As an engineer, you are always looking for solutions to problems and ways to improve current methodologies. When it comes to your bookkeeping and accounting practices, it should be no different. Fortunately, many tools and software programs can help your accounting process function more efficiently, saving you a significant amount of time and money.
1. QuickBooks Online
If you are the owner of a small engineering consulting firm, QuickBooks Online has all the features and functionality you need. This program can help you manage expense tracking, project management, billing, time tracking and can help you customize job costing and invoicing.
This program can provide detailed reports on a project-by-project basis to gauge profitability and compare budget versus actual data on each project.
2. Dext Prepare for Expense Management
Spending time on manual data entry isn’t efficient and can lead to errors. Using a program like Dext Prepare can eliminate these issues. Dext Prepare extracts data from invoices and receipts using OCR technology and automatically categorizes and labels each line item. Plus, it stores all data in the cloud, eliminating the need for saving hard copies and leaving an audit trail.
Dext Prepare can integrate with your accounting software and easily export your expense data, speeding up the entire bank reconciliation process. It also has reporting capabilities, generating and approving expense reports so your team members can submit their expenses from their mobile phone, and you will receive a notification via email.
3. Rotessa for Pre-Authorized Debit Payments
Your engineering projects can take place over an extended period of time. Waiting until the end of the project to bill your clients can affect your cash flow. Breaking up your billing into different phases or milestones can keep a steady flow of cash coming into your accounts.
Rotessa can help by automatically withdrawing payments from your client's bank accounts. It connects with your accounting software, allowing you to schedule payments based on invoices for variable amounts.
It also gives you more control over your cash flow, and you pay fewer fees than with credit card processing. Rotessa can eliminate the lengthy wait times that can occur when your clients pay with cheques, and it simplifies the entire receivables process.
4. Plooto for Electronic Vendor Payments
One of the most important things you can do in business is maintaining a good relationship with your vendors. One way to do this is to ensure that all payments are made on time. Doing so will keep you in good standing with your vendors and may also lead to early payment discounts or bulk discounts in the future.
Plooto helps you streamline your payables process by integrating with your cloud-based accounting software. It makes it easy to view your accounts payable listings showing which vendors require payment and when. Plooto ensures that all of your bills are paid on time and helps you avoid any late fees or penalties. Plus, if multiple people must approve a payment, Plooto will email them for full authorization first before electronically sending funds.
Not only will Plooto keep your suppliers happy, but it will also keep your cash flow visible, improve your record-keeping and give you the freedom to spend your time doing more important things than making payments.
5. Expensify for Employee Reimbursement
Collecting receipts and managing reimbursement from your employees may be challenging, especially if they are working on different projects and travelling to various job sites. Expensify is a program that can help with this issue. Like Dext, this software tool allows employees to take a photo of their receipt, and Expensify will automatically extract critical information. Employees can then submit their expense reports without having to enter any data manually.
Expensify has additional functionality that allows employees to track their mileage, and it can easily integrate with apps like Uber, Lyft, and Hotel Tonight. When your employee uses any of these apps, their receipts can be automatically sent to Expensify.
Expensify makes it easy for you to set specific expense policies for different types of employees, allowing you to determine expense submission rules, define approval workflow and configure reimbursements.
6. QuickBooks Time for Time Tracking
Ensuring that your employees are using their time efficiently is vital to the success of your business. A good time tracking app that allows you to track billable and non-billable hours can help you do this.
QuickBooks Time can help you budget and track the amount of time spent on different projects and specific project tasks. Plus, it can use project data to create reliable job estimates for other projects in the future. You can then use the data it provides to create more detailed invoices for clients, breaking down the number of hours spent on each specific task.
Taking advantage of the specialized accounting and bookkeeping tools that have applications specifically geared towards the engineering industry can go a long way in maximizing your productivity. Combining cloud-based technology, expense and payment management, along with time tracking functionality, can help your engineering firm become more efficient with considerably less hassle.
If you are interested in finding out more about the latest software and technology that can help your engineering firm, contact us today. Our team of experts can provide you with the knowledge and guidance you need to keep your engineering firm’s finances in order and allow your business to run as smoothly as possible.