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13 Tips for you to enjoy the administrative tasks
- Posted by: Bianca Braga
- Category: Administrativ
Having your own company can often be very scary. One of the causes of this fear is the administrative mountain that you will have to face as an entrepreneur. This is why dozens of startups are created to take care of the administrative side of the company and facilitate the work of the entrepreneur – regardless of size.
Those simplify your life, unleash your creative power and you are sure that things will be done well. Especially as neglecting administrative aspects can lead to serious structural business problems.
For example, only an unopened tax letter from the tax office or 3 unpaid invoices on time can put your treasury on hold in a very short time. And a month of unclassified or untreated papers can consume you from a whole day of your time to several days. Specifically, you can earn up to 4 days a month if you outsource or have a paperwork employee.
But with a little organization and method, you can easily handle it.
Here are some practical tips to make your back office work (almost) enjoyable.
1. Accounting is the basis
Let’s be clear: without a minimum of accounting / management basics, it will be difficult or even impossible for you to manage your business correctly. Either you will not be able to make the right choices at the right time, or you will have to pay for professional advice which, in the end, will cost you dearly…
Accounting is not boring, it is a testament to the health of your business.
Treat her with the respect she deserves, be sure she will show it to you in turn!
2. Understand the needs of your company
First, take the time to understand what you will need during the life of your company.
We can divide this into 5 main categories, depending on whether you add more or not:
- Administrative (legal, fiscal, etc.)
- Sales (offers, orders, contracts, sav, suppliers, customers, etc.)
- Others (social actions, eminarii, fairs, etc.)
In these categories, we add subcategories that will allow you to organize yourself more finely:
Accounting -> Year -> supplier or month according to preference
Administrative -> Legal / Taxes / Legal documents /
Social -> Employee Name / ITM / Retired /
Finally, the documents are added to the correct folders. It should not be overlooked that 100% digital accounting is now possible. However, this involves a few points that we will debate later.
Thus, it is recommended to keep – and therefore apply the same archiving logic – to each document either on paper or digitally.
For a “small” Freelance company or with few papers, a simple file facilitates the storage and organization of documents. The whole life of your company is therefore less than 80 cm square!
3. Scan, pose, store, repeat
The secret to not being overwhelmed is to not order immediately. The act of taking out the file, finding the right place for the document, arranging it and then putting the file in its place is a long time, with no added value for your business and boring in the long run.
No, the secret is to procrastinate. Well, organized postponement…
It seems simple and obvious and yet it is the first step to not be overwhelmed by documents.
But we do not list the number of small business owners who, focused on their job and the development of their business, get lost in the pile of documents, papers, letters they receive.
And the time they spend then looking for the right accounting documents, the right supporting documents, the elements for completing the social statements, etc. it is one that is not dedicated to its activity.
Therefore, it is important to equip yourself with a closet / shelf / office item dedicated to documents, cardboard folders, folders and labels to classify, arrange and store documents.
You should not hesitate to print certain documents in duplicate or to photocopy them in order to store them in the various thematic files / folders: for example, the invoices you edit must find their place in the file dedicated to each client ( to ensure the commercial follow-up) but also in the file regarding the accounts of the month in question (as well as the invoices of your suppliers / providers).
A good classification of documents is for you less time spent in managing administrative tasks.
Tip: it is essential to arrange / process (if you can) the documents as they arrive! Too many “bosses” of small businesses let them accumulate until they have no choice but to take care of them. The waste of time is even more serious then!
4. Use the electronic signature
Print a piece of paper, sign, scan, send… Waste of time and energy (not to mention paper and ink). The little trick is to use an image of your own signature that you scan before.
Then you can enter it in your documents. Some PDF reading software also allows you to create a mouse signature.
In Adobe Acrobat Reader, for example, you need to go to the “Tools” tab and choose “Fill and sign”. You can also use the “Stamp” tool to retrieve your signature image (or a scan of your stamp, if you represent a company).
5. The “correspondence sorter”
Get used to classifying your correspondence, as soon as it is treated, in a “sorter” – the plastic floors.
No, I’m not telling you to put it immediately in your archiving system (cabinets, archive boxes, etc.), but to have a “sorter” that uses the same titles / names as your system.
Keep this sorter handy and store the papers in it as they arrive / produce. Take the time regularly (ideally once a month) to empty it and class it into your archives.
Sorting is done in advance, saving you valuable time. I use such a system.
6. Save documents in the cloud
It helps you to have at hand, on any device, access to all important files and documents: ID card, RIB (account/bank id), contracts, etc.
But, the best possible organization is to have a scanner and plastic shelves next to it.
Scan each important document (invoice, contract, etc.) and store it on the shelf (if possible on several floors) the invoices in the “basket” of Accounting, administrative documents in administrative, etc.
Once a month, empty them by putting the documents where they belong (in their archiving files).
7. The scanner: the weapon of mass digitization
Please note: in order to be eligible by the tax administration, a scanned accounting document must be unalterable and signed in accordance with the original.
To simplify, a lambda scanner “photographs” the document and archives it.
A “connected” and “legal” scanner sends your file to a server that assigns an electronic signature that includes, among other things, the date of the scan and recognizes the characters so that it cannot be modified later.
Therefore, it is, in theory, the only truly admissible piece.
In reality, controllers often ask for the entire accounting to be written down (the woods say thank you!) And only rarely worry about how a document has been scanned.
8. Delegate quickly and well
You probably don’t know all the mechanisms of accounting and social management.
This is why it is recommended that you delegate this part to your accountant so that you can focus on your work.
To make your work easier, on your computer, for example, you can create an accounting file that will contain your scanned paper organization (Year> Suppliers / Customers> document.pdf).
Afterwards, you can share access to Drive (Google / iCloud / DropBox / Synology, whatever you want), so that your accountant can take over the files directly.
Others prefer to send by e-mail.
Another solution is to use software such as IPaidThat that will retrieve your accounting documents and “break them down” to match the amounts of an accounting account, find the date and wording. This is a good solution to keep a very accurate track record of accounting and also to save the time of the accountant, avoiding all the data entry work.
IPT, like competing tools, however, requires minimal configuration work and accounting knowledge. In the same sense, some online banks allow you to link accounting documents to their associated records.
9. Think minimalist
Especially in the early days, be economical and minimalist. There is no point in investing in dozens of complex workbooks or software. A little common sense and rigor will allow you to optimize your time and money.
Avoid, for example, buying huge stocks of envelopes if you never send anything.
Hanging cabinets are practical for organizing but very expensive, a simple file organizer will save you money and space!
So keep in mind two things: cash is a weapon of war, so be a little stingy and avoid spending too much time on time-consuming tasks without organizing yourself from the moment you start your business.
10. Plan administrative tasks
This is of course the other big problem that the “bosses” of small companies face in particular: the organization of time.
Managing documents is so painful that many entrepreneurs leave it to the last minute.
And managing documents in a hurry is even more painful, annoying and tiring than managing them on time… and that makes you lose efficiency.
Of course, we are talking mainly about social declarations, but also about VAT declarations.
Here you have several options: monthly or quarterly statements.
And our advice will surprise you: if the papers are not your strong point, choose instead for a monthly statement! You should definitely stick to it more often… but less time and in a less painful way!
Because it is easier to process data in a short period of time than in a long period of time. In addition, in terms of VAT in particular, there is less chance of losing revenue per month than per quarter!
11. Name the files on your computer
For more visibility and for a chronological ordering of my files and folders, I have adopted a file naming system (which I also use at work).
I call them “YYYYMM_subject_Description” in this format. YYYY is the year, MM is the month. For example: “202006_INCOTS_Income Statement”.
Setting the start date will allow you to automatically arrange your files in chronological order (not the date of the computer file, but the date of the document). This makes it much easier to find your files (and it’s nice when everything is named evenly).
12. Make Autoresponder Emails
Most email addresses offer standard response templates. This can save real time, especially in your professional field.
For example, I, who is recruiting, pre-registered a standard email for refusing the application, another for confirming the appointment, etc.
In Gmail, you must first enable the feature. To do this, go to the “Settings” menu (top right gear), then the “Advanced settings” tab and check “Enable” on models.
All you have to do is write your email. standard, click “…” at the bottom right of the email and choose the “Templates” menu to save it.
In Outlook, functionality exists, but it is not necessarily intuitive. My little trick is to use the “Signature” function by creating several signature templates in options.
13. Use an address stamp
Of course, I limit the sending of correspondence as much as possible, preferring mailings as often as possible. But sometimes it is essential.
To save time, instead of writing my address on the back of each letter, I made a stamp with our address “Family X – Blablabla”.
I took advantage of an order of business cards to do it on the Vistaprint website. It saves me time and, in addition, it is super elegant 🙂
What elegant and efficient ways of organizing have you adopted?
If you have any other ideas, I invite you to leave us a comment!
I wish you smart organization!