Accounting software for artists

If you are an artist, chances are you have yet to discover accounting software. If so, now is the time to implement a solid system of tracking your finances. You work too hard for your money to be going anywhere other than where it is already headed; right? The good news is there are incredible software programs out there that will help you get started with budgeting and tracking your spending habits fast.

Accounting software for visual artists is vital for business and tax purposes. Whether you’re an independent freelancer, run a small creative agency or are part of a larger organization, business and accounting can be a proper headache. Good bookkeeping and organized accounting records is also crucial to your survival as an artist — it makes you organized, saves you time and money while also making sure to be in compliance with financial regulations.

We know that being an artist is tough. You have to think about your art, and you also have to worry about the business side of things.

We’re here to help. We’ve created a simple accounting software for artists that is specifically designed to be easy to use, but still gives you all the tools you need to keep track of your finances and make sure your money is where it needs to be.

Accounting software for artists

Whether self-employed or employed by a company, artists have to think about many different aspects of their careers. However, one thing that artists often overlook is the administrative burden of tracking expenses and generating invoices.

Best Accounting Software For Artists

If the accounting tasks seem too daunting or time-consuming for you, then it may be time to look into using accounting software for the specific needs of artists. We’ll explore some options in this article as well as ways in which most artists can take advantage of these programs. Below you can find the list of best accounting software for artists available on the market with their pros and cons.

Our Top 5 Accounting Software For Artists

  • 1. Best Overall: Bonsai 99
  • 2. Best for Small Business: Xero 95
  • 3. Best Tax Support: QuickBooks Self-Employed 92
  • 4. Best Complete Accounting Solution: Wave 91
  • 5. Best Easy-to-Use Software: FreeAgent 87

Best Accounting Software For Artists Reviews

1. Best Overall: FreshBooks


Our rating: ★★★★★

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FreshBooks is web-based accounting software that allows you to track your time, track clients, work with invoices and estimates, and more. I’ve always found it easy to use because all the features are intuitive. There are also tons of templates you can customize, making tracking your projects easier than ever before. The customer service is incredible as well; if there’s ever something wrong with your account, they’ll get it fixed right away without any hassle or due dates.

FreshBooks Review

Before FreshBooks, the process for tracking time was extremely tedious and time-consuming, but even worse was the lack of a unified way to track billable hours. With FreshBooks, I can run an invoice and see how much I’ve spent on bills and project expenses all in one place. It’s awesome – and a huge time saver!

At first, I was skeptical about switching from QuickBooks Pro to FreshBooks because it was web-based, but it now feels like the perfect fit for my small studio.

2. Best for Small Business: Xero


Our rating: ★★★★★

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Introducing a new way to keep your books and records in the cloud. Xero is a business management app for artists, designers, freelancers, and many other small business owners who need to run their work from anywhere. You can use Xero on your phone, tablet, or computer. Invoicing and invoicing tracking have been simplified with quicker access to accounts and new payment modes like direct deposit. 

Xero Review

Xero has been designed from the ground up for small business owners. When setting up your account, you can choose your tax year and even add in expenses as they happen. So when booking flights to early season ski competitions, travel can be added into the current year rather than needing to wait until after the event is over or claim these costs as next year’s income. 

Another advantage of Xero is access from any device. You don’t have to carry around hundreds of receipts. Instead, all accounting information can be digitized and accessed wherever you are, whenever you need it.

3. Best Tax Support: QuickBooks Self-Employed

QuickBooks Self-Employed

Our rating: ★★★★★

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QuickBooks Self-Employed is the perfect tool for artists who are self-employed or anyone who needs to keep track of their independent work. With this software, you can organize sales and income by tax year, set hours per month, enter payments and bills as they come in, so you don’t miss anything important (which will help you avoid getting audited), and manage your expenses with ease — all with no long-term commitments. No need to buy or update anything: your QuickBooks Self-Employed data will grow with you.

QuickBooks Self-Employed Review

This self-employed edition of QuickBooks includes the basics for tracking taxes, keeping track of customers and bills, and organizing income and expenses. If you’re already using QuickBooks on a business or personal computer, this is the simple way to keep track of your business from your computer. Just save new transactions, copy them to a file, and then save the file again.

QuickBooks Self-Employed is easy to use and highly customizable. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can enter all transactions for your business, including sales tax payments.

4. Best Complete Accounting Solution: Wave

Wave Accounting

Our rating: ★★★★★

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Some artists may experience difficulty keeping track of their finances and estimating how much income they can realistically expect from their work. Wave is a simple, elegant, and intuitive way for you to keep track of your finances. Wave is designed with the needs of artists in mind, with features like calendar views that allow you to see where your income came from to predict future earnings. The software also provides estimates on how much money you can expect to make based on your history, which can be helpful when deciding whether or not it would be worth pursuing some new endeavor.

Wave Review

Wave Features

  • A calendar view that shows income by day, month, or year.
  • A simple interface that gives you access to your current numbers without a lot of clutter.
  • Ability to add customized reports. This feature can help you track income, expenses, and other financial metrics in the way that works best for you. For example, you can choose to have reports sent directly to your email account. 

Work with a bookkeeper or accountant. They can also take advantage of these features to pull some data into their accounting software for artists and make better-informed decisions about what they need from you to do their job properly.

5. Best Easy-to-Use Software: FreeAgent


Our rating: ★★★★★

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FreeAgent is a new take on accounting for artists. So many features make this software a standout choice – from bill reminders to an intuitive invoicing system and even the ability to generate all your reports at the touch of a button. 

FreeAgent Review

Let’s take a look at some of those features in more detail below:

  • Manage income, expenses, invoicing & reporting with ease.
  • FreeAgent is packed with features that help you manage your finances, including online banking support and handy reminders to keep on top of your invoices. Plus, all of your essential reports can easily be generated at the touch of a button.
  • Keep on top of your income and expenses with reminders and billing alerts.
  • The software automatically reminds you when you have an invoice or payment due, helping you manage your cash flow. Plus, FreeAgent’s dashboard enables you to keep track of all your key figures – from turnover to average profit per client – so you can see at a glance how business is going.

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