For small businesses without dedicated accounting resources, the labour involved in recording transactions, reconciling debits and credits, handling monthly or quarterly close, and running financial statements can seem like a weighty drain on daily operations. Even a few hours a week can be hard to balance, potentially putting the accuracy of your reporting in hot water.

If your team is struggling under the weight of accounting obligations, it’s time to ease the burden. These five tips can help you simplify your business’ bookkeeping for good.

1. Set up a Strong System from the Start

When your business is in its infancy, it may be difficult to find the time or energy to set up a full bookkeeping infrastructure. That said, a strong bookkeeping backbone quickly becomes a necessity as your business develops.

It is important to establish a strong bookkeeping system as early as possible to save your business time, energy, and money later on. Even for the simplest businesses, invest in small business bookkeeping software, establish a simple chart of accounts, and implement best practices in the beginning. With the right preparation, managing your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks can be a breeze; especially when your business grows.

2. Transition to the Cloud

Bookkeeping software is a no-brainer in today’s day and age, but cloud-based software is a step up. By putting all of your files within reach on any device with internet access, cloud accounting keeps your thumb on the pulse of your business at all times.

While traditional bookkeeping platforms are easy to access and make organization easy, cloud applications take this further. Instead of relying on your office network or your work computer to access files, cloud-based alternatives such as QuickBooks Online allow you to access your files and records from anywhere, creating an on-the-go accounting system that saves both time and money.

3. Go Digital

Despite the many innovations in business out there, some small business owners find it cheaper and easier to take care of basic tasks on paper. Sending checks, mailing invoices, and entering debits and credits can be easy and affordable when managed by hand, but extensive data entry opens the door for plenty of errors.

Instead of sticking with old, time-consuming desktop technology, consider using cloud-based tools such as Plooto or Receipt-Bank, to help improve reporting accuracy and streamline the data collection process. Plooto allows for a streamlined accounts payable process, while Receipt-Bank offers the ability to capture receipts and expenses by simply taking a photograph with your smartphone.

4. Automate as Much as Possible

Why do tasks manually when you don’t have to? Automation can significantly lighten the load on your business, streamlining processes that may otherwise take you hours or even days to accomplish.

You can extend automation solutions to many aspects of your bookkeeping, including generating financial statements, processing invoices, and even handling payroll. The right software solutions can significantly minimize the extent of your bookkeeping tasks every month, improve accuracy, and save you money you could be investing back into your business. With automation, you can sit back, relax, and let your software solutions do the hard part.

5. Outsource Your Accounting

A knowledgeable bookkeeper or accountant can be a great companion when it comes to understanding your books, and any questions that you may have. While this process may seem daunting at first, consider this as one of the most important investments that you will ever make for your business.  Outsourcing your day-to-day bookkeeping tasks to a firm such as Enkel can be a viable solution as it allows you to gain insights from qualified bookkeepers and accountants, without the need to hire a full-time controller.

Bookkeeping is a necessary part of your business, but it isn’t always easy to manage. These tips can help you stay on top of your financial resources as best as possible, optimizing your business one step at a time.