Our tech-connected world is full of possibilities. But it can also be overwhelming when it comes to finding the right tools and applications for your client’s business (or your own).
To make things simple we’ve put together a list of the best business software tools on the market right now. Here’s our roundup of the most powerful business apps that business advisors, consultants and accountants should know about.
Covered In this Business App Guide:
Apps for your clients’ tech stack
Lightyear is a purchasing and accounts payable automation platform which was established in 2017. It has a number of cross platform features, including approvals, reporting, budgets, archive, accounting sync and inventory sync, as well as tools such as intelligent data extraction, automated bookkeeping, 3-way matching and auto reconcile statements.
Users say: “The system saves them time, has an easy-to-use interface and is cost-effective.”
A2X is accounting software specially designed for eCommerce businesses. Built to the exacting standards of leading eCommerce accountants, both accounting firms, bookkeepers and eCommerce businesses can use A2X. It’s ideal for operators of all sizes, from small sellers and side hustles to large eCommerce firms.
A2X prides itself on providing accurate financials and in-depth insights to run eCommerce businesses more efficiently.
Users say: “It’s quick and easy to use, and very simple to see the value it delivers.”
Fluidly focuses on all aspects of cash flow, including funding, forecasting and planning – but also helps with invoice chasing too. The software connects to Xero or QuickBooks and using the data, will automatically create a cashflow forecast in a chart that is easy to follow.
It shows cash flow history, opening cash position and provides predictions (based on data) for the future, removing the need for your own modelling and manual processing.
Users say: “It is perfect for small businesses as it doesn’t come with a hefty price tag, and it allows them to proactively keep on top of cash flow forecasting – without time consuming admin.”
Syft Analytics is an AI-powered forecasting tool that reviews, analyses, and predicts financial data. It lets businesses create integrated forecasts and make better financial decisions. Real-time machine learning means Syft Analytics can identify risk and account anomalies, as well as detect fraud.
Users say: “It reduces a significant amount of time spent on financial reconciliation, and is also easy to set up and use.”
With a big footprint in Australia and New Zealand, Starshipit boasts over 60 courier integrations, which lets online retailers fulfil orders through their preferred service at their own negotiated rates: one of Starshipit’s points of difference is it doesn’t clip the ticket on shipments, making it an appealing option for scaling firms. Other features include checkout page integration – so customers see freight-inclusive prices upfront, as well as branded tracking and returns portals.
Users say: “A premium software solution without the premium price tag. It allows us to update and print customers’ labels quickly while providing reliable tracking on the spot.”
ShipStation is automated shipping software for eCommerce businesses. It syncs, manages, and dispatches orders with a dashboard to view the fulfilment process and helps generate labels for hundreds of online orders at any one time (through multiple carriers). Inventory can be managed from anywhere, with real-time insights and ShipStation also comes with a post-purchase feature, which you can brand for your business.
Users say: “Its automated functions save a significant amount of manual processing time and being able to use it anywhere is extremely useful.”
Shiptheory is another automated shipping platform that carries out automatic printing to any number of printers and is flexible to the type of printing a business requires. It also provides the option to create flexible shipping rules – from simple to complex – to control how your orders are sent with carriers based on factors such as destination, weight, value, product SKUs and more.
Shiptheory integrates with a wide range of popular software programmes and allows for real-time shipment metrics so businesses can optimise their shipping automation.
Users say: “It streamlines order processing and shipment, removing the need for manual, time-consuming operations.”
Inventory management apps
Okay, we’re biased – but we think Unleashed is the best inventory management software in the world. Certainly it’s the leader when it comes to serving the stock management needs of small-to-medium manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers – and it comes with multiple integrations with other leading apps, including Xero, QBO, Shopify, Prospect, Vend and more.
Users say: “It has a user-friendly interface with exceptional customer support. On Xero it has a 4.6-star rating (across 336 reviews).”
StockTrim is inventory forecasting software that sits on top of an existing inventory management programme (like Unleashed) – it’s not used independently. Its unique selling point is to predict future product requirements and enable small businesses to conserve up to 40% of working capital by minimising stock-outs and over-stocking.
Users say: “It’s intuitive, easy to implement and removes uncertainty when it comes to demand forecasting and inventory control.”
People management apps
NextMinute is a job management tool for tradies and those in the construction industry. Functionality covers everything from timesheets to quotes, job scheduling, invoicing and back costing – it also connects to accounting programmes for seamless syncing. Available in the Xero App marketplace, it comes with an overall rating of 4.9 stars.
Users say: “The programme is ideal for job lodgement and project management. Its efficiency helps businesses to save time on administration tasks.”
Prospect is a ‘stock-aware’ CRM that’s been designed specifically for a B2B environment, and is used by wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers of all kinds. The CRM integrates product, inventory and customer sales data to streamline B2B sales processes, with the goal of increasing sales, improving customer retention and maximising profits.
Users say: “The focus on the sales aspect of B2B improves efficiency and results, leading to impressive sales figures since implementation.”
Reporting & modelling apps
From financial analysis that provides insights into business performance, to custom management reports, cash flow forecasting and consolidated financial reporting, Fathom allows users to measure and monitor important business KPIs. It connects to leading accounting software and is suitable for small and medium-sized businesses, business advisors and franchises/groups.
Users say: “The cash flow forecasting is world class, with incredibly powerful and valuable insights. It’s also easy to use, even for those with no financial background.”
Wink Reports allow businesses to create complex data reports, without the technical know-how. It’s about removing the need for time-consuming manual spreadsheets that can be full of errors and quickly become out of date. Wink Reports connects to most large software platforms (like Xero, Unleashed, Vend, Slack and more) and removes the need for exporting figures: One click will bring across your data – from which you can begin to build detailed, in-depth reports.
Users say: “The report editor is effortless and easy to use, and the support team is quick and efficient at responding to questions.”
Sales and marketing apps
DSD Assist is an integrated FMCG platform which helps businesses improve their sales and delivery processes. Its USP is cloud-based field mobility, for activities such as mobile salesforce automation, mobile delivery, planning and optimisation, mobile van sales and mobile merchandising – with a cloud-hosted dashboard and admin portal.
Users say: “It improves operational efficiencies as well as greater accuracy and visibility when it comes to deliveries – with increased customer satisfaction a bonus by-product.”
PencilPay is a growth software for product-based businesses. It automates wholesale applications, trading terms and payments which can be integrated with your website. In-built payment processing means businesses can collect bank or credit card details before trading, reducing the need to chase invoices or late payments, and daily reconciliation can be done with one click.
Users say: “All the information and data is kept in one place and is easy to access and use. It’s also able to offer a level of personalisation to meet the different needs of businesses.”
Apps for accountants and advisors
Xero Practice Manager is job management/accounting practice management software that streamlines workflows. Users can assign work and allocate jobs/tasks to staff, assign due dates, track hours worked and convert them into invoices, run standard or custom reports and, of course, it integrates with Xero to keep invoices, payments and clients in sync.
Users say: “Great for time tracking, custom report writing and job visibility. It’s a no brainer for Xero-based accounting firms.”
Link Reporting is reporting software for Xero Practice Manager and is the only way to get true and accurate WIP reporting from XPM thanks to its reconciliation functionality. The increased visibility it offers lets users make better data-based decisions, and improve team productivity and efficiency.
Users say: “For accounting firms using Xero Practice Manager, Link Reporting means you can measure performance far more effectively.”
Ignition is a client proposal, engagement and billing platform that provides clarity and confidence at every step of the sales process. Once clients are engaged, Ignition also ensures bills are paid, with automatic invoicing and payments. Other automations include engagement letters and workflows, with a business intelligence dashboard where you can view the sales pipeline, upcoming client renewals and forecast revenue.
Users say: “On-boarding, job creation, engagement letters, rolling over and tracking proposals is simple and it significantly reduces time spent on administration.”
FYI Docs is a document management and process automation application which integrates with Xero and has been purpose-built for accountants. Its focus is on reducing time spent on compliance and administration, with a unique blend of online document management that is complemented by built-in collaboration tools and powerful automation.
Providing practice-wide visibility, FYI Docs stores all your documents in the cloud, allowing teams to work remotely while remaining productive and collaborative.
Users say: “The efficiencies gained are countless. By using FYI’s capabilities all team members can log in and have one source of truth.”
CAS360 is about empowering company compliance professionals by taking the hassle out of compliance work. From annual reviews to smart alerts, automated reminders, incorporations and reservations, trust management and trust distribution, CAS360 allows for easily customisable white-label documentation, seamless integration with practice management platforms and efficient document management.
Users say: “It integrates well with other products and the customer service/available training is fantastic.”
The Gap Portal specialises in advisory education and support to help accountants accelerate small business success. With all the right content and training needed to market, sell and deliver business advisory services, The Gap Portal is practical and proven, helping to build sustainable recurring revenue and providing portal users with soft skills for life.
Users say: “They have been able to provide greater value to their clients, as well as grow their business advisory revenue – all while using a structured, systemised process for delivering BA services successfully.”