Bookkeeping Made Easy…And Mobile With The Help Of Some Great New Apps

Unless you’re running an accounting business, chances are, bookkeeping isn’t your favorite part of your job. Small businesses often can’t afford to keep a full-time accounting staff, being forced to either do their own books or trust an outside company to do it.

Thanks to technology, small businesses now have another option. Numerous bookkeeping apps can allow you to run your books directly from your iPad, storing your information in the Cloud where it’s always safe and reachable. Here are some of the more notable iPad apps for bookkeeping to help you narrow down your choices:

  • QuickBooks Mobile–Designed for those who have the full paid version to have access to their information away from their desk, QuickBooks Mobile is free to QuickBooks users, but QuickBooks is usually in the $200 range. You’ll be able to view receipts and invoices on the go, view your entire list of customers, and see estimates you created. You can also update information that will automatically sync to your main copy of QuickBooks.
  • Kashoo–This free online accounting solution operates completely in the Cloud, allowing you to access your books from anywhere. This gives you a centralized location for all of your data. Additionally, you’ll always know your accounting information is not only secure, but it is reliably backed up. Kashoo does your accounting for you, keeping your records in order to make tax time easier for your small business. There is a paid version ($9.99 a month) that lets you share data with co-workers or your tax accountant, account for multiple currencies and import your bank information.
  • Xero–Xero has a free trial that allows you to access your books online from anywhere, with an app to help you manage from your iPad or iPhone. Xero helps you manage your invoices, letting you know which ones are overdue and which are pending payment. $19 a month allows you to send and receive up to five invoices a month, as well as reconciling twenty bank statement lines monthly. Most small businesses will likely want to upgrade to the small and mid-sized business plan, which costs $29 per month and includes unlimited invoicing and reconciling. A $39 per month option allows you to work with multiple currencies.
  • FreshBooks–With a free 30-day trial, FreshBooks does not have an app, but a $14.99 app called MiniBooks integrates with your FreshBooks account. FreshBooks is web-based accounting that specializes in letting you send and receive invoices. You’ll also be able to track your hours and accept payments via credit card, PayPal, or e-check. For free, you can manage up to three clients with no additional staff allowed to access your account. Upgrade to $19.95 a month and you can manage up to 25 clients. $29.95 gets you unlimited numbers of clients but you’ll have to pay $39.95 a month to allow others on your team to manage your books through FreshBooks.

For small businesses, there are so many options for mobile devices, you can easily find the one that fits your business needs while not stretching your budget. Whether you go with a free app that includes everything you’ll ever need or an enhancement to a full software package, like QuickBooks, you can easily redirect your accounting to an automated process, freeing you up to spend the work you enjoy doing most.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

9 thoughts on “Bookkeeping Made Easy…And Mobile With The Help Of Some Great New Apps

  1. ladyrideraz

    None of these apps will be worth a damn without an accounting background.  Why encourage people who are in business to do their own accounting?  Most accounting professionals, such as myself, went to school to get our degrees and I have over 30 years experience.  I laugh when I talk to people that say they are more concerned with someone having Quickbooks experience than the accounting basics.  I have two clients that did their own accounting for 2 years because they learned Quickbooks.  Yeah ok…. by the time they called me to help them their books had to be totally redone.  That’s ok though, more money for me

      • ladyrideraz

        Small businesses don’t have any business doing their own accounting unless they have an accounting background.  A solid cash flow understanding won’t cut it and it takes longer for me to fix it all then it would have for them to just pay me to do it in the first place.  I took over a friend of mines books last year after his ding dong gal had it soooo messed up it wasn’t even fixable, I started all over from the beginning of the year.  I noticed he was buying things in cash and I asked him about it – he said oh yeah I spend a little out of my own pocket once in awhile, doesn’t amount to much so just forget it.  Well I told him to humor me and start saving all the little cash receipts.  I kept track of them all and did adjusting entries into his Members Draw/Equity account.  At the end of the year I handed him a piece of paper and said here, this is what your little out of pocket things added up to.  Over 24,700 dollars!  He about fell over.  That was 24,700 dollars less in income for his business that he got taxed on this year. 

        For every client that I have that doesn’t let me do the books (5 hours a week MAX for most people) it takes me 10 hours to fix it all.

    • Mike O'Hara

      There has to be some consideration for whom this article / website is targeting.  
      First, I will agree with you ladyrideraz, every business should hire a professional accountant.  

      However, the website targets small businesses that have 100 employees or less with “a sweet spot of 1 – 50 employees.” Factoring that into the equation, a large number of businesses at that size consider the services of a professional accountant as a luxury.  You can make an argument that the services provided by the accountant will make up his or her fee. But that’s a hard argument to make to a business owners who’s budgets are razor thin.

      Most smart business owners will hire professional accountants.  But almost all of them won’t do it until they can afford it.  In the mean time, these tools are pretty useful as a stopgap.

      • ladyrideraz

         Fine with me if businesses want to do it this way all year long.  It makes for a heck of a payday for me at the end of the year when they come whining to me for help lol   It always boggles my mind that some business owners I have met with pay some shipping guy or admin clerk decent money then when it comes to my rates of 30 an hour they have a heart attack.  I just had a business owner contact me last week that said he needed his 2011 profit and loss statements done so he can go get his taxes done. Ok not a problem.  It’s an average of 2 hours per month that he was behind for a simple PL based off of his bank statements – easy ins and outs.  So 2 hours per month at 12 months I quoted him 600.00.(that is less then my normal 30 an hour rate)  You would have thought I said 6 million dollars the way he yelled at me.  WHY SO MUCH????  I’m thinking (but not saying out loud…. yet) um you dummy – you waited til the last minute to get a full year of accounting done and now you want to negotiate?  Most business owners pay me 600 a month for my services.  One pays me that much a week!!  So then we got past the 600 for the year and he asked how much to do his monthly accounting (all this time I haven’t seen the volume of work he will have) and I told him – again my rates are 30 an hour.  Again GAWWWWDDD  WHY SO MUCH?????  So ok at that point I don’t care if I sign him on or not and I said hey, you are a car mechanic right?  How much for a transmission for a Ford such and such.  He says well I can’t give you a quote over the phone without looking at how bad it is.  Um ok but you expect me to?  then he does give me a number and I said GAWDDD WHY SO MUCH??????????????   Um DEAD silence lol   Then I told him to have a nice day and best of luck finding someone to do his accounting. 

        I guess that programs like this are good for a stop gap as you said but why would any serious business want just a stop gap when it comes to their financial well being? 


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