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Posts tagged ‘Finance’

Hardtree: Online Business Management


Business owners have quite the toolbox for managing their businesses. They have their email, but they may also use services that cover CRM, billing, accounting, calendar management and group discussions. New startups are taking a stab at pulling all resources together, giving owners one dashboard and an instant snapshot of their business.

Hardtree is an online business management service. The web app is set up like an online collaboration tool with additional enhancements to make it a true holistic service. Logging in to the service reveals your dashboard, which spotlights new messages or support tickets. Move around Hardtree by clicking on one of its fifteen tabs on your dashboard. Tools are organized by task, which means project management falls under “Projects,” leads are housed in “Sales & Stock,” and your accounting ledger appears under “Finance.”

There’s enough room for everyone on your team too. Add users and create groups for multiple users. You can also specify which users or groups access which tasks pretty simply.

Perhaps what makes Hardtree remarkable is yet to be seen by the public. Business management services like these thrive on creating a singular destination to manage activities. Hardtree will have plenty of data about your organization. Their next step is launching a new module called Intelligence. This feature will be able to make recommendations for your business based on your data. Therefore, it will be able to make data-driven business improvements. We have yet to see how and to what extent this new feature will play a role in Hardtree, but it has the potential to become a business owner’s most trusted advisor.

The service is available in paid tiers starting at £9.99 per month. A free trial is also available.

There’s a lot to explore in Hardtree. Owners may not use each component, but they’ll see a benefit when they tailor the space to their demands. In fact, Hardtree is the type of tool that may make its way into your web browser and remain open all day.

Wave Accounting: Free Small Biz Accounting

Wave Accounting is a completely free accounting web app targeted toward small business owners, startups and freelancers. The service competes against industry titans, like QuickBooks, but at no charge.

Setting up an account takes a few painless steps. First, fill in your account details, then link your financial data to Wave Accounting. Next, answer a handful of simple questions to help customize your account, like if your company is a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation, or if you collect sales tax from customers. Linking your financial accounts is optional, but it eliminates the need to manually enter transactions and probably improves the accuracy of your books.

What’s great about the service is that you don’t need to understand a term like “double-entry bookkeeping” to keep your books in order. The service handles a ledger, accounts receivable and accounts payable in terms like transactions, income and expenses. Create invoices under the Income tab, and log bills under the Expenses tab. Simple, right?

According to their privacy policy, Wave Accounting may reach out to its users with “tailored savings opportunity messages,” which means its business model operates like Mint. When you provide your financial details, and the service will likely recommend better solutions over time.

What’s clear is that business owners do not lose functionality when switching to Wave Accounting. The system doesn’t feel like a downgrade, even if it’s offered for free. And for many, Wave Accounting may feel more intuitive than QuickBooks.

Creditable: The Out-Of-Debt Social Network

It seems all goals are more obtainable when you have the support of a community to help. For people suffering with a massive amount of consumer debt, announcing their problems to close friends may be difficult. Creditable creates an anonymous social network for people looking to pull back into the black.

People looking to lose weight have fitness groups. People looking to eliminate habits have support groups. It’s time people with debt create their own group. After signing up, you enter details like your amount of debt and your goals for the future. Creditable then suggests following people with similar goals. Through these connections, people have the ability to form a support group without revealing embarrassing details about themselves.

Creditable is completely free to use, which proves users do not need to go into even deeper debt just to get out of it. Instead, the service seems to operate on affiliate sales, like Mint.com. Since it knows a bit about your financial history and credit score, it has the opportunity to recommend lower interest rate credit cards or new checking account options. That said, if a user wants to focus on reclaiming the accounts they already have open, the offers are easily skipped.

The Stock Sonar: Predicting Market Shifts Through News Sources

Social media tracking uses algorithms to detect whether brand mentions carry good or bad sentiments. The Stock Sonar takes that same technology and provides rational stock advice.

As part of an example on their homepage, The Stock Sonar used their algorithm to construct a line graph representing negative mentions surrounding the Toyota safety recall in January 2010. They then aligned the chart with Toyota’s stock price. The result was surprising:  Days before Toyota’s stock dropped, The Stock Sonar was able to accurately predict a drop four days in advance. This early warning would be enough notice to give day traders time to sell their shares before losing any money. The tool may also be used to chart opportunities, providing you’re prepared to monitor all stock tickers continuously.