Small business owners sometimes need to wear all the hats in their business, and they have many different tasks to handle. Worse yet, accounting is the task that most business people will tell you is their least favorite thing to do. Obviously, tracking expenses, figuring out payroll and taxes, and every bookkeeping task in between can be pretty boring, and even frustrating. Most entrepreneurs would rather be in front of customers than behind a computer. Luckily, technology is constantly changing, and new tools are being created daily that can make accounting easier for small or midsized businesses. Upgraded software and mobile applications are the wave of the future, are simpler to use and understand, allow access from anywhere, and automate lots of tedious work.
- QuickBooks Online: When discussing the best accounting tools, no list is complete without talking about QuickBooks, which is now available as QuickBooks Online. This software as a service (SaaS) is affordable and versatile, without lots of data you don’t need, but with everything that you do. The platform offers classic accounting tools and a range of add-ons depending on what financial data and records you want to track. The basic service gives you customizable financial reports, an invoice generator, payroll processing, online payment receipts and the ability to capture business expenses from pictures of receipts. It also syncs with your business credit cards and online bank account information, so your financial data is at your fingertips and always updated. Plus, you can easily share your QuickBooks Online so your accountant can take over to create financials and tax returns.
- Xero: Xero is a great accounting tool for small businesses, and it allows you to add as many users as you need for free. This can be helpful for larger businesses, and as your business grows. It’s also easy to switch between Xero and QuickBooks if you ever feel the need for an even more robust accounting package. With a lot of overlapping features, Xero is similar to QuickBooks but more affordable for most business owners. You’ll get financial overviews, intuitive dashboards, reports, payroll processing, and business expense tracking, along with syncing of bank account information.
- Late Fee Manager: An add-on application for both QuickBooks and Xero, Late Fee Manager is a great boost to your automated accounts receivables process. From sending automatic payment reminders to adding auto-generated late fees, it is the no-hassle way to get your invoices paid quickly. It also allows you to avoid those tense conversations with your customers trying to collect money that is owed to you. This software has had some amazing results for clients. Some are reducing overdue invoices by 78 percent and also generating added late fee revenue of $50,000 and more.
- Sighted: Sighted is a great accounting package for freelancers or solopreneurs. Simple to use, but powerful enough to customize quotes and invoices, it helps you track expenses, integrate online payments, and manage all of your client information. No need to spend a lot to get just what you need for your micro-business, including a full suite of accounting tools.
- Gusto: Previously called ZenPayroll, this payroll tool also gives you some added features like automatic tax processing and filing, paystubs, and employee onboarding platforms, along with easy integration to QuickBooks Online and FreshBooks! This platform is also available on your smartphone, so you can use it from anywhere. Gusto also adds the ability to administer health benefits plans and 401(k)s and other retirement programs.
Making your business work harder does not mean that you have to, if you automate some of your processes. Take advantage of some of the tools available to make your life easier for you, and you’ll be more profitable and happier.