Money keeps your business going. The problem, though, is that you can rarely stop long enough to do the essential chores—invoicing, tracking expenses, and checking on the health of your finances—to maintain the cash flow. But armed with your smartphone and these standalone, finance-related apps, you can take advantage of the minutes between calls and meetings to stay on top of those niggling-yet-crucial tasks.
Financial Apps for Small Business
Invoice2Go (Android and iOS; $9.99)
As the name implies, Invoice2Go lets you, well, create invoices on the go. But this popular app does much more. Naturally, you can create invoices on your mobile device and send them via email to your customer instantly—no more jotting a note and sending an invoice at the end of the day…or the week…or the month…or when you finally remember.
With Invoice2Go, you can create invoices, quotes, purchase orders, and credit memos on your phone and email them to clients immediately.
The app offers 20 templates, which you can customize with your own logo. In addition to invoices, you can create and send job estimates/quotes (which you can then turn into invoices with a click), purchase orders and credit memos. For invoicing, just fill in the line-item amounts and the app will calculate sales tax and tally the total for you. You can even add a PayPal button to accept payments directly into your PayPal account. The app helps you keep track of who owes you money and overdue invoices, and it offers 12 reports that let you see your top customers, money received, money outstanding and more.
Flint (Android and iOS; free app, transaction fees apply)
Processing credit card payments via your phone is a business-altering convenience, but being able to do so without one of those square swipe thingies? Now that's really easy. Flint uses your device's built-in camera to "scan" your customer's credit card: Just line up the numbers as shown in the app, and the app captures the numbers and transmits them to Flint's processing center.
Flint lets you use your phone's camera to capture and transmit credit card information, as well as create invoices on the go.
The app does not store any credit card images on your device, which should give customers peace of mind. The app also lets you create and send invoices on the fly, and create discount e-coupons your customers can redeem. You can configure Flint to send a friendly reminder if an invoice is overdue, or if a non-redeemed coupon is about to expire. And you can sync all transactions with a QuickBooks Online account.
Bill4Time (Android, iOS and Blackberry; free app, $9.99 per month for cloud service)
If your business involves billing clients for your and your employees' time, you're all-too familiar with the reconciling hassle at the end of every month. Emails, sticky notes, and bits of napkin trickle in with the pertinent details of who did what, when, and for whom. The solution to this confusion: Bill4Time.
Bill4Time lets you track billable hours (or flat fees) as well as expenses related to a client or project in real time.
The mobile app lets you input time (or flat-fee) entries and expenses to bill to a client or project while you're on the go—heck, in the elevator as you leave—so there's no tedious reconstruction and entering of the day's events after the fact. Looking for even more automation? Open a time entry for a given client or task and start the app's built-in timer at the start of a session and stop it when you're done, and the app enters the billable time for you. And entries are automatically synced with the Bill4Time cloud service, so tracked expenses can be seamlessly rolled into invoices.
Book Keeper Accounting (Android, iOS and Windows; $24.99/year)
There are plenty of online accounting services available, and each features a mobile app that lets you access your cloud data on the go. Book Keeper Accounting is different: It's a standalone mobile app that lets you handle accounting chores on the device, even when you're offline.
Book Keeper Accounting is a full accounting package you can keep in your pocket—no cloud service required.
An intuitive user interface helps you maintain your company books and do most of the other accounting chores a small business is likely to need, including tacking sales and receipts, creating and sending invoices, tracking bank transactions, inventory management and much more.
Jamie Bsales is an award-winning technology writer and editor with more than 20 years of experience covering the latest hardware, software and Internet products and services.
|Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!|