With 2016 grinding to a welcomed stop, MetroMBA takes a look back at what good came from this year. Here, we examine our favorite apps for business students.
(Note: not all of these apps were released this year, rather, this just looks at what’s best out right now).
While a lot of the world’s best accounting apps can set customers back at high rates, Expensify offers easily functional expense report access completely for free (although the modest $5-9 monthly upgraded versions seems like a bargain as well). Users, whether they’re employees or employers, have the option to integrate a boatload of vital software like QuickBooks, Xero, Oracle and more, making it surprisingly easy to use.
The $9 corporate version works better for larger companies, offering more advanced styles of policy enforcement, data exporting, ability to customize workflows and more. For those that don’t necessarily love the heavy workload of data entry, the app also provides a photo image capture feature perfect for taking images of things like receipts, adding the expense to projects and letting the user relax. PC Mag loves the app as well, crowning it with an Editor’s Choice Award.
Whether you’re a student or working professional, the odds that you’ll need to access different types of files are fairly high. GoodReader gives iOS (only) users the opportunity to read PDFs, annotate texts, add drawings, notes and more. While apps like Google Drive performs similar functions, GoodReader gives users the opportunity to do it all in one place.
The crown-jewel of file sharing, DropBox is the go-to for cloud storage for small or large companies. Access is free, but users can upgrade to an $8.25 per month pro version or teams of five-plus can get a group plan, which costs $12.50 per user. With over 500 million users, it’s easy to see why DropBox reigns king when it comes to storage and sharing.
Beloved by small businesses for it’s addictingly easy usability, Square has sprouted up at restaurants, retail stores and food trucks across the country. The card reader offered works with any mobile device, giving customers the chance to pay with cards or their phones. NerdWallet gives a decisive breakdown of how it works and the costs:
“It deducts 2.75 percent of every swipe automatically—so if you sell a burrito for $10, you’ll see a net gain of $9.725 in your bank account the next day. Manually entered transactions cost 3.5 percent plus 15 cents per transaction, so the same burrito sale would net you $9.50. Square also offers a combination chip card/contactless reader that accepts mobile payments, such as Apple Pay, and EMV chip cards. It costs $49 upfront and 2.75 percent per transaction.”
Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional
Understanding a business’ relationship with customers is absolutely vital to its growth and vitality. The Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional app (bungled long title aside) is a bit pricey, starting at $25 but going as high as $75 for the most advanced version, but the performance value of the app sells itself.
The app received a glowing recommendation from PC Mag, which noted its recent improvements:
“Salesforce maintains its Editors’ Choice in the category with a fresh user interface (UI) update to the Lightning CRM sporting a streamlined sales pipeline, instant alert and best practice recommendation pop-ups, and improved drag-and-drop dashboard functionality all integrating the intelligence sales data analysis capabilities of SalesforceIQ. The company has also continued to expand its third-party marketplace of apps and add-ons, and improved its CRM feature set by integrating recently acquired software like Steelbrick’s automated quote-to-cash platform.”
There are other worthwhile customer relationship management systems available, but none offer the rabid customization that Salesforce has.
Like DropBox, Slack has become the synonymous go-to for businesses providing one key functionality: communication.
The easy to use and neatly designed interface allows teams of users to easily communicate, whether to the entire team or just one-on-one. The format is easy to customize, allowing users to add loads of different channels, and modify notifications. As well, cost access is fairly reasonable with the advanced version costing less than $7 per month per user.
For the beginner—even for non-business students—Mint is an easy starter kit for anyone who wants to prioritize their personal budget. Owned by Intuit, pulls virtually all of one’s financial info into one readable location. This includes bank statements, credit scores, balances and even how well your investments are doing. The service for free, so it’s hard not to recommend this for anyone who wants to start being serious about their money.
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