In the process of making a consulting business there are many things to think about. As I find solutions to my problems I will post them here to help others. My biggest issue is about how I am going to track all my information to show how much I have spent or earned? This is critical for tax season when my accountant gets angry with me because I have no documentation about anything. I already have experience with providing technical help to people so the ability to track finances moved to the top of my list of problems to solve to build this business.
In setting out to find something to track my expenses, I tried a few recommendations from friends, and in the end I picked FreshBooks because they seem to have the best workflow and features that I have found. They have an iPhone app for tracking all my information, and their pricing is in line with the other sites. One especially nice feature is that clients can login to a branded site to see, and electronically pay their bills as well as create trouble tickets. You can try them for free to see what I mean. The iPhone app is called MiniBooks ($14.99) and there is of course MiniBooks Lite (free) if you just want to check it out without buying it.
Other major reasons to try FreshBooks is their integration with other systems. You can tie your data in to Basecamp, shoeboxed, xero, Salesforce, TypePad, formspring, setster, and more. If you have a staff of people or contractors you can also integrate them and track their time very easily. Aside from FreshBooks being a very extendable product I also was pretty happy to get a personal welcome from a real person there when I created my account, and I had a quick phone call with that person talk talk about how to do some things I wasn’t sure about. Very nice people and I really hope they are doing well. I think they have the best product in this class.