Over the last few years, accounting (in it’s truest form of keeping track of your dollars) has come a long way. In the recent past, while software was available to make things simple in the aggregate, there was still a great deal of detailed manual entry required.
The perhaps all to familiar plight of the business owner entailed copying every line of your bank statement into Quickbooks, printing and mailing your invoices in Word, and wondering where in 150 lines of numbers that you reversed a digit, throwing off your balance entirely.
Fortunately, the days of those frustrations are numbered (heh.)…for those willing to adapt, anyway.
As for me, I’ve been using FreshBooks.com, a cloud based invoicing service, to keep track of all hours worked and do all of the billing. I track my projects, which then go straight to automatically generated (yet fully customizable) invoices, which are then emailed directly to clients. When I get paid online, FreshBooks knows instantly, and records the invoice as paid.
From there, all of my invoice and payment data is sent straight to Xero.com, where it’s automatically updated, and where all of my accounting is done. Xero also links directly to my bank account and downloads all debits and credits directly from the bank, every day with no input from me. Then, it “learns” where they go. When it sees a payment to my landlord, it “knows” that it’s rent, and all I have to do is confirm. No data entry, just review.
There’s a misattributed quote to Bill Gates that goes like this:
I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job, because he will find an easy way to do it.
And while you’re probably not a lazy person in regards to your business, keeping up on the accounting is not high on the list of most people’s uses of their precious motivation. (And you do have a limited amount, it’s scientifically proven!)
So, if you find your accounting to be tedious, there is hope for you yet!
All that said, in my entire accounting lifetime, I’ve never been quite as excited about something as I am about the implementation of these technological advances.
Sure, people like to have their taxes done and done on time. But seeing the look on people’s faces when they see how ridiculously simple accounting can truly be, is really really fun!
If you are curious about more, I am happy to chat anytime. All of the contacts listed here go straight to my inbox or mobile phone.
Craig Mason, CPA