How can I minimise my financial paperwork
Overflowing storage spaces, endless piles of files, crumpled up receipts and tattered old ring binders – it may seem cliché, but it’s an all too familiar image for business owners. Some paperwork simply can’t just be thrown away; it needs to be kept in case of HMRC visits, inspections, or for later use.
What if we told you it could all be different though? That there are affordable, accessible and portable ways to manage your financial paperwork, invoices, and documents? These days, there are so many options – all of which offer specific benefits to your business and your situation. In this blog, we’re going to take you through some of the best ways that you can minimise your financial paperwork and some of the strategies that can make running your business easier.
Accounting Apps & Cloud-based Accounting
We know, we know, it may seem crazy, but there truly is an app out there for nearly everything. Accounting apps are a great way to bring portability and accessibility to the way you manage your business.
Almost all cloud-based accounts systems come with a mobile app that allow you invoice on the go, record your expenses, and monitor your key financial figures. For example, if you just finished some consultant or contract work and you’re ready to invoice your client, you could do it there and then, in the presence of your client. This works well for both parties, as your client receives their invoice instantly and knows how much they owe, and you won’t have to remember to send the invoice out later. When it comes to business expenses, you can choose whether you want to process them on the spot, or whether you want to save it for later. It means you can start the next job without having to come back to the previous one, and it saves you a bulging wallet full of wrinkled receipts…
Storing Invoices & Documents
Your invoices are then automatically stored on your system and can be reprinted or e-mailed whenever you need, meaning you no longer need to print off every document and store it in a physical folder. This also applies to anything you want to attach to your invoice, like specs or breakdowns, which saves you the hassle of backing everything up in physical folders.
However, this also works the other way around. Expenses and supplier invoices can be scanned and saved directly to your cloud accounts system, which saves you plenty of paper and storage space. The beauty is that it can be printed or referenced whenever necessary and will always be accessible. Because it’s digital, you can retrieve it much quicker that flipping through a bunch of overflowing ring binders. The same goes for any VAT reports and management reports. As a result, you’ll also know that all your sensitive business information is stored in a password-protected and encrypted cloud system.
Admin made easy
Cloud Accounting systems also provides value for your employees. Payslips can be emailed directly to people, meaning they no longer need to be printed and kept on file. Similarly, you can email any client statements directly from your system, removing the need for posting, helping you provide a better and quicker service.
And, if you’re still waiting on outstanding payments, you can set up automated notifications and email reminders that will do the chasing for you. Always handy if, like most business owners, you’ve got plenty of other matters to deal with.
The benefits of minimising your financial paperwork
The beauty of modern technology is that you can go from quote to invoice without having to repeat or duplicate any information. It cuts out the unnecessary filing and allows you to get things done quickly when you have the time to do so. Doing things digitally also means it’s always there and means you don’t run the risk of your clients and suppliers losing the information and invoices you send to them. Plus, your mobile apps and accounting software all integrates and links up – you’re always able to pick up where you left off as you move between devices.
Overall, we think the digital accounting trend will help you understand your business better while also providing a more comprehensive service to your clients. Rather than resist it, we think businesses are better off engaging in the process in a proactive way. Get in touch with us for more information about this, as we’ve helped many of our clients transfer to digital software, which is becoming increasingly important as the Making Tax Digital deadline approaches.