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4 Small Business Accounting Apps That Make Bookkeeping (Almost) Fun

Person facing a blackboard filled with equations
If managing your books is driving you crazy, technology is here to help. Small business accounting apps can help you manage payroll, plan your finances and invoice clients more effectively. Here are four different apps to consider:

1. Gusto — Automate Payroll

Managing payroll is usually the most stressful accounting work for small business owners. If you try to do everything yourself, there's a mistake waiting to happen. Gusto speeds up the entire process while making sure everything is accurate. This app automatically calculates withholding taxes, prepares paychecks for your employees and quickly uploads new workers into the system, including handling their onboarding paperwork.

Beyond payroll, Gusto also offers HR support. You can coordinate the app with your benefits so employees can sign up and pay right out of their salary. If you have a question, you can speak with an HR specialist at Gusto.

The most basic plan costs $39 per month plus $6/mo per employee on the payroll. More expensive packages offer additional HR support.

2. Due — Simpler Invoicing

If you want a quick, cost-effective way to create client invoices and receive payment, Due is worth a look. This app lets you put together a professional-looking invoice on the spot, while you're talking with a client. From there, the app keeps track of all your existing invoices — so you can easily see what's been paid and what hasn't.

You can also accept debit and credit card payments from clients using this app. If you want to accept payment by credit or debit card, the organization charges a 2.8 percent fee on every transaction. You can test the invoicing app for free, though.

3. Xero — An Overview of ALL Your Accounts

Xero moves all your accounting work online. With this app, you can link all your bank accounts, expense reports, bills, payroll and invoices. From there, the dashboard gives you a birds-eye view of what's coming up in the future.

You can use Xero to forecast your change in cash flow, handle payroll in one place and track when bills and invoices are due. Users' data is backed up on Xero's cloud server, so you won't have to worry about losing your financial records in a fire or other disaster. Finally, you can give your accountant access to your Xero account, so the two of you can plan everything online.

The most basic version of Xero costs $9/month but it limits how many invoices you can prepare and doesn't offer payroll support. The more comprehensive version starts at $30 per month.

4. Expensify — Employee Expenses Made Easy

Keeping track of business expenses is likely a headache for you and your employees. Your employees have to remember to submit all of their receipts or else they might not get reimbursed. On the other hand, you've got yet another pile of paperwork to comb through in order to see which expenses are legitimate.

Expensify puts everything on one app. Employees can link a debit or credit card to their account so their business purchases are automatically added to an expense account. Or they can simply upload pictures of their receipts. On your end, all the business expenses will show up in one place. You can link your business bank account and immediately approve expenses for reimbursement.

You can try a limited version of the app for free where you can only make 10 transactions per month. The basic version for small businesses costs $5/month per user.

Bookkeeping will probably never be the fun part of running your business, but these small business accounting apps will help save you time — and could make the process a lot more pleasant.