One of the most important things that I learned after quitting my job and becoming a full-time blogger was the fact that I needed to find a way to manage all my business related income and expenses if I had any hope of not stabbing my eyes out with a fork. Never mind the fact that I’ve always been pretty good with my expenses, and the fact that I love statistics and crunching the numbers on things made it somewhat easy for me to transition from being a corporate 9 to 5 employee to someone who is in control of their own financial destiny. The problem was that keeping track of all my income and expenses (especially for tax purposes) was a turning into a full-time job all in and of itself, so I needed a little help. OK, I needed a LOT of help.
To be honest I’m not even really sure how I settled on QuickBooks Self-Employed to begin with. Chances are if you’re reading this article you are very familiar with all of the other business accounting software out there (there are a lot of them), and you just need a little help to figure out if the Self-Employed version of QuickBooks is worth the monthly subscription price. I’m going to come out and say right now that yes, it’s totally worth the cost and it’s working perfectly for me and the way that I’ve been running my business.
But let’s back up a little bit first. When I was on my quest to find software which would help manage my books and keep everything organized for me, I had a list of requirements that were absolutely necessary:
- Instantly track and organize expenses on multiple accounts
- Organize receipts
- Create and send invoices in minutes
- Manage taxes easily
QuickBooks Self-Employed does all of these things flawlessly, and I couldn’t imagine doing all of this stuff manually. That says a lot considering how much I like to be in control of everything, because 8 have a really hard time letting go of things – especially when it comes to my business. It’s my baby, and I feel like I need to have my hand in everything. I know isn’t the smartest thing to do if I want to scale up and reach those lofty goals that I have.
Breaking down the pros and cons of QuickBooks Eelf-Employed
As I’ve already mentioned, I am very satisfied with QuickBooks Self-Employed and it’s going to be pretty easy for me to write about all the things that I like about this software. Let’s just start with that and get that out of the way, and then we’ll break it down even further where I can be somewhat more critical and nit-picky.
- QuickBooks Self-Employed is essentially self-running software, and once you link your associated business accounts (credit cards, savings, checking, etc.), all income and expenses are recorded, categorized, and organized automatically. You don’t have to do anything after the initial setup, which is really nice since you’re probably going to be very busy running your business and you’re not going to be having the time to muck around with accounting stuff.
- Income and expense categories are optimized for tax purposes. This means that tax time is going to be much simpler every year since all of your income and expense items will be grouped in a way which jives with the current tax laws and codes. This is a huge benefit for me, because all I have to do is print out a summary of all my income and expenses, and my tax guy takes it and does his thing without question – because everything is already categorized in a way that makes sense for him.
- Creating and sending invoices with QuickBooks Self-Employed is super easy and has been a total lifesaver for me. While most of the income that I generate an a monthly basis is of a passive variety, I’m still doing a bit of freelance work here and there to bring in some extra cash when I need it. All have to do to get paid for that freelance work is to spend a few minutes creating an invoice with QuickBooks Self-Employed’s super-easy invoice generating tool, and then send it directly to my client from within QuickBooks. My client receives the invoice via email, and they can make the payment directly through QuickBooks by clicking on the link in the email. What’s really nice about this is the fact that I can track all of this activity from my QuickBooks dashboard, and I’ll know exactly when and invoice has or has not been paid.
- My biggest gripe about QuickBooks Self-Employed is the fact that there is an active banner area at the top which bombards me with notifications and reminders every time I login – most of which are irrelevant to me and just annoying. No, I’m not interested in signing up for a new credit card. And no, I don’t have any mileage to report. Stop asking me these things!
- Sometimes it doesn’t quite remember a category that I specified for a recurring expense, and I have to continuously reminded QuickBooks every time I login. It appears to be a minor bug which pops up every now and then, and my only hope is that they’ll get enough complaints about it to get it fixed for good very soon.
Is QuickBooks Self-Employed right for you?
As a small business owner with no employees (other than me), QuickBooks Self-Employed makes total sense and I consider it to be the hub of my business and all the money coming in and out of it. And when it comes right down to it, I guess that I consider it to be another employee since it’s doing essentially what a book keeper or an accountant would do, and that right there makes its monthly subscription cost worth it’s weight in gold.
If you’re like me and you have a small business with only a handful of credit card and bank accounts to manage, QuickBooks Self-Employed is the perfect solution. I’m not sure how well it’s going to scale as my business grows (I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it), but for now it’s working flawlessly keeping tabs of my credit cards and bank accounts and compiling all that data into useful information (which comes in super handy at tax time).
Freelancers and consultants will also find this software very useful thanks to it’s robust invoicing capabilities, and if sending invoices is a core part of your business it’s going to work very well for you.
The most important thing for you to do is to stop procrastinating and just try it. You can spend days (or even weeks) contemplating which accounting software is to manage your business expenses, but that’s the exactly the kind of thing that you shouldn’t be spending all of your time on. You’ve got a business to run, so focus on doing what you do great and let QuickBooks Self-Employed do the rest!
As a bit of extra motivation to get you started, clicking this link will get you 50% off your first six months. Enjoy!
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