AccountingSmall Business & Startups

Mobile Accounting App: A Feature You Don’t Want to Overlook

By July 26, 2016 No Comments

Accounting AppLet’s face it: we live in an on-the-go society. We can order a car service, dinner, or even our next great read just by opening an app. With the world at our fingertips, shrinking attention spans, and a desire to make every moment count, we’ve developed a time is money mindset. Not only are we focused on making the most out of every day, but we want to do it efficiently, too. We’re eating lunch at our desk, so we can keep an eye on our inbox. We’re working from home to avoid long commutes that interrupt the work day. We’re even using productivity tools like Slack to pool all of our conversations into one place. All of this means that we’re working more and more. In fact, a Harvard Business School survey of 1,000 professionals found that 94% worked at least 50 hours a week, and almost half worked more than 65 hours. So what does this busyness have to do with bookkeeping? We’re so glad you asked.

Working 50-60 hours per week means there’s little time for mundane tasks, and since accounting isn’t exactly a business owner’s sexiest role, it tends to fall to the wayside. That’s why adopting a mobile friendly accounting platform is such a key part of success. Luckily, all of the major accounting platforms (like Xero and QuickBooks) have their own mobile app these days which means you can access your accounting on-the-go. No need to sit down in front of your desktop for accounting tasks, and no need to spend countless hours pouring over the books. Instead, you can access what you need, straight from your smart phone.

While an app based accounting system might seem unnecessary, it’s actually an efficient way to use your time. For one, your accounting app allows you quickly knock-out routine tasks.  When you’re waiting in line to order lunch, why not take care of a few quick bookkeeping items? If you’re at the airport for a layover, why not people watch and check on the health of your company? Honesty moment: if you have time for a quick round of Pokemon Go, you’ve got time to open your mobile financial app. Secondly, having a mobile friendly accounting app gives you the ability to get a quick snapshot view of your business’s results.  It’s great to be able to see how much cash you have across all of your bank accounts…all in one place.  Another perk? Know which customers owe you the most money, right from your phone.

Of course, not all apps are created equal. The biggest difference between the main accounting platforms, Xero and Quickbooks, is how each have built their accounting software. Due to their longevity, Quickbooks still has a large number of users on the Desktop version of their software. These users have no ability to access the Desktop version of Quickbooks on a mobile platform which means that those users are missing out. Only users that subscribe to Quickbooks online have access to the QuickBooks mobile app.

Xero, on the other hand, was built specifically for the cloud, so every one of their users has access to the mobile app which is why when it comes to mobile accounting, we recommend Xero. With Xero, you’re able to do everything from checking unpaid client invoices to submitting receipts for reimbursement right from your mobile device. Xero was also intentional about building their software to fit every Apple device out there (Macbooks,  iPhones, iPads, and even Apple watches) creating the best Xero experience for each of Apple’s particular devices. With Xero and Apple’s partnership (and our stamp of approval), you’ve got a simple, intuitive, and beautifully designed way to manage day to day accounting at your fingertips.

One thing that app users are sometimes disappointed in is the fact that the mobile versions of each of these accounting software packages do not have as many features as their web-based counterparts. While it might seem frustrating, this is actually a smart decision by the software companies. It shows that there was thoughtful strategy put into each of the apps as to what features would actually be used when you’re on the go. Why offer the user more than you need? Instead, Xero (and others) are intentional with their design and features. Brilliant.

If you’re ready to find a quick and easy way to get on track with your bookkeeping and accounting needs, take a look at our DIY Bookkeeping. As part of the plan, you can get the support you need from us plus a free Xero subscription. Win-win. Ready to take control of your bookkeeping? Just let us know.