If you do freelancing you’re aware that cash flow is the king in your job. With freelancing, you do not have a steady pay cheque rolling every other two weeks. You won’t have money appearing in your account magically in every fortnight. You are the one responsible for collecting on invoices, planning for taxes, minimizing expenses and maximizing your billable hours.
You are not like the person who receives their salary after all calculations have been done and all the tax deductions made. This is a luxury enjoyed only by those that are salaried, but as for you the freelancer, you need to take control over your money. You are the person responsible for organizing your finances, insurance covers, retirement plans and healthcare expenses.
So if you’re that freelancer who is wondering what tools to use to manage finances, here is a list that can help you out.
This is an app to help in tracking expenses. The name originated from shoebox, which is what many entrepreneurs used in their first businesses to track receipts. Shoeboxed allows you to take pictures of the receipts you incur as their system files them into pdf or excel file to help at tax time. You are able to receive information regarding expenses, miles travelled and business contacts through an email, which can directly be downloaded into Shoeboxed. This app does not only help you to track how much you are spending, but also saves you the headache that comes at tax time for only $9.99 a month.
If you want to know what is coming into your business and what is going out, FreshBooks will help you with this. The future of your business can be predicted from the past, something that can be gauged from your past records. FreshBooks is able to give you a clear idea of revenues in the near past and whether your business is pumping up or slowing down. Also, with this app you can track your expenses and know what to allocate to your future projects. For instance, if you are meeting a client somewhere you are supposed to pay for parking, this expense can be allocated to that particular project you are meeting the client for, so that at the end of the day you can know how much has been spent on that project.
A good, patriotic and a faithful citizen pays tax. If you want to stay on top of tax, then QuickBooks is the app to save you tax headache. From as simple as a phone app, QuickBooks can track your expenses and income from your account, and quarterly estimate your taxes. If you want to know how much your business spends and how much you spend, QuickBooks is also able to separate such expenses. However, it can’t create data records, invoices or reports for you. Mainly, use it to walk over the overwhelming and distressing tax payment.
Credit control is important in any business. You want people to view you and find a credit worthy person. Also, you want to find the credit rating of your customers, because writing off bad debts sucks! Check Business app helps you to view the credit rating of your customer, ranging from companies, partnerships to sole proprietors. With £19.95 a month, you can do this and also monitor your own rating so that anybody interested in you can be impressed with your rating.
Tracking expenses has been made easy by Expensify. You can create reports and keep track of expenses, even the ones paid in cash- by taking a picture of the receipt through SmartScan or manually entering data, transfer data to other apps such as QuickBooks and pay taxes with Expensify.
Even though the goal of this app is to help people with their personal finances, it can also benefit freelancers. It allows you to create budgets, track your expenses, track your credit score and pay bills. Once you have done all this, you can view the same in various ways and levels. For example, the expenses and bills paid monthly or annually.
Time-tracking is important in project management. For as little as $4.95 per month, you can get this tool to help you manage and set your clients portal together with having your priorities right. This way, clients can view their reports and invoices and you can monitor how you are spending your time. This comes handy in being in check of your billable hours, which means that you can stay on top of your time, hence make more money by maximizing your billable hours.
If you are on a tight budget, this app can help you create an invoice for free! With as little as zero dollars, you can quickly come up with invoices with attractive templates straight from your browser. Once you have generated these invoices, they can be sent and paid online or downloaded without signup necessary. Depending on what document you want to generate, you can change the name ‘invoice’ to ‘quote’ or ‘pro-forma’ and brand it with your logo, all for free!!
Don’t let the money you make give you headache on how to manage it. Don’t let payment of taxes be a sucker anymore. Get hold of the above tools and let them simplify what could otherwise be an overwhelming task to handle. All the best in managing your finances.