For many freelancers, running their business is a separate ‘’job’’ to their actual work. Meaning, many freelancers have to strive to not only find this time but to maximise it. The administration side of our business and the way we handle daily business functions is very important - more often, it’s information we need to report and submit to various Ämter. While the seemingly most logical thing to do is to automate as much as possible - we need to be aware this can sometimes hinder more than help. Much like the great Whitney Houston, we want to know, how we will we know?
What tends to happen in emerging markets, like AI or automation is similar to what happens in most markets for freelancers. Because the uptake of freelance work or self-employment is not only at its highest but continuing to rise as well, such technologies making life easier for freelancers tend to perform quite well. Even in freelancer banking, Kontist surely has its fair share of competitors. Of course, Kontist has found a way to automate only what is necessary and in an effective way which is why they continue to grow - but some other offerings in the market can complicate life. In what other areas of our business do we need to have awareness around the automation technologies we use.
Sometimes automation does not qualify your records for the authorities
We have spoken at length on our blog about how to keep the Finanzamt happy and what’s important to know is that you are required to have meticulous documentation and correlation of your expenditure for your business. Every item of post, every piece of equipment, it all needs to match up. Yes, it is a very high standard, but this is Germany and it is a by the book country - no place for Seychelle shell companies!
A bank like Kontist is great because in real time you can log your expenses and upload the receipt. However, it is important to keep a separate digital folder of your receipts or logs. Imagine a scenario where you are audited - you have changed bank accounts and it has been around five years. These auto-generated logs may list the transactions but perhaps not the image of the receipt - so if you really want to go and stay paperless, you do need to also upload (at some point) the record of this receipt into a separate corresponding, dated and chronological folder.
Yes, it's a pretty high standard, but without a complex, coded chain of command - there is not automation that is going to make this easier, except staying on top of it - which is something we have also previously on the blog. So yes, the tools of automation are absolutely necessary - it’s just that, so is the next step!