Owners of startups and small businesses who choose to handle their finances on their own should consider investing in resources and tech tools to help them. A panel of Forbes Finance Council members recommends the following applications for business finance tracking.
- Excel David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services highly recommends Excel as a super-cheap way to track expenses. The more sophisticated, more organized way is to use QuickBooks and, if the business owner can afford it, hire an accountant or an accounting firm.
- FreshBooks Jody Grunden, Summit CPA Group, recommends FreshBooks, an online platform. There’s no need to download it and it is accessible anywhere. It has built-in time tracking, invoicing, bill pay and reporting features of the business operation. A small-business owner can always check how well the business is doing.
- Botkeeper David Gass, Anderson Business Advisors, LLC recommends using a tool like Botkeeper. The online tool learns from a small amount of human interaction with new AI technology. It eventually learns the business and automates the process of data entry.
- QuickBooks Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc., recommends QuickBooks, a great tool to automate and simplify bookkeeping. If utilized properly, it can create the monthly financials/balance sheet automatically.
- Integrated Platforms Sal Rehmetullah, Fattmerchant said that business owners have a lot of platforms to choose from for finance tracking that they can integrate with other software. Examples of those platforms are QuickBooks Online, Xero and Freshbooks.
- A Cash Flow Forecasting Tool Chris Tierney, Moore Colson CPAs and Advisors recommend that small business owners make use of the weekly cash flow forecasting tool that various banks and other commercial accounting software provide. The tool will help business owners keep track of who owes them money and when it should be coming in versus when the bills are due.
- A Cloud-Based Tool (After Proper Bank Set Up) Levi Morehouse, Ceterus recommends that small business owners should first have a proper bank set up and one credit card account for all business activities only before using cloud-based accounting and reporting applications.
- Tools to Help Manage the Four Core Elements of Accounting Chris Schwalbach, AVL Growth Partners recommends to first, use QuickBooks Online or Xero as the core accounting system. Then, get the business bank account transactions into QuickBooks and run a payroll system such as Gusto. The fourth tool is Expensify for expense reports.
- A System That Fits What the Business Needs According to Maryanne Morrow, 9th Gear Technologies, startups should not look for a system that will do everything. Instead, they should first choose a good backbone system and find the best tools for employee expense reimbursement, payroll, vendor payments, cash management and other financial transactions.