Improve Your Small Business Finances With These Useful Tools

Created: Monday, May 6, 2019, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

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By Inna Kaushan, Solna

Managing your business finances can be time consuming and stressful, especially if you are not well organised. When there are other interesting things to do getting to grips with your finance processes may seem a bit dull.  The good news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming, or boring. All you need are the right tools with the right automation!

There are plenty of free (or fairly cheap) tools to help you to: manage your banking, keep track of your expenses and budget, improve your invoicing etc. And none them require a lot of effort from you. Let’s look at a few.

Banking: Monese

Monese

Business banking has changed A LOT. ‘Next-gen’ banks using smartphone technology have gone above and beyond to improve our banking experience. Their apps allow you to manage everything remotely, online, and in the cloud. They are full of features you’ll recognise and quite a few you wish you could have used sooner.

Monese provides freelancers and small businesses with a UK-based bank account that can be set up within hours. It is completely mobile, so you can manage all your banking needs using the smart mobile app that has been especially designed to provide flexibility and easy transfers.

If you pay for your Monese account, you can use your card anywhere in the world with no fees — yes, zero roaming charges! You can also manage your account in 10 different languages.

Investment? If you’re a freelancer, you can use Monese’s free account which gives you access to all the features but will charge you for cash machine withdrawals and payments abroad. There’s a small fee to get your card delivered. The two paid accounts cost £4.95 and £14.95, where you’ll get a free card and will be able to access some or all those features for free. There’s also a business account (£9.95 a month) where you get a two-in-one Monese Business and Monese Plus personal account. You’ll be able to separate your business and personal spend with free dedicated debit cards and manage both seamlessly from one place!

Improve Your Small Business Finances With These Useful Tools

Managing Expenses: Expensify

Expensify

A crumpled heap of receipts can give a feeling of stress. Anyone working for themselves knows the pain of sorting through them: you promise yourself you’ll keep your receipts organised, but there are a million and one other things you’d rather be dealing with. A snack here and a train ticket there, and soon enough you’ve got six months’ worth of expenses to deal with.

This disorganized approach will make tracking billable expenses such an effort you might find yourself not bothering or perhaps letting a few costs slip through the net. Keeping a safe record and sparing yourself the pain of sorting through months of receipts can easily be managed with the right app.

Expensify offers receipt scanning, next-day reimbursement, GPS mileage tracking, and tax tracking. You can allocate costs to specific jobs, set up unlimited categories, and import your credit or debit cards so that everything sits nicely under one account. It consolidates all your expenses and makes them much easier to manage.

It even comes with a virtual assistant just for you: Concierge. Driven by AI, Concierge reminds you to submit receipts, review reports, and automates things for you.

Investment? Individual plans are £3.99 a month and group plans start from just £4 per user/month.

Invoicing: Solna

Solna

For some freelancers and small businesses, getting paid means sending email attachments, mailing pieces of paper, sending chaser emails etc. While it might sound simple, it can often all end up being a massive admin job without the right help.

If you want to get paid on time, smart invoicing is the way to go — Solna is packed with smart features to protect freelancers and small businesses whether they’re new to the game or not, and makes invoicing quick and easy.

With Solna, users can create, customise and send invoices in seconds. It also sends automatic payment reminders to those annoying late payers and lets you track every invoice until it’s in your account. Invoices also come with read receipts, so no more chasing accounting people either, and it’ll help you get paid faster.

You can also get a better view of who you’re doing business with and make the best decisions when setting payment terms using Solna’s credit check facility. It’s an invoicing tool with brains.

Investment? You can sign up to Solna’s free version that provides access to invoice templates and customers’ credit scores for a limited number of customers. The paid packages give you invoice tracking, recurring invoices, advanced reporting in addition to more customers and templates.

Payments: Stripe

Stripe

As small business or freelancer, maintaining your cash flow is crucial. You want to avoid long delays between the time of sale and getting paid. Offering your customers multiple payment options will give them fewer excuses to delay payment.

Gone are the days when a cash payment was the norm. Whether you provide a service or sell a product, having online businesses and/operate as a freelancer t you need to be able to accept a mix of payments: online, mobile or contactless.

Stripe is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to get paid. Used by millions of businesses, Stripe is secure and easy for your customers to use and allows you to accept online and in-person payments from anyone in any country.

Investment? Stripe charges a standard 1.4% transaction charge plus a 20p per transaction fee for European cards and 2.9% plus a 20p fee for non-European cards. There are no setup, monthly or hidden fees and you only pay for what you use.

Budgeting: Emma

Emma

What if you never went over your budget again? With many of us having multiple accounts, contracts, and several credit cards, the challenges that come with managing our money and having everything under control just keep growing.

If you want to be good with your money, Emma is a handy little tool that lets you effortlessly manage your cash flow and gives you the control you need over your finances. Thought to be the UK’s answer to Mint, Emma’s main goal is to improve the financial situation of its users. It works by aggregating your bank accounts and credit cards to give you a full picture of your finances.

Emma acts as your personal finance adviser by keeping track of all your spending, subscriptions, and even alerting you on any overdrafts. Emma can also help you keep track of debt repayments and it even prompts you to save money by suggesting what you can afford to save at the end of each month.

Investment? Emma is free to use but users also have the option to upgrade to Emma Pro for premium features including custom categories, unlimited budgeting, and data exports

Try some new apps and discover how much they can help both your business and personal finances.


Inna Kaushan
    
Inna Kaushan is co-founder of Solna, a smart invoicing platform powered by credit score data. Solna speeds up the invoicing and payment process for freelancers and small businesses. Through leveraged credit data that is overlaid on the platform’s invoicing and reporting functionality, users get a clear picture of their customer’s financial health and their overall exposure to risk.

The system’s automated credit control functionality automatically chases overdue invoices – freeing up time and ensuring faster payment.


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