There is nothing quite like the phrase “tax season” to bring a certain sense of dread to the mind of small business owners across the nation. It’s not necessarily the fear of filing tax forms as much as it is the overwhelming nature of actually gathering and entering the seemingly infinite and complex amount of information you need.
Whether you decide to meet this challenge head on or enlist the help of a tax professional, one thing is sure to be true: properly completing your taxes will require you to keep accurate and up to date financial records throughout the entire year.
Fortunately, there are multiple apps designed to help you do just that, and many of these are not only useful come tax time, but some can also prove to be quite beneficial when it comes to managing your businesses finances. Here are a few you’ll definitely want to check out.
Designed specifically with small businesses in mind, Bookly.co enables business owners to access and keep all their bookkeeping online. One of the major selling points of this app is simplicity, and the company claims that in three minutes “you’ll never need to deal with bookkeeping again.”
All you need to do is create your account and plug in your financial info (bank accounts, credit cards, info for apps like Square), and your designated bookkeeping team will take it from there. Once you’re setup, everything from delivering payroll to filing taxes will be done for you. Doesn’t that sound nice?
There are various plans available for small business. he base plan offers monthly bookkeeping, a dedicated accounting team, and unlimited tax consulting. Business owners who wish to expand to higher tiers can expect features like business/personal tax preparation, audit support, and even payroll services.
Price: Currently, Bookly.co offers three tiers, each offering additional features and services. Their basic “Starter” level is available for $99 a month.
TurboTax Home & Business
It’s likely you immediately recognized this big name in taxes. TurboTax assists individuals and business as they tackle the complex world of taxes. If you’re not going to be working directly with an accountant to file your taxes, TurboTax Home & Business may be the next best thing.
Perfect for new small business owners, TurboTax Home & Business will walk you through the startup deductions specific to new businesses, make sure you don’t overlook any industry specific tax write-offs, and make it easy to enter information for multiple business income types.
Combine those small business specific perks with the ability to get your taxes done anywhere, at any time and their convenient Audit Risk Meter™ and it’s no wonder that this is a top tax app for small business owners who want to file themselves but could use the guidance and support this app has to offer.
Price: The base price of the app hovers around $104, but there are typically discounts offered, particularly when tax season begins. The purchase price includes the software, support, and a free federal e-file for the year you purchase.
Payroll is rarely a favorite pastime, and so finding a program that can alleviate some of the strife that comes with this somewhat arduous task is always a plus. Gusto is made with small business in mind and helps owners streamline the payroll process.
Small business owners benefit from a seamless integration with software like Quickbooks and the fact that local, state, and federal taxes can be filed automatically. Additionally, employees and owners will love that they can conveniently enter all their info online and download paystubs and W-2s at their leisure. In short, this app can really help make gathering tax info easily for all parties.
If it’s the little things in life that really drive your business, this mobile-friendly app comes with an added bonus. Users have the unique opportunity to send thank you notes on paystubs and setup/receive reminders about employee anniversaries and birthdays, which may not be a selling point, but it’s a great way to go the extra mile.
Price: Gusto’s price structure includes a base price of $29 a month, plus an additional $6 for each person in your company. So, if you have 10 people in your company, your total monthly membership fee will be $89.
Regardless of the size of your business, it’s likely that you will need to account for expenses encountered by you or your employees. You’ll also need to account for things like mileage, dining with clients, and other tax deductible expenses. Expensify is designed to help you manage all of that in one central location.
Expensify enables users to submit and track expenses by simply taking a photo of the receipt or using the SmartScan feature, removing the need for manual expense reporting. Additionally, you’ll be able to easily track and account for mileage by utilizing an accurate GPS feature.
Once information has been uploaded, Expensify users are able to code transactions and generate reports that allow business owners to get an accurate picture of everything from the general ledger account to employee expenditures and client project costs. Add in their integration with top financial programs like Quickbooks and Intacct, and it’s no wonder this app come in handy during tax time.
Price: Basic membership starts at $5 a month/active user and Corporate membership costs $9 a month/active user. Enterprise memberships, are also available for “large, public companies,” but interested parties must contact Expensify for pricing.
Designed specifically for service-based small businesses, Freshbooks refers to itself as the accounting software designed for the non-accountant. An easy to use interface, live help, and accessibility from any device represent a few of the top selling points that make this tax app a favorite.
What exactly does Freshbooks offer? Included among features is the ability to create invoices and accept payments; capture and organize expenses by snapping a photo and uploading receipts; the ability to log hours (client and payroll purposes); and to generate useful reports such as loss & profit, tax summaries, and accounts payable and received.
Additionally, Freshbook allows for easy integration with multiple apps that span from customer and project management to marketing and payroll. This seamless integration is one of the reasons the company claims to help businesses grow within the first two years of utilizing the service.
Price: Similar to other apps, Freshbooks offers multiple membership tiers starting from “Sprout” for only $14.95 a month to their top tier, MightOak, for $49.95 a month.
Jennifer is a alum of the University of Denver. While in the graduate program there, she enjoyed spending time identifying ways in which non-profits and small businesses could develop into strong and profitable organizations that while promoting strong community growth. She also enjoys finding unique ways for freelancers and start-up businesses to reach and expand their goals.