As you grow your bookkeeping business you’ll find a myriad of tasks that would benefit from being outsourced or automated, which is when apps come in handy.
We’ve consulted AAT qualified and licensed bookkeepers and compiled a list of the top 13 apps that we promise will make your life as a bookkeeper so much easier.
Cloud accounting apps
One of the most essential apps to invest is cloud accounting software. The problem is, there’s so many to choose from and each accountant has their favourite.
AAT licensed bookkeeper Claire Holgate suggests: “In terms of accounting software, it really depends on the type of client you work with, or want to work with. I always recommend choosing software to fit around the needs of your clients, rather than buying software and trying to find clients to fit it.”
Whilst we’ve listed the top 4 apps below, we strongly suggest talking to other bookkeepers you know about what software they use, and why they chose that over the alternatives, as everyone has a different client base.
- Xero – Great if you work with SMEs
- Quickbooks – Another good option if working with SMEs and includes live support
- Freshbooks – Perfect for freelance clients (but please note that it doesn’t do payroll)
- Freeagent – Also a great choice for working with sole traders and freelance clients
Apps to automate manual entry tasks
Make light work of those repetitive, manual tasks without having to outsource or delegate at a cost to you or your client.
“I have recently fallen in love with AutoEntry which allows me to automate the manual entry side of being a bookkeeper, which means I can concentrate on the correct posting to the ledgers. Amazing product and works exceptional with my Quickbooks online and excel spreadsheets.” – Natasha Everard, NME Bookkeeping and licensed AAT bookkeeper.
Prices start from £9 depending on how much you use it.
This is one of the quickest receipt tracking apps we’ve found. Take a photo of each receipt and the app automatically extracts the key data (supplier name, date, amount and self-assessment category) and is even verified by a member of 1-tap’s team. This is a great app to suggest to your clients who frequently lose track of their receipts.
There is a free version – 10 scans per month. The pro version currently costs £19.99 a year and gives you 50 scans per month.
- Scanner app – turn photos into PDFs
This handy app turns your Apple device into a scanner and can turn any document into a PDF. You can also e-sign your documents and overlay a photo of your signature really easily. Great if you manually log your client’s expenses or need to send proof of a document quickly whilst looking professional.
There is a free version available as well as a pro version for advanced features.
- Mileiq – automatically log your mileage
This app is one to recommend to all your clients who need to track their mileage for expenses and one to use yourself if you do too. The app stays on in the background of your device and automatically logs your drives based on GPRS, adding them to a report that shows all tax deductible and reimbursable mileage.
The app offers 40 free drives per month or £5 a month for pro subscription.
Apps for data protection and security
Keep your client’s data secure when working in the cloud, get official sign off on documents without having to meet your customers in person and take secure card payments quickly and easily without jeopardising their security.
AAT licensed bookkeepers Holgate recommends e-signature software as a great starting point for any bookkeeper, especially start-ups.
“If you’re thinking of working remotely or marketing yourself as a cloud based bookkeeper then I think it’s essential. These will enable your clients to quickly (and securely) sign their letters of engagement, tax returns and so on, so you don’t have to rely on post or in-person meetings.”
Prices start from £10.42 per month.
This is a great app for automating the process of on-boarding new clients, getting e-signatures, creating client forms and integrating with other systems like GoCardless to take payments. You can also run KYC/AML checks on your clients to ensure you’re compliant with anti-money laundering regulations, keeping you and your business fully protected.
Prices start from £5 a month.
“I try to get as many clients as I can paying monthly via direct debit and GoCardless makes this process so easy. I hate having to wait 30 days for someone to pay my invoice and then have to do the chasing emails afterwards so anything that I can do to reduce the credit control side of my business always gets a thumbs up from me” says Holgate.
Prices start from 1% commission per transaction.
If you hold any of your client’s personal data on your mobile device we highly recommend installing an app like this which password protects documents on your phone or tablet. You can store sensitive data, passwords and files behind a pattern-password protector. Plus, if someone tries to break in the app covertly takes a photo of them using the front facing camera as evidence.
This app is free, with a PRO version available for secure cloud storage.
App to keep up to date with the industry
Stay up to date with the latest industry news and key dates for bookkeepers and accountants as well as gaining access to the range of free tools such as tax tables and tax calculators.
This one is free for all.
Have we missed any brilliant apps you couldn’t live without? Share them with us on Twitter.
Jen Smith coaches entrepreneurs in social media.