Keeping track of your finances and workflow as an independent working is probably one of the most critical parts of being self-employed. We do always advise appointing a reliable and trustworthy accountant to ensure your finances are kept in check and that you always remain compliant – so before subscribing to any financial system – it may be best with them to decide on the one which suits you best.
We’ve put together a list of 6 of the best finance tools available to freelancers and independent consultants today.
A Toront-based startup, Wave does things a little (or very) differently. Their service is, for the most-part, completely free. But for slightly more complex processes like credit card payments and payroll, you only pay for what you need. This cloud-based resource gives freelancers the opportunity to test things out before they commit to purchase, and gives users the chance to invoice, keep track of finances, and even scan receipts to capture expenses – all free of charge. Perhaps more geared towards the smaller business, Wave does offer a lot of great advantage to independent users. They pride themselves on being different and doing things differently. Although based in Toronto, they function almost everywhere in the world.
Probably one of the most popular cloud-based accounting systems available on the market, Quickbooks has made it possible for anyone to keep control of their cash-flow, invoices and accounting commitments. What we love about Quickbooks is that you have the option to give your accountant special access to your Quickbooks profile which means that they are able to view critical information surrounding your business and service delivery, in order for them to file the right reports. Providing access to integrate your bank account with the system, you can view transactions in real-time – and match them to invoices as and when they come in.
This UK-based accounting software provider is more than just a simple accounting platform. They help you get setup – from the very first day. Apart from doing what most other accounting platforms can do, Crunch can also help to set up your company, set up payroll, switch accountants and manage the move for you, and more. Crunch also offer more to the self-employed through their specialist mortgage advisors, and investment and pension consultations. They offer a more conclusive package through their Marketplace to someone working for themselves, by serving all your business needs in one place.
This cloud-based accounting software services was designed to make the lives of independent workers and small businesses easier. With FreshBooks, you can create professional-looking invoices, and customise them with your own branding, contact information and more. It allows for quite a bit of automation on tasks like invoicing, organising your expenses, tracking your time and following up with clients. The beauty of all cloud-based solutions is that you can access them anytime, anywhere. FreshBooks also gives you the option to integrate with other software services and apps.
Zoho Books is slightly different to some of the other accounting software out there in that Zoho is great for client management. Through the inbuilt “client portal”, your clients have the option to be able to log in and view transactions and invoices, and even communicate with you. They offer quite an extensive reporting feature that allows you to generate cash flow statements, income statements, tax statements and more. Zoho books also makes it possible to integrate your banking with their system – which means that you can get a real-time update on your account and cash flow.
Much the same as with other cloud-based accounting platforms, FreeAgent allows users to get themselves up to speed with accounting practices quickly, and easily. From Webinars to Telephone support, FreeAgent make themselves available to walk you through the process and provide all the help you need. But what makes them different is that they also give users the option to find an accountant, if they don’t already have one, and who has been verified by FreeAgent themselves. With inbuilt timesheets and stopwatch – it gives you the option to record your time accurately – and save that straight to your account, for smoother invoicing, when working by the hour.
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About the Author
Katy is an independent marketing consultant and founded Fresh Brew Marketing out of her love for the cuppa. A seasoned marketer, Katy writes for several global publications and provides outsourced marketing services to businesses throughout the UK. She is a keen geocacher and rates running around in city centres dressed in Christmas lights as one of her most successful Social Media campaigns to date.More Content by Katy Roberts