Automate your Business: Ideas and Suggestions
In a classic, futuristic children's cartoon, the main character's job consisted of him sitting in his ergonomic floating chair and tediously pushing a single button. That's right. A. Single. Button. This was the 'ideal' future.
Are we there yet? Almost.
These days there are many administrative tasks: emails, invoices, receipt tracking, and more that you can automate or simplify using online or mobile applications which were not possible or available up to five years ago. Technology has come a long way and allowed our workflow to be much more simple and less heavy on the administrative side. The more time you can spend making money is less time you have to devote to some of those menial tasks that can now be automated.
If you are still in the habit of doing your own bookkeeping and struggling to make sense of your P&Ls and expense reports; it might be time to invest in a bookkeeper.
Strategic Financial Reporting Inc specializes in bookkeeping and tax accounting. There are many benefits a properly trained bookkeeper can offer you, such as automatically pulling your expenses from your bank accounts, managing your bills so they are paid in a timely manner, creating reports for you on a monthly basis, creating your P&L come tax time, and more. At the end of every month, we’ll send you an expense report which will show you exactly where your money is going.
Payroll is a tedious process. It can take hours to add a new employee to your payroll system and collect and file all the legally required documentation. Then there is the task of remembering to review and submit payroll on time week after week. All of these tasks can induce anxiety, and come tax time the additional work required can lead to stressful times.
Having a bookkeeper handle payroll and all of the related items that go with it would take one more task off of your plate so that you can focus on doing the work you love.
Tracking and reporting time worked can be a hassle. Whether it is a standard hourly rate for a recurring job or a special rate for a client with a standing weekly appointment, time tracking can sometimes take as long as the service itself.
Our bookkeepers use Quickbooks Online to create automatic recurring invoices for clients with a service agreement or engagement with your company. Having a bookkeeper also means that you don't have to worry about new invoices that come up for one-time services either. Your bookkeeper can automatically send and receive invoices on your behalf to ensure accurate billing.
Receipt Documentation and Storage:
There is no pleasure in keeping years upon years of receipts stashed away in a shoebox or bag. In this digital age, it is prudent to scan and save your receipts and organize them by year and category. By scanning and saving your receipts you also avoid having faded receipts stuffed away and forgotten. It is particularly important to easily access your receipts if you are audited, or just need to find proof of payment for any other reason.
There are several phone apps and scanners on the market today which allow you to snap a picture or scan and upload to the cloud or a local file. QuickBooks online allows you to upload and attach receipts directly in your books. All you have to do is take a picture, and your bookkeeper can manage the receipt to make sure it is accurately categorized.
Travel and Mileage:
By tax season, most entrepreneurs find themselves scrambling to locate gas receipts, and retroactively build a journal of their business mileage. If that sounds like you, we recommend using an app on your phone to help you keep track, one such app is called MileIQ.
This simple app, and others like it, work in the background on your phone to keep a record of where you have been. You can save favorite locations and even set work hours to properly categorize your trips. Everything gets saved into an easy-to-read record. Your accountant might just love you for it too.
As your business grows and you decide to expand and hire team members; it will be important that your employee's information is not only well secured and stored safely, but that you keep all appropriate documents and records on file. Filing cabinets are a thing of the past; and are difficult to maintain as your company grows.
There are several cloud-based services that coincide and work alongside your HR department and also streamline the process using online and/or electronic forms. These useful HR platforms, Apps, and online tools, such as HR Direct, bring all of your employee records into one digital system.
Social Media and Marketing:
There are several ways to bring an audience to your business through social media platforms; however, that can require quite a bit of time-consuming effort to advertise on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. If you do not have the time nor do you feel like being chained to social media all day, try using the various apps that allow you to schedule posts without having to lift too much of a finger. Some of these apps, such as Buffer or Hootsuite, can schedule your posts. Both of these example tools let you build a queue of information that you would like to share with your audience, and schedule the posts for the optimal time. That way, you can put all of your energy into interaction.
Many websites today allow you to create several blogs at a time and schedule them for publication. If the website you use utilizes WordPress, consider CoSchedule or a similar website with the same functions. It lets you plan, write, post, and automate your future posting schedule from a central dashboard. You can also provide your team members access to view, edit, and update your publishing schedule. Perfect for keeping your blog running while you’re poolside, or just focused on other parts of your business.
Email Responses and Marketing
Keeping your clientele informed and updated of upcoming events, sales, promotions, discounts, etc. Newsletters, blogs, and email campaigns are all methods of keeping your clients 'in the know'. If you want to send a regular newsletter to your audience MailChimp helps you manage your list of contacts and build an email template that has an aesthetic appeal, however, this can be costly - though keep in mind that expenses such as this might be claimed come tax time. MailChimp is hard to beat in terms of features, such as abandoned shopping cart recovery, order notifications, follow-up emails, and access to notifications.
It is unreasonable, and time-consuming, to communicate every little detail about your business on your website facts, or about our company page. This is where an automated chatbot might be useful; it can pop up on the main page and direct and encourage your visitors to contact your company for an immediate response to their questions, cultivating them as a new lead. Most websites provide this option, it is a matter of choosing one that works best for you and your company.
Customer Relations and overseeing a customer’s journey from first contact, to sale, to repeat business is a must to maintain repeat customers and business integrity. Many companies use spreadsheets or... paper... to keep track of new clients, their purchase history, and other relevant information. Consider using PipeDrive or Monday. These sites offer effective ways to automate tracking clients from beginning to purchase, in addition to several other options and tools.
Strategic Financial Reporting Inc offers bookkeeping services, tax consultations, and accounting services. Book your appointment today with one of our knowledgeable and high-quality accountants by clicking the following link: Book An Appointment.