Are you looking to understand what bookkeeping software is and how it can benefit you? In this blog post, we’ll explore various bookkeeping software options and shed light on their functionalities. In a recent conversation on the Finance Cafe Podcast with Tanya Hilts, founder of Cloud Business Services, she shared her expertise on why investing in bookkeeping software can be a game-changer for women entrepreneurs. As we delve into this conversation, let’s first get to know Tanya and her remarkable journey.
Meet Tanya Hilts
Tanya is not only an accomplished businesswoman but also a devoted mother. Her entrepreneurial journey began with a profound realization—her desire to be present for her child’s upbringing. Drawing from her background in insurance and her experience with taxes, Tanya embarked on a path that led her to help entrepreneurs manage their finances effectively. Over the years, her business has evolved to encompass various aspects, including bookkeeping, audits, and compliance.
Importance of Bookkeeping Software
As entrepreneurs, we wear many hats and juggle numerous responsibilities. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a professional starting a business later in life, the need for financial literacy and proper bookkeeping cannot be underestimated. Tanya emphasizes that having a robust bookkeeping system in place offers several invaluable benefits, ranging from compliance to informed decision-making.
Keeping You Out of Trouble:
First and foremost, maintaining accurate financial records helps you stay out of trouble with the tax authorities. In Tanya’s own words, “You look at it, and CRA or IRS, regardless of where you’re listening from, they’re not to be taken lightly. It’s crucial to adhere to the laws and regulations to avoid unnecessary penalties and complications.”
Beyond compliance, bookkeeping provides you with the essential information required to make informed decisions for your business. By using the right accounting software, you can gain real-time insights into your financials, enabling you to make proactive decisions rather than reacting to issues after they’ve already become problematic. Tanya emphasizes that relying on reactive bookkeeping methods, such as the notorious “shoebox method,” where you collect receipts and documents throughout the year and hand them off to a professional at year-end, limits your ability to make timely and effective decisions.
“Bookkeeping allows you to make educated decisions on what to do in your business, that will help your business.” – Tanya Hilts
Financial Consequences and Business Decisions:
Every business decision you make has a financial consequence. Tanya and Shauna agree that it’s crucial to recognize this reality and leverage your financial data to drive informed choices. Simply looking at your bank balance doesn’t provide a comprehensive picture of your financial health. Outstanding checks, upcoming payables, and loan payments are just a few factors that must be considered. By embracing accounting software, you can analyze your financials holistically and make better decisions, avoiding costly mistakes.
Bookkeeping software simplifies your financial record-keeping by connecting directly to your bank accounts. This feature allows you to import transactions seamlessly, making it easier to track and reconcile your finances. With real-time data flowing into the software, you can stay on top of your receipts, ensuring that nothing is overlooked or misplaced. Gone are the days of searching through shoeboxes or struggling to locate a lost receipt. By attaching your receipts directly within the software, you can access them effortlessly whenever needed. While there are several options available, including Sage Online and FreshBooks, we focused primarily on QuickBooks Online.
Beyond the convenience of managing your day-to-day transactions, bookkeeping software provides valuable insights through reports. You can generate comprehensive reports such as income statements and balance sheets. These reports offer a clear overview of your revenues, expenses, assets, and liabilities, empowering you to make informed business decisions promptly. No longer will you have to wait until the end of the year to discover your profit or face surprise tax obligations. With accurate and up-to-date information at your fingertips, you can take proactive measures to optimize your operations and stay financially secure.
Now, let’s address a common myth about bookkeeping software: the perception that it is a costly investment. In reality, the expense of incorporating bookkeeping software is minimal compared to the potential benefits it provides. You can find affordable options, with QuickBooks Online starting at just $20 per month. Consider the time saved by automating your financial management tasks compared to manually maintaining spreadsheets.
Top 5 Tips on The Importance of Accounting Software
As an entrepreneur, managing your business finances effectively is crucial for success. One of the key tools that can greatly assist in this endeavor is accounting software. By investing in reliable bookkeeping software, entrepreneurs can streamline their financial processes, gain accurate insights, and make informed business decisions. Tanya shares her top five tips highlighting the importance of accounting software for entrepreneurs:
Tip 1: Accuracy Matters
The adage “garbage in, garbage out” holds true when it comes to accounting software. To obtain accurate reports and make informed decisions, it is vital to ensure that the data entered into the software is accurate. This requires attention to detail and proper training. Education is key, whether it’s through professional bookkeepers or reputable online courses. Avoid relying solely on information from unverified sources such as social media groups. Always cross-check information with authoritative sources like the CRA or IRS.
Tip 2: Get Involved and Double-Check
Entrepreneurs should not rely solely on their bookkeepers or accounting professionals. Take an active role in the financial management of your business. Double-check the work done by your bookkeeper and review reports regularly. Familiarize yourself with the various financial statements such as the bank reconciliation, balance sheet, and income statement. By getting involved, you can spot errors or potential issues early on, reducing the risk of financial mismanagement.
Tip 3: Take Precautions with Dual Authorization
Protecting your business from fraud and embezzlement is crucial. Implement dual authorization for financial transactions, even if you trust the individuals handling your finances. Dual authorization requires a second level of approval before transactions are executed. This control not only safeguards against internal fraud but also protects your business from external hacking attempts. Utilize payment systems and automation tools that offer dual authorization features to enhance security.
Tip 4: Know When to Involve a Professional
While accounting software can empower entrepreneurs to handle their finances independently, there may be instances where involving a professional is necessary. Assess where your time is most valuable and consider outsourcing certain accounting tasks to experts. This ensures accurate data and relieves the burden of managing complex financial processes. When hiring a bookkeeper, seek recommendations and choose someone who is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and aligned with your business goals.
Tip 5: Evaluate and Improve Your Processes
Regularly evaluate your financial processes and look for areas where accounting software can optimize efficiency. Take advantage of synchronization capabilities to integrate different programs and platforms, minimizing manual data entry and reducing the risk of errors. Work closely with a professional who can guide you in setting up streamlined procedures within the software. Embrace automation features to save time and gather valuable information for better decision-making.
Accounting software is an invaluable tool for entrepreneurs, providing accurate and real-time financial data for informed decision-making. With its ability to track transactions, generate reports, and provide real-time insights, it becomes an indispensable asset for business owners. Embrace the advantages of bookkeeping software, and you’ll gain control over your finances, make informed decisions, and avoid costly mistakes. The small investment required will be outweighed by the long-term benefits, ensuring the financial health and success of your business. By following these five tips, entrepreneurs can harness the power of accounting software to streamline their financial processes, enhance accuracy, and protect their businesses from financial risks. Invest in reliable software, stay involved, take precautions, involve professionals when necessary, and continuously improve your financial processes to ensure long-term success in managing your business finances.