Setting Up Your Consulting Practice

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Topic: Selecting Bookkeeping Software

Bookkeeping software like QuickBooks is easier to use than a spreadsheet. Many small business accounting software tools like QuickBooks and its competitors provided automation to simplify your bookkeeping.  

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Useful links

  • Umbrex Resource: Accounting & Bookkeeping Services for Consultants
  • Intuit QuickBooks is our top recommendation for bookkeeping software in the U.S.
  • Some independent consultants recommend these alternatives:
  • Xero: Best for client billing at a lower cost than QuickBooks
  • Sage: An affordable QuickBooks alternative with integrations for HR, e-commerce and sales tools
  • FreshBooks: Good for expense tracking and paying subcontractors
  • Wave: Free feature-rich financial software with credit card processing


Set up bookkeeping software for your firm. Now, you may have decided, in the virtual team section, to go and engage a bookkeeper, and outsource bookkeeping to a third party. And if so, that’s great, you don’t need to do this step. If you’re going to do it yourself though, don’t try to use a spreadsheet, Excel or Google Sheet to track all your expenses for the year. It is a huge pain. I did that myself for a few years when I was running my own independent consulting practice, and it’s just a nightmare. Instead, go ahead and get one of the packages.

QuickBooks by Intuit is a great one. They have some fine competitors that work pretty much the same way. With QuickBooks, which I’m more familiar with, you can sync all of your credit cards, you can sync your checking account and any other accounts where you might potentially have expenses, even PayPal. And then you classify those expenses into the categories that you’ve designated. And once you classify a vendor one time as a particular category, the software will then recognize that expense in the future.

So if you’re taking Uber ride and you have an Uber expense on your credit card and you classify that as a taxi. All of the future Uber rides, the software will automatically say, “Hey this is probably a taxi” and then you just have to click all of them and approve it as a taxi. You can also share access to your QuickBooks account or a competing software account with your tax accountant.

They’ll be able to go in; they won’t be able to change things, but they can go in and they can see what you’ve done and they can download all the information into their system. Certainly they’ll have QuickBooks or the other competing software, they’ll be able to integrate with that. So you can provide your tax accountant with a login to your software.