Free Online Recordkeeping For Home Business And Freelancers

by Ed Martin

Recordkeeping is always a pain, especially when you have lots of transactions such as with an eBay account. I’ve been using a free online system that makes this whole process easier for freelancers, home businesses, or anybody who is self-employed.  It lets you easily handle your bookkeeping tasks so you can spend more time on making money and less time tracking it. With tax season around the corner, it is never too soon to start thinking about getting ready for it.

Outright Simple
The system is called Outright, and it really is simple to use. Navigation is a breeze. There are forms for manual entry of incomes and expenses, as well as the ability to import both from PayPal, eBay, credit cards, or your own spreadsheet with a .csv file. If you use FreshBooks or Shoeboxed, Outright has an interfacae with them as well. Oh, it’s Mac friendly, too.

Outright will do tax calculations for you, prepare a simple profit and loss table and let you generate some reports so you can see, for example who your best customer is or track expenses by vendor or category. They are detailed enough to provide all that you need. The service also lets you set up an account if you need to let your accountant or bookkeeper access your data.

There are some shortcomings. The chief one is that there is no invoicing or check writing in Outright. You can use Freshbooks for invoicing, but you do have to pay for that monthly service.  You can also consider Intuit Quick Books Simple Start, which is also free and quite a nice system as well. I’ll take a look at it later.

Terms of Service
Outright is password protected and the data is encrypted. There are no real guarantees about system availability or suport, but that is the usual case with online apps. The safe practice is to backup your data regularly no matter where you store it. The entire are available and I encourage you to read it first.

Outright’s current service is free and they say it will remain so. They do say they plan to introduce new, paid options and fee-based services in the future, but the core service for self employed individuals will remain free. The system is set up just for Schedule C filers and LLCs right now. US users only.

If you are comfortable with cloud computing (that means on the internets) then Outright is a good recordkeeping system to consider. It’s easy and you can’t beat the price.

Outright Disclosure
I am just a user and don’t have any affiliation with Outright. or Intuit. I’ve tested Outright some and found it useful, so I’m passing it along to you to check out for yourself as an alternative to buying a recordkeeping program or making one yourself.

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