7 Things That You Can Automate In Your Accounting and Save Time
When you look at different processes happening around the world, you will find that automation has dramatically changed the workflow of various industries. From automatically packing beverage bottles to rapidly assembling a vehicle’s motor parts, automation has allowed multiple businesses to spike their efficiency and do more with less.
Similarly, the accounting industry can significantly benefit from automation as well. But before you can automate accounting, you must have a clear understanding of areas that must be automated.
Here are a few tasks that you can automate in your accounting firm and save time.
1) Payment Flow Integration
Nothing feels better than receiving your payments on time. However, relying on conventional methods for due collection is time-consuming and requires significant manual efforts. Sometimes, it may take more than a few days to get your dues cleared. Things get even more complicated while handling recurrent transactions. Automating your organization’s payment flow allows you to improve your cash flow and considerably improve revenue collection.
Instead of sending invoices to your clients and then collecting payment information from them, your customers can directly make payments by using a virtual terminal. A virtual terminal works like a physical POS terminal yet takes payment via a web page. You can avail of services from different VP providers like Square, Paypal, GoCardless, and collect payments hassle-free. You can also easily set up pre-authorized debits for single or recurring payments and automatically collect dues from your clients after issuing the invoice to them.
When you are working in the accounting sector, time plays a pivotal role in revenue generation. An accounting firm segregates their work hours into billable and non-billable hours, with their clients getting charged for the billable ones. Hence, in addition to bringing in measures that crop those non-billable hours and increase the billable hours for your firms, it is essential to track them correctly as well.
Most of the firms still use Excel sheets for tracking time, which is grossly inefficient and tedious. You can incorporate time-tracking software like Tsheets, Hubstaff, or Harvest to accurately track time for each task. Using these programs, you can pre-set the estimated time required and get immediately notified upon its completion. You can automatically create multiple invoices according to the time spent and issue them directly to your clients. This way, you can avoid any tracking-related discrepancies and generate accurate invoices at the same time.
3) Fraudulent Transaction Detection
According to a report by the Association Of Certified Fraud Examiners, major industries worldwide suffered a whopping $7 billion losses due to occupational fraudulency. Quite shocking, isn’t it? Illicit billing adjustments, improper asset valuation, unauthorized payroll processing, asset misappropriation, and fraudulent financial statements are some ways through which fraud can occur within your company. Automating specific tasks can speed up the detection of fraudulent transactions and decrease their incidence.
Using Blockchain technology, you can automate multiple ledger-related tasks like updating invoices, share data in real-time, and restrict administrative access. Blockchain is immutable- every transaction or changes made to the database cannot be altered and is readily traceable. This way, you don’t have to manually monitor an audit trail as all the information is updated automatically in your database. Since you can restrict personnel access, you can quickly identify the concerned person instead of flipping pages over an employee task-history.
4) Invoice Management
Invoicing is the lifeline for any business. A proper invoicing regime keeps the cashflow running and helps in continued revenue collection for your firm. However, most firms employ manual invoicing methods, which are rather time-consuming and complex to maintain. They are generally more expensive, too, with a greater degree of human-prone error involved. Automating the invoicing process helps save up those precious hours of your firm and makes things cost-effective as well.
Digitizing your invoices and automating their generation will allow you to save time associated with traditional invoice handling. Instead of manually creating invoices and then printing them out, you can use automatic invoicing tools like Invoicevera, GoPaperless, or Invoice Ninja to create invoices instantly and send them to your clients. You can also set up an invoice reminder for approval from critical stakeholders and reminding your clients about the due payments.
5) Customer Management
Out of many factors that affect a firm’s growth, the quality of customer management plays an important role. How you treat your clients and the solutions your firms offer to them determine your customer management process’s quality. However, many organizations still employ traditional accounting methods for their customers, depriving them of modern accounting solutions and limiting their experience with the firm.
Automating the customer management process will help you save time and enhance your organizational efficiency. You can use CRM software like Hubstaff, Zendesk, and Zoho to schedule meetings, offer chat support, and handle their queries. Instead of manually going through their financial transactions, you can use data analytics and AI to develop comprehensive reports for crucial business insights. This way, you can make accurate financial forecasts and advise them proactively. And since you can automate invoice management as well, you can timely collect payment from your clients.
6) Handling Expenses
While it is the job of accountants to track their clients’ financial activity and monitor their transactions, they have their expenses to handle as well. From generating month-end closure reports to issuing and calculating reimbursements, accountancy firms have a fair deal to handle, which, when done manually, becomes tiring after a point. Automating the expense management process empowers your clients to spend less time handling their firms’ expenses and bringing productivity.
For creating those month-end reports, you can use software like G2, FloQast for accurately developing reports and compiling data. And if you want to automate the submission and approval process, you have management solutions like Zoho and Expensify for automating them and improve your expense management. You can even use them to scan a receipt and stop worrying about it getting lost. Automating expense management results in lesser expenses to handle and better control over your resources.
7) Traditional Accounting Operations
Whether it is rushing from your house to meet an important client, or collaborating with your co-workers, manually doing tasks hampers your efficiency. Add other accounting operations like tax reporting, payroll processing into the fray, and you can feel yourself getting stifled by the increasing workload. And even if you use the latest accounting software, most of them are locally installed, limiting their accessibility. So, what can you do?
Moving your accountancy to the cloud and shifting yourself from the traditional setting is a great way to ensure an overall increase in productivity and reduced time commitment. Instead of waiting to access your workplace, you can host your accounting software on the cloud and experience around-the-clock availability. Since you are available from anywhere, anytime, you can easily access your data and collaborate with your client and co-workers. You can also integrate other applications for creating precise tax reports and accurately process payrolls.
Now that you have realized the benefits of bringing in automation, your mind must be waiting to take the necessary measures and implement them as soon as possible. But, hold on! While automating specific accounting tasks can undoubtedly boost your firm’s productivity and enhance its efficiency, it takes time to adjust to the modern automating solution.
Doing everything at once can overwhelm your employees and shunt your firm’s workflow. Instead of blindly bringing in automation, identify those core areas that can instantly benefit from it. This way, you can easily automate your firms’ operation and revolutionize its working.