The primary effort of landscaping business owners and managers is serving their customers. When not out on the job, owners are organizing employees or scheduling materials for delivery to ensure their customers are getting the best landscaping service possible. The goal of every landscaping business is to efficiently deliver a well-manicured lawn or snow-free driveway, but intense focus on customer satisfaction can lead to disorganized workflows that impact business operations.
Luckily, modern business technology can be plugged in to existing business tools to foster a more streamlined operation. Much like landscapers rely on lawn mowers to make grass-cutting efficient or snow blowers to make snow removal easier, there are tech solutions that make running businesses more straightforward.
While updating back-end operations can seem daunting, business owners should concentrate on improving one specific workflow to facilitate a smoother transition. For example, a solution that can help streamline several everyday business tasks is expense and document management software. The software eliminates data entry while providing business insights that may otherwise go unnoticed. When contemplate expense and document management software, landscaping businesses should consider the following three features:
1. Mobile Capture
Landscapers are faced with many different forms of business documents, like an expense receipt from a gas fill-up or an invoice from the latest job. Employees, managers and even owners may stuff these documents into their pockets, or toss it on the passenger seat of their truck. From accounting information to tax write-offs, those documents can be vital to business success. Most advanced expense and document management software allows users to leverage their smartphone’s camera as a mobile scanner that captures financial information like totals, dates and vendor names.
2. Integration with Advanced Accounting Software
Most landscaping businesses rely on powerful accounting software, like QuickBooks Online or Sage One, to manage their company’s finances. It is important that the expense and document management software integrates with popular accounting software. Integrated expense management and accounting software cuts down on time-consuming data entry, while also providing owners, managers and bookkeepers with peace of mind, knowing all the correct data points are being entered correctly.
3. Cloud Capabilities
Today’s landscaping business owners and employees need constant access to important business documents, which is why cloud storage capabilities are key to expense management solutions. Search capabilities within the expense management software make it easy to pull up data points and documents previously uploaded. In addition, the cloud boosts collaboration between bosses, employees and customers by making it easy to share documents with the click of a button.
Landscaping businesses that automate the management of invoices, expense receipts and other important business documents not only see more efficient workflows, but also reduce risk and protect the business from a tax audit. By updating their expense management systems, landscapers can appreciate the organizational benefits and financial insights that allow them to grow their business, and serve their customers.
Kevin Miller is the CMO at Neat.