Mobile accounting apps can’t do it all, but they have distinct advantages.
If you run a small business, you probably use a smartphone for business communications, calendar management and a lot more. Users can find an Android app to streamline virtually every aspect of running their business — and now, they can add finance management to the list.
Accounting apps for Android can't do it all; for serious number crunching, you'll need the benefits of a larger monitor, a full keyboard and deeper features found in desktop software. But for basic accounting tasks, mobile apps have distinct advantages. Because they run on your Android smartphone or tablet, you can log in and access your account from virtually anywhere. And because your account information is stored in the cloud, your information will be up-to-date on all your devices.
Here are five great Android finance and accounting apps to help you manage your business on the go.
Shoeboxed (Free with Shoeboxed subscription, starting at $10/month)
With Shoeboxed for Android, keeping your receipts, bills and other financial documents organized is as easy as snapping a photo. Once your document is uploaded via the Shoeboxed app, the important information — such as vendor, date, total and payment type — is automatically extracted, thus creating a fully searchable digital database of your transactions. Using Shoeboxed will pay off in a major way when it's time for small business owners to file their taxes. Organizing documents by hand is laborious, so the app can save you time. Plus, it can save you money; hiring someone to manage your paper documents is expensive.
Book Keeper Accounting (Subscriptions start at $3.99/month, free 30-day trial available)
Book Keeper Accounting is one of the top-rated accounting apps for Android. The fully featured finance and accounting app sports a simple layout but packs all of the tools that small and medium-size businesses need to track transactions, payments, sales, receipts and more. It also features deep inventory management. Book Keeper Accounting also lets you generate and manage invoices from right within the app, and keep track of paid and outstanding invoices.
Mint is billed as a personal finance app, but it offers useful tools for entrepreneurs and very small businesses to track spending and tweak budgets. Add bank accounts and credit cards, and the app automatically pulls in and categorizes your transactions, and then organizes them in easy-to-read graphs to show you where your money is going. In other words, Mint will keep your finances organized so you can focus on business operations.
QuickBooks for Android (Free with a QuickBooks desktop subscription, starting at $13/month)
QuickBooks offers elegant accounting tools to help you track and manage your finances. The Android app isn't a fully featured mobile version of the QuickBooks desktop application; instead, think of it as a mobile companion app with useful tools to help you track sales, send out invoices and review recent payments when you're away from the office. It requires a QuickBooks subscription, but a free 30-day trial is available.
FreshBooks (Free with a FreshBooks subscription, starting at $20/month)
FreshBooks is a QuickBooks alternative with tight cloud integration and an easy-to-use interface. At its core, FreshBooks is a system to help you record and track your business's expenses and profits. It has extra functionalities, such as the ability to track how much you or your employees work on a project, for easier invoice generation. And like other services, it organizes and charts your expenses to help you make business decisions and file your taxes. The service offers a free 30-day trial; after that, you can continue to use FreshBooks starting at $19.95 per month.