Workbox iPad App: Mobile Bookkeeping Essentials

by Pedro Hernandez

A new bookkeeping app from a software industry veteran fights feature bloat and helps small business professionals to track their work while on the go.

Workbox, a new bookkeeping app for the iPad, provides small business professionals and solo entrepreneurs the tools to help them budget their time, get organized and, more importantly, get paid.

Available now on the Apple App Store, Workbox lets you track billable time, items sold, fees and expenses and assign them to a client. You can set and track appointments using the product's interactive calendar views, which provide a visual, familiar and touch-friendly way of keeping tabs on projects and your productive time. Built-in timers ensure that time is logged accurately. Alerts help you keep tabs on aging accounts.

Mobile Bookkeeping for Small Business

Workbox puts the pieces together in the background, automating the process of generating easy-to-read invoices and eliminating the data double entry. The app can also print and email invoices. PayPal support (on emailed invoices) helps speed the payment process.

Workbox's reporting functions help make tax time a little less taxing. Asserting that most single-worker consultant and professional services providers "don't have a bookkeeper but may very well have an accountant," Bob Glass, Workbox Software founder and developer, said that the app's reports provide a bridge between solo work styles and IRS compliance.

"Our reports are easily generated with the tap of a button and give accountants all the information they need to know to do a company’s books. Reports can be viewed on screen or printed or emailed and can be formatted as a PDF or CSV spreadsheet— whatever the user prefers," said Glass in company remarks.

Workbox is an alternative to featured-packed accounting systems like QuickBooks. Meant to slip seamlessly into the business processes of mobile professionals, the app provides healthcare givers, lawyers, consultants, developers and other small operators the essentials to run their businesses. All data is stored locally on the iPad, which lets workers access Workbox and its capabilities when Internet connectivity options are in short supply.

The concept came to fruition after Bob Glass, who established the advertising technology specialist Datatech Software in 1980, found himself constantly being asked for accounting system recommendations by independent professionals that didn't want to cap a busy day of work with an accounting session in front of a desktop PC or browser window.

"My world is moving toward mobile," one consultant once told Glass. That experience along with signs that "desktop computing was on the wane," prompted him to do what entrepreneurial coders do: develop his own, purpose-built solution.

At $4.99 per month ($49.99 per year), a Workbox Premium subscription is affordable too, said Glass. The first 90 days are free, and the product remains free for people with five or fewer clients.

The app, said Glass, is tailored to the "small business person looking for a system that's cheaper" than a full, general ledger accounting system. As for the future, like whether an Android version is in the works, Glass said he is currently weighing his options.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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This article was originally published on Monday Dec 16th 2013
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