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The changing face of accounting – In the cloud

Over recent years we have seen the release of a multitude of Cloud software products. These internet browser based products offer the convenience of being able to be accessed from any computer without requiring any special software. Users don’t need to worry about updates and backups. And in the accounting space we have seen some new rich features introduced.

Some of these new features mean that there is substantial intelligence at work behind the scenes before you even launch the software. I refer to this as data capture compared to the traditional data entry. There are 3 really helpful ways that this is being put to work in accounting:

  1.  Capturing bank transactions
    Each day, transactions are fed from your bank into the software and automatically matched to transactions in the system or to previous similar transactions or according to pre-determined rules. This means that, rather than entering bank transactions, you now confirm or accept the software’s suggestions or otherwise allocate them.
  2. Capturing bills
    The time spent entering your suppliers’ bills can be drastically reduced by letting someone else do it for you – automatically! Any bills you receive can now be forwarded to your accounting software, either by mail for scanning or electronically to providers who will process the bills using Optical Character Recognition technology. When you next open your accounting software, these bills will have been entered according to the rules that you determine. They are there then, either waiting for payment or to be matched against a bank transaction. And, there is a pdf or jpg copy of the bill linked to the transaction so you can always see the details.
  3. Capturing share transactions
    Technology is also emerging whereby data contained in buy and sell contracts will be automatically entered into Self Managed Superannuation software.

What does this mean for small business?

  1.  If you can attend to invoicing your customers and paying your bills then technology can now look after the vast majority of the rest of your transactions. This means you don’t need a bookkeeper to come in and enter your transactions because they have already been captured.
  2. Accountants can now offer a far more cost effective solution to SMEs as we don’t need to spend time in data entry. Instead we can use our skill and expertise to ensure that the rules of data capture are working properly and to focus on the more important things so that you get prompt and reliable management reports.
  3.  You can do away with your filing cabinets. As all your supplier invoices are embedded in the accounting software, you no longer need to retain paper copies.
  4. There are a variety of software providers offering Cloud accounting solutions that integrate with these automatic bill feeds. These include Xero, QuickBooks Online, MYOB. Saasu, FreshBooks and we would expect Reckon One shortly.

If you would like to discuss how these technologies can be put to work to save you time and money and ensure your accounting is up to date, then speak to one of our Business Advisory team who can demonstrate how this can work for you.

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