Thursday, October 2, 2014

Painless Small Business Accounting Using These Two Apps / FreshBooks and ShareFile

Todd Spear for GetApp.com writes: The phrase small business accounting has long been known to strike fear into the hearts of many entrepreneurs. If the thought of keeping track of invoices, receipts, and other financial documents makes you cringe or, worse yet, rue the day you put on your entrepreneurial hat and started your small business, fear not! With the help of two cloud-based apps –FreshBooks and ShareFile – you can take the sting out of small business accounting.
If, in fact, small business accounting is not a source of great joy and fulfillment for you, you are in good company. That’s how most small business owners feel.
But two important factors take center stage the day you start your business: the need for simple, accurate bookkeeping and thedemand for security. So the shortest route to get you where you need to go, in terms of accounting, is to choose the right tools.
Let’s look at both FreshBooks and ShareFile, and how they can work together to take the pain out of small business accounting.

Freshbooks small business accountingFreshBooks: Small Business Accounting for ‘The Rest of Us’

No matter what you do in your small business, chances are it involves invoicing customers for goods or services, receiving payments, paying for expenditures, and reporting all resulting tax information to state and federal governments. FreshBooks focuses on making those core accounting tasks as easy as possible.
FreshBooks contrasts the old standards of Excel spreadsheets and bloated desktop accounting software. FreshBooks aims to be simple enough for you to use that the accounting aspect of your business effectively gets out of the way, allowing you to focus on the core tasks that you perform for your company.
FreshBooks’ intuitive interface lets you track people (payers and payees), invoices, estimates, expenses, time, and reports. The information is presented clearly so it’s simple to issue invoices, view customer contacts, and access financial data.
FreshBooks also makes it easy to get paid. The app integrates seamlessly with online payment processing platforms, includingPayPalStripe, and Braintree. FreshBooks sports a bevy of other integrations for various functions, including Shopify for eCommerce, and MailChimp for email marketing, among others.
Additionally, FreshBooks can manage recurring and automatic payments. FreshBooks can even send reminder emails for unpaid invoices, to help you gently nudge those customers who get a little behind.
On the reporting side of things, FreshBooks stores profit & loss statements, expense reports, and tax summaries. FreshBooks backs up your data via its ultra-secure servers with 256-bit encryption, keeping your (and your customers’) data safe and sound.
FreshBooks works in Web browsers and on iOS and Android devices, meaning you can take your small business accounting with you, wherever you go.
  • Online Invoicing
  • Time Tracking
  • Recurring Invoices & Auto Payment
  • Team Timesheets
  • Late Payment Reminders
  • Expense Tracking
  • Accounting Reports & Taxes
  • Automatic Expense Import
  • Mobile Apps
  • Attach receipts (PDF or Image)
Pricing for FreshBooks starts at $19.95 per month. Pound-for-pound, you would be hard-pressed to find an easier, more intuitive small business accounting app for the price of FreshBooks.

sharefile secure file sharing for small business accountingShareFile: Secure, Encrypted File Sharing for Small Business

While FreshBooks has its own rock-solid encryption for the files it generates, you doubtlessly generate a lot of other documents that pertain to your bookkeeping efforts. What’s more, you may need to share those files with people inside and outside your organization from time to time.
That creates the need for a simple, secure file sharing tool. Citrix ShareFile is one such tool that offers large file transfers (10GB), user access controls, and enhanced security features. Some of ShareFile’s most compelling features center around the app’s broad support of mobile devices. Aside from working inside Web browsers, ShareFile works on Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices.
ShareFile even facilitates remote wiping of files stored on lost or stolen devices. That’s quite handy, if and when your mobile should fall into the wrong hands. That’s peace of mind in an age when data is a valuable commodity to business owners and cyber criminals alike. ShareFile lowers the overall risk of doing business on your mobile.
ShareFile also lets you share files as well as audit user accesses and track changes. The app boasts neat features like full mobile PDF support and in-document text search for all documents it stores.
Another great feature is the ability to apply custom branding to ShareFile’s interface, lending to a personalized feel for the various employees and outsiders who will access your documents via ShareFile.
Features of ShareFile:
  • Secure, encrypted file sharing
  • Large file transfer – up to 10GB
  • Sync files across all your devices (PC, Mac, Mobile)
  • Rich mobile editing with PDF annotation and track changes
  • Complimentary custom branding to match your business colors
  • Customizable folder security
  • Dedicated customer onboarding & training
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Audit trails, custom reporting & file version control
  • Remotely lock or wipe lost/stolen mobile devices
  • Full text search within documents
Citrix ShareFile is priced at $29.95 per month (and up). Given its large transfer file sizes, high-level security, and outstanding mobile support, you’ll have no trouble resting easily with your accounting-related documents safely stored in the cloud with the help of ShareFile.

Does Your Small Business Accounting Involve More Than Two Simple Apps?

If you are stuck using more spreadsheets and old, laborious desktop accounting applications to keep up with your small business, give FreshBooks and ShareFile a chance to shine. Both apps offer free trials, which can give you a good idea of how these two apps can work together to meet your needs.
If you have specialized business needs, or would like the chance to tryout some alternatives, take a look at GetApp’s regularly-updated list of cloud-based accounting apps. With the multitude of cloud-based apps to be found, you should have no trouble narrowing down a couple of tools that work well for your business and take the pain out of your small business accounting routine.

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