One of the most difficult things for freelancers to worry about is money. Taking care of billing, accounting and other financial tasks can be hard when you also have to take care of your job, but it is a necessary evil when running your own business. The following ten financial management tools are sure to help any freelancer get a grip on their funds.
1. FreshBooks (from $19.99/month)
This online invoicing tool helps you manage your billing which is key to effective financial management. You can use it to accept payments via Paypal, credit cards or e-checks. FreshBooks also offers options to help you track your time, set up an accounting system and even brand any invoices you send out. Great for freelance professionals who don’t have time for money worries!
2. inDinero (from free to $29.95/month)
inDinero helps you manage your freelancing business’ money. You can tie in your personal bank account, business bank account and credit lines. The program organizes all of your purchases into one easy-to-read statement. This is extremely convenient come tax time, when you’re trying to figure out how much you’ve spent and which items you can deduct. It also helps you keep track of whether your business is in the black or in the red.
3. GetHarvest (from $12/month)
This program provides an easy way to take care of all your company’s financial needs. From time tracking to invoice sending to business financial analysis, GetHarvest takes care of it all. In particular, the analysis reports are where GetHarvest shines. GetHarvest’s reports give you the information you need to determine the next step your business should take.
4. Xero (from $19/month)
This online accounting tool lets you see income and outflow in real time, with useful graphs that update every day. It lets you import and code your previous bank transactions, and it also has an invoicing tool. Xero can take data from a range of other financial programs for freelancers including FreshBooks, PayPal, Pulse and more.
5. SquareUp (2.75% fee per transaction)
This app and reader lets you accept payments from any credit card with your smartphone. When you sign up, you receive a free credit card reader. This is perfect for freelancers who create physical objects to sell at fairs, festivals, open markets or even just on the street. The free reader and app work with the iPhone, iPad and any Android mobile device.
6. PayPal (from 1.4% per transaction)
Arguably the most popular online financial tool, PayPal is like your online bank account. You can use it to accept money from anyone and send money anywhere. With over 94 million using PayPal, it is part of the business landscape. PayPal also offers credit card reading services. You can accept cards by phone or through your website, or you can simply send a bill by email and receive a credit payment that way. Over eight million businesses use PayPal to process credit cards.
7. TransferWise (free)
TransferWise is an online currency converter. It converts electronic dollars into electronic pounds or euros. This is perfect for entrepreneurs and freelancers who do a lot of international business and need to make or receive payments in multiple currencies. Transfers are made from bank account to bank account, and TransferWise offers a secure line and convenient instructions for how to do so.
8. Pulse (from $14/month)
An income and outflow analysis program, Pulse lets you monitor all of your financials in real time, with convenient graphs, charts and tables to support your understanding of your money. As a financial analysis program, Pulse reads files containing financial information so you don’t have to re-enter it. Perfect for the busy freelance professional!
9. XE Universal Currency Converter (free)
This product is offered by XE, one of the world’s leading currency sites. The currency converter is an easy way to calculate how much of a different currency your dollars, euros, pounds or other money is worth. Take note that the XE Universal Currency Converter doesn’t actually convert your money into other forms of money. It is more of a calculator than a converter.
This isn’t your grandmother’s online calculator! Instacalc includes conversions, variables, engineering calculations and more. Just type in what you want to know in English and numbers, and the calculator instantly gives you the answer. You can also share your calculations with others through the website. Great free widget!