We have been hearing about the trend towards a paperless workplace for years now. However, many small businesses still struggle with all the receipts in their wallet, statements in the mail and payment notices in their inbox. One tool you may not have thought of in your fight to gain control of your messy desk is QuickBooks Online!
QBO can be used as the central hub of your “Accounting Department,” eliminating the need to keep printed copies of your invoices, receipts and piles of mail on your desk.
Emailing & tracking invoices. QBO can be used to generate your invoice, email it to your client and track whether it has been read or not. The graphical “Money Bar” gives you an at-a-glance look at how much you have outstanding and how much of that is actually past due. You can easily select all overdue invoices and send out a batch of statements with a couple clicks. By using these features, you eliminate the need to print a copy of your invoices. Just think of all the space you’ll save in the filing cabinet!
Receiving & processing payments. I’ll be the first to admit that I dragged my feet on accepting electronic payments. The merchant application seemed intrusive and the fees to accept credit card payments seemed so high! With QuickBooks Payments, though, my clients can click the “Pay Now” button on my invoices and pay me directly from their checking account to mine. The cost of each ACH payment is only fifty cents. More importantly, I don’t have to wait for the mailman, enter the payment into my books, endorse the check and drive it to the bank. As soon as my client pays, the payment is applied to their invoice in my QBO and the payment is on its way to my bank. Sweet!
Capturing receipts. There are dozens of mobile apps out there to help you manage your receipts. One that many people don’t know about is the QuickBooks Mobile App. This free app allows you to snap a photo of a receipt, then save it to QBO. Along the way, you assign a vendor from your Vendor List, an amount and an expense account. It would be nice if it could “read” the receipt for you to pick off that information by itself, but it does a fantastic job of saving a record of that receipt and recording it all in QBO for you. Once in QBO, that receipt is an attachment in the transaction that you can always refer back to.
Storing documents. Expenses aren’t the only kind of transactions that support attachments in QBO. You can also attach copies of contracts or purchase orders to your estimates and invoices or attach copies of W-9 forms to your vendor records in QBO. You can attach a copy of a vendor’s bill to your bill in QBO. Saving these documents right within QBO saves you from having to find a place for those documents in your filing cabinets.
Remember: Back up! With everything digital, be sure to have multiple backups! The safest course is to have one back-up saved locally on a separate hard drive, supplemented by a cloud-based backup. Between the two, you’ll be able to sleep at night knowing that your documents are safe and secure.
Running a small business can be hectic and you will always have a lot to juggle. Why not make your workday just a bit easier by letting QBO handle some of that clutter on your desk?
Do you have any questions I haven’t covered? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think!
Deb Howard Greenleaf, EA, CEO and Principal, of Greenleaf Accounting Services provides virtual accounting and bookkeeping services and specializes in financial management to consultants, coaches, solo professionals, and other small business owners across the US. Deb is an Enrolled Agent (EA)—an IRS-licensed tax professional—and specializes in small businesses and entrepreneurs filing Schedule C or as an LLC. As an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Deb spends her day in QuickBooks Online and specializes in providing QBO support.