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A 5-Minute Review of Free and Paid Financial Tools for Small Businesses

2021 07 05 finance tools
[5-minute read]

By guest writer and Truevo growth marketer, Marlene Bramley

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But luckily for small business owners, there are free financial software tools to manage your books. Before we take a deep dive into software that can help you make ends meet and run your business, it’s prudent to have a look at the features of free tools. Firstly, they’re mostly based in the Cloud. That means you have to be online to do any work, reconcile your books, or issue invoices. It’s all fine and well when you have a fibre connection that’s faster than a moocher spotting a free meal, but when that connection goes down all your business information is… erm, somewhere not-within-reach, it can become ugly. This is especially true if it happens around tax time. But all in all, the development towards Cloud-based storage has revolutionised how people work, freeing us up to be almost anywhere to do almost anything. 
Test the waters
We’re going to discuss a host of options. Before you choose one, do some tests. Register an account and create an invoice, scan a slip, and export it to your desktop. Have a look if you can export a client and supplier list as well. Why is this important? Things change, so do small businesses. Maybe you’ve grown and hired more people, maybe you’ve recently implemented a referral programme that’s keeping you busy? Perhaps, five years down the line, you might need to switch software packages for some reason, or the provider of the software could change their positioning and decide they’re no longer offering the service you use, like Wave did last year. They switched their customer base to focus on US clients only and handed over their European and African clients to Zoho Books. All would be hunky-dory, except you have all your invoices, statements, slips, etc. on Wave and the software doesn’t allow you to export anything. That means you have to recreate your whole set of books, company history, and financials… from scratch! If there is one thing worse than accounting, it’s catching up on an accounting backlog. 
Do all your tools work together? 
Something else to consider is how your financial management software integrates with other systems in your business. Do you plan to run a CRM (customer relationship management system) and how are you going to manage your stock, payroll, credit control, suppliers, and debtors? Once you’ve answered these questions, look at the software you plan to use and see if it integrates with financial management software. Take it from us; the fewer moving parts, the less trouble you’ll have. So, if you can find software that includes most of the functionality above, go for it! Even if you have to pay for it, it’ll be worth it in the long run. If you run an ecommerce business, make sure the payment solution you use integrates with your financial software, it will save you hours of work. Fundera publishes a host of blogs relating to financial software options for small businesses – check it out. 
Let’s look at the stats
Back to financial software. We’ve done a bit of the heavy lifting for you. You’ll find various software solutions in the table below. We’ll summarise the benefits and features of each software programme briefly. Go play before you decide. A decision this important requires a bit of time and your attention. Although you might be starting with free software, you’ll probably need to pay for it later, so consider your budget from the get-go. 

To find the best option for your needs consider the following: price; different plans; accessibility; features (bookkeeping, accounting, taxes, time tracking, inventory, etc.); add-ons and integrations; customer support; ease of use, and how you can scale it. 
In summary, check out all the options and ask yourself, “What if my business skyrockets in a year?” Choose the software that will accommodate that and your pocket. Truevo integrates with all major software programmes. So whether you want to get paid online, virtually, in-app, cross-border, or just at your local store, have a look at our products here. 

P.S. Want a payment solution that does what it says it will do? Get Truevo. We can’t wait to connect with you.

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