QuickBooks Self-Employed is accounting software specially designed for self-employed individuals, such as freelancers, real estate agents, Uber drivers, and independent consultants. It lets you track income and expenses, mileage to and from clients, and file your taxes with its QuickBooks Self-Employed Tax Bundle. It offers three pricing plans that range from $15 to $35 per month.
What We Recommend QuickBooks Self-Employed For
QuickBooks Self-Employed is popular accounting software for managing business income and expenses, creating invoices on the fly, and tracking mileage. We also recommend it for freelancers and other self-employed individuals who need federal tax support.
You can try it free for 30 days and explore its features before you purchase it.
QuickBooks Self-Employed Is Good For
- Freelancers (3.50 of 5 points): QuickBooks Self-Employed has helpful features for freelancers, such as quarterly tax estimating, automatic mileage tracking, and mobile invoicing. For other popular accounting options for freelancers, read our guide to the best accounting software for freelancers.
- Businesses looking for easy-to-use software: You can set up and use your account quickly with no unnecessary features in its dashboard.
- Businesses looking for a mobile app: Create invoices, automatically track your business mileage, and view your profit or loss on the go with the QuickBooks Self-Employed mobile app. Choose QuickBooks Self-Employed or explore our other best mobile accounting apps.
- Real estate managers and investors: Easily track your self-employed income and expense, including miles driven between your real estate locations. See our guide to Real Estate Accounting Software for other great options for real estate professionals.
QuickBooks Self-Employed Is Not a Good Fit For
- Businesses needing financial statements: While QuickBooks Self-Employed has profit and loss accounts, it doesn’t have a balance sheet or track assets and liabilities. Read QuickBooks Online vs Desktop for other great QuickBooks options that include complete financial statements.
- Frequent invoicing: QuickBooks Self-Employed doesn’t store customer, product, or service information, so you have to add the recipient and sales information every time you create an invoice. If you need a powerful invoicing solution, check out our review of the best invoicing software.
- Payroll: Another drawback to using QuickBooks Self-Employed is that it has no payroll add-on to help you calculate employee checks or track payroll taxes.
- Growing businesses: QuickBooks Self-Employed is built primarily for freelancers and independent contractors. Since it is a single-entry accounting system, it cannot be rolled over to a double-entry accounting system, such as QuickBooks Online.
Looking for something different? Read our guide to the best small business accounting software and check out our top picks.
|QuickBooks Self-Employed Overview|
|Separate business and personal expenses paid from the same bank account||No integrated payroll|
|Track mileage and expenses on the go||Lacks a balance sheet|
|Calculate quarterly estimated tax payments||Can’t track unpaid bills|
|Transfer schedule C information to TurboTax (available in Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle)||Limited invoicing functionality|
QuickBooks Self-Employed Pricing
QuickBooks Self-Employed has three pricing plans that range from $15 to $35 per month, depending on whether you want tax returns included and live tax assistance from an enrolled agent, certified public accountant (CPA), or lawyer. All of the plans include tracking of income and expenses, tracking of mileage using the mobile app, and invoicing customers.
Pricing & Features
Self-Employed Tax Bundle
Self-Employed Live Tax Bundle
Create Customer Invoices
Separate Personal Expenses From Business Expenses
Calculate Quarterly Taxes Automatically
Pay Quarterly Taxes Online Directly From QuickBooks
Unlimited Live Help From TurboTax Tax Experts
TurboTax Tax Experts Can Review Your Final Return
QuickBooks Self-Employed Features
QuickBooks Self-Employed includes many features that help you organize your income and expenses. These features include the ability to track your mileage, connect your bank and credit card accounts, separate personal from business expenses, upload receipts, and print profit and loss (P&L) reports.
Its dashboard provides an overview of your important numbers, including profit and loss, expenses, accounts, invoices, mileage, and estimated tax.
The QuickBooks Self-Employed dashboard has the following information:
- Left menu bar: Navigate to each area of the program using the left menu bar.
- Profit and loss: View total income and expenses for any timeframe you specify, such as this month, last month, this year, or last year.
- Expenses: View your total expenses for a specified timeframe.
- Accounts: View the current balance of all bank and credit card accounts.
- Invoices: View customer invoices owed to you.
- Mileage: View the total mileage recorded using the QuickBooks Self-Employed mileage tracker app.
- Estimated taxes: Review the estimated taxes you owe, based on an automatic calculation performed by QuickBooks Self-Employed based on the income and expenses you have recorded.
Here’s a quick overview of QuickBooks Self-Employed’s features:
If you drive for business reasons, you can deduct a standard rate per mile or actual vehicle expenses. QuickBooks Self-Employed has a mileage tracker app that you can download on your Android or iOS phone. It will track the start and stop locations for all of your trips automatically.
Here is a screenshot of the QuickBooks Self-Employed mileage tracker app:
You can download your bank and credit card transactions directly into your QuickBooks Self-Employed account. From there, you can categorize each transaction to the appropriate expense category or designate it as a personal expense.
It’s easy to separate your business and personal expenses by setting up a category for personal expenses during the bank account setup. Any payments from your bank account not related to your business should be categorized as personal expenses so that they are not deducted on your tax return.
For example, if you pay your personal mortgage or rent from your business checking account, those transactions will be downloaded automatically into QuickBooks Self-Employed with your banking activity. It’s important that you classify the mortgage or rent payment as a personal expense so that it’s not deducted for tax purposes.
There is no law preventing a Schedule C business from paying personal expenses out of their business checking account, but it isn’t a good practice. It’s better to keep business and personal activity in separate checking accounts with a periodic transfer from your business checking account to your personal account as needed for personal expenses. An IRS audit will go much smoother if the government can see your business activity separate from your personal activity.
The QuickBooks Self-Employed mobile app for iPhone and Android allows you to take a picture of a receipt and attach it to a transaction directly from your mobile phone. Not only will this save you time, but it will provide the necessary documentation required by the IRS to deduct an expense.
Quarterly Tax Payment Calculation
Based on the tax profile that you complete during setup, QuickBooks Self-Employed will project your annual profit, calculate your estimated tax payment, and alert you of tax due dates. This valuable tool helps protect you from an underpayment penalty as a result of not making the required quarterly estimated tax payments.
Income and Expense Summary Printing
You can view and print a summary of your taxable income and expenses. If you aren’t subscribing to the Tax Bundle, you can use this summary to input your Schedule C information into a tax program of your choice manually.
Schedule C Import to TurboTax
The QuickBooks Self-Employed Tax Bundle includes a subscription to TurboTax. You can transfer all of your Schedule C information automatically into TurboTax to complete your tax return. You should choose this plan if you prepare your own taxes.
Federal & State Tax Filing
QuickBooks Self-Employed Tax Bundle includes both a federal and state tax return for $120 per year ($10 per month extra). Purchased separately, TurboTax Self-Employed is $120 and does not include the state return.
Quarterly Federal Tax Online Payment
While QuickBooks Self-Employed will calculate your quarterly tax liability, the Tax Bundle allows you to pay the quarterly tax online. QuickBooks Self-Employed Tax Bundle may help avoid a federal underpayment penalty but does not include state estimated tax payments, which might be due depending upon where you live.
Customer Service and Ease of Use
QuickBooks Self-Employed has a newly-designed dashboard that is easy to navigate. It displays six charts that give you an instant view of your financial data. The tabs on the left side of the dashboard make it easy to explore the other features. Meanwhile, Intuit offers multiple customer support options, including a built-in live chat, video tutorials, a help center called Learn & Support, an in-software automated assistant, QuickBooks blogs, and a community forum.
QuickBooks Self-Employed Alternatives
Best for: Most small businesses looking for cloud-based accounting software
Best for: Creating professional-looking invoices
Best for: Businesses looking for a free accounting software with an assisted bookkeeping option
Software from: $25
Software from: $15
Software from: $0
If you are a freelancer or solopreneur with no employees or contractors, QuickBooks Self-Employed was made for you. You can sign up for the standard version and then upgrade to the TurboTax bundle whenever you’re ready.
If you are ready to ditch that Excel spreadsheet and get your income and expenses organized, sign up for a 30-day, risk-free trial of QuickBooks Self-Employed and check it out for yourself.