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BUSINESS ADVICE •  3 MARCH 2023 • 4 MIN READ

8 small business accounting tasks you can automate

Finger pointing towards a technology symbol to representing automation

Keeping accurate accounting records is an essential part of any business. They provide a detailed overview of your business’s financial performance, help you spot anomalies, and enable you to comply with regulatory requirements.

However, unless you’re an accountant, this is unlikely to be the most exciting part of your workday — especially when you’re focussing on your business growth and juggling multiple responsibilities. It can also be incredibly time-consuming. Even if you hire an accountant once a year to handle your finances, there are still things you will need to do yourself. These tasks may seem minor, but they have a big impact on how much profit you can make over time. 

If you want to streamline your processes and save some time, here are ways automation can help.

1. Automatic recording and filing of your data

Automated data entry is an incredibly beneficial way to streamline your workflow in small business accounting. For example, if you use an online payment processor such as Stripe, you can easily integrate your account with Slack or Trello and have each payment logged automatically. 

In order to keep accurate records, it’s good practice to take note of all transactions and purchases that you make. Reviewing this information at the end of each month is a good way to ensure nothing is missed.

2. Online calendar for those key accounting dates

An especially useful tool for sole traders, an online calendar will help you keep track of (and plan out) your schedule, and make sure you don’t miss any tax deadlines or other key dates.

An automated calendar can also help you identify trends in your business by showing you which months are busier than others, as well as any upcoming deadlines.

To keep your calendar organised, try using an app like Google or Outlook Calendar, or use an online time-management tool like Employment Hero

3. Automate your to-do list

Many small business accounting tasks, such as invoicing and payroll, are performed on a weekly or monthly basis. Through the use of software, these recurring tasks can be automated - allowing you more time for billable hours. Automation can handle many recurring tasks, including:

  • Generate and send invoices at the start of every month.
  • Automate your payroll by scheduling a recurring task to generate both a payroll log and weekly (or monthly) payslips for your employees.
  • Connect your bank account to your accounting software to manage your expenses, such as automatic payments of recurring transactions.
  • Create a purchase order with set dates for regular invoices (such as subscriptions or rent).

4. Pay employees and contractors with ease

If you hire employees (or work with contractors), you’ll have to pay them on a regular basis, and your payroll software can help you do this.

For instance, Xero can help you pay staff and report payroll details to the IRD in order to meet your Real Time Information (RTI) filing obligations. Tax, holiday, and pension calculations will be automatically calculated. Your employees will be able to view these payslips online, or via email.

5. Accurate inventory tracking

If you sell physical products, keeping an accurate inventory is important. By integrating your inventory management software with your accounting software, you’ll be able to automatically update inventory logs each time you receive or sell an item.

Xero combines the functionality of inventory management and accounting in one single software. You’ll also be able to forecast future sales and revenue.

6. Efficient financial reporting

At the end of every reporting period, you’ll need to generate a financial report showing a balance sheet and profit and loss (P&L) statement. Although these tasks aren’t as urgent as other accounting tasks (such as paying bills or generating invoices) they still eat up a lot of time.

You can create a recurring task in your accounting software that automatically generates your monthly P&L and balance sheet reports - saving you yet another headache.

7. Automate your tax preparation process

When it comes to taxes, it’s best to stay organised with a . Automation software can help you keep accurate, detailed records (such as receipts, bank statements, and mileage logbooks) throughout the year - which is key when collaborating with your accountant (well as distinguishing what is deductible when you file your taxes).

Xero allows you to upload receipts and track your expenses throughout the year. The accounting software automatically logs these expenses, making them easier to find when it reaches time to file a tax return.

At Beany, our end-of-the-year questionnaire streamlines the tax preparation process. With your dedicated Beany accountant, you’ll be able to ditch the paperwork and find time for more billable hours - get in touch to find out more. 

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8. Make your bookkeeping a breeze with automation

Common bookkeeping tasks include recording financial transactions, bank reconciliation, GST reconciliation, and preparing GST returns. Although bookkeeping is an essential part of running your business, it can be both time-consuming and confusing, especially for those with limited accounting knowledge. 

You can make your bookkeeping easier by using automation features in your accounting software. These features will help you quickly process your transactions and create accurate financial reports.

Who are Beany? 

We’re an online accounting firm that is always right here for you, your accounting pain relief. The most advanced technology lets us work way more closely with you than a normal accountant world. ​

We have a dedicated team of certified accountants and a support team to take care of your business no matter where you are, so you can focus on growing your business. We take out the ‘fluff’, break down the barriers and get things done. Looking out for you is what we are all about. Get started for free today.

Tori as a dog

Tori Ma

Performance marketer

Performance marketer at Beany, and into true crime documentaries.

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