- Keeping track of your business expenses and income is crucial for assessing your business strategy and profitability
- Several free online tools are available to business owners
- Help forecast future cash flows, track down late payments, and turn the tedious task of getting paid into something much easier
Keeping track of your business’s revenues, expenses, and other financial information is an essential but often tedious or challenging process. Business owners can benefit from hiring a professional accountant or bookkeeper, but regularly tracking your finances is a helpful way to assess your cash flow, determine which products and services are performing the best, and otherwise provide information to help guide your business decisions.
There are numerous free online bookkeeping services available to business owners, although many of them require payment to unlock advanced features. The following are examples of some of the more popular options:
Wave is a success story in itself, a startup that gained hundreds of thousands of customers before being acquired by H&R Block. It offers a suite of products allowing businesses to manage their accounting, invoices, and receipts. Wave also offers services such as credit card processing, bank payments, and payroll management for a fee.
A free starter option offered by ZipBooks allows users to link to a bank account, manage unlimited vendors and customers, accept digital payments through Square or PayPal, and view basic accounting reports. More advanced accounting tools are available at two higher paid tiers, and custom pricing is also available.
GnuCash allows users to track both business and personal expenses, allowing users to manage invoices, accounts, expenses, bank accounts and stock portfolios, and more. The software is available for multiple platforms and includes a checkbook-style register and other features designed to be intuitive and user-friendly.
SlickPie offers services such as online invoicing and billing, automated data entry, and financial reports. The free starter account offers virtually all of the same services as a paid Pro account.
A secure web-based accounting tool, BrightBook allows you to easily check on your business finances whenever you have an internet connection. Users can create invoices, log payments and bills, link multiple users or companies, and get insights on how their company is performing.
Used by more than 2 million business owners, CloudBooks claims that it saves its users an average of 60 hours per month. Business owners can track expenses, manage projects, create invoices, set up payments, and more. The free plan is fairly limited, limiting a business owner to one client and five invoices, but affordable monthly options allow expanded options.