QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start: Which is Right for You?

6 min readJun 19, 2023
QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start

In today’s fast-paced business world, choosing the right accounting software is crucial for managing your finances effectively and efficiently. When it comes to popular options, QuickBooks Self Employed and Simple Start often top the list of choices for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses alike. But with both offering unique features designed to make financial management a breeze, how do you decide which one is right for you? In this comprehensive comparison of QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start, we’ll break down their key features, pros and cons while helping you determine the best fit for your specific needs. So grab a cup of coffee (or tea!), sit back and let us guide you through this essential decision-making process!

Comparing QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start

When comparing QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start, it’s essential to understand the core differences between these two accounting software options. While both are part of the QuickBooks family, they cater to different users with distinct needs.

QuickBooks Self Employed is designed specifically for freelancers, gig workers, and independent contractors who require an easy-to-use platform to manage their business finances. The primary focus here is on tracking income and expenses while simplifying tax preparation processes.

On the other hand, Simple Start targets small business owners who need more comprehensive bookkeeping solutions. It offers features like invoicing, sales tax tracking, and basic inventory management in addition to expense tracking.

The pricing structure also varies between the two options. QuickBooks Self Employed tends to be more affordable than Simple Start due to its limited feature set. However, your choice ultimately depends on your specific requirements as a freelancer or small business owner.

In the upcoming sections of this blog post, we will dive deep into each option’s overview before discussing their respective pros and cons — giving you all the information needed for selecting your ideal accounting tool!

QuickBooks Self Employed Overview

QuickBooks Self Employed is an online accounting software designed specifically for self-employed individuals. It enables users to track their business income and expenses, estimate quarterly taxes, create invoices, and import transactions from bank accounts.

One of the main features of QuickBooks Self Employed is its ability to automatically categorize transactions based on certain rules set by the user. This saves time and ensures accurate bookkeeping.

Another useful feature is the ability to track mileage, which can be a significant deduction for many self-employed individuals. Users can either manually input their trips or use the mobile app’s GPS tracking function.

QuickBooks Self Employed also integrates with popular payment platforms such as PayPal and Square, making it easy to receive payments from clients directly within the software.

QuickBooks Self Employed offers a simple yet powerful solution for self-employed individuals looking to streamline their accounting processes.

Simple Start Overview

Simple Start is an entry-level version of QuickBooks that’s designed for small business owners. It’s a cloud-based accounting software that provides basic features like invoicing, expense tracking, and reporting.

One of the key benefits of Simple Start is its ease-of-use. The software has a simple interface with easy-to-navigate menus and a dashboard that gives you an overview of your financials at-a-glance. This makes it ideal for business owners who are new to accounting or don’t have much experience with bookkeeping.

Another advantage of Simple Start is its affordability. With prices starting at $25 per month, it’s one of the most affordable accounting solutions on the market. Plus, there are no long-term contracts or commitments required, so you can cancel anytime without penalty.

Simple Start also offers integrations with popular apps like PayPal and Shopify, making it easy to streamline your business operations and keep everything in one place.

While Simple Start may not have as many advanced features as some other versions of QuickBooks, it still provides small business owners with all the essential tools they need to manage their finances effectively.

Pros and Cons of QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start

Both QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start have their own sets of pros and cons that users should consider before choosing the right option for their business.

One of the main advantages of QuickBooks Self Employed is its focus on freelancers, contractors, and self-employed individuals. It offers easy invoicing, expense tracking, and mileage tracking features that cater specifically to these types of businesses. In addition, it integrates with popular third-party apps such as PayPal and Square.

On the other hand, Simple Start is better suited for small businesses with employees. It offers more robust features such as inventory management, purchase order creation, and multiple user access.

When it comes to pricing plans, QuickBooks Self Employed has a lower starting cost compared to Simple Start but lacks some essential accounting features available in higher-tier plans.

Another downside of QuickBooks Self Employed is its limited reporting capabilities which could be problematic for those looking for detailed financial insights. Meanwhile, Simple Start’s interface can be overwhelming at first glance.

Ultimately when deciding between QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start users must weigh up their specific business needs against what each software package offers.

QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start: Which is right for you?

When it comes to choosing between QuickBooks Self Employed and Simple Start, there are a few things you should consider. If you’re a freelancer or self-employed individual with simple accounting needs, then QuickBooks Self Employed might be the right choice for you. It’s designed specifically for those who work on their own and need help tracking expenses and invoicing clients.

On the other hand, if your business is growing and becoming more complex in terms of finances, then Simple Start may be the better option. This software offers features such as inventory management and budgeting tools that can help businesses keep track of expenses as they grow.

Another factor to consider is cost. QuickBooks Self Employed is cheaper than Simple Start but has fewer features. However, if all you need is basic bookkeeping assistance at an affordable price point, then QuickBooks Self Employed might be ideal for your business.

The decision between these two options will depend on your specific business needs and goals. Consider factors like size of your business, volume of transactions made each month/year etc., before making a choice between these two software options!

How to get started

Getting started with QuickBooks Self Employed or Simple Start is easy and straightforward.

· First, you will need to sign up for an account on the QuickBooks website and choose which plan suits your business needs.

· Once you have signed up, you can start setting up your account by adding your company details such as name, address, and tax information. You can also import data from other accounting software if needed.

· Next, connect your bank accounts and credit cards to the software so that transactions are automatically imported into QuickBooks. This saves time compared to manually inputting each transaction.

· You can then categorize each transaction into different expense categories such as office supplies, travel expenses or advertising costs.

· It’s important to keep track of income and expenses throughout the year so that come tax season everything is organized for filing taxes easily. This makes it easier for you to file accurate returns while reducing stress associated with filing taxes under pressure.

· Getting started with either QuickBooks Self Employed or Simple Start is simple and intuitive allowing small business owners a hassle-free way of managing their finances!


After comparing QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start, it’s clear that both have their advantages and disadvantages.

QuickBooks Self Employed is a great option for freelancers and independent contractors who need to track their expenses, create invoices, and estimate taxes. It’s easy to navigate and has a mobile app for tracking expenses on-the-go.

Simple Start is perfect for small businesses that need more advanced features like inventory management, payroll processing, and budgeting tools. Its pricing plans are flexible enough to suit different budgets while providing all the necessary features required by small business owners.

Choosing between QuickBooks Self Employed vs Simple Start depends on your specific needs as an individual or business owner. Consider factors such as affordability, ease of use, functionality requirements before making your final decision.

Whichever option you choose will be a valuable tool in keeping your finances organized and helping you make informed decisions about the future of your business.




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