Marie Kondo has started a decluttering craze all over the world, helping many people transform their lives. A Japanese organizing consultant, she offers useful tips to make your home clean and tidy. She has also authored four books out of which "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" has been released in over 30 countries.
The KonMari method, founded by herself, is the philosophy of organizing and tidying up your home by discarding things that do not bring joy to your life. Marie puts extra stress on 'joy' and suggests you only keep the things that make you joyous.
In a business sense, ‘joy’, besides its own meaning, can be also translated into 'need' or 'priority'. That means you keep with yourself the things, habits or processes you enjoy or need to run your business and optimize unnecessary clutter that takes up space or time. With the technology available today, cloud-based bookkeeping services can be a game changer for that.
Declutter your Document Flow
No matter which industry you are in, a business must deal with a lot of documents. You store receipts, invoices, account statements, sales records - the list is almost endless. The desks and hard-drive folders of your employees overflow with files, and you frequently run out of space in the storeroom.
So, how can you declutter this process?
You will need the information to run your operations, so the first step to organize your business process is to ensure your records, statements and other paperwork are digitized. But I'm not talking about manually scanning a document or taking a picture and saving on your computer.
For example, you don't need to store invoices and receipts when you use a document management app such as Receipt Bank. This type of solution lets you take snaps of paper invoices and receipts, and the necessary data is automatically extracted using Optical Character Recognition technology and stored in the cloud. And let’s say the CRA requests supporting documentation for an expense claim, instead of spending hours figuring out where is what, you can download everything in a couple of clicks.
The next step to tidying up your business processes is to automate repetitive and high-volume tasks. Are you still relying heavily on manual work for tasks like managing your payables or receivables, reimbursing your employees for their out-of-pocket expenses or reconciling your Point of Sales (POS) to your accounting system?
If the answer is yes to any of these, then there's room to tidy up your processes. So how should you go about automating your business processes? In her method Marie suggests you consider each item and then decide which ones to tidy up.
In a business scenario, you can identify what area of your business is more critical and use some of hundreds of integrations between your accounting software and many apps to automate processes such as inventory management, payroll filing, invoicing, and managing bills and expenses reimbursement, the list is endless. Xero, for example, has over 700 integrations in its marketplace.
Automation enables teams to eliminate the processes that don't bring them joy making sure they are carried out automatically. As a result, you can have more time to foster innovation, come up with original ideas and win new customers.
Marie Kondo says that in a world of chaos the perspective of a well-organized home gives us a clearer view of the things. As we are inundated every day with decisions to make, sometimes it can be hard for a business owner to achieve clarity on the big-picture of what is happening. By using cloud-based apps, you can get real-time access to all your documents on any device connected to the internet in an easy way. And you can also see what’s working well and what you need to work on with a business performance dashboard, that makes visible all the key information in one place and can give you insights on your numbers so you can make better business decisions.
Increase Employee Satisfaction
Marie says that you fold and store your items in a way so that they are visible all at the same time. Cloud-based bookkeeping services also help clear the clutter in the office and leads the way to a fulfilling and productive work environment, as businesses can eliminate paper-based records and reduce offsite storage costs. Not to mention the process involved with it. I have never seen someone glad to prepare a paper-based expense report or write e-mails to that customer who always pays late, just to cite a few examples.
Keep Track of Your Priorities
A pending payment from one of your customers is surely important as it affects your cash flows, the oxygen of your business. However depending on how the task is handled, it can can drain your energy. When you use cloud-based bookkeeping solutions, you can get instant updates when a customer opens or pays your invoice and set up an electronic debtor reminder system. It then gives you more time to focus on what sparks joy in your business and made you open it in the first place. For example, a digital agency owner probably has more joy in helping clients sell their products and services than chasing supporting documents for an expense claim.
Organizing your life and organizing your business bring similar results – it helps you see the big picture and define the next steps. Marie Kondo talks about simplicity and order. Cloud-based bookkeeping services can help you have an organized, better-performing business that will hopefully “bring joy” and have a positive impact on your bottom-line for many years to come.
At Databooks, we enable small business owners to automate and streamline their back-office, payroll, business intelligence and bookkeeping processes. We can help your small business operations improve by identifying what areas are critical and automating repetitive and high-volume tasks. Contact us and find out how our services can help you grow your business.
About Saulo Ferreira
Saulo is the owner and founder of Databooks. Before becoming an accountant and working at a Big 4, he founded two successful small businesses. Saulo is passionate about empowering businesses through better bookkeeping services and technology.