Freelance accounting app

Following up after the other post about Freelance invoicing:

What do Mac using freelancers here use for personal or small business accounting? Before switching a year or two ago, I was on MS Money. Now with VMware, I still am. But for my freelance translation work, I’d prefer something on the Mac (though if the best is a Win app under virtualisation so be it).

My personal conditions:

  • multiple currency support, full including tallying various account totals
  • ability to download bank info from web, at least through OFX or what-have-you
  • ability to import/export out to standard formats (long-term protection of info)
  • preferably: integration with Mac universe (address book, etc.), if a Mac app
  • preferably Invoicing that is suitable for services and not just sales
  • doesn’t cost $1000

Mac or PC, what do freelancers use for their personal accounting of their small business?

A very old copy of QuickBooks. I keep using it because I know how to do everything I need on it, including getting out invoices and printing or emailing them. I believe the Pro version will deal with foreign currency, but my foreign royalties turn up as GB pounds, so I don’t use that function.

I tried out various accounting software for the Mac when I acquired it in March but couldn’t get on with them: they didn’t seem ‘serious’ to me, so I’m still using QB on the Dell. I can’t remember which Mac software I tried: I suffer from immediate amnesia after doing anything with Accounts.

QB does everything for me: I type in gross income amounts as they arrive, and QuickBooks removes agent’s commission and VAT automatically. I enter expenses as they crop up, and at the end of the financial year QB will quite easily produce accounts in the form required by the Revenue. My accountant’s bill is minimal.

I back up on to a memory key, which is probably a bad idea. Everything on the Mac is automatically sent to a remote backup site every evening, so maybe I should integrate my accounts into that system. Hmmm.

Whatever software you go with in the end, it is probably worth getting an accountant to help you set it up. (I didn’t, but don’t copy me.)

Good luck, Talazem.


I can export reports from Quickbook as pdf files. Mostly I just print them out and hand them over to my accountant. (I did without one for years, but the time and anxiety he saves me are worth his modest fee.)

My writing income comes from a number of sources, and the only invoices I need to send out are for services.