August 3, 2023
10 min read

10 must-have affordable productivity apps for accounting firms

We've rounded up the top productivity applications to boost your business productivity. In this blog, we'll focus on how to automate business workflows to streamline productivity, the different types of tasks you can automate, how to choose the right tools, and our top picks for the best tools available in the market.
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Running an accounting firm more efficiently can involve the following:

  • Implementing cloud-based accounting software.
  • Automating routine tasks.
  • Delegating responsibilities to trusted employees.
  • Streamlining communication internally and with clients.
A National Small Business Association survey in 2020 found that 67% of small businesses used some type of productivity software.

Not an easy job. When leading accounting firms, every moment of your time is valuable. So, you're looking for ways to automate everyday tasks to get more done in less time. Luckily, affordable business automation tools can help you do just that. We've rounded up the top six tools to boost your business's productivity. So, let's dive in!

Types of tasks you can put on auto-pilot for your accounting firm

Small business service professionals like accountants can put several workflows on auto-pilot to save time and increase productivity. With the help of these affordable applications, one can confidently automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time to focus on where your time is needed. Some suggested apps boost productivity for accounting firms:

  1. Time tracking - Using time tracking apps like Toggl Track and actiTIME can automate the process of tracking billable hours and help streamline client billing.
  2. Calendar and to-do (Asana) - Tools like can automate reminders for essential tasks, deadlines, and meetings, reducing the risk of missing important deadlines.
  3. Proposals and payments - Cone Proposal-to-Payment can automate creating and sending proposals, invoicing, and even facilitate online payments.
  4. E-sign - Apps like Cone Proposal-to-Payment, Signable, and Eversign can automate obtaining electronic signatures, making signing and managing contracts easier.
  5. CRM - Software like Cone Proposal-to-Payment, Hubspot, and Pipedrive can automate managing client relationships, from tracking leads to nurturing prospects and managing existing clients.
  6. Expense management - Apps like Expensify can automate the process of tracking expenses, making it easier to manage and categorize expenses.
  7. Project management - Apps like Asana and Workday can automate the management of projects and tasks, reducing the need for manual tracking and monitoring.
  8. Communication - Solutions like Cone Business Management software, Slack, and Google Chat can automate communicating with clients and team members, reducing the need for back-and-forth emails and phone calls.
  9. Compliance automation tools - Software like Avalara, TaxAct can help you automate the tax compliance process.
  10. Document sharing and collaboration - Cone Business Management software can help you collaborate better and save time.

All the apps mentioned above are highly cost-effective, and many offer free or low-cost plans with limited features, making them accessible to small business accounting firms.

Tips for choosing the best productivity apps for your small accounting business

Automating workflows can significantly improve productivity for small businesses. One area where automation can be beneficial is accounting. Several affordable apps are available for small businesses to automate accounting workflows. Our top picks include Cone Proposal-to-Payment software that can send impressive proposals in seconds, close deals, automate your invoicing, and be on top of your payment collections in one unified platform.

The software market for accounting tools is becoming increasingly competitive, with new players offering user-friendly interfaces, automation, AI-driven features, and low monthly subscriptions. These tools have unique features and benefits that make them perfect for small businesses. A survey conducted by the Journal of Accountancy in 2020 found that 91% of small accounting firms used some type of practice management software. Additionally, there are productivity apps for accountants that can help with time tracking, email management, proposal creation, e-signatures, payments, invoicing, and integrations. Small businesses can focus their time and attention on other business areas by automating these workflows. Look for a tool that streamlines accounting processes, automates tedious tasks, and provides real-time data insights.

  1. Features specific to your needs.
    Automating workflows can boost productivity and streamline processes for your small business. When considering automation tools, looking for features that meet your needs is essential. For instance, automating financial processes such as billing, invoicing, and payments can improve efficiency and accuracy. Automated reports can be generated quickly and accurately, while access to financial data can enhance decision-making. By keeping these workflows on auto-pilot, you can free up time and resources to focus on other areas of your business while ensuring essential tasks are still being completed efficiently.
  2. Find the tools that work for you.
    When it comes to automating workflows for small businesses, various software tools/apps are available. It's important to choose tools that help keep track of job statuses and generate reports to track customer, product, and financial data. It's also wise to read reviews and ask for recommendations from other accounting professionals to ensure you select a high-quality and reliable tool.
  3. Costing is a crucial factor in tool selection. 
    The good news is that several cost-effective options can help businesses scale in the long term. When evaluating pricing for productivity apps for your accounting firms, it is crucial to consider factors such as ease of use, level of customization, integration with other tools, security features, and customer support.
  4. Data security is a significant factor to consider.
    Particularly when it comes to financial information. Find the tools that work for your business and your budget, one that gives importance to your data security and other compliances.

How much do productivity apps cost?

Productivity tool costs vary depending on the tool type and its features. Some free productivity tools are available online, such as Google Drive, while others may require a subscription or one-time purchase fee. The cost can range from a few dollars per month to hundreds per year for more advanced tools. Researching and comparing different options is essential to find a productivity tool that fits your needs and budget.

Automate your business tasks — not just accounting

There are various affordable tools when it comes to automating your business processes. One option that's great for accountants to cover the entire process of Proposal-to-Payment with Cone. Our software not only covers proposal management but saves you hours every month chasing customers for payments and increasing cash flow, and an analytics dashboard to track revenue. Similar solutions are in the market, but Cone is the most intuitive and cost-effective. Don't believe me? Try it out for yourself - Cone Proposal-to-Payment is in beta, and we would love to invite you to be our trusted tester—more on that and other perks here.


In this fast-paced world, we understand that every second counts. That's why keeping your business productive is essential. Onboarding productivity apps or tools will depend on your business needs and the specific workflows you want to automate. Whether you need Proposal-to-Payment free software or an all-in-one practice management solution, there is no end to the options available. Start automating your business workflows to achieve optimal productivity.