3 Ways Your Accountant Should be Automating Your Books
Posted on 14th March 2017 in Business
Written by James Marren
One of the ‘Banes’ of any entrepreneur’s life is the paperwork and data entry that comes with keeping those all-important finances up to date. To continue the metaphor, you could see cloud financial services as ‘Batman’, the slightly mysterious hero. We’re all about fighting the good fight here at FUTRLI and empowering SMEs. In this blog, we share three great tools to add to your ‘Utility Belt’.
From filing and processing mountains of receipts to issuing and chasing invoices, accounting can eat into your energy and resources. Worst of all, time spent slogging over the numbers is time spent away from serving your customers and driving your business forward.
Thankfully, there are now plenty of tools out there that can banish away the blues that have always come with number crunching. By embracing these tools and automating almost every possible admin task you can massively enhance your business’ efficiency.
Soon you’ll be able to shift time spent compiling your accounts and figuring out your taxes, to time spent analysing your numbers and forecasting ways to grow your business.
Programs like Xero and QuickBooks have used the cloud to reinvent accounting services and take the drudgery from finance. The cloud is where files and software are stored on the internet instead of your computer hard drive (great news for SMEs as it means they don’t need to invest heavily in computer memory or servers).
The likes of QuickBooks and Xero simplify your accounts by automating what used to be manual processes. They take care of everything from bank reconciliations to the issuing of invoices. This high level of automation reduces manual input and formula errors and also enables real-time financial reporting.
Another strength of these tools is that there is much less maintenance to worry about than with traditional software. Things like file backups and software updates are done automatically and require no input from the user.
Finally, another benefit of the cloud, is that you don’t need to be on a particular computer, or at a particular office, to access your finances. You have access to your files on the move wherever you are and on any device.
The chances are that as you’re reading this blog your wallet, bag or coat pocket contains several receipts you need to process at some point for expenses. There’s also a very good chance that by the time you sit down to catch up on filing your claims you’ll either have lost some or you won’t be able to read a few as the ink has faded.
Receipt Bank solves that issue by letting you submit your receipts by smartphone, email or Dropbox. Snap a picture of your receipt as soon as you get it (or on the commute home) and send it straight to Receipt Bank, removing the need to keep hold of the physical version.
The program then allows you to easily record what the expense is before it then extracts the information and sends it effortlessly into your accounts. Receipt Bank connects seamlessly with cloud accounting software, making it an even more attractive option. Not only is it a huge time saver for SMEs, it also frees up a lot of space in your purse or wallet!
Xero’s add on Marketplace
Xero’s add on Marketplace has 500+ time-saving applications designed to solve your business needs. If you’re tired of chasing invoices or your cash flow is looking a little precarious, be heartened by the fact that there’s an app for that! In fact, several, and Chaser and Debtor Daddy, are a couple of the best. They allow you to send automated emails to customers when an invoice is nearing its due date. These have helped businesses in some cases improve cash flow by as much as 50% in just 6 weeks.
Shopify and Rocketspark, allow you to set up online shops that sync with Xero to enable orders to automatically flow through as invoices. While TSheets and MinuteDock can save you hours of admin, by tracking time sheets. You can accurately track time and schedule your employees, anytime, anywhere, and on any device. No more manual data entry, no more hunting down errant time cards, and no more wasted time.