What exactly is productivity? How do we define it? Essentially it’s about setting up systems, which allows tasks to be performed as efficiently and effectively as possible. There are many posts that have been written focusing on various aspects of productivity – they range from checking email at certain times of the day, working in 90 minute blocks to maximize your personal energy, delegating to virtual assistants, and everything in between. Many small business owners experience high levels of anxiety and frustration when it comes to bookkeeping and understandably so. Today’s technology offers small business owners the ability to automate a number of bookkeeping tasks. 1. Freshbooks: There are so many reasons to love Freshbooks! It’s an incredibly easy way to track time, invoice and receive payment from clients as well as tracking expenses. Freshbooks realizes people have different needs for their invoicing and they offer plenty of options to customize invoices on a client-by-client basis. Other Freshbooks features worth exploring:
- Once you invite team members to your Freshbooks account you can grant them access to only projects they work on. They can easily keep track of their time from the web interface or from the smartphone app.
- Because team member time is recorded within your account you no longer need to wait for invoices from team members in order to invoice your clients.
- They integrate with several different payment gateways allowing you to accept credit card payments or you can also opt to receive payments through PayPal business payments for just a mere $.50 instead of PayPal’s typical 3% fee.
- While I don’t consider Freshbooks to be a true bookkeeping solution they do allow you an easy way to keep track of your expenses by connecting your bank account and syncing expenses.
- They have add-ons for many third party services including Zapier, MileIQ, Xpenditure, and ZenPayroll, which allow you to customize and improve your workflow and processes.
2. Virtual Mailboxes: Have clients who mail you checks? Have all payments sent to a virtual mailbox such as Virtual Post Mail or iPostal1 Digital Mailbox and their staff will handle making the deposits for you. While they won’t actually run, walk or crawl to the actual bank they will mail in deposits for a small fee. 3. Zapier: Zapier is one of my favorite automation tools and they currently support over 400 apps. It’s very similar to IFTTT but on a supercharged level. Need some inspiration on some of the most common zaps other users have set up? https://zapier.com/blog/2014/#zaps Here are some examples of zaps I’ve set up to help manage various bookkeeping tasks for clients:
- Create Google Contacts for newly set-up Freshbooks clients
- New clients are set-up in Quickbooks Online from Infusionsoft, Gumroad, Stripe or Freshbooks
- Gumroad, Infusionsoft and Stripe sales are automatically sent to Quickbooks Online as sales receipts
- Every time an invoice is created in Freshbooks it will be sent over to Quickbooks Online as an unpaid invoice for the specified customer
4. Mileage Tracking: Keeping track of mileage for tax purposes can be quite a pain for business owners. Mile IQ, a smartphone app for both Android and iOS, is always running in the background on your smartphone and records your mileage. Once the trip has been captured it’s incredibly easy to swipe left or right to classify the drive as business or personal. MileIQ also integrates with Freshbooks making it easy to capture the miles you’ll need for tax purposes or for client reimbursements. 5. Expense Tracking: There are a number of apps designed to make expense reimbursement easier; however most just take a photo or scan of the receipt and upload to cloud storage for archiving. If you need to submit an expense report you’re left with manually typing all of the information into a spreadsheet. With Xpenditure you take a photo of your receipt and it will automatically extract all of the needed details allowing you to easily export an expense report with the receipt image attached. If you take the few seconds needed to categorize the receipt the expense report will also sub-total all expenses by designated categories. It should come as no surprise that they also integrate with Freshbooks and other third party services. As an added bonus you can also use Xpenditure to scan and capture business cards. 6. FileThis: Go paperless! Utilize FileThis to automatically fetch and upload all of your monthly statements from various companies.
- Get started with FileThis by connecting your preferred cloud storage provider such as Dropobox, Evernote, Box, and more.
- Then connect your service provider accounts such as banking, credit cards, Amazon, Verizon, Comcast, and many more.
- Once fully set-up FileThis will run once a week and will upload any new statements as PDF documents for easy access and retrieval.
7. ZenPayroll: Hands down they are the most enjoyable full service payroll company to work with. Have employees in multiple states? It’s no problem and there are no extra fees. ZenPayroll also allows you to pay your 1099 subcontractors. Their pricing structure is extraordinarily easy to understand and starts at just $29.00 a month. They also integrate with Freshbooks and Quickbooks Online. The seven tools mentioned above are just a number of the possibilities that exist today to streamline and maximize productivity with regards to bookkeeping tasks. After all, wouldn’t you prefer to invest the time you save on bookkeeping elsewhere? Share the technology you use for bookkeeping tasks in the comments below.