Contractors specialize in installing and maintaining systems that are the backbone of a well-functioning society. I enjoy working with these professionals, as the businesses they operate are important, fast-paced and exciting.
I recognize that many contractors are very busy. They are constantly managing jobs, ordering supplies, preparing quotes, managing and dispatching staff, tracking time and invoicing. Add to this list the problem solving skills required for each job, and the result is a very busy schedule.
The purpose of this article is to briefly outline 3 tips that can help these professionals save time and improve productivity.
1) Xero or QuickBooks Online
These cloud based accounting systems provide professionals with the backbone for their accounting. These systems are very affordable and the benefits and time saved by using one of these systems is significant. Features of these programs include:
- Automatic bank and credit card feeds – All money that goes in and out of your bank accounts and all transactions that are put through on your credit cards, are automatically brought into Xero or QuickBooks online.
- Ecosystem of apps – There are various applications that work along with Xero and QuickBooks Online, which will help automate functions. I will demonstrate a couple apps below that work great for Plumbers and HVAC professionals.
- Remote access – You can access your financials anytime and anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection. Also, your accountant can login and provide advise with real time data.
Tradify helps manage your workflows from quoting, time and material tracking to invoicing. Features of Tradify include:
- Easy job management – From initial quotes to final invoices, Tradify will help you stay on top of your workflow with powerful job tracking features.
- Scheduling – You can manage your workforce smartly with easy employee scheduling. Assess the availability of every team member to book jobs as they come in.
- Quick Quoting – You can prepare fast and accurate quotes using custom templates and imported supplier price lists.
- Easy Invoicing – By collecting time sheets and receipts, you can quickly prepare invoices and get paid on time.
- Syncing – The number crunching that takes place in Tradify can be easily integrated with Xero, meaning tidy books and easy accounting. The result is reduced bookkeeping costs and less of your resources spent on administrative tasks.
HubDoc is a document collection and management software. It automatically retrieves documents from your various accounts and stores them in a virtual filing cabinet. Document types that can be fetched include bank and credit card statements, invoices, bills and statements. There are hundreds of account connections available. Once setup, the end result is a portal where all of your financial documents are stored. Significant features of HubDoc are the following:
- Reduced manual data entry – This software can automatically code a receipt or invoice, with the vendor name, amount, HST portion and expense category. This information can then be pushed into the accounting system (Xero or QuickBooks Online). The result is automation and less time/resources spent on data entry.
- Document storage - If you want to see a bank statement from 18 months ago or a Toronto Hydro invoice from last month, you simply login to the portal and view the document. Documents can be viewed from any computer, phone or tablet. If you are on the road and want to refer to a document, you will have the ability to do so, without having to contact someone in the office to track down the document.
My recommendation is that contractors consider implementing a smart accounting system. The many benefits of a smart accounting system will outweigh the costs.
If you are interested in reducing your costs and having more time, contact me and I can help you setup an appropriate system for your business.