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Dreading administrative tasks? These are the fastest ways to get through them
Do you save all of your receipts and invoices in a large cardboard box only to open the box once a year when filling out tax returns? If so, you’re not alone – most people let their financial admin pile up somewhere, hidden away in a long-forgotten drawer.
This however, is a bad idea to begin with especially if you’re working as a freelancer. Lackadaisical bookkeeping could cost you time and that most precious resource, money. Keeping your accounting books in order is not only required by law, but you will definitely miss out on money if your books are not in order. Instead of reluctantly plodding through admin tasks and book-keeping time and again, here are a few ways to get through your least favourite tasks in the shortest possible time.
1. Invest in useful apps and software
There are a large number of accounting software and apps to save freelancers and independent professionals time on their admin tasks. With them, you can create a quote or invoice in an instant, and ensure that the income and expenses on your business account are processed automatically. Some bookkeeping programmes charge annual or monthly fees, but most offer free trial periods, like ClearBooks, Allegro or QuickBooks.
2. Don’t waste time on unnecessary tasks
Why draft a new email each time you want to send the same message? It’s easier to create a template for emails you send regularly, such as friendly payment reminders. Instead of manually entering the amounts from your bills – use another software to automate this. More often than not, it is quicker to enter something once and then let a computer perform and automate such monotonous functions.
3. Analyse your work habits
To identify the tasks on which you spend an unnecessary amount of time, you will have to analyse your own work habits. Have you structured your working day? Do you often linger on social media when you were really planning to pay an invoice?
Once you have mapped all of this out, you can get started on changing habits and prevent procrastination. Many self-help books will tell you that it takes 21 days to build a new routine, but that’s a myth. Depending on the person and the circumstances, it can take an average of more than two months to change behaviour.
4. Create a new routine
It might feel good to pay each invoice you receive straight away, however, each time you archive an invoice and make an online payment, you are interrupting another task. You can save time by dividing up your working week into blocks. To prevent having to repeat the same procedure several times in one week, you can schedule a single morning when you’ll deal with all payments.
5. Find an accountant who will pay for himself
A good accountant will not only save you a lot of effort and time, but will also save you enough money to pay for their services. They will know exactly where you can save money and ensure that you are paying as little tax as possible within the confines of the law. Why not find someone you can outsource these tasks too? The more administrative work you perform in advance, the less you will pay for an accountant.
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