10 Tools You Can Use to Get Your Business Finances in Order
There is so much to think about when running a business. You need to consider your finances, how and when to do your taxes, producing end of year reports for companies house and HMRC, and so many other tasks.
One of the biggest mistakes that small business owners or solopreneurs make is paying attention only to the actual running of the business and leaving all of their finances and other money matters to their accountant or bookkeeper. Instead of keeping a constant eye on their finances, many solopreneurs only check in at the last minute or simply check their bank account to determine the status of their finances. However, it’s essential that small and medium sized business owners stay on top of all financial matters always, but even more so in those first few years where the business is most likely to struggle with cash flow issues.
Since time is of the essence, and you have so many other tasks to do, you will be pleased to know that there are many tools and apps to help you keep ahead of your finances efficiently. Here are some of our favourites:
1. Wave Accounting: Wave is a web-based accounting app, which not only simplifies your accounting but also means that you can have access to your finances wherever you go. It is great for small businesses as it simple and easy to use. Although it comes with a range of powerful paid-for features, you can just use it as a simple platform to send invoices, scan your receipts and get your accounting done, all for free. However, it is important to note that the customer service can be quite slow if you are using the service for free since you will only have access to email support. If you do want access to telephone and chat support you will need to pay.
2. Xero: This mobile app is excellent for small business double-entry accounting. It has a user-friendly interface and several functions that are capable enough to let you track and manage sales, purchases, stock, and payroll. You can also create records for customers, suppliers, employees, and items, and use these to create transactions, such as invoices, purchase orders, and quotes. Prices range from about £20 to £47 a month.
3. Quickbooks: Quickbooks is an online accounting solution that is most useful to individual accountants and small businesses. The software helps with tracking expenses, drafting invoices, monitoring financial reports, and other accounting needs. Since it offers online use, it is available to you from anywhere, allowing for great flexibility for your organisation. You can also email customers directly and see whether they have viewed the email or not, which is a handy extra feature to maintain contact with customers. It offers a 30-day free trial and then costs you about £4 – £7 a month.
4. Clearbooks: Clearbooks is a simple but smart online accounting software that saves time by managing your accounts in the cloud. This allows you and your employees more flexibility when managing your finances. It allows you to create customisable invoices, track your expenses, generate financial reports and submit your taxes on time. It comes with a 30-day free trial period, thereafter costing you £3 – £7 a month.
5. Freshbooks: This software can be used to manage both your accounts and your projects. Together with tracking payments, expenses and financial reports, you can also manage all your team conversations, files and feedback all in one place. Another useful feature is the automating of time-consuming tasks like organizing expenses and following up with clients. It comes with a 30-day free trial period, thereafter costing you between £12 and £39 a month.
6. Kashflow: This app was designed specifically for small business owners and sole traders. It simplifies your accounting well, making your finances easier to understand and maintain even if you have little or no accounting experience. Together with the usual accounting services, you can also keep track of your employees and their demographics with KashFlow HR. You can use the app for a 14-day free trial and then choose from options between £7 and £18 a month.
7. FreeAgent: FreeAgent is an accounting app that is optimised specifically for smartphone use. It can be used to keep track of your expenses, create invoices and receipts and stay on top of your bank statements. You can also see a comprehensive overview of your business finances at any time and use the in-app timer to record activities and generate timeslips. It offers a 30-day free trial and then costs you about £8 a month which is the only pricing option.
8. Billy: This app is a simple billing and expense tracker for small businesses. Billy brings all your financials together to keep track of expenses, invoices, bank statements and receipts. This allows you to have all your finances in one place so you can see the complete picture of your business at any time. It can also generate professional quotes, let your customers sign invoices digitally, and categorise your expenses automatically. It offers a 14-day free trial and then costs you about £15 a month.
9. Zipbooks: Zipbooks is a web-based app that combines general accounting features with intelligent financial reporting and visually-aided filing. Their intelligent programming uses your personal user statistics to go beyond just reporting and can actually predict outcomes and give you advice. Their reports are also color-coded so that you can keep track of your finances instantly. Pricing options range from free of charge to about £27 a month. There is also a £96 option that includes a Zipbooks Scholar or personal bookkeeper that will prepare and send you monthly reports.
10. Zoho Invoice: Zoho Invoice is web-based invoicing software that helps you produce professional invoices, automatically send payment reminders to customers and get paid faster online. You can also use it to track time for projects to invoice your customers accordingly, and to record all business expenses to know how much you’re spending. Pricing options range from free of charge to about £17 a month.
There are many options to manage your business finances in a simple yet effective way. These will be especially useful if you are a small business owner or just starting your business and cannot afford to employ an accountant or bookkeeper. These options also cancel out all the unnecessary paperwork and filing, leading to a more modern, efficient and environmentally-friendly business.
Beyond VAs is a London based social enterprise that helps solopreneurs and SMEs grow their businesses by connecting them with talented virtual assistants from countries with high unemployment rates. To find out more about Beyond VAs, get in touch with us or subscribe to the newsletter here: www.beyondvas.com/contact-us