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    Business advice
    04 July 2014

    Vodacom

    No fear finances

    Banish your financial fears with apps and gadgets that will help you manage your money

    There’s a lot of money admin that comes with being an entrepreneur or SME, from invoicing to sales, contracting to inventory, plus the dreaded tax schlep – and that's before you actually get any work done! Unlike in a large corporate, this work is an entrepreneur’s problem (not the accounts department’s, for example) and outsourcing it can create delays or cost an arm and a leg. Rather, take control back and manage your finances from anywhere with these apps, sites and gadgets. 

    Track your travels

    Keeping a travel logbook for tax purposes can be a pain, especially when you just want to jump in your car and go, but there are potential tax-back benefits to doing it. Automate it with a gadget like the GPS Logbook (R899 excluding delivery) that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter socket and captures all the data for you. Use the USB cable to connect it to your PC and download and edit your travel logbook. Another version is the Little Logbook (also R899). 

    Handle your taxes

    Speaking of taxes, you can now file and view yours on the go, using the SARS Smartphone App . This is available for free in iTunes for iPhones and iPads, in the Google Play store for Android devices, and there is also a Blackberry V10 version.

    Expenses

    Whether you are claiming them back for tax or from a corporate client, expenses – with so many slips and invoices – can get the better of even the most A-type businessperson. Thankfully there’s an app for that. ExpenZA is a lekker local option that actually recognises banking notification SMSes and creates a report for you. It is available for Android devices and your PC, but sadly no iOS options yet. Concur and Expensify, however, are both available for free on iTunes, Google Play and Windows Phone.

    Get the big picture

    There are loads of apps and websites available to help you track spending, but one of the most efficient locally is Nedbank’s My Financial Life. Register on the site, link your accounts (including other banks and credit services) and get an overview of where your money is going, create budgets and establish savings goals.

    Invoicing on the go

    SohoOS offers SMEs a suite of web-based tools to help you track incoming money and, more importantly, outstanding invoices. From US$8.95/month (roughly R96 at the current exchange rate), Soho lets you create and send attractive, professional invoices and estimates, add client details and manage contacts. FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting suite, with iOS and Android app versions, that does all of the above plus manage sales tax, client credit, time tracking and produces account reports for you, starting from US$19.95/month (around R214).

    Vodacom