Statistics show that 40 percent of small business owners consider bookkeeping and calculating taxes the most unappealing aspect of running a business according to score.org. About 47 percent of respondents hate the financial costs, and 10 percent dislike having to keep up with ever-changing regulations.
Apps for Critical Business Needs
Today’s intuitive apps for businesses offer simple ways to keep on top of your business records while commuting, traveling to clients or working at home. You can do payroll or generate W-2 forms while waiting for the game on New Year’s Day. You probably won’t need all 12 of the must-have apps, but you can choose the apps that are best suited to your business, company size and other criteria. Some of the must-have business accounting apps for today’s lean and mobile businesses include:
WagePoint, the online payroll service for businesses, solves one of the most challenging issues for business owners–keeping accurate payroll, deducting the right amounts, filing reports and delivering payroll on-time. There is no business task that is more mission-critical. The online service, which you can access from a mobile app, handles direct deposits, new hire onboarding, contractor payments and deductions for local, state and federal taxes. The service also handles the onerous duties of deducting court-ordered withholding and printing W-2 forms at the end of the year.
There are no setup fees. Semi-monthly and bi-weekly payrolls cost a $20 base fee and $2 for each employee. Weekly payroll costs a $10 base, and quarterly payroll costs a $75 base fee. Payroll preparation typically generates costly errors when self-prepared. A professional online payroll service can ensure that employees are classified correctly, and the service keeps you informed about evolving labor regulations.
The Expensify app, which automates expense reporting, is designed for staff members and outside salespeople. The app offers one-click receipt scans, next-day reimbursements, automated workflow approvals and automatic synchronization with your record-keeping software. It’s also used by some of the most respected companies in the world including Uber, Forbes, Snapchat, Square, Pinterest and CBS Interactive. Additionally, it can even flag receipts that require staff approval. The cost for the service is $5 per month for each active user during the month.
The Xero mobile bookkeeping app allows you to manage your business from any iOS or Android device. You can upload your receipts with your phone’s camera and review the receipts of your staff to approve expenses. The app allows you to store critical customer information, send invoices immediately after completing work and set custom levels of access. You can try Xero for free and choose from Starter, Standard and Premium plans that run between $9 and $70 per month.
4. Google Analytics
Google Analytics, while not exactly an app, is a critical service that allows you to monitor your apps, improve the customer experience, increase conversion rates and gain critical insights into your marketing efforts. The basic service is free for anyone to use, and you can measure the impact of any business apps that you’re using.
The FreeAgent app is great for non-accountant types who need a reliable app to track expenses, monitor payments and sync your bank account. Data is always backed up to the cloud, so you never lose information.
Payroll is such a critical area for businesses that this list includes two services. The second recommended payroll app, Gusto, advertises that its service is easier to use than other payroll services. The plans start at $45 per month, and it might be a better deal for some companies depending on their needs. The app makes it easy to enroll in health benefit plans, deal with IRAs and 401(k)s and file monthly or quarterly payroll reports at local, state and federal tax departments.
The Wave app, which handles business invoicing, is a great investment for small business owners because you can use the app to send professional-quality receipts, invoices and payments. Even neighborhood businesses can look like multimillion-dollar companies. The app accepts credit cards and bank payments, so your company gets paid faster. The most amazing thing about this app is that it’s free–free software for invoicing, bookkeeping and receipt scanning. However, you will pay for the POS system that allows you to accept mobile payments. Each credit card transaction costs $0.30 plus 2.9 percent of the total, and bank debits cost 1 percent of the total with a minimum charge of $1.00.
The Pushover app for simple notifications works with Android, iOS and desktop devices, and you can use it to send unlimited push notifications. The app comes with a free seven-day trial, and the system integrates with other Web apps, software and almost every programming language.
9. Need a Budget
The Need a Budget app is ideal for businesses that must focus on cash flow to survive. Planning and tracking expenses can make the difference between having enough inventory for the busy season and struggling to earn enough income to cover basic expenses. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of reduced cash flow because of slow-paying clients, financing difficulties and seasonal slowdowns, but this intuitive app can generate a budget based on uploaded bank statements. If cash flow is a problem, this app offers an ideal solution for proactively financing your business through careful budgeting.
The FreshBooks mobile app is free to try and works with both Android and iOS phones and tablets. The app includes almost all the features that are available on full versions of the software, so you can handle your record-keeping chores while on the go. The basic plan costs $15 per month, and you can bill up to five clients. The Plus plan–at $25 per month–allows you to bill 50 clients. If you have more clients, the Premium plan costs $50 per month. Also under this plan you can bill and manage up to 500 clients. FreshBooks includes time-tracking and project-management tools. It costs $10 to add each employee to the system.
Nutcache, This app is perfect for invoicing and time management needs. This will help your business to create an unlimited amount of invoices, adding your logo, and sending them in bulk to your various client. The features that it offers are for expenses, reporting, and online payments. It will also allow you to communicate with customers globally with its multilingual interface!
Their pro plan is $5 per user/per month when paid on an annual basis, and $6 on a month to month basis. The other plan is the Enterprise. This will cost $12 per user/per month on an annual basis, and $15 when paid monthly.
The Kashoo app facilitates using the cloud to keep the books. Kashoo offers a 14-day free trial, and the powerful app is ideal for smaller businesses and owners who have little or no experience in bookkeeping. Owners can choose from monthly or annual payment plans, and the software comes with four introductory videos that walk customers through basic entry tasks. The app doesn’t include any predefined or custom documents, but seven invoice templates are included. There are no hidden fees, and the plan costs $19.95 per month.