The Best Accounting Software for Journalists

February 20, 2024
5
minutes to read
by
Justin Bohlmann
Table of Contents

As a journalist, the importance of accurate accounting can't be overstated. Keeping track of irregular income, claiming necessary expenses and simplifying tax filing can be a daunting task, especially if you're new to freelancing. Thankfully, accounting software can simplify these tasks, make your financial life easier and help you to focus on what matters - your work.

Why Journalists Need Accounting Software

Journalism is a fast-paced and exciting industry, but it can also be a challenging one for freelancers. Unlike full-time employees, freelancers often have to manage their finances in a more hands-on way. This can be a difficult task, especially when it comes to tax time. However, accounting software can help you keep track of your finances, make invoicing easier and can be a game-changer when it comes to tax time.

Managing Irregular Income

Journalism is known for its unpredictable income streams. Some weeks you might have an abundance of work, and others, not so much. This irregularity can make it difficult to manage your finances and plan for the future. However, with accounting software, you can keep track of your income for the year, allowing you to manage unpredictability and keep your finances stable.

For example, you can use the software to create a budget and set financial goals for the year. This will help you to plan for the months when work is scarce and ensure that you have enough money to cover your expenses.

Tracking Expenses and Deductions

Expenses and deductions can be a headache for any freelancer. However, with specialised accounting software, you can easily track these expenses and deductions and ensure that you claim everything you're entitled to. This ensures that you're paying the least amount of tax while helping to maximise your earnings.

For instance, you can use the software to keep track of your receipts, invoices, and other financial documents. This will make it easier to claim deductions for expenses such as travel, equipment, and office supplies. Additionally, you can use the software to categorise your expenses and generate reports that will help you to identify areas where you can cut costs.

Simplifying Tax Filing

When tax time rolls around, many freelancers often find themselves scrambling to make sense of their finances. However, with accounting software, tax time doesn't have to be stressful. These tools can generate reports, calculate the correct amount of taxes owed and ensure that tax filing is a breeze.

For example, you can use the software to generate a profit and loss statement, which will help you to calculate your taxable income. Additionally, the software can help you to identify deductions and credits that you may be eligible for, ensuring that you pay the least amount of tax possible.

Accounting software is a must-have tool for any journalist who wants to manage their finances effectively. By using these tools, you can keep track of your income, track your expenses and deductions, and simplify the tax filing process. So, if you're a freelance journalist, consider investing in accounting software today.

Top Accounting Software Options for Journalists

As a journalist, keeping track of your finances can be a daunting task. You need to ensure that you're getting paid for your work, while also managing your expenses and taxes. This is where accounting software comes in handy. It can help you stay organised and keep track of your finances, so you can focus on your writing.

Now that you understand why specialised accounting software is essential, let's take a closer look at some of the top options in the market.

1. Thriday (Top Pick)

Thriday is a perfect accounting software solution for journalists, addressing their specific financial management needs. It offers features like expense tracking and transaction categorisation, allowing journalists to easily monitor their expenses and classify transactions for accurate reporting. Thriday's capabilities for tax and BAS lodgments simplify the tax compliance process, ensuring journalists meet their obligations efficiently. Additionally, the software assists with payment management and cash flow tracking, providing journalists with insights into their income and expenses for better financial control.

Thriday BAS Lodgment

2. QuickBooks

QuickBooks Online is a widely-used accounting software. It's a cloud-based platform that allows you to access your financial data from anywhere, at any time. With QuickBooks, you can track expenses and give clients the ability to pay invoices online. You can also add apps to the platform to further optimise your accounting needs.

One of the great things about QuickBooks Online is that it's user-friendly and easy to navigate. You don't need to be an accounting expert to use it. It's perfect for journalists who want to manage their finances without spending too much time on it.

3. Xero

Xero is a cloud-based accounting software that offers everything a freelancer needs, from invoicing to expense tracking. Xero can also integrate with other apps, making it simple to connect your accounting to other platforms.

One of the unique features of Xero is its dashboard. It provides a real-time overview of your financial data, so you can see how your business is performing at a glance. This can be incredibly useful for journalists who want to stay on top of their finances without spending too much time on it.

Key Features to Look for in Accounting Software

When it comes to finding the best accounting software for journalists, there are specific features that you should keep in mind. However, before we dive into that, let's understand what accounting software is and how it can benefit journalists.

Accounting software is a computer program that helps businesses manage their financial transactions and accounts. It automates many of the processes involved in accounting, such as invoicing, payment processing, and expense tracking. This software can be incredibly beneficial for journalists who work as freelancers or have their own small businesses.

Ease of Use

The last thing any journalist wants is complicated accounting software. Look for options that have intuitive interfaces that make it easy to get started. You don't want to spend hours learning how to use a program when you could be working on your next story. Additionally, some software options offer tutorials and customer support to help you navigate the software with ease.

Invoicing and Payment Processing

One of the essential features to look out for is invoicing and payment processing. You want a platform that can create clean, professional invoices that get paid quickly, making the process of getting paid stress-free. Additionally, some software options offer payment reminders and automatic payment processing to save you time and hassle.

Expense Tracking

Freelancers rely on tracking expenses to maximise their earnings. Look for software options that allow you to track expenses easily and even categorise them automatically. Some software even offers the ability to scan receipts and automatically input expense information, making the process even easier.

Reporting and Analytics

Reporting and analytics can help you gain insight into your finances. Reports can give you a birds-eye view of your income, expenses, profit, and loss. Look for software options that have different customisable reporting features to get the exact information you need. Additionally, some software options offer forecasting tools that can help you plan for the future.

Integration with Other Tools

Integration with other software and tools can save you time and effort. Having the ability to link your accounting software to other platforms, such as online banking or tax software, can make accounting a much more streamlined process. Additionally, some software options offer integrations with project management tools, making it easier to keep track of your finances for specific projects.

Overall, finding the right accounting software for your needs can be a game-changer for your business. It can save you time, reduce stress, and help you make better financial decisions. Keep these key features in mind when searching for the perfect software, and you'll be on your way to success.

Key Takeaways

Specialised accounting software is a necessity for any journalist looking to simplify their finances. From managing irregular income to simplifying tax filing, these tools can make a big difference in your financial life. With a clear understanding of what features are essential and knowing what to look for, finding the right accounting software for your needs will be a breeze. Remember, you don't have to go at it alone when it comes to managing your finances, so why not let software do the heavy lifting while you focus on what you do best- producing amazing stories.

DISCLAIMER: Team Thrive Pty Ltd ABN 15 637 676 496 (Thriday) is an authorised representative (No.1297601) of Regional Australia Bank ABN 21 087 650 360  AFSL 241167 (Regional Australia Bank).  Regional Australia Bank is the issuer of the transaction account and debit card available through Thriday. Any information provided by Thriday is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether Thriday is appropriate for you.

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