The Small Business Owner must manage the different functions of the business, ranging from making products and managing employees, through marketing and distribution, to finance and accounting.
When you consider the manual process of reconciling the monthly books; the use of excel spreadsheets to record transactions; the upfront cost of storing information on dedicated hard drives that can hardly be accessed by more than one person at a time; the manual labour of recording hard copy receipts and stacking them in drawers; the valuable time wasted on this inefficient process; you will understand why many Small Business Owners leave their bookkeeping to the last minute.
The financial and accounting functions of the business can be a challenge for many Small Business Owners, mainly because of the time-consuming and tedious nature of the tasks. This does not have to be so if the Small Business Owner decides to automate the accounting process.
You can manage the finance function of your business efficiently by use of technology. Its user-friendly interfaces will keep your accounting activities in one place, enable anyone in charge of the accounting function to keep records of transactions, and help automate the rest of your business systems.
How can the Small Business Owner deploy an automated bookkeeping system to manage the day to day activities of the business? Here are some methods and tools that the Small Business Owner can use to automate the accounting process of the business:
1. Link Your Books With Your Bank(s): Get an accounting software package that can connect to your bank account, and automatically download transactions. You don’t have to type in transactions. You can reconcile your bank account(s) once per month to ensure that your books match what happened at the bank.
2. Schedule Recurring Transactions: You can schedule recurring transactions to hit your bank account directly. You can setup such charges to show up in your books on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or other schedule. There will be no need keep such transactions in your memory or write them on your calendar.
3. Automate Your Payroll: Meeting payroll can be a complex process. There could need paperwork to accurately calculate employee’s salaries, write cheques and/or make direct deposits into their accounts. There are taxes to be calculated and withheld.
Nevertheless, your employees keep your business running. They perform the tasks that make your business work. They need to be paid as and when due.
Automating the payroll simplifies this process, eliminates potential mistakes, saves time, and enables Small Business Owners to take their minds off the related tax payments. It also leaves time for the team to concentrate on tasks that matter most and improve productivity of the business.
4. Digitise Your Receipts and Invoices: Small Business Owners can now save time and space by taking pictures of hard copies of their receipts and invoices, by extracting information from them, and entering such information into their automated bookkeeping system. By literally digitising your receipts and invoices, you will save the labour and time involved in manual data entry, and leverage information so derived towards managing the business in a smarter way.
5. Automate Invoicing, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable: Automation of invoicing and accounts receivable simplifies the daily activities of the business. When invoicing and accounts receivable are set on autopilot, the business can easily track who has paid and who hasn’t. This process can also be matched with electronic invoices.
Automation can equally set up automatic payments for your vendors, using information stored and pre-set in your accounting software.
6. Move Your Accounting To The Cloud: Cloud-based accounting software packages give Small Business Owners the option of storing their information in the cloud, instead of desktop applications and dedicated hard drives.
Cloud-based accounting gives the Small Business Owner the benefits of reduced cost and easy access to the system from anywhere there is a connection to the internet.
These software packages also link users’ bank accounts, give real-time information on cash flow positions, automate invoices and payments, generate financial reports and enable smarter business decisions at the click of a button. Most important, they give the Small Business Owner greater processing power at a smaller cost!
Without spending more time on the tasks or hiring an employee to do them, an automated bookkeeping system saves time and effort through the fiscal year, helps the bookkeeper set and meet deadlines, and provides invaluable operational information to keep you abreast of what to do to improve the business.
If you are new to technology, automating the bookkeeping activities of your business will require time to fully integrate into your business. However, once you switch to automated services, your business will run better.