View Full Version : Accounting software for freelancers?

Steve McRae
01-26-2004, 06:00 PM
Can anyone recommend any financial software applicable for freelancers (ie. track hours, clients, billing etc)

QuickenXG can do this apparently but I have heard mixed things about it.

cheers, :)

01-26-2004, 06:08 PM
With a little elbow grease Excel... well... excels at this sort of thing.

If not that, my wife (book-keeper by trade) recommends Quickbooks over Quicken. It's only a little more.

Steve McRae
01-26-2004, 06:24 PM
heh heh - thanks - I'm trying to get away from the "elbow grease"


01-26-2004, 06:26 PM
QuickBook Pro. It even interfaces with most banks/baniking accounts in that you can download your info to put into QBP, if need be. Great for tracking purposes.

01-27-2004, 07:56 AM

Rather simple app that allows you to track hours, clients, different pay rates etc. I use it all the time because its simple and quick to use. When you're working on multiple jobs it really helps!

And since its monitoring what apps you're using etc you can really see how much time you're checking your email! ;)

01-28-2004, 09:42 AM
EXCEL can do it... very easily too... if you can't afford that, try open office, which suppossedly has an app in it that does the same thing as excel, including saving to excel file format.

Steve McRae
01-28-2004, 09:53 AM
thanks mesh - I am currently using excel - I am interested in a more automated approach to my client / financial / hours / billing management

01-28-2004, 11:04 AM
I would reccommend QuickBooks. It's already set up for that so you wouldn't have to do the set up like you would in Excel. Plus it is cheaper, interfaces with your banks, has invoicing, billing, AP, AR and all the other business items you would ever need.

02-06-2004, 03:44 PM
Hey. I've heard great things about Quickbooks Pro as well. I personally use the Money Small Business edition along with Excel and it seems to work for me. I wish Money had better time tracking capabilities but for what I need, it gets the job done. Just my 2 cents.


02-07-2004, 04:38 PM
Well, I already replied to this post on CGTalk as well, but I am still adament that you are probably after something as simple as vakcer project tracker - www.vakcer.com - Its all automatic recording in the background of what you are doing (including LightWave), it tracks dollars and cents, as well as time and if you need to include meetings, phone calls, etc, then there's a button to set all that up as well... If you buy things, you can also add in expenses to the project too...

And the only thing you need to do with it is set up the project info, and make sure its selected before you start working...

The rest is taken care of... When you're done, just generate a report to see where all that time and money has been going.

Of course, you will need to be working on a PC to use it! :) If you have a Mac, you'll probably have to keep looking.

Brett H.
02-09-2004, 05:10 PM
I replied to the CGTalk thread as well, but I think I should add my $0.02. Quickbooks is really geared toward retail, it has alot of features for tracking inventory, setting prices of merchandise, etc. I've used it to set up and run two businesses. I really can't recommend it for any sort of freelance work, it doesn't really have the ability to track hours, set up different projects, expenses, etc.

I think there's a demo of QB if you really want to try it.

Just a little warning.


02-09-2004, 11:19 PM
I use notepad.

02-09-2004, 11:41 PM
Well after spending 2 and half days rewriting our entire office book keeping and invoicing setup all I can say is have a go learning MS Access it can do it all and once it's done makes things bloody quick at getting bills out the door the only thing I have not managed to get it to do is (snail mail) post the invoices :D

It took me six weeks on and off to write my first data base with it for my present employers (to make my own job easyer ;) )
And as I stated above my latest took 2 and half days which was alot more advanced as well!

Steve McRae
02-10-2004, 04:27 AM
thanks everyone - I'm looking for a solution that would encompass hours, billing, expenses etc - something that I can just type the numbers in . . .

has anyone used Quicken Premier Home and Business?



02-10-2004, 01:14 PM
I just upgraded to Quicken 2004 for Home and Business this past week. I don't think it has anything for input of hours of employees (if that's what you meant) It's more of an individual home business package. But it does have invoicing and billing tracking, etc. so it might be what you are looking for.

02-11-2004, 05:39 AM
Actually, quickbooks does allow you to track time. I've been using it for 2 years and it's worked fine. It comes with a little timer application that you use. You can change the client and put project notes and you just turn it on when you start, turn it off when you're done. At the end of the month, you export a time file, import it into quickbooks and whoala, it's in your invoice for that client. You set the rate per hour and send it via email. I use subfreelancers as well, and I can send them the timer for them to track their time as well.

Brett H.
02-12-2004, 08:11 PM
I'm sorry, I wasn't aware of that. Of course, I had used it to set up a retail store and a contracting business (which could use some sort of time tracking, but it's all "bid the job, do the job").

Which version of QB does this?

Maybe it's time I went back and talked them into upgrading!


02-12-2004, 08:19 PM

The first version I used was 2000 pro and it had it. I'm currently using 2003 pro and it has the same. There used to be a quirk that the timer software refused to run in a dual monitor enviornment, but that was fixed at least by 2003. Hope that helps:)

02-13-2004, 12:48 AM
If you have the money, there is a new version of quickbooks for 2004 called Premier Professional Services Edition. It's aimed specifically for freelancers and it sounds perfect for what you're looking for.

Here is the link:

Brett H.
02-14-2004, 02:14 PM
Yes, I believe the retail business uses QB 2000 (but I'm not sure if it's Pro) but they don't need time-tracking. The contracting business was set up in 2001, and the software was bought new, so it's most likely QB 2001 (I think Pro) so I'll have to give them a call and see if I can't get them set up tracking their time.

That Pro Services Edition looks really good for freelance work. Looks like just the thing, and QB has a good reputation for a reason (you accountant will love you come tax time).