Source: unDraw

Our in-house marketing team members come from four different countries (USA, Canada, India and Hungary). We use external freelance writers for some of our content creation efforts. We also work with an Austin based PR agency (Treble PR) for our public relation campaigns. As a team we are responsible for marketing the following products: FileCloud (#1 Enterprise File Sharing) and AirSend (Simple Communication Platform for Clients and Teams). 

Here are some of the apps, tools and services we use to run our marketing team. We use a mix of self-hosted tool and SaaS products. Some of them are well-known, and some of them you may or may not have heard of. We’re sharing this list because we think it might help marketing or other small teams like us.

Because the list is pretty long, I’ve divided the apps, tools and services into seven categories: communication, knowledge sharing, file management, content creation, content delivery, marketing analytics, and all others. Here they are:

Communication

Source: unDraw

Gmail – Email

Gmail is self-explanatory. It’s the gold standard for email, with good spam protection and cool features like smart compose.

The good: we’re not paying anything for G-suite because we were early adopters and are still getting it for free.

The bad: the only downside to Gmail the team can think of is that, while the iOS app is good, it lacks some functionalities available in a web browser like templates.

Zoom – Video Conferencing, Webinars, and Company-wide Calls

For webinars and company-wide calls, we use Zoom. We also use it for market research interviews and our other video conferencing needs with both free and paid accounts.

The good: it’s great that the free version of Zoom lets you have up to 40 minute calls, which is more than enough for most meetings.

The bad: Zoom isn’t good for one-on-one calls, the Mac client glitches sometimes, and we don’t like that the app starts when you click on a meeting link in your browser when it would be more convenient just to have the call in the browser. The recent security issues are also a concern.

AirSend – Team Chat

For team messaging, we use AirSend. It’s better for us compared to Slack because of the read receipts, Office 365 integration, and email to channel capabilities. We can also easily create different channels to work with external teams like our PR firm and freelance writers.

The good: the clean, clutter-free UI is great, and the built-in task management tools, file management system, and share notes help us bring everything into one place in terms of collaboration.

The bad: AirSend doesn’t have as many integrations as Slack currently.

Olark – Live Chat Software

Olark is what we use to provide and run the live chat windows on our product websites.

The good: it’s easy to use once integrated, and they offer good support.

The bad: it can get expensive if you have multiple websites.

Email Marketing

Sendy – Email Sending and Tracking

We use Sendy to send and track a portion of our larger email campaigns. It has a simple UI and is pretty reliable.

The good: Sendy is reliable and cheap (around 10 times less expensive than MailChimp.

The bad: in order to design professional-looking emails, you need to know html.

MailChimp – Email Sending and Tracking

The rest of our email campaigns are done through MailChimp. The platform is easy-to-use, with drag-and-drop capabilities to create beautiful emails without needing to know any coding.

The good: reliable and easy to use.

The bad: it can get pretty expensive. We pay $300+ for it every month.

MixMax – Email Tracking

We use MixMax to send and track small email campaigns we send from our Gmail accounts.

The good: MixMax lets you create contact lists and email sequences for those contact lists. It then tracks your open, replied, and bounce rates.

The bad: the free version of MixMax doesn’t do any of that. You need to use the paid version to get the sequences and the numbers.

Knowledge Sharing

Source: unDraw

Trello – Task Management

Though our teams are currently using Trello, we are transitioning our task management to AirSend to be more streamlined. Nonetheless, Trello is a wonderful task manager. The UI is smooth and the UX is satisfying.

The good: users can create unlimited cards, apply labels, use checklists, write descriptions, and add integrations. Trello is also known for its aesthetic backgrounds.

The bad: you have to scroll through everything until you find what you’re looking for, which is an issue when you have a long list.

BookStack – Internal Wiki

We use BookStack for internal company documentation and host it ourselves. Other Wiki tools like Confluence can become very expensive as the number of users increase. That’s why we moved from Confluence to AirSend as our company grew from four people to over fifty people.

The good: it’s cheap and effective.

The bad: haven’t found any downsides yet.

Discourse – Team and Individual Reports

For weekly team and individual activity reports, we use another self-hosted tool called Discourse. It basically allows us to self-host a private, online forum. We’ve also used it to collect entries and entry votes for our company Olympics where we made themed GIFs to win prizes.

The good: it’s effective and fun to use.

The bad: you have to be at least a little tech savvy to set it up and start using it.

File Management

Source: unDraw

FileCloud – File Sharing and Repository

We use FileCloud as our secure file repository. It’s a very powerful file management tool that has a drive client and sync capabilities. This is where we keep our invoices, resumes, receipts, tax records, etc. We also keep our marketing images, interview recordings, research PowerPoints, and other team materials here.

The good: FileCloud makes it very easy to upload, organize, and share files.

The bad: no downsides to report.

Content Creation

Source: unDraw

Microsoft Office and G-Suite – Document Creation and Editing

The team uses both Microsoft Office and G-Suite to create and edit documents.

Some pros: easy to use, lots of capabilities, standard which makes collaboration streamlined. 

Some cons: with Microsoft Office in particular, you’ll need a paid account to easily look at and edit documents, which can get expensive.

Native Mac – Screenshots and Video Recording

Team members with Macs use command + shift + 5 on their Macs to record their screens and take screenshots for product explainer videos, GIFs, and product images.

The good: it’s easy and quick to use, and comes with your Mac. Also, videos come in MOV format, which can be directly edited in iMovie.

The bad: if you don’t have a Mac, you can’t do this.

iMovie (Mac) – Video Editing

To make product explainer videos and other videos for our websites and Youtube channels, team members with Macs use iMovie.

The good: it’s a very simple app that comes with your Mac and takes very little time to figure out.

The bad: it’s lacking in features compared to products like Adobe Premiere, but it has enough capabilities to quickly make simple videos.

OBS Studio (Windows) – Video Recording

To record videos, team members with Windows use OBS Studio. It’s a video/screen recorder with better video quality and speed than other apps we’ve tried. After recording, all files are sent to a designated folder of your choosing, and other built-in tools, like streaming, studio-mode, fades, audio mixer, and scene transitions make it a streamlined and powerful tool.

The good: like DaVinci Resolve, the UX is easy to learn.

The bad: recordings are MKV files, which do not work with DaVinci. The solution is to use a video converter.

DaVinci Resolve – Video Editing (Windows)

Team members with Windows OS use DaVinci Resolve to make product explainer videos and other videos. It’s an easy-to-use tool for beginner video editors. Though it looks complicated at first, the UX is actually really simple.

The good: those who are brand new into video editing find it simple to learn how to use, you can organize projects into folders, and it’s free.

The bad: the product has shut down on several occasions in the middle of use. So definitely save your work every 5-10 minutes.

Snagit (Windows) – Screenshots and GIFs 

Team members with Windows also sometimes use Snagit to take screenshots and make GIFs.

The good: it’s a simple, free screen capture software that makes things easy for quick projects that require minimal editing.

The bad: it’s not as smooth to use as the native Mac screenshot tool.

Voice Recorder – Video Audio and Interviews

To record voiceovers for videos and record market research interviews, we use the voice recorder app that comes with our computers. It’s convenient and pretty self-explanatory.

Balsamiq – Low Fidelity Design

Whether it’s putting together basic designs for the UI of a product or creating concepts for our website, Balsamiq has been great.

The good: it allows us to create and share ideas quickly with its drag and drop graphics.

The bad: you can’t make more detailed mock-ups. Balsamiq is best for fast brainstorming and coming up with general layouts.

Sketch – Design Mock-ups

To create more detailed design mock-ups, we use Sketch.

The good: unlike Balsamiq, you can create very life-like designs that look exactly as you imagine the UI or website will appear once it is built.

The bad: because it is a more specialized product, not everyone you work with will have it and be able to open and view Sketch files. But it is easy to export Sketch files as PDFs, so this is not a big deal.

Canva – Social Media Images

Canva makes it easy to find images and patterns and make visual content. Though there are paid and free versions, we recommend you use the paid version for your business. We use Canva to make our social media images and blog banners.

The good: you can create your own brand kit, upload photos, and create customized content without the skills needed to use tools like Adobe Illustrator.

The bad: more money out of your pocket. But worth it.

unDraw – Illustrations

For illustrations for our blog posts (like the ones you see in this post), we use unDraw. It’s a free library of illustrations that you can download and use in your projects.

The good: we like it because you can customize the color and because it helps create consistent visuals in your blog free of charge.

The bad: we have gotten feedback from a designer with a more keen eye that it’s obvious the images are stock pictures.

Content Delivery

Source: unDraw

Self-Hosted WordPress – Content Management

To manage and post to our blog, we use self-hosted WordPress. WordPress has become a gold standard for blogging, and it’s obvious why.

The good: it’s easy to use and has integrations with tools like Yoast SEO to make creating and publishing blog posts simple and fast.

The bad: no downsides so far.

Buffer – Social Media Marketing

We use Buffer to manage and schedule social media posts. The paid account allows you to manage more than one social media account, which is helpful for us.

The good: the design is simple, which makes it easy to use, and re-sharing posts is much simpler with Buffer than without.

The bad: sometimes the website can crash, causing you to lose your posts. There is also a limit on file size when posting media, and there is some lagging on the website when scheduling posts. Also, it costs extra to analyze posts.

HootSuite – Social Media Marketing

We also use HootSuite to manage and schedule social media posts. Hootsuite is more expensive and can appear more complicated to use, but it has more features than Buffer, such as automatic scheduling at peek times. On a basic level, they do the same things though.

The good: cheaper than Hootsuite and effective.

The bad: lacking in certain features.

Marketing Analytics

Source: unDraw

Google Analytics – Website Analytics

Google Analytics is a data analysis tool by Google which records all user actions on the website. We use this tool to check our website traffic, specific page traffic, blog traffic, some specific user actions, like registration form submissions etc. Basically, this tool shows a dashboard view to many such user actions happening on our websites. we can create custom reports, check users coming from various sources and generate many marketing insights to manage our marketing activities.

The good: Google analytics is probably the best and closest tool to data analysis for any website and all other tools integrate with GA to get more data.

The bad: there are no cons for this tool.

SEMrush – SEO Research

This tool is another data analysis and research tool which has a few more data points compared to google analytics. We can create some projects to check specific pages, keywords and track our SEO rankings. SEMrush is also very good with research, so you can find keywords, new topics which are trending on specific keywords and much more. One more area we use this tool for is competitors analysis.

The good: we can track competitor rankings, competitor topics, backlinks, compare pages, keyword rankings and much more.

The bad: there aren’t many cons, but you may have to buy extra packages for a lot of useful reports even thought you’re already paying a lot. Feature wise, their keyword research tool could be a little better, but it’s decent enough.

Answer the Public – SEO Shortcut

Answer the Public is a SEO shortcut that has saved us a lot of time. It puts together autocomplete data from search engines and gives you every relevant phrase and question people are searching for around your keywords.

The good: it’s a quick and easy way to come up with blog post titles.

The bad: the free version only lets you do three searches per day.

Inspectlet

To see how potential customers are experiencing our website and find ways to improve, we use Inspectlet. The tool records videos of every person visiting your website so you can see how long they stay on each page, where they scroll, and what they click and look at.

The good: it’s a very useful analytics tool to help you make a better, more effective website experience.

The bad: haven’t seen any downsides yet.

All Others

Source: unDraw

KeePassX – Password management

As a team grows, a necessary tool is something to contain and share information like product social media account log-ins and email address log-ins. To keep our shared account usernames and passwords safe and in one place, we use KeePassX.

The good: it’s straightforward and secure.

The bad: none so far.

Google Forms – Surveys

We create market research and product feedback surveys using Google Forms. It’s free and easy to make and send surveys this way.

The good: we like the integration with Google Sheets, which takes all of the survey responses and puts it into a Google Sheet that is automatically updated each time there is a new response.

The bad: it’s hard to make it look as fancy and nice as Survey Monkey surveys.

YouTrack – Product Tickets

Last but not least, we use YouTrack to create, track, and complete product tickets. This is self-hosted to save us money.

The good: this is an easy way for the marketing team to share information with the development team about bugs or other feedback from customers. You can also create wishlists in YouTrack.

The bad: none so far.

Calendly – Scheduling

For scheduling product demos, we use Calendly.

The good: you can embed Calendly forms into your website or send a link, and all scheduled calls show up in your calendar so that you don’t miss anything.

The bad: none so far.

What apps do you use?

As you can see, we use quite a few different apps, tools and services to run our marketing team. We hope that sharing this list and talking about our likes and dislikes of each one can help you find the right mix of apps for your needs.

Happy working!

The AirSend and FileCloud Marketing Team

Source: unDraw

As technology and global events continue to transform the world we live in, it’s important that we as real estate agents don’t fall behind. Virtual home tour technology has been around for a while, but many still overlook it when building our real estate business. Instead, we repeat the same mistakes over and over again when trying to attract home buyers which costs us time, money, and clients.

We all want to avoid the pain of coming to the end of a listing contract without having sold the home. To do so, we need to gain a better understanding of virtual tours and how to implement them in their selling process. A good virtual tour, or real estate video tour, can be an important part of the home buying experience that saves the agent time and makes both the seller and buyer very happy.

The rest of this article will give you all of the information you need to create the best virtual home tours for your clients.

What is a virtual tour?

Source: unDraw

One of the problems in our industry is that everyone has a different definition for “virtual tour,” and few virtual home tours actually address the needs of the buyer market. Some people call video walkthroughs virtual tours, others provide navigable 3D models, and yet others say that photo slide shows are virtual tours.

While there is no right or wrong answer to the question, the important thing is that your virtual tour sees the home from buyers’ eyes, displays the home well, and highlights the key features that potential buyers are looking for.

Here are some additional qualities of an effective virtual tour:

  • The tour uses real footage of the house and is not a digital recreation.
  • You can easily access the tour using a web browser or phone.
  • The technical aspects of the tour are good quality, such as fast load speed and high image resolution.
  • The tour complements the home’s best aspects and backs up your other marketing materials.
  • The tour gives buyers the feeling of going to the home in person.

How to create a good virtual tour experience

Now that we know the basic characteristics of a good virtual home tour, it’s time to talk about how you can make one for your clients. Whether you choose to use 3D home tour technology, a video camera, or your phone to create the tour, follow the steps below for the best results.

Step 1: Stage the home

Source: unDraw

Buyers are looking for a place they can imagine living in and displaying an empty house does not help their imagination. Most people need furniture and décor to provide a sense of familiarity and scale. The key is to strike a good balance. Too much clutter and staging can steal attention away from the actual home. Too little can make the space seem impersonal. If interior design is not your strongest skill, consider hiring a professional stager to help. This step can make or break your virtual home tour.

Step 2: Have good lighting

Anyone who’s taken a selfie knows that lighting makes a difference. Just like various lighting can make your nose look cute or huge, lighting in a house effects buyers’ impressions. Always avoid dim or moody lighting and make sure that lighting is consistent everywhere in the house. Also try to choose the best time of day to take your videos and photos depending on the direction that the home faces. By putting together ample daylight with well-placed artificial lighting, you will be able to best capture each space in the home.

Step 3: See from the eyes of the buyer

Source: unDraw

Since the best virtual tours mimic the experience of a real, in-person house tour, think from the perspective of the buyer. What would a buyer want to look at? Where would they go? Every view you choose to pause at should be a natural place where someone would stop in a room. Quick tip: people tend to linger at windows with interesting views and landings that overlook other parts of the house. Make sure your virtual tour feels like an authentic experience.

Step 4: Highlight the best and special parts of the home

Just like any other marketing collateral, you want to highlight the best aspects of the home in your virtual tour. Even though some parts of a home don’t seem important, they can show off the unique personality of the space. Part of this is remembering to show the outdoor areas of a home. Start the virtual tour with a street view so that buyers know what it’s like to walk up to the house from their car. Also include any patios, gardens, or other outdoor living spaces.

Step 5: Make it a whole package

Source: unDraw

Consistency is important when it comes to the marketing materials. Make sure your photos, brochures, and floorplans match the image of the home that you have conveyed in your virtual tour. When everything works together, your buyer will feel like they have visited the home even before they step through the front door. If there are inconsistencies, you will lose their trust and, most likely, their business.

Step 6: Choose the right delivery system

Once you have put together a complete marketing package with your virtual tour, 2D photos, brochures, and floor plans, it is time to choose the right way to send this package to potential buyers. AirSend lets you share and organize large files and send messages to people with ease. The ability to drag and drop large files from a built-in file management system and send them all in one place makes sharing virtual tours and other materials fast and cost effective with AirSend. Other delivery system options include email, which can be clunky and hard to keep track of, and only placing the materials on your website, which is less personal.

Ready to make good virtual tours?

Source: unDraw

Just because potential buyers may not be able to visit homes in person doesn’t mean they can’t still do a home tour. Technology exists to solve our problems, and virtual tours can do a lot for real estate agents like us during these unusual times. Now that you have all of the information you need to create the best virtual home tours for your clients, it’s time to get moving. Good luck!

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for real estate professionals to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you as your business grows here.

Now that AirSend is taking off, it is time to feature the latest updates. In this blog post, we share a video with you that summarizes the best and efficient ways to share files with clients using AirSend.

Ultimately, there are many ways to share and organize your files with AirSend. We offer drag and drop functionality, Office 365 integration, and best of all premium built-in file storage. You can now organize your folders and files the way you want.

Imagine, having various ways to collaborate, and organize files all from one space. Say goodbye to the extra tabs and extra accounts. Don’t believe us? See what others are saying about us here.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to organize files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Onboarding a new accounting client involves a good amount of paperwork and organization.

With AirSend, the ability to create a channel template and duplicate that template means that you don’t have to go through the trouble of making, naming, and organizing a new set of file folders each time you have a new client. After creating the initial template, you will be able to digitally onboard clients with a few clicks of your cursor.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to create a basic accounting channel template and how to use that template when bringing on a new client.

Step 1: Create A Channel

The first step is to create a new channel. You can call it your “Template Channel,” “New Client Template,” or even “Client Last Name, Client First Name (Template Channel).” Whatever makes it clear that this is not a channel you are using to interact with clients but a channel template you will use to onboard new clients.

Step 2: Edit Your Wiki

The next step is to edit the Wiki section of your channel. You can note down important information and even write a brief welcome message if you intend for your clients to have AirSend accounts. Remember that this is optional since clients can send and receive messages and files using their email, too.

Step 3: Add Your Folders

The third step is to add the folders that you typically use for each client. These will vary depending on your specialty and personal preference.

Some general ones include “Compliance Documents” — which will contain blank copies of your accounting contract, GDPR statement and where you will put the signed copies of those documents that your client provides, as well as their proof of identity. “Welcome Documents” — which has your welcome letter and a blank copy of your financial questionnaire in it. And “Financial Documents” for tax records, bank statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, investment portfolios, and any additional financial documentation.

Step 4: Use Your Template Channel to Onboard New Clients with Ease

Once your template is complete, you can use it whenever you onboard a new client. Just duplicate the channel, rename it to your client name, and easily send and receive messages and files!

As you can see, creating and using accounting channel templates in AirSend is easy and can make your onboarding process much faster and simpler.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for accountants to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you as your business grows here.

Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions and is part of the process of accounting in business. Bookkeepers are responsible for recording and classifying accounting transactions of a business.

Bookkeeping is important in business accounting because it allows you to see where your business is spending money, where your revenue is coming from, and most importantly, which tax deductions you will be able to claim.

In this blog post, we are going to provide a beginner’s guide to bookkeeping. We will start with the basics: understanding assets, liabilities, and equity, and plenty more. After that, we will provide you with what is called the accounting equation, which forms the foundation of your bookkeeping and ultimately your business.

Next, we will briefly cover the difference between single-entry and double-entry bookkeeping. Finally, we will suggest and summarize some tools to help you get started with bookkeeping. Let’s dive in.

The Basics

Understanding the basics to bookkeeping will help you step into the right direction of running your business. So, what exactly are the basics? Well, for beginners, there are assets, liabilities, and equity. These three components form your balance sheet. It’s okay if you do not know what this means. That’s why we are here. Let’s take a closer look at what assets, liabilities, and equity are.

  • Assets: are cash, products, or services that your company owns. The can be from inventory to accounts receivables. 
  • Liabilities: are things that your company owes. So this could be, what you owe to suppliers (accounts payable, loans, mortgages, etc. 
  • Equity is the ownership a business owner and investor has in the business.

These three components are what form the accounting equation and what will become important for you in understanding the basics of bookkeeping. Don’t worry, we will explain how this all works later in the blog post. For now, let’s continue with some other basics that are good to know. 

  • Accounts Receivable: in basic definition, accounts receivable is money owed to a company by its debtors. So, if your company sells products or services and doesn’t collect payment immediately, you have “receivables,” or money that is due from customers. 
  • Inventory: is the unsold product. It is essentially money sitting on a shelf, but inventory is one of the most crucial assets that must be accounted for. 
  • Fixed Assets: Fixed assets include any equipment, vehicles, land, or building that you own. These assets are usually large and highly valued.
  • Accounts Payable: is money that the company owes to suppliers, service providers, etc. These are usually the services/suppliers that help the business run.
  • Retained earnings: track any company profits that are reinvested in the business and are not paid out to the owners. This is crucial to track to see how your company is performing over a period of time. 

Okay, so now that we got the basics definitions out of the way, I am sure you are wondering what does all this even mean, or how does this apply to me? These terms are what balance the books. From assets to retained earnings, everything must be accounted for. Below is an image of what a simple balance sheet would look like, with the applied terms. 

image of a balance sheet

So, knowing what balances the books, the remaining question is, how? The answer: the accounting equation.

The Accounting Equation

The basic accounting formula: Assets= Liabilities + Shareholders’ Equity 

This equation must balance because everything the business owns (assets) has been purchased with some form of debt (liability) or shareholders’ capital (equity). So let’s give an example of how this looks like.

If a business has $20,000 in liabilities, $40,000 in assets, and $20,000 in shareholders’ equity the accounting formula would read:

Liabilities ($20,000) = Assets ($40,000) – Shareholders’ Equity ($20,000)

Shareholders’ Equity ($20,000) = Assets ($40,000) – Liabilities ($20,000)

Assets ($40,000)= Liabilities ($20,000) + Shareholders’ Equity ($20,000)

If you know any two of the three components of the accounting equation, you can calculate the third component. To know if your books have balanced, remember that you compare your liabilities and equity to assets. As seen by the third equation, it balances.

Let’s dive a little deeper and give a transaction demonstration. Understanding how a transaction works will help you better understand the accounting formula. Understanding the accounting formula will help you learn how to balance your books. 

How Transactions Work in Bookkeeping

So, when you start a new company, everything is zero. Remember your accounting formula: Assets = Liabilities + Shareholders. 

0 = 0 + 0

Now, let’s say as the owner you want to deposit some money. You, as the owner, deposit $1,000. To make this easier, we are going to go with the double-entry bookkeeping system.

So, remember, if an owner has put money into his/her business (investing), then this is called equity. Remember, also, that assets are products, services, and cash that the company owns. By investing $1,000 into the company (equity), the company simultaneously now has an asset of $1,000. So, lets put this into the accounting equation. 

Assets = Liabilities + Shareholders’ Equity. 

$1,000 = 0 + $1,000

To help your business run, you purchase a $700 laptop on your business credit account. This is seen as a liability (money that we owe) because the $700 is on a credit account. So, let’s head back to our equation. 

Assets = Liabilities + Shareholders’s Equity. 

$1,700 = $700 + $1,000

An asset or liability account is created for each type of asset. The asset account (and total assets) for office equipment was increased by $700 and the liability account for the company’s credit card was increased by $700.

Think of this as a checks and balance system. So, now that you have everything you need to balance your books, let’s talk about which forms of bookkeeping are right for you. 

Single-Entry vs. Double-Entry Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is what makes your business survive. A business also survives on the person’s ability to establish good accounting practices. This is where deciding if single-entry or double-entry bookkeeping works best for you. Spoiler alert: everyone uses double-entry. But, what would we be if we didn’t at least mention single-entry bookkeeping?

  • Single-Entry Bookkeeping: 
    • Works if your business is super small
    • Similar to keeping a personal checkbook
    • One entry is made for each transaction
    • Does not track inventory, accounts payable, and accounts receivable
    • Does not work in developing a balance sheet
  • Double-Entry Bookkeeping:
    • Each account has two columns and each transaction is located in two accounts
    • Two entries made per transaction- debit and credit
    • Used for paying off a creditor
    • Keep track of asset and liability accounts
    • Accurately calculate profit and loss

An example of how double-entry bookkeeping works can be seen from “The BalanceSmall Business,”

“An example of a double-entry transaction would be if the company wants to pay off a creditor. The cash account would be reduced by the amount the company owes the creditor. That would be the debit. Then, the double-entry reduces the amount the business now owes to the creditor account as it has received the amount of the credit the business is extending. That is the credit.”

BalanceSmall Business, 2019

Ideally, double-entry bookkeeping is the better solution. You can track more and accurately calculate the profit and loss of your business. If your business is extremely small, then perhaps, single-entry bookkeeping may be the better option. Finally, let’s look at some tools that can help with your bookkeeping. 

Accounting Software

After studying the latest accounting software, we have come up with four tools that we believe may help with bookkeeping. Note, we are not accounting experts, and have made this list solely off of review, research, and case studies. We have not tried any of these tools ourselves. 

Quickbooks: is very popular for accounting software. Quickbooks focuses on helping small businesses simplify and do their books.

Xero: is a QuickBooks alternative. Xero manages invoices, bank reconciliations, and bookkeeping.

Sage: Accounting software, or bookkeeping software, automates, organizes, and integrates typical financial transactions, helping a business run more smoothly every day

Kashoo: Mobile and online accounting software for small business that provides a cloud-based system for invoicing, expense tracking & bookkeeping.

This just in, we have released the latest updates to the AirSend Android app!

Wiki Editor

You can now update your wiki in the app! All you have to do is click on the channel you want to edit your wiki in, slide on over to the wiki tab, and start editing.

Notifications

With the latest AirSend Android update, you can now view your conversations at a glance and even reply from your notification. You can also access the channel directly from the notification.

Public Channel Support

You can now access and create your communities through our public channel feature via app. Build, inspire, and communicate with your community across the web and phone.

A little bonus, to see what you need to build a successful community, read our blog post.

Copy Files

Finally, in our AirSend Android update, you can copy your files from one channel to another. So any document templates you uploaded from one channel, you can now simply copy and paste it to another channel. Best of all, this all happens from the File tab, so you don’t have to exit and enter into various channels.

Once considered a luxury, working from home is now a reality for many people due to COVID-19 and the ever growing remote work trend. In theory, working from home sounds great. You’re in your own space. The refrigerator is in walking distance. You get to use your own bathroom instead of braving public restrooms throughout the work day. But despite the positives, there are some downsides to working from home.

Because you’re home, some of the things that would come more naturally in an office — like working set hours or socializing — don’t happen without extra effort on your part. And these things are important to maintaining your mental and physical health. Here are a few ways to stay healthy while working from home.

Have set work hours

Source: unDraw

One of the benefits of working from home is that gives you more flexibility on what hours you do your work. That’s great, but exercising some discipline here is essential to creating work / life balance. Make sure you schedule what hours you are going to work, when you are going to take breaks, and what time the work day is over. Creating a schedule that you stick to makes sure that you don’t over- or under-work and helps to separate your work life from your home life.

Have a separate workspace

Source: unDraw

Working from home is great because all your creature comforts are within walking distance. Working from home can be disastrous for the same reason. Never leaving your bed, being constantly distracted by pets, kids, or your significant other, experiencing back pain because you’ve slouched on the couch all day — these can all be avoided by having a separate workspace. If you’re unable to have a full home office with a door that you can close to avoid distraction, at least designate a desk or space where you work everyday.  

Move around

Source: unDraw

Speaking of back pain, make sure you move around during your scheduled breaks. Take a walk, do a ten-minute exercise video, or even some jumping jacks next to your computer. If you can go outside, even better. The flip side of the convenience of working from home is that the physical movement that is usually built into your work day no longer happens unless you make it happen.

Socialize

Source: unDraw

Last but not least, don’t forget to socialize. This can be having a virtual game night with friends, calling your family, or enjoying an at-home happy hour with your co-workers over Skype. Regular social interactions are essential to mental health, especially during uncertain and stressful times.

Many people are struggling right now. If you are too, remember that all difficult times come to an end and that what we can do now is to try our best to take care of ourselves and the people around us. Whether you’re happy to work from home or itching to get back to the office, follow these work from home tips and suggest them to your friends and family so that everyone can maintain their best mental and physical conditions.

AirSend Office 365 Icon and file preview
Capture of AirSend file preview and Office icon

Introducing AirSend’s latest update: Office 365 integration. With the latest Office integration, you can now enjoy the leisure of easy access to your office tools. Take leisure in editing your documents, spreadsheets, and powerpoints all with a click of a button. Anything you edit will be saved to your original file. This means no more deleting or uploading the same file.

Video of Office 365 Integration

With our new update, you can now edit documents on-the-go. Additionally, you can now spend more time with your clients knowing that all your files and documents are up-to-date with AirSend. For more updates, check out our AirSend blog.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

With a recent increase in remote work, many companies look for the “do-it-all” free communication tool. A team chat that is compatible with remote work in which you can take care of all your business needs in one place. Essentially, team chats that can do more with less work.

Now, not everyone wants to pay for team chats. Some people say that by not paying you miss out on better features. This is not always the case. While it is true that paying for certain team chats will give you more and perhaps better features, not all of them are needed. Additionally, there are free team chats that deliver equal or better quality than paid versions.

We realized that not everyone wants to pay for team chats. And because of this, we realized that there is a market for team chats that are free, simple, easy-to-use, and versatile.

AirSend is a perfect free team chat app that not only allows you to have seamless conversations, but also to share/organize files, track your to-do’s, and keep notes. 

Capture of AirSend

Though we like to think we are the best, we also take the time to acknowledge our competitors who also deliver. Here is a list of our top five free communication tools for remote work: 

  1. AirSend
  2. Jitsi
  3. Discord
  4. Telegram
  5. Pidgin

In this blog post, we will discuss specific features, functions, and the pros and cons of each platform. Without further ado, let’s dive into the top five free communication tools for remote work. 

AirSend

Capture of AirSend’s Homepage

Of course, AirSend is at the top of the list. It would be weird if we didn’t believe that our product was the best free communication tool. 

So, what does AirSend have that other team chats do not? One of the selling points to AirSend is its seamless communication. This feature is designed to make your life easier. We do that by allowing you to switch from channel to channel without ever having to leave your current tab. Having seamless conversations also allows you and your clients to continuously stay in the loop. 

AirSend also comes with the necessary features to get work done. We offer built-in task management, premium file organization, and a built-in wiki. AirSend combines the attributes of our competitors with a clean and simple UI design. We replace Slack, Microsoft Teams, GDrive, Todoist, and Trello all together.

AirSend is also continuously updating to deliver the maximum productivity needed for business chats, so you can always expect the latest and greatest features.

Pros to AirSend

Compared to other free communication tools in which both parties need an account, AirSend only needs one person to sign up to have a conversation. AirSend is beneficial to those who carry conversations through various platforms (email, Whatsapp, SMS, Discord, etc). Rather than switching between many communication tools, you can now keep all your conversations from one place.

Your clients can continuously communicate with you through their email. Anything sent from email to a channel email address will magically appear in the AirSend channel. Leaving you to manage all your communications, business, and clients from one place. To see our email to channel feature, read our blog post. We have also just released a new feature to AirSend called Public Channels! For more information, click here.

Cons to AirSend

As said before AirSend allows for easy seamless communications. And while we offer all the tools necessary to help have a seamless conversation, we also do not currently offer audio or video calls.

However, with our built-in wiki tool, which can be used as a place to keep notes, you can paste your Zoom meeting link for easy in-app audio and video conferencing.

Jitsi

Image of Jitsi Meet

Jitsi is a free open source video conference software. Jitsi thrives on their new form of communication, video conferencing. In other words, all communication happens over video. The selling point to Jitsi is that they are one of the few video conferencing software that offers encryption-based calls.

Pros to Jitsi

Depending on perspective, Jitsi does not require accounts. Users have the option to create accounts for the purpose of attaining transcripts and meeting history. Further, users can join meetings with a URL, share screens, and edit documents with Etherpad. Jitsi is also incredibly easy to use.

Cons to Jitsi

Compared to other video conferencing software, Jitsi doe not support Saas, iPhone, iPad, and Android. They are also very limited in integrations and features. Further, Jitsi does not carry On-demand webcasting, record&playback ability, nor whiteboard.

Discord

Capture of a Discord Channel

While Discord is originally meant for gamers, they offer a lot of features for a free communication tool. Like AirSend, Discord offers channel organization, only placed in a more complex UI design. Though we think Discord is a fabulous tool, we also believe that their UI lacks a professional theme needed for more business chats. For more information on Discord and its alternatives, read our blog post.

Pros to Discord

Discord enables all-in-one voice and text chat. Discord also gives you full control over your created server. Best of all, aside from being free, like AirSend, Discord allows users to seamlessly switch between private and public channels.

Cons to Discord

As said before, Discord is great for a free communication tool. They also offer communities in which people can join with a click of a button. However, the downside to being a part of a Discord community, or even a small chat channel (10 max) is that the noise-to-signal ratio is extremely high, leaving information that could be important, buried. Lastly, their UI can be overwhelming to users who are looking for a basic team chat.

Telegram

Capture of Telegram

Telegram is a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app with a focus on security and speed. The selling point to Telegram is that it is available on many of the most widely used platforms. 

Pros to Telegram

With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, and videos to people who have Telegram, and to those who are in your phone contacts. You can also create groups for up to 200,000 people or channels.

They also have cool features like bots, secret chats, self-destructing messages, and support large files. If you are looking for a free communication tool that carries a lot of features, Telegram may be worth considering.

Cons to Telegram

Telegram lacks the features and functions for team collaboration. Like WhatsApp, Telegram is made for casual conversation with friends and family.

Pidgin

Capture of Pidgin Logo

Like Riot.im, Pidgin is a chat program that builds bridges to other chat programs. The biggest selling point to Pidgin is that they are compatible with almost every plugin and software out there.

Pros to Pidgin

As said before, Pidgin is incredible for connecting all team chats and plugins into one central area. They are also incredible for supporting almost every platfrom, such as Windows, Linux. To give an idea of what team chats they support, we will list the top five. 

  1. XMPP/Jabber
  2. IRC Chats
  3. Slack
  4. Hangouts
  5. MatterMost

For more information on their plugins, click here.  Lastly, they also carry over 50+ languages.

Cons to Pidgin

Pidgin is a universal chat client that builds bridges to chat servers. What this means is that Pidgin itself does not carry its own chat servers. Instead, it serves as a client for other chat servers to connect. This can become inefficient in some use cases and would make it hard for team collaboration.

Results

Our goal with AirSend is to do less with more. Our mission is to be the #1 team chat tool. 

We want to deliver a communication tool that allows you to take care of all your business needs in one place. A platform that delivers maximum productivity.

We use AirSend as our digital workspace for our marketing team. Even though AirSend is our product, we sincerely believe that AirSend can help your team too. Give us a try and let us know what you think!

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you.

Source: unDraw

As an auditor, you deal with many PBC list requests on a daily basis. And depending on client size, your audit teams can range from one person to 20 plus. With so many moving parts and people involved, the audit process can quickly become a complicated mess if not properly organized. Here are some simple tips to staying organized and streamlined while compiling an audit PBC list.

Audit PBC List Tip #1: Use the Right Tools

One of the first and most important aspects of the process is deciding what tools you are going to use to collect and track PBC list documents. Do you want the documents in hard copy form, emailed, or uploaded to a secure portal? How are you going to track which documents have been receive and which haven’t? The answers to those two questions and choosing the right tools to help you with the process will greatly determine how easy or hard it is for you to manage your client audit PBC lists.

Audit PBC List Tip #2: Set Realistic Deadlines

Work with your clients to set deadlines that are realistic. PBC lists are long and take time to prepare, so be flexible and communicate clearly so that you choose a date that works for everyone. Setting a realistic deadline will reduce the stress of the situation, making the audit process smoother overall. It’s also good to do occassional check-ins to ensure that progress is being made in a timely manner.

Audit PBC List Tip #3: Prioritize Your PBC List

To make the audit process even easier for you and your clients, break your PBC list down into sections and prioritize the items in those sections so that it’s clear which items need to be compiled first. This organization further helps everyone stay on the same page when it comes to the audit PBC list.

Audits can be complex with many moving parts, but following the above tips for auditors and how to handle PBC lists can help make sure the process is as easy as possible.

AirSend is a versatile digital workspace for accountants to share files, send messages, and complete tasks. See how AirSend can help you as your business grows here.