5 Best Apps for Getting Your Financial House in Order

You've filed your taxes and maybe had a stiff drink or two. Business taxes are never easy, so perhaps you've also resolved to make this year more successful than last. Part of that is getting your financial house in order.

While many of the self-employed use on-the-fly methods like scratch pads and spreadsheets, a growing array of software solutions and apps promise to make such frustrating exercises a thing of the past. From budgeting to cashflow to invoicing and expense management, read on for the very best apps for managing your finances and your business! 

1
Freshbooks

Cash Flow is Everything
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Freshbooks is a really popular invoicing solution that many freelancers and consultants rely on. It can also help you capture expenses and track time spent on projects. 

One of the best reasons for using Freshbooks, however? It makes it easy to collect online payments, including credit card payments. So it makes chasing down invoices and payments a thing of the past. Freshbooks also integrates seamlessly with other services such as Paypal and Bidsketch. 

2
Quickbooks

There is nothing certain in life except death and taxes, and the dreaded quarterly estimated tax payment hits freelancers and entrepreneurs four times a year whether you are ready or not.

Be ready. Consider setting a separate bank account to sock away those tax payments in advance, and stay ahead. And don't forget about self employment taxes!

"Profitable sole proprietors are sometimes surprised to find that self-employment tax (social security and medicare tax for self-employed individuals) can be overlooked and may be a significant part of their total tax bill. Be sure to calculate these taxes as part of your total estimated taxes when paying quarterly estimates. Also be prepared for the April 15 surprise. Not only is the balance due for last year’s taxes, but also due is the first quarter installment of the next year’s taxes. Cash flow must be monitored to have these funds available," explains  Joseph L. Rosenberg, CPA. 

Quickbooks, owned by Intuit, is a cloud accounting solution tailor made for small businesses and can help with these and other issues. It has quite a robust feature set for tracking expenses, payments to contractors and employees, and support for multiple logins, making it scalable for everyone from a independent worker to a small business with multiple employees. 

3
Bidsketch

When it comes to business proposals, do you find yourself procrastinating? 

Key to attracting VIP clients in a consulting business is being able to present yourself and your services in the most glowing possible terms. Seeing an opportunity in the all-important business proposal template component of the freelance business, Ruben Gamez started his company, Bidsketch, to provide contractors easy-to-produce yet elegant-looking templates that would streamline the job-bidding process. Gamez shares his insights on marketing a startup and the most common mistakes consultants make here

4
Outright

Outright, recently acquired by GoDaddy, is an online bookkeeping solution in the vein of Quickbooks. It allows you to connect business accounts right to the system, allow you to skip the pain of navigating expenses with paper receipts. Mobile apps keep your business finances at your fingertips at all times. And like Quickbooks, this system can significantly help you at tax time. 

5
Xero

Xero is a relatively new cloud accounting player with a feature set comparable to Outright and Freshbook's. With Xero, you can create budgets, track expenses and create custom reports for examining your business' performance over time.