How to Streamline Your Accounting and Invoicing with Modern Software Solutions

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Accounting has never been an entrepreneur’s favourite aspect of running a business; fiddling with all those numbers just doesn’t feel big-picture enough to for a visionary to dwell on. But efficient accounting is crucial. Fortunately, many new cloud-based options exist to make accounting less painful than ever before.

According to Ryan Lazanis of Xen Accounting, cloud-based systems will save you time when it comes to your accounting. They are smarter, easier, and more innovative than your traditional desktop accounting systems.
“No matter how early on you are in your startup, you absolutely need to implement an accounting system,” says Ryan Lazanis of Xen Accounting. “Without a proper system in place, getting an accurate picture of how your startup is performing is near impossible. WIthout an accurate picture of the numbers side of your business, it’s hard to know where and when to pivot (if necessary), what adjustments need to be made to overspending, how to follow up on your receivables or payables and just overall, you are navigating your business blind.”
Below are a few of our recommended cloud accounting systems and invociing solutions for tech startups in Canada.

KASHOO
Vancouver-based Kashoo is the first cloud accounting system I ever used. If there is one word that could be used to describe Kashoo, it would be “simple.”
Kashoo is great for those that may not need the many reporting features or 100’s of app integrations in Xero. I’d also say the learning curve is slightly lower on Kashoo as there are less bells and whistles. You can easily enter all your income and expenses directly through the Kashoo dashboard without having to click around anywhere else, which can be a real time saver for some of you.
Probably the number one reason to use Kashoo over any other cloud accounting system out there is their iPad app. It has consistently ranked as one of the top accounting apps in the Apple App Store for quite some time now. Their focus is really on the mobile entrepreneur who has their iPad with them at all times. Kashoo can also connect to your bank to pull in your transactions as well and they use a pretty nice bank reconciliation tool to boot. I wouldn’t say it’s as sophisticated as Xero’s, but after Xero, it’s better than any other I’ve ever used.
The good thing about Kashoo being Canadian is that they understand our tax system. This really shows in the software.

WAVE
Wave, from Toronto, is a cloud accounting system that is completely free; yes, I said it, free! When I’m at some tech meetups and I’m explaining my business, a popular question I tend to get is, “So are you like Wave?” This goes to show how popular Wave really is.
Wave will connect to your bank like the others mentioned above so that you can categorize your transactions. It’s a fairly simple system to use. The learning curve is quite low.
Have a ton of receipts that you’re keeping in your shoebox only to enter them all at the end of the year? Don’t fret. Download Receipts by Wave on your smartphone. You can snap pictures of your receipts and they’ll upload into the receipts tab in Wave. Wave will attempt to categorize them on its own and extract the key data needed. You can overwrite that data that Wave has extracted from the receipt or choose to accept it. It’s just that easy to get this your rceipts into Wave. No more shoeboxes of receipts or messy spreadsheets.
 
FRESHBOOKS
A Canadian business from Toronto. If you are a consultant, freelancer or a service-based small business and you invoice your clients according to time, then Freshbooks is probably for you. None of the other options above give you as robust of an invoicing solution as Freshbooks. It is dead simple to use and you can be creating invoices in a flash with little to no training. The real goal is Freshbooks is to make the system as simple as possible.
One of their main selling features is that it has an excellent time tracking feature. There are various ways for you to record time. You can start a counter or you can log the hours manually according to day, week or month. Freshbooks also supports project based invoicing. So if you have a large project, you can assign several employees or subcontractors to the project, track their hours and rates, track the costs associated with the project and then send out invoices based on that.
Invoices can be created in a matter of seconds and the invoice templates provided look great as well. Quoting is also doable in Freshbooks and they are easily converted into an invoice upon acceptance. Expense tracking is another feature that is featured in Freshbooks. We tend to recommend this to businesses that are not incorporated and handle all of their revenue & expense tracking within Freshbooks itself. For incorporated businesses, we typically recommend an integration with one of the cloud accounting systems mentioned further down in the article.
 
SAGE
Recognized as the one of the top accounting software solutions for small businesses, Sage offers one of the industry’s most flexible and cost-effective solutions to accept payments and is recommended by top accountants and bookkeepers.
Sage offers simple solutions for businesses, whether you want your data on-site or in the cloud. More than 6 million customers worldwide trust their 30-plus years of experience. Sage’s business management software helps you manage accounting, customers, inventory, services, jobs and employees—all in one centralized system.
Sage also allows businesses to accept payments on mobile device with no limit on monthly credit card transaction volume and with encryption at all stages of the transaction. The company’s breadth is vast, handling everything from accounting, HR, and payroll to payments, enterprise resource planning, and customer relationship management.

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