5 Comments

Summary:

As we approach April 15th and tax time, it is normal for us to think about how we maintain our books and evaluate if our current process is working for us.

While there are no shortages of accounting programs available, with varying levels of complexity and pricing, it can be difficult for a small shop to find the right solution. Focusing on ease of use and integration with other web apps, Outright is a great choice for web workers.

Outright LogoAs we approach April 15th and tax time, it is normal for us to think about how we maintain our books and evaluate if our current process is working for us.

While there’s no shortage of accounting programs available, with varying levels of complexity and pricing, it can be difficult for a small shop to find the right solution. Focusing on ease of use and integration with other web apps, Outright is a great choice for web workers.

Outright Profit

In reality, the accounting needs of the average solo web worker are usually pretty modest. Record the money in (income) versus your money out (expenses) and be prepared to pay your taxes when they’re due.

At its core, Outright is a basic web service designed to allow you to easily track your expenses and income. Using a familiar check register interface, you enter in transaction details and get quick and simple access to the general health of your business.

As a member of the Small Business Web initiative I wrote about recently, Outright integrates well with FreshBooks, the invoicing app, and Shoeboxed, the receipt organizer (both also SBW members).

In fact, it is when used in conjunction with these other apps that Outright really stands out. While it has all the right things to make data entry easy, like auto-complete and keyboard shortcuts, nothing could be easier than having your existing invoice and expense data imported automatically. When connected to your Freshbooks or Shoeboxed accounts, all transactions are updated nightly and even maintain a link connection so you can get to the original source quickly.

There are some challenges with this integration, though. For example, Outright exclusively uses the categories from  Schedule C but since Shoeboxed doesn’t have that limitation, there are instances when it is necessary to manually re-assign a category to synced records.

I think the folks at Outright don’t stress enough the tax preparation angle when describing the usefulness of their service. With email reminders when quarterly payments are due, estimated payment amounts and a really handy Schedule C printout, using Outright just for the tax preparation functionality alone might make great sense.

Outright Schedule C

If you’re already using Freshbooks or Shoeboxed, then getting an Outright account is almost a no-brainer. But even if you’re not using these apps, then Outright is still a very good choice for basic expense and income tracking.

oDesk integration was also recently added, and I imagine support for other apps is coming soon, so it might be a good idea to check in occasionally and see if they are supporting your app of choice.

Outright is free during the beta period and works wherever you have a browser and Internet connection.

How do you manage your books?

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

Related research

Subscriber Content

Subscriber content comes from Gigaom Research, bridging the gap between breaking news and long-tail research. Visit any of our reports to learn more and subscribe.

By Scott Blitstein

You're subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Thanks much, Scott, both for the kind words and the feedback. Your comments on the tax prep messaging are spot on – hope you don’t mind if we borrow that advice:-)

    We will continue to work with Shoeboxed, FreshBooks and our other partners to improve the categorization. And definitely stay tuned for more partnerships – we’re a big fan of applications that play nicely with others.

  2. Rayanne Langdon Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Thanks, Scott! You really nailed the accounting needs of the average guy or gal.

    I ditto Kevin’s comments. We hope that by allowing users to connect Outright with FreshBooks with Shoeboxed with BatchBlue (etc.!), tax prep will be a breeze. And, it’s never too soon to get organized for next year! : )

    Rayanne Langdon, FreshBooks.com

  3. Scott Blitstein Friday, April 3, 2009

    @Kevin – Thanks for comments. I think the possibilities of integration between apps is tremendously exciting. Being able to pick and choose the right tools and have them just “connect” is tremendously appealing.

    @Rayanne Agreed, I have a feeling some folks are still trying to get organized for last year.

  4. Stephanie Cockerl Thursday, April 9, 2009

    I found that this tool gave me a good idea of what’s going on, but I still found myself still filling in stuff that didn’t quite fit into a category and going to an accountant to cross the “T”s and dot the “I”s.

  5. Outright and Network Solutions Connect to Bring Business Online Thursday, June 11, 2009

    [...] 11th, 2009 (7:00am) Scott Blitstein No Comments I’ve written in the past about the handy features of bookkeeping and tax preparation service Outright. Its easy to use [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post