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Managing Finances: A Brief Guide to Handle Finances for Contractors and Traders

Contractors and traders often face the dilemma of making that perfect invoice for the clients. Although Excel is the most used application, people tend to ignore the fact that it is cumbersome to maintain it. You need to manually feed the input. And getting an analysis out of it requires a high level of understanding. 

One of the easiest ways to tackle this issue is to opt for online accounting software. By using them, you can easily collaborate with your contractors and trades. There is no need to send separate invoices or analytical reports to them. Just give them access to your account and voilà! They too can now view your report.

What Problems Contractors And Traders Face In Accounting?

Contractors and traders are independent working professionals. They need to manage their invoices themselves. Most of them use excel or word for making invoices. The major problems that they face are:

  1. Updating the invoice: The client added a short project just after you prepared the bill. Now, you need to update it accordingly but the whole process is lengthy. You need to restructure the cells.
  2. Timely reminders: Most independent professionals forget to send their invoices on time. This leads to late payment from the client.
  3. Perfect analysis: The work nature of contractors is different from traditional jobs. They may have a hectic schedule one month and complete dry spell in the next. So they need to properly analyze their expenses and investments to have maximum profit.

What Features Should Contractors And Traders Look For In Accounting Software?

The job-nature of these two professionals is nothing like the ones with 9-5 jobs. They do not have regular and fixed working hours. And so is the cash inflow. They may need to invest in new equipment just before a big project amidst a cash crunch. But they need to analyze if that investment is beneficial in the long run.  Accounting software that can track irregular payments, expenses and analyze them for the long run is the best.

However, the software should have the following features:

  1. Clear and concise invoice: The invoice should clearly mention the hours spent, work completed and expenditure done, if any, on your part. The client should know just by a glance about the whole expenditure of the project.
  2. Easy editing: It should offer an unlimited editing facility so that you can update it as you finish the work.
  3. Secure payment gateway: If the software redirects the client to a payment gateway from where he can make payments to you, you get paid easily and on time. This payment gateway should not compromise with the client’s or your own security.
  4. Updated technology: The invoices generated or the analytical reports prepared should use the latest technology. This will allow the contractors and traders to get their accounts audited easily.

Conclusion

While computer software may be an unusual addition to a contractor’s tool-kit, it will definitely help him in managing his accounts well. Also, the client benefits from a clear and concise invoice. He need not spend time on re-checking the invoice. The whole billing process becomes much easier.