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Cryptocurrencies, the most famous of all being Bitcoin, turned geeks and normal people with a bit of tech interest into virtual millionaires, overnight. In recent months they’ve hit the headlines for facilitating the sale of drugs and firearms by concealing the identities of those involved. They even accentuated the capital outflows from Cyprus during the country’s financial collapse and subsequent EU bailout earlier this year.

In 2011, those buying into cryptocurrencies were laughed at by investors and economists. Now, BitCoin is regularly the feature of two page spreads in the Financial Times and is rumoured to be a serious headache for regulators of the traditional banking system. Since the high profile take-down of The Silk Road (a shady, Deep Web marketplace mainly used for drug sales), the FBI have backed off.

In a further vote of confidence, the Chinese government recently indicated that they have no real issues with cryptocurrencies and have allowed a Chinese exchange to grow into the world’s largest, surpassing MtGox a few weeks ago. However, they’ve also eliminated the possibility of it ever becoming part of their official national finance framework.

In spite of its recent successes, BitCoin remains rouge. Personified, it’s a surly teenager protesting against “the system”. Big Business has given it nothing more than an amused smirk because BitCoin doesn’t wear a suit to work nor have Terms & Conditions attached. Ripple’s ‘XRP’, a new kid on the cryptocurrency block, does.

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Billing by the hour for services rendered is fast becoming the norm. It’s just not freelancers who use time trackers to bill their client on an hourly basis. After the financial downturn, companies large and small are forced by clients to opt for hourly billing instead of monthly retainers or a lump sum project fee.

When businesses start using a certain type of app, a handful of features and a gorgeous user interface won’t just cut it. Advanced functionalities, integration with third party apps and a sensible workflow to get things done quickly become the norm. When I came across Time Panel, I noticed that it doesn’t have as eye-catching an interface as its competitors.

So, let’s see if Time Panel scores in the other key areas to make up for it.

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Bookkeeping is one of the most important and potentially stressful parts of running any business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fresh-faced freelancer or a heartless multinational corporation, if your business income and expenditure isn’t properly accounted for then you can end up spending many a sleepless night frantically shuffling through a years worth of receipts and invoices, hoping to somehow balance everything inside a spreadsheet. Worse still, you risk fines and penalties if you don’t properly calculate your taxes.

Even knowing the above, the word “bookkeeping” immediately evokes mundane thoughts of dusty offices and leather-bound ledgers being thumbed through by monocled gentlemen in pinstripe suits. It’s difficult to get excited about taxes and spreadsheets, isn’t it?

Fortunately, bookkeeping doesn’t have to be mundane. After spending some time with FreeAgent, it’s actually — dare I say it — fun!

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It’s amazing to me that something as simple as invoicing is so time-consuming. What should take just a couple clicks here and there invariably takes four, five, sometimes six or more just to add a payee or edit working hours. I’ve resorted to creating every invoice of mine in Apple’s Pages app, which allows me to create invoices based off my standard template.

But there’s far more sophisticated software out there for invoicing and expenses that could help me keep track of my work much more easily, and I’m aware of that fact. Recently, I took Nutcache — a free web app for invoices and expenses — out for a spin to see if it would suit my needs. Read on for my detailed thoughts about the services.

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Invoicing your clients for your work should be one of the simplest things you have to do each month, but often it can be tedious and frustrating even with modern apps. You’ll usually end up paying a monthly fee for an online invoicing app, and still find that it takes much longer than you’d like to get your invoices sent out.

What if you only want a basic invoicing app, one without any fancy designs but that also doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and one that’s simple to add the info you need without taking too much time? Sounds like you need Invoiceable.

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Web-based accounting software has been increasing in popularity recently. In today’s world of cloud computing and remote working, it can help companies work more efficiently (as employees do not have to work from a fixed location) and often, web-based accounting systems can reduce a business’s IT costs, as they often charge a monthly subscription fee, rather than lumping the company with a massive bill for server upgrades and expensive licences.

Kashoo, from the Vancouver-based developers of the same name, is one of these systems. It helps users say goodbye to the days of slow and complicated accounting systems and promises to save every user 5 to 10 hours a month when it comes to doing the books. This is a bold claim, so I took the test version of Kashoo out for a spin to see how it fared.

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If you constantly find your checking account empty sooner than you expect each month, you’re not alone — scores of people have trouble keeping their spending in check. While everyone has their own reasons and circumstances to deal with, the one thing we can all do to remedy our situation is track our expenses. This lets us know where our money is actually going, what we might be spending too much on, and how much we have left after scheduled expenses like rent and utility bills. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a tool to let you do this quickly and easily?

Indeed it would be, and that’s why we’re looking at Finance41, a lesser-known personal expense tracking app that’s built for speed and ease of use. Packing nifty features like budgets, natural language input, tags for categorization, spending analysis and support for multiple currencies, this app is great for international users and makes light work of monitoring your money.

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One of the largest barriers facing small business and freelancers is keeping track of invoicing, receipts, payroll and general accounting. This can be a problem because of the expense of the software and/or accounting firm. If you’re just getting started, you won’t want to invest in an expensive (and often outdated-looking) accounting suite, and Excel for data and Word for invoices will only go so far.

Now, along comes a service called Wave Apps – well, really it is just called Wave, but it is a collection of apps. The five services are designed to make life easier for the small business owner or freelancer. (more…)

LaCuenta is a powerful, new invoicing and business management application from Luxembourgian company BeeWee. The first time I read the name I didn’t put two and two together, but after a couple of minutes I realised that the name is Spanish for ‘the bill’. I think the name is rather fitting and well thought out.

You will be able to see from the screenshots that the design of the app is very slick. Often design for invoicing or financial apps suffer as they are primarily seen as function over form. LaCuenta shows that they are not mutually exclusive, there’s no reason why you can’t have function and form in the same application. (more…)

Creating invoices is something every working professional has to do in order to get paid from their clients. Some prefer to use Microsoft Excel to create invoices while some people prefer to use online services or software. The problem with creating invoices in Excel is that one has to create a template first and then fill it with the required information. However, this may not be the most convenient method and may take some time to create.

One reason why I prefer online tools to create invoices is that you can easily manage and view all the invoices in few simple clicks and you can connect your PayPal or any other supported payment method with the service. This helps users find out how many invoices have been paid and so on.

At Web.AppStorm, we have shared some very useful invoicing apps, free and paid, that can help users create invoices. Today, we present to you another handy invoicing app that does not only allows users to create invoices and estimated but also allow them to manage their expenses from the same dashboard. The app is known as Scoreboard.

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