Online Accounting Software for Self Employed

This is the second installment in a series on the best easy-to-use online accounting software options available for self-employed individuals and small businesses with budgets of all sizes. All software in this series is listed below.

Freshbooks Online Accounting Keeps It Simple

Freshbooks online and mobile accounting software apps.
Freshbooks Online and Mobile Accounting Apps. 2ndSite Inc.

FreshBooks is an online accounting app that helps small businesses manage time and expenses, and send branded professional-looking invoices. The app also collects online payments from customers who pay by credit card, PayPal, or eCheck. The latest improvement to Freshbooks is Automatic Expense Import, which automatically uploads transactions from business bank, credit card and brokerage accounts. Over 5 million people have used FreshBooks since it launched in 2003, and there are now customers in over 120 countries.

If you have a very small business and don't work with more than three clients, you can use Freshbooks at no cost. Between four and 25 users will cost you about $30 per month. See below for more price levels.

In addition to the online app, you can use Freshbooks mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android when you're away from a computer. There are other Android apps that work with Freshbooks from other developers: Nead Money Pro and TimeDroid for Freshbooks.

Freshbooks is designed to be really easy to use. You create expense reports by snapping a photo of a receipt, setting up any recurring expenses you may have then assign expense. You'll set up rates for project and track your time, then create an invoice and accept payments either electronically or via cash or check.

Freshbooks can bill in any currency, includes account aging, profit and loss and other accounting reports and will export date in CSV format, which is readable by Excel and other spreadsheets. Freshbooks has a number of add ons, like Basecamp, ReportAway for Blackberry, zendesk, Expensify, Google Apps and many more.

  • Learn more about Freshbooks
  • Monthly Cost: Free (supports 3 clients) / $19.95 (25 clients) / $29.95 (Unlimited clients) / $39.95 (Unlimited clients, two users)
  • License: One user, unless you enroll in the $39.95 plan which includes one additional use and can add more users at $10 per month, per user.
  • Free Trial: 30 days, full access to all features
  • Mobile apps: iPhone and iPad, Android

More Online Accounting Apps for Self Employed and Small Business:

Kashoo Online Accounting App with iPad App

Kashoo online accounting app and ipad app.
Kashoo Online Accounting App with iPad App.

Kashoo is another good easy to use online accounting software choice for the self employed freelancer or entrepreneur. The iPad app is hugely popular, but Android tablet and smart phone users and iPhone users will have to stick to the online version since there are currently no apps available for these devices.

When you first log on to Kashoo, you see a Welcome screen with short videos that show you how to use Kashoo to handle accounting, create invoices and enter payments, set up accounts, create reports and more. Primary navigation is done on a sidebar on the left and a simple dashboard lets you start with just a mouse click (or finger tap, if you're on an iPad) or two to start entering income and payments or entering invoices. You can enter expenses that go with an invoices, too. Other options are to enter transfers, adjustments, print checks and reconcile bank accounts. Further down the navigation bar, you can choose to enter customers and vendor or expense and income accounts, set up sales tax, and enter invoice and inventory items.

You can import data from spreadsheets and other accounting software to Kashoo.

  • Learn more and sign up at
  • Cost: Free / $15 per month / $144 per year
  • License: Up to 20 transactions per month for free version / unlimited for subscriptions
  • Free Trial: 30 days, unlimited use
  • Mobile apps: iPad
More Online Accounting Apps for Self Employed and Small Business:

QuickBooks Online Simple Start or QuickBooks Essentials for Small Business

QuickBooks Online Snapshot Report is one of many accounting reports.
QuickBooks Online Snapshot Report. Intuit

Don't be intimidated by the QuickBooks title in this online accounting software. QuickBooks Online is easy to get started with and to use with a home screen that has a simple Money In and Money Out chart that boils down the whole accounting process to small set of graphical icons.

There are five versions of QuickBooks Online: Simple Start, Essentials, Online Plus, Online Essentials with Payroll and Online Plus with Payroll. If you're self employed and working by yourself, QuickBooks Online Simple Start will likely meet all of your accounting needs. If you decide to grow your business but keep it small, then you will have to step up to Online Essentials for more billing and invoicing options. A number of mobile and online apps work with QuickBooks Online, like Shoeboxed, and many others. A good number of financial reports are included.

A chart is provided to compare QuickBooks Online versions so you can choose one that works for you. Compared to other online accounting software, versions above Simple Start are more expensive. Most other online accounting options offer more features than QuickBooks Simple Start, so you may find a less expensive option that is a better fit for a very small business or self employed individual. QuickBooks Online is still worth trying though, and there's a free 30 day trial. If you need to upgrade to a higher version in the future, it's really simple to do so with no loss of data.

  • Learn more about QuickBooks Online
  • Monthly Cost: $12.95 (Simple Start - 1 user) / $26.95 (Online Essentials - 3 users) / $39.95 (Online Plus - 5 users) /$65.95 (Online Essentials with Payroll - 3 users) / $78.95 (Online Plus with Payroll - 5 users)
  • Free Trial: 30 days
  • Mobile apps: iPhone, Android, Blackberry
More Online Accounting Apps for Self Employed and Small Business: