As a sole proprietor you manage your own time and you can work from home. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately there is one thing you still have to do no matter what: accounting. Or to be more precise creating and sending invoices, recording expenses, managing your clients, keeping track of the time you are working, and, of course, preparing reports for tax time. All these things are very tedious and take your precious time. And that is the reason why online accounting solutions were invented.
If you purchase such software, you can do all major features listed below. Create nice looking invoices, manage your clients, record expenses, track your time, see your constantly synced banking, share the auto-created reports with your accountant and integrate a wide variety of other software and services into your accounting software. And remember: no matter which solution you choose, accounting will never be a problem again.
A huge advantage of being a sole proprietor is that you don’t need a lot of different features to manage your business, just the most basic ones. However, those features must be in your online accounting solution regardless of the chosen software.
A decent dashboard should always be included in accounting software for very simple reasons. With this you can see the money you owe and you are owed, your banking, the reports your accountant needs, for instance profit and loss of the current fiscal month, and many more.
This is the most important feature your software has. Unless otherwise specified by the company, you can create multi-currency, recurring invoices to your customers either on your computer or on the go from your mobile device. Most accounting solutions even allow you to customize your invoices and if you subscribe to a pay-as-you-go service, your customers can instantly pay their invoices with credit/debit cards and even e-wallets like PayPal.
Depending on the number of clients you can add, most accounting solutions allow you to integrate your Gmail or Microsoft Outlook contacts to their own system.
Accounting software are capable of connecting to thousands of banks around the world. If you connect to your bank, all transactions will be displayed on your dashboard so you can easily track your incomes and expenses.
Not only you can capture receipts with your mobile device and digitize them for further processing, but you can also separate your personal and business expenses, so you can bill only those ones which incurred on behalf of your client.
As reports are automatically calculated from your incomes and expenses, which makes the work of your accountant easier. Furthermore, you can give limited access to him/her, therefore you can work simultaneously.
Most accounting solutions are capable of setting up multiple tax rates and generating 1040 Schedule C reports for sales tax.
Integrating Other Software and Services
If you subscribed to an accounting solution of a company that offers and supports an API, you can integrate with multiple third-party applications which could make your business run even smoother. Just give access to your accounting software to sync with the other application and you never have to use separate solutions again. There are many types of software that could be integrated into an online accounting solution: payment managing tools, expense reporting software, CRMs, invoicing and quoting solutions, project management tools, time tracking software and many more.
A solution you should integrate into your accounting software is PayPal: after syncing with this e-wallet you will be able to see all your transactions in your dashboard and, if you allowed your clients to use the fast payment option, you can receive your payments faster. There are other handy solutions as well: Receipt Bank with which you can capture and process receipts faster, Capsule CRM which manages the list of your clients, and ecommerce solutions such as Amazon Store and eBay.
Online Accounting Solutions Recommended for You
Picking a cloud accounting solution is never easy: you either get software with unnecessary features, or cheap software which is good for nothing. If you are a sole proprietor, we suggest you to purchase a basic accounting solution with the most important features, but one that can grow with your business, such as FreshBooks and QuickBooks Online.
Since 2003, FreshBooks became full-fledged accounting software, ideal for sole proprietors and small businesses. The software comes with everything you need and more: multi-currency, recurring invoices, capturing and processing receipts, creating projects and managing your time with a built-in software, and generate many business reports. FreshBooks integrates with almost 40 different third party services, from marketing to expense tracking, payroll, customer management tools, and it has stellar iOS and Android applications. The company offers four pricing plans which only differ in the number of clients you can invoice, so no matter which one you choose, you get the full FreshBooks experience plus a 30-day free trial and the outstanding customer service.
Although there is QuickBooks Self-Employed software, it is very limited and it becomes useless once your business starts to grow. Therefore we recommend QuickBooks Online instead, which is intended for smaller and bigger businesses: you can choose from 6 languages and have all major features from invoicing, expenses to automatically built reports and an unlimited amount of clients. You can also subscribe to the pay-as-you-go fast payment option or a pricing plan which features bill management and even instantly created sales and profit reports. QuickBooks Online has an iOS and Android app, integrates with over 300 third-party software, and you can try all features during the 30-day free trial. However, if you are not satisfied with QuickBooks Online, you can cancel your contract and even get a full refund within 60 days from your subscription.