Female & Male Asian American Business Owners sitting at table working on accounting using laptop and calculator

How Do I Clean Up My Accounting Records?

We get it. Accounting and bookkeeping are complicated.

Small business owners come to us all the time with questions like:

Women Owner of a flower business sitting at a table with a laptop, invoices and calculator doing her accounting records“How do I clean up old QuickBooks transactions,” “How do small businesses maintain their accounts?”, “Why is bookkeeping so hard?”

Your time running a business isn’t best spent reconciling transactions or cleaning up balance sheets. You simply don’t have the time to focus your energy on accounting, and maybe because of it, your financial records have gotten a little chaotic and messy.

It happens. But should it KEEP happening? No. Unchecked messes can devastate a small business. Having impeccably clean books is everything.

For your business to survive and thrive, you MUST have clean account records and books. You should be able to access your business finances at the drop of a hat if need be.

Let’s take a look at some things you can do to clean up your chaotic bookkeeping.

Table of contents:

 

Are your personal and business accounts separate?

 

As mentioned in our previous blog, entrepreneurs shouldn’t blend their personal and business accounts.Female Business Owner sitting at table working on accounting using phone in hand and laptop on table

Every small business needs to have its own business account, period. Several banks offer low to no-fee, interest-earning accounts for small businesses, and almost all of these accounts have ATM accessibility and online/mobile banking tools.

“It will save you lots of headaches down the road if you keep your business and personal banking transactions in separate accounts. You should run all business transactions through a business bank account or credit card. Personal expenses should be kept separate.” — Sarah Sinicki, Director of Business Development, Team 80 Small Business Accounting and Bookkeeping

 

My software receives transactions from my bank feed; why are none of them reconciled?

You understand the importance of reconciliations. You know that when you don’t conduct regular bank reconciliations, you lose insight into how well your business is doing. You integrated your bank feed with your accounting software for this reason.

female business owner sitting at table with laptop, papers and calculator working on accountingBut what if your accounting system shows you’ve reconciled nothing? There’s a good chance you thought integrating your bank feed was all you had to do.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

Importing transactions is only part of the process. No accounting software will do all the work for you. You still need to review, enter, and code each transaction into the correct general ledger account every time.

Compare transactions in your software with the same ones on your bank statements. Once you have reviewed everything, the difference between the ending balance in your accounting system and your bank statement should be $0.00.

 

How do I clean up old transactions in my accounting software?

Keeping your financial records clean is crucial for financial health visibility.

Purging old transactions by either deleting or voiding them out is a perfect way to unclutter and refine your reporting accuracy.

Doing so will ensure you have a true sense of where you stand when it comes to your finances.Senior Male Business Owner sitting at table working on accoutning

“If you are going to clean these transactions yourself, you need to make sure all transactions from your bank and credit cards are entered and coded in your accounting system correctly. The bank balance on your statement should tie to your books each month. If not, you will need to investigate and find out where the discrepancy is coming from.” — Sarah Sinicki

 

Is the balance sheet you manually keep track of missing entries?

You’re busy running your business. And you might forget to track an expense.

Errors happen - it’s human nature. But, when transactions fall through the cracks they can be hard to detect later. If you use an accounting spreadsheet, the best thing you could do is set it up as a check register, where you can enter each transaction and ensure it mirrors the bank statement like you would with your personal bank account.

As a quick fix, this method will suffice. In the long run, it won’t serve you well. For your business to grow, you need to invest in an accounting package and maybe consider hiring accounting professionals for help.

There is a lot at stake. If you make a mistake, you could be setting yourself up for incorrect tax filings or penalties.

If you don’t have the time, and you know you’re out of your element, it’s time to outsource your accounting to a trusted team.

We would love to bear your accounting burden! Get in touch with us today!


Robotic Rover on Mars Surface with Moon and Sun in the background

Take Your Idea to the Mars (And Beyond): Exploring NASA's SBIR Program

Do you have an innovative idea worthy of deep space? We want to help you bring that idea to life with government funding.

In 2007, small business visionaries created a revolutionary technology that helped NASA's Phoenix Mission find water on Mars.

Honeybee Robotics, Yardney Technical Products, and Starsys Research furthered NASA's mission by developing an icy soil acquisitions device, lithium-ion batteries, and a wet chemistry laboratory. But if they didn't have the government's help, the ideas might have landed on the cutting room floor instead of Mars.
Robotic Rover on Mars Surface with Moon and Sun in the background

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program helped these small businesses bring their ideas to life.

The SBIR program has awarded funds to small businesses like yours for decades. The program funds early-stage research and development for specific government agencies like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The NASA SBIR program might be the key to bringing your revolutionary technology to life and into Outerspace.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about NASA's SBIR program.

What is the NASA SBIR Program?

The SBIR program is highly competitive and encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federally-funded research and development for innovative technologies with commercialization potential.

There have been many discussions recently about the role small businesses can play in NASA's upcoming directives. With NASA's renewed interest in going back to the Moon and Mars, the potential for small businesses to help further their mission is at an all-time high.

Robert Cabana, Director of Kennedy Space Center, presented testimony before the Senate Committee of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, highlighting the SBIR program's importance.

He noted that there had been a "Total spend to small business [of] more than $159 million," which has gone to "fund the research, development, and demonstration of innovative technologies that both fulfill NASA needs and have significant potential for successful commercialization."

How much are NASA SBIR/STTR awards?

NASA's combined annual SBIR and STTR budget hovers between $190M and $210M. Since 2011, NASA has awarded an average of $139M in Phase I and Phase II contracts annually. The maximum value for each Phase I SBIR award is roughly $125K, and Phase II's maximum value is around $750K. NASA explicitly states that every award-winning SBIR Phase I proposal is a firm-fixed-price contract.

How many phases are in the NASA SBIR/STTR program?

There are three phases in the NASA SBIR/STTR program. Here's how NASA's interactive guide describes each Phase:

  • Phase I — a small business establishes the scientific, technical, and commercial feasibility of a product or service.
  • Phase II — a small business will demonstrate the functionality of its idea through research and development (R&D).
  • Phase III — the commercialization of innovative technologies, products, and services that have emerged from Phase I and Phase II.

NASA Logo SignageEach Phase has a specific duration. The performance period for SBIR Phase I is up to 6 months, whereas the performance period for STTR is up to 13 months. The maximum performance period for both SBIR and STTR in Phase II is up to 24 months.

The NASA SBIR/STTR program does not let you switch from STTR to SBIR (or vice versa) after proposal submission. You also can't trade during the award period of performance or Phases I and II.

Every year, NASA releases a list of SBIR/STTR topics, and the proposals for these topics are due in the first quarter of the calendar year.

Don't worry if you haven't met the solicitation period for the year - you can always try again next year. Still, you should prepare, stay ahead of the curve and keep your eyes open for upcoming SBIR NASA topics.

What NASA topics are available?

NASA always has its eyes on the next frontier, and with the possibility of extended space travel, NASA needs innovative technology.

There are four Mission Directorates (MD) at NASA, and each MD has its own needs. Here are the Mission Directorates:

Each MD has topics or subtopics that support its needs. You can peruse a list of available topics to ensure that your idea will meet NASA's needs.

Topics are organized in Focus Areas, like:

  • Power and Energy Storage
  • Communications and Navigation
  • Sensors, Detectors, and Instruments
  • Life Support and Habitation Systems
  • Spacecraft and Platform Subsystems

Am I eligible for SBIR through NASA?

You're on the right path if your idea has research and technical innovation elements and meets NASA's needs.

However, suppose you want to be eligible for the NASA SBIR program (or any SBIR program). In that case, you must operate a for-profit business with less than 500 employees. Your company must be located in the US. It must be at least 51% owned and operated by one or more US citizens or permanent residents.NASA White Man & Black Women engineers sitting at desk looking at computers with large screen of astronauts on the wall

For STTR, you need to meet all of the same SBIR requirements, and you need to have a cooperative research and development relationship with a US Research Institution (RI). Your Research Institution must be an accredited college or university, a Federal research and development center, or a non-profit research organization.

How do I apply for NASA SBIR?

Are you sitting on the next revolutionary idea to help NASA explore the galaxy? If you are, it's time to start the SBIR proposal process.

The proposal process can be challenging, and prepare yourself; it's time-consuming (roughly 200 hours!). Your proposal must stand out above all the other applications, and you must prove your idea is substantive, and your team is prepared to see the project through to completion.

NASA scientists and engineers will evaluate your proposal, and they'll determine whether or not you qualify based on five factors:

  1. Scientific/Technical Merit and Feasibility
  2. Experience, Qualifications, and Facilities
  3. Effectiveness of the Proposed Work Plan
  4. Commercial Potential and Feasibility
  5. Price Reasonableness

Are you thinking about including a letter of general endorsement? Think again. NASA won't consider the blessings during the review process. If this sounds daunting, well, it is. Getting funds from the government is never easy.

Does this all sound a little daunting? It's understandable. Getting funds from the government is never easy. Take a deep breath, and don't be discouraged. Team 80 is here to help!

We have over 20 years of extensive experience working with agencies participating in the SBIR/STTR programs like NASA. We're familiar with the NASA proposal submission and solicitation process; we can put you on the path to NASA SBIR success!

Let's put your dreams in orbit. Get in touch today!


Indian American Small Business Man working on laptop at desk

8 Easy Accounting Tips to Help Small Businesses Maintain Their Books

Accounting is the language of business. Understanding that language is an essential part of keeping your small business alive.

Being a small business owner isn’t easy. And neither is being an unofficial accountant.

With the hectic day-to-day operations of running your business, how can you possibly make time to learn bookkeeping? The idea of sifting through endless stacks of financial documents and ledgers sounds overwhelming.

Still, you understand the importance of not letting your accounting fall behind. Because maintaining accurate financial records is vital to the health of your business.

That’s why you’re asking Google questions like, “how do small businesses maintain accounts?”

These simple accounting tips will help you and your labor of love succeed!

8 Easy Small Business Accounting Tips

  1. Invest in an accounting system
  2. Keep business and personal expenses separate
  3. Don't wait until the end of the year to do your accounting.
  4. Meet with your CPA throughout the year.
  5. Look at your financial statements monthly.
  6. You need to understand your cash flow.
  7. Create a budget.
  8. You should hire a professional.

1. Invest in an Accounting System small business owner using laptop at desk looking at accounting software

Small business owners with no accounting experience need a reliable accounting system because that system is often the difference between success and failure.

Many affordable options will simplify data and organize your financial information to track expenses, income, and other activities easily. Xero, Quickbooks, Intuit, and Wave Financial, are just a few of them. You can even link your bank and credit card accounts directly to the software.

An accounting system makes your life easier and helps you to focus on business growth.

2. Keep Business and Personal Expenses Separate

New entrepreneurs often dip into their personal bank accounts in the early stages of business development. The practice of intermingling expenses can be problematic for many reasons.

Here are some of those reasons:Women Owner of a Small Business sitting at desk organizing business and personal expenses

  • Personal and legal liability
  • Tax implications
  • Audit trail issues
  • Bookkeeping problems

You can avoid these issues by opening a business bank account and establishing separate credit card accounts. Keeping personal and business accounts separate also improves your business credit score, helping you secure better business loans and reduce business insurance costs.

Run all business expenses through the business, and pay all personal expenses from a personal account. Trust me, your CPA will thank you at the end of the year. You don't want to spend lots of extra money untangling combined finances.” - Sarah Sinicki, Director of Business Development, Team 80 Small Business Accounting and Bookkeeping

3. Don't Wait Until the End of the Year to do Your Accounting

Do you remember January’s expenses when you wrap up accounting in December? You probably don’t.

Male Small Business Owner working on end of year accounting his laptopBusiness owners will too often make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to start thinking about their accounting. And they usually suffer from financial troubles as a result because waiting can cause significant issues.

You can handle most finances monthly.

Taking control of your finances and keeping bank reconciliations up-to-date monthly saves you from frantically scrambling at year’s end. We suggest you set a schedule so that you are touching financials monthly.

Well-managed finances close the door to preventable errors.

4. Meet with your CPA throughout the year.

You should meet with your CPA to review your books no less than twice yearly to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.black man cpa meeting woman small business owner

Meeting at least twice a year also helps your CPA understand your business. The person handling your finances should know your company inside and out.

Be proactive. If you meet with your CPA at least twice a year, they’ll have time to review your finances, uncover missed details, and devise effective strategies that you can implement to help your business before the deadline.

Don't wait until tax time; it could already be too late.

5. Look at your financial statements monthly.

We can’t overstate the importance of understanding the real-time financial health of your business.

Black Eyeglasses Calculator and Pen sitting on paper financial statementUnderstanding your financial statements helps you discover where your business stands today and where it’s headed. It’s also an excellent way to learn if operations are running smoothly.

It's also essential to always understand your profit margins and net income. Generating a monthly profit and loss report and reviewing revenue and expenses is a best practice we advise.

Never neglect your balance sheet since it shows your cash balance, outstanding accounts receivable, and all other assets and liabilities. Your balance sheet is a current snapshot of your business’s financial health; use it, love it.

When you stay on top of your financial statements, you’re empowered to make timely strategic business decisions. These decisions can help business thrive today and into the future.

6. You need to understand your cash flow.

Small business owners that don’t track cash flow are on the fast path to becoming former small business owners.

You must understand and optimize your cash flow because cash flow measures the real-time movement of dollars in and out of your business.male small business owner sitting at desk looking at laptop with calculator and financial statements on desk with 3 employees in the background

Your cash flow is positive when there’s enough money in your business account to pay bills. If cash is rapidly dwindling, you could have a severe problem.

Cash flow visibility helps you grow operations strategically. You can start by monitoring and documenting your incoming and outgoing funds using your accounting system.

You should also prepare a cash flow projection looking two to three months out to avoid surprises. If there are cash flow constraints, it’s time to leverage a business line of credit.

7. Create a budget.

You can use your financial statement and cash flow information to create a budget aligned with your business’s economic trajectory.

concentrated female business owner holding pen working on accoutningEvery entrepreneur should develop a budget. It’s an essential tool for financial tracking, especially for smaller businesses with limited funds that can benefit from operating within their means. A realistic budget can also help you understand the appropriate actions to take when problems arise.

Budgets help you anticipate future needs like repairs, expansions, and improvements without relying on credit. Accurate budget forecasting can also help you plan for staff hires and product and service investments and establish earnings and sales goals.

Even a poorly executed budget plan is better than no plan at all. Take some time and plan out what you think your revenue and expenses for the upcoming year will be. Then compare the budget to the actuals monthly. The variances in these numbers can give you some great insight.” - Sarah Sinicki, Team 80

8. You should hire a professional.

It is okay to admit when you’re in over your head - it’s also understandable. You didn’t launch a small business to become a full-time accountant.  black accounting manager-shaking-hands-with-successful-small business owner

You started your business because you’re passionate about your offering, and you want to provide customers with exceptional products and services.

You should focus on growing your business and serving your customers. And that’s not possible when you’re mired in book balancing, payroll management, financial forecasting, and tracking your accounts payable and receivable.

We want to do this work for you. Get in touch with us today!


Clients Fustrated with thier Bookkeepers Balance Sheets

15 Signs You Have a Bad Bookkeeper

You took an enormous risk starting a small business. Are you letting a lousy bookkeeper put it in jeopardy?

As a small business owner, the fear of failure is always in the back of your mind. When combined with the stress of financial management, that fear can turn into pure dread.

You’re an expert in your chosen field—you shouldn’t have to be an expert at balancing books, payroll, and forecasting, too.

And since you’re on top of things and aware, you’ve wisely outsourced your bookkeeping.

But have you hired a skilled bookkeeper?road warning sign with text risk in front of storm cloud background

The last thing you need is an outsourced accountant tanking your trust and dreams.

We’ve pulled together a list of red flags and warning signs to help you determine what kind of bookkeeper you’ve hired.

  1. Your Bookkeeper is Constantly Out of Reach

    As a small business owner, you need answers to finance-specific questions. And you need those answers fast. When your bookkeeper doesn’t return your phone calls or emails, it’s a significant problem.

    Trust is essential when it comes to outsourced bookkeeping.

    If you notice long stretches between replies from your bookkeeper, it’s time to ask why. There could be many reasons for the communication lapse. The bookkeeper might be overwhelmed or lacking communication skills. Or, it could be more serious.

    Maybe they don’t care?

    You need to set ground rules (if you haven’t already) and communicate your expectations around acceptable communication timelines

  2. They’re Constantly Behind on the Books

    It’s easy to lose track of finances when your bookkeeper is continuously behind on the books. You might start making fatal errors like spending more than the business earns.

    If your books are behind, then your business is behind. Growth is almost impossible when you’re regularly playing catch-up.

    You must set deadlines to ensure that your bookkeeper is on track if you want your small business to thrive.

  3. Your Bookkeeper is Panicked

    Tax filing might give you a panic attack, but it should be second nature to your bookkeeper. The accountant should remain calm, relaxed, and collected under every circumstance.Panicked and Overwhelmed Booker

    If managing tax documents, payroll information, and quarterly payments to prepare for tax prep causes your bookkeeper to become frazzled, you have a severe problem.

    A panicked accountant is a business threat.

    Their panic could indicate inexperience. And the last thing you want is a bookkeeper who is in over their head

  4. They Never Approach You With Ideas

    You’re so swamped with everyday business operations that you might be neglecting growth opportunities.

    Your bookkeeper should have a deep understanding of your day-to-day financials. They should also provide you with helpful feedback. Should you lower costs or increase revenue? A great bookkeeper will have the answers.

    If they aren’t coming to you with ideas and solutions to help push your company to the next level, ask them why.

  5. They Don’t Understand the Basic Terminology

    This one seems like a no-brainer, but many bookkeepers don’t have the slightest clue when it comes to basic accounting terminology.

    It’s not your responsibility to explain what cash vs. accrual means or the definition of accounts receivable.

    If your accountant doesn’t know the term “reconciliations,” run away!

  6. They Don’t Understand the Reports

    Your books are crucial for recording financial transactions and activities like sales, purchases, earnings, payments, etc. Recorded data allows you to determine monthly/annual revenue and anticipate and calculate payroll and tax payments.

    If your bookkeeper doesn’t understand your reports, accounts can be overdrawn, and you might find yourself in hot water with the IRS.

    Nobody wants an IRS audit.

    Failing to keep-up with numbers leaves you without a grasp of the money coming in and out of your business.

  7. They Constantly Pass Blame or Make Excuses

    It can drive you crazy. Your outsourced bookkeeper dropped the ball, and rather than getting a simple explanation, they make excuses and shift responsibility.

    Managing failure and disappointment is natural. But, there is a thin line between explanation and excuse, and the latter only delays the solution and blocks progress.

    As a business owner, you require a bookkeeper who can take accountability and execute a proper response to any mistake. A competent bookkeeper will be able to address an error and take control in making it correct.

  8. They Don’t Understand Reconciliation


    Proper bank statement reconciliation is crucial for every small business.

    When your numbers are off and discrepancies pop-up, your bookkeeper probably isn’t performing reconciliations regularly - or at all.

    Critical errors could go undetected if nobody verifies that your balance sheet transactions correspond with general ledger transactions.

    Improper reconciliation makes you susceptible to fraud, costly bank errors, and unauthorized withdrawals.

  9. Your Accountant Doesn’t Ask Questions

    Your outsourced bookkeeper must understand how your company operates to identify cost-cutting opportunities. They also need to ask questions to have this understanding.

    If your bookkeeper is afraid to ask questions out of the fear of appearing unqualified or inexperienced, they’re letting ego get in the way of good business tactics.

  10. They’re Unable To Provide Answers To Their Work

    You’ve noticed bounced checks. And this morning, you saw old transactions in your Quickbooks undeposited funds windows! What is going on?

    Your accounts probably aren’t managed regularly or adequately reconciled by your outsourced bookkeeper.

    When you ask your bookkeeper what’s happening, they can’t provide answers or insight.

    Minor mistakes are inevitable, but a good bookkeeper is willing to go over routine tasks with you to establish what went wrong.

  11. They Don’t Let You See the Books or Give You Access to Your Accounting System

    Is your bookkeeper holding your records hostage? Is looking at your data like pulling teeth?

    With today’s cloud-based accounting software, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have complete data access.

    Put your foot down. Tell your accountant you want shared-access to the books. If they are reluctant to share that access with you, it’s time to work with someone who will.

  12. They Don’t Understand Balance Sheets

    The business has gone up, but your cash balance doesn’t reflect the increases. Where is that cash? The answer should be on your balance sheet.

    Not everyone knows what to look for on their balance sheet or profit and loss statement. Still, an experienced bookkeeper will analyze the assets, liabilities, and equities data.

    Your balance sheet is a snapshot of your business’ financial health. If you have any trouble identifying cash-flow problems, it might be time to seek another bookkeeper.

  13. Coding Inconsistencies

    Incorrect and inconsistent coding can take hours to rectify and cost your company thousands; it’s usually an honest mistake.

    But entering incorrect accounting codes is a significant problem. Coding helps classify, record, and group all your transactions.

    Wrong accounting codes can cause you to miss out on tax savings. Incorrect coding might also impact tax claims. In extreme circumstances, it can indicate your bookkeeper is stealing money. Either way, misclassifications can land you in hot water.

  14. Your Accountant Is Patronizing

    The person handling your finances must be the expert. But do you need that experience and expertise delivered with condescension?Patronizing Accountant on Phone with Client

    Nobody likes being talked down to - the behavior isn’t conducive to a productive workplace. You wouldn’t let your staff treat you poorly, so why let your bookkeeper get away with it?

    Be open with your bookkeeper. Let them know the terms with which you are comfortable speaking. You shouldn’t feel belittled because you aren’t up on the latest financial jargon.

  15. Your Bookkeeper is Controlling

    Have you noticed that your bookkeeper wants complete, unsupervised control of your business’ financial management? If so, it’s time to start investigating why.

    As we’ve already mentioned, trust is critical. When a bookkeeper wants to take control of everything inexplicably, your confidence can be a little shaken.

    Handing over unsupervised access to your bookkeeper is like running your company blind. Some bookkeepers wind up stealing from a business because the business owners made it easy.

    Your bookkeeper should be a business partner. You can avoid theft and mismanagement through collaboration.

If you’re feeling uncertain about your bookkeeper, it may already be too late!

Is it time to find a new accounting team? Team 80 offers full transparency, and we might save you money. Call us today!


Two Women In Small Business looking at Computer Screen

The 53 Best Cloud-Based Tools Every Small Business Needs Today

Running a small business is hard. Don’t make it more challenging by using outdated tools, techniques, and technologies. Here are 53 sanity-preserving cloud-based tools to help you stay focused on what you do best.

The right tools can make a significant difference when you’re running a small business. If you’re still using excel spreadsheets, pdfs, word documents, or worse - pen, paper, filing cabinets, and printers, you’re missing out.

But with so many options for the latest greatest cloud-based tools for productivity, business operations, human resources, and more, it can be challenging to find what’s best for you.

Man Smiling in front of a laptopYou need the right combination of cloud-based tools to earn the maximum benefit from today’s small business technology.

If you’re looking for the best cloud-based tools for you and your team, you are probably an excellent match for Team 80’s remote accounting services. We’ll focus on your accounting so that you can focus on what you’re great at - running your business.

Free up 4 - 6 Hours A Week With Team 80

Small business tools and software can help your business be more efficient. And efficiency can help your business earn more dollars.

Cloud-based tools help you collaborate, distribute information, and manage people and processes in real-time securely - no matter where you or your teams do their work.

What are the benefits of using cloud-based software and tools?
It takes a village to run a productive and successful small business. And as our virtual workplaces continue to improve and evolve, small business-specific software and tools can help you scale and see faster positive outcomes by keeping you and your teams happy, productive, organized, and in sync.

There are five primary small business tools and software categories:

    • Communication and Collaboration
      Cloud-based software for communication and collaboration can improve teamwork and productivity from any location on nearly any device. The tools help your employees improve their communication skills and habits and promote a healthy culture that prioritizes collaboration and engagement. And in an era when employee engagement is down and turnover us up, anything you can do to keep employees happy, loyal, and productive is a win.
    • Productivity
      Cloud-based tools for productivity help you and your workers stay organized and efficient. Organized, efficient, and productive employees are satisfied and engaged, and, most importantly, they stick around.
    • Marketing
      Cloud-based marketing software can turn every small business leader into an expert marketer. Today’s marketing software can put your business in front of the right people, in the right places, and at the right time, filling your sales pipeline with qualified leads.
    • Accounting
      Accounting software keeps your finances on-track and the money flowing without burying you in spreadsheets, payroll, and forecasts.
    • Human Resources and Operations
      Managing people and operations is difficult for time-strapped small business leaders. HR and Operations-specific cloud-based tools can help keep employees happy and engaged and gives them a self-directed environment to manage their schedules, benefits, and payroll, so you don’t’ have to.

Here are our picks for the 53 best cloud-based tools for your small business.


Cloud-Based Collaboration and Communication Tools and Software

  1. Slack: Slack is a messaging platform for workplaces and teams. The cloud-based collaboration software can be used across devices and platforms and comes with features allowing users to chat one-on-one or in groups. Slack also includes video collaboration so your employees can meet face-to-face.
  2. Webex Teams: Webex Teams keeps your people connected through file sharing, messaging, whiteboarding, and video and voice calling. It’s a collaboration tool robust enough for enterprise organizations but also perfect for small businesses.
  3. GSuite: GSuite is Google’s collection of cloud-based applications designed specifically for businesses like yours. GSuite lets you access Gmail on your domain and includes 30 gigabytes of storage for each user, making collaboration easy.
  4. Zoom: Zoom is a cloud-based video collaboration tool that rose to stardom during the pandemic. Users can collaborate on video in real-time and share and annotate each other’s screens. We also like to use Zoom for live and recorded webinars.
  5. Jira from Atlassian: Jira is a cloud-based project management tool from the Australian software development company Atlassian. Atlassian initially designed the platform to help developers track software bugs and issues, but it’s evolved into a product family to help teams work together more efficiently.
  6. Microsoft Teams: Teams is Microsoft’s chat-based collaboration tool. Like Webex Teams, it allows users to share documents and files, conduct virtual meetings, and with additional licensing, Teams can completely replace your existing phone system.

    Cloud-Based Productivity Tools and Software

  7. Evernote: Evernote is an easy-to-use project management application designed for efficient note-taking, archiving, and task management. It lets you create, collect, and organize different media files, storing everything in the cloud instead of on your desktop. We love using Evernote to capture notes and ideas when inspiration strikes.
  8. Smartsheet: Smartsheet is a SaaS platform designed for small business work management and collaboration. It lets you assign tasks, track project progress, share documents, manage calendars, and more.
  9. Mavenlink: Mavenlink is an award-winning resource and project management software that helps your small business be more agile and helps you quickly and easily manage resources and projects, with business insights that help you make smarter decisions.
  10. Monday: Some people call Monday the Swiss Army knife of project management tools. Monday lets you efficiently organize and manage projects and tasks, but that’s not all it does. The cloud-based tool can also be used as your CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) and includes easily customizable templates. We love Monday’s calendar integrations that give us daily reminders to help us always stay on track.
  11. Asana: Asana, like Monday, is a cloud-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) project management tool designed to help keep teams organized and collaborating efficiently. It lets you create and assign tasks to specific team members, establish deadlines, and collaborate with in-platform chats and messaging.
  12. Trello: Trello is another project management and collaboration tool that lets you organize projects into boards and helps you see what’s being worked on, which team members are working on each project, and how close projects are to completion. Imagine taking your whiteboard covered in post-its and transferring it to an easy-to-use digital space - that’s Trello.
  13. Google Drive: Google Drive is Google’s cloud-based storage solution. Drive allows you to save files and documents online so you can access them from any place on any device. It also allows you to share documents with people inside or outside your organization quickly.
  14. Dropbox: Dropbox is a cloud-based file sharing service used by both small businesses and enterprise organizations. With Dropbox, you and your employees can save files online and sync them to all your devices. According to Dropbox, the tool helps you “reduce busywork so you can focus on the things that matter.”
  15. Grammarly: Most people aren’t grammar, spelling, and writing experts. But with Grammarly, a cloud-based spell check and grammar tool on steroids, you’ll never have to worry about sending a professional email with typos or grammatical or spelling errors again. Grammarly even has a Google Chrome extension to edit as you write in Google docs (we used it while writing this blog).
  16. Front: Front is a customer communication platform combining applications, emails, and teams in one place. The tool includes features that allow you to automate workflows and customer touchpoints and a universal inbox to see people, apps, and emails in a single view. It also includes easy-to-build email templates and helps your people collaborate better so they can help your customers faster.
  17. Flock: Most small businesses suffer from having their communications spread across ad hoc messages, emails, and other tools. Flock lets you bring people together to collaborate, assign and track tasks, and discuss ideas in one place. It takes the best aspects of the collaboration-specific tools on our list and combines them with project management software capabilities like Asana and Monday, but in one place.
  18. Todoist: Todoist lets you plan, organize, and collaborate with employees on projects of every size. You can use Todoist to organize your day, manage tasks, schedule reminders, track goals and habits, and quickly add new projects.

    Cloud-Based Marketing Tools and Software

  19. Hubspot: HubSpot is an all-encompassing cloud-based marketing platform and CRM that allows you to build automated workflows, track and create email and social media campaigns, automate social media publishing, and even build websites and landing pages. HubSpot gives small businesses the tools they need to market like a pro, and their support and learning center is second to none.
  20. Marketo: Marketo helps you market your small business with lead management, consumer marketing, email marketing tools, and more. The software works across multiple digital channels to automate marketing campaigns, and sales lead generation for B2C and B2B small businesses. We love that Marketo lets us gather data about website visitors like pages viewed, time spent on each page, and each customer visit’s date and time.
  21. Zoho: Zoho is a powerful CRM that acts as a single repository for your marketing, sales, and customer support activities. It’s an excellent tool to streamline your policies, processes, and people in one platform.
  22. Buffer: Buffer is a cloud-based application for web and mobile that allows you to manage your business social media accounts easily. With Buffer, you can schedule and publish posts from your desktop or phone and analyze metrics to improve social media engagement and reach.
  23. Sprout Social: Sprout Social is a social media publishing platform that makes it easy to find, manage, schedule, and monitor all of your business social media accounts and campaigns. It also has powerful social listening tools that you can use to monitor competitors and see what’s being said about your business and businesses like yours online. Sprout helps your business build and grow stronger social media relationships.
  24. Hootsuite: Hootsuite is a cloud-based social media management tool that offers a free version that’s good enough for most small businesses. Publish social media posts like a pro and watch your audience grow.
  25. Mailchimp: Mailchimp gives your small business everything it needs to build, execute, and manage sophisticated email marketing campaigns. Mailchimp also provides data and analytics so you can monitor email campaign performance and make changes as needed.
  26. Canva: Canva is an easy-to-use graphic design tool that allows small business owners to create custom graphics for websites, social media, infographics, and more. Here’s the best part, Canva is free.
  27. FunctionFox: FunctionFox is a web-based project management and timesheet application for creatives and small business marketers. It includes easy-to-use estimates and timesheets, progress and time reports, task management, scheduling, calendars, and more.
  28. Shutterstock: Most small businesses don’t have photographers on staff to feed them new images for marketing. But with Shutterstock, that’s no problem. Shutterstock lets you choose from millions of images, and with multiple packages and price points, you can get all the stock photos you need without breaking the bank.
  29. Hashtagify: If you want your small business to succeed on social media, you need to use hashtags that have the right impact. Hashtagify allows you to search and compare relevant hashtags, so your social media marketing is always on-point.

    Cloud-Based Accounting Tools and Software

    If you're considering cloud-based accounting tools, we'd love for you to consider Team 80 to handle your accounting needs. Not only do you get a Colorado based accountant to help keep your books in order and review your outlook, but some of the tools below are included with our services at no additional fee. Contact us today for your free assessment to find out if Team 80 can save you time and money.

  30. Xero: Xero is one of the tools we include for our clients with our Team 80 services and earns our strongest endorsement. Many small business owners are love Xero for its data import, reconciliation features, sales and purchase transactions, and project tracking. It’s also easy to set-up and use, which is always attractive to small business leaders. Like all others on our list, the software lives in the cloud, so it’s accessible from any location at any time, from almost any device. Included for free with Team 80's services.
  31. QuickBooks: Intuit Quickbooks is one of the most popular online accounting tools for small businesses. Its depth, extensibility, flexibility, and simple functionality makes accounting easy for time-strapped small business owners and leaders.
  32. Plooto: Plooto gives small business owners an affordable cloud-based tool that makes managing accounts payable and accounts receivable streamlined and efficient. Plooto provides end-to-end AP and AR automation, and their secure electronic payments and smart approval workflows expedite your accounts payable process.
  33. FreshBooks: FreshBooks is a well-rounded and intuitive double-entry accounting experience that supports estimates and invoices, as well as expenses, time management, and projects.
  34. Wave: Wave is a free cloud-based accounting tool that’s excellent for small businesses like yours. Wave features reconciliation tools, cash basis reporting, tools for banking, payroll, and more.
  35. Sage50Cloud: Sage50Cloud is a small business-specific desktop accounting software that brings together financial tools with comprehensive customization options. Its integration with Microsoft 365 sets Sage50Cloud apart from its competitors. Here’s the downside, Sage50Cloud is only available for Windows machines.
  36. Zoho Books: Zoho Books is an excellent choice for small business leaders and founders on the hunt for cloud-based accounting software. The platform has an exceptional user experience, a rich toolset, and Zoho Books is reasonably priced.
  37. GoDaddy Bookkeeping: GoDaddy Bookkeeping has a direct Amazon, Paypal, eBay, and Etsy integration, so it’s excellent for small business entrepreneurs. It’s inexpensive, has a decent dashboard and invoicing tools, and calculates quarterly tax estimates.
  38. Sunrise: Sunrise is cloud-based small business accounting software that includes double-entry accounting, an excellent dashboard and user experience, decent sales form handling, Gusto and Zapier integrations, sales tax rulesets and a transaction timeline.
  39. Kashoo: Kashoo is the last on our list of cloud-based accounting tools and software, but that doesn’t mean it’s less useful than the preceding platforms. Kashoo has a clean and straightforward user interface (UI), excellent income and expense management capabilities, free email, phone, and chat support, and the platform integrates with SurePayroll. Kashoo simplifies small business accounting.

    Cloud-Based Human Resources and Operations Tools and Software

  40. SentricHR: Small business leaders and founders are often mired in manual HR processes, spreadsheets, and paper. SentricHR’s excellent user interface and customizable dashboards make managing people and payroll easy and allow your HR department to go completely paperless. The cloud-based HR software offers core HRIS (Human Resources Information Systems) features, like benefits administration, hiring and onboarding, payroll, time and attendance, expense management, and more.
  41. Gusto: Gusto offers similar features to SentricHR but at a lower price point. It’s easy and straightforward with a clean user interface and includes payroll processing, benefits administration, employee hiring and onboarding, time and attendance, and more. Included with Team 80's services.
  42. Paylocity: Paylocity provides cloud-based payroll services and HR software for small businesses like yours. Paylocity includes core HRIS features as well as tools for employee recruiting.
  43. Zenefits: Zenefits is a people operations management platform in the cloud and offers all the Human Resources tools your business needs to stay compliant. The software provides an excellent user experience and dashboards, along with tools for hiring, onboarding, payroll processing, benefits administration, and more.
  44. Bamboo HR: Bamboo HR is an HRIS designed with small businesses like yours in mind. The intuitive and easy-to-use platform makes managing people and staying compliant easy so that you can focus on your business.
  45. Namely: Namely is another cloud-based HRIS that offers similar features to the others on our list: benefits administration, payroll, time and attendance, employee onboarding, talent management, and more.
  46. Netsuite: Netsuite is a cloud-based software that makes it easy for small business founders and leaders to manage essential business operations from a single platform. Netsuite has CRM, ERP, and even eCommerce tools, making it valuable for small to medium-sized businesses.
  47. Zendesk: Zendesk is a cloud-based support ticketing platform that helps you efficiently track and solve customer support tickets. Zendesk helps small businesses like yours improve customer relationships and experiences with responsive and personalized support across every channel.
  48. DocuSign: DocuSign is a cloud-based software that allows small businesses to securely sign and approve documents digitally, from any location on practically any device. DocuSign is an essential tool if your small business runs on agreements and contracts.
  49. HelloSign: HelloSign is a tool in the cloud that allows you to request and add legally binding signatures to any document electronically.
  50. 15Five: 15Five is a cloud-based performance management software that helps you uncover employee pain points so you can make better decisions and drive sustainable growth. The tool gives you visibility into managers’ practices and helps them become better leaders through improved emotional intelligence (EQ).
  51. LinkedIn Recruiter: You need to recruit and retain top talent to beat out your competitors. As the number one professional networking social media platform, LinkedIn has access to a global talent pool. LinkedIn Recruiter is their talent search tool that helps you find and engage your small business’s best people.
  52. AngelList: AngelList is a powerful recruiting tool for small businesses and startups and an angel investment platform. More than 30,000 of the world’s most successful startups built their teams with help from AngelList.
  53. Help Scout: Help Scout is a customer service support tool in the cloud designed to support and convert small business customers. The software provides multi-channel support and includes chat and email, with self-service tools for activity and data to ensure an excellent customer experience.

 

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