If you’re just starting a career as a freelancing web professional, one of the most daunting tasks you face will be managing the accounting aspect of your business.
For most web professionals, this is unfamiliar ground. There are for example, billings to be made, invoices to be shipped, and quotations and discount offers to be managed.
All of this takes time, and since time is often of the essence, there’s a real need for an effective time management solution; and this includes time tracking.
Rather than wasting time maintaining large and complicated spreadsheets, you’ll find that you can save tons of time by investing in time tracking and invoicing software. There’s no shortage of these apps on the market, and examining the pros and cons of a few of them is well worth the time and effort.
To get you started on the right path, here are 10 of this year’s best.
If you’re a web professional, accounting may not be your strong suit. The same can also be said for many small business owners. FreshBooks is an innovative cloud-based application that makes invoicing, time tracking, expense tracking, and other time-consuming, paperwork-intensive tasks almost ridiculously easy to manage.
FreshBooks seamlessly fits in with the way you go about your business. You don’t have to be a numbers person to get the most from this user-friendly app; quite the opposite in fact. You can create and send an invoice that even has your brand’s logo and color scheme in about 30 seconds. FreshBooks even informs you if your invoice has been seen by your client.
FreshBooks’ many cool features include a dashboard that keeps you up to the minute on how your business is doing; informs you of overdue invoices or other things that need to be addressed; and tracks your expenses. The creators of this award-winning software invite you to try it for 30 days for free. No credit card is required!
Timely is a time tracking tool that is quickly rising in the ranks. It’s extremely popular with both individual web designers and developers, as well as larger teams. Its new feature, Memory, automatically tracks every file you work on, website you visit or app you use and captures what you’ve done in GitHub, Asana, Office 365/Outlook Calendar, Gmail, etc.
Can’t remember what you did last Friday or a week ago Tuesday? Timely’s Memory will tell you. It builds an intelligent timeline of your entire work day, where logging hours is 90% faster than in other time tracking tools.
An efficient, easy-to-use time tracking app is always nice to have. What about an app that tracks more than the time you’ve spent on a task, but tells you what tasks you performed yesterday, or last week and the exact amount of time it took you?
Futuramo Time Tracker is a cloud-based time tracking app that individuals or teams can use for improving time and work management activities. Since it is a web-app, there is nothing to install; which means you can get started in seconds!
With Futuramo Time Tracker in your tool kit, you can not only track your activities, but also use the app’s advanced statistics to analyze what you’ve done, get insight into your daily work habits, eliminate guesswork when it comes to future tasks and projects planning.
Powerful filters, search and sorting features allow you to sort by date range, client, or project; or any combination thereof. Other features include manual time recording, offline tracking, a customized timesheet view, and the ability to call up, edit and review past events. View the video available on the website, sign up, and try Futuramo Time Tracker now. It’s free for up to 3 users.
Elorus is an online invoice and billing app that’s an ideal choice for freelancers and small to medium businesses. With Elorus, you can issue invoices within seconds, monitor your cash flow, and manage your sales and expenses.
A special Elorus feature is its private client portal that allows you to invite clients to log in to review their transaction history, make payments, download invoices, and review quotes. You have complete control over which clients you provide this service.
Elorus adapts to all standard tablets and mobile devices. It’s free for professionals working with up to 3 clients/suppliers per month.
Avaza is an all-in-one software platform designed to help you run your business, and focus on your clients. Its main features include project and task management, time tracking, expense reporting, invoicing, and quoting. When working a project, Avaza lets you toggle between task lists, and Kanban and Gantt task views.
This powerful app also supports collaboration with team members and clients. Avaza Timesheets is an easy-to-use online time tracking feature for direct task time tracking.
Avaza is currently used by more than 15,000 businesses in 150 countries. You can sign up for free.
Avaza is a notable product with a unique and useful combination of features. The software is well designed and easy to understand.
Most time trackers need you to start and stop timers whenever you do something, which is easy to forget. Timing does things differently — it automatically tracks which apps, documents and websites you use. The app then lets you review that time and categorize it into projects. Timing also uses this data to compute how productive you are, to help you improve your productivity over time.
Timing also includes all the other features you’d expect from a time tracking app, e.g. manual tracking, reports, and timesheets to help bill your clients. They offer a free 14-day trial.
Paymo provides an excellent solution for teams looking for software they can use to manage one or more projects from start to finish. Its advanced task management features allow teams and individuals to plan, schedule, and assign activities, track work time, and generate performance reports.
You can take full advantage of Paymo’s project templates, Kanban Boards, and Gantt charts. Paymo will even issue invoices to your clients and track expenses.
If you’re looking for a fast and convenient way to generate invoices, and present them in a PDF format, Free Invoice Generator was meant for you. All that’s required is to enter your details, your client’s details, and the invoice line items; and let this app do the rest. Free Invoice Generator is a Hivage product. On the Hiveage website, you’ll find a useful guide on invoicing practices.
If you’re struggling to track your team’s time or explain your hours to your clients, Trigger can help. Trigger enables you to track time, manage projects, invoice clients (direct to Xero with one-click; so no more double handling), and access management reports that help you stop over-servicing clients and losing money. Integrated with Slack, Dropbox, Google Apps, Zapier and more, Trigger also offers Kanban and task list views, a team schedule, and a calendar.
Clicktime can do a lot, with only minimal effort on your part. It’s easy to use; it features 80 pre-built reports that surface key performance metrics; it offers custom time-tracking solutions for businesses, non-profits, and PR agencies; and it gives you a low-cost expense tracking solution. You’ll find the dashboard a great help in your resource planning and time management activities. Clicktime can be customized to fit the needs of nearly any user.
Picking any of these apps will move you one step closer toward a paperless office. You’ll also discover that you’re saving a significant amount of time every day. Visit the websites, view the demos, take advantage of a trial offer or two, and you should be good to go.
You can’t make a bad choice; but by taking the check these apps out in detail, you’re more apt to make the best one.