“I WISH I HAD DONE THIS YEARS AGO” – SAVING TIME BY USING A BOOKKEEPING SOFTWARE FOR QUOTES AND INVOICES INSTEAD OF WORD

When we meet potential new clients for the first time, one of the questions we ask them is how they raise their invoices to their clients and it is surprising how many business owners say that they are done using a word document which they copy and paste to create new invoices.

What we can find with this way of working is that;

  • Often the numbering of the invoices aren’t sequential and there are some missing.  This is either because a number has been missed in error or an invoice has been created and then deleted.
  • It’s time consuming and a burden for the business owner as he/she are usually creating these documents when they have an opportunity to sit at a laptop or desktop computer – often evenings and weekends
  • There can be different versions of the same invoices in existence
  • The invoices have to be duplicated either by the business owner or bookkeeper or accountant doing the bookkeeping – on a spreadsheet or in a software as part of the bookkeeping process

So one of our clients was in exactly this position.  He is a plumber/gas engineer and once we moved him on to using Xero bookkeeping software his very words were ‘I wish I had done this  years ago’.  What James can now do is;

  • Create quotes on Xero and email these to his customers which saves him time.  The customer can just click on the link to accept or decline the quotation.
  • He can use Xero to keep a track of the quotes he has sent out – chase those which he hasn’t received a reply on and act upon those that have been accepted.
  • When the work has been completed, he can simply click the button to copy the quote into an invoice and email this to his customer (which again saves time).  The system generates the invoice number and so numbers won’t be missed.
  • He can include a link with his invoice to enable his client to click and pay him straight away which helps his cashflow
  • If a client is slow to pay, he can at the click of a button use Xero to send statements and reminders to his customers
  • He can send quotes and invoices at any time and anywhere so if he is between jobs he can use Xero on his phone, tablet or laptop to keep on top of these and doesn’t have to wait until the end of a long day or take time out during his weekend
  • He has already done some of his own bookkeeping in the process which means he doesn’t have to then put these invoices into a bookkeeping software or pay someone else to enter the sales information 

So these are all good reasons to consider moving to a cloud based bookkeeping software like Xero, Quickbooks,  Freeagent or Kashflow. If you are like us, as a business owner, you are usually pretty time poor and making this transition in how you work can really save you considerable amounts of time and help you manage the money coming into your business so much more efficiently.

If this is something which appeals to you, then do have a chat with your accountant to see what they recommend or give us a call and we can talk it through with you.  If you want to explore going down this route then considering how you do your quoting and invoicing in the context of how your whole bookkeeping process is to be done is the most logical thing to do

At The Bookkeeping Department we support and provide individual or workshop training to help businesses to do their own bookkeeping using Xero bookkeeping software and also provide a fully outsourced service for those businesses who don’t want to do the bookkeeping themselves.  We therefore have lots of experience of how different businesses operate their finances and so you are very welcome to contact us for an informal chat without any obligation at all.  Contact lynne@thebookkeepingdepartment.co.uk or Tel: 01462 455455

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