Question

What are the best financial tools for early-stage startups?

We're a startup with a team of 10 members. Expenses/accounting tool options? Which startups are solving this?

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#QuickBooks #Accounting #Expensify
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rarjunpillai's avatar
8 months ago
Expensify

Amazing integrations with SVB, Xero etc making the expense submissions a breeze. All I have to do is forward an email and the money will be credited in the account as per the policy.

11 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @rarjunpillai )
8 months ago

Expensify is pretty magical.

5 points
awwstn's avatar
9 months ago
Here's the stack we're currently using:

Accounting: Quickbooks. I've only ever used Quickbooks, and it just seems to work. It also seems to be preferred by most accountants.

Corporate credit card: Brex. I like it...nothing hugely different from the legacy CC companies, but it does come with some great deals and it's easy to spin up cards for employees with various controls.

Bank: Mercury. I was actually Mercury's 4th customer, and am biased because I'm a (very small) investor in Mercury...but I'm a huge fan. So nice to finally have a bank that knows how to build software.

Expenses: We've mostly been using the Brex cards so we don't have to do much expense reimbursement. But, I've mostly been happy with Expensify in the past.

Hope this helps!

8 points
whiterabbitexp's avatar
@whiterabbitexp (replying to @awwstn )
7 months ago

Mercury.co is total crap. We send a lot of international wire transfers, so I like their $20 intl wire fee. But it just doesn't work. I have a remote employee in Turkey, but Mercury doesn't support wires to Turkey, so I couldn't pay her. I have a contractor in Russia, but, nope, Russian isn't supported either. I send a wire to Hong Kong but it failed because "IBAN is missing". Hong Kong bank account don't support IBANs! Could pay a consultant in Georgia. Tried to schedule a payment to Japan but that failed to for "insufficient reason" (the reason I wrote was "operating expenses"). So that's 5 failed international wire transfers out of 5 attempts! Useless! Also they ignore my questions when I complain about these issues. Also, beware, their ACH and wires are slower than other banks. My Bank of America transfers to Japan are fast! I initiate them at night in Japan are the money is here in the morning. Mercury says their intl wires take 4-9 business days--an eternity! Avoid.

5 points
jamoses92's avatar
@jamoses92 (replying to @awwstn )
8 months ago

Curious to see how Stripe impacts Brex’s market share and CC offering. Lots of payment companies entering this space.

5 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @awwstn )
9 months ago

Another vote for Expensify. My previous team at Zapier used it for expense reporting and it simplified things so much. You just take a picture of receipts or forward receipt emails to it, and most of the time, Expensify automatically extracts the pricing data automatically. Then it automatically pulls all the expenses together into an expense report that rarely needs edits. It just makes expense tracking and reporting easy.

Expensify now also offers a business credit card, which I haven't used yet, but that'd simplify things even more as each charge would just be an auto-reported expense.

3 points
thenamesian's avatar
@thenamesian (replying to @maguay )
9 months ago

What are y'all using for actual tax returns/accounting services?

2 points
max_hodges's avatar
@max_hodges (replying to @thenamesian )
9 months ago
2 points
max_hodges's avatar
@max_hodges (replying to @awwstn )
9 months ago

can you invite me to the Tea room? @awwstn

3 points
awwstn's avatar
@awwstn (replying to @max_hodges )
9 months ago

Not sure how I got into it, but will look into inviting you!!

2 points
max_hodges's avatar
@max_hodges (replying to @awwstn )
8 months ago

any luck? :)

2 points
awwstn's avatar
@awwstn (replying to @max_hodges )
8 months ago

Do you have an account @max_hodges? Sounds like they don't have official invites, but that I can pass your info over to them to suggest it.

1 point
max_hodges's avatar
@max_hodges (replying to @awwstn )
8 months ago

Thanks mate! Yeah I have an account Max Hodges (company White Rabbit Ventures LLC). I reached out to them too about it, and their CEO told me they don't have invites yet! I suggested that update their FAQ. Not really a good start for them to publish inaccurate information!
from the FAQ
>How do I enter Mercury Tea Room?
>Either hold a balance of more than $250,000 in your Mercury checking account, or get invited in by a Tea Room member.
¯_(ツ)_/¯

1 point
forouzani's avatar
@forouzani (replying to @awwstn )
8 months ago

I am assuming Mercury has mobile app that you can use to deposit checks? Do you know what their monthly/daily 'check deposit limit' is?

2 points
max_hodges's avatar
@max_hodges (replying to @forouzani )
8 months ago

They don't have an app, but you can see in their FAQ: >Can I deposit checks in my account?

Yes, you can deposit checks through your Mercury dashboard by going through the Add Funds flow.

2 points
awwstn's avatar
@awwstn (replying to @forouzani )
8 months ago

They do have virtual check deposits, but I don't really use paper checks so I'm not sure what the limits look like. Do most banks put limits on this?

1 point
forouzani's avatar
@forouzani (replying to @awwstn )
8 months ago

Yeah they have limits. One of my Citi accounts has $50K daily limit, which is fine. A Chase account has a $5K daily limit, which means frequent visits to a branch just to deposit checks!
I guess it depends on how risky they assess your business to be.
Neither Citi nor Chase allow you to adjust the limits :(

1 point
singareddynm's avatar
8 months ago
Combination of Novo, Concur

Banking: particularly if you're smaller, Novo is built to service entrepreneurs / growing teams
Expenses: Concur or Expensify
Have also heard great things about Wave for payroll and invoicing

6 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @singareddynm )
8 months ago

Concur looks like an enterprise-focused tool, more than Expensify. Curious, was there was anything noticeably better about either one to you?

7 points
weizhuxiaona's avatar
8 months ago
Expenses: Brex

Brex makes spending and reimbursement much easier. Brex = Expensify + Credit Card. Especially valuable for early-stage startups and for founders.

Although, big companies are also offering corporate credit cards (Apple, Google...), every company is a bank now. Brex will face the competitions from them. Look forward to see their product and business strategies going forward.

5 points
sashla123's avatar
@sashla123 (replying to @weizhuxiaona )
8 months ago

We are based in Bangalore, India. Don't see much of Brex here. Have to explore Expensify.

2 points
weizhuxiaona's avatar
@weizhuxiaona (replying to @sashla123 )
8 months ago

Yes, Expensify is really good for expenses and reimbursement management. Brex is growing fast, maybe they are already considering the India market :)

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @sashla123 )
8 months ago

Yeah, seems like many of the new business credit card startups are US-focused for now.

Grab recently announced they're launching a numberless credit card in South-East Asia (which they're claiming is the first) so... hopefully we'll start seeing more innovation around business credit cards on this side of the world.

3 points
max_hodges's avatar
@max_hodges (replying to @maguay )
7 months ago

Actually, I see US financial innovation as a laggard. They've been trailing Asia and Europe for years. Apple's card isn't innovative; it's merely competitive. And Silicon Valley's favorite fintech company Stripe is build on credit cards, which has gone the way of the dodo in China, where people can pay with their mobile phone and a smile.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @max_hodges )
7 months ago

You have a very good point—Asia leads in financial innovation, though credit cards in Asia feel a bit stuck in the past. But yeah, paying with QR code’s is magical and such an incredible low-tech solution.

4 points
jamoses92's avatar
8 months ago
QuickBooks by Intuit

While it’s a bit pricey, and I’m sure free substitutes exist, QuickBooks is worth the money. Intuit entered this market years ago and perfected the platform. Most every fringe case has been identified and resolved.

I’m sure you’ve realized calculating/executing employee payroll, withholdings, state/federal taxes, and revenue/expense reconciliation are convoluted, poorly defined, and time intensive processes. Even worse, the cost of non-compliance is extremely high. QuickBooks covers all the bases and I’ve never had a business critical issue with them.

2 points
max_hodges's avatar
@max_hodges (replying to @jamoses92 )
7 months ago

not really. They were actually quite late to bring us a cloud-hosted solution. Quickbooks Online came years after Xero and Saasu. There are still bugs to be worked out. We're working with their tech team on a bug we found in Exchange Gain/Loss where they miscalculate currency values. Worst thing is that when you need support you very likely to only get some "thanks" for your feedback, but no resolution.

1 point
MislavCimpersak's avatar
8 months ago
A mix of tools

Quickbooks for general stuff

Brex as a corporate card

Expensify for expenses reimbursements (an employee payed with a private card)

2 points
SethSamowitz's avatar

All the tools everyone mentioned are great, but I think one very underrated part of any finance stack is a contract/ SaaS spend visualization tool. It's difficult to see how much you're spending for all your software broken down by category in Quickbooks without running a report.

There are a couple of companies that do this such as Genuity, Intello, G2 Track, and Blissfully.

I really like Genuity because it's only $30 a month and has most of the functionality of alternatives that cost $6K or more.

2 points
maguay's avatar
9 months ago
Wave for free accounting tools

Wave offers an incredible suite of accounting tools for free. You can sync transactions with your bank or import them from bank statements, track sales and purchases, send invoices to customers, and more for free. It makes money on additional services, including helping you accept payments, find a bookkeeper, purchase insurance, and manage your employee payroll, but the core accounting and invoicing tools are fully free. Most accounting tools (including QuickBooks and Xero) don't offer a free plan, which makes Wave a great option if you're looking for something free to start.

1 point
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