Accounting Software for Self Employment Income

This year I expect to begin receiving an insignificant amount of self-employment income from this blog and other activities. I only expect it to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $100-$500 depending on how much time I put into everything. However, I still want to make sure I keep track of all income and expenses so I can report it accurately when tax time comes around.

So far I have uncovered a couple options on how I could track these transactions.

A) I could buy a version of Quickbooks. Quickbooks has a edition called SimpleStart that is for small businesses. It is offered at $99. However, that is about $80 more than I feel like I should spend on this software since I am currently expecting only an insignificant amount of income. The other benefit of quickbooks would be that if my needs grow I could upsize into more powerful versions of Quickbooks pretty easily. Cost $99
Note: I have also found that Quickbooks offers a Quickbooks Simple Start Special Edition 2006 for free with free shipping. It is a full version that you can use for up to 20 customers. Cost: Free

B) I could try Peachtree Accounting. Peachtree is often on sale so it could be basically free after rebate (see this post for more details). However, I have read mixed reviews about it and I get the indication that it is more complicated than I need. Cost: Free after rebates

C) I use MS Money Deluxe 2005 for my personal finance software. I could create separate accounts in it to track income/expense transactions. The downside is I don't know of a way to create invoices with this software if I need them. Cost: Free

D) I could upgrade to MS Money Small Business 2005. I have found new copies of this old software on ebay for about $20. This way I could just import my personal finances (without having to go through an upgrade) and also use it to track self-employment income and expenses. Cost: ~$20

E) I could just use a spreadsheet program such as MS Excel. This wouldn't cost me anything but it would take a lot more time to set up and if my needs expand I might need to go through the painful task of switching accounting software. Cost: Free

The good news is there are plenty of free choices when it comes to software to keep track of my self-employment income and expenses. After finding the free offer for Quickbooks Simple Start Special Edition 2006 I have decided to give this software a try. It looks like it will meet all of my needs for now and in the future if I need more powerful accounting software I should be able to easily upgrade to the fuller versions of Quickbooks.

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Comments (2)


DATE: 8:22 AM
i go outta my way to use excel

DATE: 10:18 AM
Do you have any problems with it? How do you create invoices? What happens if your needs grow - do you plan on continuing to use Excel or do you have a particular accounting software in mind that you could easily transition too?

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A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
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