Quick Tips for e-Commerce Accounting

As a freelancer/business owner, you will obviously want to ensure that your life is made as easy as it can possibly be. If you offer products/services online via e-commerce, you won’t need any explanations on just how complex and time-consuming it can be to get everything in order. Every day there are new skills you should master, and new tasks you must do, and many entrepreneurs, unfortunately, struggle to keep up.

In terms of importance, however, you simply cannot afford to underestimate the importance of good accounting. Good accounting in an e-commerce environment not only makes life easier, it can also save you money and potentially help you to avoid legal issues as well.

If you thought accounting was simply a case of saving a few receipts and printing out your bank statements every few months, you’re in for a very rude awakening indeed. Here’s a look at a few quick tips for e-commerce accounting.

Hire an accountant

Remember, your books and accounts are incredibly important and you simply cannot afford to make any mistakes. If you’re late to submit your books, you will face penalty fines, and if you submit data which is deemed incorrect, you could be audited and may be investigated. This means you could face potential criminal charges if there is a reason to believe you have deliberately submitted false information to commit fraud.

Nobody wants these worries in their life, which is why you should hire an accountant to do your finances for you. Accountants use the latest accounting software, they know exactly what they’re doing, they help organize everything so it is simple to understand, plus they do most of the work for you. This leaves you free to carry on running your online store, without having to worry about sorting your finances or organizing your books.

Purchase accounting software

We mentioned how accountants utilize the latest accounting software to hit the markets, and there is a good reason for this. Accounting software, just like SlickPie, is very useful because it organizes incomings and outgoings, it helps manage the invoicing process, it helps you store receipts and access them when needed, plus it allows you to send and receive money in the currency of your choosing.

Whether you hire an accountant or not, you should still consider looking into the possibility of purchasing SlickPie, or similar pieces of accounting software because it helps make your life so much easier. In business, time is money, so the more time you can save, the more money you can potentially be making.

Always factor in small costs

A lot of e-commerce site owners make the pricey mistake of failing to factor in small costs when tallying up their expenses. To them, a few bucks on stationary now and then is not worth worrying about, but they’re wrong. In reality, all costs should be factored in and tallied up, no matter how insignificant they may be.

Remember, every little bit of help and it all adds up over time. Failing to declare small costs could potentially end up costing you big, plus at the end of the year when you do your books, you could even claim these expenses back.

Keep an eye on your costs

Running your own business and website will eat away at a lot of your time, but you should always make sure you monitor your costs and keep an eye on them. Keep an eye on everything, work everything out, and make sure you monitor them closely.

Web hosting costs, for example, may increase year by year, and it can be easy to miss this as you will have so much else going on with your store. By keeping a close eye on your costs you know exactly how much you are spending, and you can potentially look into cheaper alternatives and ways of cutting back to help save money in the process.

Always save your invoices

The more clients you have, the more invoices you will be sending. Invoices, however, are very important from an accounting perspective because they serve as proof of financial transactions done via your business account. If you use paper invoices, make copies and file each one neatly and efficiently so you can refer back to them quickly at a later date if you have to.

Alternatively, again you may wish to consider SlickPie or similar pieces of accounting software. This software allows you to automatically send invoices, and file them digitally. This helps to get everything a lot more organized, plus you can access invoices which are years old, in a matter of seconds, rather than having to wade through pile after pile of paper.

Set a little money aside for taxes each month

As a business owner/freelancer, it is your responsibility to pay your own taxes. In life, as the saying goes ‘nothing is certain other than death and taxes’. Because of this, each month you should set aside some money ready for when you pay your taxes at the end of the financial year.

You will probably have a rough idea of how much tax you will need to pay, and if not, speak to a professional who will be able to advise you. From here, when you pay yourself, set aside a small amount of money each month, which can then be used to pay your taxes at the end of the year.

By setting a small amount aside each month, you won’t actually miss it all that much.

Work out your gross margins

As you run an e-commerce store, you will obviously be selling something online. This is where it pays to figure out the gross profit margins of your store. When you understand your gross margins, you have a better idea of how much profit you are making on each sale.

This is where you need to figure out the cost of your goods. The cost of goods represents how much you are spending on producing/purchasing these products, I.E labor, raw materials, packaging, advertising, transport, etc. Your gross margins represent how much you are making on each profit after all costs of producing the products have been taken into account.

Basically, you sell a product for $10, and it costs $6 to produce and ship that product, your gross margin on this product would be $4 after costs.

 

 

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How Blockchain Can Benefit Your Business

If you want to give your business the best possible chance of succeeding, you need to ensure you get your finances and accounts in order. For some people, this is not too much of an issue. For others, it’s a very big problem.

Some people are naturally not all that great with numbers, which is where accounting software factors into the picture. Accounting software such as SlickPie is designed to make it much easier to balance your books and get your accounts in order for each financial year.

Some business owners also choose to hire professional accountants to make the process easier still. Lately, there has been a lot of talk about cryptocurrency and Blockchain.

To some of you, Blockchain may mean nothing, but don’t worry, because that’s where we come into the picture. Blockchain can benefit your business in a variety of different ways. Here’s a look at what it is and how it can help.

What is Blockchain?

Before we fill you in on just how amazing Blockchain can be for your business, first we need to let you know exactly what it is. Basically, Blockchain is best described as being a secure electronic ledger that is evenly distributed.

It helps connect together numerous parties in a secure and honest network and facilitates the transfer of information and assets. Initially, the Blockchain was created to help make Bitcoins legitimate forms of electronic currency.

After the financial crisis less than a decade ago, people began being far more careful with their money and began looking for safer and more secure alternatives to storing it in a bank. The Blockchain was a fantastic solution for numerous reasons. It functions by recording each digital transaction using cryptographic technology to store the details in a chain sequence.

Once a transaction has been stored in the chain, that it is, it is impossible to be duplicated or removed. Each computer on the network will hold this data so they will know exactly what was spent and when. As the Blockchain grows and more and more people make online transactions with it, the more secure it becomes.

How can Blockchain benefit your business?

So, as you’ve now been brought up to speed in regards to what the Blockchain is, here are a few ways in which it will benefit your business:

It’s very traceable 

One reason why Blockchain is so useful is that it enhances traceability. Being able to track goods in supply chains is very useful for business owners as they can trace where individual components may currently be. From here, info regarding these components is then relayed from, or to, the new owner so they know exactly where it has come from and where it has gone.

It’s efficient

Another reason why you should consider hopping on the Blockchain bandwagon is due to the fact that it has been proven to be so efficient. With each transaction completed, there is no intermediary and all info is digital.

This helps speed up the process and makes it that much more efficient. Making and settling transactions can be done in seconds, with no time wasting and no messing around.

Blockchain also allows users to utilize what is known as ‘smart contracts’. From here, commercial actions are automatically triggered based on the chosen criteria laid out in the contracts in the first place. If you’re looking to streamline your business, this is incredibly useful. It also helps you to cut costs and to save time as well.

Blockchain is incredibly secure

With cyber criminals now becoming more advanced than ever, it’s important to ensure that we take the necessary steps to protect our businesses, and indeed, the personal details of our clients in the process. This is where Blockchain really shines. You see, within the Blockchain, every single transaction that takes place is verified using highly sophisticated cryptography.

This means that users can authenticate transactions and ensure that they are genuine. Just to help show you just how secure the Blockchain is, currently many military organizations across the globe are actually using versions of Blockchain tech in the defense industry, to help ensure all data is safe and secure. If it is good enough for the nation’s military, Blockchain is certainly good enough for your business.

Great for feedback

In business, feedback is very important, and again, this is where Blockchain proves so useful. As mentioned, Blockchain tech allows users the ability to trace transactions, assets, and much more besides, every step of the way.

This means that manufacturers and designers alike can get an insight into how smoothly various processes are going and can, therefore, make any improvements if they’re required.

It looks good on paper

Finally, the last benefit associated with Blockchain technology for your business which we’ll be looking at today is the fact that it looks good on paper. If you tell your customers and potential investors that you are utilizing Blockchain technology as part of your business plan, this will help improve your reputation and it will help make you appear professional in the process.

The safer people feel with you, and the more professional you look, the more likely people will be to spend their hard-earned money with you. By investing in Blockchain technology, you can rest assured that people will take far more notice of you than they did in the past, simply because of how great Blockchain looks on paper.

So, that brings proceedings to a close. As you can see from the above, Blockchain can offer you a whole variety of benefits and can really help take your business to the next level. In terms of accounting software, Blockchain is certainly well worth looking into.

 

 

 

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What Is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology was originally created for a unique cryptocurrency called Bitcoin made by either a person or a collection of different people who is under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto.  They invented Blockchain as a base for their main creation Bitcoin, as that was the only way it would work. Who would’ve thought that his platform would be the one that is changing the game.

Just like everything else in the world, people have taken Blockchain and adapted it for more advanced and other uses, and it is now one of the most modern technology yet. Now, let’s get to what you really came here for; what is Blockchain technology?

A Blockchain is a log for all the transaction records inputted during a specific amount of time. It is made up of small blocks that has each transaction that occurred during that time as well as a HASH, which is essentially an identification code to differentiate every block.

Each block has a code because there is a limited amount of space in every one, so once filled it will move on to the next which is connected to it; hence the name Blockchain which refers to the chain of boxes linked together.

One of the best things about Blockchain is that it is decentralized, which means that there is no specific controller and all are individual. Because of that, if someone tries to hack into it, their block will be very different from the many others because they are all verified for legitimacy from the beginning.

All the blocks need to have a unanimity in the data, so when the hacker’s block shows up as different, it will be rejected and thrown out; this all makes Blockchain quite secure and durable against cyber attacks. The public also has the ability to go through any of the records to verify it themselves, which makes it very user friendly and also leaves an accessible paper trail which could help in auditability as there is the entire history of each transaction stored.

As mentioned previously, Bitcoin was the original use for Blockchain, but as the world keeps changing, so does its uses. Many people also use it for other important things such as stocks and bonds, voting, medical records, contracts and so many other valuable records one might need safe and secure.

Blockchain eliminates the use of a trusted third party (think of banks, accountants/ accounting software, the government, etc) so the users can exchange information directly between them which saves both time and money. There have been a few Blockchain tests against major Japan banks to determine if it really is faster and more efficient than wire transferring.

The answers is yes, it is. It did a good amount more transactions per second than the inter bank wire system did with a difference of doing only 14 transactions per Blockchains’ 15. There are still some flaws and weaknesses in this program unsurprisingly, such as the costs and energy consumption.

Overall, Blockchain is a highly developed technology that is being improved with each passing day and is reasonably believed to go in huge demand during the upcoming years.

 

 

 

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How You Can Benefit from A.I Today

Years ago, artificial intelligence was the stuff purely of Sci-Fi blockbusters and was something that many of us never thought we’d ever see in our lifetimes. Fast-forward to the present day,  and here we are, with A.I now all around us and an everyday part of modern life.

The advances in modern technology over the last decade or so have been nothing short of amazing, and we are continuing to progress further and further with each passing day. In the business world, in particular, modern technology has proven to be extremely beneficial, especially when you consider the fact that years ago, we’d never heard of such a thing as accounting software or smart phones.

A.I has been the topic of many a heated debate as of late, yet rather than fearing A.I we should instead embrace it and use it to our advantage. When people hear the words Artificial Intelligence, they instantly think of killer robots becoming consciously aware, and of computers taking over the world.

In the real world, however, A.I is a lot less dramatic than that, and actually, it could be considered pretty boring. Necessary, yes, but boring all the same. Want to know how your business can benefit from artificial intelligence? Then make sure you keep reading.

Stay relevant

The business world is incredibly complex and competitive, with more and more businesses becoming increasingly competitive and innovative every single day. As A.I is now becoming more advanced, and because business owners are now seeing the true potential in A.I, a lot of them are utilizing it to their advantage.

If you fail to take advantage of A.I, you run the risk of being left behind, with your business/services becoming obsolete, and extinct, just like the dinosaurs. If you embrace change and utilize technology to your advantage, your business can not only stay relevant, you can also stay competitive so people will be less likely to choose your competitors as they will gravitate towards you instead.

Detailed analysis of data

If you want a great example of how A.I can help provide a detailed analysis of your business, take a look at accounting software such as SlickPie. The A.I utilized in accounting software is incredibly intelligent and hugely beneficial because it helps provide the user with a detailed breakdown of their finances and accounts.

Through various algorithms and calculations performed automatically, the software can tell you exactly where your money is coming and going, plus it can utilize various formulas to provide accurate financial predictions for the year ahead.

This is very useful when it comes to, say, applying for a loan because, with A.I, you can forecast potential earnings for the year ahead so you can help convince the loan-maker that investing in you would provide a healthy return on their investment.

Get to understand your target demographic

No matter which services and/or products you offer, whether you own a business or provide freelance services, you will all have a certain target demographic in mind. A sportswear company, for example, will be targeting physically active individuals with an interest in sport and fitness.

The more you understand about your target audience, however, the easier you will find it to fine-tune your services/products so that you can cater to them directly and more accurately. A.I software is incredibly useful in this respect because it is able to get to know your target audience.

The technology analyzes behavioral patterns and habits of potential customers and looks at things like what they’re looking for online when they search, and what they’re engaging with the most.

To expand upon the sportswear theme earlier, a sportswear company utilizing A.I could get to understand what types of sportswear products their customers seem to be excited about the most, and could subsequently offer them exactly what they want.

The more you know about your customers, the easier it becomes to give them exactly what they want. Google search is a perfect example of how A.I can get to understand its users and pick up on common themes and trends.

Increase your chances of making conversions

If you owned a shop on a busy high street, every working day you would probably have people walking in and browsing what you have to offer. In a perfect world, every single person that walked in would buy something from you, but of course, we don’t live in a perfect world so not everybody in your store will be willing to part with their money.

The same principle applies to freelancers and online business owners, and that is where A.I proves so useful. A.I performs detailed predictive analysis online and can basically make a prediction, based upon each individual’s browsing habits etc, as to whether or not they are likely to make a sale.

A.I can help business owners to increase leads based upon just how likely they will be to convert and make a purchase. Not only does A.I tell you how likely an individual will be to make a sale, it can also help teach you how to identify a number of key strategies which again, could increase your chances of making a sale, and making more money.

Maintain regular customers

A happy customer, as they say, is a returning customer, and the more regular customers you can obtain, the better. A.I tech is very useful in this regard because it can also help show you what your customers have been happy with from you, and it can show you what may have put them off slightly.

This means you can address issues which are letting you down, and you can focus on your strengths in the process. If your rivals are providing services similar to yours, but not identical, and your customers are perhaps showing an interest in these services, A.I can point this out for you, allowing you to tweak your business model somewhat to help ensure you keep your customers happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 of the Best Automation Tools for Small Businesses

Automation: By definition, the word means ‘automatically controlled operation of an apparatus, system, or process, by mechanical or electronic devices that take the place of human labor. Basically, automation is a process by which technology steps in and does the job of a human being, only quicker and more efficiently.

This may sound like the plot to a Sci-Fi Blockbuster, but don’t worry, it’s nowhere near as frightening as it may sound. If you’re a small business owner or a self-employed freelancer perhaps, you will only have so many pairs of hands and so many hours in the day to get everything done that needs doing.

Running any business, large or small, requires a lot of time and effort, and unfortunately, there are many business owners out there who sadly find themselves overwhelmed, and they literally cannot keep on top of everything that needs doing. Even with additional employees, there are some tasks that are very complex and very time-consuming, which is why automation is so useful.

There are many different types of automation tools and software out there for you to utilize, and you may even be utilizing some right now, without even realizing. If time is against you and you’re struggling to keep your head above water, here are 5 of the best automation tools for small businesses.

This may sound like the plot to a Sci-Fi Blockbuster, but don’t worry, it’s nowhere near as frightening as it may sound. If you’re a small business owner or a self-employed freelancer perhaps, you will only have so many pairs of hands and so many hours in the day to get everything done that needs doing.

Running any business, large or small, requires a lot of time and effort, and unfortunately, there are many business owners out there who sadly find themselves overwhelmed, and they literally cannot keep on top of everything that needs doing. Even with additional employees, there are some tasks that are very complex and very time-consuming, which is why automation is so useful.

There are many different types of automation tools and software out there for you to utilize, and you may even be utilizing some right now, without even realizing. If time is against you and you’re struggling to keep your head above water, here are 5 of the best automation tools for small businesses.

Running any business, large or small, requires a lot of time and effort, and unfortunately, there are many business owners out there who sadly find themselves overwhelmed, and they literally cannot keep on top of everything that needs doing. Even with additional employees, there are some tasks that are very complex and very time-consuming, which is why automation is so useful.

There are many different types of automation tools and software out there for you to utilize, and you may even be utilizing some right now, without even realizing. If time is against you and you’re struggling to keep your head above water, here are 5 of the best automation tools for small businesses.

There are many different types of automation tools and software out there for you to utilize, and you may even be utilizing some right now, without even realizing. If time is against you and you’re struggling to keep your head above water, here are 5 of the best automation tools for small businesses.

HubSpot

If you’re a small business owner and you aren’t yet using HubSpot, boy are you missing out! HubSpot is ideal in terms of sales and marketing, though it also provides users with numerous educational benefits as well. You see, the software makes use of marketing data provided in real time, to help you expand your reach and get a better idea of whom your target demographic may be.

This, in turn, helps to follow up on leads and to generate sales, so of course, from a business perspective, it’s perfect. HubSpot also allows users to track their growth via pre-determined goals and objectives. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, HubSpot is perfect.

You see, the software makes use of marketing data provided in real time, to help you expand your reach and get a better idea of whom your target demographic may be. This, in turn, helps to follow up on leads and to generate sales, so of course, from a business perspective, it’s perfect.

HubSpot also allows users to track their growth via pre-determined goals and objectives. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, HubSpot is perfect.

SlickPie

Accounting software is an absolute blessing for freelancers and small business owners, yet bizarrely, some people out there are just not using it to their full advantage, or worse still, at all. SlickPie is one of the most popular forms of accounting software currently on the market, and it is proving to be an incredibly valuable commodity for business owners.

SlickPie is ideal because it allows users to keep track of their finances as they can monitor incomings and outgoings, they know when money is coming in and going out, plus it allows users to send automatic invoices to various clients, with follow up reminders if necessary. For freelancers and small business owners dealing with overseas clients, SlickPie is great because it enables users to send and receive money in the currency of their choice.

Getting your accounts in order is a full-time job in itself, yet with SlickPie, it’s as easy as having your very own accountant on the team, with the added bonus being that they never make mistakes and never let you down. To ensure you stay on the taxman’s good side, make SlickPie a part of your business model and see just how much easier everything becomes.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is another very popular automation tool that is perfect for small business owners looking to expand their social media reach and get a firm grasp on all things social. Hootsuite is a piece of software which is dedicated to automating a business’ engagement on various social media platforms in more than 35 countries across the world.

In particular, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn all can be utilized very effectively when you use Hootsuite to your advantage. The software helps to identify some of the key influencers in your chosen market, it provides useful tips and strategies designed to increase engagement across multiple platforms, and best of all, if your budget is tight, there is a completely free plan for business owners to take advantage of, with the possibility of upgrading their plan if they feel so inclined to do so.

Spokal

Spokal is ideal for businesses utilizing WordPress, which is pretty much every business you can think of in this day and age. Spokal is one of the most popular inbound marketing platforms currently available, and it is one of the best automation tools for small businesses that you could ever wish for.

Spokal supplies users with powerful SEO marketing tools designed to help improve local and global search engine rankings to ensure that your blog is receiving the attention you will have been hoping it would receive.

Best of all is the fact that Spokal has been designed to integrate with numerous other tools and pieces of software, making it very user-friendly and very efficient.

MailChimp

And finally, before we bring this article to a close, we’ll finish off by looking at MailChimp. MailChimp is the only email marketing solution you will ever need, and it also happens to be extremely affordable.

MailChimp allows users to target potential customers based solely on their preferences, their online behavior, and of course, on past sales. MailChimp also integrates with many other useful automation tools and pieces of software, including Spokal, so if you’re thinking of getting either, you would be best off using them both so as to benefit from the best of both worlds.

MailChimp also integrates with many other useful automation tools and pieces of software, including Spokal, so if you’re thinking of getting either, you would be best off using them both so as to benefit from the best of both worlds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: GraphicStock

Best Ways to Work in the Cloud

The ever-changing business world is now more reliant on modern technology than ever before. While this may be slightly intimidating to some, for many of us, this is very welcome news and we should therefore embrace change rather than fear it.

Over the last couple of decades, the internet has changed vastly and back then, if you’d told people that in the near future they would be able to store data, files, and applications on devices outside of their offices and homes, they would have looked at you as if you’d lost your mind.

Years later however, here we are with cloud-computing now more prevalent in the workplace than ever before. Embracing the cloud is one of the smartest business decisions you will ever make, yet knowing how to use the cloud correctly is a whole other matter entirely.

Cloud computing is extremely beneficial if used correctly, the problem with digitization is the fact that it can be fairly complex to get your head around. If you’re looking to hop onto the cloud, here’s a look at some of the best ways to work within the cloud.

Make sure you know where your data is

The great thing about working in the cloud is the fact that your data is not actually stored in one physical location at all. It is instead stored ‘in the cloud’ which means it is stored virtually and that it can be accessed from anywhere, on multiple devices, at any time.

Now, this is all well and good, but you still need to know where all of your personal data is going. You see, if you don’t know where it is going, how can you be expected to secure it?

We all know that cloud-based servers and services are incredibly safe and secure, but what happens if you need to terminate your cloud contract, or if the provider goes out of business? Ideally you want dedicated hardware in place because, because this way, it allows you to be able to single out a piece of equipment and know that that is where your data is being stored.

Don’t utilize a centralized cloud model

When it comes to working in the cloud, it’s important that you hedge your bets and leave yourself with numerous possibilities.  You see, if you utilize a centralized cloud model, speed and performance will almost certainly be compromised, as well as security.

A centralized cloud model could put your personal data and assets at risk due to power outages, cyber attacks, natural disaster, or anything else. Rather than going with centralized models, instead look for global managed networks with cloud distribution centers located all over the globe.

Make sure your networks are optimized

When it comes to working in the cloud, ensuring your networks are optimized is absolutely essential. More and more businesses and freelancers alike are now embracing cloud computing and because of this, performance, reliability, and speed, are more important than ever.

You can utilize technology which optimizes performance and application performance, leaving your networks working much quicker and far more reliable than previously.

Ensure data is backed up

The great thing about working in the cloud is that the cloud often performs backups for you on a regular basis. When you select a cloud-based service however, make sure it offers regular backups, and make sure that these back ups are actually being carried out.

Accountants utilizing accounting software for example, obviously need their data backing up regularly, because they are dealing with sensitive financial information of their clients.

Accounting software such as SlickPie is designed to perform regular backups for you, though before you proceed any further, you must ensure that your data is indeed being backed up and stored safely and securely on the cloud.

Embrace mobile device management

Mobile device management, or MDM for short, is incredibly important when it comes to doing business in this day and age. Currently, more than 1 in 2 people now own a smart phone, with the vast majority of us now preferring to browse the web with smart devices like phones or tablets, rather than with computers and laptops.

Because of this, when it comes to working in the cloud, make sure you embrace mobile device management. Look for cloud-based services which help you to secure mobile devices, and manage them effectively, to ensure that over-usage, security breaches, and data roaming charges, aren’t factors. The cloud services you select should ideally support all operators and mobile platforms.

Perform regular security tests

No matter how safe and secure a cloud service may claim to be, when you’re storing such sensitive and important data on there, of course there will be a small voice in the back of your mind asking ‘what if’? You want to ensure that your info and data is safe and secure, so ideally you should take nothing for granted and should have regular safety and security tests carried out.

Many business owners and freelancers therefore, get in contact with computer security specialists and basically hire them to attempt to hack into the cloud and to test the security protocols put in place.

If these security experts can find a way to access data which should be kept safe and secure, unfortunately this means that hackers and cyber criminals out there can also do the same thing. Regular security tests will determine how secure your cloud server is, plus it will help show you where any weaknesses and vulnerabilities lie.

Look for a managed service

In the business world, time is money, and for every second that people can’t access your website, they can’t hire you or buy from you, so you’re losing money.

When using the cloud, look for a service that can deal with high levels of traffic, without having your site crash when its bandwidth has been exceeded. Ideally you should go with cloud-ready architecture which you can utilize exclusively as a managed service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Benefits of Automation in Accounting

As a business owner/freelancer, it doesn’t matter how busy you are or how large or small your business is, if there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s the fact that your accounts and books must be in order at all times.

The last thing you want to do is fall foul to the taxman, but what can you do to help ensure things run without a hitch?

Well, if you manually do your accounts yourself, there’s a good chance that you will struggle, or at the very least, that you will waste a lot of time carrying out tasks that an accountant would have been able to do in seconds.

We have actually been using computers for accounting purposes for over three decades now, and when you consider the fact that accounting software is now more advanced than ever before, it’s easy to understand why that is.

Accounting is all about collecting data and carrying out various processes and procedures in order to ensure that your books and finances are balanced and up-to-date. This is where automation comes into the picture.

Thanks to automation via accounting software, keeping your finances and books in order is now easier than ever. Below we’ll take a look at a few key benefits associated with automation in accounting.

Reduced risk of error

Remember, as great as you or your employees may be, when it comes to dealing with your accounts, there will always be a risk of human error.

All it takes is one missed figure, or one incorrect formula and your entire finances for that day, week, month, or even year, could potentially be ruined, which may result in a fine.

Although with accounting software and thanks to automation, the software has been specially designed to automatically and systematically scan for any mathematical mistakes.

With manual accounting, no matter how careful you are, mistakes can, and often will, happen, and this could literally cost you money further down the road. With automation in the form of accounting software, nonetheless, the risk of human error is hugely reduced.

Save time

Another key benefit associated with automation in accounting is the fact that it has been specifically designed to help you save a great deal of time.

Whether you were to do your finances or hire a pro, you would still need to sit down and go through them in person if you or they planned on doing them manually.

With automation, however, the software itself will take care of all calculations for you, so mundane time-consuming tasks will no longer need to be carried out by you, as the computer will take care of everything.In particular, many freelancers have praised automation in regards to the billing and invoicing process.

If you were working with the same client on a regular basis, providing the same services for the same prices on the same date each week, manually you would have to create a new invoice every single time you wanted paying.

With one client this is perhaps not too bad, but if you’re working with multiple clients, the last thing you want to be doing is wasting time drawing up manual invoices each week.

With automation, the accounting software can be programmed to automatically send out invoices to your clients, on dates of your choosing, without you having to lift a finger. You can simply program the software to send an invoice to your chosen client for X amount of money, whenever you’d like.

Very customizable

When talking about the benefits of automation in accounting software, we cannot overlook the fact that it is very customizable.

Computer-based accounting software can be customized in a whole variety of different ways, so users can scan the data and view it in formats and layouts of their choosing.

Remember, we all have different preferences, so if you are viewing spreadsheets, tables, and charts, in a format you can’t seem to get your head around, more often than not, the accounting software can actually be altered so you can view it in a format that you do like the look of.

Whether you’re creating custom invoice templates, or financial reports and spreadsheets, you can format all of the above, and much more besides, into the layout that appeals to you the most.

Make and save more money

When it comes to automation in accounting, a lot of people often overlook the fact that automation can, and probably will, help save you a great deal of money. You may be wondering how that is, but don’t worry, all will soon become clear.

You see, if you were to invoice clients manually, there is always the risk that the invoice would fail to be sent, or that you simply invoiced for less than you were owed.

With automation, however, the software takes care of the invoice for you, so you needn’t worry about undercharging for your services, or of simply forgetting to send an invoice to a client because you were so busy.

Automated accounting software will alert you if payments have not been made as well as it will alert you about any incorrect payments, plus it will let you know of any potential duplicates of invoices.

Easy to use

One reason why a lot of business owners and freelancers are so hesitant to utilize automated accounting software is the fact that they think it will be very difficult and complicated to use.

In reality, however, the software has been designed with user-friendliness in mind.

This means that often you don’t need to perform regular software installations and updates that you don’t need an IT specialist to come take care of things when an update is needed. Often it will automatically update itself so you really needn’t worry about a thing.

Often it will automatically update itself so you really don’t have to worry about a thing.

Now put these tips into practice and get paid faster today with SlickPie!

 

 

Image: GraphicStock

Why Automated Receipt Data Entry Works

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a new small business owner, the owner of a huge corporation, or a freelancer looking to expand your reach and grow your client list, if there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s the fact that you simply must ensure you have your finances in order.

All businesses, no matter how big or small, will have numerous aspects of their finances to consider, and when it comes to your finances, you simply cannot afford to cut corners or take any risks. Pretty much every business out there will be familiar with accounts payable and why it’s such a pain in the backside getting your receipts and finances in order.

This, however, is why accounting software and automated receipt data entry tools are so popular. Sending out invoices, chasing up discrepancies and missed payments, and general inefficiencies regarding your billing processes can make life much, much tougher than it needs to be.

This is where it pays to automate your accounts payable processes. In the world that is becoming increasingly reliant on modern technology, it pays to stay with the times rather than being stuck in the past. With that said, if you haven’t yet embraced automated receipt data entry, here are a few benefits associated with automated payable processes.

Paperless – If you have not yet gone paperless, you will only be able to fight natural progression for so long, before you eventually forced to do so in one way or another. Switching to paperless, however, is not a challenge, it is actually a reward as there are numerous benefits to enjoy.

Not only are you helping the environment, but you are also helping your business in general. You see, by getting rid of paper, you make info available right away. Take receipts for example, with paper receipts, if your clients require one from you, you will have to send them out, which takes time, effort, and money.

With automated receipt data entry, however, the receipt is digital, so it can be sent to them virtually and can be viewed instantly. This will cut back on manual labor, you will save money in the form of less paper being used, fewer postage costs, less electricity being used on printing, and less printer ink constantly being used. Ultimately, you get all of the rewards, with none of the drawbacks.

Keep your finances in order – Another very useful benefit associated with automated receipt data entry is the fact that it will allow you to keep your finances in order. Whether you make use of accounting software yourself, or if you pay an expert to handle your books for you, with everything being automated and digital, keeping things more efficient and better organized is easier than ever before.

Everything will be available to you with just a few clicks of a mouse so you will save time, and you can keep everything neat and tidy. If for example, you are being audited, rather than having to dig through mountains upon mountains of receipts for the tax man, you can simply hop onto your computer or smart device, and find whatever it is you need to find, all in a matter of seconds.

Less room for error – Let’s face it, we’re all human and we all make mistakes, that is what sets us apart from machines. However, in business, human error can cost money, and can potentially be catastrophic.

When it comes to your invoices for example, if you’re going with a paper-invoicing approach, these invoices must be filed by hand and entered into various types of the accounting system. If for example, this piece of paper was lost or even stolen, it will take time, money, and effort to put things right. In business, time is money, so it pays to have everything as streamlined and as efficient as possible.

With accounting software, automated accounts payable processes run smoother than ever, as it cuts back on the risks associated with human error. By going with an automated process, often you can set up the system so that, each month, without fail, it will automatically send an invoice to a client for you, for a pre-determined amount of money.

Basically, the software takes care of all of the hard work for you, so you don’t have to. This cuts down the risk of a lost invoice, duplicate invoices, incorrect invoices, or anything else associated with paper-based systems.

Improved staff efficiency – In most businesses, you will find that a lot of the time, staff members have to spend a significantly long amount of time answering telephone calls, emails, and queries in general, regarding misplaced invoices, duplicate invoices, or incorrect invoices. With automated accounting software, however, as there is a much, much smaller risk of a discrepancy, this frees up your staff members and allows them more time to focus on other aspects of your business which were perhaps deemed to be more important.

Speed things up – As mentioned, in business, time is money, so every second count. You need to receive payment for jobs well done, and if you don’t, your business may suffer. You have bills to pay like everybody else, and if your clients pay you late, or fail to pay you the correct amount, because a paper-based invoice was lost in the post, or was unreadable for whatever reasons, you then have the foot the bill some other way.

Put simply, you need paying on time to ensure you pay your bills on time, which is why automated accounting software is so useful. You see, rather than having to print out the invoices, seal them in an envelope, and take them down to be posted, you can simply set them up in advance to be sent out whenever you like.

If you invoice the same company, on the same date, for the same amount, you actually won’t need to lift a finger once you’ve set the software up to do just that. The quicker your invoices and receipts are sent out and received, obviously the better this becomes for your company.

Put these tips into practice and improve your business today!

 

 

Image: GraphicStock

New! Meet MagicBot – Data Entry No More

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One beautiful evening during a visit to a family friend who owns and operates a small printing shop, the owner patiently opened up a box full of receipts. He lined up all the bills and receipts from the box and started typing them in an Excel sheet while we were chatting. It took him more than two hours or so, and once done, he powered his other computer on, logged in and started entering that Excel data in his accounting software. We were chatting, drinking, and having fun, but it was becoming slowly boring, and finally just before midnight, he was done.

An evening that was supposed to be fun, ended up quite dull and boring. Unfortunately, that was the only time the poor soul could have done this time-consuming and repetitive task. He is no different than millions of other small business owners working almost 70-80 hours a week and still barely catching up because the world is not made for them.

On the way back home while driving, I thought over this. This needs to change. He does not have to do this thing again, ever. This led us to MagicBot, the modern foundation of an accounting cycle in the 21st century. The changing landscape of small business bookkeeping and accounting demands that humans spend minimum time on boring, repetitive, and dirty tasks. Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and accountants are some of the hardest-working people on the planet, and now SlickPie just makes their lives a little bit easier.

MagicBot is a core part of SlickPie online accounting software, a revolutionary innovation that is going to change how all accounting software works today. It goes out and fetches all those hundreds and thousands of receipts, bills, and other documents that you have stored with a storage service provider like Dropbox. Not only that, MagicBot will create automatic accurate financial transactions that you can review, edit, and approve, thus saving hundreds of hours for small business owners. MagicBot does it all seamlessly by leveraging the power of machine learning and feedback from humans.

I was hooked to SlickPie as soon as I took the picture of a receipt and saved it in my Dropbox and it showed up almost instantly in SlickPie. I almost had a heart attack! Now I just have to take a picture of a receipt and send it to Dropbox and I am done. My bills are being delivered automatically to my Dropbox now.

 –       Souror Wong, Coastal Learning & Training

 The automatic expense account assignment option will help you to categorize your data to the appropriate expense account. MagicBot automatically updates your general ledger as receipts and bills are fetched from Dropbox. All you have to do is review and approve. In fact, there’s literally a little requirement for human input. There is really nothing more to do than reviewing and approving the data!

We believe our lead in innovative technology will define the bookkeeping industry in upcoming years and will be followed by other big 400-pound gorillas in the industry. Current major players in the small business accounting software industry only offer partial solutions and have been unable to fix difficult “time-traps”. MagicBot solves this ancient age problem and solves it quickly.

Now business owners can have reliable financial data that shows a true and current picture of what is going on in their business’s reality.

SlickPie has helped us save more than five hours a week in bookkeeping.

 –       Ben Mutz, CEO – New Age Media

A collective community of 120 businesses came together to test and develop MagicBot during the private beta. Enthusiasts and experts came together to impart valuable feedback, information, and best practices to optimize the automation process for usability and simplicity and today I invite you to join this journey by participating in public beta to make it even better. More feedback we receive better will be your automated data entry tasks.

Delightful experience with SlickPie is going to eclipse all providers, and we are on the path to becoming one of the most popular and fast-growing cloud accounting software on the market. New SlickPie innovations in accounting software make managing books easier than ever. By helping and delighting businesses, MagicBot secures its spot at the heart of SlickPie online accounting software.

Core innovations in MagicBot make SlickPie a winning product to be used by every business. Forward-thinking software makes accounting ridiculously easy and simple, which a big deal and always was for entrepreneurs.

The SlickPie team thinks, plans, and codes how we can just make SlickPie easier to use for you. Every time we do an update the software gets easier to use and becomes more accessible to even more people.

SlickPie is packed with useful, time-saving features including automated reminders, recurring invoicing, and live bank feeds. Technology benefits are full of abundance, and MagicBot makes it even better by instantly populating data in the general ledger. We create an ultimate amazing experience of working with cloud accounting software. That leads to your success because now with more time in hand, you can extend the same delightful experience to your clients:

I got my three hours back just in one week because of you. You have given me five hours back that I can spend with my family as my work is being done not only quickly but also efficiently.

 –       Sandra Gallo, Freelancer

 Business owners are spending countless hours on boring and repetitive tasks, and that worries me. It scares me when I see hour after hour being wasted when there is a much better option to do the same thing. Accounting automation means more time for you, a less stressful life, and a happy personal and professional life. Go ahead and empower yourself.

As always, I am always interested in your input during this public beta on how we can make it even more useful and powerful for, just you. Join the cloud revolution today. Make fewer mistakes… Process faster… Any receipt or bill… Any format… It’s all automatic!