How 2 businesses use financial management tools for forecasting

Finance management tools can have a positive impact on your business. Here's how two small businesses choose and use them to grow. 

At a glance

  • Financial management tools can help small business owners get on top of their numbers and remain tax compliant.
  • They can also help you predict what your income and expenses are likely to be over the months ahead.
  • Not all software platforms are alike. You may not need a costly one with advanced accounting features.
  • Sometimes it's still worth seeking the expertise of a financial adviser.

Efficient financial management is imperative for every organisation, but it may not be every small business owner’s forte.

Fortunately, financial management tools have levelled the playing field, and there are benefits to integrating multiple functions in one place.

A wide array of software solutions can help you meticulously and accurately track your income and expenses, generate invoices, manage your payroll, ensure tax compliance, and capture and analyse your financial data – all in a single platform.

Nathan Rigney at NGR Accounting says financial management tools can prevent small business owners from overspending by organising income and expenses into categories.

“Many small business owners think they’re doing better than they actually are,” he says. “Categorising your money helps ensure you have enough for taxes and staff super, for example, and you’ll detect any cash flow problems as they arise.”

Nathan likes Xero’s Budget Manager, which enables you to see your profit and loss and what you have to spend, while a premium version can analyse your data and where your business is going.

“If you keep a really clean file over time, you can look at your trends, which can help you project into the future.”

Benefits for businesses

Tristan Evert says QuickBooks Online has been instrumental in getting his digital marketing agency On the Move Marketing off the ground.

“I use it for everything,” he explains. “It sends recurring invoices to repeat clients, sorts my bank transactions and income into tax categories, and calculates my GST. My tax return is ready in 10 minutes.”

As with any new program, Tristan says it took some time to get used to the layout, but now he’s set up the rules, “everything happens automatically”.

“I definitely recommend sitting down with your accountant who can take you through different features and how you use them,” he says.

He loves being able to check what’s coming in and going out each month, and the projections for his business over the months ahead.

“This allows me to work out when I need to cut back on spending or find new clients.”

Here are five of the tools on the market for sole traders and small businesses.

Tools for financial management


Quickbooks allows business owners to manage finances, track expenses and create invoices. It’s regularly updated and boasts robust security measures.

However, integration can be tricky and it only allows one company per account.

“QuickBooks is doing everything I need it to do and it’s easy to navigate.” – Tristan Evert


Xero is loved for its intuitive and user-friendly interface and enables users to generate invoices, track expenses, conduct payroll and customise insightful financial reports.

But like many financial tools, it can take a while to get your head around all its features and you may need additional software for advanced accounting.

With Prospa, you can open a Prospa Business Account and sync your transactions to Xero, which can help you simplify admin.

“Even the basic Xero model has a budgeting tool where you can set down parameters around your target revenue. Then you can run reports to see whether you’ve met that target.” – Nathan Rigney


Rounded is designed with sole traders and freelancers in mind and provides a simple, intuitive and beautiful interface that allows users to send invoices, track their income, manage their expenses and keep up to date with tax requirements.

However, it doesn’t provide payroll functions, or track inventory or expenses.

“The biggest bonus of accounting software is the time saving. I don’t have to calculate anything.” – Tristan Evert


One of Australia’s most popular accounting platforms, MYOB is scalable for both small and large businesses, and boasts all the usual features plus payroll, detailed reporting capabilities and comprehensive inventory management.

But for those only seeking basic accounting, it may be too complex and expensive.


Ideal for sole traders and small businesses, FreshBooks is easy to use and simplifies invoicing, expense tracking and time management.

It’s more affordable than some on the market but may be limited for those seeking advanced accounting features.

“Often the basic model of a subscription is enough to manage your numbers.” – Nathan Rigney

But while accounting software is an essential way for small business owners to crunch their numbers, they don’t take human behaviours and habits into account, which is where a financial adviser can help, says Nathan.

“You need to actually interpret the data to take action on your business. This will help you see what may be holding you back, where you need to focus your attention, and the parts of your business you could outsource.”

As we’ve seen, controlling your business finances in one place can assist your business’s financial management. Learn more about how a Prospa Business Account can help you send, receive and make payments, so you can get to the next thing on your list.

The information in this post is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. Nothing contained in this post constitutes advice or an endorsement or recommendation of any kind by Prospa. Any links to third party websites are strictly for informational purposes only. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information as at the date of publication, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information for any reason, including due to the passage of time, or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.