There might still be some accountants out there who are purists. They might believe that they need to dot every I and cross every T with their own two hands. While that’s certainly noble and meticulous, it’s not how most modern accountants work these days.
Whether you call yourself a fractional CFO, a progressive accountant or something else, if you love smart tools, this list is for you. We’ve collected some of the best accounting tools out there, so you can automate and work smarter, rather than harder.
Yes, there are some accountants who look down on tools like QuickBooks, but the truth is, modern accounting packages like this are super smart, ultra-slick, and can do remarkably complex things. QuickBooks is also cloud based, so it can be accessed anywhere, and has some industry specific tools and add ons that can take you from quote to invoice and beyond with ease.
QuickBooks also has a huge library of integrations with various payment processors and online stores, so if your company sells online, you can automate a huge chunk of the process.
FreshBooks might not be the number one out there (QuickBooks remains the global leader) but it’s a close second these days.
The FreshBooks platform isn’t as developed as QuickBooks, so it’s mainly used for invoicing, basic bookkeeping and payroll, but it is also cloud based. It does integrate with some payment processors and can handle some basic accounting reports.
Sage Accounting is another accounting tool that has been around for a long time. Many of the offerings from Sage are larger, more robust, and better able to deal with enterprise level accounting requirements.
However, there are smaller, more limited packages that are suitable for small businesses. Sage also offers a variety of industry specific tools and add ons for everything from construction to FMCG industries. There are also HR plugins and tools, inventory management and CRMs. Which means you could build an end to end business management solution from Sage’s products.
If you’re like most people in business, there’s a good chance you already have some automated spreadsheets that you use to perform various calculations.
They’re great because you can tailor them to your exact needs. However, getting the information on those sheets into other programs is a bit of a headache. You need to convert them to CSV or some other format, import them, and still tweak them to get the right data in the right place.
LiveFlow is a solution that allows you to use your spreadsheets coupled with auto-updated QuickBooks reports. To try it out, install LiveFlow’s Google Sheets Add On to automate your manual month-end reporting with a click.
If you don’t have an accounting package that includes payroll, a standalone solution can speed up the payroll process significantly. Wagepoint is an affordable, easy to use and intuitive payroll package that does all the basics you need. It’ll handle taxes, integrate for direct deposits and more. There aren’t too many bells and whistles, but sometimes, simple is better!
While we’re on the topic of wages, if you need a tool to manage time tracking, be sure to check out TSheets. It’s another standalone solution that allows your employees to accurately track their work hours online, and it’s cloud-based, so you get information in real-time.
Working hours can also be assigned to specific projects, which makes it great for job costing.
If you’re tired of chasing expenses, then an automated, digital expense tracking tool like Expensify is one of the best accounting tools out there. All it takes is a picture of the receipt. Expensify codes it for you, so all you have to do is review and approve. There’s even an automated rapid reimbursement system if you want to be able to refund employees within a day.
Something for Every Business
The software packages we’ve listed here are just a few of the many that are available right now. Some are even open source – and free – so you really can find exactly the right mix of accounting tools for your business. So why not spend some time setting up free trials and taking them for a test drive?
The time you will save when you automate accounting processes with technology will make it a worthwhile exercise! No matter what age or stage the company you work for is at, and no matter what your budget and needs are, there are some amazing accounting tools out there, just waiting to make your job simpler, better, and faster.