Software and apps make everyone’s jobs easier. As an accountant or bookkeeper, you might be looking for an app or two to help you carry out your job efficiently. But, with so many out there, how will you choose which one best fits your business’ needs?
In this post, we’ve picked out the best apps and software every accounting firm can use in managing their teams and the company as a whole.
5 Apps to Use in Your Accounting Firm
1. Xero to handle your company’s and client’s finances
Considering the range of benefits Xero offers, it’s not hard to work out why it’s the top choice of more than 16,000 accounting firms in the country. Mainly designed for mid to large-sized enterprises, the app offers a one-stop solution for different accounting functions. Whether you’re looking for an easier way to generate receipts, invoices, claims, or income reports for your clients, you can trust Xero to give you that solution.
It’s also worth noting that Xero is cloud-based. It means that data can be stored in one place, making it easier for accountants and their clients to share information with each other.
Xero offers different pricing plans. For $9 a month, you can subscribe to their Early plan, which allows you to send up to five invoices, five bills, and conduct 20 transactions per month.
The Growing plan, which costs $30 per month, gives you access to unlimited invoices, quotes, bills, and bank reconciliation transactions.
Xero’s Established plan is the company’s top tier plan. For $60 per month, you can take advantage of multi-currency support, advanced expense tracking, and other project management tools on top of the features that their Growing plan feature offers.
Alternatives: QuickBooks Online, Sage Intacct, FreshBooks, Wave
2. Slack for Team Collaboration
Slack lets you connect with your employees and clients in real-time. You can send a message to your clients and immediately receive a response within minutes. It also integrates with other apps, including Google Calendar, so whatever meetings or appointments you set will be synced instantly to it.
With Slack, you can create different internal chat channels intended for various purposes. For instance, if you have a team handling one client, you can make a separate chat group specifically designed for matters concerning that specific client’s account.
Slack offers four pricing plans: Free, Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid.
- Free – $0 per month. It’s best for small, start-up firms trying out Slack for an unlimited amount of time.
- Standard – $6.67 per month. The Standard plan is suitable for small- to medium-sized businesses.
- Plus – $12.50 per month. It’s best for large businesses needing additional administrative functions.
- Enterprise Grid – price available upon request. With the Enterprise Grid, Slack users are assured of top-notch security and compliance, including HIPAA support and Enterprise Key. The plan is most viable for extra-large businesses or companies operating in regulated industries.
Alternatives: Google Hangouts, Troop Messenger, Microsoft Teams
3. Receipts Bank for Efficient Storing Your Clients’ Receipts
As the name implies, Receipts Banks allows you to automatically save your client’s receipts to the accounting software your firm uses, like QuickBooks. This saves you and your client a lot of time when it comes to tracking expenses for tax purposes. Plus, with Receipts Bank, you can work with multiple currencies, so if your client travels a lot, the expenses are converted immediately to U.S. dollars.
Receipts Bank works in a straightforward manner. Your client takes a picture of their receipts then uploads it on the dashboard, which you will also have access to. This also saves you from making mistakes caused by lost receipts which could have been counted as a tax deduction for your clients.
Receipts Banks offers three tiers for its users. The Business plan, which comes at $10 per month, allows simple tracking of 50 receipts and invoices, and bills. It also allows limited data extraction from financial documents.
For $20 a month, the Business Plus subscription plan will give you access to all the features the Business plan offers. But instead of 50, you’ll get 300 receipts and invoice scans per month, and the receipts will be published automatically on your accounting software.
You can also get their top-tier Premium subscription for $40 per month. With it, you can scan 3,000 receipts and invoices and enjoy automatic expense reporting and approval, on top of the other features you’ll get from Business Plus.
Alternatives: Expensify, SAP Concur
4. HubSpot CRM to handle customer and prospect information
If you’re looking for a tool to handle customer information, HubSpot’s CRM is the solution you need. A CRM tool lets you store your leads’ and existing customers’ contact information, find sales opportunities, and manage marketing campaigns in one location. With all the data stored in one place, it’s easier for the entire accounting team to access the information whenever they need it.
With HubSpot CRM, you’ll have a dashboard where you’ll get a glimpse of your deals and sales pipeline. You’ll also get to store over a million of your clients’ and prospects’ contacts on it, so you’ll never lose a lead or a customer. HubSpot CRM offers email templates and tracking for your marketing needs, which is helpful in lead nurturing for your accounting company. Though, you may have to pay additional fees for that feature.
Other CRM solutions can be a tad pricey, which is also why many firms often don’t bother with CRM at all. But with HubSpot, you won’t have to worry about paying expensive fees because it’s entirely and absolutely free. Your free access to the tool will never expire.
Alternatives: Zoho CRM, Active Campaign, Pipedrive
5. Karbon for managing your firm’s projects
Karbon is one of the most popular project management tools that thousands of accounting and bookkeeping firms around the world use. One thing that makes it stand out among the other types of project management is that you can organize your tasks in your dashboard. You can assign tasks and set clear due dates, so you and your team never miss a deadline.
Another thing that makes Karbon a great project management tool is that it immediately turns your emails into tasks. With that, you can add and organize it on your dashboard. You can then see your tasks’ progress in a Kanban board view, making tracking and monitoring much easier.
Karbon offers three types of subscriptions for its users. For $49/month/user, the users can subscribe to the Team plan wherein smaller teams of 3 or more can take advantage of integrated email, team collaboration tools, and workflow and to-do lists.
The Business plan, which comes at $69/month/user, is perfect for teams of 10 or more. It includes the Team plan features plus automatic client reminders, task automation, and in-app chat support.
The Enterprise plan comes with customer pricing, depending on the features you want to take advantage of. As the name implies, it’s best for teams of 20 to 2,000 looking for a premium platform to collaborate and scale.
Alternatives: Trello, Asana, Basecamp
When picking out the apps you need, be sure to consider the features you need and set a budget. Some of these apps may require you to shell out some cash, but that’s nothing that quick financing for your business can’t solve.
If you’re not sure whether the solution is a good fit for your company or not, you can take advantage of the free trials before committing. Remember, there are plenty of apps available, and with proper research, you might just find the one for your company.