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5 Accounting Tools for Independent Contractors

5 Invoicing and Accounting Tools Great for Independent ContractorsInvoicing and accounting are unavoidable tasks for all independent contractors.  Even if you have an accountant, you need to keep yourself organized on a regular basis to avoid headaches, keep costs down, and make sure you get paid. Perhaps the best way to do this is by finding an accounting software that works for you and your business.

In a recent article on Entrepreneur.com, Andrew Cravenho, CEO of CBAC Funding, analyzed five different accounting tools that would be perfect for helping independent contractors manage their books.  Below is a summary of his review.  Take a look through and let us know what you think in the comments.

1. FreshBooks

Forbes has called this tool “incredible, user friendly,” thanks to its ability to make accounting tasks fast, easy and secure. FreshBooks is a great tool for new entrepreneurs.

With Freshbooks, you can track time, create and send invoices and capture expenses in minutes. There are unique features, as well: FreshBooks allows you to see if a particular client has viewed your invoice. In addition, you can schedule recurring invoices, accept credit cards, track monthly expenses, generate estimates and capture billable hours using this tool.

The company claims that its customers have “doubled their revenue in the first 24 months,” using FreshBooks. Apart from providing award-winning support and webinars, the software even offers a find-an-accountant map.

This accounting software costs $19.95 per month, and offers a 30-day free trial for new customers.

2. QuickBooks

QuickBooks offers everything you expect in accounting software. From invoicing to bill management and payroll, it covers them all. Better yet, with this tool you can access reports like profit & loss and balance sheets. You can prepare tax/file forms, accept online payments and print out checks.

QuickBooks also can be integrated with various apps, including PayPal, LivePlan, Constant Contact and Square. Its Small Business Center is a great place to seek advice as well as to connect with your local Quickbooks expert.

This accounting software too offers a 30-day free trial and its monthly plan starts from $9.99. QuickBooks allows you to choose and pay for the features you need.

3. Wave

This cloud-based, integrated accounting software is specially designed for freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners. In fact, more than 1 million entrepreneurs and small business owners trust Wave to track their income and spending.

Wave provides easy-to-understand invoicing and accounting software, approved by certified accountants. Apart from invoicing, it offers payroll, payment and personal finance software to help you manage your money properly. Using Wave, you can create business reports such as sales tax reports and balance sheets. In addition, it allows you to keep your records by uploading money receipts into your account.

There is an online forum for Wave where you can find insightful articles, helpful tips and important data for small business owners. It can even help you find a certified accountant in your particular area.

The best part of this accounting tool is that it is 100 percent free.

4. Zoho Books

Small business owners especially will find this intuitive accounting software helpful. Zoho Books allows you to send out professional invoices, track your business expenses, accept online payments and automate banking processes such as scheduling for bills, and reminders.

Zoho also helps you calculate taxes and offers a time-tracking tool, which you can use to manage timesheets as well as track reimbursable hours. You can even send quotes and/or access customer data from anywhere, at any time. It can be integrated with payment gateways like PayPal, Square, Stripe, Authorize.Net and more.

Zoho Books offers a flat $24 plan per month and a 14-day free trial.

5. Invoicera.

Invoicera offers different features for small business owners, enterprises and freelancers. You can create customized invoices using this tool, as well as manage cash flow, control expenses and receive online payments.

We found Invoicera’s task management tool to be its most striking feature: Using it, you can track time spent on a particular project. Though the idea of a time-tracking tool is nothing new, what Invoicera does differently is allow you to assign and evaluate tasks in order to enhance productivity.

Freelancers or new entrepreneurs working with three or fewer clients may use this accounting tool for free. Premium monthly plans start from $19.95.

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