Small businesses are faced with many challenges that most large businesses don’t have to deal with, including tight budgets, limited cash flow and fierce competition. One way to overcome these hurdles is to have a reliable, effective and efficient way to manage finances. Not only is automation the key to better finances, but it can save up to 25,000 hours per year on administrative tasks – resulting in more time for your business to grow and expand.
If you’re a small business, you’ve likely already considered the benefits of automating some of your processes. By removing the need to do everything manually, you free up time to focus on other areas of your company. But if you haven’t looked into finance automation for small business yet, you might be wondering where to start. It’s not surprising, since the number of options can be overwhelming. Don’t worry – we’ll be exploring this subject into detail in the next months to help you on every step of the way.
Meanwhile, here’s some initial guidance on how to get the most out of your business finance with automation.
Business accounting automation
Traditional accounting has worked for many years, but as businesses continue to evolve, it can become increasingly difficult to manage with all the data and documents involved. Using manual systems for accounting can be slow and inefficient, and it can also lead to errors and inaccuracies. With automation, businesses can gain control over their finances and solidify a strong financial foundation for the future – which is hugely guided by technology.
Getting started with business accounting automation involves understanding what types of tasks you can automate and how. In general, it’s recommended to start small with one process at a time. That way, you can make sure that you have the support you need and don’t become overwhelmed by too many changes at once. For example, beginning with accounts payable can allow you to create purchase orders and invoices, keep track of inventory and even manage employees and payroll.
Always be tax ready with finance automation for small business
Using finance automation for small business can help keep you prepared for taxes, save time and give you peace of mind. Automation to manage your taxes can greatly reduce the time you spend preparing, and the stress you feel when tax season rolls around.
Here are some of the ways automation can help you stay organised and make tax season a breeze:
- Error minimization. The government can be stringent in finding egregious errors in tax filings. Automation can help reduce the risk of errors by ensuring the information you put in is accurate and complete.
- Better tax law compliance. When you automate your finances, you can quickly verify that you’re following all tax requirements, avoiding penalties and interest charges that can be levied for missing deadlines.
- Audit assistance and protection. If the tax man comes knocking, you can use your records to quickly verify your business’s tax compliance. You can also use your accounting software to ensure that your business has paid all the necessary taxes.
As you can see, there is much more that you can do with your accounting software besides preparing your taxes.
Accounting software for small businesses
Technology can be a saving grace for any company – thankfully, there are plenty of options when it comes to accounting software for small businesses. By automating the most time-consuming tasks, they can make your day-to-day operations much easier. Even general ledgers – like Xero or QuickBooks – can now be simplified with online, cloud options. And other supporting tools (we’ll talk about them below) are great add-ons to give you features like built-in reports that can save you hours every week, or automatic bank feeds that can make reconciliation a breeze. When tax time comes around, you can simply export the reports from your software and be done with it.
With accounting software, small business owners can ensure that they’re not missing out on any deductions that they could qualify for. Your accountant or bookkeeper will be able to guide you through, but here are just some of the many benefits that automation can bring:
- Schedule and generate invoice reminders to customers and send out payment requests.
- Develop a better understanding of the business’s financial health.
- Generate attractive, professional statements and reports for clients.
- Make data entry easier by automatically recording data from bank transactions and receipts.
- Calculate payroll and wages for employees with ease.
- Gain remote access to your financial data from any computer or internet-enabled device.
- Establish financial goals and monitor progress toward them.
- Create and maintain budgets.
- Distinguish between fixed and variable costs and calculate the total cost of goods sold (COGS).
- Access real-time data and share it with other users with a few clicks.
- Scale your accounting software with your business as it grows.
One major advantage of using accounting software for small businesses is the ability to optimise your data and maximise profits. These tools can make it easy to identify inefficiencies and areas of waste within your business – in doing so, you can boost your productivity. It also provides the tools you need to easily manage your business accounts and make smart financial planning decisions.
Data privacy and security are also paramount when it comes to gathering data. Ensuring adherence to all privacy laws is critical. Automation helps you stay in compliance and safe from cyberattacks and other breaches.
Data capture solutions for business bookkeeping
Bookkeeping, while not the most exciting aspect of running a business, is an integral part of the process. Every business needs to keep track of how much money it makes and spends so that it can account for its finances and make strategic decisions.
Many businesses, however, find the bookkeeping process to be tedious and time-consuming. While the general ledger software we mentioned above is essential for compliance, you can also count on extra tools to help with your business’s everyday finances:
Dext Prepare, for example, provides fast and accurate data capture to support your business in multiple ways:
- Automatically input transaction information into your ledgers in accordance with compliance regulations and on time, avoiding penalties;
- Safely store invoiced, receipts and bank statements in a secure cloud environment, easily accessible whenever you or your accountant needs them;
- Provide useful insights into your business’s financial health, so you and your accountant can make strategic decisions based on accurate information and plan appropriately.
Dext Prepare is the best receipt scanning and expense management system for business owners. It easily integrates with your general ledger and any existing processes you and your accountant might have. You simply scan or upload your documents and Dext Prepare will automatically extract all relevant information while checking for errors. It’s a functional solution that reduces the need for manual data entry, saving you time and money.
Whether online or in-store, digital payments are rapidly growing as the preferred method for consumers. These digital payments platforms (cards, phones, watches) and sales channels (online) offer a great opportunity to reach more customers and increase revenue. But the higher the volume of transactions, the harder it is for business owners to keep track of all sales data.
Dext Commerce is an automated bookkeeping software that fetches and organises your sales transaction data in real-time. It gives you the peace of mind you need without the stress of dealing with never-ending spreadsheets and helps you keep your business tax-ready. Ensure your digital sales data is nice and tidy, have a clear picture of how your business is performing and easily plan your next move. You can take your business to the next level by spending less time on admin tasks and more on growing your business.
To learn more about the finance automation solutions available to you and your business: check our Dext Prepare and Dext Commerce.
Do you need help understanding finances a bit better? Check out our guide on accounting for small business!