I want to recommend to any photographer thinking of doing freelance to make it a goal of your's to manage the business side of photography as well if not better than the photography side of the business.
fotoBiz X is the best way to manage your business in combination with Quickbooks that I can recommend. The reason I recommend it so highly is because of a few things that for someone starting out needs more than anyone. It costs $299 and is worth the investment.
Probably the number one best selling aspect to the software is the templates that are built into the software. If you don't know how to write up a contract, no problem, there are some boiler plate templates. Everyone of these templates having explanations and help support built into the software. Then if this isn't enough all those who use the software can also go the online community forum to ask those unique questions and see if others have had experience.
The software helps you manage your contacts of your clients and prospects. I think the email templates is one of the best modules of the program.
When starting out you really have no idea how to write a cover letter for anything you may need to do with your business. You can find a email template letter and then after reading the letter you will get a better handle on the topics you need to address. Then after reading the letter the software lets you edit this letter and then you can save it as a template that you use going forward.
The wording in these letters is so professional and will help you get paid on time an thus improving your cash flow for your business.
Their series of collection letters helps you navigate the steps to getting paid from a bad client. Too many young photographers make mistakes of taking collection to a level five threatening letter, when a gentle reminder is sometimes all that is needed.
It also comes with fotoQuote which will help you understand licensing of images and how to price them.
Using fotoQuote with Quickbooks is a great combination. Here is explanation for the integration:
The difference between QuickBooks and fotoBiz is that fotoBiz is written specifically for the independent freelance photographer and as such handles your business and image management in ways that are specific to the industry.
With fotoBiz, your invoicing includes language that protects your intellectual property rights, something a generic program like QuickBooks doesn't do. While fotoBiz helps you to track and run many types of sales reports, it is not intended to be a bookkeeping program. FotoBiz X is designed to be used in conjunction with QuickBooks. You have the options to export a group of invoices (for example by invoice date) or to export individual invoice data. The export will create a file in an .iif format for import into QuickBooks.I can honestly say that my largest mistake running my freelance business for so many years was not buying this software earlier. I am positive that had I bought this and then dedicated some time to study all that it can do that I would have been much more profitable earlier on in my career.
Here are a few videos explaining the software that I recommend you watch.