Bookkeeping is an essential business activity, typically undertaken by an employee in-house or outsourced to a professional bookkeeper or firm. However, with the rapid evolution of business technology, entrepreneurs and small business owners can streamline the most time-consuming parts of the bookkeeping process, fostering a more efficient workflow while cutting down on costs.
Generally, a bookkeeper’s role is to maintain the day-to-day finances of the business and act as a liaison between the business and its accountant, especially during tax season. Bookkeepers provide entrepreneurs and small businesses with peace of mind, knowing that their finances are regularly monitored, always up-to-date, and organized. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to a bookkeeper’s role within a business, and it is up to the entrepreneur to decide if they need a full-time bookkeeper, as opposed to a part-time bookkeeper.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners should consider supplanting traditional bookkeeping practices with software that promotes a more streamlined workflow or handoff the process entirely to modern bookkeeping services. Some examples include:
Expense Management Technology
One of the most time-consuming and monotonous aspects of the bookkeeping process is data entry and integration with accounting software. Regardless of who fills the bookkeeping role, it’s important to consider expense management technology, like the software offered by The Neat Company, to alleviate the never-ending data entry process. With Neat, entrepreneurs can use their smartphones to simply snap a photo of their important business documents (expense receipts and invoices) before vital data points (totals, purchase dates, and vendor names) are seamlessly uploaded to accounting software, like QuickBooks® Online or SageOne.
The development of cloud technology and an ever-present ability to collaborate remotely has allowed some businesses to consider a new type of bookkeeping service: the virtual bookkeeper. While some entrepreneurs may be uncomfortable with the fact that virtual bookkeeping companies deny the ability to meet with their bookkeeper face-to-face, the companies assign teams of bookkeepers to a business, which allows for a unique system of checks and balances. Entrepreneurs and small businesses can expect their virtual bookkeeping team to prepare monthly financial statements, like a balance sheet, profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, and more. Often times, virtual bookkeepers offer their services at different price points, so that the business can find the perfect degree of bookkeeping service for their business, and because of the limited overhead, the cost is often much less than having a full-time bookkeeper in the office.
No matter the role a bookkeeper holds within a business, entrepreneurs should always consider implementing the latest technological advancements so that their business continues to run as smooth as possible. Entrepreneurs should be concentrating on their business, and relying on advanced technology will allow them to focus more on meeting their customer’s needs, and less on tedious, administrative tasks.
Jen Cohen Crompton, entrepreneur-in-residence at The Neat Company, has extensive experience with small businesses, including founding her own business, Something Creative, in 2008. Since joining The Neat Company, Crompton has worked as an ambassador to small-business owners and managers by offering thought-provoking insights into how they can work smarter. Learn more at neat.com or follow on Twitter @neatcompany.