Automation and accounting

All too often we get into a routine without stepping back and considering why we are doing things. The same goes with our accounting systems and processes. Your finance team is probably busy keeping on top of their day-to-day workloads but has consideration been given to how productivity can be improved through the use of readily available software? Automation in your accounting system through software could transform your finance function. Not only will it create efficiencies and improve productivity, but the team will appreciate some of the more mundane tasks being removed from their monthly to do lists.

There is a multitude of accounting apps and add-ons to your existing accounting system on the market and these continue to evolve and improve. Determining what is appropriate for your business involves consideration of each element in the accounting process to identify options for improvement.

For example, software solutions could be used to streamline and simplify the following aspects of accounting:

  • Accounts receivable – automation can optimise your cashflow through debtor management and acceleration of the accounts receivable collection process. For example, automated invoice reminders can be sent to customers for overdue payments and customers can pay electronically via payment gateways (e.g. Stripe) adding convenience to the payment collection process.
  • Accounts payable – repetitive, manual and time-consuming data entry could be minimised through the use of software such as Dext, Hubdoc or the Xero bills function – all of which extract key data from invoices and input it into the accounting system. Further, e-Invoicing functionality allows supplier invoices to be received directly into your accounting system.
  • Inventory management – depending on the industry in which you operate, inventory management software can streamline recording, tracking, and re-ordering of inventory.
  • Cashflow management, forecasting and reporting – automated tools which allow real time data analysis and planning to enable timely decision making. The likes of Spotlight Reporting, Figured or Fathom allow businesses to budget, forecast and monitor progress in a timely manner.
  • Payroll – cloud-based payroll systems such as PaySauce, iPayroll or Smartly allow employees to record hours, view rosters, request leave and view payslips all via their phones. The payday filing process is also seamlessly managed.
  • Industry specific automation – there is a range of sector specific software that may also be relevant to your business.

Each business is unique so factors such as, pricing, features, ease of use, integration into your current accounting system and availability of customer support should be considered to determine the best fit for your business. Investing in automation and technology will empower your business, your finance team and save time.

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