Accounts… 5 Tips for Managing Your Finances
Updated: 3 days ago
This week, we're kicking off our A-Z of virtual assistants, covering everything from services and advice to homeworking and much more. To start, we’re sharing our top tips for keeping your accounts organised and your payments up to date.
1. The basics
The first step to getting paid is generating an invoice. This may sound simple, but to prevent any hiccups delaying your payment, it’s important to include all the relevant information. So, make sure every invoice has your full name (this should match your bank account), address, bank details and invoice number.
It’s helpful to also include payment terms, which could be anything from seven up to 30 days. You can do all this yourself or you can sign up for software (such as Xero and Quickbooks) that will generate invoices and send them out to your contacts for you.
2. Getting paid
So you’ve set your payment terms but you haven’t been paid on time. What do you do? Some people like to send a friendly email on the day that the payment is due, but if it still hasn’t been paid, we suggest following it up with another email around five to seven days after.
Don’t be afraid to chase it up, we shouldn’t feel awkward talking about money. If you do use accounting software like Xero, you can set it to send automatic reminders nearer the time it’s due, but if you prefer a personal approach, you can ask a VA to do this for you.
To help you keep on top of your payments, make sure to keep an account of your invoices and when they’re due. If you use an online accounting tool it will do this for you, but if not you could make a spreadsheet listing your invoice numbers, - this will also prevent any duplicates - supplier/client, the date you invoiced and when it’s due.
Make sure to mark each invoice as paid when the money goes in, so you know which ones are outstanding. If you struggle to keep on top of your invoices, a VA could keep track of them for you.
If you spend money on behalf of a client, make sure to add that to your invoice, too. Always ask for receipts and file them away, you can use an app for this such as Dext where they can be scanned in and stored safely.
If you are a small business and have people working for you who spend money on behalf of the business, you need to have a system in place where they can track their spending. An option for this is investing in an app like Pleo, which provides cards for your team to use and helps you all stay on top of receipts and reimbursements.
We know it’s hard, but it’s important to try and keep your accounts organised. There’s nothing worse than having to sort through a huge pile of receipts or having to search for unpaid invoices.
Keep a folder on your drive with copies of your invoices and a spreadsheet of payments so you can easily find things when needed.
If you struggle to keep your accounts in order or want to distance yourself from talking about money, a VA can take the stress out of it for you. It’s so easy to hand over access to your online accounts and you won’t have to worry about lost invoices or late payments anymore.
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