Handling your business administrative and accounting needs can be overwhelming and time consuming. This is one area of your business where it pays to work smarter, not harder. Make the most of banking solutions and accounting automation to lessen your administrative load. Here’s how.
1. Purchase a Lock Box
For a fee, your bank will do your accounts receivable work for you. Most banks offer lock box services that collect, process, and deposit all checks sent to your P.O. box. If you receive a large volume of checks via snail mail, this can save you a lot of time and reduce the risk of data entry errors. A lock box also eliminates the risk of payments getting lost or stolen by someone in your office. Funds typically post to your bank account the day they’re received, which gives you quicker access to your cash. If you have a high-interest checking or savings account, a few extra days or weeks of interest revenue can add up.
2. Opt for a Credit Card
It’s critical that small business owners keep personal and business funds separate. However, it can be a hassle to sort through expenses and correctly categorize purchases. That’s why it’s important to get a business credit card early on. Not only do business credit cards offer owners great perks, they make accounting for expenses a breeze. If you’re constantly reviewing expense reports and issuing reimbursements, also consider business credit cards for your key employees.
3. Integrate Bank Statements with Accounting Software
One of the more tedious aspects of bookkeeping can be entering payables and receivables into accounting software. Save yourself some data entry time and reduce your risk of input errors by importing bank account information directly. Look for integration services like this one from Bank of America that links your bank account to your accounting software. The accounting software automatically categorizes the transactions so you can easily review them and correct any errors. You’ll still need to manually record any checks or payments that haven’t cleared the bank yet.
4. Automate Invoices and Bills
If you’re constantly billing the same clients for the same amount, make use of memorized transactions in your accounting software. Most accounting software allows you to mark certain invoices as a recurring item. Set a date — like the 15th or the 30th — and the system will automatically record the revenue, add the invoice details to your invoice template, and prompt you to print that month’s invoices. If you have recurring bills — like rent or another set expense — you can use the same automation process for outgoing payments.
5. Use Your Bank’s Bill Pay
Nowadays, there’s rarely a need for you to hand-write a business check. Instead of writing checks yourself or printing them through your accounting software, take advantage of your bank’s automatic bill pay service. Input the recipient, the address, and the check amount and the bank will generate and mail the check on your behalf. You can send out one-time checks or create a recurring check payment. Wells Fargo even offers a mobile Bill Pay app for on-the-go payments.