Comparing QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start: Which is Best?

6 min readJun 14, 2023

As a self-employed professional or small business owner, managing your finances can be a daunting task. However, with the help of accounting software like QuickBooks Self Employed and Simple Start, you can streamline your bookkeeping processes and focus more on growing your business. But which one is right for you? In this blog post, we’ll compare QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start to help you make an informed decision about which software best suits your needs. So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of accounting software!

Comparing QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start

QuickBooks is a popular accounting software that offers various products tailored to the needs of different businesses. Two of its most popular products for self-employed professionals and small business owners are QuickBooks Self Employed and Simple Start.

QuickBooks Self Employed is designed specifically for freelancers, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals who need to track their income and expenses accurately. It comes with features such as invoicing, expense tracking, mileage tracking, and tax preparation tools.

On the other hand, Simple Start is geared towards small business owners who need more comprehensive accounting software with additional features like inventory management, time tracking, and project profitability analysis.

Both products have their pros and cons. QuickBooks Self Employed is easy to use and affordable but lacks some essential features that most small businesses require. Meanwhile, Simple Start has more advanced capabilities but may be too complex or expensive for those who only need basic functionality.

Ultimately, your choice between QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start depends on your specific requirements as a self-employed professional or small business owner.

QuickBooks Self Employed Overview

QuickBooks Self Employed is a cloud-based accounting software designed for freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors who need to manage their finances on the go. It offers features such as expense tracking, invoicing, mileage tracking, and tax calculations.

One of the benefits of QuickBooks Self Employed is its ease of use. The user-friendly interface allows users to navigate through different features without any difficulty. Additionally, it offers integration with popular payment providers like PayPal and Square.

Another advantage of QuickBooks Self Employed is that it can automatically categorize transactions based on past behavior. This feature saves time by eliminating manual data entry while ensuring accuracy in financial records.

The software also provides a mobile app that enables users to access their data from anywhere at any time. Users can track business income and expenses using their smartphones or tablets while on the go.

QuickBooks Self Employed offers an efficient solution for small businesses looking for a reliable accounting tool that focuses solely on self-employment needs. With various features tailored specifically towards this market segment — including automatic mileage tracking — it’s definitely worth considering if you’re self-employed!

Simple Start Overview

Simple Start is an entry-level version of QuickBooks, designed for small businesses with basic accounting needs. It has fewer features than other versions but still provides essential tools to manage your finances efficiently.

One of the most significant advantages of Simple Start is its user-friendly interface — even beginners can navigate it without difficulty. It offers a simple dashboard that displays all critical financial information in one place, making it easy to keep track of business income and expenses.

With Simple Start, you can create professional invoices quickly and easily by selecting from pre-designed templates or customizing them to fit your brand. You can also track payments and send reminders to customers who have outstanding balances.

Another useful feature of Simple Start is its ability to generate financial reports such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow projections. These reports provide valuable insights into your business’s financial health and help you make informed decisions about future investments or expenditures.

Simple Start is an affordable solution for small businesses looking for basic bookkeeping software that doesn’t require extensive training or technical expertise.

Pros and Cons of QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start

When deciding between QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option. Here are some key factors to consider:

Pros of QuickBooks Self Employed:

· Affordable pricing for freelancers and self-employed individuals

· User-friendly interface with easy navigation

· Ability to track expenses, mileage, invoices, and taxes in one place

· Integration with popular payment platforms such as PayPal and Square

Cons of QuickBooks Self Employed:

· Limited features compared to more robust versions of QuickBooks

· No inventory management capabilities

· No time tracking or project management tools

Pros of Simple Start:

· More advanced features than QuickBooks Self Employed including inventory management

· Time tracking functionality available

· Customizable invoice templates

Cons of Simple Start:

· Higher price point than QuickBooks Self Employed

· Steeper learning curve for those unfamiliar with accounting software

Ultimately, the decision between these two options depends on your specific business needs. It’s important to evaluate which features are most essential for your operations before making a choice.

Which is best for you?

When deciding which QuickBooks product is best for you, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, what are your specific business needs? Are you a freelancer or self-employed individual who just needs basic bookkeeping features? Or do you run a small business that requires more advanced accounting tools?

If you’re a freelancer or self-employed individual with simple bookkeeping needs, then QuickBooks Self Employed may be the better choice for you. It’s affordable and offers all the basic features necessary to track income and expenses, invoice clients, and estimate quarterly tax payments.

On the other hand, if you run a small business with more complex accounting needs such as managing inventory or handling payroll, Simple Start may be the better option. It offers more robust features than QuickBooks Self Employed including tracking bills and time spent on projects.

Another factor to consider is cost. While both products offer affordable pricing plans, it’s important to choose one that fits within your budget while still meeting all of your business needs.

Ultimately, choosing between QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start comes down to evaluating your unique situation as well as your specific bookkeeping requirements.

How to get started

If you have decided which QuickBooks plan to use for your self-employed business, the next step is to get started. Here are some tips on how you can start using either QuickBooks Self Employed or Simple Start:

1. Sign Up: The first thing you need to do is sign up for the QuickBooks account of your choice. You can easily do this by visiting their website and clicking on the “Sign Up” button.

2. Set Up Your Profile: After signing up, complete your profile by providing all necessary information about yourself and your business as accurately as possible.

3. Connect Your Bank Account: To make bookkeeping easier, link your bank account to your QuickBooks account so that it automatically downloads transactions.

4. Customize Settings: Take time to customize settings such as invoice templates, reminder messages, sales tax rates and other preferences specific to your business needs.

5. Import Data (if applicable): If you already have data from another accounting software or spreadsheet tool, import them into QuickBooks using their easy-to-use import wizard.

6. Explore Features: Explore all features available in both plans including tracking income and expenses; invoicing clients; managing receipts; mileage tracking (Self-Employed only), among others.

By following these simple steps above and exploring additional resources provided by Intuit’s support team online, getting started with either option should be a breeze!


After weighing the pros and cons of QuickBooks Self Employed and Simple Start, it ultimately comes down to your specific needs as a business owner. If you are a freelancer or sole proprietor with minimal expenses, QuickBooks Self Employed may be the better option for you due to its affordability and simplicity. However, if you have more complex accounting needs or expect growth in the future, Simple Start may provide more value in terms of features such as inventory tracking and multiple users.

Regardless of which option you choose, both QuickBooks Self Employed and Simple Start offer reliable bookkeeping solutions that can save you time and money while helping to keep your finances organized.

To get started with either program, simply visit the QuickBooks website to sign up for an account. With their intuitive interfaces and helpful customer support teams ready to assist at any time, getting started has never been easier.

In conclusion (pun intended), no matter which software solution you choose — whether it’s QuickBooks Self Employed or Simple Start — make sure that it meets all of your current business needs while also considering potential future requirements so that it can scale alongside your growing enterprise.




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