For freelancers, there are not a lot of accounting program options out there to choose from – and those that are available are often lacking features a freelancer needs. If you have been searching for options, you may have stumbled across Sage One and QuickBooks Self-Employed. Both have great features for those that are independent contractors or freelancers, but it can be hard to tell them apart. To help make the comparison of Sage One vs. QuickBooks Self-Employed a little easier, we’ve decided to bring up a few points to consider.
Sage One vs. QuickBooks Self-Employed: Which Suits Freelancers Better?
Price is always important, right? While price is definitely a factor, never use price as your sole criteria. There are plenty of excellent programs out there with a low price point. When we look at the pricing of Sage One vs. QuickBooks Self-Employed, we get:
When it comes to price, Sage One comes in at $10 per month. They do offer a 30-day free trial to test their product as well.
QuickBooks Self-Employed gives you two options. You can choose to use the 30-day free trial and then pay $9.99 per month for the regular Self-Employed version or $16.99 per month for the Self-Employed plus TurboTax bundle. If you prefer introductory rates, then you can try QuickBooks Self-Employed for $4.99 per month for six months and the Turbo Tax Bundle for $11.99 per month for six months.
2- Clients, Users and Invoices
Some programs designed for freelancers create severe limitations. Some will limit how many clients you can invoice or carry each month, others will tell you that you can only send so many invoices. It isn’t uncommon for a program to limit you on users – they assume if you’re self-employed or a freelancer there’s just one of you anyway.
But, it is important to explore these limitations all the same.
1 user per account
3- Basic Accounting Features
While you may be a freelancer, there are still some basic accounting features you would expect – such as expense tracking, income tracking, etc. Most programs for freelancers will not allow you to input vendors or even pay those vendors from your program – since you do not really deal with purchase orders and such. But, there are some freelancers that still need the more advanced features.
With QuickBooks Self-Employed, you will get basic accounting features that include:
Income and Expense Tracking
Automatic Sync of Transactions
With Sage One, you will find their features are more robust in terms of accounting. Some of the features you will get include:
Income and Expense Tracking
Automatic Download and Sync of Transactions
Managing Bills and Paying Vendors
Credit Card Processing or POS Integration
4- Tax Assistance
This is extremely important – whether you are a freelancer, contractor or small business owner. You need to ensure 100 percent accuracy with your taxes and the more prep your software program offers you the better. When comparing Sage One vs. QuickBooks Self-Employed, here’s how they fair on taxes:
Sage One doesn’t offer much for tax prep. While they do help you categorize expenses and print a profit and loss, that is the extent.
QuickBooks Self-Employed, on the other hand, creates categories specific to the Schedule C categories – something specific to freelancers. They also print quarterly and annual tax reports so you can see how your business is doing. If you purchase the QuickBooks Self-Employed version with the TurboTax bundle, you automatically send your info to TurboTax and then can file personal and business taxes – with most of the data already imported and ready to use. It is one of the few programs out there to offer such convenience – and one we really appreciate.
5- Schedule C and Estimated Quarterly Tax Payments
This is critical for freelancers – and for some reason software programs seem to ignore it. If you are a freelancer, you will be filing a Schedule C for your work with your personal tax return – unless you are being treated as a corporation by the IRS. Sage One does use Schedule C categories, but theirs are much more complex and don’t necessarily all follow the Schedule C categories defined by the IRS. They also don’t print out a Schedule C form.
QuickBooks Self-Employed has all categories specifically setup for Schedule C. You can print a Schedule C report for faster inputting at tax time too.
Also, there is the issue of estimated quarterly tax payments. These are important for contractors and freelancers. You must pay the IRS an estimated tax due each quarter – and calculating these out and tracking them can be tricky.
Sage One offers no help with estimated quarterly tax payments. They don’t estimate it, report it or track it what-so-ever.
QuickBooks Self-Employed, on the other hand, actually estimates your quarterly taxes and then updates in real-time as you input income. It will continue to project income for the year to get a more accurate payment amount for you as well. If you pay your estimated quarterly tax, QuickBooks Self-Employed will track those payments. Then, when you import to TurboTax, those payments are automatically applied – so you don’t have to worry about inputting them.
When it comes to the needs of a freelancer, we feel QuickBooks Self-Employed offers more freelancer-centric features, but Sage One still has a few promising ones.