Stop Watching the Clock: Time Tracking and Invoicing Shortcuts

Business.com / Financial Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Here is a comprehensive list of some of the best online time tracking and invoicing solutions in 2015.

Time sheets and invoices: they’re critical for every small business owner to keep the cash flowing at the end of the month and, unfortunately, a time-consuming mountain of paperwork or endless excel charts.

Increasingly, mobile cloud accounting is the way of the future. Thanks to improved data security and reduced overhead costs, small businesses are turning to cloud-based accounting systems to boost productivity. Whether you’re looking for a streamlined, all-in-one solution or an easy-to-use quick fix, there’s an app for that.

Don’t waste time trying to track it with an unproductive, complicated or expensive system, like QuickBooks. 

Related Whitepaper: Why Your Business Needs Mobile Cloud Accounting

Shortcuts for Solving Tracking Time Problems and Invoicing

Problem: You need an easy-to-use app that makes time tracking as simple as tapping the screen. Since you work on multiple projects each day, you need to be able to switch seamlessly between these. And you need to be able to track hours for multiple employees and freelancers working on the same project.

Solution: Download Toggl right now and start tracking your time in real time. Never lose a minute of billable time, even if you forget to switch on the app. Simply enter it later. Organize your billable hours by tags and projects. Even better, you can assign different values to different project hours for easy invoice generating at the end of the month. Toggl is built to work with teams, so you can track multiple employees working on the same project; at the end of the month, Toggl will automatically consolidate all their hours. Yep, it’s really that simple.

Toggl Website Screenshot

Image via Toggl

Problem: You’ve mastered the art of tracking time, but your invoices, well, that’s another story. Your clients live all over the world and tracking different tax laws is an added headache.

Solution: Create invoices instantly with Due.com. Due is a free option that’s great for small businesses and freelancers. Due’s standout feature is definitely its invoice template selection. The beautifully designed template selection lets you choose between a variety of different options that can be fully customized with your business’s brand colors and logos. The simple time tracking and invoicing system organizes the time by projects, clients and tasks. Plus, if you need a time tracking solution, Due offers one that is completely revamped with cleaner, refined features. This includes the ability to browse around different sites once you launch the time widget; there’s no need to stay on the MST site.

due.com screenshot

Image via Due.com

Related Article: 11 Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Billing Automation Tips

Problem: You need a Cloud-based platform that can be accessed from multiple devices without the need for a desktop. Oh, and your team doesn’t include a full-time accountant, so you need a solution that’s easy for everyone to understand, regardless of their accounting background.

Solution: The Xero accounts platform is easy to use and efficient, even if you’re not an accountant. Just ask Miles Scudamore, the Managing Director for Promodo.com. Scudamore gives the app bonus points for integrating important features that are updated on a regular basis without any additional expense, including areas such as Payroll, Multi-currency accounting, VAT online filing and automatic bank statement upload. With minimal setup assistance from an accountant, Scudamore got the entire system up and running for his business—and now there’s no need for an accountant to be on-hand.

Xero screenshot

Image via Xero

Related Article: Dollars & Sense: How to Build an Accounting System for Startups

Problem: Time tracking, expense tracking, invoicing—it's all become one big mess without a clear solution.

Solution: Fix all these problems (and more) with Harvest, an all-in-one solution that's built with employees in mind, not just management. Harvest's intuitive, modern interface makes it simple and even enjoyable to use, says Danny Wen, the Co-Founder of Harvest. And that means better and more timely data for the managers and business owners. Customers agree. Just ask Sara Holoubek, the Founder of Luminary Labs. "Harvest was very key to helping me start my company," says Sarah. "It allowed us to move from the world of managing a lot of subcontractors to managing a staff quite easily. I have to say, I am very impressed. Having worked in multiple agencies and start-ups, I have never seen such a clean time tracker."

Harvest Software

Image via Harvest

Problem: You think time tracking is basically one big waste of time–albeit a necessary one.

Solution: Tom Rossi, co-founder of Tick, agrees with you. That's why Rossi built Tick to be the best time tracker at helping you hit your budgets. "Whenever a project goes over budget, you lose money," says Rossi. "Tick keeps you on a budget so that you can make more money by running more profitable projects." And Tick's users are big fans of the app. Andrew Wicklander, the founder of Ideal Project Group, has used Tick for more than two years. "I constantly recommend Tick, because it's the best damn time tracking tool I've ever used," says Wicklander. That's a pretty powerful endorsement!

Tick Time Tracker Screensot

Image via Tick

Problem: You’re a small business of just five full-time employees and most so-called "small business accounting solutions" are simply too complex (and expensive) for your company's needs. You need an invoicing app that works on your smartphone for sending unlimited invoices. And if it’s free, that’s even better.

Solution: Meet Wave, the free invoice app that lets you send unlimited invoices to clients straight from your smartphone. Since Wave offers a diverse collection of solutions for small business owners, the Wave invoice app also works with other Wave products, including apps that let you accept major credit cards in different countries and manage payroll. Wave is designed specifically for small businesses with nine employees or less who rely on teams of contractors and freelancers.

Wave Screenshot

Image via Wave

Bottom Line

Invoicing, time tracking, payroll and accounting software should never cost your small business a small fortune—especially when there are so many stand-out cloud-based solutions like the apps featured here. Best of all, these apps have little to no learning curve, so your entire team can hit the ground running.

Do you currently use a cloud-based time tracking or invoicing app? I'd love to hear more about which apps work best for your small business. I invite you to share your favorites in the comments section below.

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