Posts Tagged ‘software’

Should You Use Hubdoc to Organize Your Receipts?

| Business, Small Business, Taxes

Should You Use Hubdoc to Organize Your Receipts?

You’re looking for a way to keep your receipts organized and the tools that I mentioned in this post (Shoeboxed, Receipt Bank, Evernote) just aren’t enough.

You need something more robust that will keep track of ALL of your documents. So what do you do?

I recommend using Hubdoc.

Like all software and tools, it’s not perfect, but after using the most popular tools on the market with my bookkeeping clients, this one has the majority of what I need.

My clients send everything to the software, it inputs all of the numbers for me and I just check for category and accuracy.

Here’s what I love about it:

  • iPhone and Android mobile app – Like the other tools, Hubdoc has its own mobile app so you can take pictures of physical receipts.
  • Alternative methods of sending receipts – You can also email digital receipts and scan documents to upload them to the site.
  • Integration – It connects to all of your bank accounts, credit cards, PayPal, etc. You don’t have to do anything because everything connects and is accounted for. Plus, it works easily with my favorite bookkeeping software Xero. You can also connect it with QuickBooks Online, Bill.com, and box.
  • Automatic syncing – Once you have all of the categories you want set up, your receipts will be automatically synced to the correct one. Yay for ease.

Here’s what I think could be better:

  • Inaccurate recognition – Sometimes the software doesn’t know what the receipt says, so it will send that receipt to a “failed” list. When that happens, it won’t automatically sync into the correct category.
  • Currency confusion – For some reason, it can’t understand the differences in currencies. My Australian client’s receipts always get defaulted to the American dollar, which is super annoying because I have to go in and constantly correct it.

Overview:

  • Founded in: 2011
  • Free trial: Yes! 14 days.
  • Price: $20 (USD) per month

Overall, I’m really happy with how much time it saves me, the ease of using the software for me and my clients, and the price.

Have other questions about Hubdoc? Leave them in the comments below!

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3 Alternatives to Keeping Your Receipts in a Shoebox

| Bookkeeping, Small Business, Taxes

Alternatives to Keeping Your Receipts in a Shoebox

One receipt laying on your desk is not so bad, but 127 receipts from the past six months? Yeah, that takes up a liiiiitle more space.

This applies to digital clutter, too. If you keep all of your digital receipts and invoices in your email inbox, I’m looking at you.

So, if you’re having trouble figuring out how to organize your receipts so you’re not scrambling again at tax season and spending hours inputting data, I have some suggestions.

Here are 3 alternatives to keeping your receipts in shoeboxes, on countertops, and in your wallet.

3 Online Tools for Organizing Your Business Receipts

1) Shoeboxed

Unlike what the name suggests, this app does not help you keep your receipts in a shoebox. It does, however, provide a smart way for you to scan in your receipts and organize them online.

Once you download the app to your phone, you’ll be able to save images of receipts. Other cool things you can do with Shoeboxed?

  • Organize invoices
  • Track your mileage
  • Save business cards
  • Archive receipts from Gmail
  • Create expense reports

If you’d rather not scan in the receipts yourself, you can send them in using what they call a “magic envelope”.

Here’s what I like about it: So many things. The scanning process takes all of the data into the system for you, so there’s no data entry required from you. I like that it integrates with the accounting software that I use, like Xero and WaveApps. (They also integrate with Quickbooks, Evernote, and a variety of other tools.) I also really like that all of the data is verified by a real human being. That means there is less room for tech bugs getting in the way and messing up data about your expenses. Oh, and once the info is in the system, you can search all of it by entering keywords.

Here’s what I think could be better: A couple things. Shoeboxed doesn’t automatically integrate with Freshbooks. You have to download the csv file and upload it to Freshbooks, which adds another admin task to your plate.

Price: between $15 – $69 per month

Free Trial: Yep! 30 days.

Multicurrency: Yes.

Founded in: 2007

2) Receipt Bank

Receipt Bank is a tool that’s geared toward accountants and bookkeepers who are managing their clients’ receipts.

You can upload receipts via a mobile app, through email, or by uploading them directly from your computer. Plus, they accept all kinds of file types — jpg, png, doc, pdf, tiff, zip, etc.

From there, their software takes the data from your documents, inputs it, and categorizes it in the cloud.

What I like about it: It integrates with Dropbox, Xero, and Freshbooks, and I like the easy setup.

What I think they could do better: You have to review all of the data inputted to make sure it’s been coded correctly, which is more likely since it’s not reviewed by a member of the Receipt Bank team. It doesn’t integrate with WaveApps or Zoho Books. Finally, I ended up moving from Receipt Bank to Hubdoc because I needed the ability to take bank statements.

Price: between $25 – $55 per month

Free Trial: Yep! 14 days.

Multicurrency: Yes.

Founded in: 2010

3) Evernote

If you’re looking for a free solution to receipt organization, you can use a workaround with the app Evernote.

All you have to do is create a notebook for receipts, take a picture of the receipt using their photo capability in the app, and then add some text to the note.

Then, if you want to find the receipt in the future, you can search for it using Evernote’s full-text search feature.

What I like about it: You can clip receipts from your email using Evernote’s web clipper, and you can search for text inside the images, which is pretty cool.

What I don’t like about this solution: You still have to input data into your bookkeeping software. It’s not great for companies that are handling a lot of transactions because the data entry will pile up. I’d recommend using something more robust like the tools above or Hubdoc.

Price: FREE up to 1gb of data.

Have questions about other receipt organization apps? Let me know in the comments below.

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Is Zoho Books Right for Your Business?

| Bookkeeping, Small Business

 Is Zoho Books Right for Your Business?

Have you heard of Zoho? If you have, it’s most likely that you’ve heard of it for it’s customer relationship management software. But what you might not know is that the company has also created a suite of other products that revolve around finance.

Thanks to a client, Zoho Books came onto my radar. Seeing as I always like to learn new tools and experiment, I gave it a try. And while it’s still fairly new to me, I’m liking what I see (from a bookkeeper’s perspective obviously).

However, I thought that it could be beneficial to help you choose between the variety of softwares out there on the market, so I’ve put together this quick review on my experience with Zoho Books.

If you’re in the market for software, consider Zoho Books and then check out Xero, WaveApps, Kashoo, and Freshbooks, too.

Overview of Zoho Books  

 Is Zoho Books Right for Your Business?Zoho Books is a flexible accounting software that, in my opinion, is best suited for agencies or business owners who have complex client projects, like a web designer. It’s different than other software because it has a higher focus on the client with features like a client portal and automation rules.

It’s cloud-based, which means that it’s online and all of your information is kept on the Internet as opposed to your computer. And you’ll pay a monthly subscription between $9 and $29.

Is it easy to learn?

It depends. If you’re coming from a purely paper-based accounting system, it’s going to take some time to get everything into the software. That being said, Zoho offers a comprehensive tutorial to get you started that’s available to you as soon as you sign up. Plus, their customer service is available 24/7 via email, chat, and phone if you run into any problems.

But, what’s interesting about this software is that it goes beyond simple bookkeeping and accounting with offering basic inventory, project management, workflow automation, and client portal options. While those extra options give you more possibilities as a business owner, it can also be overwhelming.

My suggestion if you decide to move forward with Zoho is to start with what you came for — bookkeeping and accounting — and eventually move into the other features.

If you’re working with a professional accountant or bookkeeper, they’ll also be able to access the software and help you set it up, so that will take some of the work off your plate.

 Is Zoho Books Right for Your Business?

What are the downsides?

There are a few downsides to using Zoho Books as a small business owner, and I’m going to break them down into four categories: very few advisors, no recurring billing, no balance sheet or income statement reports, limited third-party connections.

1) Very few advisors – While Zoho Books is competing with other software, like Xero and Wave, with its features, it’s limited by the number of advisors it has. That means if you decide to use it, your choices of hiring someone who knows how to expertly navigate and make the most of it are limited.

2) No recurring billing – If you’re invoicing many different clients the same amount each month, you don’t have the option to charge their cards automatically. While Zoho Books will duplicate the previous month’s invoice and send it, the client will still have to enter their credit card information to pay it.

3) No balance sheet or income statement reports – While they offer many reports (listed below), balance sheet and income statement reports aren’t offered. This might make your accountant or bookkeeper sad.

Included reports:

  • Estimates
  • Invoices
  • recurring invoices
  • Bills
  • credit notes
  • retainer invoices
  • Purchase orders (not included on the Standard subscription)
  • Sales orders (not included on the Standard subscription)

4) Limited third-party connections – If you’re a maker and you sell on a platform like Etsy, this software is not the one for you. Because Zoho has many other in-house integrations — CRM, Expense, Reports, Inventory, etc. — it hasn’t linked up with third-party connections like Etsy or Freshbooks, which makes it difficult if your business already uses those.

Why should I use it?

1) Focus on the client – Like I mentioned earlier, Zoho includes unique features that directly benefit your client. Beyond recognizing them with a quick “thank you” courtesy of your workflow automation rules, each client can login to their own “portal” where they can do things like manage invoices and view transactions. You would also be able to schedule reports to send to them or your team members on a recurring basis, which could be great for keeping track of project progress.

2) Basic inventory and project management – If you’re scaling your business and managing many projects and team members, Zoho has a basic project management feature that allows you to manually log time on projects and use a widget timer while you’re working. Plus, if you’re a business that manages inventory, Zoho will help you keep track of quantities and alert you when you need to make repurchase orders.

3) Workflow automation rules – One of the neatest things about Zoho Books is that you can set up “rules” to automate your workflow. For example, let’s say that your client pays an invoice. As soon as the invoice is paid, you can have a “thank you” email sent to your client. Internally, this works out for you, too. You can set up “bank rules,” so that each time a specific transaction is synced, it will be automatically sorted into the correct category. If you like Xero but also like this feature, you’re in luck. Xero offers it, too. 🙂

4) Easily accessible library of information – If you have a question about how to use the software, you have plenty of places to turn. Beyond 24/7 email, chat, and phone customer service, there is also a community forum, a lengthy documentation section, and video tutorials.

 Is Zoho Books Right for Your Business?

Quick rundown of Zoho Books

  • Started doing business in: 2011
  • Cost: Paid monthly subscription ($9 – $29)
  • Free trial: 14 days
    Credit card processing fees: Charged the processing fee of whichever payment provider you use – Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree, 2 Checkout, Square, and ACH Payments
  • Automatic billing: No
  • Payroll available: No
  • Multicurrency: Yes
  • PayPal payment option: Yes
  • Etsy connection: No
  • Shoeboxed connection: No
  • Customized invoices: Yes
  • Mobile app: Yes
  • Option to collaborate with team members: Yes
  • Customer service: Email, chat, and phone

Still have questions about whether or not Zoho Books is right for you? Leave a comment below or send me a message.

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Is Xero Right for Your Business?

| Bookkeeping, Small Business

Is Xero Right for Your Business?

Xero believes in giving you — the small business owner — the power to plan ahead with your finances.

And truth to be told, I’m completely biased. (I liked the software so much I became a Xero-certified bookkeeper!)

If you’re in the market for software, consider Xero and then check out WaveApps, Zoho, Kashoo, and Freshbooks, too.

Overview of Xero

Xero is a robust accounting software that entrepreneurs can use by paying a monthly subscription between $9 and $70. It’s cloud-based, which means that it’s online and all of your information is kept on the Internet as opposed to your computer.

Is it easy to learn?

Since Xero is so robust, it’s not the easiest of software to get up and running. In fact, I recommend that you use it with a professional accountant or bookkeeper. If you’re looking for accounting software that’s free and easier to learn, check out WaveApps.

That being said, it can be easily navigated once your accountant or bookkeeper is keeping everything organized. You’ll be able to see your cashflow in real time, which allows you to make smart financial decisions, check reports to see if you’re on track with your revenue goals and send beautiful quotes to potential clients.

What are the downsides?

There are a few downsides to using Xero as a small business owner, and I’m going to break them down into three categories: limited multicurrency options, no recurring billing, and accounting jargon.

1) Limited multicurrency option – Unless you choose the most expensive subscription ($70/month), you won’t be able to receive or invoice using foreign currency, which makes doing business with people outside of your country really difficult. So if you’re a solopreneur who needs under 5 invoices but needs multicurrency, you still have to choose the most expensive option.

2) No recurring billing – If you’re invoicing many different clients the same amount each month, you don’t have the option to charge their cards automatically. While Xero will duplicate the previous month’s invoice and send it, the client will still have to enter their credit card information to pay it.

3) Accountant jargon – This software, like many of the others on the market, is made with accountants and bookkeepers in mind. That means that a lot of the feature I love about it (old-school style, journal-based bookkeeping) are things that won’t matter much to you. It also means that you’ll have a more difficult time navigating the software and being able to make the most of its features. It’s best used with a professional.

Why should I use it?

1) Better than a spreadsheet – While Xero isn’t perfect, it’s also a major step up from spreadsheet-style bookkeeping. That means tax time will be easier to manage because everything has already been captured and recorded.

2) Easily accessible and useful reports – The reports are one of my favorite features of Xero.

3) Constant updates and great customer service – Xero knows the value of listening to its customers. As a result, they’re always rolling out new features, fixing technical bugs, and generally making the software more beautiful and easier to use. Plus, if you do encounter problems, the customer service is fast and at your disposal 24/7 for free. They’ll get back to you almost immediately and explain how to solve whatever problem you’re facing with patience.

4) Openly available information – While this software is made for accountants and bookkeepers, Xero still offers a lot of information for the DIY entrepreneur. You can find tutorials in dedicated training, articles, videos, and their handy-dandy accounting glossary.

5) Able to track inventory – This is a built-in feature that’s great for business owners who sell physical products, like t-shirts.

Quick rundown of Xero

  • Started doing business in: 2006
  • Based in: New Zealand
  • Cost: Paid monthly subscription ($9 – $70)
  • Free trial: 30 days
    Credit card processing fees (via Stripe): %2.9 + 30 cents
  • Automatic billing: No
  • Payroll available: Yes (includes features like built-in timesheets, employee leave, and reimbursement of expenses)
  • Multicurrency: Yes
  • PayPal payment option: Yes
  • Etsy connection: No (only through 3rd party applications)
  • Shoeboxed connection: Yes
  • Freshbooks connection: No
  • Customized invoices: Yes
  • Mobile app: Yes (There are separate apps for Invoices / Receipts / Payroll)
  • Option to collaborate with team members: Yes

Still have questions about whether or not Xero is right for you? Leave a comment below or send me a message.

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