Small Business Accounting: 4 Tips for Easier Bookkeeping
How's your receipt game?
Are they crumpled up at the bottom of your bag too??
From day one, bookkeeping's always been a pain to do. It probably is for you too. It's par for the course if you're an entrepreneur. Here are 4 key things I've done to streamline bookkeeping and invoicing this year.
1. Bye bye receipts everywhere!
Meet the app that'll organize your receipts asap.
My talented friend Allyson of Tailored Occasions taught me about Wave - it's an online bookkeeping service that has a FREE app that allows you to photograph and digitally "save" receipts.
Now when I'm out and about, I simply take out the app and snap a pic of the receipt. I can then customize the info about how it should be categorized and sync it with my bookkeeping (which I now do with Wave - for free - thanks to this and other features.)
Find more information about the Wave Receipts app here.
If you don't want to get the app or switch to Wave for bookkeeping, my friend Ashlee recommends using the Google Drive app!
Just make yourself a folder in Google Drive for each month, then snap a picture with the app in the appropriate folder. You still need to appropriately categorize it in your bookkeeping - but this is another free way to go easy and paperless!
2. No more creating individual estimates and invoices by hand in Word... every.single.time.
For the first 2.5 years of my business, it'd take me like half an hour to create an invoice or an estimate! Such a bummer and not a great use of my time. Now I can create a new estimate or invoice and send it to a client in less than five minutes!
How does she do it?
Well, Wave to the rescue again. (This isn't sponsored by the way, I just think it's a useful tool for a lot of reasons).
Wave has a section that will allow you to build invoices and estimates easily for free, as well as track them! You can see if someone has viewed your estimate if you send it through the system. You can also export it as a PDF and send manually. And you can use Wave for this even if you don't use Wave for bookkeeping.
Just upload your logo and business info, then go to town with the relevant details. I've created quick profiles for returning clients so all I need to do is select them. Easy peasy and I don't even want to think about how much time I was giving away prior to knowing about this!
Note: though I don't use this feature currently, you can actually set it up so that clients/customers can pay you via these invoices. Wave is linked to a credit card processor if you want to get paid this way too!
3. Google Calendar reminders are your friend.
Always behind on your bookkeeping? Here's one simple but effective tip: pick a 15 or 30 minute section weekly and make a calendar reminder "Expense Catch-up." Pick a time you usually have free time in the office and then do it each time it pops up.
Rather than staring down the barrel at hundreds of receipts, you'll be eating the whole elephant one week at a time!
4. Make the most of your mileage!
I'm terrible at keeping up with logging mileage. I always end up having to ballpark and go back through my calendar.
One thing that's saving my bacon this year is another app, MileIQ. Install it on your phone and it'll track your drives. When you have time, you just logon and swipe right for business and left for personal. It tallies all your mileage and can send you a report for tax time!
This one isn't free, but you can get 40 drives per month for free to see how you like it. I gave it a try and decided it was worth the $6 a month or so to make sure I'm getting as much credit for my mileage as possible.
Learn more about MileIQ here.
Bookkeeping will probably always be one of those things, but thanks technology for making it a little less cumbersome! I hope some of these ideas and resources inspire you to skip to action and save yourself a bit of time, aggravation, and paper.