Business Budgeting: Top Tools to Make Your Business Soar 🚀
In the past, managing your business’s finances was extremely difficult and likely had to be handled by an accounting professional. Now, with the advancement of technology, and more specifically financial technology, it has never been easier to manage your business finances.
Your business’s financial health will directly impact almost every decision you make. Businesses that are financially healthy usually have less turnover, better approval odds when applying for funds, such as a business loan, and more flexibility when it comes to spending. Also, businesses that are financially stable are better equipped to handle issues that are outside of their control, like the recession that COVID-19 has caused.
Your financial health can always be improved. Follow this guide to see our top picks of business technology that will take your finances to the next level!
The benefits of using a cloud-based bookkeeping service are immeasurable. According to a McAfee report, Eighty-seven percent of businesses that have adopted cloud-based services have experienced an accelerated growth spurt. Also, companies that use cloud-accounting software saw a 15% growth in the year-over-year revenue pattern.
As you navigate the crowded cloud-bookkeeping industry, it can be difficult to know which offer will be the best fit for your business and its needs. Here are some of our top picks of bookkeeping services to help maintain your business’s finances.
Best For Startups and Solopreneurs — Wave
Wave is robust cloud-based accounting software that is 100% free, making it a great starting point for startups and businesses with smaller budgets. Unlike other services that are more so “freemium”, Wave’s accounting software is completely free to use with no paywall blocked features.
The features are on-par with most of the larger cloud accounting companies, but the lack of third-party software support, difficulty linking bank accounts, and reports of poor customer service are all drawbacks of the software.
Again, Wave is great for smaller businesses that do not have the need, or budget, to purchase a more robust alternative. Wave can help get you by and then some, but this more simplistic offering has its limitations.
Best For Small Business Owners — Zoho Books by Zoho
Zoho is a great first step into the paid accounting industry for business owners. The program has an easy-to-use interface that allows you to manage your accounting, hassle-free.
The Zoho Books standard plan will cost $19 a month, or $190 annually if you pay upfront. The standard plan will get you:
- 3 total users with complete access
- 500 contacts
- 10 Automated workflows per module
- Create invoices
- Track expenses
- Account reconciliation
The main drawback of using Zoho Books is that the tiered plans are very restrictive. The plans are cost-effective upfront but come with premiums that can add up over time. Also, compared to other paid alternatives, Zoho offers less third-party app support, and a big missing feature is payroll support.
Best Overall — Intuit QuickBooks
Quickbooks is used by over 29 million small businesses, and for good reason. The application is one of the most robust on the market, but it comes with a hefty price tag.
Boasting an excellent user interface, extensive customization options, and hundreds of add-ons and integrations, it should come as no surprise that Quickbooks dominates the market.
The thing that really sets Quickbooks above the rest of the competition is the number of features that they are always adding. Recently, they rolled out a new mileage tracking system, multilingual invoice reporting, and a redesigned banking tab. The company is very transparent about updates and users can read about them on the Quickbooks blog.
The pricing will be the biggest deterrence from signing up for Quickbooks. The standard plan starts at $25 per month, and only allows three users. The prices go up from there, jumping to $70 a month for the plus plan, which allows 5 users, and finally, $150 a month for the advanced plan, meant only for larger-scale businesses.
If your business is growing and has the resources, Quickbooks is one of the best options available for cloud-based accounting.
Going to the bank is never fun, so why go? Online banking can be traced back to as early as 1983 when the Bank of Scotland invented Homelink. Homelink allowed customers to connect their televisions and phones to a remote computer terminal where they could pay bills and view statements online. The service was primitive but extremely ahead of the times.
Almost every bank today, from small credit unions to national banks, offers online banking services. As online banking has advanced, there has been a heavier focus on incorporating it within the business sector. Some businesses are still tentative to jump onto the digital banking bandwagon, but as technology advances, more of the world will be using online banking.
COVID-19 may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to brick-and-mortar banking. Going to the bank was already inconvenient, but now with health guidelines and limited staff, going to the bank can be an annoyance. There has been no better time to use online banking for your business. Here are some of the best banks to try this year:
Best for Startups and Solopreneurs — Novo
Novo was founded in 2018 with one purpose in mind, to lead the online business banking revolution.
Novo prides itself on convenience. Signing up for an account through Novo is simple and to the point. As a business owner, all you need to provide is your personal information, business information, and evidence that your business is a registered entity in the United States. Also, unlike some competitors, Novo does not need a huge amount of money to open an account. To get started, all you need is a deposit of $50.
Some of the best features of Novo are:
- No monthly fees.
- No transaction limits
- Links to existing bank accounts.
- Receive an EMV chipped debit card
- Easy integration with Quickbooks, Slack, Plaid, and more.
If you are looking for an online banking partner, but do not want to invest a large amount of money into your account, try Novo.
Best Overall — Azlo
Azlo’s mission is to help to level the playing field for founders, freelancers, and small business owners and make entrepreneurship more accessible to everyone.
Azlo will help you manage your finances easily, with extensive third-party support that includes Zoho, Quickbooks, Wave Accounting, and more. If your accounting software is not supported, you can download your transactions as a CSV file and import them into excel.
What sets Azlo apart from other online banking services is that it can also integrate with different point-of-sale software offerings. If your business is using Stripe, Square, and even Etsy, Azlo can work with them to help further manage your business’s finances.
Another thing that sets Azlo apart from other online banking platforms is that it provides users with the ability to invoice companies that they work with. The invoicing feature allows users to receive payments much faster than they would before.
Also, Azlo is fee-free and there is no minimum deposit required to start banking.
One thing to keep in mind when using any digital banking service is, they tend to lack cash support. If your business is still reliant on physical money, online banking services probably will not be a great fit.
They say time is money, that’s why time tracking software is essential for any business. No matter what type of business you manage, actiTIME is always there to keep a close watch on your time budgets.
If you operate a service-based company, time tracking can help you easier report billable hours to customers. Tracking how long employees work on specific tasks and projects can minimize the amount of time wasted on unproductive tasks.
The longer you use a time tracking system, the better. As you use actiTIME, it will store your past data, making it easier to see productivity trends within your organization. This, in turn, will make it easier to estimate how long certain tasks will take in the future.
Studies show that the average employee will waste three hours of work a day doing unproductive tasks. While not every minute of the day can be spent working, three hours wasted is certainly too much. Using a time tracking system will hold your employees accountable for their work, leading to less time wasted on the clock.
If you are still on the fence about implementing a time tracking system, you can start your free trial of actiTIME right now!