One thing nonprofit leaders never have enough of is time. Whether you’re trying to save the world or just improve one small corner of it, the last thing you want to do is waste your precious hours on mindless data entry. Fortunately, accounting technology has come a long, long way from the old days of scribbling everything down by hand. Here are three easy ways to use technology to your advantage by automating the most time-consuming accounting tasks.
Digitize Your Documents
The first step in automating your accounting is to digitize everything. And that means everything. From invoices to receipts, bills to sales records, all documents should be saved in a digital format to a secure location – and backed up too! If you’re on the road or don’t have access to a scanner, there are many free or inexpensive scanning apps that can turn your smartphone into a mobile digitization device. If you’re always losing your credit card receipts, a more robust app like Expensify can help track expenses, log mileage, and automate the pre-accounting process by integrating with your accounting software.
Sync Your Online Accounts
It’s safe to say that online banking is one of the most time-saving inventions in accounting history. Instead of waiting around every month for your bank to mail a paper statement – and then manually reconciling all of those transactions to your accounting records – online banking allows instant access to your financial records. With QuickBooks Online, you can connect your online banking system to QBO so every transaction syncs straight into your accounting system. QBO will automatically match your bank records to existing accounting entries, or suggest an appropriate account code for new transactions. This can save a tremendous amount of time during your monthly reconciliation process.
Streamline Your Payables
If you’re still writing checks by hand, double-entering transactions into your accounting system, or constantly chasing down managers to get them to sign off on invoices, you might want to think about ways to streamline your Accounts Payable process. Using an online bill payment system like Bill.com makes it easy to obtain digital, time-stamped approval on invoices, and to quickly remit payment via ACH transfer. Even better, Bill.com will automatically sync every payment into your accounting system. This reduces the risk of human error and ensures your books are always up-to-date.