Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content



 ‭(Hidden)‬ Catalog-Item Reuse

5 Tips from Accountants on How to Streamline Bookkeeping

Efficient bookkeeping lets you focus on what truly matters—growing your business and serving your clients.
Sponsored by
5 tips from accountants on how to streamline bookkeeping

Efficient bookkeeping and recordkeeping are secret weapons for independent insurance agents. They allow you to make better decisions while staying focused on what you do best, instead of getting bogged down in the minutia of number crunching.

Here are five valuable insights from accountants to help you streamline your bookkeeping practices and get the most bang for your buck:

1) Embrace digital bookkeeping tools. Just because you've decided to take the do-it-yourself approach to your bookkeeping, that doesn't mean you need to rely on pen and paper, or even Excel spreadsheets. Digital bookkeeping tools can revolutionize your efficiency and save you hours of busy work.

Software solutions like QuickBooks, Xero, or FreshBooks automate tasks, saving time and effort. Say goodbye to manual data entry and enjoy features such as automated categorization and real-time reporting. You can sync these tools to your business bank account to automatically pull and categorize transactions. They also integrate with many of the insurance industry tools you're already using to run your business.

2) Streamline expense tracking. Keeping track of expenses is time-consuming and mistakes are surprisingly easy to make. Technology can simplify expense tracking to save time and improve accuracy. With digital tools like Expensify or Dext, you can use an emailed receipt or snap a smartphone picture of a paper receipt to capture and categorize expenses automatically.

Use mobile apps for on-the-go tracking and integrate your expense management system with accounting software for seamless reconciliation. Implement policy compliance checks to ensure money is not being spent where it shouldn't, and regularly review expense reports for cost-saving opportunities.

Along with keeping track of your expenses, it's also key to make sure your expense tracking is actually helpful. If all your expenses go into a single category called “business expenses," you won't be able to gain much insight from reading your expense reports. Make sure you have separate categories for different types of expenses—and that you actually follow through by taking the extra second to place your expenses into the right categories. That way you'll be able to see opportunities to save money and identify areas that are outside of your budget.

3) Create a standardized document filing system. Even just writing that sentence was boring … but having a system for document organization is essential for efficient recordkeeping. Create a logical folder structure, adopt consistent naming conventions, and consider digital solutions like Google Drive or color-coded physical filing systems.

Establishing a clear organization system will save valuable time when searching for and retrieving documents. While it may take a little time upfront, following document management best practices will save you hours and a whole lot of headaches when you actually need to find documents. This goes far beyond your bookkeeping and can have a huge impact on your recordkeeping in general, allowing you to find anything and everything you need to run your insurance agency on a day-to-day basis. It could be life-changing.

4) Regularly reconcile financial statements. Reconciliation is part of the monthly closing process that helps guarantee your bookkeeping is accurate and up to date. Essentially, it involves matching your accounting record to an external source of truth, like bank statements, to ensure everything matches up and nothing was missed. Don't worry, it's not as tedious as it sounds, and you can use your accounting software to make it pretty painless.

By comparing financial data and promptly addressing any discrepancies, you can catch any mistakes right away, and make sure the numbers you use to make critical business decisions are actually correct. Many small businesses fall into the habit of closing and reconciling their books quarterly, bi-annually, or even annually as they crunch for tax time, but a monthly close will prevent you from operating with faulty information for months at a time.

5) Regularly review financial statements. Now that you've pulled in all the numbers in the easiest possible way, automated some of your accounting tasks, and ensured your numbers are correct, you need to actually make use of those numbers. The best way to run a profitable insurance agency is to review your financial statements on a regular basis, so you know exactly what's going on under the hood.

If you're using accounting software, you can generate financial statements with the click of a button. And if you're reconciling and closing out your books, those statements should be accurate. Now you can utilize your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement to see how your business is doing and where you can make improvements.

Streamlining your bookkeeping and recordkeeping practices is crucial for the success of your insurance agency. By embracing digital tools, automation, standardized organization systems and regular reconciliation and review, you'll save time, reduce errors and make informed decisions.

Remember, efficient bookkeeping lets you focus on what truly matters—growing your business and serving your clients. Put these insights to work in your agency to see how they can help you save time, cut stress and grow your business.

Mike Whitmire is co-founder and CEO of FloQast, an accounting close management software company headquartered in Los Angeles. 

Friday, October 13, 2023
Agency Operations & Best Practices