In my previous article, “The Top 5 Reasons to Move Your Books to the Cloud”, I discussed how anytime, anywhere cloud access is the future of small business accounting systems. One of the reasons cloud accounting is taking off is the availability of inexpensive, yet robust, specialized applications that will create a full feature accounting system that streamlines transaction recording and enables real time financial analysis. This article will discuss the top 4 cloud accounting apps that are best for small businesses.
What is an “APP”?
An App is a software application program that has been custom designed to automate specific accounting functions, improve work flow and access to financial information. They are created by software developers to connect and integrate directly with the main, general ledger accounting program seamlessly. The apps that I will be referring to will all integrate with a cloud based accounting program like to QuickBooks Online. In fact, the folds at QuickBooks are doing everything they can do encourage these app developers to create new, cloud-based programs.
Here is a list of the top 4 apps that will benefit most small businesses.
Get ready to have your mind blown!
Bill.com – Accounts Payable Processing Accounts payable management is about more than just entering and paying bills. It’s also about approving bills, approving payments and going paperless. With bill.com, you will never purchase, print, sign or mail checks again. LSL uses this app and hasn’t written a check in 2 years. This app will enable you to automate the entire accounts payable process in the cloud while syncing all transactions with the QB Online accounting program. The program allows for the simple uploading of digital bill copies using multiple methods. Your vendors can even email their bills directly to your bill.com account. Once the document is in the system, the bill is coded to the correct expense account and submitted for approval. The designated approver can view and approve the bill using a mobile app on their smart phone to view and approve the bill. Payment selection can also be done remotely. Once the payment has been authorized, bill.com will either transfer the funds via ACH wire or create and mail a paper check to the vendor. The same program can also be used to send invoices to customers and receive electronic payments directly into your bank account. Once the app is synced with QBO, all transactions will be included in both systems.
Expensify – Employee Expense Management Employee expense reports can be a mess. They can take hours to create and hours to approve and post. Finally, there is a better way to automate the entire process. Expensify is the app that will enable each employee to organize and document their expense electronically. Also, credit card transactions can automatically import into the app. A smart phone app will save a picture of a receipt and upload it to the Expensify app. Once the report (and supporting documentation) is submitted, the approval process can also be done in the cloud with 24/7 access. The program can even create direct deposit payments so employees can be reimbursed quickly. The beauty of the app is that it automatically creates a strong set of expense procedures just by following the features within the program. And again, it syncs transaction with QBO. There are a lot of other time saving bells and whistles included in this powerful app.
Hubdoc – Document Management and Transaction Automation
This app has many of features of bill.com except it does not handle the electronic payment of bills. This app will also sync to bill.com or directly to QBO. Hubdoc has a unique fetching system that will automatically download bank and credit card statement and various utility and phone bills directly from the vendor website. Instead of waiting for the statements to arrive in the mail, they are in your Hubdoc inbox as soon as they available. Like bill.com, Hubdoc can receive documents in various ways, store them by vendor allow you to code and push expense transactions directly to QBO. It also attaches the supporting document to the transaction inside of QBO, so you can view back-up anytime you are looking a transaction. It’s all about gathering, processing and posting transactions quickly and seamlessly so you can access real time financial report.
TSheets – Time Tracking and Scheduling For business that have a lot of employees, especially those working in the field, TSheets is an amazing app that capture hours quickly and efficiently using a mobile app installed on each employee’s smart phone. It will also enable the employer to know where employees are located throughout the day via GPS tracking. No more paper timesheets, or manual time entry. Authorized employees can approve employee hours and upload information to various payroll programs. And, of course, it transfers time entries to QBO. Time can be entered by project and task to enable customer billing inside of QBO. This app also allows you to maintain a work schedule to track employee availability. This app is an invaluable tool for the small service business.
These are just a few of the hundreds of apps that are being used to power small business accounting systems. And more being created every day.
If you want to find out more about how these or other apps may help improvement your accounting systems, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you assess your needs and find the right solution for your business. LSL also provides outsourced accounting services that utilize these apps and enables us to work collaboratively with you in the cloud. We’re excited about the future of financial management and helping you build a better business. To the “CLOUD” and beyond!!!