Our Top Tips for a New Year Detox!

Our Top Tips for a New Year Detox!

May we start by wishing you a very Happy New Year! We are glad that 2020 is behind us and want to assure our clients that we are here to help in any way we can.

As well as helping with your annual compliance services, we are also your trusted adviser with a wealth of experience and knowledge to help get your business where it needs to be. This includes assisting with your cash flow forecasting and ongoing monitoring, monthly financial reporting and strategy, and assisting with the preparation of your business plan.

We are Xero Platinum Partners, Sage Accountants Club Members and have partnerships with other software providers.  This means that we can not only provide you with the advice you need to run your business, but also help with any software needs you have. This can be as little as providing training in a certain area or software, or a bigger project such as a complete overhaul of your internal financial systems.

As ever, if you need any support then please reach out.

The New Year is always full of resolutions and plans to detox. This Christmas has not been a typical Christmas, but a detox is still a good thing and where better to start than on your business. Here we want to share with you our top tips for a New Year detox:

1.   Kick off your office detox by switching to a paperless environment.  Not only does this help our global environment, but it will save time and money and give you a tidy and clear mind – “tidy desk; tidy mind!”

2.   As well as creating a paperless environment, consider transferring to an on-line diary, so you can keep on top of your commitments anytime, anywhere.

3.   The New Year is a good time for planning, so take the opportunity to identify your goals and any areas you wish to improve in 2021.  Don’t leave it there though, store this in a cloud environment so it's accessible by you, your staff and your accountant.  More importantly set realistic deadlines to ensure you reach your goals!

4.   Now you have a tidy office and some clear goals, the next thing to consider is whether any of your day to day tasks could be automated. On-line accounting software will help with this, and we will pick this up later, but first look at what else can be automated – workflows, job management, collating payroll information and social media.

5.   Now let’s consider your accounting system.  There are many cloud based packages available which will automate routine bookkeeping tasks,  saving you time, so that you can re-invest in other areas of your business.  There is also no better time to move to the cloud to get ready for MTD (Making Tax Digital).

6.   Turning to accounting systems, Xero is the front runner for us. It is very versatile and is a good fit for most businesses. However, other options exist with Quickbooks Online and Sage Business Cloud providing alternatives. Sage Business Cloud is a great package for anyone with reservations of moving away from the Sage brand but who wants to benefit from a fully cloud environment.

7.   Now you've chosen an online accounting package, ensure you are using it to its fullest potential. Our tips that follow are based on our extensive knowledge about Xero online accounting software but don't forget that we are also familiar with other packages.

8.   Ensure you have direct bank feeds in place within your accounting software. Direct bank feeds automatically download transactions from your bank and auto-match them to invoices in the system.

9.   Use a purchase invoice automation tool which will automatically scan invoices to the right place in your accounting system.

10. Set up bank rules, for non purchase / sales ledger transactions, which will automatically capture and code bank transactions not only saving you time but also ensuring all items are consistently coded.

11. Use recurring invoices which are a great way of ensuring that repeat invoices are sent each month - just set up the first one and let Xero do the rest.

12. Set up invoice reminders to automatically send reminders to customers – not only is Xero streamlining your accounting function but also your credit control function too.

13. Use the mobile App.  With the app you can raise sales invoices whilst on the go and e-mail them to customers there and then – the sooner you invoice, the sooner the cash will come in.

14. Make the most of the File Library.  You can e-mail documents here and attach them to source transactions making them easy to find.  No more trawling through files of paperwork to find lease agreements or interest calculations! 

15. Make the most of the wider Ecosystem.  Most accounting software has great Ecosystems which contain a huge range of apps to help in other areas such as:

a) Invoice Approvals

b) Job Management

c) Payroll and HR

d) Cashflow Forecasting

We are here to help you in any way we can, so please feel free to reach out. You can contact our Digital Services Manager, Sarah Smith, on 01942 292527 or sarah.smith@jsllp.co.uk to hear more.