7 of the best accounting apps

Tamara Pupic tracks down some of the best accounting apps on the market, and explains how they can help you balance the books.
By Tamara Pupic
Wed 11 Jun 2014 10:10 AM

When your business starts paying and billing more than a few invoices monthly, it’s time to consider an automated system to track the money.

To think simple and low cost is acceptable in the beginning, but as your business grows and becomes more complex, you’ll likely need to upgrade. 

We have picked out seven of the best online accounting apps that can help you along the way.

FreshBooks (www.freshbooks.com)

FreshBooks is tailored to independent contractors and small, service-based businesses, offering them a good variety of invoicing features, some expense tracking and basic bookkeeping functions, and a clean, easy-to-use interface. The process of invoicing with the use of FreshBooks will provide you with an easy sign up that is both free and fast. Last but not least, it is the only online accounting application that provides an iOS and Android timer you can use to track time billing in the field.

Chrometa (www.chrometa.com)

If you want to keep track of the billable hours your lawyer has actually spent working on your document, and consequently receive a bill that may not just be lower but also fairer, Chrometa is for you. This app automatically tracks a lawyer’s computer usage, showing how much time has been spent on each e-mail, document or spreadsheet. In addition, Chrometa is also a great time tracking software and an interesting tool to use if you are looking for ways to build in more productivity.

Xero (www.xero.com)

New Zealand’s Xero software prides itself on making accounting “fun”. The easy-to-use product creates a one-stop shop for small businesses to perform routine accounting functions and have an unlimited number of user logins, which is a unique feature of this app. Xero integrates with more than 200 other business applications, including e-commerce platforms, time tracking apps and CRM systems. Users can connect all the solutions they use to run their business, eliminating the need for tedious data entry.

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Wave (www.waveapps.com)

Wave Accounting, which is part of Wave Apps, is a free integrated accounting and payroll app that is tailored to freelancers, contractors, entrepreneurs, and small business owners with nine employees or fewer. It is primarily focused on billing and collecting receivables, tracking and paying bills, and monitoring cash and credit card balances. The application can work with both business and personal accounts, and different reports are available for the two different groups.

SageOne (www.sageone.com)

SageOne is an innovative small-business invoicing system created by Sage Accounting, which has been creating accounting products for over 30 years. SageOne is designed for freelancers, entrepreneurs and start-ups, as well as those who may know nothing about formal accounting and run their business from home. This cloud-based and easy-to-use software is bundled with project tracking, task management, collaboration and payment processing, and also includes numerous time-saving features.

QuickBooks Online (www.quickbooks.intuit.com)

After the success of its popular Quicken personal finance software, Intuit developed a similar solution for small business owners – QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks for Mac. Whether you›re an independent consultant or a small business owner who is new to QuickBooks, the app allows you to manage all of your business accounting in one place and simplifies the whole process by providing a recommended set of key activities to get you up-and-running quickly.

Square (www.squareup.com)

Square was started in February of 2009 by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, and has made a name for itself by creating not only a mobile credit card processing app, but also a product that can manage your cash transactions, calculating the change and adding the transaction to the reports. Its setup process is both free and simple - create an account by providing some basic contact information to verify your identity, download the app onto any of your devices, connect your bank account to the app, and then just wait for your free credit card swipe to arrive in the mail. Once it arrives, you plug it into the headphone jack of your mobile device and you’re ready for immediate payment processing.

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