It’s difficult to manage a startup. There’s no question about that. In fact, more startups fail than succeed each year. As the owner of a startup, you really have to be very careful, as there are so many things that can cause a startup to fail. One of the most common reasons for startup failure—one you should be wary of—is poor financial management.
It’s easy enough to understand how finances that aren’t managed properly can lead to a business’ downfall. For one thing, poor financial management can lead to such legal issues as tax evasion and tax fraud. These issues, in turn, can have an adverse effect on your brand’s reputation. When a brand’s reputation suffers, it not only means losing customers; it can also mean losing your chance to gain startup funding.
There are many entrepreneurs who may be good at marketing their products, but aren’t really that good in handling accounting requirements. Needless to say, these entrepreneurs need all the help they can get. The good news is that sometimes, all it takes to hold failure at bay are the right invoicing and accounting tools and resources. Here are some of the most useful accounting tools and resources you may want to use to help ensure your startup’s success:
This is an invoicing tool that has been lauded by Forbes for being “incredible, user-friendly” not only because it makes invoicing very easy, but also because it allows for the quick and secure completion of various accounting tasks. FreshBooks allows you to create and send invoices, schedule your recurring invoices, and check if a particular client has already viewed your invoice.
The tool also enables your business to accept credit cards and import expenses from your credit card or bank account simply by photographing the receipt. Additionally, it allows you to accept payments via PayPal and 12 other gateways. The tool also allows you to generate estimates, capture billable hours, and track your monthly expenses. FreshBooks also offers a find-an-accountant map as well as a good number of webinars and award-winning support.
The tool comes with a 30-day free trial. Paid packages start at $19.95 a month.
This tool offers a different set of features for different types of entrepreneurs. There is an Invoicera for freelancers as well as one for a small business owner and another one for entrepreneurs running an enterprise. In general, though, the tool enables you to customize your invoices, manage your cash flow, receive online payments, and control your business expenses.
The tool also has a task management feature that enables you to keep track of how much time you’ve spent on a particular project. This is perhaps the tool’s most interesting feature because it also allows you to assign and evaluate individual tasks so as to improve your productivity.
Businesses with three clients or less can use the tool for free. Those who have more than three clients can choose from the $19.95, $39.95, and $99.95 packages.
This is another user-friendly tool that makes accounting hassle-free and convenient for startup businesses. It allows you to customize your invoices, view customer payments, and payment histories. It also has a feature that enables you to track your expenses and generate the usual accounting reports—general ledger, balance sheets, profit/loss margins, etc. And you’ll be sure to appreciate the fact that it allows you to collaborate with bookkeepers, accountants, and business partners. You even have the option of attending Kashoo U to learn how to use the software and acquire some knowledge on basic accounting.
Freelancers can use the tool for only $5 a month or $50 a year. Other entrepreneurs can use it for $20 a month or $200 a year.
4. Less Accounting
This tool is designed to assist “business owners who dislike bookkeeping.” The Less Accounting website states as much. The software allows you to send out business proposals, send invoices to clients, and keep a record of business expenses. It also enables you to log mileage for your business trips and import data from any of your bank accounts. It also allows you to use existing contacts in such platforms as Basecamp and Gmail. The tool also offers some informative guides for startup entrepreneurs and small business owners.
You can choose from $20, $36, and $54 monthly plans.
This cloud-based tool is lauded for making the concepts of invoicing and accounting a lot easier for the average individual to understand. Other than the ability to send invoices to your customers and track business expenses and income, the tool also gives you the ability to make electronic payments as well as to electronically report state and federal taxes.
One feature that sets Monchilla apart is the new hiring reporting feature. This feature automatically sends an employee’s report to your state. It also enables you to track your employees’ vacation time and sick leave. More than just making invoicing and accounting easier, therefore, this tool also makes overall business management less stressful for you.
Creating a Monchilla account is free, but the accounting software costs $5 a month and the payroll software another $5 a month.
6. QuickBooks Online
This tool allows you to customize your invoices to incorporate your company logo. It also allows you to create expense reports using digital receipts, sync your devices, and create tax reports. Additionally, the tool enables you to make and accept wire transfer and credit card payments as well as draw up real-time credit card and bank data. It also gives you the ability to draw up a payroll that already includes calculations and deductions for tax.
QuickBooks also allows you to import all of your contacts from Microsoft Excel, Outlook, and Gmail, thereby giving you the ability to collaborate with your accountant or bookkeeper. It also makes the task of importing historical financial data, tracking check payments, and creating business reports much easier. And the fact that it is web-based means you can use it anytime, anywhere; perfect for on-the-go accounting.
The tool comes with a 30-day free trial. Paid packages range from $9.99 to $39.95 a month.
The primary purpose of this mobile application is to give you a realistic estimate of the amount you owe in taxes for each quarter. All you need to do is fill in all the necessary information—income, state, filing status, expenses, number of dependents, etc.—and the tool will automatically show you how much you need to pay in state and federal taxes. It may not sound as interesting as the other tools on this list, but it does save you from getting an unpleasant surprise when tax season arrives.
The best thing about this application is that it is available for free and you won’t have to download or sign up for anything.
8. Wave Accounting
This cloud-based software is designed with very small businesses in mind. It is targeted towards freelancers as well as businesses with only nine employees or less. This accountant-approved integrated software is very easy to understand and makes invoicing, payroll preparation, and business reporting extremely easy. It even allows you to upload receipts so as to keep financial records in order.
The software also has a feature that allows you to effectively manage your personal finances. Furthermore, Wave offers an online forum where you can get accounting data and tips. There is also an option for you to find a professional accountant in your area.
This tool is available for free.
Just like Wave Accounting, this tool was also designed with small businesses in mind. The good thing about this is that it is packed with very useful features that make it easy for you to track sales, schedule recurring invoices, pay your employees, schedule payments, and prepare your W2s/1099s. It also gives you a real-time view of your financial information and allows you to capture receipts. Best of all, it integrated with over 350 applications, enabling you to create a perfectly customized experience.
This tool comes with a 30-day free trial. The Starter plan costs $9 a month.
10. Zoho Books
This is an intuitive tool that is also designed for small businesses. It enables you to send out invoices, automate your banking transactions, track business expenses, and accept online payments. The tool also gives you the ability to calculate taxes, track reimbursable hours, manage timesheets, and stay updated on your inventory.
This tool comes with a 14-day free trial. The paid package costs $24 a month.
Of course, we’re not saying you need to use all of these tools to ensure proper financial management for your business. What you need to do is determine which of these tools perfectly addresses your business needs. You need to be in control of your numbers in order to be fully in control of your business, and these tools will be sure to help you achieve that purpose. Take heart, for today’s biggest businesses were once startups, too.