It is in any case important to have an overview of your finances: for your costs of living, your project or your business. Start with a clear budget so you know how much you need to raise for your plans. Also keeping comprehensive books is essential. If it gets too complicated a good bookkeeper can help you.
Financiers will want to see budgets in advance and closing accounts at the end. Draw up a budget before starting your project or your business.
To show investors exactly what they are putting their money into, you need to prepare an investment budget listing all the funds you need. In the financing plan you describe how you intend to cover those items. When applying for a loan, the financial institution will want to see a balance sheet and profit-loss account of your company.
It is important to have a good administration. As an entrepeneur you are not only obliged to do so, but it can also get you tax benefits. Keep and organise your income (invoices) and your expenses (receipts and bills). Entrepeneurs are obliged to keep their administration for seven years. Also keep track of your working hours: this is useful if you get an audit from the tax authorities. Your agenda can be part of your administration.
There are many computer programmes or apps for your smartphone to help you with the administration of your work or project. Some are free, others are not. You often ‘pay’ for free apps by being exposed to advertisements or because the company attaches value to your data. Remember that entrepreneurs are required to keep their administration for tax purposes, so make sure that the apps you use are reliable, that your data are stored properly, and that you store them somewhere yourself as well.
The accounting software from Informer, GnuCash and e-Accounting can be downloaded or tested free of charge. The following are some of the free apps available to keep track of your hours: Gekko Uren, Urenreg and Toggl. You can keep your receipts with Gekko Bonnen and keep track of the number of kilometres travelled with Gekko Ritten or Reisbalans. ZZP Assistent combines these three functions in a single app. To communicate within a team there are business communication apps such as Slack or Hipchat. You can share documents using Cloud services like Google Drive or Dropbox.
There are also various accounting packages (which are not usually free) that combine all of the above functionalities, and which you can also use, for example, to make invoices or for your accountant.