Now that we’ve become a Xero certified advisor, we thought it was time to talk about what else is available to you in the world of online accounting for small business.

Being a business owner is often hard graft and anything that saves you time or money is often a godsend. So if you answered a timid ‘yes’ to the title question above, then you’re probably going to love this post.

Imagine a world where you don’t have to ferret through that old shoebox (or your overstuffed wallet, or pile on the floor – no, not that pile – the other pile or boot of the car) to find that receipt for that computer cable you bought for your laptop whilst you were travelling – three months ago. Only to find (that’s if you actually find it) that the invoice was printed on that paper that fades with time and now you can’t read it.

Imagine a world where rather than typing in (or maybe even still writing in) what you bought, when, how much you paid including GST and which ATO category it belongs in for your bookkeeping (and then filing it in a folder – or dumping it in said shoebox), you could just type in a couple of search words and have a copy of the invoice/receipt appear in front of your eyes? And yes, it’s that simple.

Welcome to the concept of Shoeboxed (now called Squirrelstreet) – an online storage space for all your invoices. But better than that, for a small monthly fee – they’ll scan your documents, categorise your invoices (according to ATO categories or any that you’d like to set up) AND produce itemised spreadsheets for you thanks to some sophisticated data recognition programming. You can even search for that little cafe that you tried last time you were travelling and can’t remember it’s name (hint: it’s probably listed under the entertainment category.)

If you’re after the free version – you can scan or photograph your receipts/invoices and upload them to Shoeboxed. Or for a small monthly fee, you (or a staff member) can stuff all your random pieces of paper into one of their ‘magic’ blue envelopes and they’ll do all the scanning for you. Plus it’s checked by human eyes to make sure everything’s as it should be.

And if you’re using Xero (or another online accounting package), there are ways of integrating the information with that too.

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