Let’s face it – accounting has traditionally involved a lot of menial labor. Procedures like data entry, account reconciliation, and invoice matching are all repetitive tasks that require intense concentration to carry out correctly. These tasks are time-consuming, and they keep good accountants from working on more challenging projects.
There’s another downside to working at tedious accounting jobs, though. Accountants are only human, and they’re prone to human error. They slip up and enter the wrong figures in a database. They make mistakes in their calculations. Unfortunately, normal, human mistakes like rounding errors or mis-entering figures can be costly to any business.
That’s why more and more accountants are looking for ways to automate some of the processes that have traditionally been done by hand. By turning over tedious jobs to the computer, firms can rest assured that they’ll avoid the pitfalls of human error, while freeing up their accountants to do what they do best. But which tasks should be automated? Keep reading to learn about five projects that are easy to automate and can make a real difference to your business.
Both sending and receiving invoices are fairly straightforward to automate. Your invoicing software can even integrate with the cloud, making it easy to send out your invoices by email. Most invoice software can also track payments and send out reminders when your clients are late with a payment.
You should even be able to use your software to set up an automated invoice email so that your clients get an automated alert when their payment is overdue.
The process of receiving invoices is also easy to automate. You can use automatic invoice recognition tools to automatically process invoices and update your bookkeeping programs. Not only does this save time, but it also eliminates the risk of human error, giving you peace of mind and freeing you up to work on other matters.
Tracking expenses and making sure that they’re reconciled is a time-consuming process and a great candidate for automation. There are several tools that can make this easy.
Just scan your receipts, and the system will capture key information like cost and due date. From there, the information gets uploaded right away into your accounting software, which can then produce an expense report in real-time. The process is still repetitive since it involves feeding all of those receipts into the system. However, it’s not prone to the kinds of human error you’d probably come across if you were doing the whole thing by hand.
Automation can make every aspect of handling your payroll a breeze. Today, software can calculate your employees’ earnings and their tax withholdings. The right programs can even account for IRA contributions. You can also incorporate other employee incentive programs, like transit assistance or childcare benefits, if you offer any such programs to your staff.
Shifting to an automated payroll system also makes life easier for your employees. Most of the payroll software available today allows your staff to submit their timesheets online instead of worrying about easy-to-lose paperwork. Your employees will also be able to check their paystubs online. In most cases, you can use your payroll software to make payments by direct deposit instead of issuing checks, if you prefer.
The result? Payroll operations will be sped up and streamlined. Digital record keeping will replace paper for both you and your employees, saving paper and money as well as time.
Cash flow forecasting, or the process of getting insight into your business’s future performance, is another process that’s easy to automate. You can use reporting software to get a bird’s eye view of your company’s profitability and its growth trend. You can also assess your cash flow and other key performance indicators using financial analysis tools.
Automating this process means that you’ll be freed up to focus on executive decision-making instead of getting stuck in the weeds crunching numbers. Automating these procedures means that you’ll have more time than ever to focus on what your business really needs.
Your business probably receives a lot of recurring payments, and it can be a hassle to ensure that those payments come through on time. Switching to an online payment service can be a game-changer for everyone on your team and even for your clients.
You can set it up to automatically collect payments from your regular clients via direct debit. This will make things easier for your clients, of course, since it means that payments can easily be automated on their end as well. For your team, it means that staff won’t need to spend time chasing down payments and will be free to focus their energies on other things.
Incidentally, it also means that your business will have a drastically improved cash flow. Instead of waiting for payments that are constantly delayed, you’ll always know when you can expect your next payment. Once you start scheduling payments, virtually everything – from making your own payments to managing payroll and forecasting cash flow – also becomes significantly smoother.
Automating your accounting functions is a complex undertaking. Working with a team of experts, like the team at Accelo, can make a world of difference to your business.
Accelo is an integrated platform that runs business operations in the cloud. We have worked with clients in accounting and other fields to help them automate their processes and maximize the potential of their employees.
Accelo provides professional service businesses with the tools and resources they need to manage client operations. We work with our clients on sales, quotes, projects, tickets, retainers, timesheets, billing, and scheduling. We also help our clients maintain long-time client relationships, nurture prospective customers, and stay competitive in the market. The result? You’ll spend less time working on tedious, repetitive projects and more time working constructively on growing your actual business so that you boost your bottom line.