There are thousands of applications available for computers and mobile devices. With so many options it can be difficult to find what your small business needs. These are just a few tools that can help you manage projects, finances, social media and more.
Asana is a step-based project management tool that allows you to visually chart progress, collaborate with teams, assign and track due dates for each task and attach files. The app’s various fields can be customized to prioritize what’s most important. Asana can integrate with other apps and services including Google Drive, Evernote and WordPress.
Both a free version and a $9.99 per member per month version are available. Free allows for unlimited tasks, projects and conversations but has a team limit of 15 as well as only basic searching and dashboards. Premium adds custom fields, advanced searches, project privacy options, individual task start dates, the timeline, admin designation and unlimited team members and dashboards.
Expensify is an expense tracker which helps to quickly process receipts through a photo process called SmartScan. The program works in conjunction with many of the leading travel apps to keep track and condense travel costs into one number. Receipts are automatically checked for accuracy to policy, duplicates, and costs above a set threshold. Any suspicious or costly bills are submitted for employer review, while all others are processed automatically. Approved receipts are reimbursed within 24 hours, straight to the employee’s bank accounts. All accounting changes are synced and updated in real time.
The free version allows for 10 SmartScans a month, mobile access, unlimited receipt storage and support for chat and email. The paid team build is $5 per user per month and adds immediate approval, unlimited smart scans and next day reimbursement.
InDinero is a bookkeeper with an interactive tax portal utilizing both invoicing and online pay through ACH or check. Credit card processing, inventory management and reimbursement pay are all available through the service. The software is able to prepare and file all federal, state and city tax forms, identify and track business expenses and calculate asset depreciation. Reports can be sorted based on project, location, or department. All transactions are automatically categorized.
Small to medium sized businesses with inDinero gain contact with a professional accountant to help create charts, month and year end reconciliations, deliver financial statements and integrate receipt matching.
The lowest, basic level costs $310 a month and is billed annually. This level allows for up to 50 monthly transactions and contains most features. However payroll reconciliation, inventory accounting and revenue recognition features are only available at higher pay levels.
Hootsuite and Sprout Social are social media management tools, meaning they have similar uses but different features. Both inform you about data such as follower growth, engagement and listening (what is being said about your product, brand or company) all in one place. Posts can be searched for by a particular keyword or location to help filter to specific topics. Both also allow posts to be scheduled in advance, though Sprout Social only allows this for certain platforms.
Hootsuite’s main draw is its three column dashboard where each social media platform has its own tab with customizable streams. It works particularly well with Twitter and Instagram by displaying mentions, retweets, hashtags and private messages all in one place. It can support more than 35 different social media platforms, albeit most of them are through 3rd party applications. There is a free and $8.99 Pro version, with the former providing service for up to 3 social media platforms. Hootsuite can also provide more advanced analytics, but they must be paid for separately and can cost above $50 each.
Sprout Suite on the other hand excels at providing comprehensive analytics. These reports include the time where the most feedback occurs, tracking new followers and who engages most frequently. Segmented reports for individual networks, team progress reports and even network comparison charts are available. Sprout Suite can be pricy with the cheapest version at $99 per user per month but it is the best for in depth analysis.
Asana, Expensify, InDinero, Hootsuite and Sprout Suite are all great possible apps to help your small business. But they are not the only options. There are several other tools providing similar base functions and other types of software that can be of use, such as file sharers or note keepers.
What’s important is that you look into what’s available and choose the applications that best suit your business needs.
Rachael Ruszkowski is a student at the Bergen County Technical High School in Teterboro. She serves as a contributing editor for Meadowlands USA.