Recurring Expenses: How to Easily Keep Track of Them

When you first set up your business, you’re not likely to have too many recurring expenses, aside from rent for your premises, if you have one. Fast forward a few months, and you might have financed some equipment. Then you add a few cell phone plans for your sales team, and of course, there are recurring expenses to host and manage your website.

Before you know it, you’ve got a mountain of subscriptions and contracts to manage, and you’ve got preauthorized debits going off your company account throughout the month. You think you have a handle on it, but then you forget a bill, and don’t put enough money into that account to cover it. So, you get charged a fee, and interest, and it all just gets out of control!

If you miss too many payments because you’re not on top of paperwork, you might even find that key accounts get put on hold. We all know what a big spanner in the works it can be when you can’t order goods or services when you need them!

There’s nothing quite like small business finance to get us all in a spin, is there?

Well, you can breathe.

There’s an easier way to stay on top of your recurring expenses, with Billdu – the easy financial management app for small business.

What Are Recurring Expenses?

Recurring expenses are business related costs that you have to pay at regular intervals. That usually means you pay them once a month (although some might be quarterly or annual.) They’re usually also the same amount every month, like rent or subscriptions. But sometimes, like utility or cell phone bills, they can fluctuate.

Most recurring expenses are essential to your business – like rent, utilities, bank charges, and bills for equipment and vehicle finance. Others might not be essential, but certainly make things easier – like legal retainers or subscriptions for cloud-based services.

While there may be many nuances to what a recurring expense is, they are all bills that you will have to pay regularly, as long as you have a subscription or contract with the creditor.

Unlike one off payments, recurring costs are usually for things that you really need to keep your business running, and that you can’t easily switch to another supplier. If you don’t pay your rent for a while, or make payments on your delivery vehicles, you could have much bigger problems on your hands!

So, while all expenses are important, and deserve your attention, the recurring ones really need a little extra TLC.

Many recurring business expenses

The Foundation of Your Business

The truth is most of the recurring expenses you will need to pay are the things that are really the foundation of your business.

You will pay monthly fees for bank accounts and for some of the payment processors you use.

There will be rent on your premises, and on warehouse and retail space, that you need to be able to make, package, store and sell your products.

If you have financed vehicles and equipment, some of your recurring expenses will be for loan repayments, without which they might be repossessed. Then there’s insurance to make sure that your vehicles can legally stay on the road.

If you’re a member of a local chamber of commerce or a business association, you will probably have monthly, quarterly or annual fees that need to be paid, and of course, for your website there are hosting and domain fees, monthly advertising costs and the cost of hiring an SEO company.

Add in utilities and telecommunications, that you will need to stay in contact with your customers and keep the lights on, and then probably some fees for things like office cleaning, that you could do yourself, but that probably won’t be a good way to spend your time.

Many programs and software services (even Microsoft) now work on monthly subscriptions too, so you have to pay those to keep using those tools.

In fact, most of the most important behind the scenes costs that keep your business running and your doors open are recurring expenses. Which is why it’s a good idea to make sure you stay on top of them!

Of course, that’s usually easier said than done when things get busy. Being busy is good, because it means that you are doing business, but things fall through the cracks. When they do, you might face penalties or interest the first time, and a sternly worded letter or phone call if you are a repeat offender.

Long story short? It’s very important to keep up with all your recurring business expenses, so you need to develop a system to do just that.

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How Software Helps to Automate Recurring Expenses

When you’re a small business, you’ve got a lot on your plate. You’ve got to do enough marketing to bring leads in the door. Then you’ve got to provide quotes and go through the sales process to secure orders. Next, you have to order materials, schedule services and make sure that the product or service is delivered – and that’s just the start!

Even after your customer has the item they ordered, there’s a lot of work to be done! You have to cost the job to make sure you made a profit, create an invoice and make sure you follow up until you get paid.

All the while, you have to deal with staffing problems, develop new products and services so you stay competitive, and oversee your office, shop, vehicles and equipment.

It’s a wonder small business owners sleep at all, but it’s also no wonder that it can be tough to keep track of things like recurring bills.

Which is why a software package that allows you to mark new expenses as recurring, set billing intervals and even the amount that will be paid, so you don’t have to try to remember it all is a life saver!

Software that handles recurring payments can send you a reminder when bills are due and flag any transactions that are outside of the norm. Because sometimes, even automated payments to creditors can get a little out of whack, and you need to know, so you can take the appropriate action!

Since most small business owners will log into a system like Billdu to create estimates and process invoices once a day, it’s easy to check in and make sure that you’re aware of the bills that need to get paid.

In fact, since platforms like Billdu can be accessed from anywhere, even if you’re a solopreneur, you can spend a few minutes at the end of the day, unwinding on the couch, entering any new expenses you need to keep track of. It’s perfect for busy businesspeople who are hustling all the time, and it ensures you never miss a beat.

Software automation of recurring expenses

Setting Up Recurring Expenses on Billdu

Billdu has a free option for small businesses that are just getting started, and only need the basics. Even so, this free option does include recurring expenses, and it’s easy to set up new expenses in this system. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Login to your Billdu account. If you don’t have an account yet, you can set one up in seconds, and it’s completely free. You don’t need a credit card or any payment information for a free account either – just your email account.
  2. If it’s your first-time logging into Billdu, take a few minutes to set up your company information. You can do this from the dropdown menu in the very top right corner of the screen.
  3. Find the Expenses drop down on the vertical menu on the left. You’ll find all the menus you need to access to get your invoicing, estimates and expenses done on that menu, so it’s super easy to find your way around.
  4. Click the menu heading to open the menu, and then click the Recurring Expenses link. You’ll find it right between the Expenses and Categories links.
  5. This will open the Recurring Expenses page, where you can view all your existing recurring expenses, as well as a button in the top right corner to add a new one. Click it if you need to add a new expense to your list.
  6. You can upload a photograph of the expense if you have it, and then use the fields on the right-hand side of the page to insert all the relevant information.
  7. Select an existing vendor from the list you’ve already set up in Billdu, or you can click the + sign to add a new one right from the setup page.
  8. Once you have created recurring expenses, you can select them from the list to add, edit or delete information from your list of expenses.
  9. Add as many different recurring expenses as you need, and edit and delete them whenever you need to, so if prices go up (or down) or you want to enter your monthly bills with due dates so you can see what you owe and when, at a glance, Billdu can do it for you.

If you’re using a paid version of Billdu, you will have more options for recurring expenses (and other parts of the system), but the basic, free version offers enough to get most small businesses started off right.

You don’t need to be a computer whiz or an accountant to enter information on Billdu. In fact, if you’ve ever filled in a form on a website, you’ll master this in minutes!

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Negotiating Better Deals

When you’re a small business, chances are you’re always looking for a better deal. But how often have you gone into a meeting with a potential supplier or service provider, and not been able to tell them whether the deal they’re offering is comparable, great or needs work?

Because Billdu is cloud based and accessible from everywhere, you can always log in to see what you’re paying your current provider, so it’s easy to have all the facts ready when you’re negotiating a deal.

Or send out quote requests to several different suppliers or service providers, and then compare them when you get them. You might find that you can save 10% or more just by switching to a new company – or use the quotes you got to get a better rate from the company you already use!

Billdu Recurring Expenses Features

If you’re looking for a very affordable (or free!) way to manage small business invoicing, estimates and quotes and expenses, Billdu has plenty to offer, but there are some great features built into the recurring expenses section that really lets you view and manage these costs. These include:

  • The ability to view all your recurring expenses, or just the paid, unpaid, or overdue expenses. Because sometimes, even when you have the best of intentions, things still fall through the cracks!
  • View recurring expense information by year, month, or custom date range – which makes planning and reporting much easier! You can always see what is due this month, or compare it to the same month, year, or period last year, to see whether your income and expenses are growing in sync!
  • Sort expenses by category, so you can see how much you are spending on key areas of your business. You can use the basic categories built into the system or create your own. So, you can allocate them by product, service, department or customer. Whatever works for you!
  • Export expenses to XLS, CSV or as a Zipped attachment. This makes it easy to share expense information when you need to. If you use an external CPA or accounting firm, you can even send them exported files to import into their own systems. It’s quick, easy, and paperless!

The search functions on the Billdu dashboard are faceted too, so you can really drill down to get the information you need, when you need it.

Knowledge really is power, and time really is money. Billdu gives you both, so you can get things done quicker, and see where you really stand, right now, right from your computer or phone.

Cloud Based and Collaborative

When you’re running a small business, you’re not always in the same place as your team. In fact, lately, many teams are rarely in the same office at all. But when you use cloud-based tools like Billdu to manage your expenses, including the recurring ones, it’s easy to get real time feedback from the people who matter.

Add your key staff members to your Billdu account and give them access to the areas you want them to see. Then, when you next have a meeting or call, you can go over the recurring expenses that affect their tasks and department, and make sure they’re still required – and that you’re getting the best deal.

But it doesn’t stop there. When you add your accountant to your Billdu team, they’ll also see all new expenses and invoices as they happen, so they can weigh in if there’s a concern, or make sure that bills are paid, and payments collected.

High Tech Solutions for Small Businesses

Let’s face it. Business has changed. If you don’t have a website, you’re basically invisible. If you’re not selling online, you’re missing out on a lot of revenue. Old marketing and production techniques just don’t work. So why try to use old fashioned methods of keeping track of income and expenses?

So, you’re not ready for a big, expensive, complicated enterprise level accounting system yet.

That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with shoeboxes and receipt books.

A system like Billdu is easy to use, you can learn it in minutes, and it helps you to keep all your ducks lined up – the way they should be. Best of all? It’s completely free to get started, and until you need to unlock more advanced features.

Don’t wait until you’ve missed an important bill one too many times! Take action today to get your bills under control and make your bookkeeper smile. Because small business invoicing, estimating and expense management doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

Get on top of your recurring
expenses with Billdu

Smart management of recurring expenses – create, adjust, track, report. Online or via the iPhone, iPad or Android app.

Free 14-day trialNo credit card requiredCancel anytime
Manage recurring expenses with Billdu

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