If you have forgotten what it’s like to sit behind a desk Monday through Friday, it might be because you are a mobile manager. Of course, you have a desk, but you find more and more that you are on the move.
And if you’re monitoring your finance team across different locations while in meetings with other managers, vendors or even clients, you need to be able to take what you need with you.
So many apps, so little time
The problem is, app stores are full of applications that have nothing to do with your role. So, you need to narrow the list from millions to the ones that target the job you do.
Of course, there are cloud application for invoicing, purchasing, expenses and budgets that your department uses and that you can access from your mobile, but you also need the tools that allow you to perform the most basic functions of your role efficiently.
Below are some finance-specific apps that give you the basic tools and information you need to be at your best.
The spreadsheet will most likely always be a part of a finance professional’s life in some way. There are a few different apps that allow you to view and edit spreadsheets from your mobile device, but CalcXLS supports Dropbox, offers templates and has over two hundred functions.
Still carrying a calculator because you need the accounting functions? The HP12c calculator app has the exact design of its physical counterpart. This way, you always have a calculator that does what you need it to do no matter how complex and you don’t have to carry the extra device.
If you want options in your calculating tools, the powerOne Finance Pro app is recommended because it not only handles the complex accounting problems you encounter, but also allows you to save a history of your work and share your calculations.
If you work with vendors or clients across borders or bodies of water, you may run into questions on exchange rates when you’re in meetings or crunching the numbers. This tool boasts live updates so the exchange rates of currency are always accurate.
With all the data that can now be stored and accessed in the cloud, tools to help you combine the numbers to create answers to business questions are key. Andara is one app (only supported on the iPad) that allows you to create dashboards that give you those reports. Alternatives include Roambi and Collabmobile.
When you are a leader in a finance department, information from the outside world matters just as much as department data. Bloomberg Mobile is recommended reading material for the finance professional and delivers international finance news to your phone as well as stock information.
The Wall Street Journal also has a mobile app for their publications across most platforms including Blackberry, Amazon, TV and a mobile site. They also offer apps like Market Watch and All Things Digital which delivers news in the tech industry.
Of the Wall Street Journal’s offerings, one that holds special interest for the director of a financial department is the CFO journal which gives you the ‘news, analysis and data most relevant to finance professionals.’
Creating a toolkit of finance apps for the mobile finance director
Finding finance apps that serve as basic tools and reliable sources of information alongside the cloud applications your department depends on is how you will turn your mobile device into your own personal financial toolkit.
Apps give you the ability to have everything you need without carrying extra equipment. As your role becomes increasingly mobile, it’s vital to make sure you are ready to tackle any task from any location.
(Hat tip to Johan Larsson for the photo)