Managing both the job site and bookkeeping for tradesmen can be a real challenge. Tradies have spent a lot of time skilling up in their profession with many being masters of their trade. However, one of the items which is never taught is how to manage your own bookkeeping and how to keep on top of paperwork.
When we speak to our tradie clients, they always say there is never a simple job and managing these jobs can become a nightmare without the right tools. There are labour components, materials purchased, and tasks contracted out, all of which get invoiced at different time frames. Add to the mix: job setbacks, contract retainers, design changes and bad weather and you have a perfect storm.
It is guaranteed that the tradie will complete the job, however knowing whether you made money and more importantly getting paid is not that definite. We believe, as you get busier with work you need to work smarter and not harder. Too often we have heard instances where invoices have not been raised and business owners fall behind in their paperwork as it is not a priority.
Here are some quick tips we have found work well in helping tradies;
Get yourself some help
Although you are a master at your trade, paperwork and finances may not be it. Tradies are excellent at what they do and should be spending most of their time excelling at that, as a result get some help with your back end work. Whether its through engaging a Virtual Assistant (VA) or Bookkeeper it will free up time to book in more paying clients.
Your need to remember that the time you spend doing your bookkeeping is either time you could be charging out or in some cases time you should be recharging your batteries ready for the next day.
Manage your jobs
Assign each unique job with a job number. Train your employees and contractors to use the appropriate job number when they purchase materials or invoice out their time. This information should then be brought across to your accounting application allowing to understand how each job has performed.
With latest job management applications this is all automated for you. Setting up these applications allows you to have common pricing for tasks and build work orders. More importantly you can then assign these to your employee or contractors including location and job priorities based on GPS routing.
Contactors can then complete jobs as they are done via taking photos and / or client signatures and most importantly take payment directly on their smart device from the client, removing the need to chase unpaid invoices.
The better applications then automatically integrate all the information into your accounting software allowing for revenue and costings to be itemised, and you knowing immediately the performance of your business.
Managing of Supplier Invoices & Paperwork
When paperwork gets out-of-control it is difficult to recover and makes it seem like you are drowning in paper. Create simple paperwork habits to stay on top of your bookwork. Keep a folder in the car to put all purchase dockets, invoices and receipts into. Train staff to collect and pass on paperwork when purchasing materials. Keep all fuel receipts in the car glove box. Enter all purchases into your accounting software on a regular basis. A positive routine will help you stay in control of your paperwork.
Want to work smarter and not harder; with latest third-party integrated applications, you can send or take photos of invoices and receipts which integrate directly into your accounting application. This information is digitised allowing for owners to quickly understand what they owe and when it is due. Can you imagine picking up some product from your local hardware store, taking a photo and bang it’s in your accounting software ready to be paid.
These applications not only integrate the data but a copy of the image, so if you ever want to know what each product cost you for a particular job six months down the track, a copy of the receipt is there for your viewing.
Got an account with a supplier? Not an issue, integrate your online login you have with the supplier with the third-party software and the invoices will be fetched automatically. No need to even take a photo.
How easy is that!
This will then streamline the business’s statutory reporting requirements especially where supplier invoices are GST taxable, free or a combination. Introduction of key third party applications which read and interpret invoices, ensures you don’t overstate your GST obligations and remove potential duplicates. Too often we have seen owners overstate their GST due to manual capturing of information.
Paper was so 2019!
Time is precious when running a busy business – don’t waste time by tracking all these features manually!
Want to know more about how to work Smarter and not Harder! Give us a call, we offer free initial consultation and specialise in helping business owners spend more time in their business making money, feel free to contact us.