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Streamlining Your Small Business Accounting: 5 Tips for Better Efficiency and Accuracy

A little streamlining in your small business accounting processes can go a long way.

Maybe you’re a small business owner who needs to cut down on your hours spent bookkeeping. Maybe you’re tired of manual errors popping up across your financials. Or maybe you’re belt-tightening and need to stretch your current accounting resources.

Whatever your goal, simplification could be the cure.

The following are some ways business owners can streamline their small business accounting systems and processes — and improve not just your efficiency, but your accuracy, too.

Go Paperless

Paper-based systems are rife with potential for error.

Handwritten invoices, for instance, can be riddled with inaccuracies and difficult for vendors to read. Physical invoices and other important documents take days to arrive and can get lost in the mail. Documents you need come tax time can easily get lost.

Paperless systems don’t guarantee 100% accuracy, but they greatly reduce the risk of human error. They ensure everything is neatly stored in an accessible place for when you need to retrieve something. And, from a cost-efficiency standpoint, they cut down on expenditures on things like printers (and printer repair), ink and paper.

But be mindful of how you implement a paperless office. Some businesses decide they’re going “cold turkey” and try to go digital with all of their accounting and bookkeeping processes — without considering whether their partners can keep up. So if you want to take your business paperless, we suggest consulting with experts who can help you determine where digital processes can help — but also where you might face complications.

Minimize Cash Transactions

Going paperless is the central theme of many streamlining efforts, and many of the additional steps you can take will be complementary to that.

For instance, where at all possible, minimize or outright halt cash usage.

Cash introduces a number of risks. It’s easy to steal. It’s easy to collect the wrong amount. It requires you to take extra trips to the bank. And it’s more difficult to reconcile.

Other forms of payment are more secure, more convenient for most customers, and easier to report transactions in digital bookkeeping programs. And in the case of digital payments, they allow you to automate payment collection, which improves your chances of getting paid on time.

Just be mindful that other forms of payment have their own costs (credit card transaction fees, digital payment platform fees, etc.),

Use Accounting Software

Accounting software and apps are a streamliner’s best friend.

These programs can offer a wide array of services, including:

  • Receipt tracking
  • Expense management
  • Payroll
  • Bill pay
  • Invoicing
  • Generating estimates
  • Reconciling bank and credit card transactions
  • Financial reporting

The time savings alone are worth it. Consider, for instance, the time it takes to fill out an expense report while dealing with paper receipts. Now imagine having a report generated for you with just a few camera clicks from your smartphone.

But perhaps every bit as important as what these apps can do is the information they can store in one convenient place. For instance, rather than having to keep boxes of paper receipts for your tax preparer, accounting apps can securely keep that information in the cloud so it’s ready whenever you (or your small business accountant) need it.

Integrate Accounting Systems With Other Tools

Simply implementing accounting software is a major step for your business. But you can gain even more efficiencies by integrating your accounting systems with other tools.

One great example? Let’s say you use Square, a popular payments solution. Did you know that it integrates with numerous business tools, including widely used accounting apps such as QuickBooks and Wix? By syncing up the two, any payments run through Square can show up in your QuickBooks account within minutes.

Talk to An Accounting Pro

Few people are more qualified to make bespoke recommendations about how to streamline your accounting processes than an actual small business accountant.

McManamon & Co. provides a wide array of accounting services that includes accounting tasks, as well as teaching you and your accounting staff best practices and how to properly utilize accounting software like QuickBooks and Peachtree. We can also evaluate your business to see whether paperless office conversion or other streamlining methods are right for you.

If you want to know more about what we can do for you, call us at 440.892.8900 or contact us online today.

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