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7 ways to make your business more efficient in 2018

With a new year upon us, it’s time to consider the 12 months that lie ahead for your business – and the steps you can take to make 2018 an amazing year for your company.

Whether it’s making better use of your tech, focusing on your people strategy or working with the best possible advisers, we’ve highlighted seven key ways to make 2018 the start of a new chapter in your business journey.

Move to cloud accounting with Xero

If you haven’t already, it’s time to move your business over to Xero online accounting and the amazing benefits of cloud accounting. When your bookkeeping and accounts are taken care of online, it transforms the level of control you have over your finances.

Just a few of the benefits of this cloud approach include:

  • Mobile access to your numbers – so you can instantly see your current cash-flow figures, your outstanding invoices or your current profit and loss.
  • Send quotes and invoices from your phone – allowing you to send out an online bill while at your customer’s office, or sat in your local coffee shop.
  • Integration with a huge number of business apps – meaning you can customise your Xero system with a wide variety of apps, tools and solutions.

Find out more of the benefits of using Xero

Automate your bookkeeping with Receipt Bank

Time spent on tedious bookkeeping and data entry is time you could be spending with your customers. So wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to automate the keying-in of receipts and expenses? The good news is that the Receipt Bank app does just this.

With Receipt Bank plugged into Xero, you get:

  • Effortless automated bookkeeping – with optical character recognition (OCR) magically turning a snap of your paperwork into digital bookkeeping data.
  • A clear bookkeeping dashboard – showing all your incoming and outgoing receipts and payments, all connected directly to your Xero ledgers.

See how Receipt Bank brings your effortless bookkeeping

Get paid faster with GoCardless

The faster you get paid, the better your cash-flow position will be and the less time you’ll need to spend on credit control. To improve payment times, we’d strongly recommend moving to GoCardless and Direct Debit as your payment option of choice.

With your customers signed up to GoCardless:

  • Payment is collected automatically – with the cash taken automatically from your customer’s account as soon as the invoice due date is reached.
  • You get a cost-effective payment solution – with a 1% transaction fee, capped at a very reasonable £2, whatever the size of the payment.

Move to GoCardless and speed up those invoice payments

Get better advice and real-time reporting from your accountant

One key advantage of combining Receipt Bank, Xero and a live bank feed is the ability to get real-time financial information. With your cloud system set up correctly, the overview you have of your finances is entirely up to date.

With real-time reporting:

  • The numbers you see in your Xero dashboard are current – giving you the best possible insight into your business health.
  • You can work more proactively with your advisers – with your accountant and business coach having access to all your important data in real time.
  • Your decision-making is more informed – due to the improved view you and your accountant have of your cash position and profit numbers etc.

Find out more about the benefits of real-time reporting

Build an app stack to increase efficiency

As we’ve mentioned, the ability to integrate with 500+ different Xero apps is one fundamental benefit of moving over to a cloud business platform. But with so many tools and solutions to choose from, how do you create your perfect ‘app stack’?

To choose the apps that will add most value:

  • Do your research and try any free trials – giving yourself a hands-on sample of what any new apps have to offer the business.
  • Talk to your business peers – and get their top tips and recommendations for solutions that are suited to your industry or sector.
  • Work with an accountant who’s also a technology specialist – and build an app set-up that does exactly what it says on the tin.

Motivate your team and get them on board with your strategy

With digital encroaching into every avenue of the business, it’s easy to forget how important people are to the long-term success of your business. Software and apps may make things easier, but it’s your team who really make the difference when it comes to efficiency.

So, how do you motivate your people to be more productive?

  • Keep your team in the loop – inclusion and transparency are great ways to boost engagement, so share figures, forecasts and plans with everyone in the team.
  • Offer great employee benefits – rewarding hard work and innovation helps to drive performance and keeps targets clear for everyone.
  • Listen to feedback and ideas – the most practical ideas for change can come from within, so create a forum where the team can innovate and share their thoughts.

Try more ways to motivate your team and increase productivity

Partner with the right accountant

The business journey is far easier when you have an experienced financial professional at your side. So partnering with an accountant who has the right skills to be your ideal 21st century business adviser is a must in 2018.

At Day Accountants, we’ll get all your basic accounting work completed, as a matter course.

But we’ll also help your business:

  • Make the move to the cloud and digital accounting
  • Choose the perfect online tools for your app stack
  • Get the advice, support and insights needed for the year ahead.

Give us a call and let’s start building your 2018 success story