Stop singing paperwork blues

Kirsten Hawke

If you are in business on your own, there is no way you’ll want to be spending your nights and weekends doing the bookwork.

Stop singing paperwork blues

You might be missing out on jobs because you haven’t supplied a quote promptly or you may be still using paper-based systems that are time-consuming and haphazard.

Here are four tools that you won’t find in the back of a shiny new ute but they will stop you from singing that same old woeful song every time you tackle paperwork.

1.       Xero

For nearly a decade BUSINESS buddy has sung the praises of Xero and we know there are still plenty of sole trader businesses out there relying on Excel, bank statements, calculators and goodness knows what to manage accounts.


OK – we get that it may be vital to invest in the coolest laser measuring tool, but we want you to consider how you measure business performance.


If you want to increase your sales and improve profitability you need a system like Xero to track the dollars and cents, immediately.


The time spent entering data into a spreadsheet and analysing it will far exceed the time you’ll spend understanding the numbers in your Xero account.


2.       Tradify, Harvest or Clockify

Time is money and if you don’t know how your hours are spent – then you need some sort of time-tracking software.

For those in the construction industry, Tradify is Kiwi-made and enables time-tracking, job planning, quoting and invoicing. It is also compatible with Xero so invoices are transferred to your accounting software, as soon as they are sent to your customers.


Other SMEs, such as virtual assistants or freelance copy writers, may prefer Harvest to track time. Harvest shows you exactly how your time is spent, which is useful when quoting for new work. It is easy to customise so you can track time you spend completing specific tasks within a complete job.

And, it generates invoices based on time or fixed contract rates – all of which zoom automatically to your Xero account.


If you don’t need quite as much grunt, Clockify may be all you need to get a better understanding of how you spend your work day hours. It is a freebie app but it doesn’t have an invoicing function.


3.       Trello

This task planning software is a freebie.

Essentially, Trello is an online to-do list that you can access from your smartphone and computer.

You can share jobs with other people, such as a partner who possibly looks after the book work, so they don’t need your diary to know what tasks you need them to tick off.

You can set deadlines and reminders, for example to prompt you to send a quote to a prospective new client or pick up materials for a job.

Some people love Trello and others are less enthusiastic, especially if they are not big on to-do lists.

However, if you frequently forget to get stuff done – some sort of task planning software is recommended.


4.       Debtor Daddy

If you spend your work day and free time chasing people who owe you money, you need to have a look at Debtor Daddy.

This nifty app sends clients customised reminders before their bill is due and you can make it as hard-nosed or cutesy as suits them and you.

Debtor Daddy can make follow up calls to non-payers and can even send in the muscle when all else fails.

If your cash flow is blocked by delayed payments and bad debts check out Debtor Daddy.


Make 2019 the year that you change your tune and use technology to make your life easier.

Give BUSINESS buddy a call at 0800 283 399, now.

Kirsten Hawke