Freshbooks: My Simple 4 Step Cloud Accounting Workflow

Simple Cloud Accounting

Simple Cloud Accounting

How’s the tax season going for you?

I don’t think anyone hates accounting as much as I do. I’m bad at organizing my invoices, receipts and all the crazy paperwork surrounding this annual tax slumpfest. However, if I want to run my business anywhere, I need a simple system to keep me organized year round. This is year 3 of my simple cloud accounting system and I am happy to report an almost stress-free pre-tax season (paying taxes is always a drag but…).

4- Step Cloud Accounting Workflow:

1. Freshbooks: Imagine entering expenses from your smartphone in 45 seconds.  Ever wish you could easily create an invoice from your tablet while on the run. Simple? This describes my Freshbooks experience.

My accountant tried to get me on Quickbooks because of its “Journal Entries” capabilities (now available on Freshbooks). I don’t even know what that means, Commerce degree notwithstanding. I don’t like Quickbooks. It’s just too complicated to learn.

It’s easy with Freshbooks. For example: I just finished fuelling my car. I now take a picture of the receipt. I enter the amount, click on taxes, chuck the paper receipt and 45 seconds later, I drive off. Some of you would rather save the receipt. My recent audit experience tells me digital receipts are good enough. Besides, you have your bank statement & credit card statements.

Finally, Freshbooks can easily be integrated with PayPal and other online payment solutions so you can get paid for selling your digital services.

2. Digitize my paper trail and upload to cloud: I digitize (Scan Snap) all of my paper receipts, such as professional dues, office supplies, car repairs, meals and all other usual monthly bills. I turn on the OCR function of my scanner so I can search by keyword later. I try to scan every week (takes me about 10 minutes). I bought the ebook from Brook Duncan’s Document Snap on how to Go Paperless and it is without a doubt, the best investment under $20 I ever made.  Basically, my system goes like this: All my receipts are uploaded to a cloud provider, such as Dropbox. I name all my digital receipts according to the date it was created, like 20140221_20.00. Remember the fuel expense I took a picture while on the go? Well, I digitized that picture into a searchable pdf with my CamScanner Pro app on my iPhone and upload it to my Dropbox account which is linked to my app.

3. What about e-bills: If you are like me, every month you get an electronic bill. How do I save those e-bills? I emailed the receipts or bills to my Evernote account. I tag my bills with “2014” + “expenses”. That’s it. Don’t go complicated. Evernote has a powerful tagging system that can bring up your e-bills under 2 seconds.

4. What About Super confidential files (like your tax receipts, etc…): I am a big Transporter fan. Transporter is perfect when you absolutely need to keep your data private and non-accessible by third parties (for example, governmental requests). The cool thing is that you can still access your private information from your iPhone or iPad.

There you have it. Say goodbye to your annual accounting angst and start running your business from anywhere.

About sleclair

Suzanne is a "connected lawyer" and a cloud office fanatic. Suzanne helps other professionals like her, work out of the best espresso bars in the world. Suzanne runs, & runs her business anywhere.

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