There is one thing that you have to say about Intuit and the QuickBooks family. They think outside of the box.
If you sit and look at all the companies out there that are servicing the small business of today, you see a full spectrum of programs aimed at providing bookkeeping. Programs aimed directly at the accounting professional to programs that focus their message to the small to medium sized business. Interestingly enough, no one had thought to focus their attention on the “Micro Small Business” or “gig market”.
In Canada, QuickBooks has just launched a new application based program called QuickBooks Self-Employed that makes it easy for the new business owner to quickly track the expenses of their business, right from their phone. To test this new app and the features, I thought it best to download it to my phone to test out why this application is different than all the rest.
Here are the five major highlights for anyone looking to automate their expense management today:
The least favourite and most often neglected part of business ownership is tracking the mileage of your vehicle for business use. It’s not uncommon to forget to track for sometimes days, or even months at a time. And then the panic attack sets in at tax time.
QuickBooks Self-Employed has a mileage tracker that is automatically recording and always “on” each time you get into the car for a trip. The features that really stand out are:
- The use of GPS technology to track the starting and ending points of your trip
- The ability to choose whether the trip was personal or business with a swipe of a finger
- The tracking of total kilometers driven for each trip
- The ability to save the trip taken and remind you to record the trip at a later date if you do not do it right away
- Lastly, the GPS doesn’t drain your battery!
Connect your Bank Account and Don’t miss a Receipt
Keeping track of your expenses is as easy as connecting your bank account to the app. Reviewing the expenses from this point is very smooth. Personal? Swipe the expense to the right. Business? Swipe left and choose what type of expense it was. Did you buy both business and personal items in the same purchase? No problem, you can easily split out what is personal and what is business. And here is the piece de resistance….. snap a picture of the receipt and upload it to the app to attach to your purchase transaction. Now you have a digital copy for your records that you can always refer back to at tax time, or if you were reviewed by Revenue Canada.
Knowing what you can and can’t expense in your business isn’t always easy. QuickBooks realizes that you do not have the time to call your tax professional, or visit the Canada Revenue website to get the answer.
You now have all the tax expense categories available to you when you are processing your receipts. With a few clicks you are ready to review expense transactions and categorize them to the right business expense category.
To make money, we need to bill our customers. QuickBooks Self-Employed has got you covered. You can create an invoice within seconds to send to your customer. With these four easy steps you have sent your first invoice:
- Add the information about your customer or choose a contact that you may have already set up in your phone.
- Add the work or bill the item that you sold to your customer.
- Do you want to be paid in today? Or in 30 days? You can adjust the due date quickly and easily.
- Review and send the invoice!
QuickBooks Self-Employed notifies you when your invoice has been viewed, and you can show that the invoice has been paid with just a click of a button.
For any business owner, knowing if your venture is making you money or not is important. Are you spending more than what you are bringing in? You could track this on an Excel spreadsheet, but with QuickBooks Self-Employed you now have a reporting that shows you in seconds if you have earned a profit in your business. And what about that pesky mileage? Reporting is now simply push the button and send yourself the Excel report directly to your email.
Currently you cannot file your personal taxes directly from this application to TurboTax or any other software, but now the convenience of printing a report and no longer spending hours digging for receipts has been eliminated. Your accountant or tax preparer will be able to spend time helping you focus on tax savings instead of sorting the proverbial “shoebox”.
I had fun learning what QuickBooks Self-Employed was all about over the course of the last week. It really is focused on a unique demographic that currently isn’t serviced by any mainstream platform today. If you are someone that is supplementing your family’s income by direct selling, or if you are casually employed driving for your local Uber or taxi service, this is the app for you. Download QuickBooks Self-Employed today from Google Play for your Android or iTunes for your iPhone and start making your taxes easier.
Enjoyed this article? Did you find a useful tip? Then share on Social Media! Let someone else get the same benefit by clicking on the button below. And as always, we ask that you leave a comment to let us know that you enjoyed it.
Until the next time,