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Bootstrap offers a simple bookkeeping application geared towards freelancers and small businesses. The company was founded by Intuit executives (Intuit makes Quickbooks). Last week they launched Form 1099 support which reports the employees that need 1099 forms sent to them. They have also created a way to generate a Schedule C tax form from the income and expenses that you track with Bootstrap. I assume they also offer an export to allow you to use the information with other tax programs. If I think back to my tax prep days, a completed Schedule C would have been a great start – although naturally everything has to be verified if I am going to sign the return.
We reviewed Cashboard last year noting, "Cashboard manages your time, your customer estimates, invoices and can work with payment software for direct client payment." Cashboard has launched smart payment reporting which takes a client payment and applies it to as many invoices as possible automatically. Another new feature is automatic invoice scheduling which takes your time and creates invoices automatically. Lastly they have created a contact importer from 37Signals Basecamp product.
Today I’ve got an invoicing and time management tool named Cashboard for you. Cashboard manages your time, your customer estimates, invoices and can work with payment software for direct client payment.
When I loaded Cashboard for the first time, it has many of the same features as FreshBooks which is pretty large in the online billing/invoicing space. Cashboard has more time management features, FreshBooks has more invoice options. Pricing is almost identical between the two. You can check out our FreshBooks coverage but for the balance of this review we will focus on Cashboard.
Cashboard provides a Web application to create project estimates, manage time against a project, invoice the client and receive payment electronically. The free account has some limits and prices range from $12-$140/month depending on the number of projects to manage. During the signup process, you setup a customized URL for your clients to use – which is nice as it can be customized – slap on a cname from your domain and the customer will never know Cashboard is powering your invoicing.
Cashboard offers a desktop widget for managing time on a project without having to keep a browser open. You click the start button, begin working and click again to stop the time monitoring. Frankly this is a great way to accurately keep track of the time spent on a task and I wish I had this for some of my staff over the years.
One of the groovy features in Cashboard is the ability to completely customize the invoice and estimate templates. I use Quickbooks and there are limits to how good you can make the documents look.
The way founder Seth Banks communicates in the Cashboard blog makes sure his customers are up-to-date with where the app is and where it’s going. He’s open and honest which is important when you are building a relationship with your customer and not just selling him or her a pre-made burger.
With the percentage of home-based businesses and consultants continuing to rise, services like Cashboard should see a stable growth rate. The key for Cashboard is getting out past the tech sector – there are plenty of other business types to keep new customers entering the system.