Time is very valuable, especially to us entrepreneurs who started a business to have more control over our time. I have found that use of technology has been a game-changer for my time. Apps have taken tasks that typically take hours and cut the time down to minutes. Here are some of the apps that we at Skyward Accounting use to save time and be more effective. 

1. Xero - Accounting System
Let’s all agree. Bookkeeping for small businesses is not fun. In fact, it is a major pain point for most small businesses… which is where our business comes in to save the day. For real, gone are the days of shoe boxing receipts and having to manually enter everything into Quickbooks. Cloud accounting software simplifies the bookkeeping process for small businesses. Enter Xero. Xero has awesome features like automatic bank downloads, invoicing, and payroll. It is also the most user friendly (and accountant friendly) system we have used. Check it out at www.xero.com

2. Redbooth - Project and task management
I am not the most organized person. It may come as a shock to some because you know… I am a CPA and all. But I am terrible at managing tasks. Here’s what happens: I start a fancy to do list, I stay on top of it for a day, by day two it is a full page long, I look over it and get stressed out, and then I ignore said to-do list and start over. Well, Redbooth has been a life saver for me. I can set up various workspaces for each employee and client, set up recurring tasks, view my task in a Scrum format (google that crap).  You can also schedule HD video meetings and chat with the team. Check it out at www.redbooth.com

3. Slack - Communication
Team communication is huge. Once of the most important aspects of running a business, especially a virtual one, is constant communication with your team. Slack is an amazing resource for this. You can set up various channels for different teams and projects, slack integrates with other softwares (like Redbooth above), and you can have giphy breaks for the lolz. It removes a ton of the communication lag from emails which saves more time. Check it out at www.slack.com

4. Dropbox - File Storage
Ok. Who all has been in an office where there is a central service that everyone is running on called the S:// drive?! ME! We would save all important documents to this central server. When out of the office you would have to “remote in” to retrieve said documents. It was super quick and would only take about 15 minutes to open up a gigantic 3 MB file (sarcasm for those who don't know me). Dropbox has helped my new business save all that time, so we can use that time to do better things like paddleboard. Dropbox is a cloud-based storage platform. You can store files on the cloud and then your whole team can access (or whoever you give access to) without having to remote in. Much better. Also, it integrates with tons of other services like Xero. View the details at www.dropbox.com.

5. Calendly - Scheduling
Nothing has wasted more of my time than back and forth emails trying to schedule a call or meeting. It goes like this.
  Me, “Does 10am on Monday work for you?”
  Tom, “Nope, have a call. What about Tuesday? Say 1pm?”
  Me, “Sorry, out of the office. What about Friday at 10am?”
  Tom, "Sorry, that doesn't work. What about next year on December the 8th? Should be far enough out to where our schedules work."
  Me, "Done! See if you in 536 days!"

See how that goes? So. Much. Time. Well here’s my newest find. Calendly. Calendly will give the client a list of times that you have preset to allow meetings and the client will just pick a time that works for them. The app integrates with your calendars so that it will not schedule times that are already taken. Also, you can tell it the times that you allow meetings. It is great. Check it out at www.calendly.com.

Those are just a few of the many apps we use. Other honorable mentions are Toggl for Time Tracking, ReRun for ACH invoice payments, and Receipt-Bank for receipt storage and bookkeeping. What are some apps that you have used to help your business?

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