I'm still using paper for my books

I'm still using paper for my books

Author
Discussion

cheekymeerkat

Original Poster:

110 posts

37 months

Tuesday 7th July
quotequote all
In my line of business, every supplier sends electronic invoices by e-mail these days and I use a Gmail filter to automatically filter these transactional e-mails with attachments into a special folder. At the end of each month, I'll probably have 200-300 e-mails in the folder which I will then spend a couple of hours printing in supplier order.

I then staple all the statements to the correct invoices, check them over for errors/credits owed etc, write the invoice month in pen on the statement and they then stay in my in tray on my desk until payment is due. If cash flow is tight, all I need to do it flick though the statements to see who I owe what and that get's me a quick picture of where we sit on cashflow on any given day, and that's how I've done it for 12 years.

I also have the issue of remembering to print the numerous invoices that don't get delivered by e-mail. I have to login to supplier portals and print them.
Each quarter, I will manually key in every statement (if consolidated) or individual invoice in to excel to calculate how much VAT I can reclaim.
I don't do any bank reconciliation against invoices, but I do check the bank weekly for anything that looks off and invoices are paid by BACS or commercial charge card.

It's all fairly organised but it's becoming a ball ache as the business grows!
On the revenue side, I have specialist software that sorts out all of that but it's solely a sales management platform, it does nothing for purchases other than PO management.

Any suggestions on automating these processes?
A friend of mine suggested I try Xero but another friend told me it's a waste of time having to correct invoices scanned in wrong etc but I do like the sound of a paperless accounting system!

Mr Overheads

1,874 posts

132 months

Tuesday 7th July
quotequote all
receiptbank works well

Flooble

2,144 posts

56 months

Tuesday 7th July
quotequote all
Print to PDF instead of Paper, then something like Xero should make few to no mistakes when "scanning" them

Mr Pointy

5,785 posts

115 months

Tuesday 7th July
quotequote all
Hire a part-time bookeeper?

Ham_and_Jam

385 posts

53 months

Tuesday 7th July
quotequote all
Mr Overheads said:
receiptbank works well
Looked at this previously as it looks quite good, but doesn’t integrate with UK versions of Quickbooks desktop frown

Do you use it?

jammy-git

25,322 posts

168 months

Tuesday 7th July
quotequote all
Mr Overheads said:
receiptbank works well
But it doesn't scan line items.


Amazed that people still spend so much time manually doing accounts like this.

Xero/Quickbooks/Freshbooks/FreeAgent + Auto Entry (which will scan both the invoice and line items) makes doing the admin part of accounts an absolute breeze.

jonamv8

2,538 posts

122 months

Tuesday 7th July
quotequote all
Wow, that sounds horrendous! You’ll kick yourself when you get a new system in place!

Ham_and_Jam

385 posts

53 months

Tuesday 7th July
quotequote all
jammy-git said:
But it doesn't scan line items.


Amazed that people still spend so much time manually doing accounts like this.

Xero/Quickbooks/Freshbooks/FreeAgent + Auto Entry (which will scan both the invoice and line items) makes doing the admin part of accounts an absolute breeze.
I think the problem for us is we deal with a lot of traditional manufacturers and suppliers who still issue hand written invoices. Others who issue properly typed invoices often amend shortages with hand written notes.

Trying to get an automated system is very difficult, maybe impossible.

I have also looked at Autoentry before, but maybe there is a way around this. I’ve booked a 1 to 1 later this week with one of their reps to see if it can work for us.

I mentioned it to the missus who currently does our books and she seemed positively nonplussed, she reckons it only takes her an hour a week to key in. Charming, thought I was helping out!!


Edited by Ham_and_Jam on Tuesday 7th July 20:20

Flooble

2,144 posts

56 months

Tuesday 7th July
quotequote all
Ham_and_Jam said:
I think the problem for us is we deal with a lot of traditional manufacturers and suppliers who still issue hand written invoices. Others who issue properly typed invoices often amend shortages with hand written notes.

Trying to get an automated system is very difficult, maybe impossible.

I have also looked at Autoentry before, but maybe there is a way around this. I’ve booked a 1 to 1 later this week with one of their reps to see if it can work for us.

I mentioned it to the missus who currently does our books and she seemed positively nonplussed, she reckons it only takes her an hour a week to key in. Charming, thought I was helping out!!


Edited by Ham_and_Jam on Tuesday 7th July 20:20
If she says its an hour a week and isn't complaining I think you have a solution!

Ham_and_Jam

385 posts

53 months

Tuesday 7th July
quotequote all
Flooble said:
If she says its an hour a week and isn't complaining I think you have a solution!
Haha! I think she is seriously over estimating her efficiency. I reckon it’s more like 4 hours a week, but I’m wondering whether I’m wasting my time if she’s not that bothered.

Admin and repetition is my type of hell, but each to their own!

nickv

105 posts

80 months

Thursday 9th July
quotequote all
I have a similar problem i use Sage 50 Cloud

Outgoing invoices are no problem i use a different program for invoices but it exports to CSV and i can then import invoices, customers and payments into sage takes under 5 mins

A lot of my supplier's still supply the invoice on delivery so these still have to be keyed into sage. some suppliers email pdf invoices.

I dont have massive amount of supplier invoices so it doesn't take me that long.

I am not convinced on a lot of these invoice scanning options seems a little long winded as well, if like me and there is a lot of different suppliers i am not sure it would work out any quicker

Can any other software other than sage import batch pdf supplier invoices and sort them into supplier accounts automatically, basically in one or two clicks ??

That would maybe make me switch if this was possible




Edited by nickv on Thursday 9th July 10:35

jammy-git

25,322 posts

168 months

Thursday 9th July
quotequote all
I've been trialling Auto Entry this week.

My workflow is this:
1. Supplier emails me an invoice
2. GMail email rule automatically forwards it to Auto Entry.
3. Auto Entry scans PDF and automatically reads all invoice details including line items. It can automatically assign tax codes and account codes, but these made need to be selected first time.
4. Click Publish to push to Xero.
5. In Xero, one click to reconcile invoice with bank statement payment (automatically imported bank statement).

At the end of the week I could fly through a whole weeks accounts in a matter of minutes and ALL the information is in Xero in case of an audit.

nickv

105 posts

80 months

Thursday 9th July
quotequote all
jammy-git said:
I've been trialling Auto Entry this week.

My workflow is this:
1. Supplier emails me an invoice
2. GMail email rule automatically forwards it to Auto Entry.
3. Auto Entry scans PDF and automatically reads all invoice details including line items. It can automatically assign tax codes and account codes, but these made need to be selected first time.
4. Click Publish to push to Xero.
5. In Xero, one click to reconcile invoice with bank statement payment (automatically imported bank statement).

At the end of the week I could fly through a whole weeks accounts in a matter of minutes and ALL the information is in Xero in case of an audit.
Just had a look at this it does look quite good if it works as well as it says.............BUT quite expensive

Mr Pointy

5,785 posts

115 months

Thursday 9th July
quotequote all
Every time this sort of question comes up & someone suggest something like Xero I ask how you get offline backups of all your data but no-one has ever answered.

Can you back up all of your financial data & import it into another provider? What happens if Xero goes pop?

jammy-git

25,322 posts

168 months

Thursday 9th July
quotequote all
nickv said:
Just had a look at this it does look quite good if it works as well as it says.............BUT quite expensive
It is expensive, but with my hourly rate, if it saves even an hour of my time each month it'll pay for itself and I'm expecting it to save me more than that.

Mr Pointy said:
Every time this sort of question comes up & someone suggest something like Xero I ask how you get offline backups of all your data but no-one has ever answered.

Can you back up all of your financial data & import it into another provider? What happens if Xero goes pop?
https://central.xero.com/s/article/Export-general-ledger-data-out-of-Xero?userregion=true

I've just checked and you can export into a number of different formats ready to be imported straight into a number of other platforms.