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Created in 2014, QuickBooks Self-Employed is one of the newer additions to the Intuit family. While QuickBooks Self-Employed is an accounting software service geared towards, you guessed it, the self-employed, QuickBooks Online is generally more suited for larger companies. While this software does offer some features that can benefit the self-employed, there are some serious drawbacks as well. Namely, the steep learning curve. Let’s take a look at both the positive and negative aspects of QuickBooks Self-Employed along with how it compares to one of the best alternatives on the market – FreshBooks. 


Features Included In QuickBooks Self-Employed

Freelancers, small business owners, and solopreneurs generally use this accounting software to separate their business expenses from their personal expenses. QuickBooks Self-Employed users can also take advantage of the available accounting features, although it should be noted that QuickBooks Self-Employed is primarily a tax software with some accounting tools added in.

One of the top features of QuickBooks Self-Employed is the OCR technology they use to automatically scan your receipts and input the data. This eliminates the need to manually input number sin an Excel spreadsheet. The software also has some bookkeeping capabilities, which can be beneficial to self-employed people. 

The tax reporting features allow users to pay estimated quarterly taxes and file federal and state income tax returns (if applicable) directly from the app. The system also provides a Tax Checklist for reference.

Additionally, you can also add your logo to invoices, send payment reminders, and accept payments online using QuickBooks Payments. QuickBooks Self-Employed also gives you a client portal that clients can use to view and pay invoices online. You can send receipts after the client has paid you for your services.


Features Not Included In QuickBooks Self-Employed

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what QuickBooks Self-Employed offers, let’s talk about some of the key features that are missing in this software that are considered essential for most self-employed people and small business owners. 

Here are some functions you may need that QuickBooks Self-Employed won’t be able to provide:

  • No double-entry accounting
  • Contact management
  • Inventory tracking
  • Business messaging
  • High volume invoicing (only 10 per month)
  • Invoice customizations
  • Sending invoices through SMS
  • Sales tax support
  • Send estimates
  • Quality customer support


QuickBooks has a steep learning curve.

Another major problem with QuickBooks is that there are two major learning curves you have to deal with in order to use the software. First, you need to really understand the accounting going on, or else you may find yourself totally lost and confused. This software does not hold your hand and guide you through its features and functions! And even if you are an accountant, you need to learn all the different bells and whistles of QuickBooks, as well as terminology that may be different from what you’re used to. This could be a real deterring factor for the small business owner or self-employed.

FreshBooks is the best alternative.

While QuickBooks is known for their flashy features, sometimes all you really need is a straightforward accounting software system. That’s why FreshBooks is the best QuickBooks alternative, especially for freelancers and the self-employed. FreshBooks has a user-friendly interface with a robust time tracking tool to keep track of the hours worked by you and your team. With just a few clicks, you can transfer billable hours to an invoice and email it with a payment link so that customers can make online payments. Pricing plans are between $15 and $50 per month and you can add up to five users. Sign up for the FreshBooks free trial today!