The Best Finance Tools for Independent Agencies
Running an independent agency is hard enough without having to worry about which finance tools you should be using to manage your bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll and hourly time tracking. To help out, we put together a list of the best platforms for all the critical aspects of your agency’s financial needs.
The golden standard in accounting software, QuickBooks is the OG of accounting software and has earned its reputation for the software. If you need accounting without a CPA, QuickBooks suite of features—including invoices, billings, tracking time worked, reports and more—can handle it. Go with QuickBooks if you like a service-model that is reliable and lives up to its reputation.
For comprehensive accounting software, look no further than Xero. Xero combines all the best features of accounting and then some. If you’re looking to make the switch from QuickBooks, Xero’s got the code to make that easy too. Since Xero is a full-service software, it’s starting price ain’t cheap. But if you want a software that can meet all of your potential needs, go with Xero.
If other accounting software wasn’t for you, Freshbooks just might be the antidote. The software has a clean look and feel, is easy to use and can help keep track of all of your accounting needs. Best of all, it caters to small businesses and agencies, so it knows how your business probably works. Invoices, expenses, reporting, time tracking, estimates—all of these and more are up up away in the cloud so you can monitor your business on the go.
Accounting software can often seem like it’s spelled in a different language, but Wave translates the jargon into four simple categories: accounting, invoicing, payments and payroll. Besides the simplicity, the best part about Wave? It’s free. Seriously. Wave only charges for the additional services for what you use. No long contracts or commitments. With freedom, however, comes some limitations. The software isn’t super comprehensive, but if you just need the fundamentals, Wave is a go.
A lot of small businesses don’t hire a human resources department to handle the payroll, benefits, taxes and compliance. They just use JustWorks. JustWorks, an all-in-one payroll software, covers the basics of a dedicated HR team, plus access to a real life person to help you with the software. A pretty great deal.
Need to onboard your new hires? Dole out worker’s comp? Review employee health care plans, 401(k)s, visas and college savings accounts? Then Gusto is for you. The comprehensive, digital human resources software can do just about anything for your small or mid-sized team.
Are you used to clipping receipts to your expense report? Pushing paper back and forth to get the proper signatures to sign off on it? Buck with the bureaucracy and just use Expensify. The software allows users to scan receipts, reimburse employees, track taxes and offer real-time expense reports. It also offers an integration with Quickbooks, making closing your monthly statements a breeze.
Bench is the ultimate destination for real live human bookkeepers, ready to look at the books and answer your questions. The full-service company works directly with your CPA or sets you up with one you trust, so they can file your taxes for you. You could say it’s the industry benchmark for filing business-related taxes.
Unlike your average invoicing software, Harvest also makes it easy to log and track hours spent on the job, both for managers and employees. But what makes Harvest a real steal of a deal is how many places you can track your time. Web, smartphone, app—it’s never been so easy to get you and your team on board to track time on a simple, intuitive interface.
The days of punching in a timecard are long gone. In its place comes Allocate.ai, which automatically logs your time and provides project insights using artificial intelligence software. Everything is synced to the cloud, naturally, and ready to integrate with daily tools you already use.
Credit Lines or Small Business Loan
If your business needs a line of credit, you could run up a simple Google search, clicking and clicking and clicking around until you find a good comparison tool or an organization willing to lend you the money. Or you could use Fundera. Fundera lets you compare rates from the country’s leading lenders with a single application, working side-by-side with a specialist who can match you with a lender who is ideal for you, not the other way around.