QuickBooks Self Employed: Pros, cons, costs, and alternatives

Panna Kemenes

QuickBooks Self Employed is an accounting tool for freelancers and independent contractors. With the software, users can manage their business and personal finances with ease.

But is it the right choice for you?

In this post, you’ll learn more about what QuickBooks Self Employed offers to users, the pros and cons of the software, and alternative options.

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QuickBooks Self Employed: quick overview

The following table provides insights into QuickBooks Self Employed fees, as well as some of the key features it includes and omits.

QuickBooks Self Employed features
💰 PriceBetween $15 - $35 (3 subscription levels available). New users can get 50% off for the first three months.¹
👩‍💻 Number of users1
🧠 Ease of useEasy to use after following some guides, online support available.
🔑 Key featuresMileage and expense tracking, quarterly estimated tax payment calculation, business and personal expenses are separated, TurboTax connection available with tax bundle subscriptions.
🔍 Missing featuresBalance sheet, integrated features, multiple business capability, unpaid bill tracking, QuickBooks Online Payroll, chart of accounts.

Who is QuickBooks Self Employed a good option for?

QuickBooks Self Employed is useful for:

QB Self Employed can save freelancers and independent contractors time by automating processes.

QuickBooks for self employed freelancers is for those who desire more control over their finances. The software gives a clear system for differentiating personal and business income.

With QuickBooks (QB), you can flag incoming or outgoing payments as either business or personal. This creates clarity and helps distinguish between the two at a glance. You can also create and send invoices.

It’s possible to create different categories for your transactions, so you can assign any payment from a particular client as business funds for example. You can also use this feature to account for recurring payments such as subscription payments and regular office supplies.

There’s also a QuickBooks Self Employed tax bundle that adds TurboTax. If you need help when it comes to tax time, you can subscribe to the QB and TurboTax Self Employed package.

QuickBooks Self Employed may not be the best option for:

While QuickBooks Online has a chart of accounts, this service isn’t present in the QuickBooks Self Employed tool. A chart of accounts allows you to track all financial accounts associated with your business and transactions made from and to each.

As such, if you have multiple financial accounts, QuickBooks Self Employed might not fulfil your needs.

You can only track one company file with the Self Employed tool, so if you have more than one business, you’ll need to open more than one account.

💡 Connect QB Online with Wise to save time and money
    QuickBooks Self Employed can be useful for freelancers, but the features may be limited for your needs.
    For example, if you have international customers or vendors, you can benefit from the QB Multicurrency feature. This feature is only available in QuickBooks Online essentials, plus and advanced subscription levels.
    What’s more, you can connect QuickBooks Online to Wise Business to sync all your bill payments automatically.
    International transactions through Wise use the real mid-market rate, so you can send your money for less. You’ll see all your bills in Wise Business, and they’ll automatically be synced, matched, and categorized in QuickBooks for simple reconciliation.

Pros and Cons of Intuit QuickBooks Self Employed

QuickBooks Self Employed is a competent accounting solution, but that doesn’t guarantee it’s the right fit for your business.

The following table outlines some of the main upsides and downsides to using the software, so you can predict if it’s the best solution for you:

✅ Pros❌ Cons
  • Mark transactions as business or personal including expenses
  • Tackle everything from invoice creation to business mileage tracking in the app
  • Prepares you for tax season with income and expense classification
  • View tax summary and details after filing
  • Intuitive interface
  • Allows users to invite accountants
  • Web-based service and mobile app available
  • No chart of accounts makes it unsuitable for users with multiple financial accounts
  • One company file limits you from tracking multiple companies’ finances
  • Invoicing can be frustrating if you have recurring customers as you have to enter the customer information every time you invoice
  • There’s no way to manage payroll if you have employees

QuickBooks Self Employed cost

How much is QuickBooks Self Employed?

Subscription levelCost¹
Self Employed$15/month
Self Employed Tax Bundle$25/month
Self Employed Live Tax Bundle$35/month
💡 It’s worth checking the official pricing as there are regular offers such as free trial periods, or discounted months.

What features are included in these QB Self Employed subscriptions?

At each subscription tier, QB Self Employed offers different features. The tiers build upon one another. Every plan includes the QuickBooks Self Employed app that you can use to manage your finances on the go.

The basic plan includes the accounting features you need to balance your books. If you’re looking for more, though, you can upgrade to one of the other two plans.

The other two plans include tax services through TurboTax, and the most expensive tier also gives you access to accountants:

Subscription levelFeatures
Self Employed
  • Separate business and personal expenses
  • Maximize your Schedule C deductions
  • Quarterly estimated taxes calculated automatically
  • Automatic mileage tracking
Self Employed Tax BundleSelf Employed features, plus:
  • Pay quarterly estimated taxes online directly from QuickBooks
  • Easily transfer info to TurboTax
  • One state and one federal tax return filing included in this bundle
Self Employed Live Tax BundleSelf Employed Tax Bundle features, plus:
  • Talk to a real Certified Public Accountant (CPA) when you need
  • Get unlimited help and advice all year
  • Have a CPA do a final review of your return

Alternatives to QuickBooks Self Employed

QuickBooks Self Employed is an excellent option for handling finances as a freelancer or contractor, but not the only one. There are several other software solutions on the market that can provide value to freelancers.

Below, you’ll find an overview of three alternative solutions that could be a better fit for your business.


Great for:

Growing a self-employed business with branded invoice templates.


Freshbooks offers users four different pricing plans, including a custom plan:

  • Lite - $15/month
  • Plus - $25/month
  • Premium - $50/month
  • Select - Custom pricing³


Great for:

Businesses who can benefit from pricing packages tailored to their business size.


Xero has three different pricing plans, catering to different business sizes:

  • Early - $12/month
  • Growing - $34/month
  • Established - $65/month⁴

QuickBooks Online

Great for:

Freelancers with recurring clients who need a system for ongoing automated invoicing and international payments.


There are four pricing plans to choose from with QuickBooks Online:

  • Simple Start - $25/month
  • Essentials - $50/month
  • Plus - $80/month
  • Advanced - $180/month²
💡 Using QuickBooks Online gives you the opportunity to sync all your bill payments from Wise Business. Simply pay your bills through Wise at the mid-market rate, and they'll automatically be synced and categorized in QuickBooks. Saving you time and money in one strike.

Join Wise Business today🚀


  1. QuickBooks Self Employed pricing
  2. QuickBooks Online pricing
  3. Freshbooks pricing
  4. Xero pricing

All sources checked June 2, 2022.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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