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Whether you operate a sole proprietorship or a large company, keeping tidy financial records makes it much easier to file your taxes each spring. Whether you do it by hand (on pen and paper) or digitally (with a business software app), your business needs to track invoices and payments in order to handle potential client disputes, issue refunds, and understand how to budget effectively for the next year.
Digital records make it easier than ever to store, manage, and analyze your administration. Of all the digital finance tools available, QuickBooks stands tall as the leading bookkeeping software for small businesses and individuals. Furthermore, many QuickBooks add-ons and expansions allow users to adapt QuickBooks to suit the specific needs of their specific business/industry. We proudly offer QuickBooks integration with our Smart Service field service management software, bringing real-time scheduling and dispatching to the table and eliminating the need for double data entry (since the systems work together, you only have to enter customer or job information once).
But can QuickBooks, great as it is, entirely replace the role of an accountant? Not quite. QuickBooks stores and analyzes data for you, but you still need a human accountant to give you sound financial advice and to keep up with the latest changes in tax legislation. In this article, we’ve broken down some things QuickBooks can and cannot do for your small business.
As a small business owner, you can’t collect money unless you know how to create and send invoices. Forget about hand-written invoices; in the field service industry it’s too easy to lose or damage individual sheets of paper. Furthermore, you can’t index paper invoices by more than one parameter. On the other hand, when you create digital invoices in QuickBooks, you can look them up by date, service type, customer name, and any other data.
Plus, QuickBooks allows you to accept online payment for invoices. With more and more people choosing to handle the majority of their payments online, this represents a convenient and forward-thinking option for your clients. (Get Smart Service, the field service software add-on for QuickBooks, and your technicians can also collect payments from customers in the field via their mobile devices.)
Do you still physically write checks to pay bills? What if you could pay your expenses with just a few clicks or taps, all from the same interface? QuickBooks allows you to pay your business’ bills and keep track of upcoming due dates. You’ll save time by avoiding the need to get on the phone or use snail mail to pay bills. You can even schedule payments to withdraw automatically or have recurring transactions “memorized,” so you can easily repopulate billing information. Plus, you’ll save the money and hassle of constantly buying new checks. With a convenient, digital bill-paying hub like QuickBooks, paying business bills will take just a few minutes of your time (and you’ll be less likely to overlook/forget paying any monthly expense).
QuickBooks doesn’t do time tracking out of the box, but with the Smart Service mobile app, your field employees can accurately track time with their mobile devices. When they start working in the morning, they can clock in, download their schedule, and head directly to their first job (thus avoiding a needless morning commute). When they get there, they can track the time they spend working for that individual client. Because SmartService integrates with QuickBooks, this time tracking info transfers to QuickBooks to make it easy to accurately populate hourly pay stubs for your employees. After that, it’s a simple matter of approving payment.
If you land a commercial or industrial client, you might need to provide financial reports. Larger clients typically like to know exactly what they’re paying for, even if you already provided an itemized estimate. Without software like QuickBooks to generate detailed reports for you, you could end up with quite a headache trying to figure out how to package and present data that shows your efficiency and productivity. Because QuickBooks has all of your financial information in one place and makes it easy to segment it in numerous ways, financial reports are a snap to produce.
While QuickBooks (with some help from add-ons like Smart Service) can tackle most of the tasks above, you will still want to consult an accountant at tax time. New digital tools make it easier than ever to do your own bookkeeping, but you need a pro double-check your numbers for something this important. (Hiring an accountant also protects you from mistakes and liability should you accidentally fudge something.) A second opinion never hurts, especially when you first start out as a small business owner and haven’t yet mastered the nuances of business tax.
Fortunately, QuickBooks makes it easy to work with an accountant thanks to a special accounting login. Your accountant can review your business expenses and income in order to accurately file your taxes and get you the best deduction. So, even when it comes to using an accountant, QuickBooks can make the ordeal easier and less expensive.
Of course, QuickBooks will only prove useful to your accountant if you use it religiously to track every last penny that has anything to do with your business. Remember to log everything into QuickBooks for best results. Again, a field service app like Smart Service uses digital work orders/invoices to track every part of a job. That info automatically moves from Smart Service into QuickBooks, making it super simple to track every last penny.
If you use Smart Service as a field service management app, you don’t have to worry about logging information in multiple software systems. Smart Service-QuickBooks integration means you schedule work, create invoices, track time, make payments, and generate reports all from the same platform. Take advantage of the best bookkeeping software on the market combined with the best field service management software. Request a Smart Service demo today to take your business to the next level.