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As a freelancer or small business, one of the biggest decisions you can make (from a business perspective, at least) is how to track your time and invoice your clients. There are a few really good options out there. Quickbooks Online seems to be a good solution, but it can get pretty expensive pretty quickly. A friend of mine recommended CurdBee, which looks like a pretty nice option, too.
My software of choice, though, is an application called Paymo. Paymo works extremely well, is easy to use, feature-rich and is extremely affordable. There are basically only two reasons you would ever pay to use Paymo. The first would be if you need to issue more than 3 invoices in a month. The other reason would be if you need to allow more than 2 users (yourself and one other) to track their time in the application.
Other than that, all of the features of Paymo are baked right into the free version of the service. The Web interface offers a timer that you can use to track exactly how much time you spend on a specific task (provided you remember to start it and stop it at the right time), easy invoicing (with the ability to print, e-mail and convert to PDF all invoices you generate) with permalinks that can be provided to clients, easy creation of new clients, new projects, new timelines and milestones and more. You can generate invoices directly from time sheets or add charges to the invoices manually.
The timer that’s available through the Web interface is also available as a PC application (to be installed on your Windows machines) and as an iPhone app. The PC application is really nice, because it even tracks when you’re actively using your machine. Therefore, even if you forget to stop the timer when you walk away from your computer, Paymo prompts you when you come back, asking if you want to count the time you were gone, or if you want to stop the timer whenever you stopped using your machine. The iPhone app is really handy for meetings and field visits. Continue reading “Freelancers – Do You Paymo?” »
Quickbooks began offering "Quickbooks Simple Start" about three years ago and their 2008 version has just been released. Amazon sells the product for $79 which includes a plus pack (the plus is some stationary). Over the past couple of weeks, Intuit has begun to offer the product completely free as a download on the Web site. The Simple Start version is crippled compared to the $179 regular Quickbooks version but it’s enough for the small business owner to use for invoicing and basic record keeping.
The downloadable version matches identically what you can purchase and there are no ads or any notices to upgrade. If this is the case, why did Intuit offer it for free? It’s not a trial version either!
So please share your thoughts, could it be because of the growth of online invoicing and financial management tools?
Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) has launched their new online product called Quicken Online. Immediately one starts to think of the "new" players in this area which include: SpendView, Mint, Geezeo and Wesabe. There’s certainly room for multiple players in this market, especially as each offers something a bit different. But Intuit can outspend all of them on marketing and will most likely be able to grab the mainstream segment relatively easy.
Quicken Online has a different business model than the competition – free trial then $2.99/month. Most of the competitors are either using some form of advertising or, in Mint’s case, savings proposals based on the data you upload.
If you’ve been reading CenterNetworks for a while, you know that I have issues with all of these sites that require you to give them all of your financial passwords so they can access your system. Wesabe is the only one who offers an upload option so you can decide how much to trust them. Quicken Online faces the same issues as the others as you are required to give them all of your logins and passwords for your financial institutions. Unlike the others, Intuit has a 10 billion dollar market cap and has been creating Quicken for 25 years. Does that change my opinion on it? Perhaps a pinch but still not enough as I’d like. Especially when at the end of the video below they joke that they purchased a verisign security system to make customers feel better. Oh snap, the Verisign logo is gone now – but it’s in the video – what does that mean?
Outside of the data security issues, the application looks like a standard Web application. Think of the most basic Quicken version, and you have it. I would have preferred that they separated it from the rest of the Quicken Web site and given it a fresh look and feel. Right now it feels jammed into the old Quicken site. This is an area that the competition will need to capitalize on. Especially because from what I’ve seen the competition is using "socialness" and most of them are using heavier trending to help you spend less and save more.
To try to hit the early adopter tech set, they created an iPhone app. Actually it’s not iPhone specific, it’s just a mobile version of the site. They do note that this version is only available on the iPhone and not the Blackberry or other mobile devices.
Here are a couple screenshots showing the text functions and the iPhone mobile site: