Bookkeeping Made Easy
Bookkeeping. If you are anything like me, the very word makes you gag. For most of us entrepreneurs, it’s one of the least desirable duties of starting or owning a small business. And it can be tricky! Consequently, most advice givers, including the U.S. Small Business Administration, recommend enlisting third-party help. However, in today’s there’s-an-app-for-everything world, bookkeeping may not be as unmanageable as you imagine. From automating invoices to simplifying expense reports, bookkeeping apps are making this little bit of business that much easier.
FreshBooks: Bookkeeping at Its Best
With tons of apps to choose from, you may wonder where to begin. One app in particular has become an absolute sensation (and for good reason). FreshBooks is a user-friendly app that simplifies all facets of bookkeeping:
- It allows you to create and keep track of invoices and other billing documents.
- It also helps you document employees’ hours, letting you track time to specific departments or clients.
- To help handle the billing, this app has an online service that will automatically deal with recurring invoices, saving you time.
Square: Pay it Simple
I ran into this next awesome app at my favorite beauty salon. After the stylist worked her magic and I went to the front desk to pay, I was perplexed to see that there was no cash register. The only piece of hardware at the desk was an iPad. Seeing my look of concern, the stylist informed me of an ingenious app called Square, which allows you to accept payment from your iPhone or iPad. Square accepts any type of major credit card and requires no contracts or monthly fees; the only cost is a simple rate of 2.75% per swipe. The funds per swipe are added to your account the next business day. My stylist was particularly excited by the paperless feature that the app offers: in lieu of a paper receipt, customers receive an eco-friendly paperless receipt via e-mail.
The best part? You can be ready to go in three short steps:
- Download the Square Card Reader app.
- Sign up to receive your free credit card reader.
- Link your bank account and accept your first payment.
Readable Receipts: Expensify
Tracking your business expenses is an essential, if not exciting, entrepreneurial task. Up until now, doing so has meant retaining and organizing countless stacks of receipts. Expensify is an app made to ease the pain of these expenses. Here’s how it works:
- You take a quick snapshot of the receipt.
- Expensify automatically analyzes it and files it.
- The information is entirely editable and may be easily moved, updated, and collated into an expense report.
- Have a vendor with notoriously bad handwriting? No problem. As an added bonus, Expensify is awesome at reading crazy handwriting.
There you go. Another nasty part of business financials out of your way. You’re welcome.
Budget Friendly: Mint
You know how all the different financial accounts you use are in a bunch of different places? And how much of a pain it is to try to get all of that organized? Well, take a deep sigh of relief. A friend of mine recently turned me onto this app and I absolutely love it. Mint takes all of your personal or business financial accounts and puts them into one place. Mint even helps you set a budget, track your goals and do more with your money–all for free! Its features include the following:
- Mint gives you total visibility of your money, by letting you view all your accounts in one place at any time.
- It automatically tracks your goals and budget, providing tips and advice along the way.
- By helping you stay on top of your finances, Mint helps you take care of your business all on your own.
Teaspillers: Revolutionizing Taxes
Sometimes, maybe when it comes to taxes, you still want the help of an accountant. However, as a small-business owner, finding a quality accountant can be costly and time-consuming. Teaspillers has you covered. By providing a platform for business owners and accountants to connect online, Teaspillers boasts it is “chang[ing] the current tax & accounting regime.” You can use the app to search for an accountant who best meets your needs through criteria such as location, user reviews, experience and qualifications. Better yet, you can work with an accountant without ever needing to leave your computer!
These are just a few of the many bookkeeping apps available. With some patience (and a little help from the app gods), you may find DIY bookkeeping is within your reach.