Remember the famous Apple campaign from way-back-when? No, I’m not talking about the 1984 ad that promoted the new Macintosh computer (how old do you think I am?). Rather, I’m talking about the “There’s an app for that” campaign.
Well, Apple got it right, because for better or for worse, it seems like there’s an app for almost anything. Which is great in theory, but it also causes some very real problems. The app ecosystem, for example, has become so oversaturated with options that many people choose no apps rather than the right one for their needs.
And when you’re running a startup company, the inability to identify and use effective apps for your business needs can result in total business failure. Look, we get it; we work with startups of all shapes and sizes. Startup founders run bootstrapped businesses and they need all the help they can get.
The right business finance apps can help your company increase efficiency, effectiveness, and overall growth. Who wouldn’t want that? To help you on your startup quest to greatness, we’ve compiled a list of the top business finance apps you should consider using:
1. Wave Apps
Wave Apps is an amazingly awesome (and free) accounting software platform made specifically for small businesses. And did I mention it’s free?
With Wave’s suite of mobile and desktop apps, you can set up your accounting system, which includes accounting, invoicing, payroll, as well as expense reporting. However, the best use of Wave Apps is its awesome invoicing software.
The invoicing system lets you send invoices, accept online payments, and even schedule auto-reminders to ping your vendors and customers when the invoice is overdue. You can then sink your invoicing information with Wave’s accounting software or your existing accounting software such as QuickBooks Online.
QuickBooks is another good option for accounting and invoicing software, but it costs dollars, you know, dinero, greenbacks, etc. If you’re just starting out, check out Wave Apps.
Gusto, formerly ZenPayroll, is quite honestly one of, if not the, best payroll system for small businesses. Let’s get the standard stuff out of the way. Gusto helps you pay your employees with automatic W2 or 1099 payments. Further, you can schedule one-off payments for independent contractors.
Now onto the cool stuff. Gusto was made specifically with mobile in mind, helping you manage your payroll right from your phone. Once you’ve set up your payroll, you can add insurance and benefits, such as workers comp and health benefits. Each pay period, Gusto automatically calculates, files, and pays your payroll taxes.
Stop worrying about payroll and let Gusto automate the entire process for you.
Expensify is the preferred expense reporting software of Xcelerate Financial. Whenever we onboard a client, we set them up with Expensify and then use QuickBooks (we’re an established company so we pay for our accounting software over Wave) to track all of their operating expenses.
Expensify is great because it links your employees’ credit and debit cards so that the app places all charges directly into an expense report. It’ll also auto-categorize the expenses, helping your employees file accurate expense reports and helping you get a better understanding of your operating expenses.
The app works on phones as well as on desktop. Expensify costs $5 per month, per employee.
Square, as I’m sure you know, is the leading payment app for physical small businesses that accept credit and debit cards. Ok, ok, so you’re a tech company and you don’t have a physical location. Well, then Square isn’t for you.
But contrary to the belief in Silicon Valley, some startup companies actually have physical locations. And if you do, Square is definitely right for you. The company gives out a physical card processor that connects to its technology, allowing you to scan credit cards and stop operating your business all-cash.
Square deducts 2.75% from every credit card transaction. You can also accept cash and manually enter transactions for a 3.5% fee, tacked on to your monthly bill.
5. Polaris Office
Polaris Office is a free office software service that helps you edit any Microsoft Office files - including those beastly Excel reports you use to help run your business - right from your phone.
If you’ve ever tried to access Excel documents on the go, you already know how frustrating it can be. iOS and Android both make it hard to read formatted Excel documents. This becomes impossible when you’re trying to look at data on a business trip or at an out-of-office meeting. Enter Polaris Office, which allows you to download and view Microsoft Office on any mobile device.
The app also provides cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and more. This makes it possible to upload and download documents from the cloud and sync your Excel files with all your devices.
Ok, so RescueTime isn’t technically a business finance app. It’s an app that tracks your time online and then gives you an accurate picture of how you allocate your time on a daily and or weekly basis.
The first benefit is that it lets you see just how much time you waste. Trust me, you probably waste a lot. We all do. Second, it lets you set goals in terms of time allocation. And third, you can set automated alerts that tell you when you’ve spent too much time in a specific area or on a specific task.
So, while this might not help you financially per se, it does help you save time and become more efficient. And since time is money, this is most definitely a business finance app.
The bottom line is that technology can help you. Get smart about the areas of your business that needs improvement and then find an app that makes it better.
There’s an app for every part of your business. Just ask Apple.