Monday, December 16, 2013

6 Great iOS Accounting Apps for Small Businesses

Brett Nuckles writes: If you run a small business, you probably use computer software to create invoices, process payments, and track projects and expenses. But as computers get smaller and more mobile — nearly every business owner has a smartphone in their pocket or a tablet in their bag — why can’t accounting softwarecome along for the ride?
In terms of breadth and quality, Apple’s App Store has the best selection of apps on any mobile platform. That means iPhone and iPad devices are home to a huge selection of finance and accounting apps for mobile bookkeeping.
Accounting apps for iOS can’t do it all; for serious number-crunching, you'll need the benefits of a larger monitor, a full keyboard and deeper features found in desktop software. But for basic expense tracking, mobile apps have distinct advantages. Because they run on your iPhone or iPad, you can log in and access your account from virtually anywhere. And because your account information is stored in the cloud, it’s up-to-date no matter which device you view it from.
Here are six great iOS finance and accounting apps to help you manage your business on the go.
Kashoo (Free with Kashoo subscription, starting at $20/month)
Kashoo is a popular, full-featured accounting app for iPad. It features most of the things you want out of an accounting platform, letting you view and track transactions, create invoices and record payments. The app features collaboration capabilities so you can share your financial data with your business partner or full-time accountant. You can also track receipts and bills by snapping a photo. And Kashoo automatically generates reports at regular intervals to give you insights into the financial health of your small business.
Shoeboxed (Free with Shoeboxed subscription, starting at $10/month)
With Shoeboxed for iOS, keeping your receipts, bills and other financial documents organized is as easy as snapping a photo. Once your document is uploaded via the Shoeboxed app, the important information, such as vendor, date, total and payment type are automatically extracted, creating a fully searchable digital database of your transactions. For small business owners, using Shoeboxed will pay off in a major way when it’s time to file your taxes. The app can save you time; organizing documents by hand is time-consuming. And it can save you money; hiring someone to manage your paper documents is expensive.
InDinero (Free app with InDinero subscription, pricing varies by business)
InDinero is an expense-tracking app tailored specifically for businesses. It works a lot like Mint; just upload your bank account and credit card information, then let InDinero take over to automatically track where your money is going. The app organizes your transactions for you, placing them into categories such as travel, inventory costs or insurance expenses. Then it charts your data to answer pressing financial questions, such as where your money is going and how your current spending compares to revenue. InDinero also alerts you when it spots unusual activity so you can make corrections when spending strays from the norm.
Mint (Free)
Mint is billed as a personal finance app, but it offers useful tools for entrepreneurs and very small businesses to track spending and tweak budgets. Add bank accounts and credit cards, and the app automatically pulls in and categorizes your transactions, and then organizes them in easy-to-read graphs to show you where your money is going. In other words, Mint will keep your finances organized so you can focus on business operations.
QuickBooks for iPhone (Free with a QuickBooks desktop subscription, starting at $13/month)
QuickBooks offers elegant accounting tools to help you track and manage your finances. The iPhone app isn't a fully featured, mobile version of the QuickBooks desktop application; think of it as a mobile companion app with useful tools to help you track sales, send out invoices and review recent payments when you’re away from the office. It requires a QuickBooks subscription, but a free 30-day trial is available.
FreshBooks (Free with a FreshBooks subscription, starting at $20/month)
FreshBooks is a QuickBooks alternative with tight cloud integration and an easy-to-use interface. At its core, FreshBooks is a system to help you record and track your business’s expenses and profits. It has extra functionality, such as the ability to track how much you or your employees work on a project for easier invoice generation.  And like other services, it organizes and charts your expenses to help you make business decisions and file your taxes. The service offers a free 30-day trial; after that, you can continue to use FreshBooks starting at $19.95 per month.


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