Financial management may not be one of the most glamorous parts of starting up (assuming you consider pulling sober all-nighters, eating nothing but ramen for a year, and regularly going to meetings in unwashed clothes to be glamorous), but it's arguably the most important. Because, unless you have a magic money fairy, without the proper tools to keep track of your finances, there's really no way your startup will succeed.
If you had enough money, you could do what plenty of established businesses do and hire your own bookkeeper or accounting team. But we're going under the assumption that that's not an option for you. Therefore we've compiled a list of some of the most popular online financial management tools used by startups. Whether you have a team of ten, with several former finance majors on board, or are a one man/woman show who's financial planning experience tops out at creating a personal budget on Mint, there's a tool for you out there. This list only scrapes the surface of what's available, but it's a sufficient starting point to finding the best services to do everything from tracking invoices, to streamlining customer payments, to keeping track of those all important tax deductions.
- Salesforce Invoice and Payment Platform – This new tool from Salesforce, in partnership with Taulia, lets you quickly and easily track invoices, payment status, and choose early payment options. It's a completely free and fully integrated platform. It also facilitates early payments which allows you to get paid earlier in exchange for offering invoice discounts.
- BodeTree provides daily updates and instant tracking of your business's finances. One feature included is a cash tracker which helps you visualize your income, expenses, and profit in real time. They also offer a full suite of financial insights that helps you set goals, calculate your company's valuation, industry comparisons, and build a strategic roadmap that covers a number of areas of building a successful business.
- Bench is an online bookkeeping service that provides your business with its own personal professional bookkeeper. They offer free paperless bookkeeping, bank level security of your financial information, and tax time support to help lower your business-related stress levels.
- Abukai is more than just a fun name; it's also a really quick and easy platform for creating status reports. All you have to do is take individual photos of your receipts (it's up to you to remember where you put them) and hit submit. They will send you finished expense report with cost categorization, date, vendor and all the other information already filled in for you.
- Shoeboxed basically turns all of your paper clutter into organized, paperless data and reports. It will scan receipts and business cards. It will scan your receipts and turn them into expense reports, as well as scan business cards into a contact management system so you can get rid of the paper copies of both. You can also auto-import emailed receipts.
If you're looking for more information for how to go about organizing your startup's finances, here's an article we posted a few months ago that gives some great tips.