As our company grew, so did our need for things which would ease some processes and save time. By saving time, we make a financial saving for the company which is always important.
Just like many new businesses out there, when we first started trading, all our bookkeeping tasks were recorded in Excel.
I was the “Queen” of the spreadsheets, something I was rather proud off, or so I thought! Some were linked and the system was adequate and I guess for a while, it did the job it was supposed to do.
The first of the month used to loom large every month and I’d psyche myself up for “invoicing day”! The task would take me ALL day. After the invoicing, came credit control which had to be planned in my diary in order to keep on top of it all. Something had to change and I decided that we needed to look at alternative to the countless Excel ledgers in place.
I decided to take a look at the various cloud based accounting software available online.
It’s all a bit confusing if your knowledge of accounting is limited to adding numbers in Excel, let’s be honest!
First point of call was of course Sage. They’ve got a cloud based software for small businesses although I did sign up for the free trial, I was immediately confused by it all. They seem to have more than one software and I wasn’t entirely sure which I’d signed up for… Not a great start!
As I was going through the set up of it all, I was asked to “design” our invoices. When I say “design”, it needs to be taken very loosely since they only allow you to upload a very low res version of your logo. After uploading it, I previewed it and to my shock and horror, it looked like a 3 year old had “designed” the invoice. It certainly didn’t look like something I was remotely prepared to send to our customers any time soon.
After a lot of clicking and head scratching to see if I could amend it and customise it, I gave up and called their help line. The gentleman I spoke to was very nice and he did say this was a very common query but that nothing could be done unless I bought the full version of Sage which I don’t want… Suffice to say, I was rather surprise they knew it was a common issue and hadn’t done anything about it. In my opinion, it’s rather short sighted of them since if I’d been able to customise my invoices, I’d have stuck with them and would probably have naturally progressed towards their other software when the time was right. Instead, I politely asked for our account to be deleted and started my quest all over again.
After looking at various different ones, I found KashFlow. It wasn’t the “prettiest” but certainly was the easiest one to set-up and the features it offers are just brilliant!
Invoicing took me a fraction of the time it normally does and they get emailed straight from KashFlow. Our credit control is done automatically and the platform automatically sends reminders to our clients when the invoices are over-due. Which means it’s cut the amount of time I spend on those tasks by more than 3/4!
Because KashFlow, as they put it, “plays nicely” with other companies, I’ve been able to integrate WorldPay with it and the option of paying online via our secure WorldPay gateway is embeded in our invoices. At the click of the big button shown on the invoice, our clients can pay for it there and then and it automatically records it into KashFlow for me! This has made a big difference for us and our clients. They no longer need to call us for the payment to be processed over the phone since they can do just pay at the click of the button. I no longer need to go and manually record that the invoice was paid by card. It’s saved time for everyone and our invoices are paid faster too!
The software integrates with Paypal, Mailchimp, DropBox and many many others which makes life so much easier!
We were also able to set up Direct Debit facilities via KashFlow which a lot of our clients had been asking for. The set-up took seconds, I’m not kidding, it was that fast, I rung up to ensure I’d done it properly since I expected the process to be far more complex!
All in all, I would personaly recommed any start-up business to consider using KashFlow from the very start! It will save you time, money and will make managing your business finances far far less stressful!
If you want to check it out, you get a 2 week free trial where someone from their team is there at all time to help you get started (great great help!) and after that, if you’re happy, you can join.
If you like it and want to carry on using it (I’d be surprised if you didn’t!), you can enter the following KashFlow discount code: AFF2105441 and will pay £1 less per month on your subscription for 6 months.
Enjoy saving time & money, I know I certainly am!