QuickBooks Self Employed – Beginner’s Guide


QuickBooks is so far the leading accounting software with at least 4.5 million users across the globe. Intuit designed QuickBooks Self Employed, specifically to suit the needs of self-employed entrepreneurs. This QuickBooks version helps these business owners to organize their financial matters and stay ready for the tax period the entire year.

So, is QB Self Employed the right package for your business’ needs? Well, in this article, we will help you to decide whether or not you need this product. We are going to look at the cost, the plans available, and their respective features. 

Additionally, we’ll mention a few alternatives to ensure you can make an informed decision regarding the accounting and bookkeeping solutions of your business.

Before we say anything else, it’s important for you to remember that QuickBooks Self Employed is an internet-based product and a component of the QB accounting suite. Additionally, you can consider it as a tax tool because, as mentioned, it’s built to allow self-employed business people to manage their expenses, organize their tax obligations, and track their miles.

So, sole proprietors, Uber drivers, realtors, Etsy sellers, freelancers, and anyone running some sort of second-income generating business, and don’t really need to process a lot of transactional details are best-suited for QB Self Employed. 

QuickBooks Self Employed Pricing & Plan Options

Before we can move any further, it will help if we have a look at the different plans, costs, and the features of this accounting software by Intuit. Generally, QuickBooks Self Employed comes in three options to choose from, namely:

  1. Self Employed Basic
  2. Self Employed Tax Bundle
  3. Self Employed Live Tax Bundle

These plans are significantly different when it comes to their tax capacities as well as their costs. So, let’s have a look at each one of them in detail.

QuickBooks Self Employed

Self Employed Basics

This is Intuit’s most basic QuickBooks Self Employed option. Normally, it costs $15 monthly but you can get up to 50% discount for the first three months and pay $7.5 per month. Please note that the offers and discounts offered by QuickBooks are limited in terms of time. That means you can be checking their website to see when they are running any promotion. 

The QuickBooks Self Employed pricing option has a load of features that you’ll enjoy. Despite its low monthly price, you can expect to receive all the basic features you need to smoothly run your sole proprietorship. The features include the following:

  1. Sending and tracing simple invoices.
  2. Invoicing customers via the QB mobile app..
  3. Monitoring open invoices & sending overdue notifications.
  4. Auto sorting of transactions into tax groups.
  5. Enabling online payments for convenient receipt of payments from invoices.
  6. Auto importing transactions from your credit cards, banks, PayPal, and others to various different personal and business expenses.
  7. Taking photos of receipts and linking them to expenses.
  8. Maximizing Schedule C deductions by tracking miles and sorting transactions as well as storing receipts.
  9. Organizing expenses and income to allow instant tax filing.
  10. Auto calculating quarterly taxes, receiving auto-reminders of any tax due date.
  11. Tracking miles using the GPS of your phone.
  12. Inviting a business accountant to work on your account.
  13. Categorizing personal and business trips and adding trips manually.
  14. Customer support via support form, self-service resources on QB’s site, and live chat.

QuickBooks Self Employed Tax Bundle

Self Employed Tax Bundle is the second plan in this QuickBooks version. It offers extra tax capacities to even further maximize your financial processes. The plan also shows you significant savings in your company’s tax returns. This plan costs $25 every month though you can get a 50% discount and pay $12.5 for the first three months. 

What are its features?

There’s no significant difference between these three plans. The only difference is the features. So, the advantage of this plan is that you’ll enjoy a greater ability to streamline your tax procedures. On top of the features offered in the first plan, QuickBooks Self Employed Tax Bundle offers the following else:

  1. The ability to pay quarterly estimated taxes online straight from QuickBooks.
  2. Convenient transfer to Turbo Tax with inbuilt integration.
  3. Accurate quarterly tax estimates.
  4. One federal and one state tax return file included.
  5. Direct exportation of Schedule C into Turbo Tax.
  6. Electronic-file returns with direct deposit to allow faster tax refund.

QuickBooks Self Employed Live Tax Bundle

Last but not least, QuickBooks Self Employed Live Tax Bundle asks $35 every month but taking advantage of the 50% discount, you can pay $17.5 monthly for the first three months. 

However, the $35 monthly is worth it because the solution provides much more than you can imagine. The plan offers comprehensive tax tools that help sole proprietors, freelancers, and contractors do proper management of their business finances and expenses. 

What are the Features?

As just stated, this is the plan coming with the most comprehensive tax features. It provides you with all the functionalities available in the above two plans and in addition, it comes with the following:

  1. Live and customized advice from Turbo Tax CPAs and EAs
  2. Unlimited, throughout the year to tax professionals with years upon years of experience
  3. An EA or CPA will comprehensively review your tax returns, and sign to ensure they are correctly completed. 

Benefits of QuickBooks Self Employed

Now that you have learned about the three plans within the Intuit Self Employed, it will be okay to look at the main advantages of this software program. So, here are a few of the benefits:

Mileage Tracking

One of the benefits of this QuickBooks software program is mileage tracking, which is a critical automation tool used by freelancers and independent contractors. Not many accounting software programs have the tool built-in. 

With this Self Employed QuickBooks, you’ll easily auto-track miles for your business. That will help you to accelerate your reimbursement and also allow you to streamline related tax procedures to make sure you’re optimizing your yearly tax deductions.


The next advantage of Intuit Self Employed is cost. Are you wondering how? Well, honestly speaking, the price of QB Self Employed is quite affordable. That is considering that even with the first plan (basic), you’ll be receiving very useful features that will help you to manage your taxes and expenses for only 15 dollars per month.

And the best part is that there’s a 30-day charge-free trial for you to get to test the program before you’re confident to commit. However, you should know that the 30-day free-of-charge trial comes at a price – if you decide to take it, you won’t enjoy the three months 50% discount. 

Tax Optimization

Regardless of the plan you choose from QuickBooks Self Employed, you can conveniently manage taxes and optimize your business tax deductions that you see via Schedule C.

Though the last two plans come with the most features for optimizing your tax procedures, you’re sure that even with the first (basic) plan, you’ll be able to manage your expenses and prepare adequately for the tax period. 

Additionally, this product is developed specifically to help self-employed people manage their businesses, the tax features or functionalities are designed particularly to suit your needs. That means you don’t need to worry when it comes to sorting through various options that may fail to apply to you and which you would discover from other accounting software programs. 

What’s more, considering the last two high-level subscription plans, you’re allowed access to professionals in case you need assistance with your tax file and paying them online. Intuit Self Employed is unique accounting software for businesses, especially for contractors and freelancers. 

Basic Invoicing

Whether you’re a contractor, freelancer, or any self-employed professional, it’s highly likely that you invoice your clients or customers. In case you’re not aware, some tax-focused software accounting apps would need you to incorporate an invoice tool. 

On the other hand, Self Employed QuickBooks comes with basic invoicing featured in all three of its plans. Though there might be another more advanced invoicing tool out there, you can manage most of your important financial processes in a single place.

What’s more, you can manage your financial requirements anytime, from anywhere you’re. You’ll be able to utilize the invoicing functionalities from your smartphone or your computer. And the best part is that you can take advantage of the QuickBooks Self Employed login feature to sign up for QB Payments so that you can receive payments straight from your invoices online.


Another main benefit we can’t fail to mention is the user-friendliness of the Intuit Self Employed. The software program is designed to suit a specific line of business owners such as contractors, self-employed entrepreneurs, and freelancers. This platform provides useful functionalities for the professionals at a cost they don’t struggle to afford.  

Additionally, the easy-to-navigate interface allows you to access all the features without a struggle. It’s also secure to access the data regardless of your location. The interface is quick and facilitates easy QuickBooks Self Employed login in to set up your details, to connect to your business bank accounts, and the general use of the software.

Disadvantages of QB Self Employed

We can all agree that everything with advantages has disadvantages. Self Employed QuickBooks is not different. It also has its set of cons that you’ll want to consider before you can subscribe. Below are some of them:


If you remember, we discussed QuickBooks Self Employed Pricing as an advantage above. However, it can as well be a disadvantage, especially depending on your budget or the features you might be looking for. It’s true that $15 may appear as a small amount and considerably affordable for the first plan option. Nevertheless, considering the costs of other competitor software programs, you may discover that it’s possible to find a better price for what you require. 

Moreover, keep in mind you’ll be receiving only one federal and state tax return filing with the higher-level options. So, if you require completing multiple filings, then, you’ll need to pay higher – nearly $120 – for each extra federal tax filing and almost $50 for each extra state tax filing – and these fees will be in addition to the usual monthly subscription.  

Not Easy to Upgrade

Another downside of this software program is that it’s hard to migrate or upgrade to QuickBooks Self Employed online in case need be. So, what happens when your business grows and requires more than what you have currently?

The hard truth is that you’ll need to go back from the start if you have to implement QuickBooks Self Employed Online as an accounting solution for your business. Generally, Self Employed QuickBooks doesn’t have migration functionality, which makes it less ideal as far as scalability is concerned.

Limited Capabilities

Since this software program is designed to help contractors and freelancers manage their businesses, someone would forgive us to say that the platform lacks sufficient capabilities compared to its competitors out there.

The software is largely identical to an expense tracker or tax software, particularly comparing it with other QuickBooks products. 

So, it’s you to make the decision. That’s especially if you need to carry out extra accounting or bookkeeping responsibilities. You might need to look out for other better options if you feel that this one may not satisfy your needs. 

Using QB Self Employed

We have looked at the various plan options and their prices. Also, we have looked at some advantages and disadvantages of Intuit Self Employed. From there, we should now look at how the software actually works.

Connect Accounts

After creating your QB account and you can do QuickBooks Self Employed login without issues, the next step to take should be to connect your credit card and bank accounts.

To do that, easily navigate to the “Transactions” area on your dashboard and input your account details. From there, select the settings of your account import. And you can carry out this procedure on your computer or from the QuickBooks application installed on your smartphone. 

You can import, add receipts or import expenses on the go manually. However, the simplest and most convenient way to get yourself started streamlining your procedures and tracking expenses is to connect your accounts. 

Explore your Home Dashboard

We might have mentioned that this software program comes with an intuitive and user-friendly home dashboard. You won’t struggle to access the various features and navigate through the dashboard. 

There are only 5 tabs on the left section from where you can easily go through your miles, transactions, reports, taxes, and invoices. Similarly, the QuickBooks app for mobile is also user-friendly and tracking expenses is even simpler. 

Using the dashboard, it’s easy and quick for you to see details of your bank accounts and credit cards, expenses, loss statement as well as profit. When you click on one of these reports, you’ll get comprehensive information about the same.

What’s more, Intuit Self Employed can sort out your personal expenses to allow you to simply separate your business financial data.

Review Transactions

When you click the button “Review Now”, available at the top section of the homepage, you can go through your transactions statement. In the transactions statement, you can view your business income, profit, and spending. 

You can also sort the spending as personal or business and even separate transactions to ensure a track of your purchases where personal and business supplies can be mixed. Moreover, it’s easier for you to add categories so that you can organize further your expenses, making it easy to locate your tax deductions.  

In addition to that, you can create trending rules and predictable payments or expenses to make it easier for you to automate your data entry. However, you won’t be able to add a new category or journal entry because they are limited to Schedule C groups. 

Additionally, you can include new transactions and simply import receipts. And when you’re using the QB app for mobile, you can utilize the receipt capturing feature in taking a screenshot of a paper receipt and then connect it to one of the expenses. 

How to Track Your Mileage

Within the “Miles” or “Trips” section of the QuickBooks Self Employed, you can auto-track your miles. When you use the platform online, you’ll realize how easy it is to add individual notes, trips, and much more.

That means you don’t need to necessarily estimate your miles at the end of the year. What’s more, it’s easy to enable GPS via the QuickBooks mobile app and track your trips automatically. 

Sort-Out Deductions & Taxes

Within the system’s Taxes tab, you’ll be able to set up a tax profile and estimate your yearly or quarterly tax payments, as well as set up reminders. That will allow you to prepare well for your business tax period and ensure that you’re not missing any deadline. 

See Profit & Loss Reports

Go to the “Reports” area and easily see your profits and losses statements. The statements summarize your expenses and income to let you know about your profitability. Additionally, you can view the Tax Summary and see all your taxable profit and Schedule C deduction totals. Moreover, nothing should limit you from accessing the “Tax Details” tab, which highlights transaction details by groups. If you wish to download the statements, save and access them as Excel files, you can also do so. 

Send or Track Invoices

Self Employed QuickBooks also offers you the capability of creating and tracking invoices through the “Invoices” tab on the dashboard of the platform. Also, you can enable “QuickBooks Payments” and let your clients pay invoices through the internal payment processing system online. 

QuickBooks Self Employed Alternatives

We looked at the pros and cons of QuickBooks Self Employed online with an aim of helping you to decide whether or not the software is what you need for your business needs. So, while you way your options, it’s almost inevitable not to explore the system’s top alternatives or competitors.

By so doing, you’ll find out whether there’s another better option on the market that could serve your business needs better. You might be looking for extra features or scalability or even more cost-friendliness and in that case, you won’t lack some options to consider. 

However, it’s important to remember that Intuit Self Employed is the most popular software out there so far, and for a good reason. Therefore, don’t think too much, we recommend that you try the software, and even though it has its cons, the software is surely worth the money.

QuickBooks Self Employed Online

As we mentioned in the introduction, QuickBooks Self Employed is specifically designed to cater to independent contractors and freelancers. However, if you’re considering a suitable alternative, then QuickBooks Online happens to be a better option, particularly for small business owners.

QuickBooks Online is available in four different subscription plans and the costs range from $25 to $150 per month. This QB Self Employed alternative comes with the ability to accommodate many more small business owners. 

Additionally, QuickBooks Self Employed Online offers more advanced features for accepting payments, invoicing, running financial statements, sales tax, managing estimates, and bills. That means it offers a solution that can cover a wide range of accounting requirements and can even be a great option for a growing business.

Final Thought

There’s not much to say in this section. But we can’t end the article without emphasizing that QuickBooks Self Employed is suitable for contractors and freelancers. If you’re one of these professionals who’s looking to better organize their financial matters, this software platform is one of the best for your needs.

It’s affordable and comes with advanced capabilities to manage expenses, track miles, prepare taxes, and help you to streamline and automate your procedures. 

However, the fact that the software has its own set of cons goes without saying. Even though the platform is great, it lacks a few useful accounting features, which can be very essential to a growing business. 

Fortunately, there can’t be any alternatives to consider if you must and QuickBooks Self Employed Online can serve you well. However, remember that you can create a free account and enjoy the 30-day trial to end the doubts.

Frequently Asked Questions – QB Self Employed

1. What’s QuickBooks Self Employed?

Assists self-employed persons in tracking their business transactions. This solution helps in calculating federal estimated taxes according to the data of your business. QuickBooks for Self Employed helps you make quarterly estimated tax payments and file your Schedule C together with your yearly tax return.

2. What do you need to be a Self-Employed?

  1. You do business or trade as an independent contractor or a sole proprietor.
  2. You’re a member of an association that does business or trade.
  3. You’re in business or profession for yourself.
  4. You create Schedule C categories and file your business taxes as part of your 1040.

3. What can QB Self Employed Do for Me?

QuickBooks can help you in organizing your business expenditure and maximizing its deductions. It can also help you to track business miles you’ve driven and in claiming the business mileage deduction. Additionally, QuickBooks can help you determine your business profitability and calculate your estimated tax payments.

You’ll be able to put your expenditure into the right Schedule C classes and export your reports to a user-friendly Schedule C. Moreover, it gives help you in connecting to Turbo Tax to enjoy faster year-end filing. The free QuickBooks Self Employed app for mobile devices will also allow you to review transactions and track mileage automatically straight from your smartphone.

4. What are the features I will enjoy when I update to Turbo Tax Bundle?

When you update the Turbo Tax bundle, you’ll enjoy all the features in QuickBooks and others. You’ll be able to pay your quarterly estimated taxes virtually and quickly export Schedule C to Turbo Tax and file. Lastly, you can also file one state and one federal tax return in Turbo Tax Home as well as business for free.


Whether only one person or a few run your business and you don’t have the overhead apart from a computer and your cell phone, QuickBooks will still help you a big deal. It will help you in handling your financial matters more conveniently. Subscribe for the Intuit QuickBooks Self Employed of your choice and reap the best out of your small business.

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by Alexa Edwards on 247Customerservicenumber

Great products from QB, I used QuickBooks self employed from last couple of years for track invoices and calculate tax estimations. this helped me to reduce time during tax season. Thanks to QB.