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December 3, 2020

Stress-Free Year-End Closing for Small Businesses

Charlie Braithwaite

For many businesses, the 31st December marks not only the end of the calendar year, but also the end of the fiscal year.

In March, 2021, Roger officially became Corpay One. To learn more and understand the change, read this blog post.

The holidays are stressful enough. Here's how to make finance work easier for your small business.

As nice as it would be to sit back and reflect on the past 12 months, the year-end unfortunately means one thing: tax returns. 

The usual hustle and bustle of Q4 is compounded by having to ensure that no financial stone is left unturned, no document misplaced or forgotten.

This can be a nightmarish situation. You’re left frantically searching for the right paperwork and sending off endless shoeboxes to your already overburdened accountant (who’s less than happy at this sudden influx of disparate documents). Not only that, but you’re also trying to ensure that your business keeps up with the busiest time of the year.

It’s time to take the stress out of Q4. Fortunately, there’s a solution: automation.

Let’s explore how automation—and Roger specifically—allows business owners to streamline their accounting duties, focusing their time and energy on running their business. 

Waste no more of your valuable time digging around for documents. Build a stronger relationship with your accountant, despite spending significantly less on accounting services. Maintain compliance with minimal effort or hassle.

What’s not to love?

The rush

The Q4 period—which lasts from October 1st to December 31st—marks the busiest time of the year for many industries. Take healthcare, for example. Plummeting temperatures, adverse weather conditions, and the rise of flu season bring a multitude of challenges, while the Thanksgiving period (both in Canada and the US) also sees a sudden spike in hospital admissions. 

It’s also been shown that SaaS businesses experience a peak in Q4 when compared to the rest of the year. This might perhaps be attributed to budget liquidation. In the run-up to the year-end, VPs who are keen to maintain (or even grow) next year’s allocated budget might spend the remainder of their budget on new SaaS subscriptions.  

And then there’s the elephant in the room: retail. Whether it’s Halloween preparations, the run-up to Christmas, or Black Friday sales, Q4 is the busiest time of the year for retailers. In the US alone, Christmas is reportedly responsible for $1tn worth of sales—and global digital spending during the holiday period reached $723bn in 2019.  

For many industries, Q4 marks an especially busy (and sometimes downright chaotic) period. If you’re a small business, you’ll probably be more focused on handling the sudden influx of demand than you will on making sure that your accounting duties are kept up-to-speed. This is only natural.

However, there’s an easy fix.

The solution: automation

Most small business owners view their accounting and bookkeeping duties as a necessary—albeit unenjoyable, time-consuming, and tedious—part of the job. UK micro-businesses reportedly spend a massive 15 hours per week (almost 2 workdays) on financial admin. 40% of entrepreneurs say that bookkeeping is their least favorite part of running a business, while US SMBS spend an average of 120 days per year on admin and accounting duties.

However, automation could be the solution. It’s reinvented a number of industries—and accounting is no different. By leveraging automation within your small business, you can save the time, energy, and hassle associated with staying on top of your accounting duties—and strengthen your relationship with your accountant in the process. 

Say goodbye to wasting valuable hours manually entering data, or sending off shoeboxes to your accountant. With Roger, you can simply take a picture of your receipts and our state-of-the-art scanning technology will read all relevant data before sending this information automatically to your bookkeeping system. Track and manage all expenses and payments from one single, easy-to-use platform. What’s more, our Document Match feature automatically reconciles all your transactions—seamlessly matching the payment with documents already within Roger without you having to lift a finger.

Automation will allow you to focus on your number one priority: running your business. 

The benefits

  • Spend less time dealing with accounting/bookkeeping tasks
  • Spend less money on accounting duties
  • Build a happier relationship with your accountant
  • Ensure compliance at all times

First and foremost, using an automated platform like Roger will help you save a significant amount of time dealing with year-end accounting and bookkeeping duties. In fact, our estimates suggest that you could save up to 80% less time on finance tasks. For example, if you spend 15 hours each week, this would be cut down to 3 hours each week. 

What could you do if you spent an extra 12 hours each week focusing on running your business instead of dealing with admin?

By leveraging automation to its fullest extent, you’ll also ensure that you’re only paying your accountant for high-value activities (like preparing end-of-year statements). Wave goodbye to manual, low-value data-entry. When the time comes to prepare your financial statements, ensure that your accountant has all the data they need ready to go within your bookkeeping/accounting platform.

There’s a certain irony here. While automation means that you’ll spend less money on accounting, you’ll likely also improve your relationship with your accountant. No longer will they have to deal with endless shoeboxes suddenly arriving on their doorstep a day or two before the submission deadline. 

The data will automatically be entered into your accounting software and all transactions reconciled, meaning your accountant won’t have to waste their precious time on mind-numbing data-entry. You’ll drastically reduce costly mistakes, with Roger leading to a 90% reduction in human error relating to data-entry, payments, and the like. 

What’s more, if they have any queries regarding your business finances, you’ll have more time to speak over these issues with them—instead of having to ignore their calls because you’re simply too busy. 

Last but not least, you’ll avoid all compliance-related issues. Ensure that no receipt is missed or lost by keeping your business’s financial activities up-to-date and in order. Anything you upload to Roger is automatically stored for 5 years in our encrypted storage vault—meaning you won’t suffer any panic-inducing auditing challenges. 

Spend more time and money on growing your business, not on remaining compliant. Ensure that your accountant focuses on high-value strategic activities, instead of simply entering endless reams of data.

Embrace automation, today

Year-end is typically a stressful time for small business owners. If you work in an industry that’s notoriously busy during Q4, this only makes matters worse. By embracing automation, you can focus on running your business, speed up the preparations process, and build a positive relationship with your accountant.

There’s no need to make running a business harder than it needs to be. Sign up today to learn how Roger enables small business owners to focus on doing what they love: building, running, and growing their business. 

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