When you’re a sole trader or small business owner, you often have to wear a lot of hats, so anything that can help you to streamline your bookkeeping has to be a good thing. So we’ve pulled together some of our favourite ways to simplify your small business bookkeeping, so you can set and forget, and get on with doing what you do best.
1. Email auto-forwarding
One thing we often recommend is setting up a dedicated email address for accounts. It only takes a few minutes to set up, and once you have it, you can set up auto-forwarding to Xero, meaning you never have to touch your emails, and you can pay your accounts straight from Xero. Alternatively, you can go through your accounts in your dedicated inbox, and then, as you pay them, you can forward them straight into Dext (if you use it), so you know it’s been paid. Setting this up once means you can make your life a lot easier, and you’re never scrambling around looking for records at tax time.
2. Overdue account reminders on Xero
Nobody likes to spend their workday chasing overdue accounts. It’s hard work, often frustrating, and it takes you out of what you really want to be working on, but Xero has a great function that allows you to set up automatic reminders when your invoices fall overdue. Most people don’t mean to fall behind on their payments so a gentle nudge is often all that’s needed to remind them to make payment. We have our reminders set to two, seven and 14 days after the due date, and without any manual work from us, that’s enough to ensure most of our invoices are paid and accounts kept up to date. And you can change Xero’s wording to suit your own messaging to ensure your messaging is consistent and customer-focused. Easy!
3. Repeating invoices on Xero
If you’re working on a fixed rate, you can set up repeating invoices in Xero, which can be set to either go through automatically, or you can set them as a draft, check them to see if you need to adjust anything, and send out. Either way, it takes the manual work out of creating invoices each time and makes the process of getting paid a whole lot smoother, and it doesn’t rely on you having the time to dedicate to your admin.
4. Time tracking
If you bill your clients on an hourly basis, you need to track your hours. At Dollars + Sense, we use a great time tracking app called Minute Dock. The great thing about Minute Dock is that it pulls all of the hours from across our team who might be working on the same project, and it pulls them all into one invoice across to Xero, so there’s no need to collate hours manually, and it provides absolute transparency. It also allows you to add notes if you need to let the client know anything about the work or the hours, which can be really handy.
There are endless ways you can automate your business and save yourself time. If you’d like some help setting these, or any other small business bookkeeping automations up, we can help.
Dollars + Sense offers personalised outsourced bookkeeping services so that you can make your life simpler, and your bookkeeping easier.