QuickBooks Online Android app

QuickBooks Online Android app

The QuickBooks Online Android app is here! Users can now stay productive, organised and connected with QuickBooks Online – the number-one cloud accounting solution for small businesses!

Not using QuickBooks yet? Try the app FREE for 30 days, no credit card required. You’ll get the app and full access to QuickBooks Online on the web.

Already a QuickBooks Online user? The app is free with your subscription. Just download, sign in and go!

Access QuickBooks Online from your mobile device!

Get sales tasks done on the go, like managing customers, estimates, invoices, payments and sales receipts – right from your mobile device. This means less piled-up paperwork, more control over your accounting and bookkeeping, and more time for better customer service.

Manage your business anywhere:

• Create, edit, manage and email invoices
• Convert estimates into invoices
• View and update customer info
• Track payments and record sales
• Set up your company and taxes
• Schedule calendar appointments
• Always be notified when a customer calls

It’s easy to get started:

• Try the app free for 30 days, no credit card required
• Get full access to everything QuickBooks Online has on the web
• And then, if you love it, you can subscribe right from the app

What you’ll get on the web

• Make the most of all the QuickBooks Online features
• Gather business insights with over 20 reports
• Provide access to your accountant
• Plus much more…

See the QuickBooks Online Android app in action

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 Laptop beach

Many small business owners who go away on holiday or take a few days away from their desk are unable to leave work behind completely.  We’ve compiled a handy list of useful mobile business tools and applications to help you work (a bit) whilst you play.

1. QuickBooks Online

Accessible via any desktop or laptop with internet connection or even a mobile phone with a web browser, QuickBooks Online will allow you to keep tabs on your cash flow wherever you are.

QuickBooks Mobile is a free app that links to your QuickBooks Online account. Use it to manage your finances from anywhere via your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad – see who owes you money, send invoices, email receipts and more – all without going near a computer. Perfect for keeping on top of your admin between clients, on the train or in a café.

Try QuickBooks Online free for 30 days obligation-free

2. Skype 

Make business calls without worrying about racking up a huge international phone bill. You can make free Skype-to-Skype calls no matter where you are as well as engage in instant messaging and video chat.

3. Uber Social

With this handy app, you can still update and manage your Twitter and Facebook accounts from anywhere, and keep tabs on what your followers and friends are saying about your business.

4. PDF Notes

We’ve all been there when an important PDF document comes through while you’re out and about but you can’t open or edit the file. These frustrating moments can now be avoided with PDF Notes, which lets you view and edit PDF documents.

5. MyBizTracker

 MyBizTracker is an iPhone app that makes it easy for your business to record income and expenses and keep track of every receipt on the move. The app was developed in line with requirements set out by HMRC to make record-keeping of income and expenses easier.

6. Analytics

If your business has a website and you are worried about how it is doing while you are on holiday, then fear not. With this app, you can check how much traffic is being driven to your website and make sure that you are always in the know.

7. Weave

Have a stress-free break by making sure you never miss a trick with this nifty multi-functional app. You can track to-dos, income, projects and even time spent.

8. Evernote

Time away from work can allow you the space to be creative and inspiration often strikes. Be sure to jot these thoughts down with this note-taking app, rather than waiting until you return home.

9. LinkedIn

Need to contact a business client while on your break but don’t have their details? With LinkedIn you can access your professional network and find out how to best make contact with them from wherever you are in the world.

10. GoogleDocs

Planning on working on business documents while on holiday? No need to worry about taking USB sticks with you everywhere. Simply create a document in GoogleDocs and as long as you can access the internet you’ll be able to open and edit your files.

Do you have any other tips on useful tools and applications which small businesses can use on the move? Tell us your favourites!

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Apps

Apps

Most freelancers will confess to feeling lost if they’re separated from their smartphone or tablet – essential tools these days. The ever-growing number of apps makes everyday life and business even easier to organise.

While some apps might be a tad distracting (hello Angry Birds and Words with Friends), others can really save you time and stress, which gives you more space to enjoy the fun bits of freelancing.

Not sure where to start in the quest for freelance-friendly apps? Here are a few of the most useful ones.

You’re probably aware of this freelance marketplace, where jobs are advertised and freelancers can bid for them. It’s a great tool for anyone who offers a service, and the app makes it even easier to search and apply for jobs.

Find out more

Freelancers often work with several clients on a number of different projects. This can get extremely confusing at times. Weave is a to-do list you can split into categories, projects and tasks. You can also add in expenses and incoming money, which you can assign to a client to keep on top of where you stand.

Find out more

Tracking your expenses and invoices can be a bit of a bore with freelancing. I like the MyBizTracker app for keeping on top of my incoming money and outgoing costs, and it’s really easy to take a snapshot of my receipts etc. too. I find it really useful when I’m travelling, as I can take a snap of the train ticket once I’ve jumped on the train and that’s my expense done!

Find out more

One of my favourite apps is Flipboard, a tool that turns all my favourite content into a flippable online magazine. Mine holds all my social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, G+, YouTube, Tumblr and many more), along with my Google Reader and several industry websites and blogs of interest. It’s the perfect way to flip through everything you want in an easy-to-read format. You can either flip through by section, or flick through the latest updates.

Find out more

Intuit Pay, with the free mobile app and chip & PIN card reader, makes it easy to get paid securely wherever you are. Pretty essential huh? Especially if you offer a face-to-face service or need a way to take payments over the phone.

Find out more

Pomodoro is an app based on the popular Pomodoro productivity method. Set the timer for 20 minutes then focus entirely on the task at hand. In fact, I’m using it right now to write this!

Find out more

Recently, I’ve been using a new app on my iPhone called DailyRoutine. It lets me create, as the name would suggest, daily routines which can be split into lots of sections. It will then alert me when each new section begins. So, for example, I could book in a gym appointment at 8am, reports at 9.30am, blogging at 10-11am and an 11am tea break. Time often runs away from me, so this helps me stay on track and be aware of time.

Find out more

QuickBooks Mobile is a free app that links to your QuickBooks Online account. Use it to manage your finances from anywhere via your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad – see who owes you money, send invoices, email receipts and more – all without going near a computer. Perfect for keeping on top of your admin between clients, on the train or in a café.

Find out more

Which apps can you not bear to be without? 

Accountant calculator

Accountant calculator

From one wo/man bands to larger companies, bookkeeping is a significant part of any business. While it isn’t typically one of the more glamorous jobs, bookkeeping is at the heart of any company’s success, and errors can cost dearly.

As a professional bookkeeper, these are some of the most common errors that I regularly see and which I cover when training SME owners to set up and manage their bookkeeping correctly.

Taking some training with a professional bookkeeper, preferably from the start, can help you improve your bookkeeping system and your business.

Mistake 1. Combining personal and business finances

A lot of business owners forget to separate their personal finances from the business ones. When they are inputting their expenses, they might come across a meal receipt which they paid for on the company credit card because they couldn’t find their personal credit card or they didn’t have any money in their bank account.

This can also happen the other way around – a business owner could pay for a business expense on their personal credit card and forget to put the expense in for reimbursement.

The problem with mixing up your personal and business finances is:

  • You could be missing out on tax relief from business receipts which are tax-deductible
  • If you put through some personal receipts as business expenses, this could potentially result in a fine from HMRC.

Mistake 2. Not performing reconciliation

A lot of businesses owners ask what a reconciliation is. They have no idea they need to compare their business books with their bank statement and make sure there are no discrepancies.

You should reconcile your business books with your bank statements as often as possible, at least once a month, to:

  • Keep track of all income and expenses going through your bank and ensure that they match your business books.
  • Highlight weaknesses in your processes that need to be addressed
  • To avoid and/or detect any fraudulent activity

Mistake 3. Not keeping receipts for small purchases

Many business owners don’t see the point in keeping receipts for small expenses, such as parking and business travel etc. because they will just clutter the office and they assume HMRC doesn’t need to see every little expense.

This is wrong – if you are inspected, then HMRC will want to see receipts for everything you have put through your business as an expense and if you don’t have this they can state that it is not a tax-deductible expense because you have no evidence to back it up. If this happens, you could incur penalties and fines.

Free apps such as MyBizTracker make it easy to track your expenses on the move.

Mistake 4: Using manual accounting systems

There are many opportunities to make errors when using a manual accounting system such as spreadsheets. Even a small mistake could cause you a number of problems further down the line. With accounting software you will avoid errors such as:

  • Posting a sale to the wrong customer account
  • Incorrect dates, e.g. 30th February will not be accepted in a computerised system.
  • VAT mistakes

There are many benefits to using accounting software such as QuickBooks, compared with a manual accounting system:

  • Save time
  • Produce reports in seconds
  • It’s much more accurate than a manual system
  • Save money on your accountant’s bills

Online accounting software like  QuickBooks Online and free apps like QuickBooks Mobile are also brilliant for business that are out and about all the time and need to access their accounts on the move.

[Image courtesy of adamr/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Accountant calculator

Accountant calculator

The great advantage of using accounting software like QuickBooks is that it makes it easy to stay on top of your business finances.  However, for most businesses, expert accounting help is still advisable. Why?

  • To get peace of mind from someone who understands tax and accounting regulations inside-out
  • To get expert advice on running your business better and to make it more profitable

Remember, running a successful business is about allocating resources efficiently and your time is GOLD!

So, when is it a good time to ask for help and what kind of accounting support should you be looking for?

The difference between an accountant and a bookkeeper

Bookkeepers

The number one misconception is that a bookkeeper is the same as an accountant. However, this isn’t strictly true. While they may carry out some of the same functions, a bookkeeper (as their name implies) is someone who keeps the books.  They are very good at managing day-to-day paperwork, such as creating and sending out client invoices and managing supplier bills and receipts etc., and getting them into the computer system.  Many can also help with VAT returns and payroll.

In the UK, many bookkeepers have achieved professional qualifications by passing the rigorous exams set by the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) or the ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers).

If your bookkeeper will be handling most aspects of your accounts, including VAT and payroll, you would be well advised to seek one who holds a recognised credential such as ICB or AAT certification.

Accountants

An accountant might also do some bookkeeping, although given their higher rates this isn’t always the best use of their time. Accountants typically take over when the bookkeeper has entered all the transactions – they then prepare monthly management accounts or year-end statutory accounts for a limited company. They also advise on tax and VAT and should be able to offer more practical business advice too.

In the UK, anyone can call themselves an accountant but you will want to be aware of some of the recognised accounting qualifications to look out for:

I read a very useful analogy recently which helps to make the distinction between accountants and bookkeepers – think of a bookkeeper like a nurse and your accountant as the doctor.

You’ll see your nurse on a more regular basis, they’re the friendly face of regular care and maintenance. You might see your doctor less often, they might prescribe something to help you deal with your obesity, for example, but it’s your nurse that will help you keep the weight off.”

When to use an accounting professional

So, when should you ask for professional accounting help? What I always say to business owners is – ask for help as soon as you wonder if you need help.

Depending on the size and nature of your business, you might use an accountant or bookkeeper on an ongoing basis or at specific points. Here are some issues to consider.

Starting up – I would certainly talk to an accountant who can help you get off to a good start and advise on issues such as accounting software and VAT.  Most will offer a free initial consultation.

Choosing a business structure – An accountant can advise on the best business structures, based on their knowledge of tax breaks and more.

Health check – You can also benefit from simply having a regular chat with a bookkeeper and/or accountant to go over your finances and processes, and to pinpoint any opportunities or risks facing your business.

Tax return – It’s true that as a sole trader, you can do your own tax return but it is usually worth consulting an accountant anyway. They can check your return and verify issues such as that you are claiming for all you’re entitled to and that you’re not trying to claim expenses which are not tax-deductible. Even if you manage your money using QuickBooks, it’s worth having your tax return checked and approved by an accounting expert.

If you have a more complicated business structure, such as a Limited Company, it’s very rarely practical doing your own tax return, given the detailed knowledge required.

Getting organised – If you have trouble staying organised, I would look at hiring a bookkeeper to help you keep on top of paperwork.  Remember, though, it’s OK to delegate but not to abdicate responsibility for your financial affairs – make sure you still have a good overview of your business’s finances at all times.

With tools such as QuickBooks Online, you can collaborate more easily with your accountant and bookkeeper and can log in anytime, anywhere to update your books or get an overview of your business.  There is even a QuickBooks Online Mobile app that allows you to stay connected from your mobile devices.

Need more time – If your business is growing fast or you just need more time to focus on marketing, sales and customer service etc., using the services of a bookkeeper can free up much-needed time. Yes, you could potentially do it yourself but is it the best use of your time?

A bookkeeper can also help chase payments from clients.  They can do that in a very professional way, making your business look bigger and more established.

VAT registration – Reaching the VAT threshold is a key milestone for a business – you need to check with an accountant you are managing VAT correctly to avoid costly errors (and if you haven’t already, I would advise getting accounting software like QuickBooks to save time doing your VAT return!).

Taking on your first employee – This is another huge milestone.  I would talk to an accountant to make sure you have got the right legals in place, such as a contract and insurance.  Also, you will now need to administer Real Time PAYE and NI – again, software such as QuickBooks Payroll means you can do this yourself or you might want to use a bookkeeper or specialist payroll service provider.

Auditing – When your business reaches a certain size, it needs an audit to reassure creditors and shareholders that the management is in control.  To do an audit an accountant must be qualified and also a Registered Auditor.

When do you need your own accounts department?

If your bookkeeper is working for you 3+days per week, it might be time to think about creating an internal accounts department.  An internal bookkeeper is known as an accounts assistant.  When you have two or three of them, you might hire a management accountant (qualified or part-qualified) to supervise them.

As you grow more, the next step would be a qualified financial controller and then your own finance director or chief financial officer!

Looking for accounting help?

Find an accountant or bookkeeper with QuickBooks expertise now. Those who have a ‘Certified’ badge next to their name in the listings have passed a stringent QuickBooks proficiency exam so you can be sure they are true QuickBooks experts.

Also, check out our article on choosing the perfect bookkeeper or accountant.

[Image courtesy of adamr/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]