Coming up with small business ideas and making it requires you to take actions. There’s a lot of thoughts that go into taking that call of making it happen. The success of your business is inversely proportional to the number of sales you crack every day. It involves a lot more than just trading goods for money. Emerging technologies have been remarkably helping businesses succeed, and it is high time to understand how to leverage accounting automation.
As a business owner, you need to puzzle out product merchandising, stock control, market research, advertising and marketing, customer service, negotiation and more. It doesn’t end there. You need to understand small business accounting; cash flow, taxes, payroll, tally, ledgers, purchase orders, and other accounting tasks need to be tracked carefully. You don’t want to let an entry slip away through the cracks.
In simpler words, the key to run a successful business is to keep detailed records, and that is where accounting automation software can help. This article is a part of our comprehensive small business guides – here’s how you can leverage accounting process automation in 2021.
What Is Accounting Automation?
Manual processes consumes most of an accountant’s workday. Accounting automation can complete the significant financial tasks automatically, or instantly. The concept of automation for small business in accounting is not entirely new; there have been different forms of computerised accounting systems since the late 1800s (source: https://www.accountingnotes.net).
Until recently, accounting automation tools were unable to work without human intervention. Accountants mostly operated them, and the manual operations still took a tremendous amount of time. Modern accounting automation has successfully removed these hassles by eliminating the least effective financial tasks. They provide more time for accountants to work on analysis, accounting strategies and other crucial business operations.
Automated software systems are advanced in crunching numbers and tracking each real-time transaction of a business. They have erased the need to build complex ledger files and countless rows and columns of data entry. Computerised software has built-in formulae that help create and send reports with the click of a button. AI in the field of finance strives to streamline the overall business operation by automating accounting processes.
Impact of Automation on Accounting
Several business organisations have been continuously seeking efficient results through fair use of accounting automation tools and services. According to one of the recent surveys, the accounting automation statistics suggest that a more significant number of transactions are being processed and reported automatically by AI machines (source: https://www.researchgate.net/). Modern AI software work alongside humans to make financial operations more effective and productive.
Several CFO’s are concerned about the impact of automation on customers. Recent reports estimate that more than 50% of the back-end functions can be potentially automated; except roles related to knowledge-base management and shared services (source: www.ibanet.org). That is professionals, including the data scientists, cognitive tech geeks who can convert insights into meaningful communication.
Several big businesses and CFO’s are now focused on utilising this opportunity by identifying individuals who are passionate to learn and expand their skill sets in the process of becoming the real business-minded partners. Today’s business world needs the next generation leaders capable of driving changes that can reshape how accounting operations are done.
What Is Accounting Automation Software?
The practical results of implementing accounting automation are beyond learning accounting or cloud accounting. Automated accounting is more potent than the traditional computerised system. Employing an automated system rids accountants from performing manual data entries or 3-way data matching.
Business automation tools automate a significant part of small business accounts payable processes. It automates everything from recording each transaction to GST returns filing procedures. Accounting automation software might require humans to intervene only when there are certain exceptions or need a higher level of thinking.
What Are the Benefits of Using Automated Accounting Software?
Automation in finance resolves the manual accounting hazards through smart software solutions that can instantly take care of the problem. If you are a small business wondering how accounting automation can benefit your enterprise, here’s a curated list that answers all your questions.
Strategic Management of Cash Flow
Mismanaging cash flow is one of the primary reasons why businesses go bankrupt. Cash flow crisis mostly arises due to inadequate accounting protocols that are unhealthy to a company. These protocols limit an enterprise from scaling and expanding their business. On the other hand, automation focuses on strategically managing cash flow that immediately provides a clear picture of business funds.
Automation allows business owners to quickly estimate their profits; where is the business spending the most, when can the company expect income. They no longer have to create manual reports to know their financial position. It provides visibility that contributes to making critical decisions when necessary.
Saving Time Through Automation
Automation is generally known to save time and manual efforts across various industries. Likewise, in accounting, automation allows accountants to conveniently work on ledger entries, client information and other financial details. They no longer need to spend countless hours trying to interpret data or matching them.
Automated accounting systems auto-updates each record and relates the existing data in no time. Further, the systems also generate structured financial reports and install accurate timestamps on the related data. Soon, automated accounting software might replace the need for manual data configuration as well.
Advanced Cloud Access
Businesses using cloud programs can never settle for anything less. It is much easier to work when data access and document sharing is just one click away. Accountants and business owners can immediately process transactions and analyse each document anytime, anywhere. Cloud systems like Imprezz makes it easier to work as a team with shared data access.
Cloud accounting software is comparatively much secure to manage accounts payable; it is purpose-built for professionals with round the clock data access. They strive to provide the highest safety and enterprise-grade data security standards to keep the business operations streamlined.
Flexible Features & System Functionality
Supreme quality accounting software provides features that are adaptable enough to sync with various business requirements. Implementing an accounting system that can adapt to the everchanging business environment is crucial for enterprises to succeed amid challenging competitors.
An integrated software system like Imprezz allows standard formatting and provides customisable templates to formulate different business ledgers. These are some of the vibrant features and functionalities that make accounting software highly flexible for a wide range of businesses and industries.
Cloud Storage & Data Organization
Automated accounting platforms are capable of elevating businesses beyond their current capabilities. Data organisation becomes easier with accurate data entry, processing and storage. Business operations become significantly convenient when you know where to locate specific information precisely.
Automated accounting software guarantees streamlined data. It automatically saves the details by immediately identifying the information entered in the database. Advanced computerised systems like Imprezz offers secure cloud accounting that helps perform automatic, regular back-ups to prevent businesses from losing crucial data.
Enhances Data Security
On the dark side, the internet of things has made it difficult for businesses to survive. Although there are various advancements in today’s technology, the chances of being harmed by cyberattacks are equivalently high. Accounting automation is built with encryption technology that offers advanced security features to ensure maximum business data protection.
Alongside protecting businesses from being hacked, automated platforms enable business owners to control the shared data access, allowing them to share what is necessary. The feature helps maintain the confidentiality of ledger information by preventing the unauthorised employee from accessing the information.
Quick Data Recovery
Physical storage of paper files can be a daunting task; data storage can slowly turn into countless records. The thought of retrieving or reviewing physically stored data can haunt accountants. They have to search for each document, sometimes piled in different rooms to match them and interpret the data.
Accounting automation is a boon to accountants; it is effortless to find records online. Instant location of files, entries and records has never been this easy before. Automated systems are programmed to make ledgers and document reporting easier to categorise and store safely.
Comprehensive Data Analysis
Besides offering data security and organisation, modern accounting platforms also supports quick presentation and distribution of financial data. Analysed files can be accessed by any individual working in the enterprise; making reconciliation of audits and records much more manageable.
Furthermore, analysing trends becomes easier with accurate means to check variances and predictability feature offered by the software. It enables accountants to make data-driven, smart business decisions by providing access to readily available reports.
Tax Compliance & Deductions
The advent of the GST regime in India has made returns filing mandatory for registered businesses. The recent tax relaxations have led to confusion. Business owners are struggling with sales tax deductions during the tax seasons. Running errands with tracking receipts and expenses might lead to mistakes that can have severe consequences.
The rise of automation in bookkeeping has eliminated the hassles of GST returns filing. Accounting platforms are now capable of updating records immediately as the transaction is processed. Accountants need not enter information as real-time accounting systems auto-update transaction data. They need to have an eye on these details to make sure if the information is accurate.
Automated GST accounting software like Imprezz are capable of figuring the deductibles. It allows the business owners to understand and estimate the tax preparation time immediately after processing the transaction.
Professional Development & Expert Learning
Any job role requiring manual, repetitive work can be replaced with the right tools and automation. In finance, accountants can easily replace their traditional, regular-basis work through automated accounting systems. It enables accountants to be more productive as they are free to focus on personal development and other efficient tasks.
Despite all the advancements, accounting platforms do require human intervention. Accountants must ensure that these applications are working accordingly from time-to-time. Automation has been a turning point in the career of every accountant. It helps enrich their employment experience, improve their value within an organisation, and share their knowledge.
Implementing an ideal accounting platform can eliminate the most tedious and frustrating accounting tasks. It must allow business owners to better focus on other crucial business operations, such as managing the bank accounts, developing business and accounting strategies, and better communication with the employees.
How to Select Best Accounting Automation Software?
Automated accounting systems aren’t just for accounting. Business owners must know how to leverage accounting automation by integrating various business functions under a single platform. Instead, they should look up for software programs offering integrated business intelligence tools that help manage other aspects of the business.
For instance, Imprezz integrated system allows businesses to leverage invoicing and quotation maker feature as a marketing tool. The software also integrates various essential tools like tally, purchase order management, import functions under a single platform.
Here’s a curated list of what to look for when you decide to purchase accounting software.
1. Does the software work well for your business requirements?
Before taking the call on buying software, make sure if the accounting system is designed to make ends meet for your business. You can refer to online forums and detailed specifications to understand the functionalities of the software.
2. Does the software offer multiple access levels?
As discussed earlier, it is best to implement different data access levels for owners, managers, employees and other authorities. You don’t want all your employees having easy access to your accounts data.
3. Is the software capable of recording transactions and managing the payroll system?
Although any accounting platform is capable of recording transaction, not many systems offer payroll management. Most software offer payroll as an upgraded feature. Please check for the features before you purchase the software.
4. Does the software offer inventory tracking?
Only some software features include inventory tracking; others don’t. You do not want to link other tracking apps to your main accounting software. It will just multiply the amount of money you will have to spend on automating your accounting processes. Do thorough research about the software features, but what is useful for your business. Do not pay for unnecessary features.
5. Is it a cloud-based software?
We have already discussed the detailed benefits of cloud system in the article above. If the software is cloud-based, it will provide remote access. You will have the freedom to work from anywhere. It also offers lower support costs, automatic back-up facility and hassle-free integration for payment and other applications.
6. Is the software extensible and scalable?
Small businesses have a greater scope of expanding with time. Thus, it is crucial to implement a scalable remote business accounting system, a software that can grow as the business does. Scalable software feature enables businesses to add new users as they expand. Wherein, the extensible feature allows users to purchase new add-on applications.
Regardless of which accounting software you choose to purchase; ensure you always keep your essential files archived. Do not share the access for your data concerning sales records, bank information, loan statements and tax data. These crucial documents play a vital role in formulating tax returns and business audits.
Quick Tips for Successful Small Business Accounting
Using your accounting software to accomplish your regular business operations will help you get the best results. Here’s a list of quick tips, make this your daily accounting small business checklist, so you don’t miss out on anything.
- Record Each Transaction
- Check & Reconcile
- Review the Difference b/w Incoming & Outgoing Cashflow
- Collect Required Tax Data
- Cross-Check the Defined Ledgers
- Keep Your Ledger Entries Updated
- Get an Outside Perspective from Your Financial Advisor
- Create Regular Reports
- Keep a Trail of Paper Records (Receipts & Invoices)
- Do Not Intermix Your Personal Accounts & Business Accounts
- Stay GST Compliant – File Returns On-Time
- Watch Your Business Cash Flow
Combination of Automated Accounting & Smart Spending Software
By now, the reasons why your business finances require automation must be pretty clear. Accounting software saves time, avoids manual errors, and keeps business documents at your fingertips. There’s no excuse for not implementing accounting software.
Alongside enjoying the benefits of implementing accounting software, have you considered leveraging automation to track your expenditures? While giving your finance team a customised control over your finances, you can also deal with your expenses in the same manner.
Combining accounting and expense tracking features makes your business operations more efficient, accurate and help confidently deal with your accounts at the end of every quarter. But the question remains; how to combine both functions? If you do not know where to start, consider implementing Imprezz accounting software, a complete package of business intelligence tools—leverage automation in every way possible. The software offers features that can help beyond your accounting needs.
Will Automated Accounting Software Replace CPA’s?
Automation replacing accountants in the near future is a mere myth. As we advance, businesses are still going to require accountants to ensure cost efficiency and effectiveness. Although automation simplifies a large role of accountants, it cannot entirely act like an accountant. Instead, it is the modernisation of the traditional practices of accounting which allows accountants to make exceptional advancements in their profession.
Automation in accounting has increased the scope for accountants. It has eliminated their need to spend enormous time doing the tedious yet essential accounting tasks; enabling them to limit their errors and provide accurate results. Accountants can now work on their vital roles as financial officers. They can further become finance consultants who create strategies, budgets and advice the CEO’s to help increase their organisation’ overall profits.
The emergence of advanced technology does not mean businesses can do away with employing humans. They still need bookkeepers who can understand the fundamentals of accounting, analysing and explaining how finance works for an enterprise. Businesses do require individuals who are capable of doing more than just interpreting financial data. Accounting software has transformed CPA’s into custodians of financial information.
Most people believe that AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning will take over employees’ roles. However, it is far from the truth. In accounting, businesses will always require an expert to keep an eye over software functionalities. All-in-all, AI has increased CPA’s efficiency by enabling them to deal with numbers much faster and in more accurate ways. The process of strategic decision making is now easier than ever for CPA’s.
Business Automation Guide – Cut Short!
Having known the basics of accounting automation, here’s a list of new strategies working great for businesses in 2021.
- Automate transaction accounting tasks (bookkeeping, payroll, purchase order, etc.)
- Automate your business cash flow, tax calculation, planning and tax research.
- Automate accounts and records under GST.
- Leverage AI right away and save yourself loads of time.
- Auto-verify data to keep up with the quality.
- Become an automated and fully outsourced accounting professional for your clients (forecasting, financial modelling, business planning and more).
- Pick financial service providers who offer most accounting automation features and capabilities.
Technology has enabled business owners to manage their enterprise more efficiently. As a result of automation, the business now has an easy means to perform improved data analysis and reporting. Ideal accounting platforms enables business owners to see the overall business performance. If your company still adheres to manual accounting processes, you are running last in the race.
Automation enables you to keep your fingertips on the pulse of your business, helping you to meet the everchanging demands in the marketplace. We hope this guide to accounting automation – 2021 was helpful for your business. Now we leave it all over to you.
Do you want to install strategic accounting software for your business? Implement Imprezz, pioneer of business intelligence software for small businesses in India. The company has been helping MSMEs in India succeed despite the everchanging business environment. The platform has been helping several small businesses sustain despite the economic crisis caused due to COVID-19.
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