One of the keys to small business success is managing money. Whether it’s cash flow, credit, or expenses, having money when you need it keeps the business going. More importantly, it can enable owners to make the investments necessary to grow their businesses.
With today’s smartphone technology, it’s easier than ever to keep track of financial indicators.
Here are 21 iPhone apps -- all free -- to help you stay informed and monitor your finances. Let us know which you use in the comments below.
Name your bank, and they probably have an app. Most offer similar features, however a couple have some different options that, depending on your situation, could be valuable.
Bank of America, Wells Fargo Mobile, and PNC Mobile Banking have mobile banking apps that allow you to check your account balance, pay bills, transfer funds, and find banking locations.
Citibank also has a mobile banking app called Citi Mobile. Citi's app also enables users to check account balances, pay bills and transfer funds. In addition, credit card customers can pay their credit card bill, check balances, view recent transactions and track their rewards.
Both TD Bank and BB&T offer similar banking services as well as promote the ability to contact their customer service departments directly via the app.
SunTrust Mobile Banking gives users access to up-to-date account balances for their checking, savings, and money market accounts.
ING Direct’s mobile app has the unique feature of person-to-person payments. Chase Mobile also provides the person-to-person QuickPay option. And, the app allows iPhone users to make a deposit via cellphone.
If you make a lot of purchases with a credit card, a couple of credit card companies have apps to help manage your account.
American Express provides card members the ability to pay their bill, check balances, view recent transactions, manage multiple cards, and check reward points.
Discover Mobile offers similar credit card services such as making payments, and viewing recent transactions and rewards activity. In addition, the app provides detailed account information including current balance, minimum payment due, credit available, and Cashback Bonus balance.
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If part of your financial planning includes investments, several firms offer apps to monitor your account.
Fidelity Investments allows you to monitor your portfolio, make trades, research investments, and follow market news.
Charles Schwab & Co. offers the Schwab Mobile app with similar features: account monitoring, stock trading, real-time quotes, and watch lists.
E*Trade Mobile Pro provides its clients with the same functions they enjoy on their desktop, including real-time quotes, breaking market news, trading options, and cash transfers.
General Financial Information
If you are just looking to watch the market without doing online transactions, there are several apps that provide financial news.
The Yahoo Finance app claims it offers something for everyone. The app features customized news and analysis for the companies you want to track. It also compares currencies and provides after-hours tracking.
Bloomberg offers stock quotes, company descriptions, and market trend analysis. You can also create a customized list of stocks that you want to follow.
CNBC Real-Time claims to be the only free app delivering real-time quotes before, during, and after market hours directly from the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. The app also includes CNBC’s breaking business news.
CNN Money delivers breaking business news, financial data analysis, and video coverage. The app lets users customize the content that’s relevant to them.
Budgeting and Expenses
Sometimes the most difficult part of managing finances is creating and sticking to a budget. Here are a few apps that can assist with the task of expense analysis and budget tracking.
Pageonce allows you to track your money and bills in one place. The app will give you bill due date reminders, track frequent flyer miles and rewards programs, and monitor mobile minutes, text, and data usage. A pro version with added features is available, as well ($12.99).
CashTrails Expense Tracker offers you the ability to track both expenses and income, create instant reports and export your analysis into a spreadsheet. A premium version is also available ($4.99).
Mint.com Personal Finance brings the features from your Mint.com account (sign-up is free) to your phone. One of the unique features of Mint.com is its ability to automatically sync with your online accounts to get balances and transactions.
This is only a snapshot of the many free financial apps available. Finding the best one for your business will involve taking a realistic look at your financial situation and determining what features you need the most to receive the greatest benefit.
What financial apps are you currently using? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit: mag3737