You're thinking of stepping up your bookkeeping game with a software program as an independent contractor for gig companies like Grubhub, Doordasy, Uber Eats, Lyft and others, you're wondering about if there's a good alternative to Quickbooks Self Employed, and then you found the Godaddy Bookkeeping program.
Is it a good alternative? Is it a good program for independent contractors to track their income and expenses? How easy is it to use? What's it going to cost?
Or maybe you never heard of Godaddy Bookkeeping until just now.
GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping! Starting at just $4.99*/mo!
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An overview of GoDaddy Bookkeeping
GoDaddy bookkeeping is an easy to use bookkeeping program designed for self employed individuals who file their business taxes using a Schedule C.
That description would fit most of us who deliver with Grubhub, Uber Eats, Doordash, Postmates and others. It also fits most rideshare drivers with Uber and Lyft.
It's designed to be easy to get started, easy to use, and to provide the information you need when filing your taxes.
And it's competitively priced. That's never a bad thing.
Who ever heard of Godaddy Bookkeeping?
I first used the program when it was known as Outright. At the time I was buying and selling bikes and bike components. It was (and continues to be) one of the best platforms for connecting to and automating the bookkeeping processes for online sales.
Because of that I think it's better known among the reseller community.
In 2012 Godaddy purchased the program, and eventually rebranded it as GoDaddy Bookkeeping.
What exactly is GoDaddy Bookkeeping?
GoDaddy bookkeeping is meant for the self employed individual to easily track income and expenses. It was originally designed to help contractors estimate what they would owe in quarterly taxes and evolved into a book keeping solution.
It is not a full blown accounting package. Neither is Quickbooks Self Employed. It is designed for organizing the income and expenses easily and in a format that works well for the reporting of taxes for sole proprietors or self employed individuals who use Schedule C for their taxes.
Mileage is prominent. This is important obviously for those of us who use our cars a lot.
Looking at the features of GoDaddy Bookkeeping
One thing that a lot of independent contractors for Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, Lyft and others will like is that it's easy to use and easy to get set up.
The program is pretty much ready to go. There's really not any lengthy interview process or customizing. It's designed to track your expenses and organize them in a way that you can easily pull up the information to fill out your Schedule C come tax time.
You do have the ability to link to your bank account. This capability allows them to shine over just about anyone when it comes to selling things on eBay, Etsy and Amazon. For gig economy workers who have everything deposited into their personal checking account, I don't really recommend doing this because then you have to wade through all your personal transactions.
That said, I don't think it's a great idea having everything deposited into your personal checking account. If you have an account for your business, this can save a ton of time when it comes to keeping your records.
The other thing you may end up doing is adding some expense and income categories. We'll get into that in a bit.
Recording your income.
Remember that this program is designed around a Schedule C. The IRS asks for one thing on your income – your total money coming in. You may have some things that adjust that income, especially if you sell stuff, but as delivery contractors we rarely have to bother with the other lines.
When you record your income, the default with GoDaddy Bookkeeping is for you to list it as sales. It's pretty much that simple.
Personally, I prefer to break my income down. I like to have a running total of how much I received from Grubhub, Doordash, Uber Eats and others. This is because sometimes these companies get it wrong when they send you your 1099 (especially Doordash)
GoDaddy Bookkeeping has some flexibility that makes it a good alternative over Quickbooks Self Employed in that you can add income categories for Grubhub, Doordash, Uber Eats, or any other gig company you deliver for. Quickbooks Self Employed does not give you that functionality.
If you have linked to a business bank account, your deposits will be automatically downloaded and you just have to select the income category. Otherwise you can easily click on Add Transaction, enter your information, and if you have set up income categories, select that category.
Obviously, the Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats categories don't come standard but it's easy to add them. Click on Manage > Income Categories and then choose New Income Category.
Recording your Expenses.
Recording expenses is pretty simple as well. You select Expenses, then “Add Expense,” enter your information and click Save.
If you have an expense that involves more than one category, you can split the expense. A common example would be your cell phone, where you might have the lease payment for the phone and your data service.
GoDaddy Bookkeeping tries to make this as easy as possible by not including EVERY expense category in the Schedule C. They stick to the ones that are most likely going to be used by a sole proprietor or independent contractor. You won't see “Depletion” or “Wages” for example.
I think this is a good thing in general. It's designed for people who aren't accustomed to accounting. Too many categories can be confusing.
You may find that some expense categories that were left out may need to be added. If you have interest on a business loan for example, or property taxes on your vehicle, you may need to add categories for those things.
They also did not include general car expenses. I understand that because it can create confusion. Claiming your miles is almost always better than claiming actual expenses. That said, I do think it's a good practice to track both.
Speaking of claiming miles
GoDaddy Bookkeeping does do a good job integrating your miles that you drive into the total picture.
Some of the larger accounting packages will let you enter your miles but they don't really include that mileage expense into their immediate profit statement.
When you click on Expenses, you can click on Mileage and then enter your miles for the day there.
The IRS requires you keep a mileage log that includes date, number of miles, where you went, and the business purpose of your trip.
One thing that GoDaddy Bookkeeping does not have that Quickbooks Self Employed and a couple of other bookkeeping options for independent contractors do have: They do not have a GPS mileage tracker. They do have a mobile app. However, that app only lets you enter your miles in much the same way.
That said, one thing I appreciate is that your miles that you add will update your total profit (the green number at the top right of the screenshot).
The reporting is pretty basic. Essentially, you can get a Profit and Loss statement and customize it to show the whole year, one month, or a custom range.
GoDaddy BookKeeping can show you charts or a table view. While the charts provide a nice glance at how you're doing, I tend to prefer the detail of the table view.
I should point out that in testing this, I only put some quarterly numbers in so there's no entries in some of the months. Just in case it looks odd to anyone.
There are a few other reports. Most really aren't going to do much for us. You can pull a report of your “Types of income” and a breakdown of “Your Spending” but those are pretty much summarized in the Profit and Loss report.
Reporting is the main difference between the $4.99 plan and the $9.99 plan.
For the $4.99 per month plan with GoDaddy Bookkeeping you can get all the income and expense tracking and the basic Profit and Loss reporting.
The main benefit for the next tier is the reporting. In particular what you get are:
- The ability to run reports for previous years. In the basic plan you can only do a report for the current year.
- Some additional tax reports.
Do you NEED that additional tier? I think it depends. Because the categories more or less line up with your Schedule C reporting categories, the Profit and Loss statement may well give you all you need.
The biggest limitation that I see with the cheapest plan is not being able to pull reports from previous years. Of course, that won't matter much if you've been using it less than a year. There are ways you can work around it, such as downloading your transactions and sorting them in a spreadsheet. At that point, is it more worth it to spend the extra money?
The tax reports can be helpful.
One of your main reasons for keeping records in the first place is the taxes. I do think there are a couple of things in GoDaddy Bookkeeping's tax section that can be useful.
Essentially the overview page is another version of your profit and loss report, just not in as much detail. The one big difference is that it breaks it down into Schedule C categories instead of some of the expense categories you would see in the profit and loss.
An example in the screenshot above is the Rent or lease line item. In the GoDaddy categories, they had it as “Phone Lease.” They made it easier for you to choose the category, but then they report it in the tax report as the line item you would see on your Schedule C.
One thing I really like that GoDaddy Bookkeeping does that Quickbooks Self Employed doesn't is they provide a Schedule C worksheet. They more or less print out a Schedule C for you that you can then just copy your numbers over into your tax form, and you're done.
This isn't a necessity, but it does make it easier for folks who aren't as comfortable with how the schedule C works.
The estimated taxes aren't quite as helpful.
Another tab they provide that can be helpful is the Estimated Taxes. It's great if you need someone to tell you what to set aside. GoDaddy does that.
In my example they didn't exactly do it right. The example above included transactions from the second and third quarter. The report here gives totals to pay in for the 3rd and 4th. The problem is that the 4th quarter total isn't for the quarter, it's for the total year.
I'm not sure why they do it that way.
In the end, this isn't really all that necessary. All they are doing is figuring a percent of your profit. It's more or less 25%.
This is the one tax component where I think Quickbooks Self Employed works a bit better. With QBSE they gather information about your filing status and other income and use that to get a more detailed report.
Personally, I calculate my savings as a simple 20% of my taxable profits. In my tax situation that works very well – the 25%ish amount that GoDaddy uses isn't a bad place to start until you know if you can get by with less.
GoDaddy Bookkeeping has a mobile app that helps with tracking
The mobile app is pretty basic. You can add miles, income, and expenses through the app. You can also get in and edit past transactions if needed.
You can tap on the income and expense icons and get lists of transactions. You can also hit the plus sign to add income, mileage, or an expense.
You also have the ability to take a picture of receipts, allowing you to store documentation of your expenses.
The one thing the mobile app does not have is a mileage tracker. You can manually enter your miles. However, there is no automatic mileage tracking.
My overall impression of GoDaddy Bookkeeping
Personally, I think it's a great alternative over Quickbooks Self Employed for those of us who are independent contractors for apps like Doordash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Lyft and others.
If I had to choose one or the other, I would go with GoDaddy. That's my personal preference. The main reasons are:
- It's as easy to use if not easier
- It is more flexible. You can customize your spending categories and break things down into detail, where Quickbooks Self Employed does not have that capability.
- It costs less. As low as $4.99 per month depending on what level of reporting you want.
I think it has a couple of disadvantages compared to Quickbooks Self Employed.
- Quickbooks Self Employed is better known among accounting and tax professionals and may be easier for them to work with.
- QBSE has automatic mileage tracking in their mobile app, which some people prefer.
- QBSE has a bit more precise tax savings estimate based on your total tax picture.
When you boil it all down, the ability to break down spending and income using customizable categories is the major thing that sways my decision towards GoDaddy BookKeeping.
If you're a beginner, I think this could be one of the best options for getting started with your bookkeeping. It's inexpensive and it's easy to get started and to use. If you want more advanced bookkeeping you're probably looking at more advanced programs like Quickbooks (not Self Employed) or Freshbooks.
Where to get bookkeeping options:
The following are affiliate links. I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.
Subscribe to QuickBooks Self-Employed in the app and save up to 50% monthly
Download the QuickBooks Self-Employed app for a free 30-day trial
You can also check out Hurdlr – Stay tuned for reviews on their app.
If you are looking for something more advanced:
QuickBooks Online Edition – Free Trial
You can also check out Freshbooks. Read the FreshBooks 3rd Annual Self-Employment Report to see their approach to self employed accounting.