Managing a company's accounts can be a complicated and time-consuming process, often relying on other people to give you the information you need. Making the system of reviewing and recording the business's finances as efficient as possible will help ensure you have enough time to complete all your tasks.
Here are five tips to help save you time when doing your accounts:
Using cash to pay for your business expenses can make the process much more complicated. It means someone has to manually go through their own personal accounts, which are then expensed, or determine what specific withdrawals from the business account were used for. This not only opens the process up to human errors but also makes it much more complicated for the accounts team.
Instead, use a dedicated business credit or debit card to make the majority of your payments, and have everything else done through your expenses procedure. It can be difficult to ensure everyone gets into this habit but it's an important change to make, which will make things easier for everyone in the long run.
Keeping paper versions of all your expenses for the recommended six years can be a hassle and take up a lot of space. Going paperless with your business account means verified people can access the information they need, regardless of where they are. This means you don't have to spend your time looking through pages of accounts but all the data will be there if you need to see it. For extra data protection, it's wise to keep a copy of your bookkeeping software and tax returns on a USB or external hard drive. You may also want to consider off-site physical or online data storage for these records.
Having your recurring invoices set up to be automatically sent out on a certain date can save you a considerable amount of time. You can also set emails to alert clients that their payment is due in X amount of days or that they are late to settle the balance through accounting software.
This gives your clients more stability when it comes to expecting their invoice, and how long they have until you will chase them up for payment. This should help them understand what is expected from your contract and what won't be tolerated.
Find the right software
There's a wide range of accounting software that can make your job much easier, as well as that of the employees submitting expenses and the company directors wanting to make judgements about the financial state of the business. People can be deterred from this because they are not technically savvy and feel the learning process will be too steep, but the payoff is completely worth it.
It's unlikely that you'll stumble upon the right application for you - and the rest of the company - straight away, so be prepared for a period of trial and error. Most accounting software offers ongoing support to help you get the most out of it and will allow you to try for a certain amount of time before you have to pay.
There are a variety of apps that allow you to enter the cost of items that you want to log as a business expense. This can massively reduce the amount of time it takes to log expenses, with all employees able to record any amounts they are spending on business items. Not only does this make it easier for individuals to send off their expenses but it allows you to access the most accurate information on time.