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Product/Service Name

WorkingPoint

Brief Description

There are a lot of administrative tasks that go along with running a small business. Finding an integrated solution that handles everything from inventory management to tax reporting is tough. Harder yet is finding such a tool specifically meant for small businesses, but WorkingPoint fills that niche. You can keep track of every part of your business’ finances with one online tool that you can access no matter where you are.

Target audience: Small businesses who need to get a handle on their finances.

The Inspiration

We are committed to providing you with a single point of access for everything you need to make your business work successfully. We think that juggling multiple software packages to manage your business is expensive, time consuming, and simply a hassle. ~ WorkingPoint’s mission

Key Features

  • Invoice clients. Set up both one-time and reoccurring invoices to send to your customers and track their payments.
  • Manage expenses. Track your business’ expenses, both for client projects and your own expenses.
  • Create tax reports. Speed up tax preparation by printing reports specifically created to complete tax returns.
  • Manage inventory. Track every detail about your inventory down to the average costs of products, so that you can better handle inventory costs and issues.
  • Keep books. Keep your business’ financial records without needing to call in an accounting professional.

Future enhancements: WorkingPoint is partnering with tools like VerticalReponse to integrate marketing tools in WorkingPoint’s contact management options.

Benefits

Reduce the amount of time you spend on processing and analyzing your business’ finances, without having to resort to bringing in a bookkeeper or accountant. WorkingPoint can also help you identify weak points in your company and improve upon them.

Costs

There are both free and premium versions of WorkingPoint. The premium version is $10 per month.

Similar Products/Services

Many small businesses rely on software packages like QuickBooks. There many web-based applications geared towards small businesses, but most of them have limited tools, offering only invoicing and expense tracking.

Opinions from around the Web

  • Positive:WorkingPoint has the tools to do the job of invoicing and managing bills. Those who want time tracking included in their invoicing app won’t find that here. Instead, you can count on the web-based app to let you do your billing tasks without frustration.” (WebWorkerDaily)
  • Positive: “I’m drawn to WorkingPoint because of its clean and easy to understand interface. I don’t feel overwhelmed with financial jargon and ugly design like with most bookkeeping programs.  It’s easy to get started with WorkingPoint — it can import your contacts from Outlook, Yahoo and Gmail (by exporting your contacts as CSV or vCard files), and its invoice template is attractive and clean. After signing up for a free account, I made my first invoice in minutes, which I could save locally as a PDF or send via email.” (BNET)
  • Positive: “If I were just starting a new business, I would think very seriously about this solution. It has almost all of what you need to manage your company’s finances in an easy-to-use interface, plus the added benefits of contact management and a marketing profile that you normally don’t find in free accounting or bookkeeping packages. The first user is free, forever, which makes it hard to pass up and, at least, try it out.” (SmallBizTrends)

Company Background

Ridgley Evers, the co-founder of WorkingPoint, worked for Intuit on QuickBooks. He came to the conclusion that QuickBooks is too complicated for small business. WorkingPoint’s chairman, Tom Proulx, co-founded Intuit and programmed Quicken, before joining the San Francisco-based company.

Smartlife’s User Advice

If you’re just starting out with a new business, WorkingPoint is ideal. The software is easy to learn, even without the special training that tools like QuickBooks always seem to require. It’s also easy to grow with your business: if you start out without any employees, it doesn’t make sense to pay for multiple license of a piece of software. But you can slowly upgrade your WorkingPoint account as needed. The fact that WorkingPoint is starting to integrate the other tools necessary to operate a small business just makes it more worthwhile.

The tax reporting tools make WorkingPoint stand out in particular. You most likely work with a tax preparer, but these reports  will prove useful whether or not you do your taxes yourself. Printing off these reports will provide a tax preparer with all the information he needs.

That said, if you already have a bookkeeping solution in place for your business, making the switch may not be worth the time. You can easily import your contacts into the online application, but importing the rest of your books may prove to be more hassle than it’s worth.

Smartlife’s Recommendation: USE IT

Image credit: cristimatei / iStockphoto

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Product Watch is part of an on-going series that cuts through the sales propaganda and marketing hype, and reviews products and services from the standpoint of the user and how they actually help us get more out of life.