When you’re a small business owner, you learn quickly that if you want something done (right or otherwise), you usually have to do it yourself. Delegation can feel like a luxury you can’t afford.
As your grow, though, your mind may change, as you recognize that if you micromanage every last detail, you won’t have the energy to make executive decisions. Taking your business to the next level means focusing on the bigger picture, not the day to day tasks.
The path to clearing your plate for bigger and better goals is often as simple as automating the small chores. Recently, we looked at 4 ways to use automation to ease the pain of repetitive administrative business tasks. Today, we’ll focus specifically on your accounting. How long do you spend each month sending invoices, managing payments or entering and filing expenses?
What if many of those time-consuming tasks could automatically take care of themselves? And what if the same accounting solution could provide you with important insights that could help shape your long-term vision? Imagine the possibilities.
5 Accounting Tasks to Automate
Cloud-based accounting software solutions have become wildly popular with business owners. In addition to empowering entrepreneurs to quickly, securely and simply create professional-grade documents like invoices and estimates, the leading accounting software now offers a number of automated features designed to liberate you to grow your business.
1. Payments Collection
Research from FreshBooks indicates that you’ll get paid twice as fast when you offer the option of paying by credit card – straight from a link in your invoice. And who doesn’t want money in their pocket sooner?
All you have to do is send the invoice. Plus, the payment is automatically recorded and any transaction fees are imported into your expense folder so you don’t have to do any bookkeeping.
2. Recurring Invoices
Do you have regular clients that you bill the same amount every month? Look for a solution that allows you to create recurring invoices that are automatically sent for you. You can even set up an auto-billing function that automatically (and securely) charges your clients’ credit card in seconds.
3. Late Payment Reminders and Fees
Following up with late-paying clients is a painful task most small business owners hate. Want to be rid of it forever?
If you work with the right accounting software, you may be able to automate this task off your to-do list. For example, FreshBooks allows you to set up automatic payment reminders and even late payment fees so you can outsource those awkward emails. The software will automatically send the right reminder email at the right time. You can even customize the email for a personal touch.
4. Expense Import and Categorization
Ditch the paper files and embrace a digital solution that’ll save you hours every quarter.
Software solutions have come a long way. Now you can use software that allows you to link your bank account or credit card and automatically upload and track expenses, eliminating time-consuming manual entry. No more scrambling during tax time, since your expenses are uploaded all year and ready to file.
5. Easier Estimates and Proposals
Every small business owner knows the most time-consuming part of preparing an estimate or proposal is formatting, sending and managing it.
This process can become a lot more automated with a professional template. All you need to do is input the details and the cost. Once you’re finished, just hit send.
If you want to become a bigger business, it’s time to think bigger. That means finding automated solutions that allow you to conserve your time and mental energy for big-picture actions that will get you to your next milestone. When you find that balance, magic happens.
This guest post was written by Heather Hudson of FreshBooks for Fundbox. FreshBooks is committed to making invoicing and accounting painless for millions of small business owners.