For most people running their own business, record keeping and paperwork are not favoured tasks. We regularly hear the complaint that record keeping takes as much time as the actual running of the business. The excitement of self-employment can be removed if countless hours are spent in this area. There are alternatives, however. So how can I better organise my bookkeeping?
The obvious way would be to outsource the bookkeeping to a bookkeeping service. That way you keep all receipts bank statements etc. in a safe place (often a shoebox) and the bookkeeper arrives every month or quarter and collates the information and enters it into some form of accounting record – usually a software program, like MYOB or QuickBooks. Being trained and experienced in this they will take far less time than you and the hours you save can be utilised in your core business to generate more income than you pay to the bookkeeper.
With new developments in technology there are other alternatives as well. The forerunner in Cloud accounting technology was Xero, developed in New Zealand but now used widely around the world. Others like QuickBooks Online and MYOB have followed this movement to the Cloud. These programs effectively can turn your bank into your record keeper if you run everything through the bank. It facilitates data feeds into an accounting program, effectively eliminating most data entry. It can be automated so it can recognise recurring type transactions and save even more time. If you have an accountant or bookkeeper you can invite them to your file so they can see what you are doing and assist you when necessary. They will sign on to your file in the Cloud so copying and transferring files to the accountant or bookkeeper is no longer necessary. Invoices can be generated from the program so all your data can be kept in one place. There is also the facility to store your receipts and purchase invoices in the software, assisting you to drastically reduce the amount of paper you need to keep.
If you have lots of transactions that don’t go through the bank, like cash receipts, there are programs like Receipt Bank or Entryless which enable you to take a picture of the recept on your phone and upload to a capturing facility which will organise the receipts into a form that is easily imported into the software.
So the days of laborious data entry can be consigned to the past, whether you use outsourced bookkeeping or if you elect to do it in-house. For more on how can I better organise my bookkeeping, we are always happy to discuss your options in this area.
Also read: What can I claim as a deduction?