Want to Save Time and Money? Automate Your Accounting System
It is amazing how the daily use of technology in our business has changed what we can accomplish each day. Look at the use of cellphones, tablets, and computers. Each year these technologies get better and faster allowing newer apps to be loaded and more advanced software to be used. This mixture of technology allows businesses to automate many different functions. I work with a variety of clients in a wide array of industries, and for most of them, their use of automation technology is mostly impacting the operations side of their business, and very little in the area of their internal accounting functions.
Not automating your accounting processes is a missed opportunity to streamline and allow you or your employees to do more in less time. Adopting automation allows employees to spend less time on tasks that once required hours to complete. Automation can sometimes handle menial tasks in a fraction of the time; shrinking the chance of human error. Whether employees are rushed due to a large volume of work, or they make a simple data entry mistake, there will always be human error when tasks are done manually. Automation takes the component of human error out of the equation.
Below are some simple ways you can automate your internal accounting functions and provide more accurate information in a timelier manner.
Automate Bank and Credit Feeds
You can set-up your bank or credit card to automatically pull data into your general ledger. This technology has become increasingly popular over the last several years. Using services like QuickBooks Online is the best way to streamline your bookkeeping process. The computer won’t replace the brain of the accounting department, and you will still need to have a qualified person review the posted transactions for anything miscoded. More than 1,400 financial institutions are compatible with QuickBooks for automated bank feeds.
Automate Your Accounts Payable
Once you’ve set-up QuickBooks, you can sync it with bill pay software like Bill.com, Plate IQ, or Mineral Tree. These are just a few of the many apps that are compatible with QuickBooks, but these three are on the top of our list. The use of any of the aforementioned software programs have the following benefits:
- Enter less data. Auto-enter invoice data for your review, then starts the bill approval process in real time.
- Simplify approval of workflow. Set custom rules and policies to fit your approval and the software will remember them for future invoices.
- Reduce human error. Get notified immediately if something doesn’t look right, such as a duplicate invoice or payment; then action can be taken.
- Manage money easily. See your payments in and payments out in a single view, so you always know how much money you have available for payments.
- Speed up reconciliations. Because the software syncs with QuickBooks after each transaction, accounts reconcile faster and your books are always up to date.
- Handle payments on the go. Operators are often on the move. The use of mobile apps lets you review, approve, and pay invoices from any device, anytime.
Automate Your Expense Reports
As the name implies, Expensify is a software for managing expenses. It’s a faster and more efficient way to track expenses than the older and more traditional methods of keeping receipts and manually completing an expense reimbursement form, which would require supervisory approval. This technology is essential for all businesses that have employees that regularly need to be reimbursed for expenses.
Rather than keeping physical copies of receipts and manually stapling them to expense reimbursement forms, Expensify is completely digital. In the app, employees take pictures of their receipts with their phone’s camera and Expensify automatically generates and submits expense reports. Once approved, reimbursements are made within 24 hours to the individual’s bank account.
One of the reasons why we like Expensify is because it allows us to control the policy rules for approved expenses. For example, a lunch receipt can be automatically approved, while a bigger purchase that’s out of the ordinary can be flagged for review before the reimbursement is made. Expensify easily connects to QuickBooks Online or Bill.com.
We couldn’t write a blog about innovative automation technologies without mentioning Apps.com. Apps.com is essentially a brokerage of applications that are compatible with QuickBooks. You can search for apps by category, such as: Accounts Payable, CRM, Expense Management, Payment Processing, or Time Tracking. There are many tools that may be a good solution for you and your business.
Innovative automation technology isn’t just reserved for selling and promoting your products. You can take advantage of automation technology to make your accounting process more accurate and efficient. Depending on the type of business you have, some of these may be more relevant to you than others. Remember, technology can’t completely replace humans. You’ll still need someone to manage and review the data and the activity.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need additional resources for managing your business’ internal accounting or you’d like to learn about bookkeeping and other services we offer, please contact Cory Parnell, Principal, at firstname.lastname@example.org.