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Bookkeeping for your garage

If your happy place is working on a car, grease on your hands, tools lining your walls, it’s likely been a dream of yours to run your own car services shop. However, there are parts of running a business that might not be quite as enjoyable for you - the paperwork and finances.

Man working on underside of car, will need to invoice later with Debitoor accounting & invoicing software

Luckily, the tech world of today has made it easier than ever for anyone to stay on top of the invoicing and accounting side of their business. But what about your business? In this article, we outline what you need to consider when looking for bookkeeping software for your garage.

Is free bookkeeping software right for your garage?

With all the options out there thanks to online resources, it is certainly possible to find a free option for handling your business accounting needs. As a small business owner, the urge to keep expenses down is more than understandable. But cutting costs in the right places takes skill and experience. In some cases, it’s never worth the savings.

Good software is rarely free. While it might seem like there are so many options, there must be decent free software, the free versions are typically created and put out there for users. This type of software does not typically include maintenance, important updates, localisation, user support, or measures put in place to prevent mistakes and ensure the software follows legal requirements and regulations.

Great software offers all this as well as taking over the tedious, difficult tasks that come with bookkeeping. For example, automatically applying the reverse charge when supplies are ordered from the EU, allowing you to add expenses that autofill when you snap an image of the receipt, or automatically generating up-to-date financial reports with a click.

The good news is that bookkeeping software designed specifically for small businesses often understands their users enough to offer the tools at highly affordable pricing (think the cost of a nice cup of tea).

What should great bookkeeping software for garages offer?

When you’re busy, sending out invoices and following up on late payments is the last thing you’d like to do, however it’s essential for getting paid. Bookkeeping software will offer more than just easy-to-use tools for staying on top of your business accounts, it will also provide everything you need to bill and get paid - from quotes and invoices, to reminders, online payment, and more.

Running a garage, your bills might typically involve a number of different services, as well as parts. The right software will make it easy to add these to an invoice, even specifying tax rates and automatically calculating subtotals and totals. Saving products in your account, whether rims, windshield wipers, oil, and more can make it faster than ever to create an invoice.

The software should also allow you to easily add expenses, specify categories, and save supplier details. A banking option gives you the option to keep track of payments on expenses as well as income, and automatic bank reconciliation means no tedious matching of payments to invoices or expenses.

A black & white photo of a man working on an old VW Beetle in a garage

Downloadable or cloud-based bookkeeping software for your garage?

Which is best? It’s possible that we’re biased, but in our experience and based on feedback from Debitoor users, cloud-based software is the winner by far. The reasons include:

Mobility Even if you can’t make it into the office to record a payment or register an expense, cloud-based software like Debitoor gives you the option to record payments, add expenses, and more from your mobile, tablet or computer.

Security It might seem like something stored on your computer is more secure than the cloud, but this is a common misconception. A computer crash can take all your data down with it. However, cloud-based software is backed up on multiple, highly secure servers, meaning your data is safe.

Storage The space on your computer is limited and the amount of documents and spreadsheets, receipts, supplier invoices...these can all add up. The cloud is massive and cloud-based software typically allows you to upgrade in the event you need more documents or space.

Stay on top of bookkeeping for your garage

Cloud-based bookkeeping software built for small businesses have welcomed in a new opportunity for these businesses to keep track of their finances. Between easy and fast invoicing, online payment options for customers, and the automation of many bookkeeping elements, online software gives your garage the tools to manage bookkeeping with minimal time and expense.

For some of the official documentation, it’s likely you’ll be working with an accountant. Even this is easier with cloud-based software. With a Debtioor account, you can invite your accountant to collaborate on your account with just a couple clicks. Again, saving both your time and theirs!