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QuickBooks Self-Employed Review

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QuickBooks Self-Employed Review

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Date Established
1983
Location
Mountain View, CA

Pros

  • Suited for freelancers
  • Good tax support
  • TurboTax integration
  • Well-designed UI

Cons

  • No state tax support
  • Limited invoice features
  • Unscalable

Overview

Created in 2014, QuickBooks Self-Employed (QBSE) is one of the newest additions to the Intuit family. This software was designed to make the lives of freelancers easier. Instead of being accounting software like other QuickBooks products, QuickBooks Self-Employed is tax software (with a few accounting features thrown in).

Quickbooks Self-Employed includes a strong estimated quarterly tax calculator feature, expense tracking, deductions, invoicing, a few reports, and the ability to separate personal expenses from business expenses. The more expensive plan also includes TurboTax for easy filing. The software has recently gone through a design rehaul, resulting in a much more attractive and user-friendly interface. In addition, they’ve also made efforts to add new features and integrations and have improved their customer support since our last review.

However, QuickBooks Self-Employed still has a way to go as the software has several gaps. There is no sales tax on invoices, no estimates feature, and no state tax calculation. Ultimately, QuickBooks Self-Employed has not yet realized its full potential or delivered on the promise of being a “complete” freelance tax solution. However, it can still be a good freelancing tool for some individuals. Continue reading to see if you’re one of them.

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A great choice for freelancers needing some extra help managing their business

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Pricing

QuickBooks Self-Employed offers two pricing plans. The only distinction is that the more expensive plan includes TurboTax so you can pay estimated quarterly taxes and file year-end taxes directly online. There are no annual contracts with either plan, so you can cancel your subscription at any time. There is a free 30-day trial you can use to test the waters before you buy.

Self-Employed

  • $10/month
  • Track income and expenses
  • Separate business and personal expenses
  • Record tax deductions
  • Calculate estimated quarterly taxes
  • Schedule C forms
  • Invoicing
  • One user, plus one accountant

Self-Employed Tax Bundle

  • $17/month
  • Track income and expenses
  • Separate business and personal expenses
  • Record tax deductions
  • Calculate estimated quarterly taxes
  • Schedule C forms
  • Invoicing
  • TurboTax integration (includes one federal & one state return filing)
  • Pay quarterly estimated taxes online
  • One user, plus one accountant

Before You Buy: Intuit is almost always offering a discount on their products, so check out their pricing page to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

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Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed

Cloud-based. No downloads or installation required.

Hardware & Software Requirements

As cloud-based software, QuickBooks Self-Employed is compatible with nearly any computer that has an internet connection, except for Linux. QuickBooks Self-Employed also has mobile apps available for Apple products (iOS 10.0+) and Androids (5.0+).

Specific Size Of Business

It’s all in the name. QuickBooks Self-Employed is designed for the self-employed, including freelancers, independent contractors, and online eCommerce site owners (Etsy sellers, MaryKay consultants, Scentsy folks, etc.). The product is ideal for freelancers and self-employed business owners who don’t need full accounting software but do need a way to manage their federal taxes, track their deductions, and separate their personal and business expenses.

It’s worth noting that QuickBooks Self-Employed is limited to a single user (plus access for one accountant). If your company grows down the road, this software is not a scalable option. You cannot add more users, and your data will not transfer from QuickBooks Self-Employed to QuickBooks Online (or any other software for that matter).

Accounting Method

QuickBooks Self-Employed is not accounting software, but it does use cash-basis accounting to calculate taxes.

Ease Of Use

QuickBooks Self-Employed is easy to navigate and the new UI makes the software even more of a joy to use. There’s no confusing accounting jargon or unnecessary features crowding your dashboard, and setting up your account takes very little time. There’s also built-in support if you need extra help setting up and navigating the software.

Features

QuickBooks Self-Employed is tax software with a few light bookkeeping tools added to the mix. For the average freelancer, these features are extremely promising; for people wanting full accounting capabilities, QuickBooks Self-Employed might not cut it. Here’s an overview of the features you can expect with QuickBooks Self-Employed:

  • Dashboard: QuickBooks Self-Employed has a beautiful UI. The newly designed dashboard includes six charts to give you a real-time look at your business’s financial state, including your Profit and Loss, Expenses, Accounts, Invoices, Mileage, and Estimated Taxes. Tabs on the left-hand side of the screen make it easy to navigate to other features.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Review

  • Invoicing: QuickBooks Self-Employed provides very basic invoicing. You can invoice by the hour, by item, or by a flat rate. There is no contact management or inventory in QuickBooks Self-Employed, but the software will remember past invoice information and let you select previous contacts and items from within the invoice. There is no invoice customization, no sales tax support, and no estimates feature. However, you can add your logo to your invoices. You can also accept payments online using Intuit’s credit card processor, QuickBooks Payments.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Review

  • Client Portal: Customers can view and pay invoices directly from a basic client portal.
  • Expense Tracking: QuickBooks Self-Employed is designed to import transactions directly from your bank account, PayPal account, Etsy, or Amazon account in real-time (the Amazon integration is still in beta and can be enabled in the QuickBooks Lab). Users can also import bank statements or add transactions manually if desired. QuickBooks Self-Employed makes it easy to separate personal and business expenses. You can categorize expenses, set rules, and attach receipt photos to expenses as well. Recently, QBSE has added the ability to categorize personal expenses, whereas before you could only categorize business expenses.
  • Mileage Tracker: QuickBooks Self-Employed allows you to automatically track mileage using the mobile app or to manually enter your mileage into the software. QuickBooks Self-Employed is also testing a new feature where you can connect your QBSE account directly to your Google location so you don’t miss out on any business miles (feature in beta). One of the most satisfying parts of this feature is seeing how many miles you’ve driven and watching your deductions add up.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Review

  • Deductions: This is where the software shines. In addition to mileage deductions, you can track vehicle expenses, home office deductions, healthcare expenses, and other business expenses. The software also totals up all of the deductions you’re eligible for so you can see how much you’ve saved each year.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Review

  • Fixed Asset Management: QuickBooks Self-Employed has recently added a business asset feature that allows users to keep track of their business’s fixed assets.
  • Reports: QuickBooks Self-Employed only offers four reports: Profit and Loss, Tax Summary, Tax Details, and Receipts. The time period can be customized for each report.
  • Tax Checklist: During tax season, QuickBooks Self-Employed provides a tax checklist. In the top right-hand corner of the screen, you’ll see everything you have left to do before filing taxes.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Review

  • Tax Support: This is the feature that makes QuickBooks Self-Employed worthwhile. Calculating taxes as an independent contractor or freelancer is not fun, to say the least. QuickBooks Self-Employed uses your income and expenses to tally how much you need to pay in estimated taxes each quarter. The software also gives you an annual tax projection. In addition, QuickBooks Self-Employed supports Schedule Cs, and the Tax Bundle plan adds a TurboTax integration, so you can pay and file taxes directly online. The only downside — and it’s a major downside — is that QuickBooks Self-Employed only offers tax support at the federal level. There is no state-level tax support.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Review

  • Importing/Exporting Capabilities: You can import expenses from a .csv file. There is limited exporting. You can only download and print invoices and reports for your records.
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Customer Service & Support

QuickBooks is generally notorious for poor customer support, and although QuickBooks Self-Employed is missing phone support, QBSE is trying to break the mold and offer decent, quick support options. There is a new built-in live chat feature that is incredibly helpful. The help center has also been nicely reorganized. Here are the customer support options in more detail:

  • Live Chat: This new built-in live chat feature is one of the best support options available. Representatives are generally helpful. This is probably the fastest, most direct form of support.
  • Contact Form: You can contact QuickBooks Self-Employed by filling out an in-software support form. Answers are relatively quick, usually taking about an hour or so.
  • Help Center: QuickBooks Self-Employed has a help center called Learn & Support that has articles on various features in the software like getting started, taxes, and more.
  • Community Forum: The QuickBooks community forum is available for all QuickBooks products. Both Intuit employees and fellow customers can answer any questions posted. New questions are answered relatively quickly.
  • Small Business Center: The QuickBooks small business center features advice on various small business topics including accounting, taxes, cash flow, and more.
  • QuickBooks Blog: QuickBooks has a blog that features updates and news for all QuickBooks products, although most of the articles pertain to QuickBooks Online.
  • Social Media: Intuit maintains Facebook, Twitter, and Linked accounts for all of their QuickBooks products collectively.

Negative Reviews & Complaints

As one of the newest Intuit products, there are a limited number of QuickBooks Self-Employed reviews, unless you are looking at the mobile apps specifically (in which case there are thousands of reviews). Reviews for QuickBooks Online, Pro, and Self-Employed are often thrown together in review sites, making reliable reviews even harder to find.

However, I was able to find a few user comments. While many users enjoy the software, there are a few recurring complaints:

  • Mobile App Issues: Many users reported various glitches, the most common being broken mileage tracking.
  • Poor Customer Service: Some users had poor customer service experiences.
  • Inconsistent Transaction Imports: Several people had issues with transactions importing improperly, particularly from Etsy and PayPal. Random duplicate transactions are also a common issue. Several users reported issues connecting to their bank account as well.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials

The number of positive reviews is similarly limited. Nevertheless, Intuit has an A+ rating on the BBB, and QuickBooks Self-Employed specifically receives 4.4/5 stars for the Android app, 4.5/5 stars for the iPhone app, and 3.5/5 stars on Software Advice. Here are the perks users found using QuickBooks Self-Employed:

  • Saves Time: A few users commented on the amount of time they saved with QuickBooks Self-Employed, particularly on their taxes. They appreciate that the quarterly tax calculator takes the stress out of taxes, and they like the mobility QuickBooks Self-Employed grants them.
  • Easy To Learn: One thing people like about QuickBooks Self-Employed is how easy the software is to learn and use.
  • TurboTax Integration: The TurboTax integration is another well-loved time-saver for business owners.
  • Good Feature Selection: Many business owners appreciate the freelancer-specific features, like the ability to separate between business and personal expenses. Users also like the number of deductions they are able to find and record with the help of QuickBooks Self-Employed. Several users note that these features are a great fit for Uber and Lyft drivers.
  • Nice Mobile App: Despite many mobile app complaints, there is still a large amount of positive feedback on the mobile apps (particularly the Android app).

Here’s what QuickBooks Self-Employed users are saying:

I absolutely LOVE QuickBooks self-employed. It is convenient, easy to use and even tracks mileage! That’s huge as most of my business is conducted on the road. I also love how I can invoice and accept payment right from the mobile app.

I am new to owning my own business, and this is absolutely wonderful to organize transactions and income!

Integrations

Previously, QuickBooks Self-Employed had incredibly limited integrations. Now the software connects directly to Etsy and PayPal. Users can also use the QuickBooks Payments integration to accept online invoice payments, and the Tax Bundle plan comes with a built-in TurboTax integration. An Amazon integration is also in the works.

Interested in accepting online payments from your customers? Read our comprehensive merchant account reviews to learn the pros and cons of popular providers and see which payment processing option is best for your business.

Security

QuickBooks Self-Employed uses 128-bit SSL encryption, multi-factor authentication, and intrusion and virus protection. Data is stored at a multiple secure data centers that are protected by physical safeguards, firewalls, and routine security testing. Contact QuickBooks to learn more about their security measures and find out how you can play a role in making your data even more secure.

Final Verdict

Providing tools to the self-employed is an admirable endeavor. Freelancers who don’t have previous business experience and/or independent contractors who have to calculate estimated quarterly taxes on their own are in huge need of what this software provides.

However, I wish QuickBooks Self-Employed provided more. For a product that claims to be a tax solution for the self-employed, QuickBooks Self-Employed doesn’t quite live up to its name. While the software is incredibly helpful for calculating confusing quarterly taxes, there is zero state tax support. Unfortunately, you must use another tool or software solution in order to fully complete your taxes. What’s more, QuickBooks Self-Employed’s invoicing feature needs some serious work.

With that said, the software has put effort into improving their customer support and adding more integrations. The new redesigned UI is also a huge plus. I hope that Intuit will continue to put this same effort into amping up its features and tax support offerings in the future. Until the software has reached its full potential, I recommend testing it first with the free trial and doing some research about other tools at your disposal as a self-employed business owner.

If after reading this review you realize you may need full accounting software instead of a tax software, take a look at our top small business accounting software picks.

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A great choice for freelancers needing some extra help managing their business

Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Managing Editor - Accounting
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for two years and is a QuickBooks Certified User. She has a BA in English & Creative Writing from George Fox University and studied at the University of Oxford as well. She has been quoted in Forbes and her work appears in Startup Nation, Small Business Bonfire, and Women on Business.
Chelsea Krause
Chelsea Krause

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31 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Randolph Pazdur

    Organization Name: PBreefs

    I purchased and pay the monthly subscription to keep track of milage.When it works, its dead on.BUT, more often than not, it does not track my miles. Whats the sense of using/paying this app for one reason only, when it only works 35-40% of the time.I originally decided to use it because it integrates with QB so easily, but without the tracking feature working, I have to manually enter each trip… and this could be as many as a weeks worth at a time.I am canceling my subscription, and entering my miles manually now since thats what I am doing with the app most of the time anyways.

    2
    • Organization Name: PBreefs
    Robert

    Organization Name: Affordable Advertising Solutions LLC

    I’m one month in to using the self employed version. Syncing and importing transactions from my business checking account went as planned. However, when I synced my business PayPal account and imported transactions it showed quite a few of the payments I received via PayPal as double income deposits. I have thousands of transactions thru PayPal each year.I reached out to their email support and after going back and forth via email for several hours to find out why, they came back with this answer….”I understand, Robert.I am hoping for your understanding that whatever transaction reflected on your Paypal account, those are the same transactions to reflect as well on your QuickBooks Self-Employed account since we are a read only system as mentioned on the previous email. What I can suggest is to Exclude the other amount if these two are the same.”The whole purpose of paying for Intuit Quickbooks was to automate my transaction record keeping to free me up from weeks of preparing my tax info for my CPA. So with this solution I still have to stop running my business and spend days filtering thru transactions so that I’m not being double taxed on inaccurate deposits.If you use PayPal as part of your billing and payment transactions I would not use their Self-Employed solution.I’m still looking for a viable solution to help with this. Any suggestions?Thank you,Robert

    2
    • Organization Name: Affordable Advertising Solutions LLC

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Rebecca

    Organization Name: Reith Stripe

    I’ve used TurboTax the last few years to do my husband and my’s joint return. We’re both self employed. His business has grown a bit and using Excel spreadsheets to enter info into Turbo is getting more time consuming. If I use this self employed software and it integrates with Turbo for taxes, can I still add my self employed income separately to complete the federal return?
    Thanks,
    RR

    • Organization Name: Reith Stripe

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Chelsea Krause

    Hi Rebecca,

    I just spoke to Intuit and they said that is definitely possible. They said you would just use QuickBooks Self-Employed with Turbo Tax as usual and when you’re actually filing with Turbo Tax it’ll walk you through how to add his additional income. Turbo Tax should have some support articles in their customer service center that will help with this as well.

    I hope that helps and happy filing!

    -Chelsea Krause

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

      Dave Peckham

      Question around who owns your data for the Quickbooks Self employed with Turbo Tax option.
      My data is loaded into the cloud. How do I download my data to my PC if I need it for an IRS audit? or if i retire and need to keep it for the next 7 years? What do they charge me? It seems no one at Quickbooks knows the answer or wants to tell me the costs. Quickbooks doesn’t even seem to know after 3 calls into their support teams. Can you help with an answer please?

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

        Chelsea Krause

        Hi Dave,

        Thanks for reaching out! I know QuickBooks is not always the easiest company to get a hold of, so I’m happy to help.

        Before filing for taxes, you can export data directly from QuickBooks Self-Employed for your records (including Transactions, Miles, and all Reports). Read our post How To Get the Most Out Of Your Accounting Software This Tax Season to learn which reports to save in case of an audit.

        You can also use Turbo Tax to download your current and previous tax records so long as you have paid for Turbo Tax this year. Since you are paying for and using QuickBooks Self-Employed with Turbo Tax, you should be able to follow these instructions to access records.

        I hope this helps!

        Best wishes,
        -Chelsea Krause

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

          Amber

          Katherine,

          Former bookkeeper with a lot of experience with QuickBooks online, but I always worked under supervision of the CPA and almost never actually prepared taxes, payroll, or quarterlies (or very limited experience of these anyway).

          I now have a small S Corp doing strictly consulting for one company that I contract to, and basically no invoicing needed.

          I don’t mind not being able to reconcile.

          What I really need assistance with from the software is quarteries, how I should be doing payroll, and annual tax returns

          Cost wise, or otherwise, would you recommend QuickBooks online with TurboTax, or QuickBooks self-employed with TurboTax?

          Thank you!!

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

            Chelsea Krause

            Hi Amber,

            Thanks for reaching out! My name is Chelsea Krause, and I’ve taken over Katherine’s position as the head of our accounting reviews here at Merchant Maverick.

            It sounds to me like QuickBooks Self-Employed might be a better fit for your company. Since you are already familiar with QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Self-Employed should be very easy for you to use and get used to. QuickBooks Self-Employed also calculates your quarterly estimated taxes, supports Schedule C’s, tracks mileage deductions, calculates home office deductions, and allows you to separate personal and business expenses if needed.

            The only tax support QuickBooks Online offers is 1099s and Sales Tax Returns. QuickBooks Online is also much more expensive than QuickBooks Self Employed. The cheapest QuickBooks Online plan is $15/mo and you’d have to pay an extra $25/mo for payroll and tax support. In addition, the self-employed version of Turbo Tax is $115, so you’d be looking at $535/year (not including the cost of additional payroll employees). On the other hand, QuickBooks Self-Employed with Turbo Tax is $17/mo, or $204/yr to give you some perspective.

            However, if you are running payroll for more people than yourself, I’d definitely take into consideration that QuickBooks Self-Employed doesn’t offer payroll support.

            I hope this helps! Let us know if you have any further questions.

            -Chelsea Krause

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

              Suzanne

              Hi Chelsea – I’m an accountant and one of my new clients has been using this software and from an accounting perspective, I think it stinks. I can’t find anywhere to reconcile the bank account. Am I missing this or does it not exist?
              Thanks, Suzanne

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                Chelsea Krause

                Hi Suzanne,

                Thanks for reaching out! You’re not missing anything. There isn’t a bank reconciliation feature in QuickBooks Self-Employed, which is one of the biggest drawbacks of the software. Users can import bank statements or connect to their bank accounts in order to track and categorize expenses–but that’s about it.

                Best wishes,
                Chelsea Krause

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                  Alexander

                  Thank you for your thorough review of QuickBooks Self-Employed, Chelsea. I really appreciate your comments regarding QBSE being more of a [federal] tax reporting app by making it very easy to categorize expenses as business or personal, and tracking mileage.I’m taking a second look at QBSE and am trying to decide between it and Everlance. Leaning toward the latter because of it’s exporting capabilities. The tradeoff between QBSE and Everlance appears to be the federal tax reporting capabilities and filing if you opt for the QBSE+TurboTax package, versus the data portability of Everlance.Do you have any thoughts on this?Every year I go thru days of exporting spreadsheets for income and expenses from MINT, which I’ve been using since 2009. I find it can do everything I need from an accounting perspective, if you know how to properly setup categories and tags, and are disciplined about categorizing and tagging transactions. I signed up for a QBSE free-trial last April (13th > last minute Larry here!), thinking QBSE would automatically assign personal vs business expenses. Of course this was not the case, and that is what you get when you take a shortcut that leads one down the road to hell rather than the path to salvation…but I digress.Your comments about QBSE support are reminiscent of what I went through when I contacted them for instructions about completely deleting my existing data, essentially doing an account reset, so I could do a fresh import of my now properly categorized 2015 MINT data after tax season, and move forward with 2016. I was told to “ignore” previous transactions, and never got a clear answer on how to delete existing transactions at that time. I concluded that I should just set up a new QBSE account. I didn’t want to do this because I thought MINT and QBSE would link to each other and I would have a complete tax reporting and expense tracking solution. I now know this is not the case, that the import of MINT transactions was a first-time set-up. This feature looks to have been discontinued.Thanks in advance for any feedback!Alexander

                  2

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                    Chelsea Krause

                    Hi Alexander,
                    Thanks for reaching out! Since I don’t know whole lot about your business, I’m not sure I can give you a definitive answer about which way to go. But, that won’t keep me from trying so here are my general thoughts about the concerns you brought up.
                    I have never tested Everlance myself, but from what I’ve seen of the software, you’re right in that you’d be losing tax support, but you would also be losing invoicing and reporting. I’m not sure how important these features are to you or your business. To me, it seems that as long as you are using Mint, you will have to do your fair share of exporting and importing data, as it doesn’t integrate with other software.
                    If you don’t want to keep doing this, another option could be to move to another accounting software entirely where you can easily manage your personal and business expenses along with tax support. Wave is probably the best software for separating personal and business expense, but its reports and exporting are limited and there is no tax support. FreeAgent might be more up your alley. It offers personal and business expense management, tax support, and a full set of accounting features if you think you’re ready for a full accounting program. So if spending less time on exporting is your main concern, this could be a good solution. But if your main concern is Turbo Tax support, it’s important to know that while other software does offer tax support, QuickBooks Self-Employed is the only software that integrates directly with TurboTax. Ultimately, I would think of which feature is most important to you and I’d choose a solution from there.
                    I hope some part of this was helpful! Please let me know if you have any more questions.

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                      Mary Jo West

                      Chelsea, Great review. I’m a full-time Realtor and in general we are all a lazy bunch when it comes to keeping track of our expenses. This is my first round with QB Self-Employed and it may be enough since we usually just invoice an assistant. Our lines are blurry with what is marketing vs. advertising, so being able to name some sub-categories would be helpful. My bank will import other QB packages but not Self-Employed…didn’t know that until after going with QB/Self-Empl. Do you know of a package that is designed specifically for Real Estate agents? It doesn’t need to be full featured accounting software, just expense tracking with auto and a chart of accounts that is tailored to our industry. QB may be the best out there for right now?

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                        Chloe Bahal

                        Hi! Thanks for reaching out!

                        It sounds like QuickBooks Self-Employed might not be a good option since it doesn’t cooperate with your bank. Luckily, there are plenty of other option out there! QuickBooks Online might be a good place to start looking. QuickBooks is known for having one of the strongest chart of accounts available.

                        The software offers live bank feeds and automatic transaction categorization, which makes tracking expenses really easy. It offers great invoicing when you need it, and best of all there is a feature called Locations and Classes. This feature lets you sort transactions, billable hours, and estimates by a specific location or class (aka the categories and subcategories issues you had mentioned). You can also run reports by specific class or location, which might come in handy for a real estate agent.

                        The only kicker with QuickBooks Online is that it may be too comprehensive for what you are looking for. And depending on how many users you have, it might not be worth the extra cost (as only the most expensive plan allows for more than 5 users, and each additional user after the five you are allotted costs extra).

                        In terms of realtor-specific accounting software, I have not personally tested any realtor-specific software. However, that does not mean it isn’t out there. Here are a few options I found that are definitely worth looking into.

                        App Folio
                        This software covers accounting, marketing, leasing, rental applications, online leases, and websites with vacancy posting and lead tracking. The accounting looks quite different than what you would find with QuickBooks Self-Employed or what you’d expect to find with QuickBooks Online. The accounting features offered include reports, accounts payable (bills), budgeting, and bank reconciliation. I’m not sure if this will cover everything that you need (it definitely doesn’t cover invoicing), but the real estate features it does offer might outweigh the lack of full accounting features.

                        BrokerSumo
                        Okay this is an interesting option. So BrokerSumo is designed for real estate agents and brokers. It offers features like real estate pipeline management, lead tracking, and commission management. It syncs with QuickBooks to give you realtor specific reports. If you do end up going with QuickBooks Online, it might be a way to gain realtor-specific features without sacrificing true accounting.

                        RealtyZam Accounting
                        Of the three, this one seems the most like true accounting software. It offers income and expense management, live bank feeds, tax support (for both quarterly and year-end taxes, which is a great replacement for QuickBooks Self-Employed’s tax support), listing management, and a stats section (which I assume is like a reports section). It might not have the invoicing or the extent of accounting reports that you need for your business, but it’s only $12/mo so it might be worth looking at too.
                        I am sure there are more solutions out there than this one, so if you aren’t satisfied with any of the options, don’t be discouraged. Also, I am really curious to know if any of these do work as strong accounting solutions for realtors and would love to hear back from you if you find one you love.
                        Before purchasing any of these software, I highly recommend requesting a demo or free trial to make sure you like the software. I’d also be sure to research the company’s history and their security policies. A good company is one that is consistently updating and improving their software, and that is open about their product and services. Also see if you can find any customer reviews from sources like G2Crowd or TrustRadius. Here are two articles of ours that explains a little more about cloud security: Is My Accounting Safe in the Cloud? and What is SSL? A First Look at Online Security?. And here is a final article about what to look for in an accounting software.

                        I hope this helps! Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you!”

                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                          Pete Malan

                          Chelsea,
                          I think I’ve about had enough of Quicken Home and Business. As of tonight, Quicken is telling me that my password is wrong for getting into Capitol One. They tell me to go there directly to make sure I can get in. I get in just fine thank you. I also was led astray by Quicken H&B in that they considered my home a business with all the deductions that go with it. I do not use that deduction so instead of getting money back from the IRS, I owe money to the IRS.
                          In your review of Quick Books Self Employed, did you notice if it automatically did the same thing? And if so, can you turn it off?
                          As a self employed photographer, the program looks like I could use it but I’m gun shy.
                          Best regards, Pete Malan

                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                            Chelsea Krause

                            Hi Pete,
                            Thanks for reaching out!
                            In my experience, QuickBooks Self-Employed has never done that. The software is able to calculate home office deductions, but it does not do so automatically and it is the only home deduction QuickBooks Self-Employed supports. As a self-employed photographer, I think QuickBooks Self-Employed would be a really good option for tracking your expenses and staying on top of taxes and deductions. I hope this helps you muster up the courage to give the software a try. There is a free trail that you can use to make sure the software is right for you. Let us know if you have any other questions!
                            Best wishes,
                            -Chelsea Krause

                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                              Lauren McCafferty

                              I paid for a bundle of Quick Books self employed plus one included federal and state filing in Turbo Tax. I spent hours manually entering all my invoices and records into QB. Then when I went to file on Turbo Tax, it asked me to pay $90. I spent about three hours on the phone and in webchat with customer support trying to figure out how to connect the two accounts and redeem my included federal and state filings. I first spoke to the Turbo Tax support who did not seem to understand my issue, and ultimately told me to speak with the QB support. When I reached QB support, again, they did not seem to understand the problem, and ultimately told me to call Turbo Tax support. I find this lack of accountability or willingness to help to be extremely disappointing. Either Intuit has a different definition of the word “including,” or this whole thing is a scam to take advantage of poor freelancers struggling to make ends meet. I lean toward the latter.

                              1

                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                Laurie

                                Can it handle multiple bank accounts? What about credit cards?

                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                  Chloe Bahal

                                  Hi Laurie,

                                  Yes, it can handle multiple bank accounts and credit cards.

                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                    Shay

                                    Horrible. Not flexible at all. For the Schedule C categories, it does not even include Communications, which is one of my larger deductions. You are not supposed to deduct things like cell phones, wireless access, etc. under utilities, but this is where Quick Books puts it. You can change the category, only to specific categories that they have so you cannot correct any errors. For one of my payees, I need to split all of the transactions, but the software only allows me to key in the percent of the transaction. It is just very lacking.

                                    2

                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                      james Lee ferrier

                                      Not sure where to post this. My wife retired from a non-profit who have hired her as a part time consultant. She will work 10 hrs per week from home/and car, get a 1099 and do lots of business traveling but no “invoicing” since she will be paid hourly. Is there anything out there? Or is this a waste of time and we should just “wing it” with a schedule C?

                                      HELP! Neither of us has a clue about this but we SURE don’t want to owe the irs or state a lot of money we don’t have 🙂

                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                        Chelsea Gritten

                                        Hi James,
                                        So it seems to me that a software like QuickBooks Self-Employed might be more than you need. Most accounting software is going to have more features than you need. Of course, you could still use QuickBooks Self-Employed and just ignore the extra features, but it might not be worth the cost.
                                        If you are looking for a way to track mileage this is a good source: https://www.mileiq.com/blog/mileage-log/. It explains all that is needed to keep track of mileage deductions and contains information about the IRS.
                                        I assume that since your has a 1099, she’s having to keep track of her own taxes. I’d recommend taking a look at this article: http://quickbooks.intuit.com/self-employed-center/complete-guide-to-taxes-for-the-self-employed-pillar/ It’s called the Complete Guide to Taxes for the Self-Employed. I personally found it helpful when I was an independent contractor with a 1099.
                                        I hope this helps!
                                        -Chelsea Gritten
                                        Head Accounting and Invoicing Writer

                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                          Jeff

                                          From what I have seen online, ‘Self Employed’ is geared to sorting out US taxation. Is there a UK version which will produce tax calculations and reports for HM Revenue & Customs here in the UK?

                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                            Fiona

                                            Thanks for the reviews Katherine. I have read your reviews on GoDaddy, Quickbooks and the Wave (which apparently is accrual-based, and for my etsy business cash-based is preferred I believe) for a small business.Are there any other book keeping programs you recommend? The above all seem to have serious shortcomings.

                                            5

                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                              Pat McManus

                                              Thank you for that very helpful review. You saved me hours of headache and frustrations.

                                              Have you done a review on Freshbooks?

                                              Regards,

                                              Pat

                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                                Chloe Bahal

                                                Hi Pat,

                                                You can find the review for FreshBooks here.

                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                                  Elsie Gilmore

                                                  What about invoicing??? If you’re self employed, you’re almost certainly invoicing your clients. I’m still using Quicken 2013, and it allows for estimates and invoicing. These two things are often essential if you’re self employed.

                                                  5

                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                                    Katherine Miller

                                                    Hi Elsie,

                                                    QBSE is geared toward freelancers with very basic expense-tracking needs–Uber and Lyft drivers, for instance. For those who need invoicing, you’re correct: there are definitely better alternatives available, including other QuickBooks products. Some of our top picks can be found here. 🙂

                                                    Best,
                                                    Katherine

                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                                      Roger Richardson

                                                      Excellent & in-depth review!!!! Thank you. Your comments on Quickbooks confusing use of terminology & definitions was right on target. Quickbooks (Intuit) marketing ploys are slick; aimed at the uninitiated. If one understands how Federal and State estimated taxes are to be calculated it often can be done in a minimal amount of time. It’s the tail wagging the dog to make estimated taxes the primary concern for selecting an accounting package.

                                                      5

                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                                        Ken

                                                        Thanks for the review. Is there another service you would recommend over this one?

                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

                                                          Katherine Miller

                                                          Hi Ken,

                                                          Thanks for your question! It entirely depends upon the needs of the business in question. If you’re looking for accounting software, then my top recommendations are here–and for very small businesses on a limited budget, I recommend checking out Wave as well. If you want cloud-based software that’s focused on expense tracking and estimated taxes but isn’t full-on accounting software, GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping is an option, though it shares many (but not all) of the same shortcomings as QBSE. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a really great program designed to be an all-in-one accounting and tax solution–and believe me, I’ve looked. My recommendation for now is that very small businesses use solid accounting software and pair it with either spreadsheets or a tax program for calculating estimated taxes.

                                                          Best,
                                                          Katherine

                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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