By Anna Eschenburg
Staying on top of the financial health of your business while you’re on the road isn’t easy. Did that much anticipated late payment from a client come in yet? How’s your inventory tracking? What about cash flow? How are you ever going to find time to record the expenses you’re accruing? The good news is; you can do it all on the road – and more!
Here are 20 tools and apps that can help you master mobile business management- track your business finances and fiscal health on the go.
Take Advantage of Cloud Accounting Software
Cloud-based accounting software makes it easier than ever to monitor and manage your finances wherever you are. Freshbooks, Xero, QuickBooks and more offer a feature-rich toolset of accounting tools that can be accessed from your laptop or mobile device, making it easier to:
- Accept credit cards and process PayPal transactions
- Import and capture and capture expenses
- Issue invoices on the go
- Monitor and accounts payable and receivable
- Run reports like cash flow statements
- Manage taxes
- Track time
- And more
Get More from Mobile Banking
Did you know your mobile bank app is a great tool for proactively managing cash flow?
Stay on top of critical cash movements by setting up cash flow alerts to notify you as activity occurs, without constantly monitoring your account. For example, if your account balance dips below a certain threshold, an alert will let you know so that you can take action and move cash from other sources, avoiding costly overdraft fees. Business credit cards also let you set up email or text notifications so you can keep an eye on your balance.
When choosing a mobile banking service, consider the level of customization afforded by the bank’s mobile app or service. Many banks offer preset options while others let you set custom alerts.
Process Payments on the Go
These apps are great for small businesses who sell or process payments on the go, for example at fairs, farmer’s markets.. But they’re also a great mobile business management tool for service-based businesses who normally invoice clients once they get back to the office, such as cleaning companies, contractors, and more. Think about ways that you can accept payment for a broader variety of transactions on the spot.
[Editor’s note: You can learn even more about how to offer online payments here]
Simplify Expense Management
Mobile business management can help you at tax time. If you’re looking for ways to maximize your small business tax deductions, then mobile expense management is a must. Not only does it help you keep good records (which the IRS requires) it just makes the process a lot easier. Why waste hours back at the office logging your expenses when you can do it as you go.
Cloud accounting tools are one option. FreshBooks, QuickBooks, and others let you take a photo of a receipt then attach it to your expense reports.
Don’t forget to track mileage, that’s another big deduction that small businesses often overlook. Apps that can help include Milog ($3.99) which makes it easier to calculate distances and track deductions. Mileage Log ($4.99) is another option. Designed with IRS compliance in mind, this app helps you track mileage, sort, filter, and search trips, and email or sync reports to Dropbox.
For a more comprehensive reporting tool, consider Expensify (free for individual users). File expenses as you make them, sync credit card purchases, time, scan paper receipts, generate reports, and more. If you’re QuickBooks user, take a look at Abukai. Take a picture of your receipts using your smart phone and the tool generates an expense report in Excel with receipt images attached in a PDF. Abukai then automatically assigns cost categorization, date, vendor and integrates with popular accounting software.
Other tools include Shoeboxed, Cashbook Expense Tracker (for Android) and ProOnGo.
Keep an Eye on Inventory
Keep an eye on inventory movements and their impact on cash flow as you travel with the Inventory Now app ($4.99). Track inventory lifecycle (including units bought, shifted, shipped, buy price and profit) from anywhere.
Which of these mobile business management tools are you using? Let us know how you are you managing your business on the road?
Anna Eschenburg is the senior marketing manager at Fundbox, a technology company disrupting the way small businesses get paid. With Fundbox, small businesses can get paid in advance for their outstanding invoices.