Business Apps You Must Have


These apps may help you optimize your work when you are mobile.


Two similar and occasionally underrated tools for business are remote control of other devices and screen sharing. Screen sharing is a critical tool, not just for one-way meetings and presentations, but also for interactive collaboration among colleagues in different locations. Remote control is useful not only for troubleshooting and technical support, but also as a convenient way of using multiple separate computers or devices from a single workstation, regardless of where the computers are physically located.

In the screen-sharing camp, tools such as GotoMeeting, and Skype for Business are also popular. For remote control, in addition to built-in or bundled options such as Windows Remote Desktop, Chrome Remote Desktop, and Mac OS X Screen Sharing, more feature-rich or cross-platform tools are also available, such as various VNC-based tools like RealVNC.

TeamViewer includes both functions, and supports a wide range of platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Chrome OS on the desktop, and Android, iOS, Windows and BlackBerry on mobile. This app is free for non-commercial use such as family and friends; one-time commercial licences start at CDN$759.

Scanner by JotNot Pro

Ever want to make a copy of a client quote or a sales document while at a remote location but had no photocopier or scanner with you? For simple tasks, the built-in camera app and email might be sufficient to snap a picture and send it by email. A dedicated scanning app, such as Scanner by JotNot Pro, may offer features like cropping and image processing to tidy up the picture and then save it as a PDF or JPEG.

Once the scan is complete you can send it off by email or into iCloud, Dropbox or a number of other storage facilities. The software allows you to password-protect files, sort data by name or date or rename or delete files on your smartphone.

By importing a Word or PDF document into your smartphone and entering the fax number, a fax can be sent to any U.S. or Canadian fax number by simply tapping the Send icon.

Consider a video conferencing app for your business.

Video Conferencing

Video and voice conferencing are useful business tools to connect colleagues, vendors and clients. Skype allows for video and audio communication and is widely available on nearly any platform including desktop operating systems, mobile devices, and even Xbox consoles.

Skype for Business (formerly Lync), however, is an internal business communications tool, generally for medium or large-sized companies, that now comes bundled with Microsoft Office 365.

Many other video conferencing apps can be considered for your business. Apple’s Facetime, included for free on Apple’s devices, may be suitable if most of the people you work with primarily use iOS or a Mac. Unfortunately, Facetime is not cross-platform compatible. Google Hangouts is a free Google platform alternative which, in addition to Android, is also available for iOS and most computers via a web browser.

Margin Calculator

Although fully functioning spreadsheet apps such as Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers or Google Sheets can handle more than just margins and taxes. For quick answers to relatively simple problems, an app such as iMargin (iOS), or Margin Markup Calculator (Android) might suit your purpose.

The software instantly calculates the markup or margin to keep a reasonable profit when negotiating the sale. If you want to determine a markup based on a selling price, enter the cost and the selling price, and the markup amount and percentage are displayed. Selling to a foreign entity? Some apps offer an upgrade for an additional fee to include a currency converter, although there is always the free option to convert currency via a separate app.


Big fingers, little keyboard, make typing, dragging or accessing items on your smartphone a productivity nightmare. Enter AirDroid 3, an app that allows access to everything on your Android phone through your Windows or Mac computer or web browser.

The free app can be enhanced with other features such as unlimited file transfer by remote transfer with one GB for Windows or Mac and 100 MB with Web. You also have the ability to connect six devices to the software using one AirDroid account. The app also allows you to see through the lens of your camera remotely and will take pictures of individuals attempting to unlock your smartphone. And it also permits dialing phone numbers remotely from the Web and talking on the phone. The premium app costs US$1.99 per month or US$19.99 annually.

If you use an iOS device and a Mac, there is no need for an app like AirDroid since many of those capabilities are already included for free, such as Handoff, AirDrop, AirPlay and iCloud.

Android Device Manager/Find my iPhone

Anyone who has lost their wallet or handbag knows the gut-wrenching panic that sets in knowing the problems that arise with lost identification. Magnify that 100 times when your smartphone, with all client contacts, emails, and calendar data is lost. Both Android Device Manager (for Android devices) and Find my iPhone (for iOS devices) are a free-platform solution. For peace of mind, you should install this app on your smartphone as soon as you get it. Both apps allow you to locate the devices tied to your Google or Apple account, respectively. For a selected device, you can lock the screen (requiring a password), display a message and, if necessary, erase all data on the phone. Both services allow tracking via the app, which is useful if you have another device on the same platform, such as from a tablet; both can also be accessed on a PC via a website.

Contact Argento CPA today!


Disclaimer: BUSINESS MATTERS deals with a number of complex issues in a concise manner; it is recommended that accounting, legal or other appropriate professional advice should be sought before acting upon any of the information contained therein.
Although every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this letter, no individual or organization involved in either the preparation or distribution of this letter accepts any contractual, tortious, or any other form of liability for its contents or for any consequences arising from its use.
BUSINESS MATTERS is prepared bimonthly by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada for the clients of its members.
Richard Fulcher, CPA, CA – Author; Patricia Adamson, M.A., M.I.St. – CPA Canada Editor.
Contact us: