When you first create a business, you have all the time in the world to do what you want, when you want, and take your time with every task. But as you start to make sales and commissions, time becomes more precious. .

You can’t spend an entire morning painstakingly going through your books, or hunting down invoices that you didn’t file properly. Because that’s time you could instead spend on fulfilling more orders, or generating more business, and growing your profits.

Investing in dedicated online accounting software can save you some of that valuable time so you can focus on your core business. Here are five ways how:

1. Automatic invoices

If you don’t invoice on time you won’t get paid on time, and if you don’t ensure that invoices are being paid, you won’t get any money at all. But tracking invoices and chasing payments is hugely time consuming. You want to focus on your core business, not operate as a debt collection agency.

Accounting software takes on this task for you. It can automatically send out professional looking invoices as soon as a sale is made. Then it can chase payments for you, sending reminders at scheduled times. How many times have you sent an invoice out late, or failed to send one at all? Now you don’t even have to worry about it, it’s already been done for you, right on time.

2. Seamless syncing

Doubling up is a waste of your time. If you’ve already inputted the data into your computer, you really don’t want to have to redo it all with your bank. There is cloud-based accounting software in the market that can seamlessly link everything up for you. Automatic bank feeds allow you to virtually eliminate data entry. Bank transactions can be imported straight into the right accounts and sorted by category.

Even more of a time saver is if you can share all your files across all your devices in real time, never having to worry again about taking your laptop with you or saving copies to various devices. All information is right at your fingertips, at all times.

Now that you are saving all these hours, why not allow yourself a long lunch once a month, or take an extra half-day holiday every quarter, while your software works tirelessly on?

3. Reducing errors

Human error is a massive problem in traditional accounting. One mis-transcribed figure can have catastrophic effects and be extremely costly. Imagine billing someone for $10,000 instead of $100,000, or accidentally switching two figures around and transferring money into the wrong account. The bank should eventually fix the error, but they’ll take their time about it.

By linking everything together, syncing billing and banking information, accounting software can’t “mistype”. You only need to enter your data once, there’s no risk of duplication. Let technology take this task over, and you can spend time on profit-generating business activities.

4. Tracking your time

The busier you get, the more organised you need to be because your time is money. But keeping track of everything you do is hard. Perhaps you’ve created some sort of schedule in an Excel spreadsheet or even use a written desk diary.

If you want to organise your time more easily, accounting software can lend a hand. You can track the time you’ve spent on a particular project or sub-project and account for all your costs. You can also categorise your projects as works in progress, cancelled or completed jobs.

This allows you to create profit and loss reports for every project, and quickly see which of your clients are most profitable. Software can also link time and projects to your invoicing, so you can create accurate timesheets and automatically bill clients once the job is done.

5. Finding information more quickly

To make an important decision, you need to have a clear idea of where your business is at. You need information as quickly as possible, so you can figure out what should be done. In the old days, this probably involved poring over spreadsheets, trying to figure out which products or areas of your business were lagging.

Now it’s an instant report, generated on the fly in real time by your accounting software. Your software can also push important information to you, alerting you of potential issues, from overdue bills to unpaid invoices.

It’s time to save time. To get your precious hours back, and boost your productivity as well as profitability, take a look at what accounting software can do for you and how quickly its benefits will deliver a return on your investment.

To learn more about how to find the right accounting software that fits with your business’ needs, download our free ebook ‘9 Questions to Ask When Choosing Accounting Software’ by clicking on the button below.