“Small” businesses today come in a broad range of sizes, from the 500-person light manufacturing plant to the “solopreneur.” One distinct category is the microbusiness, which typically features one owner with up to four other employees. A freelancer is a good example of a microbusiness, as is someone who owns his or her own landscaping or pool service company.
Super small though these businesses may be, even solopreneurs need to conduct basic accounting and bookkeeping functions. This includes accounts payable, accounts receivable, taxes, expense tracking, and even payroll. Depending on the microbusiness’s particular structure (corporation, sole proprietorship, etc.), it will have specific financial reporting responsibilities.
That’s where technology comes to the rescue. Companies have developed tax preparation software, accounting apps, and even AI-powered platforms to help businesses do the hard work themselves. “Now all firms, even small ones, should be thinking about how to adopt advanced technology like artificial intelligence (AI), whether it will be by contracting with specialized technology companies or building their own departments,” says Derek Bang, the chief strategy and innovation officer at Crowe Horwath.
Even today, there are now many simple, no-nonsense, and affordable accounting apps available to help microbusiness owners complete accounting, bookkeeping, and tax tasks from anywhere. Here are six small business accounting apps to consider for your microbusiness:
- Sage Expenses & Invoices
Sage Expenses & Invoices is a small business accounting app from Sage, a renowned accounting software development company that has delivered many innovative accounting solutions for businesses of all sizes. This free, valuable app for micro and small businesses is available on both the App Store and Google Play.
This cloud-based app provides a way to easily record business transactions from anywhere. It can account for and digitally store expenses, send and reconcile invoices, and maintain current business records. The app uses straightforward language and easy navigation, making it a snap to continually record income and expenses on the go. As your business grows, you can integrate the app with Sage One, which expands the range of available accounting features.
- 1tap Receipts
1tap receipts is an app from Receipt Bank that uses character recognition software to eliminate data entry — and the headache of lost receipts — for self-employed workers. Available for both iOS and Android, 1tap was developed to make it easier to be self-employed by enabling freelancers, contract workers, and others to take pictures of business expenses year-round to assist at tax time. The app can save them money, too, as tax professionals often charge self-employed clients 50 percent more to complete their taxes because of the additional organization and itemization required.
The app works in tandem with those accounting professionals to automate data collection and enable self-employed workers to leverage the information for analysis. 1tap retains all collected receipts in the cloud for 10 years, meaning the information can be resurrected at any time, as well as reviewed to find trends and patterns that might not otherwise be apparent.
Creating an 1tap account is free, and the app offers three different pricing levels to match individuals’ needs.
- FreeAgent Mobile
FreeAgent is another accounting software platform that has added a mobile app that works on iOS and Android devices. You’ll be able to instantly view what is outstanding in terms of bills and payments from clients while also gaining a longer-term picture of your expenses against budget. This small business accounting app lets you create new expenses and capture receipts via photo.
For invoices, the cloud-based app enables you to create and send invoices, issue estimates, and bill for expenses. The app will also help you focus on higher-level accounting issues related to cash flow, bank balances, taxes, and profit and loss statements. Lastly, the timer feature lets you set a timer so you can record how much time you spend on each task, information that can be used to generate an invoice or time slip.
FreeAgent offers a 30-day free trial, after which you can select a pricing plan that works for the size of your business.
- KashFlow Go
KashFlow aims to make the accounting process for your microbusiness as simple and comprehensive as possible through its web and mobile applications. It works with companies all over the world that need a simple way to track their invoices, expenses, and financial performance. Features include invoicing, quotes and estimates, taxes, banking, payments, and payroll. While originally developed for small businesses in the UK, many features can also be used by businesses in other countries.
This app, available in iOS and Android, offers a 14-day trial period. After that, you can select one of three pricing levels to align with your business size and scope.
FinancialForce does considerably more than just accounting, which makes it ideal for a micro business that could benefit from using one comprehensive platform rather than dozens of tools. It is designed to integrate with Salesforce, which allows you to combine your accounting tasks with your customer relationship management processes. There are numerous billing and financial management features, including an array of accounting tools, statements, and reports. It also offers tools for inventory and spend management as well as invoicing. You’ll even be able to tap into more sophisticated features such as automated forecasting.
FinancialForce offers free demonstrations and customized pricing to match your business needs.
Xero offers regular accounting software as well as a mobile accounting application, for iOS and Android, that is built for small business owners. Xero offers a wealth of features that allow you to stay on top of your finances from anywhere. This includes reconciling bank transactions, capturing and approving expenses, and sending invoices from your phone instead of waiting to get back to the office.
You can also use the mobile accounting app to store information about your customers and suppliers, including their addresses, phone numbers, and other key details. If you have employees, the app allows you to give them access to certain tasks related to invoicing and expenses while restricting access to more sensitive financial information.
In addition, there are multiple tiers to Xero’s subscription plan based on the size of your business and the features you need, including whether you require a desktop version.
Start Using Accounting Apps and Stop Wasting Time
Now you don’t have to spend tons of time on tasks that don’t really make you money. Instead, these small business accounting apps enable you to get these tasks done quickly and much more effectively. That way, you can focus on nurturing customer relationships, finding new prospects, and generating revenue.
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