Best Accounting Software for Authors

The best accounting software for authors will include easy expense entry and categorization as well as an easy way to record income.  Bank reconciliation is important but isn’t an item that I considered a “have to” when compiling this list. If you have a separate bank account for your authorly business, then bank reconciliation is a must have. If you don’t, then it’s not necessary.

I looked (and tried) several different accounting systems and narrowed it down to the best six to share with y’all today. A mix of paid and free options means you’ll hopefully find the perfect software to manage your author biz.

Now that you know what you can categorize as a business expense courtesy of my last post’s Tax Write-off Cheat Sheet for Authors, let’s explore HOW you can record those expenses.

Free Accounting Software for Authors

Wave – https://www.waveapps.com/

My favorite features…

  • Record Income & Expenses for free!
  • Have a side hustle? You can bill others for services & accept payments for those invoices. (For a small fee per use.)
  • Pay yourself as an employee? Calculate and file payroll & taxes. (Monthly fee.)
  • Scan and auto-record receipts via a smartphone app
  • Connect your bank accounts for easy expense entry & reconciliation
  • Easily run income statement reports for your accountant at tax time
  • Run multiple businesses in one account

SlickPie – https://www.slickpie.com/

My favorite features…

  • Automatic receipt entry with smartphone app
  • Reconcile bank transactions
  • Multiple companies & users
  • Upload & attach files to transactions
  • Send invoices for your side hustle & accept payments
  • Connect your bank accounts for quick expense entry & reconciliation
  • Generate reports for your accountant with ease
  • Have up to 10 companies with free account

ZipBooks – https://zipbooks.com/

My favorite features…

  • Full suite of reports
  • Auto-categorization of expenses
  • Activity tagging (tag expenses with a book title!)
  • Record Income & Expenses
  • Generate reports for your accountant
  • Send invoices & get paid
  • Connect your bank account

Free Accounting Software Comparison Table

Feature

Wave Apps

Slick Pie

ZipBooks

Base Cost FREE FREE FREE
Record Income & Expenses
Phone App for Receipts
Connect to Bank Account 1 Account
Send Invoices
Accept Payments Their Credit Card Processing or ACH Paypal, Stripe or Their Credit Card Processing Paypal or Their Credit Card Processing
Run Reports for Accountant
Bank Reconciliation
Multiple Companies Limit 10
Process Payroll Additional Fee
Support Live Chat for Paid Services Email for Free Tier, Email & Phone for Paid Tier

Xero – https://www.xero.com/us/

QuickBooks – https://quickbooks.intuit.com/

Less Accounting – https://lessaccounting.com/

I feel like the chart below says a lot more about the various features than my handy dandy bullet points can. It also makes the winner pretty clear. 😉

Feature

Xero

Quickbooks

Less Accounting

Cost $9.00-$60.00 $10.00-$60.00 $20.00-$70.00
Record Income & Expenses Expenses require $60 tier
Phone App for Receipts Requires $60 tier
Connect to Bank Account Limited with $9.00 tier
Send Invoices Limited with $9.00 tier
Accept Payments  Limited with $9.00 tier
Run Reports for Accountant
Bank Reconciliation  Limited with $9.00 tier
Multiple Companies
Process Payroll Connects to 3rd Party Service

*Extra Fee

Support Email & Live Chat 24/7 Phone, Chat & Email Email

Final Thoughts

You know that one of my favorite mottos is “Free is For Me” so I’m obviously biased toward the free options for the accounting software I listed here.  If you want your software to handle your payroll, I’d go with Wave Apps and pay the additional fee. If not, I think Slick Pie is a great option and has the most features for you.

As for paid accounting software for authors, I lean toward Quickbooks due to both price and features. While they seem to nickel and dime you on their paid features, they do have a robust amount of paid features that the other two lack. That plus the fact that they have a plan specifically for sole-proprietors that file a Schedule C for their taxes means you can save a few bucks while still getting the features you need.

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Celia Kyle

Celia Kyle is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of paranormal and science fiction romance, as well as non-fiction for authors.

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