Small Business Accountant: 3 Automation Tips You'd Wish You'd Known Sooner
Small business accounting can be a challenge, but automation can ease the pain. If you are small business accountant with big dreams of expanding your outsourcing service, we have good news for you. This article will teach you how to automate your accounting business so it runs like a well-oiled machine.
Accountants rely on attention to details and accuracy. Clearly, this is a skill that cannot be fully automated. However, there are many often-overlooked opportunities for small business accountants to automate their work and enjoy smoother operations, better customer service and increased profit margins. Here are three automation tips you should act on now.
1/Automate Your Invoicing
The first step to automating your invoicing is to set up an automated invoice workflow. Automated workflow saves you time on routine tasks such as validating invoice data and sending out reminders for unpaid invoices. This prevents you from sending out incorrect or incomplete information which can lead to costly mistakes later on.
Processing and payment should also be automated if possible so that when an invoice is due, it automatically gets sent out (with email reminders), processed through payment processing software and paid electronically based on specific criteria set up by the business owner(s).
Set up automated reminders for your clients to pay their bills on time. This will keep track of who owes what and when they are due. If a customer doesn't pay their bill on time, send them a friendly reminder through email or text message reminding them that their payment is due. This can help reduce late fees and penalties from customers who forget about them altogether.
Automating the collection of customer and supplier invoices is one of the most effective ways to increase cash flow and reduce administrative costs. This can be done through automatic collection solutions, which allow you to automatically collect your customer invoices and send them to the bank or a third-party payment processor for processing.
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2/ Automate your client on-boarding process
You're a small business accountant and you've just won a new client. You're excited, but also nervous about the prospect of getting everything set up in time for them to start paying you. The good news is that there are tools out there that can help automate your client on-boarding process.
This might sound like a lot of work, but it's actually not that bad if you use an accounting software like Xero or QuickBooks Online where most clients sign up for your service online (or give you their bank account information).
Once you've got all the client information in order, you can set up templates for invoices, estimates, and even statements. By automating this part of the job, you'll save time by not having to type out all this information from scratch every week or so when you send out invoices. Thus you'll be able to spend more time with clients and less time on administrative tasks.
Libeo has built-in features for automating the on-boarding process for new clients:
- Validation workflows (multiple approvers, validation in sequence, etc.)
- Shareable approval processes (Assign roles & rights to teams)
- Built-in software integrations and exports
- Automation rules
3/ Implement automated approval and validation processes
If you’re working with a bookkeeper or virtual assistant, it might be a good idea to set up some automated approvals and validations for the work they do on your behalf. For example, if they enter data into Xero, you can set up rules so that every time they submit an invoice, it automatically gets approved unless there’s an error such as duplicate invoices or missing information that needs to be corrected before processing payment.
There are many ways you can automate approval and validation processes. For example, you could use a tool like Libeo with advanced automation rules to send customers an email with a link to approve or reject payments right after they've been processed. This helps ensure that no payments fall through the cracks — even if they were declined by accident or because someone didn't see them in time.
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