Accounting on the Run

Top 5 iPad Apps for Financial Professionals

The corporate mobility renaissance is underway. More than 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500® and three-quarters of the FORTUNE Global 500® are reportedly testing or deploying iPads® for employee use.1 Financial teams are not immune to this trend, with what seems like every other accounting manager, financial analyst or controller brandishing a tablet these days.

A hand using an app on an IPad

We can only expect more companies to join the likes of consulting giant McGladrey, who last Fall issued mobile tablets to all of its 6,500 employees.2 Here are 5 iPad apps to support your team's number-crunching anywhere, from the boardroom to the beach:

  1. Bloomberg (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Android Tablet, Windows Phone, Nokia – Free) – Bloomberg has long been a pillar of the financial trading community, so it's natural that its robust tablet app is so acclaimed. It quickly became the standard for Apple® users back in 2010, when, unlike the iPhone, the iPad launched with no inherent stocks app. Users can access up-to-the-minute stock data and expert analysis for better-informed investment choices. On the Bloomberg app, a financial analyst can also see detailed performance charts, video interviews and podcasts, plus customizable views of the "leaders and laggers" of any given portfolio.
  2. Wall Street Journal (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Android Tablet, Amazon Kindle Fire – $17.29/month for non-subscribers) – What makes the Wall Street Journal app triumph over other iPad apps is its pleasing interface. Developers have combined the best of both worlds for readers: the expansive, attractive layout of the print edition with the interactive functionality of a touchscreen tablet. Users can enjoy news, op-ed features with touch-enabled slideshows, graphics and 360-degree panoramic photos. Best of all are the "Now" edition updates through the day, which keep you armed with the most current developments for each story.
  3. QuickBooks (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Android Tablet – Free with $12.99/month QuickBooks Online subscription) – With more than 1.3 million users worldwide – including 400,000 small business customers – QuickBooks Online from Intuit remains one of the most popular pieces of accounting software for smaller organizations. This convenient mobile app lets an accounting manager create invoices and update customer accounts, and it automatically syncs with your desktop and other devices. Automated alerts let you pursue delinquent accounts instantly; plus the touchscreen allows signatures for quick approvals of estimates and invoices.
  4. iCurrency (iPad, iPhone ‐ $ .99) – For those dealing with foreign exchange rates regularly, iCurrency is arguably the best mobile tool around. You can choose from more than 150 currencies to create your customized view and configure it to automatically update as frequently as every 15 seconds. In addition to fast conversion, iCurrency features vibrant historical graphs of trends and a side-by-side comparison function. A company's controller can receive custom reports from as far back as a decade ago. The app's data comes from both Yahoo!® and to give users an assortment of reliable sources for informing business decisions.
  5. FreshBooks (iPad, iPhone – Unlimited clients start at $29.95/month) – It's not surprising FreshBooks won IXDA's 2013 Interaction Award for making daily activities more efficient. The much buzzed-about accounting app gives its users all the agility and backup capabilities of the cloud, and is perfect for the accounting manager who wears many hats. Add-ons are available to support virtually every major program, from Basecamp and PayPal to ZenDesk and many popular CRMs.

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