you to track income and expenses, including the ability to scan receipts from your phone as a simple way to manage expenses.
You can also use Wave to customize and send invoices, and accept online credit card and bank payments. If your freelance business expands, you can add the option for payroll, for either employees or contractors or both, and it includes tax calculations.
You can also follow the progress of your freelance business with the ability to generate reports. While it doesn’t have all the integrated tools of Bonsai, it is powerful among QuickBooks alternatives. Read more about other Wave options here.
FreshBooks is another option among QuickBooks alternatives that is designed for small businesses, with a cloud-based program that includes invoicing and accounting. The invoicing system allows you to customize your invoices, send reminders to clients and provide a variety of online payment alternatives, making it easy for your clients to pay you on time.
You can also use it for time tracking, recording expenses, and a variety of estimates and reports, and view results by project. Solo freelancers will find it easy to use Freshbooks, but it’s also good for teams, or if you add employees. Its bookkeeping and accounting tools will also help get you ready for tax season. Read this article for other Freshbooks options.
Free trial: 30 days / Pricing: $6-20/month, with savings if you pay annually
Xero is another popular choice among QuickBooks alternatives, thanks in part to its laundry list of tools available to any size of business. There is an invoicing tool, which will send invoices online and let you know when your clients have opened them, and provide a “pay now” button to help you get paid faster.
It’s easy to keep your records up to date by importing and categorizing bank transactions into Xero, ensuring you’re ready when tax season arrives. Payment options, dashboard metrics, multiple currencies and more make this a nice option for small business. You can even use the mobile app to do a multitude of tasks on the go - including sending invoices or creating expense claims.
Free trial: 30 days / Pricing: $9-60/month, with 50% off the first 2 months
Its name makes it easy to remember, but Kashoo also has the tools for small business accounting. It features a “Smart Inbox” to help quickly organize your accounting tasks, and it learns as you track and categorize expenses. You can also easily separate personal expenses from business expenses, and generate automatic reports to update you on the status of your business. It also has an invoice feature, payment options, and the ability to send reports to your accountant.
If you’re already using other Zoho apps, Zoho Books is a good option among QuickBooks alternatives. You can choose functionality such as online accounting, a CRM, or an app to manage Bookings. The Books system lets you build estimates that you can then convert into invoices. Your clients will have easy payment options and you can send reminders if they forget to pay on time. Zoho also connects to your bank, allowing you to prepare for tax season all year long by tracking every transaction.
Similar to Zoho, Odoo allows you to choose apps based on the needs of your freelance business. For your financial needs, you can get an accounting app, an expenses app, an invoicing app and more. You can also choose an app that lets you book appointments, do planning, or even add a CRM. With Odoo you can add and subtract based on your business.
FreeAgent bills itself as an accounting software for small business, so it should suit your needs as a freelancer. Offering invoice and expense management, project management and more, it has been trusted by 90,000 businesses to date. You can set up recurring invoices and automatic reminders to clients who haven’t paid. Expense tracking is easy by taking a picture of your receipt with your phone, then uploading it to FreeAgent and customising your expense categories, providing you with accurate accounts at tax time.
Free trial: 30 days / Pricing: from $12/month
ZipBooks gives you limited functionality for free, including online invoicing, digital payments through PayPal or Square, the connection to one bank account, and some basic reporting. Then you can choose among subscription plans that allow you to add the features you want. That includes recurring invoicing, time tracking, automated reminders, and the ability to connect to multiple bank accounts or with team members.
At the top level, you’ll get maximum reporting capacity, the ability to categorize accounts and organize your books in a multitude of ways. Depending on the needs of your freelance business, this is a nice option among QuickBooks alternatives if you want to start small and scale up when you need to.
Free trial: 30 days / Pricing: Free - $35/month
Sage Intacct has core accounting and financial services that track your accounts payable and receivable, cash management and more. Suitable for any size of business, it can be used to automate your revenue and billing processes, and as a tool for planning and budgeting. You can also generate industry-specific dashboards that will give you insight into financial performance. The industry best suited for freelancers is “professional services,” which includes IT services, consulting, digital marketing, and more.
Ready to try out a new all-in-one solution?
Do you want to get started with Bonsai? You can sign up for a free trial - no strings attached - and explore the powers of Bonsai to transform how you run your freelance business.
Because having beautifully designed proposals is important to win your next projects, Bonsai proposals offers you the possibility to create your next freelance proposals directly from the app. No need to send the same QuickBooks quote over and over, you can now personalized your proposals with your own branding.
Bonsai offers freelance specific contracts. Whether you're a designer or a marketing consultant, Bonsai got your covered! Create & send your contracts directly from the app, and get them signed electronically by your client. By switching from QuickBooks to Bonsai, you will not only save time but also protect your business by using our Contracts!
Why having to use a separate tool such as TSHEET to track your time? Using Bonsai, you can use our freelance time-tracking directly from our web app. Using a Mac or an iPhone? We got you covered with an app specifically designed for your device.