Try 2 simple accounting tools for your business

There’s a popular phrase used by management consultants in large corporations that’s just as relevant in your small business: you can’t manage what you can’t measure. If you don’t have a clear view of how much money you have, how much is due and when, and how much you need to pay, then you’re in trouble.

It can be totally overwhelming to keep track of stock while drumming up sales, or managing payments, deliveries and accounts, when you’re new to running your own business. If you’re not careful, this could all come crashing down, so you need to get organised. It doesn’t matter if you do this on a napkin or an A4 exam pad, as long as you get into the habit of proper planning and record-keeping.

That said, record-keeping is much quicker and more efficient if you can do it digitally. Here are 2 options to consider that can help you get organised when starting out.

Your pocket accountant

The first of the tools that you should definitely consider is MoneyTracker. This is available free of charge to Nedbank clients and can be activated on the Nedbank Money app or Online Banking. If you’re a small trader and not ready to use a full-blown accounting software system yet, then MoneyTracker is ideal.

You can even create branded invoices to send to clients and then track the payment status using reports that show you how you’re doing. You can also create a budget that outlines your expected monthly income and expenses. Doing this takes almost no effort, because MoneyTracker imports your bank account transactions and can automatically match these to your budget.

Another handy feature is the ability to separate your business transactions from personal ones, if you haven’t opened a business bank account yet. It makes sense on many levels to split your personal and business finances, and our Startup Bundle could be just what you're looking for.

Simple, intuitive bookkeeping

Once you’ve mastered actively managing your business in this way, you might want to consider a more complete accounting package. One option worth considering, because it integrates seamlessly with your bank account, is Xero.

We have an exclusive relationship with Xero that gives you access to a comprehensive accounting system that’s easy to use, but powerful enough to grow with your business. Xero is available at a monthly subscription fee that lets you produce invoices, generate client statements, reconcile your bank statements and create smart, shareable reports. The web-based interface means you don’t have to download any software, but you will need a stable internet connection.

We’ve produced a complete guide on how to set up and connect this service to your bank accounts feed, which you should be able to do in a few minutes.

All other accounting packages can be supported as well, but a benefit of Xero is that it connects through a direct feed. Other popular accounting software like Sage and Quickbooks currently use a third-party feed to connect to your banking data.

The control and visibility you gain over your business once you start using Xero more than justifies the monthly subscription fee. And you’ll be improving the chances for your business to improve and grow. Which is what it’s all about, isn’t it?