Balancing a checkbook

Tracking where your money goes is absolutely crucial to running a business, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be a time-sink. There are several online applications that simplify the process, from managing invoices to handling expenses, often beyond what a desktop application can provide. Beyond simply being able to access your financial records from anywhere, online tools have features like integration with online payment methods. The features each tool offers vary, but the different options here can meet the needs of a variety of businesses.

  1. Freshbooks: With Freshbooks, a small business can appear much larger. It automates tasks like billing clients for expenses, and offers integration with other tools, like Salesforce, Basecamp, MailChimp, and even the iPhone.
  2. Harvest: Many small businesses require detailed time tracking in order to bill clients correctly. Harvest offers time tracking as a key feature of its bookkeeping tools, allowing you to easily track time from anywhere with an Internet connection, including an iPhone.
  3. LiteAccounting: For bare bones accounting, LiteAccounting is a good choice. The application tracks invoices and handles expenses, keeping the time you spend on bookkeeping to a minimum. While it may not be the first choice for a larger business, it can work well if you’re just one person managing every aspect of your company.
  4. Outright: Tax season can be tough on a business owner, if you don’t have a tool that keeps your business records and tax documents in one place. Outright makes easy tax preparation a priority, as well as reminding you of just what taxes you need to pay.
  5. Zoho Invoice: You can manage more than just invoices with Zoho Invoice — the tool integrates everything from quotes to online payments. You can also find tools for just about every other aspect of your business, from document management to CRM, through Zoho.
  6. WorkingPoint: Meant as an all-in-one solution, WorkingPoint brings together not only online bookkeeping but also inventory tracking, contact management, and even financial reporting. You may have encountered WorkingPoint under its original name, NetBooks.
  7. Blinksale: Want to handle all of your invoicing and client payments online? Blinksale lets you add a link to each invoice that allows clients to pay you through PayPal immediately. However, Blinksale is not as robust a bookkeeping solution.
  8. Sidomac: If you work with a bookkeeper outside your office to keep your records up to date, Sidomac makes keeping information up to date easy for both you and your bookkeeper, eliminating any need to synchronize files.
  9. Bionic Books: A full-fledged accounting tool, Bionic Books can generate all the reports you could need — without you needing to take a course in accounting to understand them.
  10. Merchant’s Mirror: With Merchant’s Mirror, not only are you able to collect and track a wide variety of information about your business, but you can also use the tool’s features to help you predict outcomes and make decisions.

Image credit: DNY59 / iStockphoto

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