Self-Employed Accounting Software: Best Options Of 2023

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Accounting has to be one of the most despised and dreaded aspects of any company. Unfortunately, there is no way around it. It is important that your accounts be up to current, correct, and submitted on time. If you don’t, your company could suffer serious penalties. In fact, failing to file your tax return on time can result in a £100 punishment. The later it is, the more you will have to pay. You will, of course, be charged interest on late payments. You don’t want to get yourself into this mess. This is where the best self-employed accounting software can help. Here, we’ll see the best paid and free options of accounting software for the self-employed.

Best Self-Employed Accounting Software

#1. FreeAgent 

FreeAgent is straightforward to use and one of the easiest pieces of software to learn – especially for somebody who is self-employed and has no prior expertise. That is why it ranks so high on our list of the top self-employed accounting software.

#2. ANNA Business Tools

If you’re self-employed, there’s a lot to enjoy about ANNA Business tools because it’s one of the simplest accounting solutions available.

You still receive all of the important features you need, but they are all reduced to provide you with simply what you need – no unnecessary extras.

There is a free plan available that contains the following features: 

  • Invoice branding and payment tracking
  • Bank feeds that explain transactions for you automatically
  • PAYE compliance payroll for one director or staff
  • Notices of impending deadlines

As a result, for the most majority of self-employed individuals, the free plan will suffice. However, if you require additional capacity to calculate VAT reports or wish to submit other tax returns such as Corporation Tax, there are a couple of premium options available.

#3. Quickbooks

Quickbooks is one of the most comprehensive accounting software systems available. 

Fortunately, Quickbooks was created with small businesses in mind. So, if you’re self-employed or a sole proprietor, our platform provides all of the capabilities you’ll need to handle your bookkeeping.  

It enables you to create and monitor invoices, as well as organize and keep track of all your cash flow and expenses. If you connect your bank account, it will automatically retrieve your transactions from there as well, reducing the amount of human labor required. 

Even better, Quickbooks can generate your tax returns automatically. If you’re self-employed, that’s a lot to think about. 

It’s also quite affordable, with bundles starting at just £12 per month. However, you can test it for free for 30 days. See our in-depth Quickbooks review for additional information. 

#4. FreshBooks

FreshBooks was built with small businesses in mind as a platform, which is why it’s one of our top picks for the best self-employed accounting software.

Client management tools like time tracking and simple invoicing would be appreciated by people who run client-based firms.

However, there’s a lot more to it than that, since the accounting side includes some great connectors that will help you keep your bookkeeping in order and your taxes up to date.

#5. Zoho Books 

Zoho Books is also highly recommended on our list of the finest self-employed accounting software.

Although Zohos is perhaps better recognized for its CRM software and other company tools, its accounting platform is actually quite outstanding. It has many of the same capabilities as other tools, and there is even a completely free plan available if your annual revenue is less than £35k.

The disadvantage is that there is a bit of a learning curve because of the variety of options and capabilities accessible.

#6. Xero 

When it comes to accounting software, Xero is a force to be reckoned with. 

As we highlighted in our complete Xero review, Xero is one of the few firms that offer an Apple Watch version of their software. You can access it no matter where you are or what device you are using if you have an internet connection. That’s real-time accounting. 

However, this program was designed primarily for medium and large corporations, not for self-employment. As a result, some of the functions and interfaces are overly sophisticated and will be unnecessary. 

They are reasonably inexpensive software to use even if you do not use these capabilities, with rates starting at £10 per month. 

#7. Crunch Accounting

Crunch Accounting is ideal for those who like free accounting software. While Crunch Accounting sells accounting software, they are also accountants.

This has a number of advantages. For example, it means you have expert assistance available anytime you need it. You can also rest confident that the program adheres to all of the most recent bookkeeping requirements and regulations.

The disadvantage is that the basic plan is free because they obviously think you’ll use their accounting services as well. As a result, the paid packages are a tad pricey. However, they do provide comprehensive accounting services such as tax and VAT reporting.

8. KashFlow

KashFlow is designed for small and growing enterprises, as we previously discussed in our KashFlow review. This means it’s simple to use and has a variety of intuitive features that are ideal for self-employed firms. 

information includes invoicing, spending, a comprehensive view of your finances, VAT returns, and a mobile app for accessing all of the information on the road. Furthermore, they offer a plethora of free business guides available on their website at all times. 

Here’s another perk. KashFlow is one of the most affordable options on the market, with monthly fees starting at just £8. But you don’t have to make a decision right soon. If you sign up on their website, you’ll also be given a 4-month free trial. 

#9. Clear Books  

Clear Books is HMRC-approved software that is also intended for small businesses. 

It has many of the same features as the other platforms but with one major difference. As we indicated in our Clear Books review, Clear Books says that by using their service, you would be Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliant immediately. This is beneficial for any self-employed business that intends to expand in the coming years. 

Best Free Self-Employed Accounting Software

These free self-employed accounting software should allow you to keep accurate and up-to-date financial records, improve productivity, decrease errors, and gain important insights into your company’s financial health.

#1. Zoho Books

Zoho is most known for its CRM solutions, but it has also provided accounting software since 2011. The free plan from Zoho Books is the greatest overall choice for free accounting software, while things improve much more if you pay for a premium tier.

It combines a simple and straightforward interface with robust capabilities, so Zoho Books handles all the fundamentals effortlessly even on the free tier.

In short, it’s an excellent alternative for new enterprises.

#2. QuickFile

QuickFile, founded in 2010, is accounting software aimed primarily at freelancers, small enterprises, and entrepreneurs. It’s a straightforward and user-friendly cloud-based system that allows any small business owner with little accounting skills to simply manage their accounts.

It also has excellent reviews on Trustpilot, with a 4.7 out of 5 average scores from over 1,100 reviews, with reviewers applauding its ease of use and variety of features.

#3. FreeAgent

FreeAgent, which was founded in 2007, is now used by over 90,000 small businesses in the UK to keep track of their finances, spending, invoices, estimates, and more. It has some fantastic advanced features, such as automatically created VAT returns, corporate tax predictions, and self-assessment tools that fill in up to 90% of the self-employment tax return form automatically.

It has also won accolades (for example, Small Business Accounting Software of the Year at the 2018 Accounting Excellence accolades) and has a Trustpilot rating of 4.7 out of 5 (from nearly 1,000 reviews).

#4. Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting, founded in 2010 in Toronto, Canada, is a robust, free, cloud-based accounting software with a superb UI and a slick nautical design scheme. It makes money by offering payroll and payments services (along with display ads), which means its free accounting software is virtually limitless in terms of account size and other features. All of this means that Wave Accounting is popular among US entrepreneurs, but its focus on the US/Canada means it’s not a perfect fit for UK small enterprises – and some may consider it a non-starter as a result.

#5. GnuCash

GnuCash is a desktop open-source accounting software that was created in 2001. If you’re still confused, desktop means you have to download and install it, whereas open-source means anybody can download and alter the code that makes up the software in order to add more functionality and repair issues.

This means it’s always free, but it won’t win any design awards, and it’s not particularly specialized to the needs of small enterprises (no open banking integration, for example). There is also a learning curve, and accounting is a more tedious and complex procedure than some of the other applications described in this essay.

With its simple UI and streamlined functionality, VT Cashbook is specifically designed for small enterprises, self-employed individuals, and startups searching for an easy-to-use accounting solution without the need for the more extensive functionalities offered by GnuCash.

#6. VT Cashbook

VT Cashbook was published in 2019, but it comes from a company with a long history of accounting software development. The Software was formed in 1997, and its professional products (VT Accounts and VT Transaction+) are well-liked by accountants, particularly those working with small businesses. Cashbook is the entry-level solution, offering plain, user-friendly desktop accounting software ideal for anyone seeking for a simple way to keep track of their accounts.

What is the Purpose of Accounting Software?

First and foremost, you do not require accounting software. You are completely capable of keeping your own records and books. However, there are some advantages for firms who use an online bookkeeping service or the best self-employed accounting software. Here are some of them.

#1. Improved precision 

Let’s face it: no one is flawless. Mistakes occur, and it only takes a brief gap in attention to write a 3 instead of an 8. 

However, there can be no faults in your accounting. End of story. You must submit the correct information. This cannot be assured if done by hand, which is where accounting software might come in handy. 

#2. Save time

Time is the most valuable thing that any company can own. So, why waste hours of your time doing your accounting when software can perform calculations in milliseconds and complete the work in a fraction of the time?

That’s hours you could be spending on acquiring new customers, strategizing, or even having a well-deserved tea break. 

#3. Lower overall expenses 

It may appear that investing in accounting software will increase your costs, but you must consider the big picture. 

Greater speed saves your company significant time, which may be used to generate more revenue for your profit. Furthermore, higher accuracy reduces the possibility of fines or time spent rechecking and recalculating your accounts. 

#4. It facilitates your understanding.

Accounting isn’t the easiest topic in the world to learn. You may understand the fundamentals of bookkeeping and keeping correct records, but do you do anything with this information? 

With the best self-employed accounting software, you can generate reports that provide a comprehensive insight into your company’s performance. It can assist you in identifying any costly overheads that you may be able to reduce, allowing you to increase your earnings and develop your firm even further. 

#5. It’s a lot simpler. 

You may have gleaned this from the others, but it bears repeating. Accounting software makes everything so much easier than doing it all by hand. This is especially true if you are self-employed, as you already have a lot on your plate. 

So, give yourself a break and use accounting software to lessen your tax filling frustration. 

How to Select the Best Self-Employed Accounting Software

Choosing the best self-employed accounting software for you will be determined by your specific requirements. For example, if you are self-employed as a limited company director rather than a sole trader, you may require extra features.

In any case, there are likely to be a few crucial things that are significant to you:

#1. Ease of use

If you work for yourself, you most likely wear numerous hats. You undoubtedly take on far more responsibilities than you would choose. As a result, you don’t want software that takes a lengthy time to understand.

Focus on platforms known for their ease of use and short learning curves so that keeping your books organized does not become a time-consuming task.

#2. Mobile Internet Access

Most self-employed people nowadays aren’t just working while they’re in front of a computer. We all have mobile devices that allow us to stay on top of emails and other vital activities while we’re out and about.

You’ll need a platform that performs effectively across all platforms, including mobile. Indeed, the best self-employed accounting software will include a specialized app for a more streamlined experience.

#3. Scalability

Most businesses intend to expand. As a result, it’s critical that the software you choose grows with your company.

If you are a sole proprietor, you may opt to incorporate as a limited company in the future. If you’re a one-man band, you might want to consider hiring some help in the future.

Consider what the future may hold for your company and ensuring that the software you choose can continue to assist you. After all, you don’t want the additional trouble of replacing your program later on.

#4. Self-Assessments

If you work for yourself, you will almost probably be required to file an annual self-assessment tax return.

The best accounting software for self-employed individuals will include self-assessment returns. They will automatically calculate your tax liability and populate your return.

All that should be left for you to do each year is to review the details, add or edit anything as necessary, then click ‘submit’.

Of course, this does not include all that is important to you.

For example, if you work a lot with clients, you should make sure your chosen software offers appropriate client, project, and invoice management tools. If you’re VAT registered, be sure you can file VAT returns using your software.

Whatever is vital to you, be certain that you properly examine each software before making a decision. The top self-employed accounting software usually provides free trials so you can completely test them out before committing financially.

In Conclusion,

Using the reviews above as a starting point, you should be able to locate the best self-employed accounting software for UK firms. However, keep in mind that these accounting software reviews are intended to serve as a general guide. The evaluations are based on the software’s entire performance, not only how simple it is to use for self-employed firms. 

The majority of these platforms will provide a free trial period. So download the program, try it out, and evaluate what works best for your company. Try out the features for yourself and see if it simplifies your accounting and bookkeeping

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