Effective and ongoing financial management is essential for both business leaders and consumers who want to achieve financial success, but it can be challenging to keep track of income, expenses and investments on your own, especially if you’re new to the effort. Fortunately, there are many affordable tech tools available that can help you manage your finances more effectively.
From budgeting apps that allow you to track expenses and set financial goals to robust financial planning software, there are countless options for better personal and business financial management. Below, 13 Forbes Finance Council members share the tools they recommend to their own clients.
Bookkeeper360 is a highly effective tool. You can integrate it with QuickBooks or Xero, and it includes amazing, prebuilt dashboards that provide a snapshot of your business. You can see how much runway you have in your accounts; view your expenses by month, quarter or year; and much more. It would be difficult to build out this level of reporting on your own, but this tool makes it easy to get a system in place for the long haul. – Joe Camberato, National Business Capital
2. Credit Karma
Credit Karma is a great tool that’s very user-friendly. It’s a great site to track your credit, view all your loan accounts and browse recommended offers based on your credit. As an added bonus, there’s an “Unclaimed Money” section within the Resources tab that people have used to rightfully claim substantial sums (for example, a reimbursement check or insurance claim that was sent to an old address). – Andrew Kerai, Capital Ideas Inc.
Most of our clients use their own spreadsheets; however, we recommend eMoney. This software allows the user to connect all their accounts and aggregate them in one place. Also, eMoney has unlimited storage space for important documents. It is a one-stop shop for all things financial in a consumer’s life. – Christopher Drake, Drake Consulting Group, LLC
One useful and affordable tool I would recommend to personal clients to help them better manage their finances is Empower, formerly known as Personal Capital. It’s a free financial management tool that provides a comprehensive view of a person’s finances in one place. It integrates accounts, credit cards, investments and loans to provide a comprehensive view of your net worth, investment portfolio and cash flow. – Crystal Gilmore, The Spearhead Group Inc.
When managing personal finances, technology tools such as Excel, or an application that integrates overall income and expenses, are key to optimizing financial management. However, technology is not as important as the process. To better manage your finances, get a full picture of every dollar earned and know where you are allocating those dollars. This will help you drive key financial decisions. – Kacey Butcher, Adaptation Financial
6. Intuit Software
Intuit is a leading player in the finance tracking industry, both for individuals (Quicken) and small to midsize businesses (QuickBooks). Quicken can track your budget and spending and help you reach short- and long-term goals, and QuickBooks can easily run reports, including a P&L and balance sheets. Stay on top of your finances with these products! – Will Murphy, Everlasting Capital
LivePlan software “helps entrepreneurs and small businesses organize relevant strategy and projection information more concisely.” I use the software for all of my financial projections and cash flow assumptions. The standard system comes at a cost of $20 per month, and it is worth every penny. – Sheryl J. Moore, Wink, Inc.
One tool that I recommend is Mint, the No. 1 most-downloaded personal finance application. Mint is free and can be used for all individual finance needs, providing a single resource for all money-related matters. With Mint, clients can monitor their cash flow, spend smarter, improve their saving habits, budget, monitor their expenses, track their financial goals and much more. – Elie Nour, NOUR PRIVATE WEALTH
9. My Figures
My Figures offers a unique tool to help entrepreneurs and small-business owners track income, expenses and net worth, as well as to manage all of their bank accounts, loans and lines of credit, both business and personal. Instead of logging into 20 different websites, My Figures allows you to do it all in one place. – Leo Kanell, 7 Figures Funding
There are many budgeting apps available for both iOS and Android devices, and they can help users track their income and expenses, set and manage budgets, and get a better overall understanding of their financial situation. One such is Wally. Users can link their financial accounts, such as bank accounts, credit cards and loans, to the app to track their balances, transactions and spending habits all in one place. – Jose Rodriguez, Got Credit?
11. YNAB; Wealthfront; Betterment
The most effective way to manage your finances is to use tools that allow for automation. The best tools link to your accounts to import transactions and track your progress toward goals. Tools should perform three main functions: budgeting, goal planning and automated investing. YNAB is a popular budgeting app, while Wealthfront and Betterment are popular automated investment apps. – Marthin De Beer, BrightPlan
12. Your Financial Services Institution’s App
If you’re like me, you’ve been blessed with a great holiday season and your credit cards now need to go on a diet. Make your financial services institution your friend and not your foe. Sign up and use its budgeting app and all the wonderful bells and whistles that come with it. Personalize your needs and your engagements, and take charge of your finances! – Monica Hovsepian, OpenText
13. Software To Manage Employee Hiring And Compensation
A number of software packages allow you to better manage wages and regulatory requirements around hiring and compensation. They often have helplines for questions—which has been useful for many startup CEOs, especially as most are not experts in human resources and do not have the resources to hire an HR specialist. – Lise Birikundavyi, BKR Capital