Quickbooks Alternatives for Independent Contractors

While QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software by far, you have other options. Here are some of the pros and cons of using QuickBooks and 17 competitors you might want to consider when choosing the best accounting software.

This post is provided for general information only. Please confirm the details and circumstances of your unique situation with your tax accountant or other appropriate advisor before taking action.

About QuickBooks

Quickbooks Accounting is the most popular small business accounting software on the market. It has many useful features, including inventory management, bill paying, cash flow tracking, tax preparation, etc.

There are different pricing plans, including QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online Advanced, Plus, Essentials, and Simple Start. The different plans cover everything from small business owners to mid-sized businesses.

There’s also a separate QuickBooks accounting software for 1099 contractors called QuickBooks Self-Employed.

QuickBooks Pros

QuickBooks is the most complete accounting software with almost any feature a small business can need. It handles accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, payments, expense tracking, financial reports, and more.

Another important feature of QuickBooks is that it integrates with many different types of programs and services. If you need more advanced payments tools or other specialized applications, you can use them and sync to QuickBooks for a look at your total accounting picture.

QuickBooks is also very popular with accountants. That makes it easier for you to get the help you need.

QuickBooks Cons

The biggest con of QuickBooks is that it has so many features. It’s harder for new users to figure out, and you’ll also be paying for features you don’t need.

QuickBooks customer support can also be lacking. Instead of making things easier for DIY users, QuickBooks promotes hiring bookkeepers and accountants to help you through their platform.

Some customers also find the interfaces to not be user-friendly. While there is a mobile app, it only has limited functions.

Top Alternatives to QuickBooks for Independent Contractors

If you’re looking to save money, find something easier to use, or just don’t like Quickbooks, there are many alternatives to choose from. There are both free and paid options, and you can choose the features that match your needs.

If you hire employees or contractors, some of these services are also Intuit Payroll Competitors.

The alternatives are listed alphabetically, so you can easily scroll if you’re looking for something specific. All independent contractor accounting software has strengths and weaknesses, so the best alternative to QuickBooks depends on what you need.


Aplos is a specialized accounting tool built for non-profits and churches. It offers fund accounting, donation tracking, creating a customized chart of accounts, generation of non-profit financials, creation of budgets, general ledger management, and a lot of other things.

The advantage of Aplos Accounting vs QuickBooks is that it’s built for your exact needs as a church and doesn’t load you down with other business features.


Bonsai is more than just self employed accounting software. It’s a great project management tool for freelancers who also want to track their expenses. It allows you to create invoices, attach them to projects, and generate expense reports. You can also connect to your bank account to import expenses.

Bonsai also has an online invoicing tool that lets you manage clients, projects, and billing. You can use it to send invoices, estimate project duration, and track hours worked.

If you’re comparing Bonsai vs QuickBooks, choose Bonsai if you need the extra work management features.


If you’re good at spreadsheets, Excel might do the trick for basic income and expense tracking.

The biggest downside to Excel is that you have to create everything from scratch and then manually enter your data. However, if you don’t mind manual data entry, Excel can do anything you want it to.


Freshbooks is a powerful invoicing tool for freelancers and small businesses. It allows users to create professional-looking invoices and accept online payments. Users can easily track expenses and manage projects. It integrates with other apps to make life easier.

Freshbooks is a direct QuickBooks competitor, but it starts out with much lower pricing. The features are limited on the lower tier plans, but that can actually be a good thing for a sole proprietor with basic needs.

GoDaddy Bookkeeping

GoDaddy Bookkeeping was discontinued on June 23, 2022. GoDaddy Bookkeeping vs QuickBooks is no longer an option.


Hurdlr is a simple app designed especially for freelancers and self-employed people. It automatically tracks your mileage, and you can sync it to your bank accounts to track your income and expenses.


Kashoo is an excellent accounting program for sole proprietorships. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require any training.

There is a free version if you only need to track your income and send invoices. Expenses require a paid upgrade that comes in at a higher price than alternatives with more advanced features.

Keeper Tax

Keeper Tax is an app that scans your bank accounts and credit cards to make you’re deducting all of your expenses. You can also talk to a tax professional through the app to get answers to your basic questions. Unlike other apps, it doesn’t offer receipt scanning.


Mint is a popular free personal budgeting tool. You can use it to manage your bank account, credit card, and retirement accounts. It keeps a close watch on your spending habits and reports on your finances. It’s safe because it doesn’t store any sensitive information.

If you’re looking for a basic tool to track income and expenses, you can create business categories in your Mint budget. You can run reports to get your totals, but you’ll need to do any other accounting work in another app.

Patriot Accounting

Patriot Accounting is a direct QuickBooks competitor designed primarily for small and mid-sized businesses. Its plans begin at $15 per month.

If you’re looking for a cheaper app that’s similar to QuickBooks, check it out. If you want something simpler, this isn’t want you’re looking for. 

QuickBooks Self-Employed

QuickBooks Self-Employed is Intuit’s answer to the lighter apps designed specifically for independent contractors. It has a great mileage tracker and receipt capture. You can also sync it to your bank account and classify expenses as business-related or personal with a quick swipe on your phone. There is a new tool to track time, but it is lacking compared to other time tracking tools on the market.

This is a completely separate product from QuickBooks Online accounting software, and you can’t upgrade or downgrade between the two.

Sage Accounting

Sage Business Cloud Accounting is a new player in the independent contractor space. Previously only for large businesses, they’ve now released a starter plan that’s basically a QuickBooks lite.


Spend Wise is an excellent choice for small retail businesses. It includes robust inventory tracking features. You can create purchase orders for your vendors and create sales orders and quotes for your customers. When purchase orders fill, Spend Wise updates your inventory quantities and costs automatically.

Wave Accounting

Wave Accounting is free accounting software that allows users to manage their finances, including creating invoices, receipts, and paying bills. This program also includes features such as customizing your invoice, exporting, and connecting with PayPal, Shoebboxed, and Etsy. 

You also have the choice to add a Wave Money business bank account and to use Wave’s online invoicing and payments tools.


Xero is a New Zealand-based company that offers cloud-based accounting software. It is the industry leader in NZ, AUS, and several European countries as well. It was built “in the cloud,” avoiding many of the mistakes other companies have made when transitioning to cloud-based accounting solutions.

Xero is beautiful accounting software. It is simple to use. Small businesses love it because it doesn’t require any financial knowledge to operate. It is a direct alternative to Quickbooks online.

You Need a Budget

YNAB is a personal budgeting tool that helps people manage their money. It is designed to be simple, easy-to-use, and effective. It does not have balance sheets, but it does have bank synching, beautiful reporting, and a dedicated support community to help you set up and stick to your goals.

Like Mint, you can create business categories in YNAB and run basic summary reports. However, it’s not a business accounting tool, so it doesn’t have the features you’d find in business apps.


Zipbooks is a great start in accountancy for small businesses. It provides many accounting features. A lot of individual businesses choose Zipbooks for one main reason – its pricing. Zipbooks offers an unlimited free version with features that may be all a smaller business needs. Once you start scaling, the pricing for the upgrades is easily affordable.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is part of a larger suite of software products called Zoho. Zoho offers many different applications for businesses. Zoho Books is an online bookkeeping application that directly competes with QuickBooks.

Like other QuickBooks matches, Zoho might be too complex for most independent contractors. However, if you are looking for something more heavyweight, one of the interesting features of Zoho is that it’s free until you hit $50,000 in revenue. If you’re just getting started on a budget, Zoho might be a good fit for you.


There are many alternatives to QuickBooks ranging from free apps that just hit the basics to direct competitors. This means you can find the perfect match for your accounting needs.

Sponsored Links:

Leave a Comment

All comments are public and may be posted with or without edits. Don't include any sensitive information. This is not the IRS — I did not send you a letter or hold your refund.

Create Your LLC in Minutes
Create Your LLC in Minutes
Form your LLC in minutes starting at $49. Fast and simple tools to help you figure out each step of the process.
Form your LLC in minutes starting at $49. Fast and simple tools to help you figure out each step of the process. Show Less
File Your Tax Return
File Your Tax Return
Start for free.
Start for free. Show Less
Ask a Tax Expert Now
Ask a Tax Expert Now
Talk to a Tax expert online now. Describe your issue. Chat 1:1 with an expert. Save time and money.
Talk to a Tax expert online now. Describe your issue. Chat 1:1 with an expert. Save time and money. Show Less
Shop for Instacart
Shop for Instacart
Set your hours and earn on your own terms. Sign up today.
Set your hours and earn on your own terms. Sign up today. Show Less