It wasn’t too long ago that spreadsheets were considered the gold standard of financial management for small businesses. That era has passed, but still, some businesses aren’t aware of all the new options out there which are far more efficient.
There are hundreds if not thousands of finance apps, so it’s understandable for small businesses to not know which ones are best for them. Yet this doesn’t mean they should just stick to what you know, because the short term discomfort of switching systems can be more than made up with the long term gains.
We must cut through the noise and look at the apps most likely to be able to help your business grow. This can be through features that make you more attractive to customers or indirectly through reducing time wasted on the back end, so you can focus on the work you love and actually generating revenue.
You can do almost anything now through relatively cheap apps that are easy to use and set up. Here are some apps on the cutting edge.
It feels like cryptocurrency is constantly making headlines in today’s world. It’s breaking into the mainstream slowly but relentlessly, especially amongst the tech-savvy. Companies such as Tesla, Square, and Voyager hold significant amounts on their accounts, and using it for business-to-business payments is becoming a more common practice across all sectors.
If you’re forward-thinking, you might be wondering how you can get involved with digital assets without incurring any administrative nightmares. Luckily, Request.finance enables you to invoice and request payments using crypto with ease. Their technology allows you to keep track of everything, so you have nothing to worry about with the taxman.
The platform has handled significant volumes already, with over 900 users invoicing the equivalent of over $149 million so far. The best bit about it all is that even people without accounts can pay you with fees capped at $2, which represents major savings per transaction compared to fiat currency alternatives.
2. Zoho Expense
Small businesses are thinking bigger than ever before as the world becomes increasingly more connected. Though the pandemic drove business tourism down 61% in 2020, many experts believe it will bounce back strongly. There can be a lot of paperwork to do if you plan to travel abroad to meet up with potential clients, suppliers or other stakeholders. It can be hard enough staying on top of expenses when at home, let alone in a foreign country.
Zoho Expense can ease this friction, because it is purpose-built for business travel expenses. Within the app, you can host the complete itinerary details from the start of the trip to the end with all details that could possibly be required such as meal and seat preferences.
It’s also integrated with Sabre’s GetThere, so bookings can be made within the app itself. It reads receipts in 15 different languages and can create records in English for them just by scanning. These features help remove the hassle from business travel bookkeeping so the business can focus on getting the most out of each trip instead.
Cash flow management is of critical importance to small businesses for them to keep their doors open. Failure to manage your accounts receivables properly could mean cash comes in too slowly for you to keep up with your bills. Yet it’s not easy, and the traditional use of spreadsheets for management can quickly become overwhelming. Here’s where vcita can make everything simpler.
You can track all your customers and payments in one place. You’re able to see the entire history of interaction with each customer, as well as filter at a higher level to see trends. A key time saving feature is automated invoicing, which can be set up on a scheduled basis. All orders in “due” or “overdue” status will have professional invoices with all the correct information pulled through and sent to the client without any manual work for you or your team.
The efficiency combined with greater customer relationship management has meant this app is a must have for small businesses looking to set the foundations for growth.
As your business grows, you’ll need more hands on deck to keep everything running smoothly. This comes with it’s own challenges, however, as payroll laws can often be complex and difficult for the average small business to manage. In the USA, the rules can vary state to state, with different forms needing to be issued and other obscure regulations. It’s not something small business owners can afford making major investments in.
Gusto makes managing payroll effortless. It automatically calculates your payroll taxes for you and generates all the proper documentation. It also lets you manage HSAs and 401(k)s too. They pride themselves on their fantastic UI with a fully featured mobile app. This allows you to manage things while on the go with ease.
Payroll is one of those tasks which you just can’t get wrong if you want to maintain a happy workforce. With Gusto, you can go on vacation and leave your laptop behind with the comfort of knowing you can ensure your staff get paid the right amount through the app.
Tracking employee expenses can be a different situation for small business owners. They don’t want to treat their employees like they aren’t trusted but they need meticulous evidence for the tax authorities. Trying to chase employees to properly submit their expenses can be a huge time sink if it’s left unchecked.
The secret is to make it as easy as possible for employees to upload their expenses so there is minimal resistance. Expensify is perfect for this, as it allows people to take one click scans of expenses which upload to the cloud automatically. The chances of a missing receipt go down significantly as well as saving hours in manual processing.
Managers can see everything from a dashboard for fast approvals. You even get free cards for everyone in the team to use which reduces the administrative burden even further. You’ve got to spend money to make money and Expensify allows you and your employees to do that without creating a mountain of work in the process.
Small businesses now have access to many services in the palm of their hand that previously would have needed entire teams to manage. This is a huge empowerment that can help them compete on a more level playing field with larger competitors.
Whether it’s being innovative through sending cryptocurrency invoices through request.finance or putting customers first with vcita, they can do it all. Try out the apps in this list and see how it can prepare your business for growth.