Are you using the right tool for the job?

Time was when a tool was something made by a blacksmith in his forge, and whilst that image isn’t entirely lost, we’ve moved a long way from it. A tool is merely something that helps to get the job done, and increasingly there’s a computer dimension involved, and one that’s in the cloud, such as cloud based expense management software. This month’s app of the month looks at the other side of the coin from the Solo Expenses online expense management system to one that helps bring the money into your business.

In our fast-paced lives we expect everything to be available in the same place, meaning some tools have been designed to carry out multiple functions; the Swiss-army style multi-tool can be handy because you have one tool with lots of others attached. However, have you ever tried to put together an Ikea wardrobe with a multi-tool screwdriver? Nightmare!

You will find that most multi-tools are designed to help you out in a pinch, but will never do a job quite as well as a tool designed for a specific purpose. So given the choice give me a proper screwdriver any day and while we’re at it, why not make it electric.

Smarter features
When it comes to small businesses, management apps have taken over with newer and smarter features, most of all add-ons and plug-ins. Apps have been designed to do nearly all the tasks that come with running a business. Expense management and invoicing clients are two integral parts of being a sole trader or even a self-employed professional. Often they come hand in hand, so you will find many invoicing apps have combined expense functions. However, to get the job done properly you need an app that is tailored to you and your needs.

Pocketsuite founders Yang Forjindam and Sam Madden designed their app for the self-employed professional who needs an invoicing app that goes the extra mile. Other invoicing apps are largely desktop based and heavy with expensive add-ons, but when you’re your own secretary, accountant and boss you need a mobile app that schedules, messages and confirms payments from your clients.

The process of invoicing is an arduous task at the best of times and the forming and formatting of invoices is just one part of the job. That’s why the Pocketsuite app has been made to cover all bases when it comes to setting up, tracking and receiving payments. Using the app’s ‘point of sale’ software you can charge directly to a client’s credit or debit card. Or send them an invoice via text and receive payments directly within a couple of days. While you’re at it you might as well schedule your client’s next booking or appointment.

This way you’ll know exactly where your money is and who owes what; no more chasing debts from outstanding invoices. The app keeps a running record of what you’ve made, what you’re owed and what’s coming up, perfect for the self-employed or for the small business owner. The Pocketsuite app is free to download, but the company does charge a flat 2.5% processing fee for every payment, however the charge is justified if the app can increase return business.

Expense management
The app also has a function to itemise expenses and factor them into your outgoings and income, and this is where Solo Expenses is an invaluable help, because it becomes your expense to manage, eliminating miscellaneous receipts found strewn about the car or stuffed in wallets and forgotten. Even with Solo Expenses free Household plan, you can take a quick photo of your receipt and your purchase will be logged by the expense management tracker. Solo Expenses makes sure that those figures are always right, and no expense is left unaccounted for so there are no nasty surprises when you come to claim.

 Solo Expenses grows with you
Solo Expenses was the first app of its kind created with the sole trader in mind, but it’s grown from there to be a suite of four expense management software tools. Perfect for the individual user because its expense tracking software will show you exactly where you are spending and what you’re spending on. But the dream for any business is to grow, and when your business grows, Solo Expenses can grow with you. The ‘Business Owner Plan’ unlocks features such as allowing you to directly export expense reports to an accountant.

This ideal is shared by the creators of Pocketsuite who have designed the app to have customisable features such as staffing, contracts and online booking so as the business grows, members of staff can be added onto the app. There is no monthly, quarterly or yearly rush when you combine these two smart apps. When it comes to the tax bill you’ll know exactly how much you can claim back on, how much you are owed and how much you owe.

Using the right tool for your business puts money in your pocket in the most effective way. Pocketsuite helps your business to collect it; Solo Expenses makes sure what you spend is done in a controlled manner.


Picture: Gunnar3000| Dreamstime