Paperwork and filing is a problem that affects most businesses, but there are things you can do to minimise the time it takes.
The way to do this is to use processes and systems that help minimise paperwork and increase productivity.
Xero is a great program for minimising filing and storage. It allows you to keep an electronic copy of each invoice attached to each related transaction. It is very helpful for when someone asks you…’What did we order from ABC Suppliers last month’, you can quickly and easily get your hands on it.
So how do you get this information into Xero? You can scan them and upload them, but I want to tell you how to save time with administration.
The best way is to receive as many of your bills through electronically. Get every supplier to email you their bill. Most likely, they are preparing it electronically on their accounting system and it takes them extra time to print and post to you. By getting them to email you, you are not just saving you time, but probably them as well. At Evolve, we can contact your suppliers on your behalf to help facility this.
Once you get it emailed, you can do a variety of things with it.
Firstly, if Evolve are doing your bookkeeping for you, you can on-forward a copy of it to your dedicated Evolve email address and we will take care of it for you and ensure it is entered and uploaded into Xero. You can even setup auto forward rules to allow this to happen so you don’t even need to press a button. This is the best scenario, as you have not had to spend second on administration.
If you enter your own bills into Xero, you can forward the bill to your unique Xero email address which stores it in the Files area of Xero. You can then process the bills from there.
Alternatively, you can use one of our favourite add-ons called Receipt Bank. Forward the email onto Receipt bank and it can help automate the data entry of invoices into accounting software like Xero and also save a copy of the invoice for many years as an independent filing system.
If for some reason, you cannot receive the bills electronically, you can also use receipt bank’s app to take photos from your phone of the invoice. This works better than taking a photo and uploading it directly into Xero, as the software is designed to take a clearer picture and read the details. Some people prefer this to scanning and it is great for those team members who are on the road and are known to lose or forget to hand their receipts in.
You can also setup your scanner to have an option to scan invoices directly into a dedicated folder (such as dropbox) which can integrate to Receiptbank. Receipt bank will ‘read’ the folder every 6 hours and upload any new documents. Setting up something like this is great for those businesses who receive bills throughout the day. If once the invoice is received from the delivery, walk straight past the scanner, pop it in and press scan – done. This saves having a built up of documents to scan.
Payroll is another area that can take a lot of administration time. If you are using payroll in Xero, ensure you invite your employees to access My Xero. This is an employee portal where they can access their previous payslips, PAYG summaries, apply for leave all from their mobile phone or personal computer. This saves them interrupting you and your team for these items.
Xero offers a timesheet facility so that your team can input their hours directly into the system for your approval. This saves you having to do this and minimising payroll processing time. There are also some great add-ons such as Tanda or Deputy to assist with businesses who have rostering. It is amazing how much time they can save your administration team.
If you are spending time chasing overdue invoices, Xero has a great automated debtor reminders. If you need further assistance than what Xero has to offer, Debtor Daddy is a great add on.
One of the things that Xero does really well is integrate to other software. You can minimise data entry by ensuring it integrates with your job management software, website sales, till system etc. Check out their add on market place for more info.
At Evolve, we work with many clients to help streamline their internal processes, if you’re in a similar situation give us a call and let us show you how to save hours each week and get your life back.