What Does The Future Of Bookkeeping Look Like

Many small businesses have already adopted cloud accounting software. One of the reasons for the switch is the efficiency it provides especially in terms of data entry and reconciliation. These tasks can be time-consuming and they also demand accuracy. The cloud accounting software ensures these manual tasks are successfully done with ease. However, it cannot be denied that there are still small businesses that prefer to keep their legacy systems. The common reason is the unwillingness to adopt the new cloud culture.

With technology gaining traction on small businesses, cloud accounting software will have a full impact on various business processes. Even when the bookkeeper still handles the data processing work, less time is required to finish the task.

Is this the end of traditional bookkeeping services?

The common misconception of adopting cloud accounting software is that it completely eliminates the human touch from any bookkeeping tasks. The truth is cloud accounting software provides a chance for traditional bookkeepers to increase the number of clients because the tasks that used to take hours can now be done in minutes. It is also a chance for bookkeepers to redefine their role. That said, they need to focus on higher-end functions. These functions include review, regular reporting, interpretation and more.

The changes that are taking place in bookkeeping technology is also a great chance for bookkeepers to re-shape client perception. In the past, clients view bookkeeping services as merely taking care of their tasks and making a payment for the services. Bookkeepers can change this perception by letting clients realise that they can gain financial peace of mind by engaging the services of a bookkeeper.

How to expand traditional bookkeeping services

1. Payroll is probably one of the most complex minefields for clients. It often takes a large chunk of their time because the details need to be accurate. This is a service that can be offered by a traditional bookkeeper. Aside from enabling the client to save time and money, bookkeepers will also reduce the risk of non-compliance.

2. Good debtor management ensures a steady stream of cash for clients. Bookkeepers are the ones keeping the business on its feet as they can identify the clients having trouble collecting their own debts.

3. Software consulting is also beneficial to clients especially when adopting cloud accounting software. Even traditional bookkeepers undergo training so they can make use of the advances in bookkeeping technology. These bookkeepers can also provide sound advice on the cloud options available to the clients.

The Benefits Of Cloud Bookkeeping

One of the most difficult parts of running your business is ensuring that your finances are on their feet. You try to keep track of your financial activities but you cannot get updates in real-time as there are other areas of your business you need to focus on. This is where cloud bookkeeping comes in. It has a lot of benefits to business owners such as eliminating time-consuming tasks so it becomes a problem of the past. Cloud bookkeeping has brought efficiency into every business because of its ability to automate manual tasks. As repetitive tasks are reduced, you will have more time to spend on other areas of your business. It gives you greater peace of mind knowing that you have attended to all essential areas of your business that you want to improve on.

1. Real-time financial information

Managing your cash flow is very important to your financial success as a business owner. When you manually carry out your day-to-day tasks, you miss out on having real-time insight into your finances. When you always lack timely financial information, you can surely break your business. With cloud bookkeeping, you will be able to have an auto-updated information of your company’s financial health. There is no need to wait for days to generate the information as the report can be generated in 24 hours.

2. Collaboration Becomes Easier Than Before

It is easy for bookkeepers and advisors to get the information they need when you adopt cloud solution. They can access the information whenever, wherever. As a result, collaboration is simplified and accountants and bookkeepers have greater control of their time.

3. Efficiently Assist Clients In Less Time

Automation alongside cloud bookkeeping can bring speed and efficiency into your company because it boosts your productivity. When it does not take so much of your time to support clients, more and more people will not hesitate to do business with you.

4. Updated Cloud Software Without Extra Cost

One of the best things about cloud software is that you can get updates without any extra cost. In the past, you need to purchase an update version of the software so you can continue to enjoy technology’s rapid development. Cloud software updates take place without any extra cost.

5. Easily Back Up Data

When it comes to backing your data, you often find yourself delaying the process because the process is burdensome. Since cloud integrates your data, backup becomes automatic. In fact, it becomes part of your workflow so you do not have to spend too much time on the process.

Why Should Bookkeepers Adopt Cloud Technology?

In this day and age, cloud-based services are undoubtedly sitting on a throne, due to their positive effects on day-to-day tasks. In the past, businesses dread cloud technology because of the cost that it entailed. However, there are cost-effective ways to embrace cloud at reduced cost and this is when many businesses decide to make the switch. Perhaps, you are one of those who is still hesitant to move towards the cloud because for one, you fear the lack of control and cost unpredictability.

Since there are many service providers to choose from, you are not limited to expensive options. In fact, you can choose a cloud-based service that offers flexibility without the price tag. How is cloud technology going to help you with your bookkeeping task? Contrary to popular belief, cloud-based services do not necessarily replace human capabilities because they are designed to increase productivity so more tasks are carried out. Here are some additional benefits you can obtain from cloud:

Accessibility

Monitoring every business transaction is essential to keep your finances intact. However, real-time monitoring will not be possible if you are chained to your desk. With cloud accounting and bookkeeping solutions, being tied to your desktop computer is a problem of the past. Cloud-based bookkeeping gives you the ability to gain complete access to data anytime, anywhere and with any device. All you have to do is to use your smartphone to access the data.

Secure Sharing

Traditional bookkeeping can give you a headache especially when you need to share some information with your accountant, banker and business coach. Cloud technology provides you easier and more secure way of sharing the information without emailing reports or data. As a result, you save more time and ensure that people you want to share your financial report with obtain the information.

Work Online and Offline

Hybrid cloud services offer the best of both worlds. If you are connected to the Internet, you will be able to reap the benefits of online bookkeeping such as sharing with bookkeepers and accountants, centralised data and manage backups. When you sync your data, you will still be able to work offline and maintain productivity.

With the convenience that cloud service offers, business owners should not hesitate to tap into this technology. Aside from keeping your records safe, you will also enjoy full access to your files or data anywhere you go. Your business will also exponentially increase availability with the use of cloud-based software. Aside from saving time and effort, you will also enjoy accurate function that makes record-keeping a breeze.

Essential Qualities Of A Modern Bookkeeper

Studies show that 78% of businesses will switch to cloud operation by 2020. At present, approximately 65% of small businesses are already using cloud applications. While cloud applications can make daily bookkeeping tasks fast and easy, the future roles of bookkeepers are still open to question.  Now that more and more businesses are considering cloud software as a welcoming relief, are businesses going to say goodbye to traditional bookkeeping?

If bookkeepers are going to view these changes from a more positive perspective, they will consider this as an opportunity to step up. Just because modern bookkeeping sets the pace does not necessarily mean that bookkeepers cannot build upon the role. Bookkeepers can remain valuable if they prepare for the changes happening in the bookkeeping industry.

What does it take to be a modern bookkeeper?

1.    Knows the ins and outs of cloud applications
In modern bookkeeping, bookkeepers are expected to be tech-savvy because they are going to use cloud applications, collaboration tools and other accounting applications most of the time. Using cloud applications differs from the traditional data entry role. A bookkeeper needs to be familiar with the functions of cloud applications because timely and accurate reports are going to be necessary.

2.    Substantial bookkeeping experience
Continuous learning is important in modern bookkeeping because dealing with basic bookkeeping task does not last forever. A bookkeeper needs to learn advanced bookkeeping techniques to keep up with the changes taking place in the industry. When a bookkeeper is exposed to various types of businesses, skills are not just limited to basic bookkeeping.

3.    Formal training
Since bookkeepers are more than just data entry clerks, formal educations are also essential in becoming a modern bookkeeper.  Aside from specialized training, a bookkeeper needs to have accounting and finance degrees to excel at modern bookkeeping. These bookkeepers will be dealing with Quickbooks, Xero and other bookkeeping applications most of the time and familiarisation with these applications are required.

4.    Following best bookkeeping practices
Bookkeepers need to learn the business’ Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) so actionable reports are created. When bookkeepers are well-aware of the advanced techniques to employ to make the system as efficient as possible, the best service is provided to clients.

5.    Ability to understand modern bookkeeping
The best bookkeeping practices are not necessarily found in books. This is why a bookkeeper with entrepreneurial spirit will be able to understand modern bookkeeping and deal with the challenges that it may bring. A modern bookkeeper must have the ability to use social channels to engage with potential clients.

Modern Bookkeeping: Is It Time To Make The Switch?

Modern bookkeeping has turned every business owner’s life around because it offers efficiency, speed and quality. A task that used to be done in hours can now be carried out within just a matter of minutes. The information becomes much easier to access and everyone can collaborate and contribute to make the system more efficient. It is indeed a whiff of fresh air for business owners who used to dread bookkeeping tasks.

Although most business owners have already turned to modern bookkeeping technology because of the benefits that remains unmatched by old-fashioned bookkeeping, there are still some who are still quite hesitant to make the switch. It is not just about the problem with switching to an unfamiliar bookkeeping territory, but ditching the old system and suddenly embracing the new approach.

If you are going to look at the big picture, you will discover the once untapped potential of bookkeeping back in the day when entrepreneurs settle for the sluggish and demanding manual generation that requires accuracy. Imagine spending gruesome hours for data entry alone and when details do not match the bookkeeper’s or the business owner’s data, you will have to redo the process. This bookkeeping ordeal had come to an end when modern bookkeeping technology became part of the picture.

Why would a business owner make the switch?

  • It simplifies daily bookkeeping tasks. One of the factors that make bookkeeping challenging is the accuracy that it demands. Business owners are dependent on the information they see on the financial statement and one wrong entry can affect the whole data. These days, the bookkeeping technology has come a long way, and this means that the tasks are simplified so the need for double-data entry is eliminated. Bookkeepers and business owners will notice a significant rise in productivity and efficiency.
  • Bookkeepers collaborate with client in real time. In the past, the only way a business owner could gather ideas and get updates on bookkeeping was during meetings since an integrated client portal was not yet available. With this approach, you need to dedicate your time and effort so all parties involved in the bookkeeping system will meet half way. By switching to modern bookkeeping, preparation and submission of reports are shortened. More ideas are also obtained because the clients and bookkeepers can access the portal.
  • The system is secure. Keeping important data secure and confidential is one of the problems that most business owners are facing. There are inevitable circumstances that can mar the bookkeeping process. For instance, computers become susceptible to hacking and virus infection and if the bookkeeping data are not secured, you can end up losing the important information. Modern bookkeeping technology has foreseen these possibilities. This is why a client is assured that data are safeguarded. Even with the possibility of data loss, you can have your data backed up so no time and effort are wasted.

Although it can be quite overwhelming to make that sudden switch, the benefits that modern bookkeeping provides are enough to convince even a small business owner to embrace changes.

Is It Possible For Accountants And Bookkeepers To Collaborate?

When it comes to keeping businesses on their feet, accountants and bookkeepers have a significant contribution. Unfortunately, their services are deemed to be competitive instead of complimentary and this is the reason tension between these two camps build up. Why not offer the best of both worlds through collaboration?

When accountants and bookkeepers are working closely, essential information is fully reconciled. Business owners are also assured that the information is accurate. When incoming information is reconciled, it will be easy for accounting firms to focus on business-related issues such as cashflow, profit and business growth. There are several reasons for the gap between the accountant’s and bookkeeper’s work such as using the old accounting systems. When both camps see their roles as separate and there is lack of communication, there will be misunderstandings and friction.

Both parties must be aware of their roles in the business. Just because they have different roles to play does not mean they cannot work as a team. These days, accounting software can be used so bookkeepers and accountants can access the information at the same time. This makes collaboration and job tracking possible.

If there are problems that both parties may encounter, it is easy to track them once they access the same information through accounting software. The major roles of accountants include depreciation, company set up and ensuring that the best result is achieved at tax time. Bookkeepers are responsible for taking care of overflow work and bring up issues with the accountant before the year end.

Another benefit that a business owner can obtain when bookkeepers and accountants work together is efficiently generating leads through getting viable resources. When proactive approach is used, they can be a great team. With training and webinars, accountants and bookkeepers will have a clearer understanding of their roles.

How do bookkeepers and accountants position themselves?

•    Learn new skills. If there are gaps in your bookkeeper’s and accountant’s skillset, learning new skills will bridge the gap. It is not just enough that you are familiar with your responsibilities because you will also need to keep up with the technology. Accountants and bookkeepers should build on their IT skills so they can utilize accounting software effectively.

•    Consider complimentary services. Collaborative business relationships are effective in businesses because it helps the team offer referrals, share resources and give advice to make businesses grow. When there is a strong network, the business will also thrive.

•    Get to know the latest accounting technology. The first step to using accounting software is learning about the add-ons and features. Bookkeepers and accountants need to attend training sessions and utilise online training tools.

Collaboration also means embracing changes. Although technology advancements have made the roles of each party much easier, this does not mean that business owners no longer need bookkeepers and accountants. It will be convenient for business owners to work with accountants and bookkeepers if they work harmoniously. Each one has a purpose and no role is greater than the other. When businesses have a strong network, the goals that will encourage growth will be achieved.