Technology Is Changing The Way We Do Accounting
Remember the good old days when you had to enter your accounting into green ledger pads only to have to translate those numbers from one place to another by hand? Back in those days, if you made a mathematical error, your next step would be to grab your trusty pink eraser and make a mess with the eraser shavings because the only way to really make sure everything tied out in the end was to start the recording process over from the beginning. Thinking about all the erasers that gave their pink, rubbery lives for the cause is enough to bring a tear to my eye…
But now, (luckily for us and the eraser population) programs like QuickBooks®, Peachtree, and Quicken® were introduced and went on to change the world of accounting dramatically. With these programs, it was now possible (and easy) to enter simple transactions such as invoices or checks into a computer and make sure each entry is recorded correctly and in the right accounts. And all that math we used to do could now be done quickly and accurately within our trusty accounting programs. Ahhh … the good life! I mean, could it get any better?
Well, even though these programs gave us a lot and fundamentally changed the way we did our accounting, their biggest drawbacks was that they could only be housed on a computer or server in an office. As our world became more mobile and fast paced, we realized the need for our accounting programs to keep up.
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The Future Is Now
Today we are eyeball deep into the “online era” which has given us the capability to use online programs such as QuickBooks Online®, Sage Intacct®, and others to record transactions from anywhere using cloud technology. Now, all we need to access these powerful programs is a compatible device and an internet connection. To put this in context, it’s now possible to literally print invoices while sitting on a beach in Hawaii while your business is fully operational in Ohio! And if that’s still not impressive enough for you, these programs are continuously being updated with new features and capabilities once thought to be impossible.
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In addition to the amazing capabilities these programs offer, there are now specialized applications that can be added onto your software to make it even more powerful. These are three applications I have found to be most valuable: Bill.com, SOS Inventory, and Expensify®.
This application lets one user in the business review and code invoices when they arrive in the “inbox,” while another user is tasked to approve them. After those two jobs are completed, a third user is able to send the invoices out to be paid. Bill.com handles every payment so employees will never have to handle a single check. I mean, how’s that for separation of duties? Furthermore, Bill.com works directly with the major online accounting software programs so information links together seamlessly. This means that if you enter a bill into Bill.com it’s automatically synced to your accounting software program and your general ledger. Talk about maximum efficiency!
Do you have inventory frustrations? SOS Inventory is an application that allows you to order, receive, and track your inventory with ease. They have more advanced capabilities than many of your basic accounting packages and, once again, they tie in directly with QuickBooks Online, which means you only have to enter the information once!
There are probably frustrations when it comes to your employee reimbursement reports or company credit cards. Luckily, Expensify is available to track all of that information for you! It works by having your employees take pictures of their receipts and explain what they are for. Then, an individual will approve the expenses in order to set your employee up for reimbursement. This is all done while linked to your accounting program software to ensure that all of your business’s expenses are correctly recorded.
With so many other options out there, I’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg of what’s available. But if you are interested in learning more about these tools or other programs that are available to help you streamline your accounting processes, I’d love to hear from you! Email Rea & Associates to be put in touch with me or another member of our client advisory service team.
By Heather McNichols, Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor® (New Philadelphia office)