While picking up my dry cleaning yesterday, the woman behind the counter pointed to my stomach and said, “Whoa!” Being seven months pregnant, I was taken a bit off guard, but then she clarified what she was referring to: She was amazed at how many apps she saw on the iPhone I was holding.
OK, so I’m a self-confessed app junkie; here are my favorites for tax season:
1. Accounting: QuickBooks® Online
Quickly check the status of client invoices, resend documents, process payments, or just get inspired by your growing profit margin and how you’ll spend it in Tahiti. Note that QuickBooks Online Accountant is now integrated with Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax Online.
2. Meetings: RingCentral
Video and calls on the go, whether in line at Starbucks for a much-needed caffeine jolt (you can also order ahead on the Starbucks app), or rushing out the door to pick up your toddler. Not just for client meetings, either … if you’ve been a recluse, reach out to your family or staff to check in for morale. The best part is you control the timing, and are not subject to surprise calls and pop-ins. A silent office is a must during tax season.
3. Password Manager: DashLane
Can’t do much of anything without your codes. Being able to mass share or update with your staff during busy season is a bonus!
4. Instant Messenger: Trillian
When a client is sitting in your office on April 15 and you have about a million and one other things to do, having a reliable instant messenger is a lifesaver. My staff and I are able to communicate discretely on mini emergencies or last-minute questions without disturbing the client’s train of thought, or the much-needed lecture you are about to give them on procrastination!
5. Document Management: ShareFile
Easily review, e-sign and auto-save docs your team is working on, or resend that much needed e-signature form in a jiffy.
6. Scheduling: Google Calendar
My Google Calendar syncs to everything and, ultimately, it’s one of the most important apps to help me stay on track. If you update it on your laptop, phone or tablet, it will auto-update everywhere. Make sure yours does this, too, preferably before busy season to avoid any lost appointments. (Editor’s note: Check out the Google Calendar app for QuickBooks; with the app, you can invoice faster when your billable time appears automatically in Google Calendar.)
Honorable Mentions: Health & Sanity
Meals tend to be the last thing on our minds during tax season, which is a great disservice for the fuel our mind and body need. For as little as $2.99, you can have most local restaurants delivered to your door within an hour.
Get unlimited music of your choosing to help you stay calm and focused, or throw on some Limp Bizkit and work out your frustrations.
9. First 5
Daily biblical inspirational quotes and lessons for women that take less than five minutes to read. Even during the off season, I notice that without checking my frame of mind and purpose first thing, I easily get lost in the shuffle. If you prefer a different spiritual source or are not a woman, there are many meditation, relaxation and other bible study apps that are very highly rated.
This app’s slogan is “making it easier to be smarter.” I have to admit, I’ve felt pretty dumb after tax season, due to not keeping up with world events like everyone else. I now use my iPhone speak feature to read me the daily email summary while driving.
11. Amazon Prime Now
Order last minute office or personal necessities to have them delivered within two hours.
Grocery delivery from local chain stores, including Central Market and Kroger. I paid $100 for a year of service and never looked back. They’ve figured out how to simplify finding and choosing your typical grocery items that can be saved to your history for reorder.
Bonus App: Felt Cards
Choose a greeting card, use your phone or tablet to add your own handwriting, and even add a gift card. Felt will then mail out the card. This is an easy way to keep up with birthdays or thank yous.
Editor’s note: Tell us about your favorite professional or personal apps you use for tax season. Include a comment below, and we’ll aggregate your comments into a follow-up article on the Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax Pro Center.