Many factors go into running a successful HVAC business, from tracking appointments, performing technical tasks, and managing your finances. It's essential for your HVAC company to keep your books up to date because:
● You need to keep track of your expenses and pay suppliers to ensure you get the materials you need.
● You need to be able to track your business's profitability.
● You have to be prepared for tax season and be able to submit your GST/HST remittances.
● You have to always be audit-ready.
● You should work towards managing your cash flow.
● You have to avoid missing out on potential tax deductions.
However, managing your books can be time-consuming due to the amount of manual work required. There is no way to automate the entire bookkeeping process entirely. Still, many new accounting technologies on the market can help automate certain areas of your bookkeeping and help you speed up the whole process.
1. Use a cloud-based accounting software
Many businesses rely on old-school Excel spreadsheets and desktop accounting software to manage their books. Unfortunately, Excel is prone to errors, and desktop accounting software means you can't access your books while you are on the go. The best option for your HVAC business is to move to cloud-based accounting software like QuickBooks Online or Xero.
These programs have a wide range of bookkeeping features that your business requires. They can handle invoicing, billing, expense management, reporting, and sales tax tracking, to name a few. By moving to the cloud, you can access financial reports and send invoices to clients while on the go or out on a job site using your mobile device. You can also easily collaborate with other team members, and your financial data is always backed-up securely to the cloud.
Using cloud accounting software allows you to automate tasks like invoicing. For example, suppose you have recurring maintenance work with a specific client. In that case, you can send them recurring invoices using your accounting software instead of manually generating invoices and sending them out each time.
You can also automate things like payment reminders. You can remind clients about upcoming payments through automated emails sent from your accounting software a few days before an invoice is due and a few days afterward as well.
Plus, cloud-based accounting software can integrate with other third-party accounting apps (which we will go over later in this article), meaning that data from these tools can automatically be sent to your accounting software. This will reduce most of the manual data entry work you have to do.
2. Capture your invoices and receipts using an expense management software
For HVAC contractors, you will have invoices from your suppliers, and your service technicians will have receipts for gassing up the work van while they are on the go.
In the past, you would have to manually enter the data from these invoices and receipts into your accounting software to ensure every transaction was recorded correctly. Plus, if your technicians paid for the gas out of their own pockets, they would have to fill out an expense report before getting reimbursed.
Nowadays, you can use an expense management tool like Dext Prepare to simplify this process. It will help you capture invoices and receipts for your business. Dext Prepare allows you to take a photo of the invoice or receipt while you are on the go. Their Optical Character Recognition technology automatically extracts key data from your documents and exports your transaction to your accounting software.
Some of the most significant benefits to using Dext Prepare include:
- Saving time on data entry
- Safe storage of document in the cloud
- No need for physical paper document storage
- Convenience of capturing receipts and invoices while on the go.
Expensify is another excellent expense management tool for your HVAC business. This platform will help your employees manage their expenses.
It can assist your service technicians by allowing them to take a photo of their expense receipts while they are on the road. The program's OCR technology will extract essential data from these receipts and automatically create an expense report. Your technician can then review the data and send the report to their manager for approval. The manager can then reimburse the technician using Expensify as well.
3. Pay your vendors using electronic payment
Timely payments are one of the key factors to building a good relationship with your suppliers. You can automate your accounts payable process using a cloud-based program called Plooto.
Plooto is an all-in-one platform that enables businesses to automate their domestic and international accounts payable and accounts receivable functions by unifying payments, processes, control, and reporting.
Plooto provides smart, two-way sync with QuickBooks and Xero, automatically syncing bills, invoices, and payments and reconciling bookkeeping records while keeping a complete audit trail. It can also help you manage your cash flow, giving you greater oversight over when payments are made. It also eliminates the need for cheque payments and reduces the risk of late payments.
By implementing these new technologies, you can automate certain parts of your bookkeeping process. Automation will allow you to spend less time on manual data entry, giving you more time to focus on meeting your client’s needs and growing your business.
Enkel is available to help you further streamline your workflow and bookkeeping processes. If you want more information on how we can help you better manage your books, contact us today.
How We Select and Evaluate Our Recommended Software
We thoroughly research and test the apps we include in our regular workflow for Client bookkeeping services. After deciding on criteria for evaluating the software and then researching the app itself, we tested the app, noting its strengths and weaknesses. We then work with the app for at least a few weeks before deciding whether to recommend it to our readers. We use the software as it was designed for its intended tasks. For a detailed walk-through of how we select and evaluate software, please see the details of our process.