Here are some solutions to common tax and accounting problems I see often.
Wave - I work with a number of clients that simply need to get invoices out and wave is just low maintenance enough to get that job done without too many hangups.
Business Credit Cards
Chase Business Ink Preferred - One of the best things about owning a business is getting to rack up points on business purchases. Ultimate Rewards points from Chase are super valuable for those travel hackers out there due to their flexibility and conversion features. Once you've got a separate EIN for your business, it's a good idea to build a business credit history and this a great place to start.
DIY Bookkeeping and Quarterly Estimate Calculator
Quickbooks Self-Employed - This service is great for self-employed individuals with few accounts and few categories of expenses. it won't track everything perfectly, but it's much better than no record keeping at all. For cash transactions that Quickbooks Self-Employed doesn't automate for you, either manually enter them or keep a separate spreadsheet and make sure you save the receipts. In fact, Quickbooks Self-Employed allows you to take a photo of receipts and attach it to the transaction so you'v got complete records in case of an audit. Make sure to write why the deduction is relevant to your business on the receipt for lock-tight business deductions. By the way, you can do all of this with an app on your phone.
Gusto - Payroll can get complicated and expensive fast. The big payroll companies (ADP, paychex, etc.) are too expensive for small shops. Gusto is the solution for solo and small entrepreneurs that want a low cost, tech heavy solution to their payroll issues. You can adjust your withholding whenever you want, invite an accountant to your portal, complete, W4s, W9s, 1099s, etc. all online with digital signatures. They have medical and retirement benefit options that are low cost and tech heavy to match their business model.
Retirement Plans for Business Owners / Freelancers
TD Ameritrade Solo 401(k) & SEP-IRA - TD Ameritrade is a low cost leader in the online brokerage space. They have an "open architecture" that allows you to invest in hundreds of mutual funds and ETFs, including Vanguard funds, often with no commissions on your transactions. Their Solo 401(k)s have some of the best features available in the marketplace including 401(k) loans, Roth IRA contributions and the ability to roll an IRA into the 401(k) to assist with a back door Roth contribution. Their SEP IRAs are also great, especially if you need to make a contribution to a tax year that's already passed.
I can help you set up a Solo 401(k) via TD Ameritrade for $500. Please send me an email with “Solo 401k” in the subject line.
Calculating and Updating Your Withholding
IRS Withholding Calculator - I'll often get asked if a client is withholding too much or too little. This handy calculator is faster (and cheaper) than hiring me to do the calculation for you. The user interface leaves something to be desired, but the tool is linked to the latest IRS withholding tables so its accurate. Just turn in a new W4 ( link ) with the suggest withholding to Human Resources and you should be good to go. Make sure you have your latest paystub handy.
Saving for Taxes
Painless 1099 - This service helps you save for tax season by automatically withholding taxes from your freelance income. It's great if you want to emulate payroll so you don't accidentally spend your tax dollars. While this is great for tracking revenue, Quickbooks Self-Employed will help you with expenses in addition to calculating quarterly estimates (which is way easier than the IRS's tools for this calculation).
Please note that none of these links generate commissions or ad revenue for me.