Most small business owners, coaches, consultants that I've spoken with are struggling with finances. I know that I struggled with finances a lot when I started out and what I’m about to talk about was born from necessity.
When I started out, I was testing out different financial invoicing tools.
I loved QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online was really great.
My problem was that:
A) it was expensive for multi-currency
B) it didn't integrate with my country.
I don't mind paying the money, but if it's not gonna integrate with the tax system, then it's not gonna work out for me.
So I had to create a method to pacify my need for order so that I knew where my finances were standing at any given point. I needed to know how much I was making, how much I was spending, what I was being taxed on and I needed this to be on a month by month basis.
Who would benefit from this?
Those in the Infant and Flying Out of the Nest Phase would love what I will be sharing. It’s a simple way to get started with your finances. In these two phases, most folks just want to know what’s going on month-to-month and stay on top of things. The business isn’t as complex as those who are more mature. And after the Nest phase, it’s more than likely that you have either (or both) a bookkeeper or a CPA that manages your finances.
I have a CPA, but I like to track my finances and I use the following system for myself, in tandem with my professional accountant.
My Solution to Replacing QuickBooks’ Reporting
What I did is I created a database in Airtable that I called “Finances”.
It currently has four tabs - Income, Expenses, Fixed Expenses, Profit & Loss.
The way that this works is we have the client who paid us. We collect data about when they paid us, what the invoice number was and how much they paid us. I've also added a link to the receipt. The reason I do this is because I want easy access to all of my receipts. I save all of my receipts on Google Drive.
(And obviously, yes, there's a structure there as well!)
I have it by year. And then in each year I have 2 folders: one folder for income and one folder for expenses. And under each of these folders, there are 12 folders, one for every month.
Like I said, I have this deep urge to be very organized, and I need everything to be in place, but when my accountant goes through this, I really don't need them to go into that folder and look through everything. I just wanna make it easy for them. So I just put the URL where they can find what they need.
I also have a column for VAT collected because in my country, I need to know how much VAT I've collected, and I report that every two months. So if you don't need that, you can remove it.
This is really nice, but it's not really giving me all the data that I want. I have a sum of how much I earned.
Let’s say I’ve theoretically earned $4,000.
What I really want to know is where I’m at each month.
I've created a view that's called income by month. In our example, you can see in the income by month view that I've made $1,225 in January, $2450 in February, and $400 in March.
If I add another record to the general view, (let's say I got a new client and they paid me March 23rd. And their invoice number was 1005. And they paid me $550)what Airtable will do is automatically push that into March in the by Month view.
The by Month view is grouped by a field that’s hidden that is called Month Number + Month, which is basically a function that pulls the month from the date paid and adds the number so that this is just ordered in order.
The view is sorted by this field and this way, the most recent month will appear on top in the by Month view.
Now I want each record to link to the client who paid. And this is the beauty of Airtable. I want to have it so that when I go into a client, I know how much they paid me. This data will be added to my CRM database.
Let me show you something really cool… click the video below to watch!
Profit and Loss
Every business, whether you’re preparing your taxes or just monitoring the health of your business needs to understand their Profits and loss.
Check out how I track it with my AirTable.
My Airtable setup gives me a tremendous amount of peace for my need for organization. I know many coaches and consultants who crave this as well. Airtable also allows things to be customized and integrated to other tools. It allows for your accountant to easily access everything they need to help you file for taxes, wherever you are, no matter the tax code.
If you’re interested in getting your hands on this, here is the link to grab your own template that I’ve created like the one above!
You will be able to customize to your specific needs/currency.
It will allow you to know exactly what’s happening in your finances month-to-month.
And I’m pretty sure your accountant will smile at how organized you are!
If you want a full walkthrough of how this database is set up, you can watch it here.
Even if you're using an invoicing tool such as Quickbooks, Wave, or Xero, I've created an automated process that will save you having to go into this tool each time to issue invoices.
Update your product names, descriptions, and prices.
Create a Zap (using this sample - also provided in the database description).
Update the Webhook data in the database.
You're all set to go.
Invoicing control with the push of a button.
Here's a quick run through of how it works:
Questions? Contact me.