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Accounting apps for freelancers/businesses

Hi guys,

What does everyone use for accounting?

I'm currently using FreshBooks - Online Invoicing, Time Tracking and Expense Service which is quite nice, very simple to use but maybe a bit too light weight. Sage is a bit too heavy weight if you're just one person so maybe there's something out there that's in between.

It would be interesting to know how everyone keeps track of invoices/expenses so that when January comes the tax return is handy enough.


Active Member
Hi Lee,

Firstly, thanks for joining and welcome to the forums!

I've always done my accounts and invoicing manually, but have recently been looking into this as it does end up being fairly time consuming. There's a handy post over at Freelance Switch with a few tips, and the three the suggest for online accounting tools are FreshBooks along with LessAccounting and BlinkSale. Although I have no idea what they're like?

The only other one I know of from the UK Business Forums is KashFlow which gets some great reviews and feedback, it's aimed at UK small businesses in general as oppose to designers specifically so may meet your requirements between the simplicity of FreshBooks and the complexity of Sage.

I'm sure someone will be along to recommend a few others before too long!



Junior Member
I still use Excel for my accounting, although having recently seen Microsoft Office Accounting Express, which is free, I was contemplating giving that a go. Has anyone else taken a look at it?


Junior Member
I haven't tried many others (apart from Excel sheets and SAGE at one point), but I've been using FreeAgent for nearly a year now. I find it fantastically useful, reliable and (dare I say) fun to use. I still get everything checked by my accountant, but it makes the day-to-day stuff a lot easier.

Really nice people, too. They answer queries and problems astonishingly quickly and are always happy to think about adding features that their users request.

(They also have a great referral system which means that for every member you convince to sign up, you get 10% off your monthly sub - yes, if you refer 10 people you don't pay anything for the service. Ahem, my referral code is 2f2cbwe4. Just in case.)



Active Member
Hi Wolf,

Welcome to Design Forums :)
FreeAgent looks pretty good from a quick glance at the features, did you find it easy to pick up when you first got it? Is it all quite intuitive?

First time I think I've read anyone referring to accounting software as fun,
so you must find it good! :D



Junior Member
Thanks for the welcome, Greg.

Well, the fun bit depends on whether you enjoy this sort of thing at least a bit, which I have to admit I do. But from running a SME I remember using SAGE for accounting, and compared to that FreeAgent is actually fun!

Very intuitive, yes. Again, if you have no idea what a 'balance sheet' is, you will find that intimidating I suppose. But you don't have to use those bits at all. There are great tools like uploading scanned receipts, online bank statements, invoice templates etc. All to make it easier to keep track of your income/outgoings, which is the main problem people have with their accounts.


Active Member
Great all sounds good from what you've said, I wasn't looking for any software before this thread as so used to just doing it all manually, but now I've seen a few of the example products I'm thinking it could be a good time/money saver in the long run. I imagine it really comes into its own when you have self assessment/tax forms to complete at the end of the year!

Hi, I've been using Billings for over a year now. It's great for managing quotes and invoices and it also lets you print out reports. It also allows you to add expenses, but I haven't really used that option yet. It's worth a check out...



I so dissapointed. I signed up for FreshBooks this morning off the back of everyones recomendations and I was blown away with how good it was.

But then right at the last minute I realised it doesn't let you send invoices as attachments! It send them as a link that the user has to then log in to see them.



Active Member
Sorry to read that Lee, I think I would have probably assumed PDF invoices were an option too, having said that there is some discussion about this on the FreshBooks forum you may want to take a quick look through - Is there any way to send invoices via PDF?

By the sounds of it you can set direct links so your clients don't need a login...

you can set your account to send only direct links to your clients, so they don't have to worry about a login and username. You can enable it in Settings, Set Up Preferences, Direct Link.

EDIT- Looks like they have an add-on in BETA - http://www.freshaddons.com/


Junior Member
Another vote for FreeAgent here - I've only been using it a week and I love it, I really feel like I know everything that's going on with my accounts now! Anyone wanting 10% off can use this code 362gj3oe