Must-Have Apps for Small Business Owners

Author: Alvin Shenk, CTP, SVP, Central and South Texas Sales Manager 02/21/2019

As a small business owner, you wear many hats: owner, operator, shift worker, operations manager, accountant … the list is endless. And while mere sweat equity can get you pretty far, at some point you need reinforcements.

Lucky for you, there’s an entire tech industry focused on helping make the financial aspects of running a small business easier than ever. Below are just a few must-have apps for small business owners and modern entrepreneurs.


For burgeoning entrepreneurs, there’s always some grey area when it comes to separating business-specific finances and personal finances. While it’s good housekeeping to keep them apart, it’s easy to inadvertently muddy the waters since your business and personal lives are intertwined.

Mint, by Intuit, is a free personal money management and financial tracker app. It works by aggregating your bills, cards, and bank and brokerage accounts onto one, easy-to-read platform. Then it puts its powerful algorithms to work, analyzing and organizing where and how you spend money into a nifty report that gives you insight and, ultimately, greater control over your budget.

Mint doesn’t stop at budgeting. The app also tracks bills, savings goals, and your credit score and provides you with customized recommendations on accounts, cards, and investment opportunities.


Like Mint, QuickBooks also helps you track your expenses. Yet, as a powerful piece of accounting software specifically created for small to midsize businesses, it boasts a more in-depth set of tools that help with bank reconciliation, expense and payroll tracking, invoice drafting, and customized reporting (profit/loss, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, among others).

Users praise QuickBooks as a replacement for tedious accounting courses. Plus, the app’s popularity ensures that your accountant or bookkeeper has more than a passing familiarity with the software.


Gusto focuses on the human resources side of the business. The app’s mission to “tame the chaos of payroll, benefits and HR,” is supported by platforms that tackle each of those claims.

For payroll, Gusto enables you to run, review, and calculate payroll for your employee base, as well as set tiered pay rates/schedules and automate tax processes. For benefits, Gusto connects you with a licensed broker to set up or revamp your benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, 401(k), HSAs, and more.

As an added bonus, Gusto’s benefits and payroll platforms work together to automatically calculate federal and state tax deductions. Finally, Gusto streamlines HR processes with on-boarding, secured-document storage, time tracking, compliance, handbook creation, and more.


Asana helps project-based business owners in the tech and creative space manage workflows. While largely for marketing and creative groups, Asana packs an organizational punch for businesses with task dependencies.

From intake to completion, the software enables you to break down large projects into a series of tasks with pre-set due dates—all to ensure you meet your deadlines. In doing so, you can track the progress of a given project and increase accountability among team members.

Asana’s visual interface offers you multiple views of a project (timelines, calendars, etc.) and integrates with today’s top web-based apps to import project files.


Todoist is another of our recommended apps for small business owners with task management software targeted to entrepreneurs with heavy schedules. Where Asana helps with project management between larger teams, Todoist is geared toward small teams and individuals.

The app’s main functionality is basic (add a task and set a due date). Yet, its segmenting power is what really shines. Todoist gives you the ability to organize tasks into categories and assign priority levels.

The app also lets you set and monitor productivity goals with slick reporting features. Users especially appreciate Todoist’s reasonable price point for its premium version and its availability/synchronization across a wide range of platforms.

Apps for Your Most Valuable Asset

From accounting and bookkeeping to on-boarding and project management, today’s apps for small business owners can help you streamline routine and time-consuming financial tasks. Of course, when it comes to the financial side of your business, nothing takes the place of a financial professional.

To find out how to get more in-depth help with managing your cash positions, call 866.762.8392 to speak with a PlainsCapital Bank representative today.

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