The lure of a good Netflix binge. A glass of wine or beer. Or your favourite pair of shoes. The appeal of what’s comfortable can be hard to turn down. For many small businesses, it’s the same with managing their books and finances, writes Mindy Eiermann, director of product management, Intuit Australia.
Close to half of all small businesses are yet to adopt cloud accounting. The reality is that they are comfortable with their manual solutions. It’s worth considering how this manual work eats up time. Whether it’s switching between systems, manually keying in data, or doubling up on their efforts, it can be a major time waster.
A lot of small business owners underestimate the opportunity cost of this lost time and how it could be better spent growing their business or creating a better customer experience. To truly rest assured that you’re headed for business success, embracing change is vital.
If you’re not yet convinced, here are a few key benefits of cloud accounting:
Get more done on the go
How many times have you been standing in the line at the supermarket check-out or trying to stay focused in your yoga class when you suddenly remember that you’ve forgotten to do that super-urgent task…the one you promised yourself you wouldn’t forget?
It happens to all of us. So, you make a note of it – or if you’re like me, send an email to yourself – and hope you can remember to get it done next time you’re at your desk. When I talk to small businesses, they’re always telling me about how they’ll remember that they need to pay a bill – or even their employees – when they’re out and about. At a child’s soccer game, or at the hairdresser.
The brilliant thing about cloud accounting is that you can just get it done, right then and there. Pull out your phone and at the click of a few buttons, make sure you’re staying on top of your to-dos. By making it possible to eliminate to-dos in the moment you’ll lighten your mental load and tick off those to-dos that can start to eat away at the health of your business if left unattended.
Don’t forget to get paid
Speaking of business health and to-do lists, one of the easiest yet most risky tasks to forget or postpone for a small business is invoicing. For many tradies for example, it’s not until they check their bank balance and see a dip that they remember that they need to get on top of their invoicing. Once an invoice is sent, they’ll still wait weeks or more to receive payment.
With online accounting, invoicing when you’re leaving the job site becomes simple and quick, making it possible to get paid two times faster. An invoice tracker ensures that you can see if a customer has opened your invoice and lets you give them a gentle nudge if you’re not getting a response.
A live connection with your bank
Instead of having to go and get important numbers from your bank statements and manually entering and tracking those in a spreadsheet, online accounting solutions like QuickBooks pull that data in for you with zero effort on your part, live and in real time.
Not only does this cut down on manual work but it gives you a real insight into your business performance, instantly and effortlessly. Without this, you’re taking a backwards look at your business – one that doesn’t take account of your upcoming expenses and bills.
Beyond this, the ability to collaborate and share data with staff, accountants, bookkeepers and other business partners on your accounts becomes significantly easier when it’s all available to anyone, anywhere, via any device.
I’ve met a lot of small business owners who are holding back from taking the leap because they think they’re not up to the task. I say just give it a go. The risk factor is extremely low, so don’t be intimidated – there’s little to lose.
We all know how reassuring comfort can be. But when it comes to small businesses – and taking a step out of your comfort zone might be the best thing you ever do for your peace of mind.