Free Accounting Software

Tracking income and expenses is vital, especially if you freelance. But if your talent skews more towards the creative instead of business, it can be a drudge keeping track of all the numbers. You need to establish savvy accounting practices from the outset to ensure your work-life balance is maintained, and you are not overwhelmed by receipts, invoices, and taxes. (Don’t let tax time be a chapter from a Stephen King novel!🎈)

To achieve this, having suitable accounting software is essential. Fortunately, there are numerous free accounting software options available, tailored for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. These platforms offer diverse features aimed at simplifying financial management tasks and ultimately improving business operations.

So the question is, which freelance accounting software is best for you? These are some amazing free accounting software options available for freelancers in Australia that will have you invoicing like a pro. Let’s look at the numbers!

Akaunting

Designed for Small Business

Akaunting is great accounting software for freelancers due to its extensive features such as easy invoicing, expense tracking, bank account management, powerful reporting, and multi-language support. It offers a user-friendly interface, mobile compatibility, and lifetime updates. Additionally, Akaunting is open-source, allowing for increased customisation. Ultimately, Akaunting provides freelancers with a comprehensive and flexible platform to manage their finances efficiently.

Features:

  • Bank Accounts: Open and track multiple bank accounts
  • Client Portal: Share invoices and transaction details with your clients
  • Multi-Company: Manage finances of numerous companies from a single dashboard
  • Recur Everything: Auto-generate invoices, bills, and payments for recurring jobs
  • Powerful Reporting: Reports provide detailed info about business performance
  • Customer Summary: View a customer’s profile, and transaction history at a glance

Brightbook

Designed for Creative Professionals

Brightbook offers freelance accounting software with a focus on simplicity and efficiency. Upon logging in, users are greeted with a clear overview of their business finances, including outstanding payments and cash flow status. Brightbook streamlines bookkeeping tasks, such as generating professional invoices and tracking cash flow against bank statements, enabling freelancers to stay organised and focused on growing their business.

Features:

  • Invoicing: Create and email professional branded quotes and invoices in any currency
  • Instant Insights: Get a quick overview of money owed to you, money you owe, and your cash flow on the dashboard
  • Banking: Import bank statements, track and reconcile money paid in and out against payments and bills
  • Safe & Secure: Your data is backed up daily and is as secure as online banking
  • Accounting: Generate Profit and Loss and Tax Reports with all necessary information
  • Multi-Currency: Invoice clients in any currency, and Brightbook will automatically convert it back to your home country’s currency
  • Bills & Expenses: Upload scanned receipts and supplier bills for quick visual reference and downloading
  • Get Paid, Online: Chase overdue invoices with perfectly worded emails and include PayPal links for clients to pay immediately
  • Multiple Users: Give selective access to your account, allowing users such as clients and accountants to see specific information
  • Multi-Company: Set up multiple companies within Brightbook and access them all with a single login

CloudBooks

Ideal for Freelancers and Small Business

CloudBooks stands out as great accounting software for freelancers due to its diverse features, including easy invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, online payments, multi-currency support, and positive customer feedback. Freelancers can leverage CloudBooks to streamline their financial management processes, enhance efficiency, and ultimately drive growth in their businesses.

Features:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Intuitive design ensures freelancers can quickly familiarise themselves with the software and navigate features efficiently
  • Invoicing: Robust invoicing features create professional invoices, send estimates, and manage purchase orders seamlessly. This streamlined invoicing process helps to bill clients promptly and receive payments faster
  • Expense Tracking: Control overhead costs and monitor spending effectively. The expense tracking feature provides a clear overview of their financial transactions, making it simple to manage their budget and improve financial decision-making
  • Time Tracking: Monitor billable hours accurately. By tracking the time spent on projects, freelancers can provide transparent billing to clients, enhance productivity, and optimise project management
  • Online Payments: CloudBooks integrates with payment gateways such as Stripe and PayPal, allowing freelancers to accept online payments seamlessly. By offering clients the option to pay invoices online using debit/credit cards, CloudBooks helps freelancers streamline the payment process and improve cash flow
  • Multi-Currency Support: Bill clients in their local currencies to increase the chance of receiving payments on time  

GnuCash

Suitable for Freelancers and Small Businesses

Based on professional accounting principles, GnuCash features double-entry accounting, stock and fund accounts, graphic-style reports, and transaction import capabilities. Its intuitive design and focus on accuracy make it a reliable choice for freelancers looking to manage their finances effectively. It is developed, maintained, documented, and translated entirely by volunteers and is freely licensed under the GNU GPL.

Features:

  • Double-Entry Accounting: Utilises professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports
  • Stock/Bond/Mutual Fund Accounts: Ability to track investment portfolios and transactions
  • Small-Business Accounting: Designed to cater to the financial needs of small businesses
  • Reports and Graphs: Provides tools for generating financial reports and visual representations of data
  • QIF/OFX/HBCI Import Transaction Matching: Supports importing and matching of financial transactions from various sources
  • Scheduled Transactions: Allows for the scheduling of future transactions for better financial planning
  • Financial Calculations: Provides tools for performing various financial calculations

Odoo

Designed for Everyone

With an open-source development model, Odoo has made it possible to draw on thousands of experts around the world to build its integrated business apps. This suite of apps is designed to help run your freelance business, customising the software specifically to your needs. Odoo’s technical framework is modern and elegant, allowing the company to provide top-notch usability that scales across all applications.

Features:

  • Worldwide Compatibility: Can be used in any country with pre-configured settings for taxes, fiscal positions, chart of accounts, and legal statements
  • Mobile Apps: Native iOS and Android apps 
  • Multi-Company: Manage all subsidiaries within the same system with real-time consolidation reports and automate business flows with intercompany rules
  • Accounts Receivable and Payable: Attractive invoice templates, instant invoice draft generation, credit notes and refunds, sales credit limit, and multi-currency support.
  • Online Payments: Allow customers to pay online via various payment methods including payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, Adyen, and more
  • Automated Follow-ups: Ensure credit collection with automated follow-up processes that include emails, letters, SMS, and tasks to remind customers when necessary
  • Tax Management: Advanced tax management with in-depth and dynamic statements, tax reports, tax audit reports, etc
  • Analytic Accounting: Includes hierarchies of cost accounts, analytic distribution, multiple plans, and budget management
  • Assets, Expense, and Revenue Recognition: Manage assets and depreciation, automate deferred revenue and expense entries

Wave

Suitable for Invoicing, Banking, and Accounting

Wave provides excellent free accounting software for freelancers. Its suite of products works seamlessly to track income, expenses, and generate professional invoices for swift payments. With unlimited income and expense tracking capabilities, Wave also allows freelancers to collaborate with partners and accountants while accepting payment in multiple currencies. The platform’s free mobile app further enhances usability by enabling receipt scanning and data completion on the go.

Features:

  • Accountant-Friendly Software: Wave utilises real, double-entry accounting software, ensuring accuracy and reliability. This feature is appreciated by accountants and provides a foundation for strong financial management practices
  • Invoicing Records: Create unlimited estimates, invoices, bills, and bookkeeping records
  • Online Payments: Option to accept online payments from popular payment gateways
  • Accounting Reports: Robust small business accounting reports that help users gain insights into their business health and make informed decisions based on cash flow trends
  • Simplified Tax Management: Features a smart dashboard that organises income, expenses, payments, and invoices, simplifying the process of managing finances during tax time

ZipBooks

ZipBooks is another notable accounting software that prides itself on making users more efficient and informed. Its automated invoicing and billing systems, along with robust accounting functionalities, help freelancers track income, expenses, and profitability effortlessly. With features like one-time and recurring billing options, intelligent performance reports, and automated expense tracking, ZipBooks truly stands out as a comprehensive accounting solution for freelancers.

Features:

  • Billing: The software supports both one-time and recurring billing, enabling users to get paid quickly and efficiently
  • Expense Management: Automated expense tracking, simplifying the process of managing business expenses
  • Bank Connect: Supports bank connections and reconciliation, streamlining the process of managing financial accounts
  • Online Payments: Accepts digital payments (Square or PayPal)
  • Project Accounting: Allows users to track financial transactions and performance across different projects.
  • Tagging: The ability to tag transactions provides a flexible way to organise and categorise financial data

Zoho Books

Designed with Freelancers in mind

Zoho Books is accounting software that helps you manage your finances, stay GST-ready and automate workflows across departments.  It allows you to manage your accounting and invoicing online from anywhere, on any device – so there’s no need for a desktop setup. With a plethora of features, the accounting software is fully comprehensive.

Features:

  • Streamline Financial Processes: Get automated payment reminders, multi-lingual invoicing, recurring invoices, expenses and mileage tracking, bank statement imports, and reconciliation.
  • Client Invoicing: Invoice for up to 1,000 transactions annually
  • Customer Portal: Get online/offline payment support
  • Customisable Integrations: With Zoho and other applications, so freelancers can effectively manage their finances
  • Comprehensive Support: Via email and access to Zoho’s ecosystem of apps further enhance the user experience

Goldilocks and the Free Apps

Working out which accounting app is “just right” for you and your business is the first step. While free accounting software might not have all the bells and whistles as a paid version, it can still be an effective tool for managing your finances. You need to decide what serves your purpose and provides hassle-free accounting solutions for your freelance lifestyle.

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