What do you use to automate your receipts, expenses, invoicing clients, processing payments, etc. I know the lack of experience and knowledge on the taxation world is holding me back from running out the gates with this business.
If you are early stage then you need two things: an accountant and accounting software.
When it comes to finding an accountant, find someone who understands your area of business. Most firms will meet once or twice to get a feel for your needs. In my experience, good accountants will tell you outright if their firm is a good fit for your business.
Accountants can recommend great software packages as well. Most desktop software does not lend itself automation and integration.
We use Xero at Picatic; which handles a lot of our day to day stuff. It has also enabled us to have better reporting to our investors. It cut down a lot of the work we were doing manually before. They have a wide selection of partner integrations to do payroll, collect money on invoices, etc. Their biggest win in my opinion is their open API. You can automate nearly everything you would need to for accounting. This is a big win for many tech startups.
WaveApp is another alternative. They are "close" to releasing an API and provide many of the same services. Worth looking into as well.
Online accounting has one big win, you can access it anywhere in the world. Incredibly useful tool if you are pitching your company and an investor wants to know, "Who is your biggest client?"
Give me a call if you want to know more on how we are automating much of our financial aspects of our business.
This is a really great question and one that a lot of business owners don't always take the time to try and understand. This can really help improve efficiency, control your cash flow and help you plan for the future. I've worked in accounting for the past 10 years and I now work as a consultant giving business owners the tools to create success. The most important thing that I work on with my clients is planning for profit and paying themselves and that starts with your scorekeeping aka bookkeeping software. There are many on the market that will link to your bank account and actually import data automatically. There's even patches that will import sales data from website shopping carts. This will save you loads of time and also cut down on input errors. Many will also allow for clients to pay their bills via email. Which saves you time, money and gets your paid faster. A very easy to use one is Quickbooks. This one can even import client/customer data into your mailchimp account. They have a variety of options to choose from so it will really depend on your individual needs and business type. You'll want to make sure before you purchase any software that the software you get has the capabilities to link everything like you would like it to do. You also want to make sure that you get it set up right the first time. It's extremely time consuming to try and change your chart of accounts and records. I always recommend to my clients to set up their books as if they are as busy and successful as they want to be - meaning when you grow you won't have to reinvent the wheel. I would love to discuss this more with you and I think we could get a lot done in one phone call!