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  • Writer's pictureCherie Larson

Accounting Apps & Tools to Help you Rake in the Profit



Most business owners want to make more money. But it's not just about getting more cash. It's about seeing the whole picture. Here are some apps that can help you understand your money better.


Accounting Software

Unless you're a very small business with minimal activity, Excel might not be sufficient for tracking your finances. Regardless of your business size, if you have business loans or credit cards, we strongly recommend using accounting software. It's easy to overlook items that aren't on the profit & loss statement. As your business expands, the need for dedicated accounting software becomes crucial. Here are some popular choices. We advise consulting with your bookkeeper or tax accountant for tailored recommendations. Using their preferred software might even qualify you for a discount.

NAME

TYPE

NOTES

QuickBooks Online

Cloud based

Great all-around software - not as good with inventory. Not as user-friendly as the advertising makes it sound.

QuickBooks Desktop

Desktop or Server based (potentially online server)

More robust version of QuickBooks but it is being phased out. It is expensive and we recommend only using it if you need special features that online doesn’t offer. Also more difficult to access remotely. One of the best options for tracking inventory with basic software.

Xero

Online

Xero is a popular software that can be more basic or complex and is somewhat user friendly.

Wave

Online

Free, but doesn’t have as many capabilities and good for only very small businesses.

Zoho Books

Online

Often used with other Zoho products, especially Zoho One, to save costs and provide better integration. Not as user-friendly as QB Online, but works fairly well.


There are also industry-specific software options as well as options for growing businesses with special needs such as inventory or multiple divisions under the same entity.


Payroll Software


We cannot stress enough the value of payroll software. The risk of miscalculating taxes, forgetting a tax payment, or mishandling a deduction is high, and the tax-related consequences can be severe. Such mistakes might lead to penalties and interest from the IRS, diminished trust from your employees, and significant time rectifying these errors. There's a plethora of software options. Our top picks include QuickBooks Workforce (which integrates with QuickBooks Online) and Gusto. Both platforms provide basic payroll functionalities, manage additional deductions, and accurately track pre- and post-tax deductions. They also offer onboarding and ongoing updates that employees can access online, and feature enhanced HR, benefits, extended funding times, and other perks.


We recommend starting with the basic version and upgrading as required. Notably, both platforms can integrate with QuickBooks Online and Xero, simplifying your tasks. Your accountant or bookkeeper might have further recommendations and might even offer discounts on subscription fees. An essential feature to consider is time tracking for employees. Especially for non-exempt salaried employees, this becomes crucial if an employee ever raises a grievance or initiates legal action. Thankfully, most payroll software provides this functionality.


Payment Portal


Most accounting software programs offer a way for clients to pay you and for you to pay your vendors through that software. QuickBooks Online has established a partnership with a company named Melio.com. They're gearing up to unveil their own payment platform. In the meantime, you can continue processing payments and collecting invoices via Melio, which will seamlessly synchronize with QuickBooks Online. This integration can save you considerable time in both payment collection and record-keeping. However, be mindful of the associated costs of these payment conveniences. By planning ahead and avoiding last-minute payments, you often benefit from free transactions, eliminating the need for stamps and envelopes for mailing checks.


Accounting Software Add-Ins


Many vendors offer software that integrates with your accounting system, allowing data to be pulled into or pushed out of the software. This enables synchronization of online store data or inventory details, and allows for exports to platforms like Excel or Google Sheets, among other functionalities. However, it's crucial to invest time in configuring these integrations correctly. Improper setups can lead to inaccurate results, and it's essential to periodically check and reconcile the synchronized data. For those interested, here's a link to apps that are compatible with QuickBooks Online: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/app/apps/home/.


To-Do List


Managing an ongoing to-do list can be as straightforward or intricate as you prefer. As your business expands, there's immense value in decluttering your mind by organizing these tasks. A robust tracking system becomes even more beneficial when you're onboarding new employees:

  • It facilitates easy task assignments.

  • Offers a clear view of task progression.

  • Prioritize not only your time but also that of your employees.

  • As business owners, we often have more tasks than available time. Organizing them on a list ensures the crucial ones are tackled first.


For task management, several platforms stand out:

  • ClickUp

  • Asana

  • Trello

  • Monday.com


We recommend trying their free versions initially. Start by integrating a minor segment of your tasks to gauge suitability before investing time in a comprehensive setup. For those seeking guidance, there's no shortage of experts and helpful YouTube tutorials.


Technology plays an integral role in today's small businesses, and it's tempting to overspend without realizing. No matter which software options you opt for, ensure you're actively using them and truly getting value for your money. Avoid paying for redundant services from various providers, and always monitor your expenditures.


Need assistance, especially regarding your accounting software choices? We're here to help!


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