Cloud accounting software is a kind of computer system that keeps track of any reports on the financial activities of a company.
Bookkeeping and billing are this cloud accounting software’s two most important and common features.
On top of that, other typical accounting related-tasks are also included, such as expense, timesheet, reporting, payroll management, debt collection, and reconciliation.
Other than that, some of this cloud-based accounting software provides cloud, desktop, or mobile for self-employed to utilize anywhere and anytime they want.
Accounting software should be one of your primary purchases as a self-employed. The system will solve your day-to-day operation related to accounting activities, such as reporting, payments, and so forth.
It will help self-employed to identify, analyze, and forecast the overall aspects of their business’s finances.
Moreover, this article will help you identify the best cloud accounting software out of any other available accounting tools on the market.
These 15 best accounting platforms will provide convenient, cost-effective, and time-saving features, including automation on payment, bank feed, reporting, payment, and invoicing.
So, here are our top selections and information on how we chose them. Most importantly, you should read more details given below, especially pricing plans and our buying guides.
1) FreshBooks ($15 – $50 Per Month & Quotation Based)
FreshBooks is another cloud-based accounting tool for self-employed to operate their business faster, more accurately, and more efficiently. This reliable tool helps you monitor the payment, expenses, schedules, and reports more efficiently. On top of that, the software enables self-employed to generate professional invoicing and billing to clients.
This tool has many functions; however, the dashboard design will help users navigate tasks quickly.
Even accounting beginners can learn to use this cloud-based accounting software for self-employed easily and quickly.
- Clear and robust invoice payment
- Monitor expenses and bookkeeping
- Generate reports in seconds
- Great at tracking schedule, payment, and billing for self-employed businesses
- Customizable dashboard and invoices
- Pay, upload, and track tasks on mobile
- Neat and user-friendly interface
- Create vendors and record data in seconds
- Real-time schedule and invoice tracking
- Desktop and mobile apps are all available for download.
- Limited bank connections
- No automatic saving functions.
2) QuickBooks Self-employed ($25 – $180 Per Month)
QuickBooks Self-Employed is an exclusive cloud software edition designed to assist freelancers and self-employed people in monitoring their cash flow, including earnings, spending, and tax obligations.
Labeling transactions as commercial or personal is easy by swiping them left or right.
People who are just beginning their self-employment or have side hustles would appreciate the online and mobile app-based service.
- Income, expenses, profit and loss statement tracking
- Customized invoices & quotes for self-employed people
- Track tax calculation, detail & summary
- Bank integrations track all your business transactions.
- Mileage tracking will connect your phone’s GPS with the QuickBooks app and watch it automatically calculate your monthly traveling expense.
- Customize settings to allocate transactions automatically
- Categorize revenue and expenditures by a company or for personal use
- Categorize your income and spending under the small-business tax code
- Organized expenditures will reduce time spent on tax preparation
- Adopt IRS mileage rate technology
- Inability to accommodate all company types
- Challenging to scale
- No mobile & desktop apps
3) Xero ($12 – $65 Per Month)
Xero is cloud-based accounting software with robust features and first-rate customer service to inspect users’ finance while they concentrate on running their businesses.
Firms of all sizes may choose a suitable Xero plan, whether they are self-employed startups or well-established enterprises.
Its seamless interface with a list of suggested online courses to get you started reconciling is a breeze, thanks to online bank feeds.
Whether you’re a sole proprietor, a small business owner, or a corporate accountant, Xero can handle all your accounting requirements.
- Accounts payable & receivable tracking
- Alerts & activity dashboard for your small business
- Approval workflow & process control
- Billing, invoicing, case & calendar management
- “what if” scenarios & 401(k) tracking
- Have mobile app
- User-friendly interface, customizable reports, and dashboards
- Unlimited users & basic inventory management for all plans
- Automated bill and receipt captured by Hubdoc
- Bill payment to track your payables and clear your dues on time
- Bank integration to trace back your self-employed transactions
- Project tracking to calculate the profitability and alert pending invoices
- The entry-level plan has limitations on billing and invoices.
- No phone help is available.
- No desktop app
4) Wave (Free)
Wave is a perfect cloud-based accounting software for self-employed who are looking to start the tool for free. Even for people without previous accounting expertise, this financial management application is basic and accessible while acquiring a full function.
Moreover, Wave’s ability to send invoices makes it a good choice for self-employed service providers.
By utilizing the system, owners can monitor all vendors’ accounts and data in real time for better bookkeeping. Besides, online payment is also included into Wave’s dashboard.
- Basis functions for newly self-employed business owners
- Generates professional invoicing
- Online payment acceptance with unlimited connections
- Export any financial and accounting reports
- Schedule payment reminders
- Automate bookkeeping and payroll.
- Unlimited user authorizations and bank accounts
- Simple yet fully functioned and customizable dashboards
- Ideal for small businesses and self-employed to operate
- Free features for most solutions
- Mobile apps are fully supported.
Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a superb software that produces and sends invoices, tracks payments, and reconciles bank entries effortlessly, even with the entry-level plan.
Sage automates your accounts payable, receivable, and credit card processing. The application has a lot to offer despite its low price.
For freelancers and self-employed persons, Sage’s capability is undoubtedly why we picked it.
- Accounts payable & receivable management
- Billing, invoicing & forecasting for self-employed business
- Customizable invoices & financial reports
- Income statement & balance sheet
- Have mobile & desktop app
- Free trial
- Inexpensive monthly costs for freelancers
- Unlimited users with Sage Accounting second-tier plan.
- Wide-ranging reporting and inventory tracking.
- No time tracking
- The user interface is out of date.
- Sage’s website absences clarity to product information.
6) Melio (Free)
Melio is a cloud-based accounting software that offers automated, quick, and efficient payment solutions to self-employed and other small businesses. In addition, it helps users keep track of the bank, debit, and credit payments online. Its main features of this software are invoicing, reporting, scheduling and reminding payment, and synchronizing data.
Other than that, the platform opens for more users from different fields by letting admins to authorize other team members with pre-defined roles and approval of work.
Therefore, they all can work together in one place to accomplish the operational tasks. Moreover, since it is a cloud-based design, all team members can easily track all data in real time on a dashboard straightaway.
- AP & AR integration with QuickBooks Online & FreshBooks
- Approval workflow and process control
- Automates invoicing and payments online
- Real-time data tracking on dashboards
- Enables partial and batch payments
- Monitor payments, invoicing, and recurring billing.
- Some features are free to use
- Knowledgeable and responsive customer support
- Quick and accurate for payments and expenses
- Connect with vendors by adding them to your dashboard
- Great integration with Quickbooks
- Payment to vendors could be delayed or errors sometimes
- Currently do not support both mobile and desktop apps.
7) ShoeBoxed ($23 – $71 Per Month)
ShoeBoxed is a cloud-based accounting software that provides accounting solutions for self-employed, especially for managing expenses and scanning receipts. Users can categorize and generate essential data on receipts, such as payment total, type, and date. Moreover, they can generate and export payment reports that include receipt images.
This cloud accounting allows users to save a lot of time in processing documents and scanning receipts.
Scanned receipts will work best for auditing and tax compliance because the IRS accepts the software.
- Scan all types of receipts with IRS standards
- Receipts can be clearly read and edited
- Receipts are manually verified by humans
- Generate expenses report with accuracy
- Digitize all paperwork in a Magic Envelope feature.
- High-quality of receipts scanning with IRS standards
- Generate receipts that can be used by self-employed for tax compliance and audits
- Able to scan all paper receipts in seconds
- Can integrate with QuickBooks
- Desktop and mobile apps are available for downloads.
- Customer service is not responsive
- Inconsistent error in scanning.
ZarMoney is another accounting software for self-employed that builds using cloud infrastructure. It focuses on automated accounting tasks and billing, invoicing, and inventory management with customizable and advanced features and dashboards.
Regarding money management, ZarMoney is meant to assist organizations in enhancing efficiency while eliminating expenses and mistakes from manual operations.
Using this tool, you can keep track of all your costs and income.
- Track, record, and monitor AR and AP of vendors
- Enables real-time AP management
- Set schedule
- Email and text notification
- Authorize user permissions
- Customize dashboards
- Advanced inventory features
- Generate professional reports.
- Convenient dashboards with messaging feature built-in
- Monitor real-time inventory
- Adjustable dashboards suitable for self-employed
- Can integrate with other accounting tools
- Users can download a desktop version.
- Templates could not be adjustable
- No mobile app is available.
Bonsai is a cloud-based, all-in-one accounting software suite that streamlines expenditure management and automates regular activities to focus on what you do best rather than the details of running your business.
Its unified features can be tailored to meet the capital needs of any industry. It’s rare to find accounting software created specifically for independent contractors and self-employed persons, but Bonsai is one of them.
- Create, send, and track proposals online with custom packages & e-sign contracts for entrepreneurs
- Easily collect inputs from clients
- Get paid on time with flexible invoicing
- Generate income, expenses, tax reports, and more
- Self-employed and small-sized businesses seeking an all-in-one product package will find this an ideal solution.
- Manage your workspace and client portal with an advanced time tracker, timesheets, and billing system
- Reasonable pricing with many tools and features
- Responsive and helpful customer supports
- Costly subscription
- Limited features & integrations
- No mobile and desktop
10) Zoho Books ($0 – $200 Per Month)
Zoho Books is the perfect cloud accounting solution for small enterprises. Project billing and time tracking are among the most complex capabilities available in Zoho Books for sole-proprietory businesses.
As your business expands, you can continue to use the software with the help of its various integration options.
Zoho Books is the finest accounting software for small businesses because of its ease of use and value.
Also included in the Zoho business app package are CRM, email & social media marketing, and other tools for increasing efficiency.
- Accrual accounting accounts payable & receivable
- Billing, invoicing, invoice management & compliance management
- Data import, export & bank reconciliation
- Easy online payments for self-employed or small business
- General ledger for self-employed, small businesses, and even government
- All premium subscriptions offer access to live chat and phone call
- A robust mobile app that can do nearly any accounting function
- Easy-to-use system for setting up and import
- Automated processes help you handle many jobs simultaneously
- Customize your sales and transaction templates to fit your company’s identity.
- Have mobile & desktop app
- Limited invoices
- Need a Professional subscription to track and manage bad debts
- Cannot track fixed assets
11) Harpoon ($9 – $99 Per Month)
Harpoon is a cloud accounting software that lets you trace your company’s and your personal financial history while predicting how well you’ll do financially in the future.
To start with Harpoon, you need to define annual revenue objectives for your self-employed business.
As soon as you’ve reached this milestone, you’ll have paid off all of your debt and generated a profit.
- Billing, invoicing, expense, activity, & project tracking for a sole proprietor
- Time tracking by project & client
- Refund management
- Forecasting earnings from a specific project lets you select the most profitable work.
- Calculate dynamic monthly & yearly goals
- Real-time revenue forecasting
- Project budgeting helps freelancers come up with reasonable pricing.
- Monitor monthly income by scheduling all of your assignments beforehand.
- With revenue rollover, your yearly revenue target won’t be affected unexpectedly.
- Should accept ACH payments for invoices
- Consulting and integration services are not included in the Freemium version
- No mobile and desktop.
12) OneUp ($9 – $169 Per Month)
OneUp Accounting Software, established in San Francisco, strives to alleviate the accounting issues of the world’s 500 million small firms. This cloud-based program is intended to help you develop your self-employed company from the ground up.
Despite its low price, it comes with a surprising number of valuable capabilities, such as following leads and keeping track of your inventory.
- The ability to transform a quotation into an invoice.
- Make customized invoices.
- Sync the bank accounts of your company to set up automated accounting.
- Ability to do computerized inventory
- Automated payment notifications
- Support on mobile devices.
- Keep an automated record of all your bank transactions
- Transactions are automatically categorized
- Reconciliation and bank connection are made simple
- Automated reminders for payments
- Small and medium-sized enterprises will find it helpful.
- Room for improvement in the reporting choices.
- No desktop app is available.
13) Truly Small Accounting (20$ Per Month)
TrulySmall Accounting is a cloud-based financial reporting and accounting solution that is designed to assist small businesses automate and manage bookkeeping tasks.
Owner-operators, freelancers, and anybody looking for small company accounting software that works will find it excellent thanks to the use of machine learning technology.
Also, managers can make complete, accurate, and up-to-date reports.
- Invoice Customization & Payment Processing
- Data Import and Export Tools
- True Double Entry Ledger
- Track Income & Expenses
- Essential Reporting
- Track Sales & Sales Tax
- Make reports to order according to your specific business requirements.
- Multi-Currency may help you expand your self-employed business globally.
- Double-entry accounting helps prepare tax returns.
- With “The Smart Inbox,” you’ll never lose sight of what has to be done on your accounts.
- User-friendly and intuitive interface
- Cannot process many transactions concurrently, and import choices for data are highly restricted
- Mobile and desktop apps are not supported.
14) Sunrise ($0 – $20 Per Month)
Sunrise is free accounting software that runs in the cloud and allows you to make quotes and estimates, keep track of your expenses, and file your taxes more efficiently.
Even though it’s geared for small enterprises, freelancers and other self-employed professionals may use its services and capabilities.
Just set up an account and link your bank account to get started. You’ll be in perfect management of your finances in less than five minutes.
- Multiple Methods of Payment, including both Card Payments and Bank Transfers
- Make professional-level bills for your brand.
- Make detailed P/L statement and balance sheet
- Payroll made simple with the Gusto
- The mobile app is available for download.
- Capability to generate recurring bills and accept short payments
- Generous free plan
- Being more efficient with bookkeeping processes
- Exceptional email and live chat customer support.
- Inability to print checks from the application
- Tracking inventories and the cost of goods sold (COGS) is impossible
- The desktop app is not ready to use.
15) FreeAgent ($10 Per Month)
Self-employed individuals, freelancers, and the companies’ accountants may all use FreeAgent, an industry-recognized online accounting solution. This cloud-based software helps company owners manage their operative activities, from managing expenditures and time tracking to generating invoices and supervising cash flow.
A large number of company owners rely on FreeAgent to help them keep track of their finances, thanks to its user-friendly interface, no complicated accounting language, and helpful support staff.
- Reports on sales taxes and tax configuration
- Tracking Expenses
- High-level encryption and levels of security
- Automates bank accounts
- Stripe, PayPal, and GoCardless Integrations
- Contain both mobile and desktop versions of applications.
- Handle all your tax computations, returns, and year-end filing
- Data encryption at the highest standard of quality
- Exceptional technical assistance throughout the whole procedure.
- Extremely user-friendly and straightforward to navigate.
- Employ bank feeds to keep tabs on their spending.
- You can’t add your nominal codes if you want to match it to your existing accounting system.
- The majority of procedures are somewhat inflexible.
Not all businesses can afford to hire an accountant or use an outsourced accounting firm.
However, with the correct accounting software, you can manage the bookkeeping for your self-employed organization.
Some of the benefits of using an accounting software
Accounting software keeps track of your company’s financial activities in real-time, allowing you to comply with industry and government guidelines and regulations.
You won’t have to waste time waiting for another person to finish the necessary accounting procedures for you. When you use accounting software, you’ll have all the tools you need at your fingertips.
There are fewer mistakes when accounting software is used. Software may immediately access your bank accounts, retrieving transactions and other data, allowing for the creation of thorough insights without the danger of errors or copy/paste mistakes.
The Most Crucial Usability Factors to Consider
Cloud-based accounting solutions allow you to access your account at any time with an internet connection.
With this convenience, you may operate your company from the comforts of your own home or while on vacation.
It’s beneficial for teams that operate from home or on the road since mobile applications allow you to keep tabs on critical data and do essential tasks.
Multiple small companies may be managed under one account at no extra charge if you use accounting software.
However, if you do not arrange separate accounts for every organization, you may be charged additional fees.
Most accounting programs let you add other users and control what information they see and what tasks they can do.
For example, you may want to provide full access to your company partner and accountant while restricting employee access to time tracking and customer billing.