Published on Jul 22, 2019
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Keeping track of your finances in a small business can be a full time job. Tools that make this less of a headache can save you time and your sanity at tax time. There are numerous receipt scanning apps out there that can do a range of different things.
Some apps just take photos or copies of your receipts, so at least they’re all in one place, and come tax time you can send them to your accountant. Others have a more sophisticated integration that recognises the individual details on your receipts, invoices and bank statements and allows you to export them into your accounting software.
The ATO has a free app for individuals or sole traders called myDeductions. It allows you to record your expenses and deductions, vehicle trips, and income (if you’re a sole trader). You can either photograph your invoices and receipts for later use or enter the information straight into the app. You store the information on your phone (it’s recommended to back it up on the cloud or via email). The app can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple AppStore.
Throughout the year it’s a fast, easy way to capture information on the go. Come tax time you can:
- email your data to your tax agent
- or upload your data to prefill your tax return before you lodge it.
Receipt bank is at the other end of the spectrum. It’s an integrated system that starts with you using an app to record the details on your receipts etc. Apparently it can extract the financial information straight from your paperwork and then transfer the details from the app into your accounting software. You’re charged a monthly fee which depends of the size of your business and the amount of features you want. Small businesses or sole traders will incur a small monthly fee (starting at $15 per month), and it goes up depending on the size and complexity of your business and the number of users. They also offer a free trial.
The above systems are examples of how you can use technology to help you streamline your business. Both were recommended by a local accountant as ones that work well, but there are more that you can try. Check out Google Play or Apple AppStore for more options.
The bottom line
If you’re a sole trader, or rely on a very small number of staff, tools that can stop you sitting up half the night doing your accounts can quickly pay for themselves. So if you want to get extra sleep, spend more time with your family, or just spend extra time actually doing business, think of using an app. Getting back time for yourself can be priceless.
Disclaimer: Neither Advance Cessnock City nor Cessnock City Council has any financial relationship with the product in this article, nor receives any benefit actual or in-kind from them. This is an information service that may benefit small business owners in the Cessnock Local Government Area. If you have found a product or service that may have a wide appeal to our small business owners’ email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we may use it for the basis of a future article.
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