A while ago, our fab collaborator Tommy Tonkins posed a quick and simple question on our behalf: “What would you rather be doing than your accounts?”
Because, let’s face it, most of you out there don’t get a huge amount of enjoyment out of reconciling bank records, sending invoices, or checking your debtors list, even though those jobs are really necessary to keep your business running smoothly. That’s no surprise – doing the books wasn’t why you went into business in the first place!
Here’s a snapshot of the (sometimes amusing) responses:
“I’d much rather be dolphin watching on the harbour of Porthleven with a spiced rum and ginger beer!” Melanie Doig, Co-founder, Infinite Choice
“I’d rather be dashing through clover covered meadows, feeling the dew between my naked toes and with daisies behind my ears. Or eating Doritos. One of the two.” Edward Jones, Managing Partner, C&E Consult (We’re not 100% sure how serious Edward is being here but we do know the meadows are nice in Devon!)
“I’d much rather be thinking about, researching and chasing the next new initiative, client or project. Unless I can get down the beach, out on a boat or eating!” Matthew Taylor, Director, Viaduct
“I’d rather be eating canapés and enjoying conversations. A much better use of my time and having a fab accountant in Deborah Edwards (our very own!) allows me to do this!” John Harvey, Owner, Samphire Club
Now while this is just a small sample (and definitely not comprehensive) we’ve got two main themes at play here. Most of you want a better work life balance. And we’re not surprised – we know that most of you do the admin in your own time, and aren’t paying yourselves enough (or even anything?) for completing that chore. And of course you want to focus on the things that you love about your work – that’s what made you leave the comfort of employment behind in the first place.
The good news is that it’s really easy to find more time to do the things you want by being smarter with your accounts. You just need two ingredients:
Firstly, partner with a good accountant who you can consult with about your business issues right now. Let someone who cares about the technicalities handle them, while you focus on serving your customers and building your brand.
Secondly, use technology to make your life easier. Cloud based accounting solutions cut out huge amounts of repetitive and dull bureaucracy, and you’ll have up to the minute information about how your business is performing. Best of all, these days they are incredibly easy to use, can be operated from your smartphone, and integrate directly with all the other applications you need to run your business.
We highly recommend Xero – we’ve been using it ourselves for quite a while, and our customers tell us they love it. For example, Pelynt Garage had been using excel spreadsheets for years, and it became a time-consuming chore as the business grew, which needed endless accuracy checks. They set up with Xero last year and they feel the impact was hugely positive:
“I can use the Xero dashboard and reports to get an instant feel for how the business is performing, which gives me a lot more confidence in the decisions we’re taking” says business partner Kate Hudson. “When there are technical queries, the professionals can look at the numbers immediately and give me advice. I’m able to start dreaming about having a hobby again, rather than being tied to the desk all the time. I’ve worked every day for over 30 years, and this lets me have some time to do the things I love, while knowing that the business is in safe hands”.
We’ve trained hundreds of small business owners to take control of their finances, and make their lives easier. If you’d like to find out more, speak to us today and we’ll book you in for a no obligation meeting to show you how we can help you. Trust us, you’ll be back to focusing on the passions that got you into your own business, AND you’ll have a better work life balance. You can’t say fairer than that.