Managing finances from your iPhone

Yes,  it is possible for business leaders to manage their finances on the run. And if the business leader’s got an iPhone — as more and more do — it’s getting easier with the help of

some pretty sweet apps designed for the phone.

The appeal of the iPhone for many busy execs is the smartphone’s ability to run thousands of applications — from a Star Wars light saber (don’t laugh, this could come in handy at a board meeting) to an invoice generator.

Blogger Laura Rich at American Express’ “Open Forum” proposes five apps that a busy C-level exec might find handy for managing or monitoring cash flow. They include:

Quicken ($9.95/month per account)– Folks who use QuickBooks to manage cash flow can check their account balance, view latest transactions, enter them on the go  and take a look at how it’s all performing against monthly budget levels.

Calc-12E RPN Financial Calculator ($19.99 download) – Based on the most popular portable financial calculator out there, the 12E is ideal for business owners who need the accountant’s calculator on hand when they meet with investors, in real estate deals and the like, says Rich. It’ll let you enter and edit cash flows, add comparative investment analysis.

Spreadsheet ($7.99 download)– Who doesn’t need to look at a spreadsheet every now and again? This one will come in handy when you want to review Excel budgets from the road.

Credit Card Terminal ($49.99 to download, $25/month subscription, and $.24 per transaction) – So a customer or client wants to pay you on the spot — hey, it happens! You can collect the money with this app. No, it isn’t cheap but what price cash flow?

Omni Invoice ($9.99 to download) – Need to speed up the process of getting paid? This app lets you issue invoices from the road.

Along with these useful finance tools, there are also an array of free apps from the major banks (like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase) that will give you mobile access to your accounts.

And for those who want to keep tabs on investments and practice trading without risking cash, there’s iTrade Stock Market Simulator, another free app.

To help with your own personal cash flow, you can try iExpensit ($4.99 per download; there’s also a free, slimmed down version called iExpensit Lite), which simplifies daily expense tracking and stores photo receipts. It also lets you customize your personal and business expenses with simple reports.

For those times when the cash just isn’t flowing, you may need Loan Calculator – What if? (99 cents per download) that’ll calculate the monthly payment for any fixed rate load and let you view an amortization/payment schedule.

All these apps are available at Apple’s App Store where you can browse the ever-increasing array of software for the iPhone.

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