12 Oct Part Three: The business tools you wish you had 10 years ago
There are so many apps that can help your business run more smoothly and free up some time for you to focus on what you do best. In Part One and Two I showed you some of my favourite apps for staying organised and sharing work among the team (and across devices). Below are some suggestions for ways to clear up the bane of many small business owners – bookkeeping and accounts.
Time to ‘fess up. Do you keep all your receipts in a folder until they start to fade or your BAS is due, then you enter them all one by one into a spreadsheet or accounting software?
If you live in dread of that day, then this app will make you jump for joy (or fist-pump, if that’s more your thing).
Every time you have a claimable receipt, simply take a photo using the app (Apple or Android), and it will store the important information from the receipt for you to use in the future, along with an image of the receipt attached to the data. They have a really easy-to-use website and they integrate with lots of popular invoicing and storage services.
Because it syncs with cloud-based book-keeping software like Xero, it will input the receipt details automatically into the designated section. For example, once you designate an Officeworks receipt as ‘Office expenses’ in Xero, the next time you scan an Officeworks receipt in Receipt Bank it will automatically file it as ‘Office expenses’, so you literally do not need to do a thing.
While not free, Xero is a great online bookkeeping and accounting tool. Because the software is cloud-based it allows you to see your cashflow in real-time.
My internal accounts manager uses Xero for accounting, payroll, invoicing, billing, bank reconciliation, bookkeeping and banking; yet it is so easy to use that I also use it to keep a close look at my business’ finances.
Receipt Bank and another popular app, Shoeboxed, also sync with Xero making the entire book-keeping process so much easier. Xero offers a free trial, so it is worth checking out. Saasu is another popular cloud-based book-keeping tool that is worth looking into.
Spending your hard-earned time keeping your finances straight is not what you signed on for when you started your business. By taking advantage of these simple technologies, you can stop dreading balancing the books, and integrate it seamlessly into your daily routine.
In Part Four, I’ll be sharing some apps that help me focus on the task at hand and help me to stay on track with time management.
What about you – what apps and online tools have made your life easier?
This article, written by Phoebe Netto, originally appeared in Dynamic Business: Even more business tools you wish you had 10 years ago