Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"After much research and analysis of accounting mobile apps, we recommend FreshBooks for iOS and Android as the best accounting mobile app for small businesses". - Business News Daily

Sara Angeles for Business News Daily writes: Mobility is key for busy small business owners. If you're always on the go, having to set aside time to sit down at a computer to do your accounting is both inconvenient and inefficient. Being able to access your accounting software on your mobile phone or tablet, however, lets you manage your finances wherever you go, anytime you need to.

The problem with most accounting mobile apps, however, is that they lack many of the functions business owners need. They typically offer the bare minimum features, limiting capabilities to  just a few accounting tasks like creating and sending invoices, tracking expenses and viewing customer information. FreshBooks solves this problem by offering many of the same time-saving featureson its mobile app as those in its nonmobile version, making it our top choice for the best accounting mobile app for small business.

Why FreshBooks mobile app?

A comprehensive accounting mobile app  
Just because a software goes mobile doesn't mean it has to compromise on the features business owners need the most. Although the majority of accounting software products have mobile apps, what makes FreshBooks stand out is that it offers a comprehensive set of time-saving accounting tools. FreshBooks mobile lets you perform a wide range of accounting tasks on your phone or tablet, such as create and send invoices and estimates, track and organize expenses, record hours, view and edit customer information, manage projects, generate reports and more.
Read on to find out why the FreshBooks mobile app is our top pick for the best accounting mobile app for small business.
Ease of use
FreshBooks describes itself as a "simple and intuitive" cloud-based accounting software that is easily accessible across all your devices. To see just how easy it is to use the app, we decided to find out for ourselves.
Downloading and installing the FreshBooks mobile app was a breeze, and we were able to set up our account in just a few minutes. We liked that the signup doesn't require a credit card — simply enter your company name, first name, last name, email address and password.
We were also impressed with the app's dashboard. It features a very clean, no-fuss layout that immediately shows you the most critical information and functions right when you log in. For instance, the top bar highlights your outstanding balance, and below that are icons for the most frequently used tasks: invoices, clients, time tracking and expenses. Other features like project management, estimates and reports are on the next page.  
Overall, we found the FreshBooks mobile app to be as easy and intuitive to use as the company claims. And because it offers such a user-friendly interface, its many functions can help you save time both in terms of its offered capabilities and how easy it is to navigate the app.
To try the FreshBooks mobile app yourself, sign up for a free 30-day trial. You can also learn more by checking out these tutorial videosor attending one of their free webinars.
Time-saving features
When we asked small business owners what they sought most in accounting software, the general consensus was that it should save time and take the stress out of managing finances. FreshBooks accomplishes this with its cloud-based software and applies the same principle to its mobile app.
Besides being able to do your accounting anytime, anywhere that's convenient for you, here are four other ways that we found the FreshBooks mobile app helps save time and makes accounting as stress-free as it can possibly be.
1.    Invoicing - Easily create, send and manage invoices on the go, straight from your phone and tablet. Start by adding your client's name, line items and any terms or notes. When we spoke with a FreshBooks sales rep, we discovered that you can also set additional options and information, such as discount rates, issue date, invoice numbers and more.
2.    Get paid faster - The sales rep also told us that FreshBooks makes it easy to receive funds from clients, and the same capabilities are also available on the app. When you create an invoice, you can also toggle an option to accept credit card payments so clients can pay online directly from the invoice. Another payment option is PayPal, which you can set up under the Settings menu. Each invoice can also track how much clients have paid and any outstanding balances, so you don’t have to manually keep track yourself.
3.    Expense logging - Quickly track expenses wherever you are. The app also lets you categorize expenses, as well as link them to any associated clients and vendors. One handy feature we liked is the ability to take a photo of receipts and attach it to the corresponding expense — this is both convenient and helps you stay organized by going paperless.
4.    Seamless integration with your phone and across functions - The FreshBooks mobile app can also save you time by working together with your device and streamlining the different functions. For example:
  • Need to add a new client? Skip manual data entry and import the information directly from your phone's contacts.
  • Did a client accept a project estimate? Don't create a new invoice from scratch — just go to the estimate and convert it into an invoice.
  • Want to know how much to charge for a project? Let the app do the number crunching for you. Create a new project from the Projects section, input your rates, and then automatically link billable hours to each project or task using the Time Tracking function. If you have expenses, you can also attach them to invoices to automatically add these costs to the client's bill.
  • Need to view or edit a recent invoice, client, expense or other information? No need to open each function. Just tap on "Recent Activity" at the upper left corner to easily find what you're looking for.
Customer service
If you need help using FreshBooks' mobile app, customer support is easily accessible. Tap on the "Help" link at the upper-right corner and immediately get access to all of the company's support contact information. This may not seem like such a big deal, but it's a breath of fresh air compared with other providers that require you to dig through their website for a phone number or email address to reach a real person.
FreshBooks offers both phone and email support. Its customer support representatives are friendly and knowledgeable, and they were able to answer our many questions with patience and without pushing the product or pressuring us to upgrade our trial account. Keep in mind, however, that support is only available Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. This is an important detail, particularly if your business doesn't stop after regular business hours.
In addition to one-on-one customer support, FreshBooks offers a collection of helpful resources so you can find answers and learn more about the product yourself. This includes a Quick Start Guide, FAQ section, a blog with helpful accounting and business tips, tutorial videos and free webinars.
Although FreshBooks offers the best accounting mobile app, it isn't without its drawbacks. Two major limitations we came across have to do with its reporting capabilities and app availability.
When we tested the app, we found that to view reports, you'll have to leave the app. After selecting the reports function from the main menu, the app lists a few of the more than 20 types of reports the software can generate, including profits and losses, tax summary, expense reports and revenue by client. But it also tells you that "reports look best on your computer." To view these reports, you'll have to choose whether you'd like receive them by email or launch Safari to access them on the mobile Web version of the software. As a user, you may find that this defeats the entire purpose of having a mobile app, even if it does give you access using your mobile browser.
Another chief drawback of using the FreshBooks mobile app is its availability. Currently, the FreshBooks mobile app is only natively available on iOS and Android. Windows Phone and BlackBerry users will have to use third-party clients — such as FreshBooks 7 for from the Windows Store and ReportAway! for FreshBooks from the BlackBerry Store — to access FreshBooks on their mobile devices.
FreshBooks offers some of the most competitive pricing models for accounting software, making it an affordable option for small businesses. The sales representative we spoke with confirmed that the mobile app is free to download, though you'll have to purchase a FreshBooks subscription to use it for your business.  There is no separate plan just for mobile accounting, however. Pricing to use the app is included in the monthly subscription, which gives you access to both the software and the mobile app under one monthly fee.
FreshBooks' pricing is primarily based on the number of clients and number of users. Plans start at $9.95 per month, but is limited to five clients and a single user. If you're just starting out, the $19.95 per month plan may be a more suitable option, as it gives you a higher limit of 25 clients.
For most small businesses, however, the sales rep recommends the $29.95 per month plan, which includes an unlimited number of clients, project management, team capabilities and an access for one additional staff member.
We chose Freshbooks from a pool of the dozens of payroll services we considered. To read our full methodology and for a more comprehensive list of accounting software, visit our best picks page


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