Every year many startups announce arrivals in the market with plenty of new ideas, passion, and energy. Being an entrepreneur is not easy. With the launch of the business, comes many responsibilities and an ever-growing ‘to-do’ list.
One of the high priority items on your list would be managing your books.
Bookkeeping or accounting is the most integral part of any business. Wouldn’t you agree?
Needless to say, poor accounting ethics can damage the company’s reputation and the trust of their clients.
Although accounting is essential, to say the least, not every entrepreneur or small business owner can handle it.
Not everyone can do everything, right?
So what do they do?
They hire an accountant and pay them a huge amount of money to get things done.
For startups, bloggers, freelancers and small businesses, hiring a full-time accountant is not the best proposition. Therefore, most of these entities hire a professional at the end of the year to take care of their accounting.
And as they do not keep their books up to date, they end up rushing through the whole process which may be costly and prone to errors due to a rather simple reason – inefficiency.
Let us assume the owner of the business is efficient with accounting.
Now, would the person rather spend hours invoicing, bookkeeping, managing, tracking expenses and calling clients to remind them of the payments, or would (s)he rather work towards expanding the business?
Why should a person who excels at entrepreneurship indulge in accounting or bookkeeping when there are better ways to manage things?
Isn’t it always good, or should I say effective, to work on what you are good at?
Let me tell you a small story.
While I was interning at a startup, I was asked to research and find the best invoice and accounting software. I started my research by signing up for the free versions of popular accounting and bookkeeping software programs I came across online.
My focus was clear. I would only recommend a software if I could use it. Because if I, with barely any particular invoice and accounting experience, could, it would be a walk in the park for those with expertise.
Best Accounting, Bookkeeping & Invoice Software for small businesses
So, with that, here are some of the accounting and invoice software I liked, which I believe are all great, but with slight differences. You will have to use all of them before you zero in on one, but I have brought the list down to just four out of the hundreds out there.
Let us take a look at all the above in a little more detail.
Freshbooks is one of the online invoice, accounting software which is very easy to use. You can create, send and track invoices in just a few minutes. Time and expense tracking also becomes a lot easier since you can log time and billable hours.
It also has bookkeeping features through which organizing is much easier and payments can also be made quickly. Tracking and managing your expenses can be done without any trouble since you can also get the details about your previous invoices, revenue by client, best clients or the profit & loss reports to discover your outstanding invoices.
It does not have the inventory management feature, but it connects to other popular inventory management software. You can integrate PayPal and Stripe for collecting payments. It also offers iOS & Android apps.
It offers many other features in the paid version with prices ranging from $19.95/month to $39.95/month. It also offers a 30-day trial.
Xero is another online tool that makes your accounting simplified and convenient. It is simple yet extensive and is like a one-stop shop for all your accounting needs.
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?
Too good to be true? Nah. It is actually very convenient.
Well, you can easily create recurring professional invoices in just a few clicks. You can also set invoice reminders, and it automatically reminds customers about the payment of the invoices. Managing your cash flow also becomes easier, and one can log in anytime and see the up-to-date financial health of the business.
It also has others features that include general ledger, quotes, bills and expenses, payroll with automated superannuation payments, etc.
Price ranges from $9/month (limited features) to $60/month, depending on your geographic region. Moreover, you can know more about its features by trying it for free as it also offers a free trial for 30 days.
TopNotepad is a new invoice and accounting software. The beauty of this application is, it goes beyond invoices and accounting.
You may ask me how it does so.
It couples the CRM portion, which is important for a startup.
The overall UI is very intuitive and user-friendly. It has rich built-in features that help you create and send invoices with just a few clicks.
It also has invoice templates from which you can choose the one you like the most. It even lets you log leads, allocate them to your employees, and track conversion. It also offers features for managing your expenses in a much simpler fashion. It has got all the features you would require to streamline and manage your invoicing, accounting and leads.
Pricing starts from $10/month. The freemium plan is free forever! The catch, however, is you can create only up to 5 invoices in the freemium plan and once you exhaust your freedom, the software will request you to upgrade to a paid plan. You can integrate PayPal and InstaMojo for collecting payments too!
QuickBooks is one of the most popular accounting software available online. It does everything that one would want in an accounting software. You can create customized invoices with your company logo and send them to your customers in a matter of minutes.
You can also store customer details, reports of your income and expenses, etc. Tracking sales and expenses and managing customers, vendors and employee data becomes a lot easier with this software.
It also offers ways for managing bills and online banking. You can even track appointments, to-do items and important business tasks such as invoice and bill due dates. However, it is more suited for a medium to large sized company.
After a trial period of 30 days, you may have to pay somewhere between $9.99 and $39.95 per month, depending on your needs .
There are many accounting and invoice software, loaded with features, to make your work simpler. All you have to do is explore and choose the right accounting and bookkeeping software that suits your needs.
I’m sure once you find the most suitable software of your choice, accounting will no longer be a dreaded task, and it will actually help you ace the growth of your company.
It doesn’t matter whether your startup is a blog or an app, managing your account is a MUST and helps you grow.
As for you, which software do you use for invoice and accounting needs? Do share in the comments below.