Foxed by spreadsheets? Fed up of losing important receipts? Baffled by taxes? It’s not easy being self employed and handling your money efficiently. Whether you’re a gas engineer or a plasterer, keeping your incomings and outgoings in check is essential. But between drumming up business, performing your daily grind and chasing up invoices, it can be difficult to devote enough time to keeping track of your money. Unfortunately, when the 31st January rolls around (yes, that’s the self-employed tax online deadline) you’re going to wish you’d made the time.

But help is at hand! There are now hundreds of apps and pieces of software you can use to make accounting for your self employed business easier. Ranging from absolutely free, to a couple of hundred a year, these apps will help you get your self employed finances in order, whatever your financial situation.

1. Easy Books

Generate financial reports from the pub, the beach or the school run. Easy Books was designed for use with tablet and smartphone which means you can update and manage your finances on the go – ideal for busy builders and time-strapped plumbers.

2. Earnest

Another multi-device accounting app with some very handy features and a strong slant towards helping you get your tax right. Keep a close eye on your expenses, input income, understand your cashflow and feel confident that you’re keeping enough by to cover your taxes at the end of the year.

3. Arithmo

From around £45 a year, Arithmo promises to keep you “on the money” online. It also claims to be one of the easiest to use platforms out there for self employed people looking to really take care of the books. Offering smart features like bank reconciliation and quick quote generating, this is a tool worth checking out.

4. KashFlow

At £5 per month (with your first 2 months free) KashFlow is an affordable option with a dedicated UK focus. Offering great features like automated invoicing (which will save you days of chasing up payments every year) and integration with Quickbooks, Sage and even Excel spreadsheets, this app makes it very easy to get up and running.

5. Accounts Portal

Offering a free 30 day trial, Accounts Portal is yet another handy app designed to make doing the books a little easier, speeding up invoicing, keeping your records straight and helping you get paid faster – all available for £10 per month.

Are you already using an accounting app or piece of bookkeeping software? What has been your experience? Do you have a preferred system? Share your experience with other tradespeople below.