Intuit recently launched a version of its popular cloud-based accounting software, QuickBooks Online, designed specifically for freelance, on-call contractors and other independent small businesses with no employees other than the owner.
QuickBooks Online Self Employed is for freelancers to manage business and personal finances, handle taxes throughout the year and meet compliance requirements, according to Intuit.
This version of Quickbooks moves the product into a niche served by Freshbooks, the cloud-based accounting software that has focused on small freelancers since 2003. As we shared last July, Freshbooks, has raised $30 million in venture funding,
Intuit’s move provides additional recognition of the significance of the growing purchasing power of the self-employed.
Dubbed such names as “on-demand workers,” “sole proprietors,” “solo entrepreneurs,” and many other names, these men and women are the independent works who power Uber, Lyft, Taskrabbit, Etsy and dozens of other talent and skill marketplaces.
Companies increasingly are awakening to the opportunities of catering to this market with digital products that recognize that their needs are different from those of multi-employee small-businesses.
Steve King, a partner in Emergent Research, projects such independent workers will be 43 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020. A separate study by the Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk says the U.S. currently has 53 million freelancers, accounting for 34 percent of the workforce.
“There’s been a gap in the tools they have,” King said. “A lot work part time, or have multiple jobs or several streams of income.” According to King, products like QuickBook Self-employed will be a big help for such individuals in doing their taxes and understanding key metrics in their business.