Five Mobile Apps To Simplify Small Business Finances
When you’re one of the main players—or the only player—in a small business, “downtime” isn’t really a thing. Sure, you have time away from the office, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be checking your bank balance while you’re standing in line for coffee, scanning expense receipts on a business trip, or following up on past-due invoices while you’re sitting in your doctor’s waiting room. And you know that you’re going to get a call from a vendor asking about a bill the moment you sit down to dinner.
Time is money—even so-called “downtime.” Here are five mobile apps that let you manage your finances wherever you are, whenever you’re there.
Your bank’s app
Most, if not all, major banks offer their own mobile apps, with a variety of standard functions—checking your balance and status of payments, transferring funds, depositing checks, just about anything else you can do at an ATM. If you only have one financial app on your phone, your bank’s app should be it.
Of particular note in this category, however, is Simple, a branchless, web- and mobile-based bank of the future. Because their service is essentially based around their mobile app, every aspect of banking with Simple can be managed from your phone or tablet. The Simple app is free for iOS and Android devices.
QuickBooks users can have access to (some functions of) their account on the road through the QuickBooks app. The app lets users check profit and loss and balance sheets, organize and record expenses, and create, send, and track invoices—which can include a “Pay Now” link for easy payment. Very, very small operations can try QuickBooks Self-Employed, which is specifically designed for freelancers, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals. It helps with tracking mileage and business expenses.
The QuickBooks and QuickBooks Self-Employed apps are both free for iOS and Android devices. The service starts at $13 a month for QuickBooks, and $10 a month for QuickBooks Self-Employed, after a 30-day free trial.
Any small business owner concerned with tracking expenses—in other words, all of them—will appreciate an app that helps report, approve, and manage expenses. Expensify lets users record billable expenses, add cash expenses, duplicate repeated expenses, and scan receipts—it can even create an expense automatically when you scan the receipt, and generate IRS-guaranteed expenses based on your credit card transactions if you lose a receipt. Expensify integrates smoothly with Excel, Evernote, Dropbox, QuickBooks, SAP, Oracle, and a number of other popular programs, and syncs up with the Expensify web app at expensify.com.
The Expensify app is free for iOS and Android devices.
The Xero mobile app communicates with your Xero account to manage your small business finances in the cloud. While all of Xero’s functions aren’t available in the app, you can still send and manage invoices, create expenses and scan receipts, and reconcile it all with your bank, credit card, and PayPal accounts. You can even call customers and vendors from within the app and save notes to sync straight back to Xero.
The Xero app is free for iOS and Android devices. The service starts at $9 a month after a 30-day free trial.
Zoho Books is equal parts bookkeeping and collaboration platform for a small business. The accounting and cash-tracking functions let you create and send estimates and invoices, record and categorize bills and expenses, accept online payments, track time, produce statements and balance sheets, and communicate with your employees (and accountants) in-app. It even provides a client portal so that your clients can track the status of their transactions with your company.
The Zoho app is free for iOS and Android devices. The service starts at $9 a month after a 14-day free trial.