Top 5 accounting apps for self-employed and freelancers

A freelancer using her phone to manage her business finances.

Taking the leap into self-employment can be an exciting venture but it can also have its challenges. Managing your finances correctly will be crucial to your success as a freelancer and for many, keeping track of your earnings and expenses to complete your tax returns can seem like a mammoth task.

Luckily, there are a variety of user-friendly accounting and budgeting apps that can help streamline the process, allowing you to focus on growing your business. These apps are designed to help you keep your records organised and accurate, as well as tracking your income so you can manage potential issues before they arise and take your enterprise to the next level - check out some of our favourites below.

1. Xero

If you’re new to using accounting software, Xero might be the choice for you. This full-service accounting software effectively serves the needs of much larger companies, however it’s fairly simple to use and free of unnecessary jargon. If you’re just getting started on your self-employed journey, their starter version should suit your needs nicely. Already the first choice for many freelancers and start up companies, Xero provide a free online training that should help you get to grips with using the software and have you up and running in no time.

With Xero, you’ll not only be able to generate online invoicing, but you can also set up automated payments and utilise its project management features. If you’re a freelancer that’s going to be on-the-go as opposed to sat behind a desk, you can manage your bookkeeping by downloading their app to your smartphone at your own convenience.

2. Bloom

If you have a physical aversion to spreadsheets, then this next app might be for you. Designed with the creative in mind, Bloom isn’t just an accounting app but also a full CRM that allows you to send invoices, receive payments, sign contracts, track workflows and communicate with your clients. Bloom elevates the client journey and allows you to scale and structure your business so you’re not spending hours completing endless admin tasks. Aside from keeping your books in order, Bloom also has a gallery feature too that allows you to collaborate with clients and receive proofing, feedback and download permissions. Bloom is essentially a virtual business manager that can help run your business so you can focus on your craft.

3. Wave

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use product without all the bells and whistles, Wave might be the choice for you. With Wave you can create invoices, accept online payments and manage your accounting in one place. Along with financial tracking, Wave’s user-friendly dashboard provides you with a complete picture of your business health and has a team of expert financial advisors on standby to coach you if you need any help. One of the great things about Wave is that their invoices and accounting features are free, however there are premiums attached to its other features. This is a great product to use if you’re just starting out in the freelancer world and looking for a simple and manageable accounting product.


4. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a widely used and effective bookkeeping tool with specific plans to suit your business needs. Whether you’re a freelancer or even launching a startup business QuickBooks has a package for you. As a freelancer you can manage both your business and personal expenses in one place. QuickBooks can manage your expenses, send invoices and prepare your VAT returns as well as providing you with a free 45-minute onboarding call with one of their experts to get you up and running quickly and efficiently.


5. Tide

With their easy-to-use software, Tide aims to take the stress out of accounting with their simple to use software. Tide Accounting is a user-friendly platform that allows you to draw up personalised invoices, manage bills and boost cash flow, track business performance and helps organise your expenses and income records which takes the pain out of doing your self-assessment.

We will be shining a spotlight on Small Business Owners, self-employed, freelancers, and side-hustlers to find out what it takes to run your own business and what entrepreneurship really means in the UK today. Visit our startup hub and don’t forget to follow our hashtags #StartingUp2024 #SmallBusinessOwners for business startup news and guides.

*This article is purely the opinion of the reviewer and can in no way be considered advice into what is the best product for your individual needs.

Cover starting from £8 a month