Small business owners are overwhelmed. They have the responsibility for every aspect of their companies and very often, they bear that burden alone. Some of my clients want to pay attention to their books, but they are too stressed out to focus on their accounting.
When everything is important and has to be done now, it’s hard to know what to prioritize. Sound familiar?
There is no replacement for expert advice and experience when it comes to managing your business’ finances. But in this technological age, I firmly believe in utilizing tools at our fingertips to help us maximize our time. Here are a few of favorites that I recommend to clients to help them manage their money.
1. Wave - Wave is free software that you can use on your mobile device or computer to help you track your sales and expenses. In other words, it can help you get organized and avoid being yelled at by your tax accountant come filing time! I always say that free is free, meaning that there are some quirks to it, but they are outweighed by how helpful and easy this tool is.
You can create and customize invoices within Wave, categorize income and expenses, and even connect the ability to accept credit card payment through its invoices. This simple software will help you get on the road to tracking and organizing your finances.
2. Mile tracking apps - How do you track the miles you drive for your company? If you’re like far too many business owners, the answer is that you often forget to. Those are deductions slipping through your fingertips, folks! Make the process easy by downloading a tool like Hurdlr or MileIQ so that you can automatically track mileage in your car.
Not a single one of us needs more to remember. Make the process as easy as point and drive.
3. Expense tracking apps - Training yourself to separate your business and personal expenses to prevent co-mingling, then creating budgets for both aspects of your life can feel overwhelming. It certainly requires time, effort, and some patience. Apps like InDinero and Mint do a good job of pulling information from multiple places--including business and personal credit cards, and help you track and gain analysis on your spending, as well as do forecasting for your business.
Again, there is no substitute for the expertise a financial professional can bring to your business but any tools that help you take ownership of your money are a good thing.
4. Zoom - Let’s say that you’re on the East Coast and your accountant is in in the West. Can you imagine having extensive financial discussions only by phone?
Video conferencing has been around for a while, but Zoom is an integral part of my communication arsenal with my clients. It allows me to see them wherever they are and share my screen to walk them through to how use some of the tools I mentioned earlier. More than that, it’s how I build relationships with my clients regardless of where they are in the country or the world.
You need to trust the professionals you work with to help you manage your businesses finances and accounting systems. Tools like Zoom give you flexibility to work and connect with the experts you trust most regardless of location.
Business always gets done, but I also want to hear how you’re doing because, after all, you are your business.
Part of successfully managing a business involves finding ways to execute tasks most efficiently. Sometimes that involves outsourcing, and others its knowing the tools that will help you add time back into your day.