Small business owners love what they do (plumbing, professional organizing, creating art, whatever), but they usually hate actually being a business owner, because that means things like keeping track of receipts. But there is an easy way to organize and automate expenses. Really.
I was recently chatting with a business owner who said that he’d just made his life easier by having his VA (virtual assistant) start entering receipts. This is not the best solution. If you are going to work with a VA, hire them to do something amazing with their brain! Data entering receipts into a computer is not amazing.
But if the solution of having somebody else enter your receipts sounds amazing to you, listen up.There’s an EVEN EASIER way!
If you operate your entire business from a single business-only credit card, then you can have your accounting program (QuickbooksOnline, Xero, Wave, and many others) download your statements directly from your bank.
Stop paying cash for things. Stop writing checks. Stop trying to scan your receipts. Stop mixing your business expenses with your personal bank accounts. Just STOP.
Use a single credit card from now on. Don’t use it for debt, and please, keep paying it off each month if that’s how you already operate. The credit card you need for this doesn’t have to be business-branded. It doesn’t have to have your business name on it. It doesn’t even have to be a new card; it could be a card that you’ve had for years. It just has to be a card that you only use for your business from here on out. It doesn’t even have to be a credit card. It can be as debit card…as long as both the card and the account that it draws from are ONLY for your business, and you don’t mix in personal funds or bills.
If you have a separate, dedicated card that you use only for business, it’s just a few steps within your accounting program to post your transactions to each expense account (or bucket of expenses) with a quick click of a mouse. Or you can have your VA do it, but honestly, it takes me about 15 minutes a month, and you have better insight into what those expenses were about.You know which buckets the expenses should go into.
Here’s how to connect a bank account in QuickBooks Online.
Here’s how to connect a bank account with XERO.
Here’s how to connect to your bank account using WAVE accounting.
It gets even better- and more automated- because your accounting program will default to the last category used for each vendor. So the receipts for STAPLES will always default to the “office supply” bucket, unless you change it. That means it’s usually just one or two clicks for that transaction to tell your accounting software about this expense, and where it goes. No scanning or data entry required!
I know there’s a lot of detail in this article if you aren’t already using an accounting software, but it’s totally worth setting up, and getting out of tax-hell and VA-confusion. It will save you money, and you’ll end up with a better understanding of how to manage your expenses.
YOU CAN DO THIS.
If any of these thoughts are on the tip of your tongue right now, please comment below so we can talk:
- Sounds good, but I don’t have an accounting program.
- But I don’t have a business credit card, so it’s not an option for me.
- My business isn’t big enough to do this. It sounds complicated.
- I don’t want to make a mistake, so I’d rather pay someone else to do this.
- I’m no good with numbers.
- My accountant takes care of this for me.
- I’d be afraid to let anyone else have access to my bank account.
- What else is running through your head right now?
You’ve probably heard this tip before, but I’m hoping THIS is the day that you act on it, because it can change how you think about your whole business!
I hope you ROCK YOUR BOOKS with this organizing tip. If this is helpful, you can also search for more small business organizing and productivity tips.