Going Paperless: What Do You Need?

Now that you have “4 Reasons to Go Paperless,” I hope you’re motivated to ditch the paper trail and go digital.

Saying it and doing it are two different things. How exactly do you go paperless? What kinds of items will you need to make your transition a successful one? Sound Business Services is here to answer those questions and more, helping guide you to a great place. Here are some of the important items you’ll need on your paperless journey:

Scanners

Your first tool to implement is a scanner. This is likely the only piece of equipment you will really need in your paperless experience.

Because there are so many options on the market, the key is to find a scanner that works for you. Key features to look for include the ability to scan multiple pages on two sides, a fast automatic document feeder and scanning to the cloud.

While scanners have a wide variety of price points, I would not recommend a cheap one if you are serious about going paperless. After all, it’s the one item you’ll actually need to have, and serves as the foundation of everything you’ll do in your paperless platform. Here’s a list of some of the more popular models.

The Cloud + QuickBooks Online = The Digital Data Dream

You’ve probably heard me talk about the cloud and QuickBooks Online (QBO) before, but I must mention it again because it’s a huge part of going paperless.

Whether you are managing your workforce, reaching out to prospects or clients, or having a meeting anywhere you like, you’re likely virtual in some capacity. With QBO, you are able to make all of this happen through the cloud. You can track expenses, send invoices, get payments, cut checks and do much more that saves you time and stress throughout the year.

QBO also integrates with a seemingly endless supply of apps to give you powerful solutions to your workflow needs. But, just like the menu at your local restaurant, there are so many options to choose from that it can make your decision that much harder. No need to worry, though! We will work with you to make sure that you get the best apps for your specific needs.

Apps

Speaking of apps … we will work to get you the ones you need the most, but here are some of our favorites:

  • Bill.com: With Bill.com – our absolute favorite app – all you have to do is upload images of your bills, and SBS and Bill.com handle the rest. Your bills are coded and routed to different providers for payment, simplifying your A/P process. Best of all, the photos of your bills are there in the cloud for you to always be able to view them, anywhere, anytime. All data is encrypted for security.
  • Hubdoc: Another winner, Hubdoc imports your financial information – receipts, bills, statements, emails and more – into QBO and converts it into real-time data. This helps save time because we no longer have to ask you for this sensitive information.
  • Receipt Bank: Another great app that integrates with QBO, Receipt Bank is simple, yet so powerful. Just take a quick photo of a receipt, and the app instantly takes the important data and saves it in the cloud. The receipt can then automatically be put into QBO, where it can be matched with your bank feeds. And, the really neat feature in this app is that it attaches the receipt image to your credit card transaction in QBO so that you can view everything right in QBO, in one place that’s organized and backed up. Then, we will not only help you set up and configure Receipt Bank specifically to your company’s needs, but also ensure that all your receipts are coded timely, and to the right accounts, so that all you have to do is take a picture of the receipt.
  • Dropbox: When it comes to storing photos and documents, we love Dropbox. And, everything is always backed up in the event of a crash. Even items you deleted can be retrieved by clicking the “Undo” button. For more on Dropbox and some of our other favorite organization apps, take a look at one of our other blogs here.

Indexed Search Tools

When it comes to our data files, it’s important to always label. Otherwise, the benefits of the apps above don’t have the same effect, and it would be just like scrolling through a file cabinet full of paper.

With your files labeled in your cloud-storage data systems, you can then implement shortcuts to make the experience even easier and more effective. Look no further than indexed storage tools. Simply look up keywords, such as file names, and you’ll be able to locate them in a jiffy, just as you would in Bing or Google. Some examples include Copernic Desktop Search, dtSearch Desktop, Voidtools Everything and X1 Professional Client.

The Paperless Express

The supply to paperless tools is endless. It really is like an express train, getting you everything you need quickly and without too many stops.

Whether it’s paperless expense reporting with Expensify, paperless travel management services such as TripIt, eSignatures with DocuSign, electronic notebooks such as Microsoft OneNote or Evernote, or any of the apps mentioned above, they all have one thing in common: data at your fingertips to make both of our lives easier, and to transform your business into next level success.

Contact us today to see which apps you need for your specific needs, and we will get you on a paperless journey to a powerful transformation.

Portions of this article were inspired by parts 1 and 2 about going paperless.

5 Ways to Bolster Your Bookkeeping

As tax season kicks into overdrive, having a strong bookkeeping foundation is as important as ever. And, of course, Sound Business Services is there for you every step of the way. There are some routes and strategies for you to pursue and implement that will not only make both of our lives easier, but also take your business to the next level.

Here are 5 ways that you can bolster your bookkeeping:

#1: Streamline the flow of information. In this age of technology and information available at our fingertips, it baffles me how so many people are still using archaic ways of transferring their financial information to their bookkeeper.

If you’re one of these people, stop! Otherwise, you are putting yourself in a tremendous disadvantage, and making your life much more complicated than it needs to be.

There are tons of apps out there that will streamline your flow of information, including some of our favorites – Dropbox, Bill.com, Hubdoc, Receipt Bank and SpringAhead. We would love to discuss which apps, and other technology, will specifically work for you so that you can run and grow your business like never before. Contact us today for a free evaluation!

#2: Ensure your financial information is backed up. Your financial information is sensitive and key to the survival of your business. So, in the event of an equipment failure or some other crisis, you must have everything backed up.

Of course, as your bookkeeper, your accounting file is backed up; however, you must have everything backed up, including your source documents. This is something very simple that can prevent the loss of something very valuable. Bottom line? You can’t afford not to be backed up.

#3: Make the move to QuickBooks Online (QBO). If you haven’t made the move to QBO, what are you waiting for? I say this because once you make the plunge into QBO, you will never, ever, regret it.

With incredible features such as anytime/anywhere access and data backup, and powerful new features to consistently stay on the cutting edge of technology and user experience, QBO is the solution to so many of your needs. Please reach out to us; we can teach you QBO and help customize your installation.

#4: Stop using cash. As tempting as it might be to pay for something with cash, don’t do this when it comes to business. A lot of business expenses can be lost through cash purchases; this is not a good business practice. Instead, use a credit card or business check, and you’ll have a relevant paper trail. This helps you – and us – come tax time.

#5: Add budgeting and projecting to your services. If you are paying for bookkeeping services only to keep the IRS happy, you’re receiving only half the benefit. By adding budgeting and projection services to your bookkeeping, we can use your historical financial data to help you plan for the future and grow your business.

For a breakdown of this, check out our recent blog. And, of course, let us know if you want these services and we will get you on the path to envisioning, and reaching, your goals and success.

Give Bookkeeping the Priority It Deserves

When we are so focused on the everyday challenges of our businesses, we often forget to take some time to set up the fundamental processes and strategies ahead of time to help us grow.

Having strong bookkeeping should be at the top of the priority list! Waiting until the last minute to give bookkeeping information puts undo pressure on everyone – the bookkeeper, the accountant, and most importantly, you.

Contact us today for help pursuing these ways to bolster your bookkeeping, and you will be on your way to big things!