The essential finance apps every new business owner needs

From organising invoices and accounts to taking payments, these are the apps that will help you to better manage your finances...

PayPal Here

Compatible with: iOS and Android productsPayPal Here
Rating: ★★★★☆ (App store)
Price: The app is free but you pay £47.99 for the Chip & Pin card reader.

PayPal has been a major player in the online payments space since launching in 1998, facilitating billions of dollars worth of transactions for businesses and consumers alike. In 2012 it launched PayPal Here, a mobile payment system designed specially for small businesses.

Consisting of a free mobile app and £47.99 card-reader that connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth, PayPal Here enables you to take contactless payments from Visa, MasterCard and Maestro debit and credit cards at a small charge of between 1.5% and 2.75% per transaction based on total sales volume.

Payments are instantly deposited in your PayPal account and the service is compatible with a card, smartphone or even a smartwatch. PayPal Here also allows a business to take payments from multiple card readers from one account, with sub users easily added and removed, while you retain full control. There are no monthly fees and, using the app, you can send receipts to customers by text or email and even set up your staff to take payments on your behalf.

The company has also branched out to offer a more comprehensive range of point-of-sale (POS) solutions including lockable iPad enclosures and counter top charging stations for the card readers.

Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

A quick and simple payments system that deposits straight into your PayPal account for a minimal fee, PayPal Here offers you an affordable, flexible and scalable solution.

Sage One

Compatible with: iOSSage One
Rating:★★
Price: £2.50 +VAT for Sage Start or £10+VAT per month for Sage Accounting

Specially designed with small businesses in mind, Sage One’s cloud-based accounting software app integrates invoicing, banking and payroll to help your manage the daily admin of running and growing a business.

Also available on desktop, tablet and smartphones, the app also has a tool that allows teams and accountants to collaborate and work on real-time data. Businesses can create quotes, estimates and invoices, track what they are owed to chase overdue payments and view detailed balance sheets by connecting with their bank.

As well as boasting “bank-level security”, Sage One’s niftiest feature for small businesses is that it keeps on top of all the latest legislation including VAT, auto-enrolment and even possible regulatory changes surrounding Brexit.

Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

Accounting admin can often be time- consuming, tedious and vulnerable to small mistakes that could have big consequences. The app takes away some of that headache and hassle to enable your business to focus on more important areas of your company.

Wave

Compatible with: iOS and Android productsWave image
Rating: ★★★★
Price: Free

Claiming to be used by more than 1.7 million customers across 200 countries, Wave provides cloud-based and integrated invoicing, accounting, payroll and payments software for small businesses and sole traders.

Wave was founded on the belief that most small business software isn’t actually built for small businesses – it’s built for medium-sized businesses. Recognising the fact that small companies have very different needs, Wave developed its software specifically for businesses with nine employers or fewer.

As well as the ability to track income and expenses using receipt scanning tools and bank connections, Wave enables you to create and send professional invoices and follow their status so they can see when the money is due in their account. It also provides reports and dashboards to help you better make sense of their businesses and inform good decision making.

Unlike many of its rivals, Wave allows customers to use its invoicing, accounting, receipt scanning and other services completely free, using a pay-as-you-go model for its credit card processing and payroll.

Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

Tailored to the micro-end of the small business market, if you’re a sole trader or employ fewer than 10 staff, Wave offers all the accounting and bookkeeping tools you need in a package designed with you in mind.

FreeAgent

Compatible with: iOS and Android productsFreeAgent
Rating:★★★
Price: £19 to £29 per month

Designed with the needs of small businesses, freelancers and their accountants in mind, FreeAgent provides everything time-poor entrepreneurs need to stay on top of their accounts including invoicing, expense management, VAT, payroll and even self assessment tax return filing.

FreeAgent users are able to create and send invoices, set up recurring invoices that are sent automatically, as well as nudge late payers with automated reminders. You can also take a picture of a receipt and upload it to the platform as an easy way to record expenses, creating a manageable and accurate list ready for tax time.

Elsewhere, the service offers a very similar list of features to rivals including templates for estimates and inovices, automatic submission of VAT returns to HMRC, the ability to import bank data and dashboard analytics of your businesses. FreeAgent also includes a time tracking tool for mobile and desktop and corporation tax forecasting to help you plan ahead and keep up to date.

 Why is it a must-have app for business owners?

 Already used by more than 40,000 businesses, FreeAgent is a comprehensive and affordable accounting and payroll solution that can help save you headaches, time and money later down the line.

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