Productivity is a rare property and skill that should never be underestimated. Often, it’s the secret ingredient that can take a small business from doing just okay to exceeding all expectations. When you know how to get things done successfully in a shorter period of time—you simply achieve more. These productivity apps are integral to small business success.
Factory accounting software was among the most popular of early business software tools, and included the automation of general ledgers, fixed assets inventory ledgers, cost accounting ledgers, accounts receivable ledgers, and accounts payable ledgers (including payroll, life insurance, health insurance, federal and state insurance and retirement).

Frankly, I’d think twice before entrusting financial data to a free-to-use service, probably even the freemium ones you mentioned. To make my point clear, I have nothing against cloud-based technology, in fact I could not imagine doing business without my smartphone, but when it comes to financials I still vote for local hosting. No bad experience with these solutions though, the choice’s up on you!
Marc is a copywriter who, fittingly enough, runs Marc Schenker Copywriter. An expert in business and marketing, he helps businesses of all sizes get the most bang for their ad bucks. Just click on the links below to talk to me about anything from landing pages, blogging, social media, websites, video scripts, infographics and email marketing to white papers, case studies, paid search and SEO!
TestPlant eggPlant is a niche tool that is designed to model the user’s POV and activity rather than simply scripting their actions. Testers can interact with the testing product as the end users would, making it easier for testers who may not have a development or programming background. TestPlant eggPlant can be used to create test cases and scenarios without any programming and can be integrated into lab management and CI solutions.
Continuous testing is the process of executing automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline to obtain immediate feedback on the business risks associated with a software release candidate.[14][15] For Continuous Testing, the scope of testing extends from validating bottom-up requirements or user stories to assessing the system requirements associated with overarching business goals.[16]
Email is a fantastic invention, but it is missing a few key features out of the box. For example: the ability to send emails later, if you don’t get a response. And notifications on which emails are awaiting your reply. Boomerang helps emails flow in and out of your inbox more easily, preventing the dreaded buildup of drafts, unreads and messages you’re “just saving for later” instead of archiving them.
Paying bills isn't as much fun as sending out invoices, but it has to be done. You may already be managing this task through your bank's website, which may or may not excel at this service. There are few other options online for standalone bill-pay, and the ones that exist have restrictions. Bill.com rules when it comes to supporting both invoices and bills; you'll be charged $29 per user per month for payables automation only. If that's more than you want to pay, you could subscribe to Wave, which is free, and just use its bill-paying tools.

There's plenty of failure in that combination. First of all, the feedback loop from development to test is delayed. It is likely that the code doesn't have the hooks and affordances you need to test it. Element IDs might not be predictable, or might be tied to the database, for example. With one recent customer, we couldn't delete orders, and the system added a new order as a row at the bottom. Once we had 20 test runs, the new orders appeared on page two! That created a layer of back and forth where the code didn't do what it needed to do on the first pass. John Seddon, the British occupational psychologist, calls this "failure demand," which creates extra work (demand) on a system that only exists because the system failed the first time around.
The medium size, or small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), has a broader range of software applications, ranging from accounting, groupware, customer relationship management, human resource management systems, outsourcing relationship management, loan origination software, shopping cart software, field service software, and other productivity enhancing applications.

SmartBear’s TestComplete is an easy to use automated UI testing tool. TestComplete supports cross platform testing and multiple scripting languages. It also instruments both iOS and Android native apps. In addition, TestComplete offers a record and playback feature and uses the Google Chrome browser to emulate all other browsers. Test Complete does not test on native iOS Safari or Android Chrome.
Automation frameworks are combined with specific automation tools to create a sound basis for your specific project goals. Automation tools are then aligned with testing goals. When the framework and tools are combined with common practices and coding standards for testing software, you have an automation framework. Jones offers an example using the most popular open source automation technology used for testing a web browser’s user interface (UI).
On the flip side, tests can take a while because they’re being conducted by a remote webdriver, and the reports can lack detail. If you’re setting up Appium locally, your team will have to download, install and configure the environment, and you’ll need to connect a local device – which can be a hassle. Plus, because it’s community-supported, it can be slower to pick up the latest OS developments than rivals.
Every software project takes time before its requirements and design stabilize. A classic comparison is between the UI that can change at any time in an application's lifecycle and back-end services that may live untouched for generations. Agile projects behave differently from waterfall in this respect. If you're developing a SaaS product, you must use automation to support frequent deliveries, but you'll have to carefully consider the effort you invest in developing tests because your requirements may also change frequently. This a fine balance you'll have to learn to work with. For an on-premise solution, it may be easier to identify the stage in which automation tests can be safely developed and maintained. For all these cases, you have to carefully consider when it's cost-effective to develop automated tests. If you start from day one, you'll expend a lot of resources shooting at a moving target.
TestingWhiz is a test automation tool with the code-less scripting by Cygnet Infotech, a CMMi Level 3 IT solutions provider. TestingWhiz tool’s Enterprise edition offers a complete package of various automated testing solutions like web testing, software testing, database testing, API testing, mobile app testing, regression test suite maintenance, optimization, and automation, and cross-browser testing.
Take the time to research and learn more about the online business software you're considering using. Discover how useful these apps are and which one can help your business the most. Review a small selection that have the features you need at the right price point. Test them out with a trial run before investing. Find just the one that fits your business best and gives you a great ROI in its specific area.
Zoho Books is a smart accounting solution designed to manage small businesses’ cash flow and finances. It is known for its ease-of-use, helping users make intelligent business decisions. Being a part of the Zoho product stable, the product does not only offer hassle-free accounting but excellent support, uptime and security as well. It is capable of sending customers professional invoices and even accepting payments online. If you want to explore its features signing up for a free Zoho Books free trial here is fast.
Successive development cycles will require execution of same test suite repeatedly. Using a test automation tool, it's possible to record this test suite and re-play it as required.Once the test suite is automated, no human intervention is required.This improved ROI of Test Automation.The goal of Automation is to reduce the number of test cases to be run manually and not to eliminate Manual Testing altogether.

Continuous testing is the process of executing automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline to obtain immediate feedback on the business risks associated with a software release candidate.[14][15] For Continuous Testing, the scope of testing extends from validating bottom-up requirements or user stories to assessing the system requirements associated with overarching business goals.[16]

Automated testing or test automation is a method in software testing that makes use of special software tools to control the execution of tests and then compares actual test results with predicted or expected results. All of this is done automatically with little or no intervention from the test engineer. Automation is used to to add additional testing that may be too difficult to perform manually.
Unlike many accounting software products that limit transactions unless you purchase a more expensive package, FreeAgent is a cloud-based program that supports unlimited users, clients and invoices for one monthly price. It also has a project management feature to help you keep track of billable hours and expenses. FreeAgent is best for freelancers, consultants and other project-based businesses. freeagent.com
Every software project takes time before its requirements and design stabilize. A classic comparison is between the UI that can change at any time in an application's lifecycle and back-end services that may live untouched for generations. Agile projects behave differently from waterfall in this respect. If you're developing a SaaS product, you must use automation to support frequent deliveries, but you'll have to carefully consider the effort you invest in developing tests because your requirements may also change frequently. This a fine balance you'll have to learn to work with. For an on-premise solution, it may be easier to identify the stage in which automation tests can be safely developed and maintained. For all these cases, you have to carefully consider when it's cost-effective to develop automated tests. If you start from day one, you'll expend a lot of resources shooting at a moving target.
The increased demand for automation is trending in our software testing industry, as well. If you check out any software or application testing communities (i.e., uTest, Quora, etc.), you will find software testers urging for various tools that can be helpful in their day to day testing activities, whether it is for desktop testing, web testing, browser testing, regression testing, web services and API testing, and many more.

Environment issues aside, automated checks that need to be run by hand create a drain on the team. Most teams we work with tend to want to just get started by running automated checks by hand. I suggest a different approach: Start with one check that runs end-to-end, through the continuous integration server, running on every build. Add additional scripts to that slowly, carefully, and with intention. Instead of trying to automate 100%, recognize that tooling creates drag and maintenance cost. Strive instead to automate the most powerful examples.
Alan Page is an author with more than two decades of experience in software testing roles, the majority spent in various roles at Microsoft. He offers another perspective on the importance of distinguishing automated and manual testing. In “The A Word,” an ebook compilation of his blog posts on automation, Page mentions that most of his commentary on automation focuses on the “abuse and misuse” of automation in software testing and development. He is skeptical of replacing manual testing activity with test automation, as you can see from the his Twitter feed:
The principles of software development are just as valid when writing tests. Just like you don't want monolithic code with many interconnected parts, you don't want monolithic tests in which each step depends on many others. Break your flows down into small, manageable, and independent test cases. That way, if one test fails, it won't make the whole test suite grind to a halt, and you can effectively increase your test coverage at each execution of your automation suite.
A second common type of test data is the export-to-zip/import-from-zip combination. Teams that do this create a common sample test data set, with known expected results to search, and known users. The deploy pipeline creates a sample environment with a clean database, then imports the zip file. Some of my customers who have a multitenant system, where many users share the same database, think this option isn't a realistic simulation. In that case I suggest finding a way to export, delete, and re-import by account.
Take the time to research and learn more about the online business software you're considering using. Discover how useful these apps are and which one can help your business the most. Review a small selection that have the features you need at the right price point. Test them out with a trial run before investing. Find just the one that fits your business best and gives you a great ROI in its specific area.
A defining factor for successfully applying test automation in software projects is choosing and using the right set of test automation tools. This is a daunting task, especially for those new to software test automation because there are so many tools in the market to choose from, each having different strengths and weaknesses. There is no tool that can fit all automated testing needs which makes finding the right tool difficult. Learn how to identify the right automation tool for your project with this qualitative comparison of Katalon Studio to other popular automated testing toolsets in the market.
The method or process being used to implement automation is called a test automation framework. Several frameworks have been implemented over the years by commercial vendors and testing organizations. Automating tests with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) or open source software can be complicated, however, because they almost always require customization. In many organizations, automation is only implemented when it has been determined that the manual testing program is not meeting expectations and it is not possible to bring in more human testers.
Automated testing is, well, automated. This differs from manual testing where a human being is responsible for single-handedly testing the functionality of the software in the way a user would. Because automated testing is done through an automation tool, less time is needed in exploratory tests and more time is needed in maintaining test scripts while increasing overall test coverage.
Available in both open source and commercial versions, Sahi is centered around web-based application testing. Sahi is used inside of a browser, and can record testing processes that are done against web-based applications. The browser creates an easy-to-use environment in which elements of the application can be selected and tested, and tests can be recorded and repeated for automation. Playback functionality further makes it easy to pare down to errors.
Zoho Books is a smart accounting solution designed to manage small businesses’ cash flow and finances. It is known for its ease-of-use, helping users make intelligent business decisions. Being a part of the Zoho product stable, the product does not only offer hassle-free accounting but excellent support, uptime and security as well. It is capable of sending customers professional invoices and even accepting payments online. If you want to explore its features signing up for a free Zoho Books free trial here is fast.
The software automatically syncs business profiles to a single dashboards, where multiple users can view reports and corporate accounts. It is capable of generating profit and loss and trade sheets, invoices and billing, all which are accessible via mobile devices. Custom reports and feeds can likewise be created from the dashboard. Popular integrations include Quickbooks Online Payroll and Intuit GoPayment.

There’s no clean way to pigeonhole Airtable. It is technically a database, but can be used for data visualization, project management, task management, calendars, and planning. All of these tasks work better in Airtable if you store your data (customers, email subscribers, financial metrics) there, because any tasks, projects or events can be linked to assets.
With Apptivo, small businesses can connect sales, marketing, financials, procurement, and supply chain technology all in a single app. Apptivo even offers a free tier, although it’s restricted to three users and doesn’t come with all of the helpful integrations like Google Suite, Quickbooks, and Slack. Apptivo does provide invoicing and expense reporting features, but you’ll still need to purchase a separate accounting software.
In this article, I'll discuss some of the best practices I discovered through on my own journey toward automation. These are practices you should consider when automating your testing cycles to make sure you build a suite of tests that work well and can be maintained throughout the life of your application. (This article is based on a presentation that can be viewed in full here.)

However, as businesses grow, they’ll likely need to implement more controls over their business processes and better alignment between information and operational technologies. At this stage, they should consider investing in business process management software to help them standardize processes and workflows for multiple departments and improve operational performance. (Not to be confused with general "business managment" software, "business process management" software carries a more specific definition and set of technical requirements. Follow the link above to read our buyer's guide and learn more.)
I think we can all agree that automation is a critical part of any organization's software delivery pipeline, especially if you call yourself "agile." It's pretty intuitive that if you automate testing, your release cycles are going to get shorter. "So, if that's the case," you might say, "why don't we just automate everything?" There's a good reason: automation comes with a price.
“When we refer to automation frameworks, it is easiest to understand with the functional testing areas,” says Kandukuri. “You are providing commonly used methods to improve the efficiency of automated tasks. With limited knowledge of how the test case is set up, a tester can fall back on the framework to refer to simple statements and implement the test cases.”

Like Zoho Books, Wave Accounting is geared toward smaller businesses, those with no more than 10 employees. The average Zoho Books client employs three to five workers. It’s also more appropriate for service businesses than retail businesses. It can’t handle a lot in the way of inventory, and you’d have to upgrade for the ability to process credit card payments. The same goes for added payroll features. This upgraded version isn’t free, but the cost is nominal.
Infusionsoft Complete manages email campaigns with a “Custom Campaign Builder” feature that can target recipients based on your contacts list. It will monitor your website, recording number of visitors, sales, and how long each visitor lingered—an invaluable wealth of information if your business is Internet-based. And if you’re not yet Internet-based but want to be, the software can help you design a landing page.
TDD is misleading if you don’t realize that it is more about software design and teamwork than testing. According to the authors, an Agile programmer using TDD to write “test-first” code can think about what functionality they want from the code and then partner with a tester to make sure all aspects of the code are performing to that standard of functionality.
The Internet can be a big, bad, scary place because of all the viruses and malware that are out there. The last thing any small business owner wants is for their work computer, tablet and/or smartphone to be infected by a malicious program that’ll set back the smooth running of their operations. These security and anti-virus apps give small businesses protection and peace of mind.
Built for small businesses to enterprises, EasyForm Expense Management provides users with an easy way to control, track, and manage their expenditures to enhance their bottom line. This online expense tracking and management solution paints a clear picture on all expenses through complete visibility on expense records and various reporting tools, such as category and split reports.
Worst case, your testers spend all day maintaining the automation false failures, adjusting the test code to match the current system, and rerunning them. This might have some marginal value, but it is incredibly expensive, and valuable only when the programmers are making changes that routinely cause real failure. But that's a problem you need to fix, not cover up with the Band-Aid of testing tools.
Take a step up from Google Sheets or Excel by moving your data over to a real database. In the past, databases have been the reserve of the IT team, but with tools like Airtable and Fieldbook, non-technical teams can easily get the power of relational databases to create their own tools and systems (like we did for our content asset tracking, as explained here).
Test automation mostly using unit testing is a key feature of extreme programming and agile software development, where it is known as test-driven development (TDD) or test-first development. Unit tests can be written to define the functionality before the code is written. However, these unit tests evolve and are extended as coding progresses, issues are discovered and the code is subjected to refactoring.[5] Only when all the tests for all the demanded features pass is the code considered complete. Proponents argue that it produces software that is both more reliable and less costly than code that is tested by manual exploration.[citation needed] It is considered more reliable because the code coverage is better, and because it is run constantly during development rather than once at the end of a waterfall development cycle. The developer discovers defects immediately upon making a change, when it is least expensive to fix. Finally, code refactoring is safer when unit testing is used; transforming the code into a simpler form with less code duplication, but equivalent behavior, is much less likely to introduce new defects when the refactored code is covered by unit tests.
×