6 Top Budgeting Applications for Business Owners & Entrepreneurs

By Degreat Michael8 min read · Posted May 27, 2024


Header image showing a calculator and money Are you considering applications you can use to create budgets for your personal finance and business as a business owner?

If you nodded yes to that question, this article is for you.

You'll discover some fantastic budget apps for business, factors to consider when you want to pick one and tips for effective budgeting.

What are Budgeting Applications?

Budgeting apps are tools designed to assist you in organizing finances, tracking expenses, and creating budgets for you and your business. As a startup owner or entrepreneur, budgeting software helps you manage your finances efficiently.

Numerous budgeting apps are available (some of which we'll explore in this article). Their ability to categorize expenses, track income, and spending, and generate reports to show financial health sets them apart.

That said, most budgeting apps have features that assist you with financial goals and remind you of bills. Plus, with them, you can carry out economic analysis to ensure you stay on track with financial goals.

How Does a Budgeting App Work?

As someone who may not have used a budgeting app before, you may feel uneasy and wonder how it works. Using budgeting software is easier than you think. All you need to do is learn how to start with a typical budgeting application.

First things first. You must sign up for a budgeting app, either on the Web or mobile. To do this, you’ll need basic info like your email, password, and personal details. Also, you will have to link your bank account.

But that's not all. After registering, you must set up and customize your user profile. That involves adding your name and profile picture and selecting your preferred currency. With this simple step, you make the budgeting app feel more personal to you.

Before you dive into using the app, let's talk about security. Taking advantage of the app's security features is important, like setting up a passcode or using biometric authentication. With that, you ensure that your financial information stays safe as you prevent unauthorized access to your account.

Remember, your privacy is important. So, you're advised to take the time to secure your account before you start budgeting with a specific app.

Top Budgeting Applications for Entrepreneurs

Here are some business budgeting software that can help you track income and expenses and allocate resources effectively:

#1. QuickBooks

As an app for creating budgets, Quickbooks offers tailored business features, including invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting. These features help business owners manage finances efficiently and stay organized.

With QuickBooks, integration with accounting processes is seamless. That way, you'll be able to synchronize bank accounts with other business tools (like Salesforce, Shopify, Paypal, etc.) with ease. Such integrations streamline accounting tasks and ensure accurate financial data management.

To top it all, QuickBooks has a user-friendly interface that simplifies the task of learning how to use it. You can click this link to learn more about QuickBooks as an app to create your budget.

#2. FreshBooks

FreshBooks offers a cloud-based solution for invoicing and budgeting. Being able to access it anywhere affords you flexibility and convenience. As a budgeting app, FreshBooks simplifies tracking expenses from all your accounts. As a result, you're able to manage your spending and earnings more effectively, even as a business owner.

FreshBooks automatically captures receipts of expenses and income and syncs them with your bank accounts. And that means you have everything up-to-date.

Imagine running a small business and you use FreshBooks as a budgeting app to manage your finances. Suppose you spend $2000 monthly on office supplies, utilities, and marketing; FreshBooks tracks this expense for you. It does that by automatically capturing receipts and synchronizing them with your bank.

Now, let's look at the income side. Imagine your business earns $5000 in sales and services. FreshBooks neatly records this income. With this, you can effortlessly compare your $2000 spending to your $5000 earnings. And doing that often helps you understand your financial position.

Ultimately, with this knowledge, you can make informed decisions about managing your money wisely. That may mean having to increase sales in marketing or cutting back on unnecessary expenses to boost profitability.

In other words, using the FreshBooks app to make your business budget can help you improve your efficiency and productivity as a business person.

#3. YNAB (You Need a Budget)

YNAB is one of the apps that help you create budgets as a business owner by assigning a purpose to every dollar. It focuses on zero-based budgeting, where your income matches your expenses—making budgeting more efficient. Forbes Advisor says it's one of the best budgeting apps of March 2024.

YNAB is excellent for personal finance and works well for entrepreneurs running simple service-based businesses. It's especially suitable for those who don't handle employee payroll or manage extensive inventory.

YNAB offers user-friendly tools for budgeting, expense tracking, and generating financial reports in real time. Plus, it lets you manage accounts receivable and business credit card debt. With its mobile app and cloud-based software, your budget is accessible anytime, anywhere.

That said, setting up your business budget with YNAB is easy. You can do that by following the steps below

  1. First, you have to Log in or start a free trial to create your budget.
  2. Customize category groups and categories to fit your business needs.
  3. Add a tracking account for accounts receivable to keep tabs on unpaid invoices.
  4. Record your invoices with client details and amounts.
  5. When you receive payments, reconcile them in your accounts receivable account.
  6. Assign a job to your dollar by allocating funds to categories.

Thus, if you're searching for budgeting apps for small businesses, you might want to consider YNAB. It's a straightforward and powerful tool for managing your business finances.

#4. Excel/Google Sheets

Excel and Google Sheets are popular budgeting apps because of their flexibility and easy-to-use nature. With customizable features, you can make your budget templates fit your needs.

These spreadsheet software let you do detailed calculations with formulas and functions. Also, both Excel and Google offer integration options and greater accessibility when it comes to building a credible budgeting software for small businesses.

While it is easy to learn how to make a budget in Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel, there are a few downsides to using a spreadsheet to manage a budget.

Cons of using Excel/Google Sheets to create budgets:

  • Learning Curve: Advanced features like data simulation, pivot tables and macros take time to get used to.
  • Manual Input: You must manually enter and update data. The process is slow and may lead to mistakes.
  • Limited Automation: Fewer automation options than dedicated budgeting apps means more time required to manually update.
  • Version Control: Different versions of the software may not be able to process shared documents.

#5. Xero

Xero is a budgeting software for businesses that offers budget-friendly plans for small businesses to big enterprises. You can connect it with other business tools and platforms (such as Ebay, Sharepoint, Travelbank, etc.) through the Xero App Store.

Also, Xero lets you set budget amounts in small steps. As a business owner, you can use Xero to allocate funds to different departments, categories, or projects and track your spending for any given period you want.

That's because you can choose your budget periods, like monthly, quarterly, or annually when making budgets with Xero. Besides that, you have the opportunity to compare your actual spending with your budget to see how you're doing.

With Xero, you can create detailed budgets that suit your business and update them whenever needed. Often, this allows you to take charge of your finances as the year progresses. Yet the question is, how do you create a budget in Xero?

Well, it's not as difficult as you may think. You can follow the following straightforward steps once you're signed into your account:

  1. Go to the Accounting menu and select Reports, then open the Budget Manager.
  2. Click on Add New Budget, give it a name and description, and choose the budget period.
  3. Decide if you want to budget by category or department and import any previous budgets.

Boom! Once your budget is set, you can start estimating expenses and revenue.

However, just like other budget apps for business, Xero has its downsides. Firstly, it doesn't have advanced budgeting features like rolling forward budgets or planning for multiple years. Also, it's not a specialized budgeting tool and doesn't do fancy predictions.

However you can find the right Xero plan for your business on their website.

#6. ZohoBooks

ZohoBooks is one of the popular apps available on both the web and Play Store. ZohoBooks can fill in your budget automatically based on your spending and lets you set fixed amounts for each period.

Let's say you set a monthly budget of $200 for office supplies in January. If you spend $150 on supplies that month, the system will automatically adjust your budget for February to $150 based on the amount you expended.

In Zoho Books, you can track the money project-wise, splitting it into tasks and staff. You can also decide how many hours you'll work on the project. After you set your budget, you can check if you spent more or less time and money than you planned.

There are four budget options to choose from:

  • Hours per task
  • Hours per staff
  • Total Project Cost
  • Total Project Hours

To learn more about Zohobooks and their pricing, check their pricing plan for every business.

Importance of Budgeting in Business for Entrepreneurs

As a business owner, you need all the help you can get to keep your business on track, which means preparing for emergencies, setting achievable goals, and prioritizing projects that lead to new financing opportunities.

It is very easy to lose sight of the long term vision and struggle with cash flow trying to balance everything. When that happens not only does it hinder growth and sustainability, you may also end up making the wrong financial decision leading to undue stress and anxiety.

This is where budgeting and budgeting applications come in. With them, you keep tabs on your finances and expenses, get fantastic insights thereby reducing the negative impacts of poor planning.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Budgeting Application for Your Business

  1. Scalability of the business

Consider your business's size and complexity because most easy-to-use apps benefit small startups. A company with many departments and complex finances might require an advanced tool like QuickBooks.

  1. Budget complexity and customization needs

For instance, if your income and spending change significantly, opt for a flexible tool like FreshBooks. However, if your budget is simple, consider using a basic spreadsheet like Excel or Google Sheets.

  1. Integration with other business tools

For instance, if you use Microsoft Outlook for scheduling, ensure the budgeting app offers the integration before selecting it. Also, check if it can connect with project management tools like Trello or Asana. This will make it easier to keep track of your budget while planning projects.

  1. Cost and affordability

For example, if you have a tight budget, opt for free budgeting software meant for small businesses like Google Sheets. However, if you need more features, try paid apps like QuickBooks or FreshBooks.

  1. User interface and ease of use

Of course, you don’t want to pick a budgeting software that poses a constant usage challenge. Pick something with an intuitive interface and a knowledgebase and chat option to answer your queries. For example, YNAB has a simple layout for effective financial management.


Now that you know about budgeting apps and their importance for your business, it's time to create a budget for your business if you haven't already.

A survey by Global Market insights inc. provides figures that show you the ongoing demand for budgeting apps and the increased recognition of the importance of budgeting. As per their study published at their website, Accounting and Budgeting Software Market was worth $18.7 billion in 2023 and it’s projected to grow at a rate of over 12% between 2024 and 2032.

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