B2B Payments

Invoicing (And Funding) With A Focus On SMB Mobility

Small business owners are frequently on the go and may not have time at day’s end to settle back into the office and reconcile invoices. A new app from ZipBooks helps small business owners track invoicing, accounting and even get funding — all from the field.

Small business cash flow management is a sometimes dicey maneuver between waiting for money to come in and waiting to spend money. And mixed in with the waiting is a lot of rushing — to the next client call, the next prospective client call, the next site visit and the bank.

In an effort to increase the flexibility and mobility of payments, literally, ZipBooks has unveiled its free iPhone-based app geared toward helping business owners grab capital when it is needed and also send invoices.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Tim Chaves, founder and chief executive office of the company, said that the movement toward getting payments done in the field is one that can help improve cash flow across a variety of verticals.

He noted his own time as an entrepreneur with a software design firm, previous to founding ZipBooks, where the business “looked good on paper … but cash flow could sometimes become a problem. Not billing, necessarily, but sometimes it could become difficult to project cash needs on a day-to-day basis.” The executive stated that, in some cases, small businesses owners may have to scramble to meet payroll, to ensure that funds are in place for equipment purchases or to juggle invoices that really can’t wait till the end of the day and an in-person visit to the office.

That can especially be the case with smaller businesses that rely on face-to-face client visits to generate sales, such as plumbing, landscaping or “anyone whose business really is not one where they are in front of a desktop all day,” according to Chaves, who added that, even though his clients had used the eponymous accounting and invoicing functions on desktops, SMB owners had also been clamoring for mobile options. Barely a week out of the gate, a significant number of active users have also embraced the mobile app. “It’s possible now,” he said, “to get work done on a mobile device where it had never been possible before.”

The fact remains, as statistics show, that SMBs are becoming ever more reliant on mobile for day-to-day activities. Data released covering 2014 found that, of the smallest firms surveyed — those with one to 19 employees — the use of business apps was growing at a compounded annual growth rate in the mid-teen percentages.

In terms of funding, the accounting iPhone app, which uses the cloud to store data, also lets users opt to click on invoices received with a “get paid now” button, setting up a process through which cash advances can be sent to the business’ bank account and then finance charges work out to 0.5 percent a week over a 12-week repayment plan.

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