Resource  1 June 2021

Are you wasting time on these admin tasks?

What admin tasks are on your to-do list each week? Are you manually inputting data or transferring it between systems? Are you constantly chasing invoices, receipts and expense reports? Do you know how much of your time is spent on these tasks?

According to research by Sage, you could be spending a lot more time than you realise. Time that could be better spent on important strategic tasks.

On average, businesses spend 120 working days a year on administrative tasks.

(Sage, 2018)

You’re spending a huge amount of time on admin, but these tasks still need to be completed. So, how can you work smarter and faster?

Here are 8 top tips to transform your productivity:

1. Rethink the way you input data

The right accounting software will allow colleagues and customers to enter their own information directly into the system. This reduces duplicate effort e.g., keying in numbers from an expense form, and can significantly cut down the amount of time spent manually inputting numbers and chasing invoices, receipts, and expense reports.

2. Change how you manage data requests

How many hours a week do you spend locating, downloading and emailing data? If you could access data from different systems on centralised dashboards, allowing relevant information to be shared with colleagues and the leadership team, how much time would this save you?

With software like Sage 200, intuitive reporting allows you to get critical insights when and where you need them.

3. Automate manual data entry across the business

With the right technology, everything from sales and purchase invoices to bank statements and employee expenses can be automated. Not only will this reduce the likelihood of human error, but it will have a significant impact on your daily productivity.

4. Integrate Excel with your accounting software

Do you use spreadsheets to keep track of business intelligence? Over 50% of businesses do. (Forrester, 2015) However, it can take a long time to pull the data from different sources, compile it in a spreadsheet, manipulate the data, create your charts and build a presentation that can be shared.

Instead of transferring data between different programmes, Sage 200 comes with accurate and timely reports, still in the familiar format of Excel, but you can filter, format and formulate these reports with a single click.

5. Automatically adjust to regulatory requirements and changes

Keeping your company compliant might feel like a full-time job, with regulations constantly evolving and new rules being introduced, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If your accounting software comes with built-in compliance measures e.g., functions relevant to HMRC’s Making Tax Digital or the CIS reverse charge, then it will help you perform many of the checks required to ensure that you’re compliant.

6. Offer your customers different payment methods

You want to be paid quickly and have that cash in the bank, so why are you making it difficult for your customers to pay?!

The types of payment methods you use in your business can have a significant effect on how long it takes to get paid. By switching to alternative methods, you could get paid up to 50% faster (Sage, 2019) and spend a lot less time chasing payments.

7. Automate your invoice tracking process

Software like Sage 200 can provide you with a view of all outstanding customer payments and invoices to help you maintain cashflow easily, with details of the day they are paid, frequency, number of payments made and number still to pay. You can even pre-empt which customers are likely to pay late and tailor invoices accordingly.

8. Implement automated bank feeds and set up rules

Manually reconciling your bank transactions with your accounting lines is time consuming and open to human error. By automating this process, you’ll save time and increase accuracy.

With Sage 200 you get an accurate and timely view of your business finances and save hours of manual reconciliation. You can set bank rules to help categorise your income and expenses and match bank transaction with invoices, without having to spend hours combing through your banking data.

Time is arguably the most important resource for a growing SME. By making some simple changes and choosing the right software for your business you could save over 20 hours per week (Sage, 2020).

Time saved with Sage 200

If you want more advice and tips to cut down on admin and increase productivity and efficiency, Sage have created a comprehensive eBook; 10 tips to transform your productivity. In this guide you’ll discover how you can reduce the time spent on accounting tasks, which will free up time to spend on jobs that will add more value to the business, such as finding new customers and using data to make smarter business decisions.

Access the guide here

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