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Shireen Qudosi

Managing Small Business Finances with Mint.com

Jun 27 2011, 12:57 PM by

One of the toughest things about running your own business is managing the money. There’s really no easy way out when it comes to the dollars and cents. You either have to manage it yourself or contract someone else. Either way, you’re spending time and/or money…and personally, I’ve always despised how archaic Quick Books Pro is.

Small business owners simply can’t afford to think small when it comes to money. This isn’t an area where just finger counting and abacus shuffling cuts it. You need to play it smart and get it right.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon Mint.com, which first got my attention with its clean design, social media inspired website layout and the keyword “free”. The free online software lets you direct all your financial accounts online, categorize transactions and set budgets – in turn, helping you achieve your savings goals.

Acting as a financial hub, the online portal can be customized to cover just your business costs (in case you’re in a small business that involves auto coverage and write offs, investments and/or property) or lets you merge home and business money matters under one neat roof.

There are several perks with Mint.com, including…

Connect with Banks: Wiping out the need for dusty digital book-keeping, Mint.com connects to almost every US banking institution with internet banking capability – including checking accounts, credit cards and even retirement/benefit accounts.
Account Filing: An easy-to-use account filing system pairs simple icons, text and figures to chart your data.
Easy to Understand Language: Use common sense language to understand your finances rather than going through your online banking statement and searching for obscure codes and numbers. You can type in the exact amount for a specified vendor, and the information is filtered accordingly.
Customized Categories: Categorize all your transactions, which really helps small business owners know exactly how much of their hard-earned greens are going where.
Alerts: Traditional banks only offer you basic alert systems that often can’t be customized. Mint.com, however, offers low balance reminders, bill reminders, and credit available notices that are all customized to your own specifications.
Uncover Hidden Bank Fees: Traditional financial institutions also earn high millions to low billions a year in hidden fees, which some courts are now declaring illegal. Mint.com helps you catch these by uncovering hidden fees and notifying you.
Protection: Mint offers additional protection with 24/7 alerts for large and unusual purchases and charges.
Charts Your Money Habits: Personalized charts and graphs let you gain valuable insight into your finances for general or category-based tracking, and also see what you’re worth.
So how can you save with Mint.com? Simple – when your finances are made simpler, small business owners naturally feel more in control, and when you feel in control you’re more likely to stick to a savings plan. After all, the reason you probably started your own business was to be able to increase your profit margin; and what’s the point if you’re great at what you do but terrible when it comes to saving the rewards you reap from it?

Mint money management also offers Mint Life, a blog with dozens of advisory articles on money tips and financial planning. This software even offers quality customer service support where you can share ideas and get answers to any itching questions.

The software also features a mobile app for iPhone and Android. Having been purchased by finance software giant Inuit since its successful launch, you know Mint’s got to be a great money management system. It’s also gained impressive industry recognition by Money Magazine, PC and PCWorld Magazine as well as being named one of the Top 50 Websites by Time magazine.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Online Tools and Applications

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