Tired of boring paperwork? Five apps to reduce office headaches

Boost productivity with services that help with expenses, contracts and balancing the books

The Frictionless Office

Stressed young man sitting at office desk

Stressed young man sitting at office desk

Running a business means plenty of drudgery alongside moments of success and inspiration. Thankfully, new software programs—which function equally well on mobile devices and desktops—promise to automate some of the grunt work.

The Canadian cloud-based accounting platform offers a suite of tools that entrepreneurs will find handy. It has a mobile tool to craft and send invoices right from your smartphone—no more wasted time with Microsoft Word templates. One knock against FreshBooks: users caution that it isn’t designed for advanced expense payment features. But for small businesses, FreshBook’s uncomplicated interface should work well.

This Waterloo-based startup developed a tool to help businesses cut through legal jargon. Beagle uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to read contracts and ferret out “who the parties are, their responsibilities, their liabilities, how to get out of the contract and more.” The software works within a matter of seconds. It also allows business partners to add their own notes.

Every business owner needs to sign contracts—even if you operate a paperless-office. The solution? A secure e-signature manager. DocuSign works across all devices.

Base is a client relationship management app designed especially for mobile devices.  All of your interactions with a client—emails, social media messages, and calls, as well as tasks, files and notes—are automatically stored in one place.

Expensify is a smartphone app that allows you to scan your receipts for work-related expenses. If you’re using a corporate card, Expensify will automatically detect it and put a PDF of the receipt in a separate folder. Another feature: it can track your mileage since it’s GPS-enabled. Just open the app before you embark on your journey.