Contrary to popular belief, the success of any business—whether it is a huge conglomerate, a brick-and-mortar company, or a side hustle—is not just about delivering excellent products or services. In fact, veteran entrepreneurs would all agree that your ability to manage your accounting and bookkeeping will determine whether your business dies or survives.
In a nutshell, accounting and bookkeeping track the money you spend and receive.
According to a survey conducted by TD Bank, about half of small-time entrepreneurs said that bookkeeping was the most loathsome aspect of handling their own business. The reason? Fifty-eight percent said this was a time-consuming task, particularly for a newbie. Consequently, failure to find a reliable and appropriate invoicing and bookkeeping software means less time on the most important thing: delivering excellent products or services to your customers.
Another reason why you shouldn’t skimp on a quality accounting software solution: Even the slightest mistakes can be costly. And to further complicate things, accounting is a complex task no thanks to ever-changing state and local tax rates, tax-filing deadlines, and the likes.
Moreover, invoicing and bookkeeping is a highly technical task and unless you have an accounting degree, you have to deal with its steep learning curve.
An excellent accounting software solution is not just about generating invoices and providing financial reports and insights. First and foremost, it should boast features designed to save you time and thus automatic payment reminders, automated bank feeds, recurring invoices, and online invoicing are a must.
Other sacrosanct features you should look for in your invoicing and bookkeeping software:
FreshBooks is arguably the most popular software for side gig entrepreneurs and freelancers, particularly those who primarily deal with project-based contracts. Thanks to its well-integrated accounting and invoicing tools, easy-to-use interface, and affordability, this has become one of the favorites of side hustlers.
Xero is another popular accounting software solution that integrates with more than 700 apps. On top of that, it offers 24/7 email and live chat support and phone assistance, and extensive accounting features that benefit both Mac and PC users.
Meanwhile, a free accounting software app does not always mean substandard or limited features as proven by Wave Financial, a cloud-based accounting solution designed for side hustlers and small business owners. Arguably, this is the best free accounting software with its extensive features that are commonly offered by other excellent applications that come with a monthly price tag.
Other popular invoicing and bookkeeping software solutions for side gig entrepreneurs and small businesses include Netsuite and DUE.
No matter which tool you use, make sure it’s right for you by doing your due diligence upfront before choosing the software. Some of the software platforms integrate with time tracking and project management tools. Although these may not be right for your situation, we have had some success integrating Hubstaff (time tracking) with BaseCamp (project management) and Freshbooks (bookkeeping). Your requirements will determine which software is right for you.