One of the most time-consuming aspects of running a business is managing daily expenses and revenue streams. Hiring someone to do the job is certainly an option, but it can still prove to be cumbersome for the business owner to keep a tally. Alternatively, small businesses should consider acquiring a cloud accounting app .Cloud accounting has emerged as a cost effective solution for managing financial transactions in a hassle free manner.
In simple terms, cloud accounting apps allows you to manage your books remotely through the internet. All you need to do is enter the details of revenue and expenses into the software and your accounting information gets processed by remote servers. There are various benefits that cloud accounting software can offer small businesses:
- Ease of Access: You can use these applications anywhere, anytime, from your desktop or mobile phone. You can manage your accounts even while travelling.
- Reduced Cost: These applications come cheap and are highly effective.
- Better Business Performance: With the application taking care of your financial transactions, you are free to use your time and resources to manage other important business activities
- Data Safety: Your business information is backed-up in the cloud so you never again have to worry about a missing expense file
Cloud accounting apps for Small Businesses
FreshBooks: With over 5 million users already managing their accounts and billing through FreshBooks, it is one of the most popular applications available. It is an easy to use accounting application via which small businesses can track time spent on a project, expenses incurred, raise invoices and receive payments online. It also offers some advanced options like profit/loss reports, sending payment reminders, customizing invoices and project management features. It has a trial version for 30 days, and the paid packages start at $19.95 per month.
As per Mike McDerment, FreshBooks co-founder and CEO, “Small business owners want to focus on serving their customers and on doing what they love, not on accounting”. In line with this perspective, FreshBooks has recently launched a feature called the Automatic Expense Import. What this allows you to do in essence is collate expenses directly from your bank account, PayPal or credit cards. No longer the pain of feeding in expense data; all you need to do is link up your accounts with FreshBooks and the software will automatically calibrate your overall expenses over the last 30- 90 days (depending on the availability of data from your bank or credit card company). This feature is currently supported across 9000 financial institutions in the U.S and Canada and if you wish to know whether your bank is among them, simply contact FreshBooks.
QuickBooks: This is one of the popular accounting applications, which is extensively used for book keeping and billing. It allows you to track your income and expenses as well as pull transactions from your bank accounts. With QuickBooks you can gather all your tax data in one place and simply download a copy of the file for your accountant. They too offer a 30 day free trial, and the basic paid package costs $12.95 per month. The desktop version is far more comprehensive than the cloud version. Compared to FreshBooks, it lacks ability to accept online payment, and does not have invoicing feature.
Kashoo: This application offers a comprehensive set of features that are required of efficient book keeping. These include budgeting, double entry accounting, general ledger etc. Apart from the basic accounting features, it has an amazing feature that pulls the revenue and expense transactions automatically from the financial institutions However, it does not have a billing function. The basic package is priced at $16 per month.
Cloud accounting software is an efficient way for small businesses to manage their financial records while keeping costs under control. FreshBooks is a great option if you have to do a lot of invoicing, time tracking or if you wish to receive payments online. For book keeping, Quickbooks is a better option. Some businesses prefer using more than one accounting app for different purposes.