Accounting Software Reviews

QuickBooks Self-Employed Review

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Quickbooks Self Employed Review
QuickBooks Self-Employed was designed for independent contractors and freelancers. #accounting #business #smallbusiness #businessfinance #review

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Quickbooks Self-Employed Introduction

QuickBooks Self-Employed was designed for independent contractors and freelancers. It offers basic accounting, but also helps freelancers categorize their spending so that they can quickly complete their Schedule C come tax time. It is one of the few accounting services to offer Schedule C assistance and be so freelancer-friendly. While great, they still do lack a few features you would expect to find from a program advertising specifically to independent contractors and freelancers.
A cloud-based accounting program designed exclusively for freelancers and independent contractors.


PROS:
  • Schedule C preparation for easier taxes
  • Can file taxes automatically with upgrade
  • Quickly separates personal from business transactions
  • Helps calculate estimated quarterly tax payments
  • Import banking transactions

CONS:
  • No time tracking
  • No estimates or quotes
  • No payroll services
  • Big jump from introductory rate to regular rate


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Scoring and Rating

Accounting and Business Tasks: (Rating: 7/10)

QuickBooks Self-Employed is somewhat basic when it comes to accounting and business tasks. They just recently added invoicing and it is still in the testing phase as of 12/2015 (which means not all users have access to it), but you cannot generate estimates. It does, however, sync with your bank accounts so that you can quickly download transactions and categorize them. You can set rules so when transactions are downloaded in the future, they’re automatically categorized.

You can track expenses and even separate personal from business expenses – something freelancers and self-employed individuals often need. You cannot track vendors at the same capacity as other QuickBooks products, but this one does offer Schedule C-specific tracking for self-employed and freelance workers. You can pre-fill out a Schedule C for easier processing at tax time or even upgrade to the Turbo Tax version so you can automatically transport the data and file taxes online.

Mileage Tracking with QB Self Employed

You can track your miles through QB Self-Employed – for faster tax inputting later.

You cannot track vendors, purchase orders, inventory or make any payments from the program. You also do not have payroll services. Basically, QuickBooks Self-Employed is more ideal for freelancers that need to track expenses, estimated tax payments, etc. without any of the fussy accounting details.

Report List for QB Self Employed

Report-wise, you can print or download Profit and Loss statements, a quick PDF tax summary or an excel tax summary showing all Schedule C categories and their amounts. That is the extent of their reports at this time.

Invoicing: (Rating: 6/10)

Sending Invoices in QB Self Employed

Only recently did QuickBooks Self-Employed add invoicing (as of December 2015). The invoicing is rather basic compared to other versions of QuickBooks. You cannot generate estimates; therefore, you won’t be able to quickly create invoices like you can in other accounting programs. The invoicing is basic too – comprising of the recipient’s name and email, invoice date, due date and the products. You can customize the invoice somewhat by adding your name, address, company information, etc., but you cannot add logos. To accept payments, you would still have to forward clients to your PayPal or separate credit card processing – since you cannot accept payments through the program itself.

Tax rates are not supported in the invoicing version as of 12/2015 and the currency is restricted to USD. Personally, you may find better invoicing through your own PayPal account, which most freelancers rely on anyway, due to the lack of features.

Management: (Rating: 6/10)

QuickBooks Self-Employed is better for freelancers and entrepreneurs with no employees. You cannot manage and pay vendors and the overall management process on QB Self-Employed is minimal. It is more for tracking expenses and preparing taxes.

There’s no project management, inventory tracking, etc. Because they are advertised to freelancers, you would assume they have time-tracking, but they don’t. This is something we hope they add in the future so that freelancers could quickly track their hours and bill via the program.

There is no payroll with QB Self-Employed and it cannot be integrated into a POS.

Ease of Use: (Rating: 9/10)

QB Self Employed Dashboard

The program itself is very easy to use. When you first signup and establish your account, you will be prompted via a guide to set up your profile, add bank accounts, etc. When you log-in, you’ll always see tips on the front screen as well as a quick snapshot of what has been going on with your business finances.

Unfortunately, info online is limited. They do have guides and forums, but they could use some beefing. Luckily, because it is so user-friendly, it is unlikely you’ll need the guides. But, for those with questions, this could be an issue. After creating an account on QuickBooks Self-Employed myself, I found it extremely easy to setup and I’m not sure why some people refer to it as clunky or difficult. It is so simple it is really hard to mess up your setup in the first place.

Access: (Rating: 10/10)

You can access a QB Self-Employed account from your computer or mobile phone. Everything is stored in the cloud, so there is no software to install on computers, but you will need the app on your phone or tablet. They offer apps for iOS and Android. Because everything is stored on the cloud, you don’t have to worry if your computer is lost or stolen. You can set passwords as well, so a lost or stolen tablet will not provide someone with access to your business account.

Taxes: (Rating: 9/10)

Estimated Tax Calculations QB Self Employed

Taxes are definitely simplified for freelancers and self-employed individuals on this version of QuickBooks. You can automatically generate your Schedule C for faster taxes, but also automatically calculate and track estimated quarterly tax payments – which is critical when you are self-employed.

Annual Tax Summary with QB Self Employed

You cannot, however, print W2s or 1099s because the program doesn’t support more than one employee. You cannot file payroll taxes either.

While you cannot provide your accountant with access, you can quickly download files in Excel or PDF to email to your accountant. Also, if you upgrade to the Turbo Tax integration version, you can file your small business taxes and personal taxes for free via Turbo Tax and automatically transport your tax data from QB Self-Employed for faster filing. If you have the upgraded version, you can also pay estimated quarterly taxes online as well as your final tax bill for the year.

Pricing: (Rating: 9/10)

You can try QuickBooks Self-Employed for free for 30 days. After that you can enjoy a discounted rate for 12 months – starting at $5 per month for the Self-Employed version and $12 per month for the upgraded version with Turbo Tax. After that, you can expect payments to start at $10 per month for Self-Employed and $17 per month for the Turbo Tax version.

QB Self Employed Tax Bundle

While inexpensive compared to some, for the price you would expect more features – since there are accounting programs that are cheaper or similar in price with more features for small business and self-employed individuals.

Customer Service: (Rating: 9/10)

Help Options with QB Self Employed

Reaching QB’s team of customer service professionals can be difficult at times. They do offer email – and they respond fairly quickly (about 24 to 48 hours), but it can be frustrating when you receive robotic response or one that doesn’t necessarily address your question. They have tutorials and guides online as well as their forums, but there is limited information for the Self-Employed version of QB. You can also chat live (when available) or call the customer service representatives.

Intuit, owner of QuickBooks programs, currently has an A+ rating with the BBB.


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Quickbooks Self-Employed Specifications

Specification

Pricing

Regular Pricing(after intro): $10/month QB Self Employed, $17/month TurboTax Bundle

Introductory Pricing: $5/month QB Self Employed, $12/month TurboTax Bundle

Free Trial: 30 Days

Score Based out of Total of 10

# of Users Per Account

1

# of Clients/Customers

Unlimited

# of Invoices

Unlimited

Features

Basic Accounting Features

Tax Prep Assistance

Tax Filing

Expense Tracking

Can Import Bank Transactions

# of Built in Reports: 3

Payroll

Platforms Supported

All (Cloud Based)

Mobile

Mobile Invoicing

Mobile Expense Tracking

Receipt Capture via Mobile Phone

iOS App

Android App

Help and Support

Email

Phone

Online Tutorials

Forums/Guides


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What Type of Business Could Use This Software?

QuickBooks Self-Employed is designed more for independent contractors, freelancers and businesses with only one employee. It cannot accommodate the needs of large companies or even a small business with two employees. It lacks inventory tracking as well – so if you’re a small business with inventory you’ll need to upgrade to a different version of QuickBooks. Overall, we recommend this program strictly for freelancers and independent contractors that need to separate business from personal and prepare a Schedule C with ease.


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Quickbooks Self-Employed Pricing

You can try QuickBooks Self-Employed free for 30 days.

QuickBooks Self-Employed: Includes separating business from personal transactions, tracking Schedule C deductions, estimating quarterly taxes and offering bank-grade encryption. Starts at $5 to $10 per month depending on when you sign up.

QuickBooks Self-Employed TurboTax Bundle: Includes the same features as QB Self-Employed along with paying estimated quarterly taxes online, filing faster by exporting your Schedule C straight to TurboTax and filing federal and state returns online. Starts at $12 to $17 per month depending on promotions and when you sign up.


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What We Like About Quickbooks Self-Employed

Schedule C Print Out for QB Self Employed

Freelancer and Independent Contractor Friendly: It is really hard to find an accounting program that understands the different needs of a contractor or freelancer. Things like hourly billing, estimated quarterly tax payments, etc. are all included in QuickBooks Self-Employed. We even like how it generates a Schedule C so that contractors can quickly file their taxes – taking the guesswork and risk for error out of tax season.

Separates Business from Personal: Plenty of self-employed individuals and freelancers will have their personal and business transactions coming from the same bank account. While there is nothing wrong with this, it makes it hard to separate them for tax purposes. With QuickBooks Self-Employed, contractors can quickly differentiate in the program and even make rules so that future similar transactions are removed as personal or left in the system for business expense accounting.

Taxes Can Be Done Online: This is one of the few programs that lets you also file taxes online. Not only will it create the Schedule C, but if you upgrade to the Turbo Tax bundle, you can file and pay for taxes online – including estimated quarterly as well as end of year taxes.


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What We Don't Like About Quickbooks Self-Employed

Invoicing a Little Lackluster: They have recently added invoicing, but in all honesty, most freelancers will find it too boring, basic and not use it. First, it doesn’t integrate with PayPal, which is what most entrepreneurs and freelancers use to collect their payments. Second, you can’t customize invoices – making them seem a little more template-like than unique.

No Time Tracking: While this isn’t always a bad thing, especially for freelancers and contractors that work on a per job basis, hourly tracking would be nice – or at least the ability to integrate a time tracking app to the software. A lot of freelancers work hourly and they need to bill their clients based on hours. Having time tracking software built into the program would make it much more versatile.


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Review Summary

8.1 Total Score
Accounting for contractors and freelancers.

QuickBooks Self Employed is perfect for freelancers and independent contractors that have different accounting needs compared to traditional businesses. With tools like Schedule C, tax filing and estimated quarterly tax payments, it may be the only program out there truly for self-employed individuals.

Accounting and Business Tasks
7
Invoicing
6
Management
6
Ease of Use
9
Access
10
Taxes
9
Pricing
9
Pricing
9


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Quickbooks Self-Employed Discounts and Coupons

Save up to 50% on Quickbooks Self-Employed for the first 6 months!

$10.00 $5.00



Shailynn is a word slinger, chef, Pinterest addict and adult coloring book collector. As our Operations Manager and Senior Researcher/Editor, you will find Shailynn busy finding new companies and topics to research, but also handling the crazy day-to-day on the backend – and by crazy…we mean all of us. She attended the International Culinary Institute, where she studied pastry arts and she worked as an executive pastry chef before hanging up her chef’s hat and decided to work from home as a writer. She is a fanatic for a great cup of coffee or wonderful glass of wine! Shailynn is a mother of three and married to a handsome firefighter.

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