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Tools to Help with Small Business Accounting

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By Garrett Spence   |    October 8, 2015   |    11:18 AM

Small business owners need all the help they can get, and accounting solutions can be one of the more complex issues for a small business owner to research and acquire. And let’s face it, running a small business is hard work. Adding onto all your other responsibilities the need to crunch numbers, balance income with expenses, and figuring out how much to pay your employees and how much to pay the U.S. government in taxes can be mind boggling. Fortunately, the right accounting solution can help you as a small business owner get away from all that number crunching and grunt work.

The fact is that Excel spreadsheets, handwritten invoices and sticky notes are substantial wastes of time compared to the dynamic solutions available today. Let’s look at some of the accounting apps, software and web-based solutions that can help manage your small business’ financials.

1. Small Business Workbench

Small Business Workbench is an online accounting tool to help small businesses manage their working-capital and cash-forecasting. This is really more of a suite of applications that offer small businesses multi-faceted tools to mark the trajectory of cash positions and forecast their future character. Features range from marketing recommendations to apps that seamlessly integrate with Small Business Workbench in order to make cash forecasting more accurate. Mobile access also allows busy small business owners to manage their finances on the go.

2. Sage One

For one-person operations, Sage One could be the answer to all their problems. This is essentially an invoicing application. For just nine bucks a month, small business owners can generate invoices and accept payments online. The company also offers Sage One Accounting, a more robust accounting application that starts at $14 per month and lets small business owners view their business finances at a glance, generate reports and track time and expenses. Project management is a robust feature of this product, which makes it a dynamic solution if you need to track what freelancers or contractors are contributing to your small business.

3. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks has been around for more than 30 years but has been nimble in adapting its offerings, products and services to the online world. Their primary contemporary product, QuickBooks Online offers a good balance of technological potency while still being simple enough for small business owners to use. Small business owners can view the status of their finances at a glance using dashboards or use the software to generate customized reports. Small business owners can also generate invoices, accept online payments, process payroll and import expense data simply by taking pictures of receipts with a smart phone. Unlike many other applications, QuickBooks can also sync with a small business owner’s bank account and credit card accounts so that data is always current. The data generated by the application can also be easily shared with an accountant at tax time.

4. TaxMate

TaxMate is a mobile app that aims to minimize surprises for small business people when tax season comes around. The application provides tax estimates for small business owners on a quarterly basis with a simple, step-by-step questionnaire. As users fill in details like their state, filing status, income, expenses and payments, the app automatically calculates the amount of tax owed both to the federal government and the state. TaxMate is able to instantly give users a realistic, current estimate of how much taxes they owe, helping reduce the risk of underpayment of annual taxes by entrepreneurs and freelancers. Even better, TaxMate is a free app that is available for anyone to use. It is highly accessible and ready to use on any smartphone or tablet browser. No complicated sign up or downloads are required to use TaxMate.

5. Freshbooks

Freshbooks is a comprehensive cloud-based accounting platform that is accessible via desktop computers as well as mobile devices. It combines the most common tools that small business owners need to manage their income and expenses, send invoices and track time. Like other services, users can import expenses from a bank account or credit card or by taking a photograph of receipts. It also lets small businesses accept credit card payments as well as payments through a dozen other payment gateways, which enables them to get paid faster. The program also features an easy-to-navigate and intuitive interface, data encryption and backups to multiple data centers to keep users information safe and secure. Accounts start at $19.95 a month and the backers offer a 30-day free trial subscription.

Tell us about your favorite small business accounting tools in the comments!

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