Entrepreneurs thrive on coming up with the big ideas. We live for turning a seemingly abstract vision into reality, connecting with potential partners, selling prospects on our new idea. Where we tend to drag our heels is when it comes to managing our finances.
Expense reports? Forget it. The best-case scenario is a shoebox of jumbled receipts. Billing clients promptly? One would hope, but doubtful. We are way to busy to worry about getting paid. Dealing with confusing payment systems? Not going to happen in this lifetime!
Based on my own battles with bookkeeping, I know that anything you can do to simplify the process the better. Thankfully, technology has come a long way since I started my first business over a decade ago. Here are a few tech tools and apps to help you get paid:
HourTracker is the perfect app for consultants and professionals who need to track billable time. It lets you to start and stop time, input manual entries, review billable time by day, week, month or project, and export as a CSV file for easy billing.
FreshBooks is built with the small business in mind. Dubbed "cloud accounting," it allows you to send invoices, accept online payments, track expenses and manage overdue accounts. It even has a separate iPhone app to help you track time, manage expenses and send invoices from your iPhone.
Intuit Payment Network lets you send and receive electronic bank payments for a mere 50 cents per transaction. Integrated with QuickBooks, it includes an option to accept credit card payments with the click of a button.
Stripe lets you accept online payments by credit card without a merchant account or gateway. Like PayPal or Google Checkout, you only pay when you get paid with no setup fees, monthly fees or nasty PCI compliance requirements.
Square lets you turn your iPhone, iPad or Android into a mobile payment system. Using a credit card reader that plugs directly into your device, you can swipe credit cards on the spot! Your iPad can even be used as a mobile register! The reader is free with either a $275 per month flat rate or a 2.75 percent per-swipe plan.
Neat makes doing those dreaded expense reports easier. NeatReceipts receipt scanner lets you organize your paper receipts and if you are a mobile fan, NeatMobile does the same using your iPhone or Android.
Hopefully a few fun technology toys make that pesky job of managing your finances a little less painful so you can get to doing what you love: building your business!