Every small business owner will tell you that there’s just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. They usually have to balance this big workload with trying to have a personal life too. And not just for their own sanity, but because we all have friends and family that need our support. After all, an an 80-hour work week isn’t good, or sustainable, for anyone.
At Osome, we talk to small business owners all the time. We get a high-level view of where their time is going and can be objective about where time could be better spent. There are some areas where time is leaked that are consistent, regardless of industry. We know any tips to save time in the office are greatly welcomed.
In this article, we spoke to our accountants about some of the areas that pop up time and time again, and asked them, with all their expertise, to suggest ways to make small daily changes that can make a big difference in the long run.
Take a moment to look at the next financial quarter, or year, as a whole. What are the key dates you want to hit to keep your business plan on track? What are the dates you should be aware of? Just putting these down on paper or on a daily wall planner that you can glance at will help keep them front of mind, so you can do the daily detail of your work always within the context of the “big picture”. Or, you could set up a compliance calendar to track and centralize key dates.
Set up reminders for yourself so that you can focus on your work and you know you won’t miss key dates. This can be handy for not only tax deadlines, invoicing and chasing payments, but also for company vehicle tax, service and MOT dates, business insurance renewals, equipment warranties and anything else that comes up periodically and could slip through the cracks.
You’re a professional and have customers who pay you for what you do. That’s because you’re good at it, they trust you, and you save them time and money. If you outsource your bookkeeping to an accountant or bookkeeping service, you’ll also be saving yourself a lot of time and, in turn, money. You’ll be reducing your stress, because you’ll have a qualified set of eyes who understands your business looking at your figures. They’ll help you pay just the right amount of tax you owe, avoid fines by meeting tax deadlines and let you know exactly what is tax deductible— sometimes it’s more than you think!
There’s software that can save you time and make keeping a track of expenses, supplier costs and sales invoices simple. By using it regularly, for example putting a small amount of time aside every week, you’ll stay up-to-date with the administrative side of your business finances. You’ll be in a better place when it comes to preparing information for your accountant, or for doing a tax return yourself, when it comes to that time.
By using cloud-based software that isn’t native to your computer, you’re allowing yourself the freedom to access it quickly from anywhere in the world. This stops things building up. It also gives you the security that it’s always backed up regardless of what happens to a laptop or phone. Your accountant can have access to these files too, so file visibility, communication and transfer can be done seamlessly.
Ecommerce Platform Integration
If your business uses a third party ecommerce platform, such as Amazon or Etsy, make sure your accounting software integrates with it. You don’t want to create a step for yourself where you have to manually enter data between your sales and accounting platforms. So, make sure these two areas of your digital infrastructure talk to each other. The Osome App uses smart software backed up by expert accountants, to increase the efficiency and speed for our customers.
The same applies for your business bank account and credit cards. They should align neatly with your accounting software and, if you’re starting out, make sure the bank you choose can handle your transactions. We know of a small business that started and over 25% of its start-up capital was delayed by six months due to their bank not being able to take foreign payments. This had an impact on the production, sales and marketing schedules and threatened to jeopardize the business’s relationship with the finance source.
Have a schedule in place with your accountant so that you can review your business and catch things before they happen. This proactive approach will give you peace of mind knowing that your accounting partner is helping you with your forward-planning and mitigating risk.
Be On Top Of It
That’s what it boils down to. The accounting side of your business is integral to your success, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Don’t take the burden all on yourself, have the right relationships and technology to make your life easy and capitalize on these simple time saving tips at work.
Think of it like brushing your teeth. You don’t just brush the day before a dentist appointment. You brush every day. You also don’t leave a toothache until you can’t eat. You get a qualified professional to have a look at it. And you don’t buy the cheapest toothbrush and brush with water. You get a good brush and use the right toothpaste for your teeth. It’s a long-term approach.
Let’s take a look at your books
If you need any help with your accounting, we specialize in small businesses. Fancy a chat to see how we could help you?