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15 Valuable Financial Management Tools for Small Businesses

7 Mins read

Navigating the financial complexities of a small business can be daunting, but the right tools make all the difference. We’ve gathered insights from CEOs and CFOs to reveal the most valuable financial management tools available. From the comprehensive capabilities of QuickBooks to the tailored invoicing solutions of FreshBooks, explore the fifteen indispensable tools these experts recommend for small businesses.

QuickBooks: Comprehensive Financial Management

QuickBooks is ideal for small businesses. It offers a complete set of tools that you can use to create and manage your finances. You can focus on developing your product and getting orders out to your customers. 

The platform has features like expense tracking, invoicing, and financial reporting in the same dashboard. They help you make informed financial decisions. Most importantly, it helps you keep track of your taxes and helps you avoid fines. 

The user-friendly interface makes it a great tool for new entrepreneurs. You can automate payroll and track billable hours directly from the dashboard.

John Hughes, Founder and President, ContractorNerd

Mint: Holistic Financial Overview

Mint is one of the most underrated financial management tools on the market. You can use the budget planner to manage all your finances in one place. 

The app shows you an overview of your bills, how much you’ve spent, your credit score, and your overall budget. This holistic view of your finances helps you make better-informed decisions. 

You can set goals and reminders to stay on top of your finances and sync your data between other apps and the web. The portfolio features let you track investments, so you can keep an eye on all your accounts.

James Owen, Co-Founder and Director, Click Intelligence

Paycor: Integrated Payroll and HR Management

Paycor is one of the best financial solutions available to SMBs. Besides providing standard functions such as time tracking and employee scheduling, Paycor also integrates payroll processing and human resources management (HR). This integration allows for HR changes, such as new hires and role changes, to be automatically updated in the payroll system, reducing manual entry and the risk of errors.

Paycor also helps businesses navigate the tax environment with automated tax updates and regulatory compliance notifications. It provides customizable compliance reports to meet specific legal requirements and offers access to compliance specialists.

Gary Gray, CFO, CouponChief.com

Expensify: Streamlined Expense Tracking

In our business, it’s really helpful to have an expense management software. We use Expensify to keep track of expenses and make managing them easier. Keeping accurate records of expenses is tough, but the right tools mean you don’t have to worry about keeping and organizing paper receipts.

Usually, these expense-tracking features are part of accounting tools, so it’s smart to choose one that works with your accounting software. Expensify lets our team scan receipts and log cash expenses on their phones. Everything gets stored in one place for quick accounting, paying back expenses, and charging costs to clients. It makes reports, so it’s easy to see who’s spending what.

Expensify works with other tools like QuickBooks and has a smart-scan feature that sorts some stuff automatically, saving us time. It also has extras like tracking miles with GPS. However, it’s not the easiest to use, and some find the receipt scanning slow.

James McNally, Managing Director, SDVH [Self Drive Vehicle Hire]

Gusto: Automated Tax Management

We regularly use a tax-management tool and payroll service as part of our financial management setup. We do taxes with Gusto. Proper financial management and health mean having a system that automates tax deductions.

Tax software helps simplify different financial parts of our business. With Gusto, we pull in data from various places like inventory, point-of-sale systems, and employee pay. Gusto also automates our payroll and does most of the hard work for us. It helps with filing taxes at both the federal and state levels and deals with healthcare matters.

Karl Kangur, Managing Director, DreamGrow

Float: Advanced Cash Flow Forecasting

Cash flow management is a core part of our financial management, so we use Float for cash flow analysis. Float forecasts cash flow and lets us plan for different scenarios, providing real-time information on our finances.

This tool helps us make decisions with confidence, using data. It connects with our accounting software (like Xero, QuickBooks, and FreeAgent) to access the financial information we need. We use Float to see how changes such as hiring new staff, losing a client, paying a big bill, or receiving late payments will impact our cash flow. This helps us prepare for various situations.

Thomas Franklin, CEO and Co-Founder, Bitinvestor

LivePlan or BudgetPulse: For Real Estate Financials

The best financial management tool for your small real estate business will depend on your specific needs and budget. A couple of factors that I consider when choosing the right tools for me are my financial needs and technical expertise. Will I require simple accounting, or advanced investment analysis features? Also, am I comfortable using the software, or would I prefer a more hands-off approach in this field specifically?

I’ve tried both LivePlan and BudgetPulse, aiming to better grasp budgeting and forecasting. LivePlan was great from a more professional-looking standpoint; I could create plans and forecasts in a way that was presentable. Both programs include different ways to track revenue, expenses, and cash flow, but I preferred BudgetPulse due to its real-time tracking of actual vs. planned expenses. Also, I’m a sucker for BudgetPulse’s streamlined drag-and-drop approach to functionality; I found it to be a little more user-friendly for my taste.

I know many real estate professionals who utilize Bonsai for accounting purposes. It seems like a decent all-in-one solution for financial management, and I’m intrigued by its ability to help with client management and generate proposals. For tax software, I also hear a lot of positive feedback about Realtyzam. It minimizes extra steps that real estate professionals have to take due to its industry-tailored approach with its filing services.

Ryan Carrigan, CEO and Founder, moveBuddha

SAP Business One: ERP for Small Business

SAP Business One is a valuable financial management tool. It is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution designed for small businesses. 

This affordable tool helps run key processes, allowing one to gain insights and make real-time decisions for driving profitable growth. It offers features like financial management, sales, and customer management, as well as purchasing and inventory control, business intelligence, analytics, reporting, and an in-memory platform. It can easily integrate with other SAP applications and APIs.

James Koskela, Founder and Owner, Zero Day Gear

Zoho Books: Invoicing and Business Integration

To my surprise, Zoho Books has been a great financial tool that has exceeded all my expectations. The invoicing process is straightforward to do, thanks to its clean user interface, and you’re even allowed to create your own customized invoices, which makes it easy to deal with different clients with different requirements. 

We can easily integrate it with other Zoho tools to become a comprehensive business tool. The best part is that it doesn’t matter if you have a small business or a large business; anyone can use it because of its features and automation. And because of its affordability, it won’t cause a hole in your pocket. You can have a free trial and decide for yourself.

Ravi Sharma, Founder and CEO, Webomaze

Cushion: Financial Planning for Freelancers

I really like Cushion for managing our small-business finances. Cushion is made for small businesses and freelancers to help them manage their money and plan their business. It lets you predict your work schedule, so you can plan for months ahead, even if clients change their plans. With Cushion, you get a clear view of your year, knowing when you’re free or too busy.

Cushion is great for reaching your money goals. It adjusts your monthly targets throughout the year and separates what you need to make from what you want as extra profit. Also, Cushion is handy for sending and keeping track of invoices, and it shows you patterns in how you get paid. You can even use it with other tools like FreshBooks and Xero.

Amy Tribe, Director, OGLF (Our Good Living Formula)

Credit Line: Cash Flow Management

A line of credit is an incredibly useful option to have in the arsenal, particularly if your business is subject to cash flow variations over the course of the year. This reality is especially acute for inventory-based businesses that end up having to hand over a lot of cash, only to make it back many months or years later. Payroll happens on a schedule, so a line of credit can be really helpful in the low months.

Trevor Ewen, COO, QBench

Virtual Cards: Controlled Employee Spending

Some stores give you virtual credit cards if you open a business account with them. You can give these virtual cards to your employees so they can buy supplies, while still maintaining control over their spending by using the dashboard for these cards.

Eric Novinson, Founder, This Is Accounting Automation

FinancialForce: FMS ERP on Salesforce Platform

In my experience, FinancialForce is an excellent option for small-business financial management, planning, and analysis. It’s an FMS ERP (Financial Management System Enterprise Resource Planning) built on Salesforce’s cloud-based platform.

This smart software allows the FinancialForce ERP to provide a detailed, customer-focused overview of the business. As an integrated FMS ERP, it combines front-end and back-end processes in one central location, avoiding confusion in workflow among employees. This means that while the leadership team can access consolidated data for critical decision-making, front-line employees can work effectively. 

With FinancialForce, you’re not just getting an FMS; it’s a comprehensive suite of business tools. This includes PSA (Professional Services Automation) solutions, inventory management systems, billing and invoicing platforms, and accounting and financial management systems.

Therefore, teams in accounting, finance, and leadership always have real-time data at their fingertips, covering both operations and customer interactions.

Lucas Ochoa, Founder and CEO, Automat

Wave: Free Accounting for Service Businesses

Financial management is key for our small business, and we’ve found Wave really helpful. For businesses like ours that provide services and need to send simple invoices without inventory tracking, Wave is perfect. Freelancers and service-based businesses really benefit from Wave’s free offerings that easily handle all accounting tasks. It even helps with year-end accounts for tax returns.

Wave has all the accounting tools a business might need, like keeping track of expenses, creating invoices, financial reports, and scanning receipts. The good thing is, you can use these tools online or through a mobile app. With Wave, things like bookkeeping, making reports, and sending invoices don’t cost anything. However, if you need payroll services or to process customer payments, those are premium services and they cost extra.

Danilo Miranda, Managing Director, Presenteverso

FreshBooks: Efficient Invoicing for Freelancers

As a service-based small business, I use FreshBooks for my financial management. It’s great because it has professional invoicing with templates that I can customize to bill and track my finances efficiently. I often use the app on my phone, and for a freelancer like me, it is a very useful tool to manage expenses.

Katharine Gallagher, Founder, Personal and Professional Growth, katharinegallagher.com

Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Featured, a Q&A platform that connects brands with expert insights.

Tools stock image by Song_about_summer/Shutterstock

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