FreshBooks has hardly been a stranger to mobile technology in the workplace. Last month, the cloud-based accounting tool, designed for SMEs, announced a collaboration with Apple to strengthen its mobile strategy. The move signaled a new push by FreshBooks to encourage small business owners to embrace mobile tech and allow them to run their business from anywhere, anytime.
Earlier this month, the firm revealed yet another partnership that falls in line with the mobile strategy. FreshBooks can now integrate with Hours, a mobile app that allows employees to easily track their working hours, the data of which can then be integrated into FreshBooks for employee and payroll management.
In an interview with PYMNTS, FreshBooks Director of Product Marketing Faraz Shafaghi said the decision to move forward with this partnership was an obvious one, considering the needs of SMEs.
“The majority of freelancers and small biz owners don’t work the typical 9-5,” said Shafaghi. “Instead, they have blocks of work and personal time interspersed throughout their 24-hour days. Using the Hours app allows users to stay organized and quickly track every minute of their day so they can look back and see exactly how they’re spending both personal and business time.”
Doing so, he added, allows these employees to integrate their working hours right into the FreshBooks system to get paid – and get paid accurately.
The solution is crucial to a large portion of the workforce, like those in the creative services industry, or those working out in the field and not in a typical office, Shafaghi said. Employees in these areas have particularly struggled with being able to track their hours worked and send an invoice to their employer. But businesses, too, are especially in need of such a solution to better manage their operations.
“Time tracking is a common pain point for many small business owners whose work requires them to be on the road,” Shafaghi said. “The ability to use mobile apps like FreshBooks to log their time and generate invoices literally puts business management at their fingertips, allowing them to conduct their bookkeeping, invoicing, and reporting immediately without having to worry about manual paperwork.”
He added that the new partnership makes it easy for SMEs to generate reports to manage expenses and invoices, and at tax time, these businesses can provide their accountants with access to the FreshBooks records to simplify tax preparation and returns.
These types of solutions are made possible by the ability for FreshBooks and Hours to track this type of employee data remotely. It’s a trend that Shafaghi said will likely continue to result in more efficient ways for small business owners to operate, as mobile devices gain traction in the workplace, and as those devices become more sophisticated.
“The smartphone is already well integrated into our everyday lives in the workplace,” Shafaghi said, adding that in the instance of FreshBooks’ partnership with Hours, employees and businesses can manage their daily schedules “with the tap of a button.”
But while the smartphone has made life easier for many in the small business community, the next step, Shafaghi said, is wearable technology.
“Wearable technology is just the next evolution,” he said. “It’s less intrusive than the phone, freeing up your hands so you’d don’t have to stop what you’re doing, and filtering for only the most important notifications and functions. Wearable technology is a great complement to the smartphone and you can imagine that it’ll only be a matter of time before it becomes the new standard in our workplaces.”