The Best online finance apps for business.

The Best Online Finance Apps for Business

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If you’re thinking of abandoning Excel as your go-to for finance recording, there are hundreds of options available to you. We’ll look at the best online finance apps and we’re not barely going to mention Quickbooks or Sage. The online marketplace for finance apps is huge and there is an option out there that will do exactly what you need.

The Best Online Finance Apps

Finding the best online finance app is all about understanding your own businesses needs. How are you currently managing your finance? If you’re like most, you probably have three main areas that your business tracks; Book keeping for company accounts, Invoicing or Client Billing, and Expenses tracking. Is your business tracking these different things? How are you tracking them?

The world of online finance apps is also centered around the same three areas of recording. Bookkeeping, Invoicing, and Expenses. This means that different apps are best suited to tracking different types of financial information. Think about how your business is tracking its finance. Are you tracking all your income and outgoings? Do you have a facility to track client invoices and payments? What are you doing about your expenses and company bills?

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Bookkeeping Apps

These apps are the full service type. They allow you to track income and expenses, clients and invoices, expenses and bills. Two of the major names in Bookkeeping are Quickbooks and Sage. You’ve probably already heard of them right? Bookkeeping apps often give you a full financial overview of your business finances with reports, accountant access and more. These type of apps can have a steep learning curve and may require you to already have a head for accounting. Although, there are some great online finance apps for those who aren’t junior accountants in training.

Invoicing Apps

Getting paid by your clients is honestly the most important part of business after delivery. If you’re not getting paid for your work, you’re not really in business. Invoicing and Billing apps makes the process of getting paid simple. You input your clients and services, and then in a few clicks you can be creating and sending invoices – sometimes automatically. A select few apps even let you email invoices and get paid online using online gateways like PayPal or Stripe.

Expense Tracking

The last group, these apps let you track your expenses and outgoing With some even allowing you to upload receipts on-the-go. Most of these types of apps come with complimentary smart phone apps. So, tracking your lunch meeting or client coffee is as simple as taking a picture of your receipt. Some apps are also tailored to specific industries. These apps are great for trades people, contracted staff and mobile workers who need to keep track of the expenses they incur.

The Best Bookkeeping Apps

Free Agent

Freeagent is a complete bookkeeping app aimed at both UK sole traders and Ltd companies. With UK tax and bookkeeping standards integrated into the platform and helpful information displayed in a really engaging way. It makes a bookkeeping genius out of everyone. Combined with online invoicing and payments as a standard part of the app, getting paid and recording that information is a breeze. If like us you work on projects with associated expenses, then Freeagent has you covered with project expenses and income incorporated into the reporting flow. The last major bonus for FreeAgent is that it links with your bank account to pull transaction straight into your bookkeeping. All you need to do is categorise the expense and check/upload the receipt or invoice.

Pros

  • Really simple interface
  • Built in advice
  • Receive payments online
  • Integrate with Banking
  • Integrates with other apps

Cons

  • Pricier than others
  • Less support for non UK orgs

Prices start at £19 p/m

Kashflow

Kashflow the second of our bookkeeping recommendations is a fantastic full service bookkeeping platform for all types of business. Created by a Accountancy Company, this is one option that is backed by actual practising professionals. Integrated with online banking, paypal and stripe it is great at automating the finance charges of payment gateways and recording it accurately. The interface is a little unforgiving and even when you become used to it, you still find yourself clicking in the wrong place every now and then. At the lower end of the price range for the apps here, it is a real alternative for any business looking to make the switch to online finance apps.

Pros

  • Fantastic Price
  • Backed by accountants
  • Loads of integrations

Cons

  • Uninspired interface
  • Requires some knowledge
  • Not idea for startups

Prices start at £5 p/m

Zoho Books

Books from Zoho is a fantastic one-size-fits all online finance app. Full of features including; journal entry, invoicing, billing, and reporting. It can be tailoured to suit almost any type of business with needs. Plus the support team are great at helping you customise it to fit your business. The interface is also light and easy to work with that is encouraging and rewarding for during those long reconciliation sessions. With entire suite of integrated apps with Zoho books you can link in a CRM, Project Management, HR, Inventory, Mailing, and more than there is space to list. Great for small traders and large corporations books from Zoho is a great alternative to any current bookkeeping solution

Pros

  • Great UI
  • Easy online payments
  • Fantastic Price

Cons

  • Not great for newbies
  • Very limited integration

Prices start at £6 p/m


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The Best Invoicing Apps

FreshBooks

Freshbooks makes invoicing clients and getting paid a whole new ball game. Simplicity and expedience are the rule of thumb with an easy to navigate interface all designed to get you invoicing and ultimately paid. It can keep track of your clients, client projects, and recurring payments for subscriptions and memberships. It works for both services and product based industries and can integrate with hundreds of other apps through native integrations and via Zapier and IFTTT. You can also get paid online with several payment gateways already integrated. For your clients they can get their own login to keep track of all the invoices you’ve sent and their own payment history. All round Freshbooks sets the standard for online invoicing apps.

Pros

  • Quick and easy setup
  • Great UI
  • Loads of integrations
  • Integrate with Banking
  • Pricing to support growth

Cons

  • Price jumps can be steep
  • Not a standalone finance solution

Prices start at £9 p/m

Zoho Invoice

A slimmed down version of Zoho Books, the invoice app focusses purely on getting paid. Quickly setup an invoice template and add some clients and you’ll be invoicing in less than 30 minutes. With most payment gateways already integrated, you can even get paid online via credit/debit card with minimal effort. Using the same simple interface as Zoho books make working in finance and a light and easy experience that takes out a lot of the grunt work in finance management. For those subscription or membership based services, you can set up recurring invoices with email templates and automated sending settings. The time saved with Zoho Invoice automation alone is worthy of consideration.

Pros

  • It’s FREE
  • Great payment gateway integration
  • Quick and easy setup
  • Easy to navigate and use

Cons

  • Limited integrations
  • Essentially just Zoho books light

Prices start at £0 p/m yes, it’s FREE

PayPal

Many people will already know if not already used PayPal. It’s great for sending and receiving money on ebay and with trusted suppliers or customers. However, little is known about the huge mass of extra tools available to PayPal users. One such tool is the invoicing option. Login to your PayPal account, and click on Tools, then invoicing. Put in your clients details including email and their charges and then click send. They’ll get an email with the invoice and can make a quick and easy payment using their PayPal account. We’ve come across clients that actually prefer PayPal invoices for the huge amount of trust placed in the service that PayPal provides. Sending invoices this can build confidence and trust in some clients that hold a lot of value in PayPal

Pros

  • Globally respected brand
  • Uses the Paypal network
  • Quick and easy
  • Easy to navigate and use

Cons

  • Must be tracked elsewhere
  • More work required
  • No integrations
  • High charges for payments

Charged per payment received

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The Best Expenses Apps

Xpenditure

Xpenditure is focussed on helping you record those out of pocket expenses that you’re definitely going to want to reclaim a little later. It does this in a great and engaging way, with companion app for mobile devices that makes recording expenses on the fly a breeze. The great UI makes navigating, recording, and reporting your expenses simple and with the numerous integrations into other finance apps (including others mentioned here) you’re off the races with a great app for an entrepreneur or even a large organisation with multiple staff and departments.

Pros

  • Phone apps
  • Clean and simple UI
  • Integrates with other apps

Cons

  • Takes some getting used to

Prices start at £5 p/m

Expensify

Clean and simple is how Expensify does things. Tailoured to those standard expenses like meals, travel and accommodation, it does it really well. With a clear focus and companion app so you can record expenses on the fly. The support team are always on hand to help you adjust and categorise the information or give you a little extra help with setting up the platform to suit your needs. It comes in at the lower end of the pricing spectrum mainly because the integration is there but not nearly as extensive as its competitors.

Pros

  • Great Price
  • Simple interface

Cons

  • Feels like more work
  • Limited integrations

Prices start at £4 p/m

FreshBooks

Freshbooks makes a return to our list for its expenses and receipt tracking features. You can upload your receipts and record the expenses on the fly using the mobile app. Combined with its invoicing features, it doubles up on capabilities while keeping a moderate price. It brings all the same great UI from the invoicing element and you can even attribute expenses to projects or clients. Linking the two is something you’ll have to do a little extra for in other apps but with Freshbooks it’s all part of the process. With the complete list of integrations it can be a real time saver when it comes to keeping project within budgets.

Pros

  • Two apps for 1 price
  • Less conventional included
  • Easy client and project tracking

Cons

  • You need other reporting

Prices start at £9 p/m

Find the right app for you

Finding the right type of app to compliment your current financial reporting is the key to making the right choice. Adding duplicate layers of reporting can end up costing a lot in time and money when it’s not needed. Look for a gap in your current reporting, or see where you can reduce input time by going digital.

We’ve given you a small selection of the best apps in the market at the moment. There are many more available and you should try searching google for various phrases. You could potentially find the perfect app for you and we missed it.

Feedback

If you’re using an app that’s not mentioned or you’ve had a different experience with an app that we did, we’d love to hear your opinion. Use the comment section below to let us know and we might even add your recommendation to our list of the best online finance app.

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Comments 3

  1. Domnick

    Good list, sound’s good in finance apps for business. I have been using Apptivo CRM for business, they recently launch the new version of Invoice and Expense. It has, features quite good.

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      sjihme

      Thanks for bringing this up Domnick. I’m always looking at new and developing apps. How is Apptivo working for you? It looks really impressive.

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