Accounting Industry Trends
6 Bookkeeping Tips For Small Business Owners to Help You Thrive in the Post-Pandemic Business Environment
The post-pandemic business world is full of opportunities for savvy small business owners. A dramatic shift to online environments means that services and techniques formerly available only to large corporations are now readily available to small businesses.
Opportunities in cloud-based technology
Small Business Britain released a study of small business challenges and opportunities titled ‘How To Recover.’ (1) They highlight opportunities to upgrade to innovative technologies, especially cloud-based ones.
Cloud-based applications for accounting and other small business needs allow small business owners to compete more effectively with large companies.
For instance, applications such as Envoice are of great value, proving cost and time-effective for SMEs. Most owners report huge savings in man-hours, not to mention getting an improved workflow and becoming much more quickly aware of outgoings and expenses.
Important for those whom every penny helps, luckily, cloud-based applications are readily available to SMEs worldwide.
6 Bookkeeping Tips For Small Business Owners
Concepts and guidelines from Small Business Britain can be applied to your business wherever you are. Use online business support systems to upgrade your business practices and encourage new opportunities.
Cloud technology for small business accounting, specifically vendor invoice processing, shifts workload from you or your bookkeeper to artificial intelligence, freeing time and reducing costs.
Here are our top tips for incorporating cloud accounting technology in your business:
1. Process Accounts Payable Invoices ASAP
Vendor invoices tend to be messy. They arrive inconveniently in multiple locations, usually when the small business owner needs to focus on doing other work. Often this paperwork will do a tour of the office awaiting coding and then sign off and in the process, all too easily gets lost.
Often not prioritized, misplacing these documents sets the small business owner up for paying more for needed products by missing discount deadlines and/or by damaging vendor relationships. There could even be late payment penalties applied.
Not having all the accounts payable invoices on time can make it difficult for SMEs to understand their real outgoings and financial commitments. It makes it tough to project cash flow and turns budgeting and forecasting more into guesswork.
Business owners not on top of their invoices may also be forced to juggle money around when hit by an unexpected debt when a credit controller calls chasing for payment for an invoice that is not even on the system yet or has been lost.
Given these realities, vendor invoices are an opportunity for good accounting practices. Yet many business owners resort to tossing invoices in a wire basket on the corner of their desks. This task can be performed more effectively by using new online accounting tools.
These accounting tools give SMEs a real-time snapshot of what they owe. They don’t have to wait until they or their accounts clerk has eventually entered everything into the system.
The beauty of systems like Envoice is you will know what you are spending and what you owe.
Using the most current software, vendors send their invoices directly to the application for processing. Any invoices that you receive by mail can be instantly uploaded. Expense receipts can be uploaded as well.
You will no longer have to keep track of receipts or invoices as all will be securely stored in the cloud. See more information about this concept at Envoice – Manage your company’s invoices, expenses, & approvals online.
2. Keep Track of Your Expenses
Expense receipts are small and fiddly and can easily get lost and forgotten. Often not prioritized, these receipts add up over a year to a lot of money.
There are too many small business owners who neglect to claim all their expenses for this reason. Alternatively, they don’t have the correct backing for the taxman or VAT man so their expenses get disallowed.
Why pay any more tax or VAT than you need to?
Even if your company is one where you do process all the expenses (eventually), it can take a long time for these expenses to be recorded and analyzed and for you to be properly aware of them.
If you have an employee who is suddenly putting in much higher expenses than usual, you may not know about it in time to be able to nip it in the bud.
Conversely, if your employee is being tardy in putting in their expenses, you can also become aware of this so you are not hit with an unexpectedly large amount to pay. Also, you can account for this if you are near the end of the tax year so you don’t overpay tax.
The beauty of using Envoice to record expenses is that many shop receipt printing inks rapidly fade over time making these records of a business’s outgoings almost impossible to read after a few months. Envoice will record your expense when it is still readable!
3. Reduce Admin Time
New vendor invoice processing systems employ artificial intelligence to accurately extract information from the bewildering collection of vendor invoices received by most business owners.
These applications automatically process invoices, extracting necessary information for the general ledger and preparing them for timely payment.
These procedures will reduce the time you or your bookkeeper spend processing invoices while improving the quality of the information processed.
Processing invoices involves checking and verifying, signing them off, entering data, consulting payment schedules, and presenting the information for approval.
A recent study of the costs involved in processing invoices estimates that each paper invoice costs $12 to $30. Learn more about the costs incurred with your current bookkeeping system at How to Process an Invoice: A Guide for Small Business Owners.
Of course, as a business owner, you don’t have to pay for your time if you process the invoices yourself. However, you will be distracted from your primary job, which is running your business and making money.
Why take this time out when there is software that can do it all for you?
The self-learning artificial intelligence software at Envoice automatically reads data from receipts and invoices. No data entry is necessary. It processes the information, and automatically categorizes and allocates costs. Invoices are tentatively scheduled for payment and sent to you for review and approval.
[Related Post: 7 Reasons Your Business Should Be Working with AI Bookkeeping]
4. Improve Data Security
The days of storing data on-site are gone. No small business can provide the level of data security and accessibility available through cloud storage and accounting. Your data is both safer and easier to access with cloud-based accounting.
Cloud storage ensures that your data is securely stored with automatic backup from the time it is received. Issues with your computer will never affect your data. Simply log in on another device and access your data from any location. Ideal for people who work from home or on the move.
With cloud accounting, you can perform accounting tasks from any computer. Your data will always be accessible. Further, you will be using the latest software version without needing to upgrade.
5. Review Financial Reports That Give Usable Information
Small business owners need information that lets them make intelligent decisions for their business. They need to access pertinent information as needed. Small business owners need easy access to information about expense accounts, the due date on vendor invoices, and tax data, for example.
The more real-time this can be, the better.
New software applications have gone past standard reports. You can now search your information to find exactly the information you need – quickly and easily. Envoice provides an expense management tool that gives you a better overview of accounts payable.
6. Establish Relationships With Professionals. Have The Experts Available For Consultation Online As Needed
In the past, small business owners often lacked the resources to consult with experts. Maintaining a lawyer or accountant on retainer was just cost-prohibitive.
With cloud-based services, however, experts are often available as part of a monthly package. Accounting services, for example, often offer an on-demand accountant or financial advisor as part of their services.
Utilizing these services can help you with financial planning. They can help you avoid pitfalls like missing important government licenses or tax deadlines. Develop the habit of checking with your professional advisors regularly.
Opportunities abound in the post-pandemic era. Small Business Britain reminds us to seize these opportunities. Put these recent technologies to work in your business and work smarter, not harder.
New cloud-based accounting applications can help your business thrive in the post-pandemic business environment. They help you process incoming invoices rapidly and accurately, using artificial intelligence, improve your data security, and you will receive more usable information and connect readily with experts and consultants.
Envoice can put these abilities in your hands.
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