October 30, 2014

WorkingPoint: Bookkeeping, Invoicing and Contact Management in One

WorkingPoint is online business management software for small businesses.  It is an ambitious and  comprehensive offering that includes bookkeeping, invoicing, contact management, inventory management, a public marketing profile, and more.

As a web-based software solution, you don’t load any software on your machine; it is all on the Internet.

The main advantage of many of today’s software-as-a-service applications is they’re ready to use right now. Most of them require very little customization and often have templates specific for your business. In fact, even the registration form is simpler and faster to complete than standard software.

WorkingPoint is no exception: They only require a company name, username, password, and your email to get started. Oh, they also ask, “how did you hear about us?”

Dashboard

Once you register, you are instantly taken to a dashboard, a control panel of everything you can do in this invoicing and online bookkeeping solution. The dashboard elegantly packs in a lot of information.  Rather than try to cram more in, it provides an intuitive text link, such as: See All Invoices in the Who’s Overdue box. What I really like about the dashboard is it has a customizable interface. I can drag and drop any of the items into another area as it suits me.

This image below is the original dashboard. All of the main components are across the top nav bar in blue. The last one which I cut off is Profile (it is not an essential item to getting your bookkeeping done, but useful for social networking and traffic building — more on this later).

WorkingPoint First Page Screenshot

In less than 10 seconds, I configured a new dashboard arrangement. All the boxes on the page are movable.  You grab the top of the box and drag and drop it to where you want it. Notice how the boxes are different in the following image. I’ve circled in red the three changes I made. Banking Summary is now in the upper right. Who’s Overdue and Who Do I Owe are now front and center, which apply to my day as I think about my cash flow.

WorkingPoint dashboard 2

Contact Management

Working Point not only has bookkeeping, but also has a Contact Management section.  This is especially useful for managing customer contacts.  You can indicate who the individual contacts are at your customers’ company; add notes about conversations or meetings you’ve held with them; and other important information so that you don’t have to rely on memory or a separate contact management application to share information with others on the team.  But it’s not limited to customers… you can add any contacts you want.

Migrating to a new software package usually has a learning curve and data transition period (sometimes you’re stuck manually entering data). Not so in WorkingPoint.  The usual long slog of putting in contacts and client information for invoicing is well thought out here. They created an Import Contacts tool. You can upload a vCard or csv file with ease. Contacts could also be called Customers, in case you’re wondering.

I didn’t get stuck in my testing of WorkingPoint, but that was partly because they have little help tips in each screen (which you can turn on or off). The help tips contain links to more detailed, easy-to-read explanations in the online help center.

Bookkeeping

WorkingPoint offers double entry bookkeeping.  The accounts section is the category where you put expenses and income items. It had most of what you would need for a new company already preloaded, but you could customize them or add new ones fairly easily. This is just a subset of the 40 available by default.

WorkingPoint Accounts

For those who bill through Paypal, WorkingPoint has a great breakdown on its blog about how to handle PayPal transactions so that the income gets separated from the Paypal fees. In fact, their blog has a number of down-to-earth, tactical ideas for managing your business.

You can manage and track expenses, cash and receivables from the system on your dashboard in the form of helpful charts and tables.  The system also handles financial management.

Inventory Management

The system also offers a module to manage your inventory, so that you know what you have on hand, when to order, and so on.

Company Profile

I mentioned the Profile tab, above. This is a really smart move that I haven’t seen many online accounting packages offer.  Your accounting and contact information and other confidential information is, of course, kept private.  But they offer a separate public profile page that let me link out to my Twitter prage, my blog, even a Yelp profile.   And if you do not have a website for your business, you can use your Public Profile page as a quick substitute until you can get a website up and running, or simply to create another page on the Web giving visibility to your business.  So, these guys get that there’s value in building a network within their new service.

I only had one challenge with the service and that was, after several tests, it just seemed to run a bit slow. It could have been my broadband connection acting up, but it did it in various time periods. Not a dealbreaker, by any means. I need to go slower when I do my bookkeeping and billing work, anyway One other small point was I couldn’t go back to the company home page without logging out. Both of these are very small points, to be sure.

Who WorkingPoint is Best For

If I were just starting a new business, I would think very seriously about this solution. It has almost all of what you need to manage your company’s finances in an easy-to-use interface, plus the added benefits of contact management and a marketing profile that you normally don’t find in free accounting or bookkeeping packages. The first user is free, forever, which makes it hard to pass up and, at least, try it out.  Additional users can be added for a modest monthly fee starting at $10 a month.

The company’s website mentions specifically that it’s right for “freelancers, consultants and service providers of all types.”  For U.S. businesses only.

Learn more about WorkingPoint.

25 Comments ▼

TJ McCue - Product Editor


TJ McCue TJ McCue served as Technology/Product Review Editor for Small Business Trends for many years and now contributes on 3D technologies. He is currently traveling the USA on the 3DRV roadtrip and writes at the Refine Digital blog.

25 Reactions

  1. TJ: Thanks for showing this software. I like to read your reviews. Could you compare WorkingPoint with some other solutions on the market? I like the idea that you have several features in one package.

  2. WorkingPoint is an impressive new entry into the field. The comprhensive accounting is a plus and the price is extremely competetive. I’d also like to recommend Time59 (www.time59.com) which is great for people, like lawyers, who mainly bill for their time.

  3. Geez, free really?! That’s awesome. The PayPal feature is a big help for me as usually all my customers use it to pay me. It’s so confusing with all their fees so if this eliminated some of that, I’d be very pleased.

  4. Interesting. I’ll have to try in out.

  5. I’ve tried WorkingPoint as well as similar products such as Freshbooks, Harvest, Less Accounting, Cashboard…

    Out of all of them, I liked WorkingPoint the best it just feels like the highest quality software of them all. The others feel cheap. You can tell WorkingPoint is made by professionals

  6. This looks way too complicated. I’m sticking with Cashboard – http://www.getcashboard.com

  7. @Martin, thanks for the idea.
    @Chris, I’ll go take a look at Time59 — sounds like they have a great focus.
    @Amanda — I couldn’t agree more about Paypal.

  8. @David Brown — thanks for letting us know that you’ve seen some value in WorkingPoint. I saw Harvest mentioned in another post a year or so ago (i’m sure there are more now), so I’ll have to go check them out again.

    @James, thanks for the feedback. I remember WebWorkerDaily or Lifehacker, or both, wrote about Cashboard. I’ll have to revisit those posts and take a look.

  9. we will need to see their benefits, it’s three in one opps!!! i guess this is another opportunity online again.
    thanks for sharing TJ.

  10. Sounds like a decent CRM, especially when it’s free. It sure stands out among the rest! I have to give it a try.

  11. Great article! I’ve always viewed free programs, especially ones that are more complex like accounting software, with some skepticism. You might have me thinking a little differently now, so I’ll have to check it out.

    I’ve been in the world of mid-tier accounting and CRM software for five years now and have always kept my eyes on the lower end of the market to know what’s out there. One product that particularly caught my attention is SageCRM, which isn’t really what you’d call a low-end software product. Actually it’s decidedly mid-tier. It’s a full-blown customer relationship management product from Sage, developers of Peachtree, ACT! and SalesLogix.

    What’s interesting about SageCRM is that it used to only integrate with the more advanced accounting software products like MAS 90 and Sage Accpac ERP. Now, however, thanks to Gretrix, there is a link between SageCRM and QuickBooks. The Greytrix link now provides true bi-directions flow of data between the two products!

    What does that mean for QuickBooks users? They can now utilize a robust, browser-based CRM system to enter orders and check customer status in QuickBooks either from the office or from a remote location such as a home, an airport or a customer location. From quote creation to invoicing, SageCRM will allow companies that use QuickBooks to be more nimble and responsive to customer needs.

    This isn’t something to sneeze at either! With so much integration, SageCRM is poised to push productivity through the roof for some small companies. The reason I’m sharing this is because, as you astutely recognized in your review WorkingPoint, an accounting solution alone is not enough for small businesses to thrive any more. They need an integrated system that can schedule sales calls, follow up on leads, create quotes, log key communications with customers and vendors, track marketing campaigns, see a customer’s account status, automate A/R collections and more.

    To be successful today, you have to have a 360-degree view of business. Indeed, a business must be nimble enough to respond to changing customer tastes and needs. A business must stay fresh on the minds of customers and prospects to be remembered. Bottom line – a business must operate with fewer resources yet somehow do more than ever before. That can only come with greater integration between key business software.

    What Greytrix has done with its new link is allow millions of QuickBooks users to start running like a Fortune 500 company, without the corresponding price tag. SageCRM is not expensive for most small companies, especially compared to the productivity boost they will get by having so much more flexibility to conduct their business.

    QuickBooks and SageCRM are now unlikely partners and the beneficiaries are small businesses across the US.

    To follow these thoughts and others impacting small businesses, check out my blog: http://www.mindovercorp.com/blog.
    David Manzer

  12. I ran my business on QuickBooks for 13 years. After paying for several forced upgrades over the years, I always felt the QB product got too complicated for running a business like mine (consulting and data processing). Paying for each upgrade brought me the privilege of fighting with a new and unfamiliar interface and some downtime I couldn’t afford. I signed up for WorkingPoint and got up and running literally in minutes. Invoices are easy to produce, very professional looking, and a snap to email to my clients. I can access my books remotely through the web, which is key when I’m traveling or on-site with a client. And it’s free.

  13. Looks good, if you like this you should definitely check out Moobiz http://www.moobiz.com

    Moobiz includes CRM, accounting (with bank account reconciliation), invoicing (and statements), cost estimates, project management (with workspaces and file management); the business management aspects even include a shared calendar, to-dos, holiday management, business mileage tracking, company minutes and purchase orders.

    You can also create and manage a fully featured website/ecommerce site, all of which ties into the main CRM.

    It’s web based and is all available for a small business friendly monthly fee.

  14. WorkingPoint is the best single solution I’ve found for small businesses — especially for solopreneurs. Not only do I use it for my business, but after years of headache, I migrated my father’s business off of QuickBooks and onto it effortlessly. And when my small business clients ask me about my recommendations for solutions, I always show them WorkingPoint. And, without fail, they are always stunned at how simple it is — and then even more stunned by the price.

  15. This is a great discussion!

    For far too long small businesses have been force fed ‘accounting’ solutions by unscrupulous and thoughtless vendors who really do not understand that business is a lifecycle from marketing lead to cash and all of the bits that happen in between.

    Buying an accounting system only gives you the end of the story, and you wouldn’t buy a book on that basis would you? Large enterprises worked out years ago they needed one system to run their business, instead of buying point solutions (like accounting, CRM etc)and trying to get them to work together. Massive software vendors now exist because of this need. SAP, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, Workday etc etc.

    Big businesses have big budgets and access to all of the software and expertise they want. More than 55% of all small businesses don’t survive past five years – if this was the case in the corporate world then we would all know about it. When a small business dies its just like a tree falling in a forest, not that many see it and only a few bystanders are affected.

    Every small business is different, the market is huge and the mess left by the accounting system and CRM system vendors needs cleaning up.

    The good news is the tide is beginning to turn. Salesorder.com is small business ERP Software as a Service, we have customers in 21 countries. Like WorkingPoint we ‘get’ small businesses, we dont ask for long term commitments, we don’t cost a fortune and we know that we are providing a service not a product. WorkingPoint and Salesorder.com isn’t for everyone but they are both great examples.

    Salesorder.com provides a ’boutique’ service…every one of our customers is not a small business – its a team of individuals doing something different to the next business. This means we don’t try and sell a one size fits all solution. We engage, listen, understand and suggest a way forward. We let everyone use the system for free.

    We ain’t afraid to tell any prospect our service isn’t for you and point them towards something that is. That’s how you get loyal customers and we have lots of them.

    The team at salesorder.com applaud solutions like Working Point, we like what you do and we are glad to be in the same tribe as you.

    Keep it up

    Nick

    CEO salesorder.com

    small business heroes

  16. We are using a different contact management product but are looking for something that can do inventory, taxes etc. I will look into this product.

    Thanks for the pointer.

  17. This all-in-one software topic is becoming more prominent. Indeed, who wants to pay for all separate licences, and manage different accounts, including transfering data between them, when you can have an all-in-one that does the job as well or even better.

    Kudoz to WorkingPoint for this software. I still think it’s only the first step to making all-in-one software available to small businesses.

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