Do you have boxes of paper taking up space in your office? Receipts stacked up on your dashboard? Don’t wait until you are on the next episode of Hoarders. Go paperless. Eliminate the headache of messy file cabinets, lost receipts, unreadable mileage logs, and cluttered painting vehicle dashboards and home office desks.
Reasons you need to go paperless in your painting business
- Increase efficiency by eliminating the search for paper documents.
- Present a professional image to your clients.
- Save time by creating a faster work-flow between yourself, your bookkeeper, and your employees.
- Eliminate filing cabinets and reduce office space.
- Build rapport with clients stating that you are “going green”.
- Secure backup of documents on the cloud.
- Access your files anytime, anywhere.
Okay, now that you are convinced you need to go paperless, where should you start?
Steps to making your painting business paperless
- Get a cloud-based bookkeeping software. Quickbooks Online Plus has job-costing functionality that allows you to access your information anytime, anywhere. You can also complete estimates, invoices, and payroll all from your mobile device with the Quickbooks Online app. To see how to setup your painting business on Quickbooks Online Plus, you can watch a video I developed to walk you through the steps.
- Use cloud-based file storage. In order to get the full benefit of going paperless, getting a cloud based file storage system is a must. Storing your files in the cloud allows you to access those files on any device, from anywhere. There are several options for cloud storage to include Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box.com. Google Drive has the added benefit of web-based document creation. With tools like Google Calendar, Google Sheets (similar to Microsoft Excel), and Google Docs (similar to Microsoft Word) you can do office work from the jobsite.
- Use mobile mileage tracking. Ditch the paper mileage log. TripLog is an app you can download on your phone that integrates with Quickbooks Online. The app tracks your mileage for your painting business to allow you to write off the expense using the standard mileage rate on your taxes.
- Use mobile employee time tracking. No more paper time sheets. TSheets is an app that integrates with Quickbooks Online Plus. TSheets allows employee to clock-in once they get to the jobsite using their phone. TSheets also allows managers to track the location and time in real-time to ensure employees are where they should be.
- Get electronic signatures from customers. Once you do an estimate and contract, you’ll need a signature. Look into getting electronic signatures from your clients. SignNow.com gives you the ability to have your clients sign on your tablet or smartphone for $5 a month. Not only is this convenient, it also makes you look more professional.
- Manage your receipts with the cloud. Hubdoc is once again, you guessed it, an app that integrates with Quickbooks Online and to your cloud based file system. When you get a paper receipt, simply snap a picture with your phone, and Hubdoc organizes and classifies the receipt with your bookkeeping software. You can also have all your vendors send you electronic bills to a special Hubdoc email, and Hubdoc categories, syncs with your bookkeeping software and pushes a copy to a cloud storage folder you designate.
- Get a scanner. In order to digitize all your current paper documents, get a scanner. A fast and efficient scanner that I use is the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you will save yourself a great deal of time through gained efficiencies, easier collaboration, and less clutter.
If you’re interested in more tips about bookkeeping and how to improve your painting business, you can go to my website and get a free report for painting contractors.
I am a former painting business owner and military officer, and current bookkeeper and tax accountant. With my painting and accounting experience, I’m uniquely positioned to help painting contractors save time, money, and resources.
For years I worked in the residential and commercial painting industry. I did everything from prep work and painting to managing crews and completing estimates with clients.
After my stint in the painting industry, I pursued an education in business and accounting and served as a military officer in the intelligence field. I have a Bachelors in Accounting and a MBA.
During my time in the intelligence field, I learned the value of being proactive and staying ahead of the enemy. I apply this mentality to my accounting practice through forward-looking advice to my clients. I don’t just report; I analyze and forecast. This provides immense value to the clients I serve and builds trust.
I am passionate about sharing my knowledge of taxes and business to help painting contractors grow their company.
I only work with a select few painting contractors and provide professional, prompt service to ensure their success.