When it comes to business expenses methods for keeping track of them are as varied as the business owners who do the tracking, and while some people still heavily rely on three drawer file cabinets and paper file folders, most people have moved on to some sort of computer-based tracking system that makes keeping track of expenses easier. Others have even moved on from using just a computer to keeping track of business expenses on their smartphone.
Having an app to keep track of business expenses gives mobility and organization to your tracking that you’ve never had before, but there are several things you’ll want to do to get started.
First, do some research. All smartphone and apps are not the same. You’ll want to do an Internet search to learn the features of the app and what it will do. You’ll also want to read and consider any reviews on the apps. Also, don’t forget that magazines and stores are also good places to learn more about the app before you buy one.
Once you’ve done some research on the features offered, you will find that not all apps are available for purchase. Depending on your needs, you may be able to find an app that does everything you need it to do for free. Whichever app you choose, make sure the purchase price (if purchased) is one of the first things you enter on to the phone.
One of the things to consider when choosing an app for your tracking business expenses with your smartphone is whether or not you will be using the app exclusively for yourself. There are apps that support multiple user interfaces that streamline the tracking process making it easier for everyone. If it’s only you, then that feature is something you won’t necessarily want to look at.
Probably the most important thing to remember when keeping track of business expenses, no matter which app you choose, is to actually use it. With the portability and ease of use there’s no reason not to have a detailed account of your expenses. The other really nice feature of nearly every app is the ability to either scan receipts and/or take pictures of receipts. You’ll never have to wonder which pocket or basket your receipt was left in, again. It will be right there, on your phone when you need it. As for keeping track of travel expense, many apps will take the guesswork out of tracking mileage for good with a GPS connection feature.
The last feature you will want to take into account is the app’s ability to transfer over to your regular accounting software. Some are uploadable and interface seamlessly, others take a little more coordination and inputting of data.
Once you find the app that’s right for you, you might actually look forward to keeping track of your business expenses.