The best budgeting tools for entrepreneurs

By Rubina Ahmed-Haq on April 30, 2019 No Comments

Being an entrepreneur is a tough job. It often means long hours of putting in the grunt work to get your business off the ground. In many cases, you wear several hats, learn to manage employees and gain skills as you go along. One way to protect your business is to have, from the beginning, the right budgeting tools and habits in place that will help you save money.


This online tool has partnered with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). It is aimed at small and medium-sized Canadian businesses and can be used by startups as well. BUDGETO gives businesses access to online budgeting and financial forecasting tools.  Users can create three-year financial forecasts and share their budget online with all BDC representatives. The tool can be used in both official languages. The data stored can be shared and accessed remotely on the cloud. Canadian entrepreneurs can access their free six-month licence of BUDGETO through a new BUDGETO landing page.

Intuit QuickBooks

One of the best-known tools for business budgeting is QuickBooks. Their motto is ALL YOU NEED. ALL IN ONE PLACE: More than just accounting software. QuickBooks is customizable software that allows entrepreneurs to track expenses and income. It allows you to connect your bank accounts, automatically sort transactions and put expenses into tax categories. QuickBooks offers payroll help as well, by allowing you to pay employees by cheque or direct deposit. The software deducts pay and deductions. If you use the advanced payroll feature, QuickBooks will file and remit your taxes and take care of T4s, Relevé 1s, and ROEs.


FreshBooks is also well known by small businesses. This accounting software claims to make running your small business easy, fast and secure. It also promises to help you cut down on hours spent on accounting. FreshBooks allows you to automate tasks like invoicing, organizing expenses, tracking your time and following up with clients. It can be accessed through your desktop, phone and tablet.

Daily habits to help entrepreneurs

No matter the budgeting tools you use, you as an entrepreneur must set aside some time to keep your administrative tasks in order. This is the work of keeping and tracking expenses, invoicing and remitting payments to the Canada Revenue Agency. Do it at the end of each day if you find administrative work piles up easily, or set aside an hour each week to make sure you don’t get behind. The key is to stay consistent.

Where to save and where to spend

When you are first starting a business, every single dollar counts. Building a business is hard work, and you want to make sure you’re spending your money in the right way. As a small business owner, spend your money on promotions and advertising. Make sure your company has an easy-to-use website where customers can connect with you. If you are selling a product, spend money on marketing it to the right customers. Finding those right customers means you may need to spend time and money researching where your product or service will sell. Don’t forget to buy insurance and hire a lawyer to look over any legal contracts before you sign on the dotted line.

Save money by using free tools like social media to promote your business. Talk to other small business owners about costs they may be willing to split, like administrative assistance. Save money by going green: don’t print unnecessary documents and scan invoices to send. Choose an eco-friendly place that has well insulated windows and LED lighting that will help keep your operating costs down. Tap the second-hand market for equipment. This can save you hundreds in the beginning. This is especially true for items like furniture and décor.

Chance of success

According to The Government of Canada, there were 1.15 million small businesses in Canada as of December 2017. More than 97 per cent of all businesses in Canada are considered a small business, meaning they have fewer than 100 employees. Between 2010 and 2015, the average number of small to medium size businesses created annually was 95,000, and the average number of businesses that disappeared annually was 85,000.

The chance of a small business surviving is slim. But with the proper budgeting tools and habits that help you track and save money, you can increase your chances of being among those businesses that succeed.

Rubina Ahmed-Haq

Rubina Ahmed-Haq is a Journalist and Personal Finance Expert. She is the go-to money expert in Canada for several media outlets. She regularly appears on CBC Radio, CBC News Network, CTV Your Morning and Global Toronto. She writes for Homes Publishing group,, and has her own website Rubina began her career as a broadcast journalist in 1999. Since then she has covered everything from local news, foreign affairs, politics, sports and of course finance! As a business reporter she has worked for CP24 from the Toronto Stock Exchange and reported for BNN. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star and various other magazines. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University and is an alumna of the Humber College post graduate journalism program and holds the CSC designation. Her goal is to help Canadians find easy ways to manage their own finances. Follow her on Twitter @alwayssavemoney.

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