5 Apps I love for business

20th October 2017

Well, it’s August so it’s definitely summer – although you might not realise it if you’re in the UK!

But that also means that everyone is a little bit more laid back than usual…. And no one is really in the frame of mind for anything too serious right now…. So I thought that today I’d write a different type of email than usual – one that is on the light side, but hopefully useful too.

So here is a list of my favourite apps, websites and gadgets that will help you run your finances and your business more smoothly. We use all of these in our office, and highly recommend them – Hope they come in useful for you too!

  1. Run your accounts on the go. Don’t worry – I’m not saying you should take your bookkeeping on your summer holiday :- ) But it is handy to be able to access every detail of your accounts on your mobile, wherever you are. You never know when and where you might need to quickly check an invoice status or stock levels.

    As we use the Exchequer platform to manage both our own accounts and all our clients’, we use its eXchequer365 mobile app for this purpose. But whichever platform you choose, make sure it’s got a fully functioning app which links seamlessly to the main system.

    By the way, you can also use eXchequer365 to record and submit your expenses as you go. It’s a brilliant way to make sure that your expenses are accurate and that they actually get filed, because you log them in real-time.
  2. Manage your passwords. LastPass is a great way of avoiding password hell at work. It allows you to safely share passwords with entire teams, adding and removing people as necessary (you can switch people’s accounts off when they leave), and to set various controls and restrictions based on your employee’s access level.

    Of course, LastPass also allows people to store their personal passwords separately, so it really is a one-stop solution.
  3. Track your business mileage. Let’s be honest. It’s such a pain in the neck to have to submit your mileage expenses when you’re driving somewhere on business.

    The free Milecatcher app solves all that. It uses GPS to track your journeys, and when you stop asks you whether your trip was personal or business. If the latter, it will record the route and calculate the value. You can always see a running total, and sort it by week, month or year. Then simply email a PDF straight to your inbox (or to accounts….) to cover the period you want.
  4. Get documents signed electronically. Use Docusign to send proposals or contracts to a client, so they can sign it electronically (even if they don’t have the app). It is completely secure, and legally binding. And you can check on the status of every document at any given moment.

    Confession: This is the one service we haven’t started using yet but we’re planning on it very soon. In financial services we have a lot of documents which need signing, so this will save us a huge amount of time. Cuts down on paper, too…….
  5. Scan documents straight into your system. Have you ever had an invoice or another document which absolutely had to be entered into your accounts – but got lost? Or sat there for weeks and months, waiting to be processes, while your bookkeeper fell further and further behind?

There’s no reason for this to happen nowadays if you’re using a good accounting platform, because you should be able to scan the documents directly into your system. Exchequer, the platform we favour, uses OCR (optical character recognition) so it actually reads paper documents and puts all the relevant information directly in the right place. You don’t have to enter information manually.

Electronic files can be processed as well as paper.

OCR speeds up bookkeeping massively, and is another step towards a paperless office, as you don’t have to keep a hard copy of the documents you scan. A winner all round.

So what are your must-have apps and gadgets at work? Get in touch and let me know….

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