BEST MONEY MAN­AGE­MENT TOOLS

The mar­ket for op­er­a­tional and fi­nan­cial soft­ware is thriv­ing: here are five of the most pop­u­lar apps

Computer Arts - - Need To Know -

BILLINGS PRO

Good for agen­cies that want a spe­cific app for their fi­nan­cial af­fairs to work along­side other stu­dio man­age­ment tools. Very Ap­ple friendly (they make a big play of it work­ing with the Ap­ple Watch) and good value at £6.50 per user per month or £63 for the year. www.mar­ket­cir­cle.com/ billingspro

STREAM­TIME

De­vel­oped with New Zealand’s Q Brand Agency, Stream­time is very fo­cused on pro­vid­ing soft­ware that works in the spe­cific con­text of the de­sign world (i.e. “Timesheets cre­atives will ac­tu­ally use”.) Not cheap at £29 per team mem­ber per month, but it’s com­pre­hen­sive and cus­tomer sup­port is good. www.stream­time.net

FREEAGENT

Aimed at small busi­nesses of all types rather than at cre­ative agen­cies specif­i­cally, FreeAgent is a se­ri­ous op­tion for com­plex or­gan­i­sa­tions with very fi­nan­cially-fo­cused ob­jec­tives. It of­fers dif­fer­ent price points (£29 a month for a Lim­ited Com­pany, down to £19 a month for a sole trader) and you can have un­lim­ited users on an ac­count. Its clear dash­board of­fers fea­tures such as a live profit and loss tracker, and you can man­age your tax af­fairs through it as well. www.freeagent.com

STUDIOCLOUD

Another good gen­er­al­ist op­tion (its client list in­cludes wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phers, tat­too artists and mas­sage ther­a­pists along­side de­sign stu­dios). It’s free for one user, climb­ing to £22 a month for two users and £41 for three or more. There’s a huge num­ber of fea­tures in­clud­ing a few un­usual ones such as in-built e-sig­na­ture soft­ware and help cre­at­ing tar­geted mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. www.studiocloud.com

HIVEAGE

Launched in 2014 as the suc­ces­sor to Cur­d­bee, Hiveage is good for stu­dios that have very spe­cific re­quire­ments, as from £4.50 a month you can pick and choose the fea­tures that are most rel­e­vant. Prices are steeper for the un­lim­ited pack­ages (£192 a year for five users and £320 for 10) so the cre­ate-your-own op­tion is tempt­ing. www.hiveage.com

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