There were times when accountants were all the hype; the smart, important cult! Technology today is fast diminishing their role in our money management needs especially since the money that needs to be managed is getting scarce. For small business owners, this is good news; they are now tracking small business expenses and specifically home business expenses without paying huge sums of money to accountants.
Online Money Management
There are a number of user-friendly free online financial services, software and apps available for small business owners for managing different business needs. There is billing software, time tracking software and payroll management software. Out of these, there are some online services that are designed for managing personal finances but can be a useful tool for a small business as well.
Such online services, more commonly known as cloud accounting services, offer a great number of advantages for its users. The best part is, you can access these online cloud services from anywhere with an internet connection and a browser and you can reach all your data since it is stored with these online services.
An advantage of using such services is aggregation of your finances at one place. You can aggregate all your business accounts by adding their details with these services. I am going to provide a review of how three very popular personal finance services can be used as small business expense tracker. These three services include Mint.com, Yodlee MoneyCenter and Pageonce.
Mint is an online free financial service that can be used to track and budget your expenses. Although it is a service designed for personal use, you can as easily create a separate business account for keeping track of business expenses. The main advantage of Mint is aggregation of your accounts at one single place, enabling you to see the whole picture of your business.
Mint will require you to enter the details of all your business accounts, loans and investments. Be sure that you only enter the information of your business accounts only. Once you have entered the details, you can select the accounts you want to hide from Mint.
You can add your business assets for depreciation calculations and you can calculate the net worth of your business. You can further divide your transactions into different categories. Your expenses can be divided into advertising, utilities and rent and so on.
Once you are done, you can track your performance, set your budgets and even set financial goals you want to achieve. You can also receive regular alerts about approaching deadlines or going over-budget.
Yodlee is also an online personal finance tracker and aggregator which can be accessed easily from anywhere. You can visit the Yodlee website and create a business page instead of a personal one. You can add information about all your accounts related to your business activities, just like with Mint.
Yodlee provides you with categorized reports of your expenses and allows you to see your balance and transactions by linking to your bank accounts.
Yodlee provides you additional services for transfer of funds and payments. With a Yodlee account you can easily transfer funds anywhere you want. If you are unable to keep your billing deadlines, you can enable free bill payment offered by Yodlee MoneyCenter.
A little less used than the other two, it is fast emerging as a popular service provider for online financial services. Pageonce guarantees bank-level security and don’t have one single security breach on their record.
Just like the other two services, Pageonce aggregates your account and track your spending and income. Pageonce also provide alerts for bill deadline and help you in bill payments. It is now accessible through iPhone and iPad easily.
For an entrepreneur, knowing how to keep track of expenses for small business without spending too much money on it is important. There are a number of free online accounting services now available for people to manage their personal finances. For a small business these online services can be the best way to track business expenses initially. However, as your business grows, you can switch to more business-oriented software.