Easy-to-follow ways to automate accounting for your small business

/ Posted By - Bradleys Accountants / Categories - Advice for Small Businesses

Accounting has a reputation for being a tedious, time-consuming job – and many small business owners decide not to do it for that very reason. However, it does not have to be like that. Modern accounting software can automatically execute a spectrum of tasks in minutes or hours at most, thus saving your team days’ effort and redirecting it to more critical projects.

Not to mention that laborious tasks are no one’s favourite. So by automating the accounting checklist for your small business, you will have happier and more motivated team members. How can I automate accounting for my small business, you ask? We will kick things off by listing some tasks you can automate right away – and as you will see, there are a lot of them!

1. Deferred income and revenue recognition

This is particularly relevant for small SaaS businesses that sell memberships or subscriptions. A big part of accounting in such operations involves managing deferred income and spreading it over the course of its life, something an accounting tool can easily handle.

When you automate accounting for your small business, managing deferred income and revenue recognition becomes easy!

2. Travel/mileage reimbursements

Handling these manually for every work trip is unproductive, especially when there are frequent trips by multiple employees. An automation solution enables each employee in your small business a predetermined upper limit for travel, accommodation and mileage to book their trip without needing separate approvals.

3. Invoicing and invoice tracking

This is what keeps money flowing into the business. Attempting to handle it manually, however, can be a nightmare. With an automated tool, you can issue invoices, send reminders at intervals, reconcile invoices paid against sales and delivery statements, share automatic updates with concerned teams, and so on!

4. Group customer payments

If there are multiple client companies on behalf of which a single client pays a consolidated invoice, the automation tool can allocate the relevant amounts to each client in your records.

5. Taxes and compliance

In the past, doing business taxes was inconceivable without hiring a tax professional. We still recommend having a tax consultant like Bradleys’ cloud accountants. But modern software takes care of a large number of basic tax requirements.

When you automate accounting for your small business, your team knows where the business stands taxwise at a glance, and they can directly bring up concerns with the tax consultant and efficiently outsource all the raw documentation for a quick resolution.

6. Financial reporting

If done manually, preparing annual reports for your top management and shareholders can be a nightmare. Modern reporting software prepares complete statements instantly and uses that data to predict future revenue and growth trends.

You can also undertake intercompany journals and eliminations. Automation can handle the nitty-gritty of processing adjustments and intercompany transactions and deliver a clean, consolidated balance sheet for your stakeholders and management.

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    7. Bank reconciliation

    Automation can help you match your company books with bank statements, mark any missing entries or double entries and detect inconsistencies in real time. The earlier you spot and fix mistakes, the easier your life will be.

    8. Expense management

    With a smart expense management tool, uploading and approving invoices becomes easy. Automation can quickly match company credit card charges against actual invoices and approve them without a hundred check-ins from managers while also forwarding processed amounts to accounting for recording in the books. This makes things easy for management and ensures employees are reimbursed promptly.

    9. Accounts payable

    This can be tedious, too, with checking the invoice amount, getting approval from higher management and processing the payment often leading to unnecessary delays. With automation, everyone gets visibility simultaneously, and payments can be set up to go out automatically, especially for recurring transactions.

    10. Group VAT returns

    If your small business and another one are submitting a group VAT return, automation can enter the adjusted amounts into each business journal, thus making the transactions more transparent.

    11. Core bookkeeping

    This is one of the tasks for which automation has evolved in leaps and bounds. No matter what industry you work in, there is dedicated bookkeeping software to make your life easier.

    12. Payroll

    With promotions, paid and unpaid leave, pension funds, bonuses and many other things to factor in, payroll is a function ripe for automation. With payroll software, all payouts are processed on time and recorded neatly, making for easier accounting and happy employees.

    Why have an automated accounting checklist for your small business?

    Overall, automation helps you streamline your financial processes, save time and money, and make better-informed decisions based on accurate financial data. Here are a few benefits:

    1. Money saved

    When your accounting team focuses on high-impact financial tasks, it helps your business stay profitable. Plus, without the risk of manual error, you no longer have to worry about chasing down inconsistencies or missed invoices at the end of the financial year.

    2. Higher accuracy

    Every business’ accounts will contain thousands and thousands of data points. Manually processing them will inevitably lead to errors, no matter how sharp-eyed your team is. With automation, typing numbers and totting up Excel sheets have become a thing of the past.

    All accounts are swiftly reconciled, and any inaccuracies are instantly flagged so that they can be addressed. Plus, it all happens in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.

    3. Happier workforce

    When previously manual tasks are automated, the time saved soon translates into fewer late nights and working weekends. Your accounting team enjoys better work-life balance and lower stress levels, which keeps them happy and motivated to do their best. That way, you also reduce your staff turnover and attract even more talented accountants to join the team.

    4. Better utilisation of talent

    You hired your accounting team for their financial expertise, not for their ability to copy and paste data from Excel sheets.

    Automation can handle all the dozens of repetitive, low-impact tasks that bog down your accountants, allowing them to devote more time to critical services that require their experience and unique insights, such as how to improve your firm’s bottom line.

    Work with cloud accounting specialists

    When you automate accounting for your small business, you enjoy manifold benefits that are more than worth the cost of investing in a tool. Moreover, as you start using the automation software, you will discover so many little inconveniences and bottlenecks that were holding you up before and now no longer exist.

    Given how competitive today’s market is, you want your small business to be as dynamic as possible, and well-oiled accounting machinery is a big part of that. So do not hesitate further – invest in accounting automation today or hire cloud accounting experts.

    Our Xero and QB-certified accountants thoroughly understand how the cloud operates. Allow us to assist you in uploading receipts and invoices directly into your accounting software, eliminating the need for manual data entry.

    Gain insight into your business performance through actionable KPIs, such as cash flow performance and revenue patterns. We ensure your bookkeeping, payroll, and tax return preparation remain updated, transparent, and secure, with easy access for your team.

    Moreover, with our support, you stay compliant with regulations such as Auto Enrolment and National Living Wage. Access up-to-date cash flow information and utilise add-on features to speed up payments and free up cash.

    Have complete control over your finances by managing all aspects of your business from a single location. Contact Bradleys Accountants to find out more.

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