Having noted the advantages of cloud-based accounting programs, you’ve decided to switch systems. Yet with so many options out there, choosing the right platform can be overwhelming. As discussed previously, the system you choose is largely dependent on the functions that are important to you so you may want to speak to your accountant to determine the type of functionality you’ll need.
That being said…
Here are a few examples of popular cloud-based accounting tools:
Freshbooks is a powerful tool on the income side of a business. It designs quick, professional looking invoices sent directly to your customers and clients.
For business owners weary of the box-shaped invoices issued by Quickbooks, Freshbooks offers a sleek alternative. Invoices can be created by either assigning dollar amounts to inventory or service items or by charging time through Freshbooks’ time-tracking module. Completed invoices can be emailed through the system to your clients directly (as a .pdf or html file) or for a small fee Freshbooks will print and mail your invoice, with a return envelope included.
Freshbooks will allow you to collect payment through a variety of third-party providers be it Paypal, Google Checkout, iTransact and more. If you apply for this option, your customers/clients will be able to pay their invoice in a few clicks.
Once the invoice is settled, Freshbooks recognizes that the income has been received and automatically records the specific invoice as paid. For invoices that have not been settled, you can choose to send automatic reminders to customers for outstanding amounts. Not only does do these functions save you some manual accounting entries and reduce customer follow-up, but it also means you get paid faster.
While Freshbooks is powerful on the income side of your business, you’ll likely need to use it in conjunction with other accounting software.
Though Freshbooks does enable users to track expenses and apply them to invoices, it is not designed to be a full comprehensive accounting system and as such functions that may be important to your business such as tracking payables, payroll, inventory, loans, etc. are not available. The good news is that Freshbooks integrates with a host of other accounting programs meaning you can take advantage of its potential on the income side without sacrificing the features you use in your current system.
For business owners that are still keeping track of receipts in file folders or well, shoeboxes – you’ll need to visit Shoeboxed.com. Shoeboxed saves users time and money by turning piles of receipts into an organized data archive. Rather than recording receipts directly into Excel or your accounting software, Shoeboxed will pull the data you’ll need directly from the receipt and allow you to access it in a variety of formats.
Simply stuff all your bills and receipts in an envelope and send it off to Shoeboxed headquarters. Within a few business days, you’ll be able to view your digital receipts from your Shoeboxed account.
What’s more, you’ll be able to download all the important data such as vendor, date, total amount, sales taxes, etc. into an Excel spreadsheet or integrate it directly with your accounting software.
If your business uses Shoeboxed, finding that receipt from 2 years ago can be done in just a few clicks.
Not only does this cut down a significant amount of hours in tedious manual data entry but also ensures you never lose a receipt. If you are selected for a CRA audit, resources are generally wasted by searching for the appropriate back-up. On the expense side, Shoeboxed is a powerful tool that can significantly improve your business’ efficiency.
For the full monty, check out Wave Accounting. Wave offers its own online billing system plus all the basic functionality you would expect in a full comprehensive accounting system.
Some users find Wave’s software more intuitive than other more complex accounting systems and as such, it can be a great fit for many small businesses.
Wave helps to eliminate manual entries by integrating online bank accounts, credit cards, and Paypal accounts to its system. Once linked, current transactions are downloaded on a daily basis, leaving you with the task of simply grouping the amounts.
Wave also offers users the ability to integrate with other accounting software such as Shoeboxed ensuring that you can take advantage of the many tools available on the market. Of course, as the software is cloud based, you can access your accounting data from anywhere and easily share your books with your accountant or bookkeeper.
Perhaps Wave’s best feature, is its price.
Using advertising to fund itself, Wave is absolutely free, no matter how big your business.
That’s a wrap…
The programs above are just a small piece of the huge amount of online accounting tools available in today’s marketplace.
As every business is different, speak to your accountant to see which system best suits your business.