Automating your bookkeeping

Taking advantage of new software can save you time and money. (This article first appeared in the Winter 2017/18 edition of our Connect newsletter.)

As technology advances, so too do the opportunities to improve processes. For bookkeeping, that can be automating data entry, whether it be sales, purchases or bank transactions. This enables accurate and timely bookkeeping, which enhances decision making and cost control.

Why should we automate?

A common issue with manual bookkeeping, particularly when there is a high volume of transactions, is a combination of both the time cost of inputting the data and the increased risk of human error. This can lead to the production of Management Information being out of date (i.e. too old) and expensive. Financial automation is therefore about improving your decision making and allowing profitability and cash flow issues to be caught early.

The reduced admin time will also allow you, the business owner, to put a greater focus on core business operations. As a business, the last thing you want is to stunt growth because you’re spending more time and money on your non-core operations.

How do we automate?

Automated bookkeeping services are becoming more common and are getting smarter. For best results, they will work with a cloud-based accounting package and they are third-party applications that integrate with your current accounts package.

The key to automation is creating workflows to capture your bills and invoices either directly or by sending the data to a unique email address. The system will then ‘read’ the invoices and prepare posting documents for review and approval. Invariably, they will require some small additions or narrative changes. The software is designed to learn and will start to remember which details were completed previously.

There are now mobile apps that let you snap a picture of a receipt and upload it straight from your phone, so no more looking at multiple receipts with the details all in different places, and no more entering individual coffee receipts one by one!

Make software work for you

The imminent arrival of Making Tax Digital requires that businesses consider how they can produce accurate and timely financial information, with the least amount of strain on resources. Within our Business Support Department, we are working with clients to implement these systems daily and would be delighted to discuss the potential of these with you.

With the tools and technology currently available, there has never been an better time to start automating to your business’ advantage.