Have you experienced the frustration of books that will not keep themselves?
There would be many small business owners, and bookkeepers of larger organisations, that can relate to the tedium of entering invoices, reconciling banks and debt-chasing.
However, the books of your organisation are really the measure of how your business is doing. If the books are not accurate, your reporting will not be accurate, and you will struggle to effectively track the performance of your business.
Below are some tips to increase the efficiency of your bookkeeping.
Automate whatever you can:There are many software systems out there that will scan documents and extract the key data. They also integrate with the accounting software to post the document immediately. Some examples are Hubdoc (integrates with Xero), and PaperLess (integrates with Sage).
Set up banks on bank feed, so transactions pull through from the bank automatically. This will save importing, duplicating, or omitting transactions.
If your system allows it, you can set up bank rules to automatically reconcile payments or transactions that happen regularly.
Regularity:It is much more efficient to approach bookkeeping on a “little and often” basis, for example reconciling the bank or entering the invoices daily or at least weekly. This way you will avoid being faced with a mountain of bookkeeping to do before month-end reports can be produced.
It is also much quicker to do the bookkeeping when the events or transactions are fresh in your mind.
Regularity will enable you to pick up any errors and resolve them much more quickly and effectively.
Keep a close eye on accounts receivable:When your customers don’t pay on time your cashflow can dry up surprisingly quickly, so pay attention when your debtors fall due and any that are overdue. The sooner you can follow them up the better – if a customer is in financial difficulties you may still be able to recover at least some of what is owed.
Go paperless!Most of the paperwork these days is sent by email or other electronic means. It is worth having a strong, highly organised, and effective storage system on a computer.
Another way to ensure that transactions always have the relevant paperwork easily accessible is to attach a copy of the paperwork to the transaction in the accounting system, if possible. The invoice scanning systems mentioned in the first paragraph will enable this.