How to manage your small business finances on the go
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Modern small business owners live on mobile devices to stay connected while commuting between appointments and job sites, or just to connect in their spare time. Because you’re always on the go, it can be difficult to find the time to sit at a desk or in front of a computer to take care of the accounting tasks essential to the running of your business, whether it’s search for information or issue invoices. on time.
Perhaps there is some nostalgia for how it was when sending an invoice required access to all the necessary information. Most of us have moved on from the olden days and put away the stuff of our young business people, from physical timesheets to paper checks, manual calculations and even hand-addressed envelopes. These were not only time consuming, but a distraction from activities that stimulated growth.
Today’s mobile financial management apps let you access and manage your small business finances anywhere, anytime. It’s a great way to save time so you can focus on growth-oriented tasks.
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First and foremost is the ability of a mobile app to handle billing. The mobile app will automatically populate your business name, logo and contact information into an invoice template. After that, the app should let you add and access customer contact information, store product and service descriptions, and set prices. When you’re ready to create a new invoice, the system will automatically populate a unique invoice number and allow you to use drop-down menus to select from the customers, products and services you’ve already set up.
Find a system that will allow you to add the correct and relevant sales tax and adjust prices by applying a discount or adding a fee. Conveniently, you can select your issue date, payment terms and due date, as well as add any other notes or attachments required by the invoice – all from anywhere as long as you have your telephone. The app should also have a look that matches the desktop version, so you can use either one without missing a beat.
Document and data entry
At your desk or out of the office, you are inundated with receipts for expenses such as materials delivered to you or those shipped directly to a project site. Whether paper or electronic, all these elements must be entered and accounted for.
Look for an app that will let you automatically capture a photo of paper receipts, then save and organize them right away in the app. You should be able to do the same with emailed receipts or items imported from your device’s photo gallery. Once imported, such an app should match receipts to bank or credit card charges, quickly access them for mobile billing, or find what was last billed to you by a vendor.
Even better and easier, look for an application that can extract data from these financial documents and load them into an all-in-one cloud-based financial management system. If the app offers vendor mapping, it will identify what you have securely captured, organized, and saved, and then categorize it properly without forcing you to do this tedious work. Such automated reconciliation greatly reduces the time you would need to spend categorizing all the emails and papers you have accumulated.
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Real-time and background data management
Look for an app that will call your transactions for review in several distinct ways: by time, by status, by vendor, or by category. If you are looking for a specific transaction from the last month, you should be able to select the relevant date range. You should also be able to filter whether the transaction has already been reviewed (as part of your monthly review), search for a particular supplier, or search by category: for example, analyzing all travel-related transactions. Apps that connect directly to your bank and credit card accounts should do so automatically, providing accurate, up-to-date information and making it even easier for you to be tethered to your desk.
Organize your business finances safely and efficiently, wherever you are
With a capable mobile app, you can get a lot done away from your computer, and you can get it done fast. The right application can associate documents with a particular customer and assign them to an account or category based on the mapping you create during setup. This should eliminate the tedious process that accounts for nearly 75% of routine reconciliations. Small business owners understand what they have done; an app that knows what you know can verify the accuracy of a transaction’s vendor, date, amount, and categorization faster than you can, while updating the transaction seamlessly in the background.
The flexibility of mobile access to financial records is essential for a small business owner. Best-in-class data capture means what you’ve imported matches your physical documents. Something reliable will let you do it all on the fly, anytime, anywhere.
When it comes to security, look for a solution provider that monitors their infrastructure 24/7. The data you upload should be hosted with the world’s leading data center providers and have key certifications such as SOC 2 Type II and ISO 27001. Look for a provider that encrypts data in transit and on its servers and will ensure that mobile access will be available whenever you need it.
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Time is of the essence for every small business owner and entrepreneur. To get the most out of it, not only do you need to find ways to do things more efficiently, but you need to find ways to make the most of every minute you have. With the ability to access an all-in-one financial management mobile app when you’re away from your desk, you can seize these opportunities to perform critical accounting tasks. And the best part is that it frees up more time to grow your business.