Under the day to day pressure of running your business it can be easy to put financial issues to one side. Luckily there a now many free or very cost-effective apps that can help you automate tasks, keep track of your budgets and expenses, improve your invoicing, help you get paid and make life easier. Here are some examples:
Stripe: Payment options
Offering your customers multiple payment options is one way to avoid delays in getting paid. The more payment options you offer, the fewer excuses your clients have for failing to pay on n.
Stripe is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to get paid. Used by millions of businesses, Stripe is secure and easy for your customers to use and allows you to accept online and in-person payments from anyone in any country.
Your outlay: Stripe charges a standard 1.4% transaction charge plus a 20p per transaction fee for European cards and 2.9% plus a 20p fee for non-European cards. There is no setup fee and you only pay for what you use.
As a freelancer or business owner it good to know you have free or at a very low-cost tools to help manage your finances easily.
Monese provides freelancers and small businesses with a UK-based bank account that can be set up quickly. It is completely mobile, so you can manage all your banking needs using the smart mobile app, especially designed to provide flexibility and easy transfers.
If you pay for your Monese account, you can use your card anywhere in the world with no fees. You can also manage your account in 10 different languages.
Your outlay: If you’re a freelancer, you can use Monese’s free account which gives access to all the features, but will charge for withdrawals from cash machines and for payments abroad. You will pay £5 to get your card delivered. There are two paid accounts costing £4.95 and £14.95. With these you’ll get a free card and will be able to access some or all those features for free. There’s also a business account which costs £9.95 a month where you get a two-in-one Monese Business and Monese Plus personal account. This means you can separate your business and personal spend with free dedicated debit cards and both can be managed from one place.
Expensify: Managing expenses
It is very easy to collect receipts and then let them pile up! However, this disorganised approach makes tracking billable expenses such an effort you might not bother or let a few costs slip through the net.
Expensify is great for people who keep adding to their pile of receipts. It offers receipt scanning, next-day reimbursement, GPS mileage tracking, and tax tracking. You can allocate costs to specific jobs, set up unlimited categories, and import your credit or debit cards so everything sits under one account. It consolidates all your expenses making them much easier to manage.
It even comes with a virtual assistant just for you: Concierge. Driven by AI, Concierge reminds you to submit receipts, review reports, and automates things for you.
Your outlay: Individual plans are £3.99 a month. Group plans start from £4 per user/month.
Solna: Smart Invoicing
Sending out your invoices sounds a simple task but it can often feel like a time-consuming admin burden.
If you want to get paid on time, smart invoicing is the best approach. Solna is packed with smart features to protect freelancers and small businesses and makes invoicing quick and easy.
With Solna, users can create, customise and send invoices in seconds. It also sends automatic payment reminders to those annoying late payers and lets you track every invoice until it’s in your account. Invoices also come with read receipts, so no more chasing random accounting people either, and it’ll help you get paid faster.
You can also get a better view of who you’re doing business with and make the best decisions when setting payment terms using Solna’s credit check facility. It’s an invoicing tool with brains.
Your outlay: You can sign up to Solna’s free version that provides access to invoice templates and customers’ credit scores for a limited number of customers. The paid packages give you invoice tracking, recurring invoices, advanced reporting in addition to more customers and templates.
Emma: Saving and Budgeting
To be good with your money, Emma is a handy little tool that lets you effortlessly manage your cash flow and control your budgeting.
Emma acts as your personal finance adviser by keeping track of all your spending, subscriptions, and even alerting you on any overdrafts. Emma can also help you keep track of debt repayments and it even prompts you to save money by suggesting what you can afford to save at the end of each month. Yes, it’ll spot if you’ve been buying too many flat whites!
Your outlay: Emma is free to use but users also have the option to upgrade to Emma Pro for premium features including custom categories, unlimited budgeting, and data exports
It is worth spending a little time looking into the tools that are available to you either for free or at a fairly low cost. When your business, and personal finances, are running more smoothly you’ll be glad you did.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Inna Kaushan is co-founder of Solna, a smart invoicing platform powered by credit score data. Solna speeds up the invoicing and payment process for freelancers and small businesses. Through leveraged credit data that is overlaid on the platform’s invoicing and reporting functionality, users get a clear picture of their customer’s financial health and their overall exposure to risk. The system’s automated credit control functionality automatically chases overdue invoices – freeing up time and ensuring faster payment.