I've been in business for over 20 years and in that time I've learnt how to do things quicker and easier. In this blog I'll show how I saved myself a day a week.
For me, things like paying wages, invoicing and reconciling accounts are boring so I want to get them completed as soon as possible. This is not an easy task when you have several hundred clients and it used to take me an entire day to do it. To remedy the problem I decided to restructure my business and did lots of things such as:
- Simplified our computing needs and expenses by switching to Linux - read my "Free software is better for business" blog for more detail.
- Moved away from using software that you install on a computer to Software as a Service (SaaS) based solutions such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Webmail, etc.
- Implemented Lean processes that streamlined my business and improved quality. Read my "Lean Manuafacturing for a Web Design Company?" blog for more detail.
The main components that saved me a day a week in invoicing, reconciling accounts, chasing bad debtors and wages was switching my accounts to Xero and my Payroll to iPayroll. Here's the benefits I get out of each service:
Have you ever tried calculating staff tax, student loan payments, KiwiSaver, etc. in an Excel spreadsheet? It sucks. Instead, iPayroll now does all of that sort of thing for me such as:
- Deducts tax, kiwisaver, student loan, etc. from staff wages and automatically pays it to IRD.
- Reminds me to process wages each week and all I have to do is login to the website and confirm that the wages are correct - normally takes about 2 minutes unless I have to do things like add public holidays.
- Payslips are automatically emailed to staff and they can also login to iPayroll to see how much leave they have owing or to request leave.
- It handles all of the banking for me such as transferring cash from my business accounts to staff bank accounts.
- It seamlessly integrates with my Xero accounting system so payroll is automatically coded in Xero.
- I can process payroll when I'm away from the office such as when I'm on holiday.
- I don't have to buy and install payroll software because it runs inside a web browser.
- It also works on my Samsung Galaxy S3 smart phone.
I've recommended iPayroll to friends and they've thanked me for it because it saves them so much time.
I've used a number of accounting systems such as NZA Gold and MYOB but you have to almost have to be an Accountant to understand how to use them. Xero is much simpler and has many better features such as:
- It's Dashboard allows me to instantly see all my bank balances, recent sales and upcoming bills.
- It automatically pulls in transaction details from my Kiwibank, BNZ, PayPal and Bartercard accounts.
- The recurring invoicing features saves me hours because I have several hundred invoices that need to go out every six months and nearly all of them are recurring.
- I can automatically send emails to all clients with overdue payments and it tracks each time they've been contacted. This is the biggest time saver.
- It also works on my Samsung Galaxy S3 smart phone so I can do invoicing, expenses and track cash-flow any time and anywhere.
- I use it's inventory system to add all my products such as web design, hosting domain name registration, internet marketing, etc. which makes creating new invoices really quick.
- Staff can give me receipts for things like gas and hotels and I can upload the receipt and reimburse them.
- It can handle multi-currency for my Australian and United States clients.
- It's financial reporting is quick and easy so I can instantly see things like GST due or compare sales to previous years.
- I can add fixed asset depreciation.
- It's more secure than having all of that important data stored on a computer in your office that could get stolen or be damaged in a natural disaster.
- My Accountant has access to my Xero and helps me use and interpret the data in it.
Here's a screen cap of what the Dash looks like in my Xero:
If you're thinking about moving your accounts or payroll into the cloud I hope this blogs helped.