Best Quickbooks Self-Employed Alternatives in 2021 [Updated]

Paul Koullick
September 21, 2022
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Quickbooks Self-Employed is a popular accounting tool that is used globally by independent contractors, freelancers and small business owners.

With all its perks, there are many downsides to this tool as well. This makes people search for Quickbooks Self-Employed alternatives.

In this article, you are going to learn about several of these alternatives that will be perfect for you if you want an app just like Quickbooks, but without its cons.


Why do people look for Quickbooks Self-Employed alternatives?

Quickbooks is a good accounting tool for small business owners. However, there are a lot of cons in the application, which include:


Quickbooks Self-Employed has a high pricing plan, which can be considered costly by many freelancers. People tend to prefer a cheaper app, the best part being that some accounting apps are even free.

Missing features

Even with its range of professional accounting services, Quickbooks Self-Employed misses several features that one might desire in a similar tool. Some of these missing features include time tracking, contact management, and project management.

Invoice customization

It is possible to create invoices through Quickbooks. However, the depth of the customization for these invoices is quite limited. There are many other accounting tools where invoices can be tweaked and customized to the user’s preference.

There are many other disadvantages to Quickbooks Self-Employed, which makes it important to know about tools that overcome these cons pretty well. if you are looking for simple freelancer invoice template, you can always just use ours.

Best Quickbooks Self-Employed alternatives

Voted the Best: Keeper Tax

Tons of independent contractors have declared Keeper Tax as the best app to track receipts for taxes.

Lately, a lot of authority outlets are giving rave reviews to Keeper Tax, and it is not without a reason.

Keeper Tax provides freelancers with the insight they require and the tax laws they need to keep into account. Not only that, it also incorporates AI accounting system messages that automatically shifts your businesses expenses into tax deductions. Read the thousands of Keeper Tax reviews to see for yourself.

Freelancers who want to assess the service before using it get to enjoy a 30 day free trial period. If anyone cancels within this time, they aren’t charged a dime. All these things are what makes Keeper Tax absolutely worth it.

They give plenty of free tools like their estimated tax payments calculator to help you calculate your quarterly tax payments.


Keeper Tax Pros

  • In-depth independent contractor tax guides and information for better management of income.
  • Automated messages that help in better management of invoices.
  • Provides the option to export all accounting files in case consultation is needed.
  • Every user gets a personal bookkeeper assigned to them.

Keeper Tax Cons

  • Not suited for large scale businesses


People who look for a Quickbooks alternative find Freshbooks to be their first choice. Freshbooks provides customizable solutions that users can modify based on their choices.

The best part is that Freshbooks is a completely free accounting tool. While there are some pricing plans available for premium services, freelancers can use the basic services without paying a dime.

Freshbooks Pros

  •  Freshbooks can be used by independent freelancers for free.
  •  There are various mods and plugins available for Freshbooks.
  •  Freshbooks provides a lot of customizations based on the user's preferences.

Freshbooks Cons

  •  Freshbooks isn’t a very scalable solution.
  •  Using more than just the basic features require a subscription plan.
  •  Freshbooks mobile app has a lot of limitations and glitches.

Wave Accounting

Wave accounting is another popular accounting tool for small business owners and freelancers. It is a cloud-based application that is similar to Freshbooks (and just as free).

While most free accounting applications have limits on the usage restriction (such as the number of invoices you can create), Wave Accounting service is actually limitless.

Wave Accounting Pros

  • There is no need to pay for the service.
  • The interface is quite easy to learn and use.
  • There is a big knowledge base from where users can learn new skills.

Wave Accounting Cons

  • It is not a scalable solution.
  • Users have shown discontent with their customer service.
  • Limited Customizations


Xero has created quite a hype in the world of online accounting services. It is generally the top preference for freelance professionals and small businesses. Therefore, if you are looking for a good Quickbooks Self Employed alternative, Xero can be quite the help.

Xero Pros

  • It can support a number of plugins.
  • It can be used with multiple accounting points.
  • Xero supports unlimited users in case a small business is expanding employees.

Xero Cons

  • It is not a free application.
  • Xero has a steep learning curve.
  • User support is not up to the mark.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books provides cheap and feature-rich accounting solutions to small business owners. By offering lower pricing plans than Quickbooks and comparative (or even better) features, it tends to attract many Quickbooks users towards it.

Zoho Books Pros

  • Cheap pricing plans that start from $9 per month.
  • Easy to set up and use, leading to better usability.
  • Loaded with graphs, charts, and reports for better analytics.

Zoho Books Cons

  • There are limitations on transactions that can be done through Zoho Books.
  • There are not as many add-ons as other popular accounting services.
  • Lack of payroll management and asset management features.

Sage 50 Cloud

Sage 50 Cloud is a good solution that scores pretty well in each regard. It comprises the good bits of the best accounting services, which make it a widely used all-rounder. With accounting features, it also adds a very well crafted inventory management application.

Sage 50 Cloud Pros

  • High number of features.
  • High degree of customization based on user preferences.
  • Powerful inventory and price management tools.

Sage 50 Cloud Cons

  • Requires application install for full use of its features.
  • The interface can take some time to get used to.
  • Lack of any application for smartphones.

How to Choose a Quickbooks Self-Employed alternative

In order to choose a Quickbooks Self-Employed alternative, the first thing to do is to identify the criteria that matter to you. Here are some of the things you should look out for:


There are many apps on the internet which can suffice to your basic needs at a much lower subscription plan (or even free). Therefore, if you feel your requirements aren’t that complex, you might like free apps like Freshbooks and Wave Accounting.



There are some apps that are fixed on providing preset invoicing and reports templates, such as Quickbooks itself. However, there are also apps like Freshbooks where the extent of customization is high.

Therefore, if you like your invoices and official documents to reflect your brand ideas, you might prefer an app that offers better customizations.

Plugins and features

The features present in an accounting app are more or less the same. However, some apps like Xero support a large number of plugins, which extend the app’s functionality exponentially.

Therefore, if you are someone for whom feature and functionality play a crucial role, you will be all set with an app like Xero.


Wrapping up

There are countless Quickbooks Self-Employed alternatives you will find on the internet. However, whether or not an alternative is good depends on what you expect.

Choose any of the Quickbooks alternatives listed on this list and you are going to be happy. These are well researched, tested, and reviewed applications and neither will ever disappoint you in any way.

Thank me later!

Paul Koullick

Paul Koullick


Paul Koullick is the co-founder and CEO of Keeper Tax. His writing on tax topics has been featured on Startup Nation, Freelancer Union, and Tweak Your Business, among other places. Paul has worked in the tax and finance industry for nearly a decade. His previous experience includes building the tax product at Stride Health and Square. Paul holds an A.B. from Harvard University in Applied Math and Computer Science. In his free time, he loves to go jogging and play chess.

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